Sunday, 23 March 2008

CentOS on Asus EEE pc

An unofficial team of CentOS developers and Asus EEE pc owners (KB and MH) managed to get CentOS 5 installed over the network onto an EEE pc today.

Wireless and some speed related tweaking are still required.

HOWTO documentation to follow...

Asus EEE PC CentOS


Jason said...

Very cool! What model EEE pc is this? How large was your install after it was completed?

Just a general comment after looking up the prices of the EEE pc: It seems a bit overpriced. The cheapest model looks like it runs $300, but with only 2gb of storage. Can the SD card just be swapped out with an 8gb? Looks like those run $35-40... but still, pushes the price to $335.

Matthew Hooker said...

This is a standard 4GB eee PC, CentOS when installed left only 93MB available.

The install was Desktop-GNOME, so it was not an ideal package selection.

Our mission at the time was to get it installed. The default CentOS partitioning on the drive allocated a 1GB swap space.

Programs like the OpenOffice suite don't really look usable on the screen with so some work needs doing to get the fonts and desktop settings into a tolerable state.

Hopefully with some adjustments to package selections, default partitioning and some reskinning of the UI we can create a custom eee CentOS.

The internal storage memory is flash RAM but is not upgradable. You can install an OS on a SSD card , I have installed Ubuntu 7.10 in this way. You must bear in mind that access to the storage card memory is slower than the internal flash and that the machine powers down the card when suspending, which complicates things somewhat.

Regarding being overpriced - the eee PC in the pictures cost 236 pounds - RRP should be 220 pounds including UK VAT (sales tax of 17.5%) but there is a shortage of these machines so suppliers are charging what the market will bear.

People who have seen it think it costs far more than that and are really surprised at the actual price - most of them don't understand the difference between it and 'normal' notebooks so I have to explain that it does not include Windows and a Hard Disk drive.

It is a great machine.

edson pabilona said...

I'd ike to install centos on my 4gb eeepc also.

I hope you can get the free disk space over 1Gb.


Matthew Hooker said...

I've customised the fonts to make more fit within the 800x480 screen.

OpenOffice now fits on the screen.

However since I've not got a lot of space on the drive I can't do much with the packages.

The machine does not shut down cleanly - under Ubuntu the sound driver needs to be unloaded during shutdown.

Need to document all this somewhere. Ideally we need a method of installing CentOS that does not require PXE boot and a customised net boot image.

Anonymous said...

Nifty! I would strongly prefer to run CentOS 5 on my Eee. I just installed Fedora 9 (after running EeeDora) and I'm not impressed. Any chance you will release the install instructions soon?

Manny said...

Hi guys I have the eepc he and been trying to install Centos for the last 2 days with no luck, I have used the net install of Centos 5.3 and also the Netbootin tool.
In the Netinstall the kernel doesn't have the info on my nic card.
at school we using Red Hat and I really like to install the Centos distro since his the closes one to Red Hat

thank you Manny

Matthew Hooker said...

The Asus EEE PC 701 work done here helped enable CentOS on more capable machines as documented on the CentOS Wiki. I've also run a custom Ubuntu 7.10, 8.04, 8.10 and am now running stock 9.04(b) which seems to work with everything (I've not tested the camera)

Recent versions of Ubuntu allow the painless creation of a USB boot media, this enables the easy installation onto the optical drive less EEE PC.

Jason Roysdon said...

I wonder if the Amazon link below is the same basic hardware as what you have, but now with a 20gb storage? Seems like this would be ideal, as it would leave 16gb of storage free after your install:

"ASUS Eee PC 900 8.9-Inch Netbook (Intel Mobile Processor, 1 GB RAM, 20 GB Solid State Drive, Linux, 4 Cell Battery) Galaxy Black"

$250 for Black, $300 for Pearl White.

I'm also wondering if the RAM be upgraded? I see a number of folks who bought this at Amazon also bought some "OCZ 2GB PC2-5400 667MHz DDR2 Value SoDIMM Module (OCZ2MV6672G)" for $25.

I think this unit would be awesome for my kids who need easy access to PCs for reports and research. I've got 4 kids, so it'd be really nice to pick up 4 of them for $1K (well, tax and all, but still, 4 laptops for a grand, too cool).

I love RH, and have run RH5.2, 6.x, 7,x, 8.x, 9, FC1,3,5,6,9,10, and I used CentOS since the 5.0 release (as it shipped just 3-4 months after FC6 and was so current). In fact, this server in my room here that I'm typing this on is CentOS5 (originally 5.0, but it has self-upgraded to 5.3). I've done hundreds of net installs, mostly on older systems without DVDs or just no CDR, and eventually got it down so I do it on remote systems without console access and just over VNC, so I'm very comfortable with that as well.

Tuvok said...

Just use this.

Matthew Hooker said...

We were using the EEE PC 701 - if I was purchasing one now I would get one of the 901s due to the 6 hour battery life and bigger screen.

The larger SSD would give CentOS more room for manoeuvre.