Friday, 11 September 2009

Upgrading the EeePC 701 to Eeebuntu

I don't tend to use my EeePC 701 4G very much; there's not much point when you have a pretty well setup PC and network. But when it comes to going on holiday, the Eee is a must-pack luggage item.

T and I have just been away for a week in Corfu. Weather: hot. Hotel Wi-Fi: not bad and free to use (guess which is the most important criteria... :-))

It was when using the Eee on holiday that I realised how dated the default Xandros-derived distro is. Some websites even encouraged us to to upgrade to a later release of Firefox. So upon returning, I purchased a 2GB RAM upgrade (from the default 512MB), an 8GB SD card to store my files on and a 4GB USB stick with which I installed Eeebuntu.

I've never been a serious Ubuntu user (or any of its derivatives), being quite happy with OpenSUSE, so installing Eeebuntu has been interesting. Fortunately the website had some decent documentation on building an install USB key (since the Eee doesn't have a CD drive). Once that was set up, it was simply a matter of booting the Eee off the USB stick and following the prompts.

The result is a modern, GNOME-based distro that can take advantage of all the Eee functionality including the Wi-Fi and webcam. It's also a very smart-looking setup with Compiz working out of the box. I took the opportunity to add some extra software that might be useful in the future, including Wireshark and Nessus.

I'm not going to pretend that the Eee is going to be my new, main machine, or that it will be heavily used on a daily basis, but it's a very capable little computer that will be far more useful with the updated OS on it. My initial foray into Eeebuntu has also been very positive. If you're looking to get something better than the default, dated Xandros version, it's worth a look.

1 comment:

redalert007 said...

Thanks for the EEEbuntu review.
Im in the same situation as you, an EEE 701, with no much work on it.
Im going to upgrade now to EEEbuntu and see what's happens.