Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) on the Eee PC 701

I did it. I wiped Mandriva clean off my computer, backed up my important files, and installed Ubuntu 8.10 beta on my Eee PC, and so far the experience has been wonderful. There were a few bumps along the way, of course:

Other than that, it has worked a dream. I’m very happy with Intrepid on the Eee. I did one update and left it at that (if I did daily updates, I’m sure one of them would break things, and as the Eee is my main computer, I can’t afford to have that happen).

To anyone who says I should file bug reports on this stuff while Intrepid is still in beta, bug reports have already been filed on all of these, so the developers are quite aware of these problems. I don’t know if they’re a top priority to be fixed or not, though.


  1. Nice to see that you are now “at home” with your favourite linux distribution! But why didn’t you install the Ubuntu Netbook Remix on it? Wouldn’t it have been a better choice?

  2. I’m not sure it would be a better choice for me. Does it offer additional hardware support? I’m glad the kiosk-like interfaces exist for netbooks in general. But for my netbook, I prefer a traditional desktop.

  3. Well, for what I read, it was tailored to work out of the box and optimally (better boot time, for example) with netboook’s hardware, specially the Intel Atom processor. The interface was also designed with the low screen resolution in mind.
    I heard that they also did not dumb the distro down to the point of being usable, you can still do pretty much everything that can be done with a classical ubuntu install.

  4. That’s also what I heard, but I don’t have an Intel Atom processor (I have an Eee 701, remember?), and the traditional desktop works fine for me with the 800×480 resolution. It’s only certain websites that annoy me (which the Netbook Remix would not fix) with the need for side-scrolling.

  5. Ubuntu Eee (with netbook remix) is based on 8.04 and does support all the function keys, wireless, etc… and you CAN disable the netbook remix UI. There’s an applet called desktop-switcher (i believe) or you can manually disable it in the startup in gnome. Regular gnome is still there, you just can’t see it.

    Though, I’m running 8.10 on my Eee now too – it feels better than 8.04 to me.

  6. funny… I had exactly the same problems as you.. even with copying the files to the stick.. for a second I thought I wrote it…

  7. I recently updated (clean install) my 7.10 to eee Ubuntu 8.04.1 and will not recommend it to anyone!

    These are the problems I have with “Ubuntu eee 8.04.1”:
    – The wifi is unstable, almost unusable. Even when mere feets away from the AP.
    – The ondemand cpu control makes 4G eee horridly unresponsive (save in battery life is next to nil).
    – All function keys DO not work (FN+F2, FN+F5).
    – The boot time is horrible. 1 min 50 secs to internet.

    I will try 8.10 in a few days and I hope that with vanilla Ubuntu these issues don’t exist or are easier to fix.

    I cannot recommend Ubuntu eee 8.04.1 to be used with eee 4G 701.

  8. I have been running 8.04 on my laptop and have experienced very few problems. At least, it is much better than the alternative–hence Windows. I tried to upgrade, following the instructions from the Ubuntu web site to the dot, and it did not upgrade. I gave me a message telling me that it could not complete the upgrade and that some things might not work properly on my laptop. I admit that my laptop has some issues, but 8.04 still worked great. I cannot even boot up. It stalls in the black screen and the loading bar stops just after it starts to move. I am going to run a clean install of 8.10, but doubt I will keep Ubuntu. I am not a happy person and will probably dump Ubuntu altogether. This problem is intolerable. Ubuntu 7.10 was also garbage.

  9. I waited for the final release to upgrade. I used gmount-iso on the original image from Ubuntu and liveusb to create the bootable usb key.

    After adding the eeepc sources, and packages that were available I still had no working wifi and no volume controls. I did have ethernet after disabling the restricted driver as suggested here.

    I’m now going back over the old-fashioned way of setting the interface prefs (small font and icons) and compiling the source for the wifi.

    I still wish that the hardware support was more directly available from the Ubuntu repositories since it is such a small but known variable of hardware sets. Oh well, maybe by Jaunty the hardware and settings will be there out of the box.


  10. Hello :)

    I have the same problem that you had when you should boot the live CD. I have tried with 3 CDs, and I always got the same error message.

