Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Geekout: different OSes on the Eee

The Eee is very happy to run OSes off flashdrive. And since much of the action on a netbook actually happens in the cloud you can play with LiveCD/LiveUSB OSes painlessly.

Here's what I've done so far:

* Windows XP (came installed on the Eee). 2700MB installed. XP will not run off flashdrive and has a heavy footprint, so it's gone. But it did work out of the box (OOB hereafter) at least as much as I tested. I understand one can use nLite against one's XP install disk to strip all the crap out and end up with a reasonable experience. 2.7GB. Holy crap.

* Puppy Linux 4.2.1, 101MB installed. Everything other than wifi worked OOB. Installed madwifi-hal driver pet and all is well. This is my current OS. Understand that this fully functional OS is 1/27th the size of the XP installation. That's 3.7% of the size, people. WTH is going on at Micro$oft?

* TinyCore, 11MB installed (!). Holy crap, this booted in like 10 seconds. Ethernet worked fine. Fought with it for a couple of hours to get savefile persistence and the Wifi up. Did get it running, though. I felt like I won a fistfight. BTW, TCL boots so fast that some users have to artificially insert delays in order to let slower peripherals to initialize. Truly amazing, but a bit of a hairshirt. Not sure I'm man enough for it. Still, it's 1/10th the size of Puppy (and 1/270th the size of XP) . That's just crazy talk.

* pupeee-b4, 100MB installed. Based on Puppy Linux 3.x. Worked OOB.

* pupeee-4.2, 100MB installed. Based on Puppy Linux 4.2. Worked OOB.

* Easy Peasey: 900MB installed. would not finish loading kernel image.
* Damn Small Linux: 50MB installed. Would not finish live boot.
* slitaz-eeepc: 25MB installed. Would not finish live boot. Hung at "configuring ath0". Known issue.

Honorable Mention:
* Eeebuntu: 500MB installed. Completely gorgeous. Slow load. Too frakking big.

* Boxpup 4.1: 85MB installed. Based on the lightweight, fluxbox-like OpenBox window manager. Very nice, but seems to lag further behind Puppy than the Pupeee variant.

You have been geekified.


  1. I tried Linux Mint 5 on my eee. This is after using easy peasy, puppy, and damn small linux. Mint has been the best. No "kiddie" interface, the wireless has given me no headaches. No lagging with the os (easy peasy had a "click, wait, then open" thing going on)
    I might move up to Linux Mint 7, after I get brave enough to install a larger hard drive.

  2. Downloading 7 now.

    I've heard 3 references to Mint in the last few days, so I think the universe is telling me something.