Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Easy Peasy Eeebuntu Netbooks

Filed under
Linux

In the beginning there was Xandros, and it was basic.

Recently I purchased an eeepc 1000H and was quite impressed with the new and different operating system. I hail from a windows only background and anything apart from the Microsoft offerings I have left well alone, until NOW. The eee came with something called xandros installed and although fairly basic it did give me a taste of linux and I wanted more.

I hit the web and googled for the different operating systems available. Of course, ubuntu yielded the highest results but, judging by the responses in the helpful ubuntu forums it seemed quite awkward to get going so I googled on.

Google turned up a number of possibilities and the two I tested were Ubuntu-eee and eeebuntu. Both claimed to solve the messing about and work, how do they say? "out of the box". I tested both of these and I stuck with eeebuntu standard as I didn't quite like the tabbed netbook launcher thing.

Easy Peasy the Fisher Price OS

Recently both of these have let loose new versions. Ubuntu-eee is now called Easy Peasy, an odd choice of name in my opinion and one that would have put me off if I was looking for an operating system now without having seen and tested ubuntu-eee. Anyway, name aside, it wasn't too bad though it looks a little rushed and rough around the edges. They are still using the Netbook Launcher thing which takes some getting used to but I am starting to form a basic relationship with it. EP eventually installed ok though, as I have mentioned, there are a few "features".

First thing I noticed was the boot menu (where it asks if you want to test or install) is still showing Ubuntu followed by a rather rough easypeasy logo. Compared to eeebuntu 2.0 it did seem to take longer to boot and certainly did not look as professionally glued together which seems a little odd as the EP project looks to have more developer than the 5 or 6 that work on eeebuntu. When it eventually loaded my wifi worked out of the box, webcam didn't without a size tweak, the SD card wasn't recognised and the hotkeys didn't function properly, the silver ones just under the screen did nothing at all.

I wasn't particulary impressed with the selection of applications and I think application selection should be best left to the end user as I do prefer lighter office applications than OpenOffice such as Abiword that I found not long ago. I don't use skype, I prefer conferencing through MSN so I find eeebuntu's AMSN much more to my liking. I won't rant on any further about the default applications, everyone has personal tastes but I did prefer the selection provided with Eeebuntu.

When logging off from EP the boot splash thingy appeared and had morphed into the default ubuntu screen. Again, signs that EP may have been released too soon.

Also, when I installed EP it seemed to get stuck in a loop and prompted me for installing over and again. On the whole EP was ok but not really for me, it seems to need some work to make it feel professional and it felt a step backward from ubuntu-eee.

EEEbye Gum 2.0!

On the other side, I have had eeebuntu 2.0 on my eeepc since it was released in December. When you first load up eeebuntu the boot menu (run live or install selection) displays the eeebuntu logo which looks very professional indeed and the logo carries through into the splash. It looks very polished. When I ran live and the desktop appeared I really liked the default choice for background and Window controls, they are a sort of Gnome/Vista crossover and really appeal.

Again, there were problems with the webcam that were solved with a visit to the excellent eeebuntu forums. I just wondered why, if there was a fix, EP hadn't added it in as they had 3 weeks to monitor the competition's mistakes and solutions?

Eeebuntu wifi worked out of the box, no issues at all with my Asus router and showed good signal strengh. With both EP and eeebuntu I had to fiddle with the sound mixer to set the correct volume channel which, bizarely, is controlled by the line-out channel.

One feature I did like was the Eeeconfigure application. Wrapping up tweaks and scripts in an application that a user runs for their specific model seems like a godsend to the termiphobics. I ran them all and was informed they had been installed. One point here though, the selection screen isn't too clear as the item selection is basically a set of square brackets, I would have prefered a tick or cross or something similar. Saying that, for a first version it is a good concept and I believe the Eeebuntu team will supply updates.

The Eeebuntu theme runs from start to finish and looks a little more professional than EP, though I know it's not the bodywork but the engine that counts and by all accounts both use the same kernel. As I mentioned earlier, Eeebuntu feels like it loads quicker.

Again with eeebuntu I like some of the bundled applications and not others but I guess you can't please everyone. Eeebuntu, like EP, has bundled OpenOffice on two of it's versions.

Eeebuntu seem to have taken a slightly different tack on their release, unleashing 3 versions. "Base" offers eeebuntu minus everything but the desktop and firefox, "NBR" uses the netbook launcher thing and "Standard" uses a Mac OSX type docker which, as I am led to believe, is called AWN.

Summaryuntu

There are differences between these two offerings and not just in name. Though a lot can be said about each one and each one has it's merits, I think that I will stick with Eeebuntu. Why? Simply because neither can outdo the other in terms of functionality or working hardware, what works on one works on the other, what doesn't just doesn't. I choose to stick with Eeebuntu for a couple of reasons:

- It looks better, more polished and feels smoother (in my opinion) than EP.

- The Eeebuntu forums are wonderful and I would dare to say are friendlier and more helpful than even the ubuntu forums.

- Eeeconfigure has potential to be a decent configuration issue solver without a degree in terminal and kernel programming, especially as it is aimed to be a constant update source.

- I don't like the name Easy Peasy.

Of course there are lots more I could write but for a first post here, that'll do for now.

Mark.

