Computer Notebook: EEEPC UpdatesThis content is saved for historical purposes and is no longer updated.
After buying an EEEPC in early 2008, I kept the same operating system that came with the computer for a while. The operating system was a custom version of Linux called Xandros and came in a tabbed interface which I switched to a full desktop mode (KDE) installation option.
After a while, I could see that the original operating system was difficult to keep updated, so I decided to install a new operating system. In 2010, I installed an operating system called EasyPeasy (based on Ubuntu, a Linux-based operating system) and used that for a while. In 2011, I installed Linux Mint Release 11 (based on Debian and Ubuntu).
By 2014, although my Linux Mint installation was still working, it was no longer being supported, so I re-examined the issues involved in updating the EEEPC and installed Ubuntu.
In 2020, I took up the challenge to see how far I can take the EEEPC, and I was happy to find antiX Linux and installed its core installation. This page describes that update. (See the EEEPC Updates Old page for the previous updates.)
Issues in Updating the EEEPC
The challenge in keeping the EEEPC going has been to find an operating system that can be installed and continue to work within the 4 GB size of the solid state drive of my EEEPC. Further, the processor requirements for new operating systems have changed over the years. I looked at these issues:
- On my EEEPC 701, there is no way of replacing the 4 GB Solid State Drive (SSD) with a larger-capacity SSD without soldering. There are EEEPC models where you can easily take out the SSD and replace it, but my EEEPC 701 model is not one of them.
- Recent updates of Ubuntu
cannot install on the EEEPC 701 for two reasons:
- They require at least 5 GB of disk space.
- They assume that the computer has a PAE (Physical Address Extension) processor. When I've tried to install Ubuntu on my EEEPC, the installation fails immediately because it says my processor is non-PAE (the processor on my EEEPC is a 32-bit 900 MHz Intel Celeron M ULV 353).
- I was able to replace the EEEPC keyboard. I had damaged the keyboard when I spilled water on it, but I simply bought a new keyboard and took out the old one and put in the new one. This helped tremendously! After five years of use, I realize the keys had become become mushy. The new keyboard really put the vim and vigor back into the feel of the computer itself.
Note that replacing the operating system will wipe out all your information on the EEEPC. I usually keep my own files on a separate SD card, so that I was all set to just wipe out the entire SSD on the EEEPC with a new operating system.
Through searching for alternate operating systems for old computers, I came upon antiX Linux. I did some examination of the minimum system requirements and options to identify a version of antiX Linux that will run on the EEEPC 701. I found that an ISO file that is identified as "base" and "386" of the most recent release of antiX Linux should work.
To do the installation, I started on my Windows desktop computer to download and prepare the installation file.
- I went to the antiX Linux download page , selected a mirror site, and then downloaded the antiX-19.1_386-base.iso file. This provides a base set of functions (base) and will fit into the 4 GB SSD of the EEEPC 701. This ISO file is an archive file that has the data contents for the operating system. When I downloaded it, it was 715 MB in size.
- I downloaded the UNetbootin (Universal Netboot Installer) for Windows from unetbootin.sourceforge.net.
- I started the UNetbootin software to put the ISO file onto an SD card.
- Once I had the ISO file written to the SD card, I removed the SD card from my desktop computer.
- I started with the EEEPC turned off, then I put the SD card with the ISO file on it right in the SD card slot.
- I then powered up the EEEPC and hit ESC when I got to the EEEPC boot screen. A screen came up that allowed me to boot to the SD card. I selected that.
- A menu came up which allowed me to install the operating system. Make sure you have copied any of your personal files to a separate SD card, as this installation wipes out the all the SSD contents with a new file system!
- I noted from previous installations that there might be a question about video size during installation. It prompted for a different size, and I chose the one for 800x480 (the resolution of the EEEPC screen) with 32 bits.
- There were a series of prompts about the keyboard, time zone, and disk partition. For the disk partition, I selected to use the entire disk (wiping out all the previous contents).
- Less than an hour after starting the installation, the system was installed.
(If you want, you can see the EEEPC Updates Old page for older updates of my EEEPC.)