Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Installing Mandriva 2009.1 in the EeePC 1000H

Finally I have a netbook, the Asus EeePC 1000HA, a nice mini-laptop in white pearl.

The hardware specifications are:
  • Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor
  • 160GB 5400 RPM Hard Drive
  • 1GB of DDR2 RAM (667MHz)
  • 10” WSVGA LED-Backlit 1024 x 600 LCD
  • Ports: 3 USB 2.0, 1 VGA monitor out, headphone jack, microphone input, SD card reader (SDHC compatible), lock slot, Ethernet 10/100
  • Webcam (1.3 MP)
  • Speakers and microphone built-in
  • Battery: 7.4v 6600mAh 6-cell battery (3.5 - 7 hrs)
  • Wireless: 802.11b/g
  • Size: 25 cm (W) x 19 cm (D) x 3 cm (H)
  • Weight: less than 1.5 kg
The worst part is the SO, I don't understand why this model is exclusively sold with the almost-dead XP, so I installed the latest Mandriva release.

Because this system require an external drive to boot an installer, I download the image for the official mirrors (inside /MandrivaLinux/official/2009.0/i586/install/images/) named all.img, this is a prepared image to copy in a USB drive and includes a boot-loader and the basic tools for a network (NFS, FTP, HTTP, ...) or local installation from a drive. For more information go to: Mandriva Wiki.

To create the USB drive just use the dd command: dd if=all.img of=/dev/sdb1
(Caution: the data in the USB will be lost, and check the drive twice, don't delete your disk).

Then just put the USB and turn on the EeePC, the manual said you need to press ESC at boot to access the boot menu, wrong, this BIOS version requires you press F2 to access the BIOS configuration, I check the boot device order and put the external devices as first option. Wrong again, when you connect an USB storage drive, the BIOS assign it like a drive, so you need to switch the disk order (put the USB as first drive and the hard drive as second). I lost about a hour discovering this peculiarities.

After boot correctly the Linux installer, you need to select your installation method, I use HTTP from a Canadian mirror, the installer download the packages and start the installation. Of course the configuration is simple, I choose Gnome as desktop and manually partition my drive. The disk was already parted, the first partition is the Windows part (~70 GB), the second is an empty "user space" (~60 GB), the third is the Windows Restore part (~3 GB) and a small partition for the BIOS update.

I use the second partition with this table configuration:
  • / - Ext4 - 10 GB
  • SWAP 2 GB
  • /home - Ext4 - ~50 GB
The rest is to wait to the installation ends, few configurations (root password, users, time zone, boot loader) and you're done.

I rebooted the system and check if there are any problem: NONE, all the hardware is correctly recognized and configured, webcam, WiFi (with atheros drivers), kernel laptop mode, sound, graphics, screen, keyboard, touchpad, kernel sensors (temperature, battery, cpu-scaling) ...

The only problem I see is the sensibility of the touchpad, too much sensible, but it also happen in the XP, later I'll search the web for the xorg configuration and adjusted it.

I totally recommend Mandriva 2009.1 for this computer!


  1. I love it! me encantó! con los precios tan bajos que están teniendo los netbooks hasta me está entrando ganas de comprarme uno solo por el hecho de que puede correr un linux tan bien... o me equivoco? porque de performance no has dicho nada ;)

  2. Pues realmente cumple su cometido, navegar en la web, correo, chat con vídeo, editar documentos, ver una película, etc.

    Claro que a la hora de pedirle cosas mas demandantes se queda corta, como querer usar juegos en 3D o convertir música/vídeo. Sobre todo en modo de ahorro de energía, como reduces la potencia del procesador si se nota un atontamiento del sistema, pero así he podido tener un rendimiento de la batería hasta por 6 horas.