The EeePC and UNIX/Linux

Wandering about, it would appear that UNIX aficionados (geeks!) are putting everything imaginable onto the EeePC.

For example, there are people running MacOS X Tiger, MacOS X Leopard, OpenSolaris 2008.05, Ubuntu, and NetBSD on the EeePC. There is a video review of the EeePC which is very informative and well done (even if the video itself is slightly off-color). There is another video describing the EeePC and how to install Ubuntu Linux onto it. There’s even a video demonstration of MacOS X Tiger running on the EeePC. Doesn’t seem to be anything it can’t do.

There’s a NetBSD on EeePC page as well.

This all makes me want to go get one for myself; I’ve been holding off. One of these with a dual-bootable Windows/Linux or Windows/UNIX installation would be perfect – and as it boots off of flash cards as well, perhaps Windows 2000 on flash would be just the thing for me (every corporate doodad requires Windows – VPN, WPA, intranet – ack!).

These machines apparently continue to be quite popular, as this romp through UNIX on the EeePC shows.

Hardware Hacking on the EeePC

This is an amazing piece on hacking the Asus EeePC (be patient for the link; not only is it image heavy, it suffered the Slashdot effect…. need I say more?).

If you’ve soldered before, this will be fairly easy; if you don’t know what solder is, you may not want to do this.

The amount of new capabilities that this user added are insane. He added the following:

  • A USB hub
  • GPS with antenna
  • Bluetooth
  • Card reader
  • Flash drive
  • Power switch
  • Wifi (with 802.11N draft support)
  • FM transmitter
  • Modem

This is a truly amazing list of things to add to a small environment such as the EeePC. Each addition is accompanied by a screenshot of a Windows XP hardware listing of the particular item. The user stated that they wanted to be able to dual-boot into Linux as well; too bad they didn’t show the Linux support for these items.

Another thing: this article also includes a handsome list of links on the EeePC at the end; so go take a look!

Update: I just found this detailed review; it shows a lot about what the EeePC can do and is well-written.

Modding the Asus Eee PC

It seems that people are already busy at work modifying the Asus Eee PC. Over at tnkgrl there are extensive pictures of the internals, and now a new post with detailed instructions on adding a USB Bluetooth adapter to it without losing the USB port.

The Eee PC community is already flourishing, with forums and more at

The Asus EeePC: GPL Violator?

It appears from this article by ITWire that the Asus EeePC may be in violation of the GPL.  The GPL is the copyright that covers the Linux kernel and specifies the rights and responsibilities given to the receiver of the copyrighted product (the kernel in this case).

Turns out that Asus has utilized the kernel with some modifications but has not released any of the source code – a direct violation of the GPL.  And with the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) filing new lawsuits on behalf of busybox (another GPL-licensed product) after resolving the last one to the benefit of busybox, I can’t help but imagine that Asus will tread carefully and will negotiate.  We’ll see.

Asus Eee PC

There’s a lot of buzz about the tiny Eee PC. Apparently it runs with a hard drive (like the iPod, and unlike the Nokia 770), and runs either Windows XP or Xandros Linux. Many reviewers evaluated the system with Linux loaded, and many folks have taken to loading their own distribution of choice (Ubuntu seems to be the frontmost in this regard).

The wireless on the Eee is apparently an Atheros chipset which is not well supported, though the NDIS wrapper works fine according to reports. Rupert Goodwins from reports his experiences with the Eee PC: and it is an interesting read, considering the one he received had a botched XP install on it – so it is also a story of recovery as well.

The tech site arstechnica had a detailed article on the Eee PC also – as well as some pointers to other reviews.

The Ubuntu Guru has a short article on it, detailing how Asus claims they are selling “one every six seconds.” He (or she) also points to several Canadian sellers of the Eee PC.

Update: The review from turns out to be quite detailed, and with loads of pictures.  They also noted that NewEgg has the Eee PC available for sale for $399.

Laptop Magazine also has a nice detailed review which shows some of the few shortcomings of the Eee PC.

The more I see, the more I like: one of these and a serial to USB adapter (and a DB9 null-modem) should be the perfect “crash system” to plug into the nearest downed server right there in the server room.  With the USB 2.0 ports, expansion is possible, including Bluetooth, serial, and who knows what else.