    So now I sit with my Eee 900 and upgrade from a clean 8.04 to 8.10, and hope that will work :)

    From Dag-Eivind :)

  11. To avoid the password for wifi on autologin, you have to delete the files in ~/.gonome2/keyring/

    and when wasked set a black password, and confirm unsecured…

    This work fine on unbuntu 8.04 and 8.10

  12. What is wrong with the Xandros distro that comes with the eee pc? Why put something that doesn’t quite work as well on it?! It’s fairly straight forward to get FF3 installed and then everything is fine including function keys and networking. If it ain’t broke……

  13. It ain’t broke for you, Karim, but many of us are dissatisfied with the limitations of the Eee version of Xandros.

    My main gripes were too many QT libraries needed for essential functions; no reliable, easy, and comprehensive software repositories; no password prompt for sudo; only one user account that has to be called user instead of an actual username you choose. I’m sure you can find other gripes people have with Xandros if you look hard enough.

    Bottom line: use what works for you. If you, Karim, like Xandros, keep it. No one is forcing you to try anything else. But if we, other people, don’t like Xandros, let us try something else. We don’t have to defend our choices to you. If we like something else better, we’re entitled to that preference.

  14. Hi there! I just clean installed Intrepid in my EEE (700 4G), but I just can’t install the EEE-specific packages. Actually, I just found one (eeepc-acpi-scripts), but it fails when trying to install (“Depends: acpi-support-base but it is not installable”).

    How did it go there?

  15. Yeah, I had the same problem. Intrepid seems to work just fine without that package, though, so I didn’t bother trying to track down the dependency.

  16. I recently installed Intrepid ibex on an eee pc 1000hd. I also installed an eee pc kernel. Everything works great. The only issue is shutdown. But that was easy to fix by editing the halt file.

    I find this works better than ubuntu eee 8.4. On ubuntu eee it would take FOREVER to boot, to the point that looked like it was locked up. Also my USB wifi dongle wouldn’t work. With Intrepid it boots up just fine and my dongle works.

    If you own an eee pc, I would give intrepid with the eee pc kernel a try.

  17. I’ve just installed Kubuntu Intrepid on my 701 4G. At first, wireless didn’t work, but when I installed the custom array kernel for the eeepc (eeepc-lean), it all came to life. It’s pretty satisfatory the speed and KDE4 is almost a full-usable desktop. The only issue that is annoying me is the microphone: the buit-in stops working after some seconds in skype and the external won’t replace the built in automatically, as it should. The external also does not work properly: the sound is not clear and continuous, making it impossible to talk on skype. Are you experiencing something like this?

  18. hello,
    I’ve just read you sou said side scrolling was an annoyance with your eee-pc 701 (I’m typing this on the same model)…
    the best thing to try is another web browser : try opera 9.6 (then in options/vew, select the one adjusting width to the screen resolution)

    to install opera, just download the package for your distribution from their website :

    save the .deb package in yyour home directory, open a console (terminal) and just type :
    sudo dpkg -i opera (press TAB to autocomplete name of the package then ENTER, then follow indications)

    I hope it will help you as it does for me



  19. Here’s how I got the volume function keys (volume hotkeys) working on my Asus Eee PC 1000HE with stock Ubuntu 8.10 installation (no special kernel or drivers installed).

    1. sudo gedit /etc/acpi/if-asus-eee.sh
    (this file did not exist on my system by default.. I guess Ubuntu 8.10 no longer includes it)

    2. I added these lines to the file:

    3. sudo chmod 755 /etc/acpi/if-asus-eee.sh

    …and now my volume function keys work, F10-F12

    The if-asus-eee.sh is called by a couple scripts under /etc/acpi/events, so looks like it needs to be there on an Eee PC.

  20. Dave @3-20-09: this is *exactly* what I was trying to find, lucky for me the frantic googling brought me here. Even being new to Ubuntu I was trying to do as many of my own tweaks as possible without installing any unnecessary .debs, and I’m glad to find that fixing the volume could be done in such a clean and straight-forward manner. Thanks muchly!

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