More in Tux Machines

Fedora and Red Hat: Fedora Atomic, Fedora 29, *GPL and Openwashing ('Open Organization')

  • Fedora Atomic Workstation To Be Renamed Fedora Silverblue
    - Back in early May was the announcement of the Silverblue project as an evolution of Fedora Atomic Workstation and trying to get this atomic OS into shape by Fedora 30. Beginning with Fedora 29, the plan is to officially rename Fedora Atomic Workstation to Fedora Silverblue. Silverblue isn't just a placeholder name, but they are moving ahead with the re-branding initiative around it. The latest Fedora 29 change proposal is to officially change the name of "Fedora Atomic Workstation" to "Fedora Silverblue".
  • Fedora 29 Will Cater i686 Package Builds For x86_64, Hide GRUB On Boot
    The Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (FESCo) approved on Friday more of the proposed features for this fall's release of Fedora 29, including two of the more controversial proposals.
  • Total War: WARHAMMER II Coming to Linux, Red Hat Announces GPL Cooperation Commitment, Linspire 8.0 Alpha 1 Released and More
    Starting today, Red Hat announced that "all new Red Hat-initiated open source projects that opt to use GPLv2 or LGPLv2.1 will be expected to supplement the license with the cure commitment language of GPLv3". The announcement notes that this development is the latest in "an ongoing initiative within the open source community to promote predictability and stability in enforcement of GPL-family licenses".
  • Red Hat Launches Process Automation Manager 7, Brackets Editor Releases Version 1.13, Qt Announces New Patch Release and More
    Red Hat today launched Red Hat Process Automation Manager 7, which is "a comprehensive, cloud-native platform for developing business automation services and process-centric applications across hybrid cloud environments". This new release expands some key capabilities including cloud native application development, dynamic case management and low-code user experience. You can learn more and get started here.
  • A summer reading list for open organization enthusiasts
    The books on this year's open organization reading list crystallize so much of what makes "open" work: Honesty, authenticity, trust, and the courage to question those status quo arrangements that prevent us from achieving our potential by working powerfully together.

Server Domination by GNU/Linux

  • Security and Performance Help Mainframes Stand the Test of Time
    As of last year, the Linux operating system was running 90 percent of public cloud workloads; has 62 percent of the embedded market share and runs all of the supercomputers in the TOP500 list, according to The Linux Foundation Open Mainframe Project’s 2018 State of the Open Mainframe Survey report. Despite a perceived bias that mainframes are behemoths that are costly to run and unreliable, the findings also revealed that more than nine in 10 respondents have an overall positive attitude about mainframe computing. The project conducted the survey to better understand use of mainframes in general. “If you have this amazing technology, with literally the fastest commercial CPUs on the planet, what are some of the barriers?” said John Mertic, director of program management for the foundation and Open Mainframe Project. “The driver was, there wasn’t any hard data around trends on the mainframe.”
  • HPE announces world's largest ARM-based supercomputer
    The race to exascale speed is getting a little more interesting with the introduction of HPE's Astra -- what will be the world's largest ARM-based supercomputer. HPE is building Astra for Sandia National Laboratories and the US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The NNSA will use the supercomputer to run advanced modeling and simulation workloads for things like national security, energy, science and health care.

HHVM 3.27 Released

Programming/Development: C++, 'Agile', and Pronghorn, a Java framework

  • What's all the C Plus Fuss? Bjarne Stroustrup warns of dangerous future plans for his C++
    Earlier this year, Bjarne Stroustrup, creator of C++, managing director in the technology division of Morgan Stanley, and a visiting professor of computer science at Columbia University in the US, wrote a letter inviting those overseeing the evolution of the programming language to “Remember the Vasa!” Easy for a Dane to understand no doubt, but perhaps more of a stretch for those with a few gaps in their knowledge of 17th century Scandinavian history. The Vasa was a Swedish warship, commissioned by King Gustavus Adolphus. It was the most powerful warship in the Baltic Sea from its maiden voyage on the August 10, 1628, until a few minutes later when it sank.
  • Has Agile Programming Lost its Way?
    Programmers are passionate about which development methodology is the best. Is it Agile? Waterfall? Feature Driven Development? Scrum? So everyone took notice when one of the 17 authors of the seminal Agile Manifesto wrote a blog post last month headlined “Developers Should Abandon Agile.” Further down in his post, Ron Jeffries made a clear distinction between Manifesto Agile — “the core ideas from the Manifesto, in which I still believe” — and its usurping follower, “Faux Agile” (or, in extreme cases, “Dark Agile”). Jeffries ultimately urged developers to learn useful development methods — including but not limited to Extreme Programming — that are true to the Manifesto’s original principles, while also detaching their thinking from particular methodologies with an Agile name.
  • Write fast apps with Pronghorn, a Java framework
    In 1973, Carl Hewitt had an idea inspired by quantum mechanics. He wanted to develop computing machines that were capable of parallel execution of tasks, communicating with each other seamlessly while containing their own local memory and processors. Born was the actor model, and with that, a very simple concept: Everything is an actor. This allows for some great benefits: Separating business and other logic is made vastly easier. Security is easily gained because each core component of your application is separate and independent. Prototyping is accelerated due to the nature of actors and their interconnectivity.
  • Systems Languages: An Experience Report
    Recently, there’s been a lot of turmoil in the systems language community. We have the Rust Evangelism Strikeforce nudging us towards rewriting everything in Rust. We have the C++17 folks who promise the safety and ease of use of modern programming languages with the performance and power of C. And then there’s a long tail of other “systems” programming languages, like Nim, Reason / OCaml, Crystal, Go, and Pony. Personally, I’m super excited we’re seeing some interesting work in the programming language theory space. This got me excited to learn more about what’s out there. A lot of the problems I solve are usually solved in C. Recently, Go has begun to encroach on C’s territory. I enjoy C and Go as much as the next person — They’re good languages for getting shit done. Often times, they leave a lot to be desired, and leave me envious of other programmers with tools like Flow, Typescript, and Dialyzer. Coming from developing in Erlang, even with its rudimentary type system, functional programming just came far more easily to me.