Over the last week or so I’ve been working on getting Arch Linux installed on an Asus Eeepc I recently purchased. A long time ago I mentioned picking up the 900HA but I took so long to get around to it that the 1005HA ended up being the model I picked up. Installation from a USB stick was a breeze and their Beginner’s Guide is easy enough to follow (it helps if you’ve used a distro like Gentoo or Slackware in the past). The specific instructions on tweaking it for the 1005ha can be found on their wiki here.
Here’s the packages I recommend so far:
- OpenBox – Great window manager. I used to use Fluxbox but I feel that OpenBox gives more freedom to tweak various things. It’s extremely fast, even on this limited hardware.
- Conky – This is pretty standard. Lets you view your remaining battery, plus whatever else you want to monitor.
- tint2 – Great minimalist dock.
- wicd – Wireless connection manager that sits in your dock. A better alternative to netcfg, plus supports wired connections as well.
Overall I was surprised at how fast this machine runs. The only performance bottlenecks so far have been the monolithic Firefox browser and the Flash plugin. Most of the hotkeys work out of the box. Sound, video, wifi, etc are all supported.
Hardware-wise this machine is hit-or-miss. The keyboard is acceptable but I find the arrow keys difficult to use (both the Up and Down keys are in the spot that is usually occupied by the Down key).
The trackpad is pretty bad all around. The material they use for it is the same as the rest of the case, meaning that it’s just slightly sticky to the touch. To allow users to glide their finger over it without too much friction, they added bumps all over the trackpad, which gives the effect of moving your finger over bits of sand. The trackpad button is equally awful in that it’s very difficult to know if you’ve clicked it, or if you’ve left or right clicked. Verdict: Just use the keyboard or buy an external mouse.
On the plus side the display is bright and the battery seems to last forever, and the machine feels pretty sturdy. Its sub-3lb weight, small form factor, and low price point let me carry this machine around with me in my backpack anywhere I want to go, worry-free. I don’t recommend it as a main computing machine, but for computing on the go this really can’t be beat.
Recent Incoming Searches:
- archlinux 1005ha