antiX on Asus eee pc 701/4G

Forum Forums General Hardware antiX on Asus eee pc 701/4G

This topic contains 11 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by pbxxx May 10-3:37 am.

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  • #8265
    Member

    rob

    A current linux kernel and gui on a 10 year old single core 32 bit netbook… Why not? Thanks antiX

    The eee pc’s 4 Gb of storage is just that little bit too small for antiX-full, but you can install base without any problem, and then shoehorn in whatever you need.

    Using Btrfs compression helps here and probably would on other systems with very limited storage, just remember to disable compression for /boot, or not-good things will happen.

    The kernels from the antiX distro work just fine on the eee pc. But to squeeze out the last tiny bits of space and performance, kernel 4.15.9 has been reconfigured to remove some unnecessary modules, and compiled to target the non-SMP single core pentium M achitecture.

    This system has seen xandros, windows xp, eeebuntu, bodhi and lubuntu trusty over the years. It was never lightning fast, but towards the end under lubuntu it was essentially unusable, running slower and hotter. Now thanks to antiX it’s back to a serviceable level.

    inxi
    System:    Host: eee Kernel: 4.15.9-antix.1-eee701 i686 bits: 32 compiler: gcc v: 6.3.0 
               Desktop: IceWM 1.4.2 Distro: antiX-17_386-base Heather Heyer 24 October 2017 
    Machine:   Type: Laptop System: ASUSTeK product: 701 v: x.x serial: <filter> 
               Mobo: ASUSTeK model: 701 v: x.xx serial: <filter> BIOS: American Megatrends v: 0801 
               date: 01/08/2008 
    Battery:   ID-1: BAT0 charge: 37.0 Wh condition: 37.0/37.0 Wh (100%) model: ASUS 701 status: Full 
    CPU:       Topology: Single Core model: Intel Celeron M type: UP arch: Dothan rev: 8 L2 cache: 512 KB 
               flags: nx pae sse sse2 bogomips: 157 
               Speed: 112 MHz min/max: 112/900 MHz Core speed (MHz): 1: 900 
    Graphics:  Card-1: Intel Mobile 915GM/GMS/910GML Express Graphics Controller driver: i915 v: kernel 
               bus ID: 00:02.0 
               Display Server: X.Org 1.19.2 driver: intel unloaded: fbdev,modesetting,vesa 
               resolution: 800x480~60Hz 
               OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel 915GM x86/MMX/SSE2 v: 2.1 Mesa 13.0.6 direct render: Yes 
    Audio:     Card-1: Intel 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) High Definition Audio Controller 
               driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus ID: 00:1b.0 
               Sound Server: ALSA v: k4.15.9-antix.1-eee701 
    Network:   Message: No PCI card data found. 
    Drives:    HDD Total Size: 3.73 GiB used: 2.17 GiB (58.2%) 
               ID-1: /dev/sda model: SILICONMOTION_SM size: 3.73 GiB 
    Partition: ID-1: / size: 3.62 GiB used: 2.17 GiB (59.9%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/sda1 
    Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 53.0 C mobo: N/A 
               Fan Speeds (RPM): cpu: 1420 
    Info:      Processes: 96 Uptime: 3 min Memory: 1.96 GiB used: 55.5 MiB (2.8%) Init: SysVinit runlevel: 5 
               Compilers: gcc: 6.3.0 Shell: bash 4.4.12 inxi: 2.9.05 
    #8284
    Forum Admin
    anticapitalista
    anticapitalista

    I love reading posts like this. How is browsing on that old netbook? Is it bearable with a modern browser?

    Philosophers have interpreted the world in many ways; the point is to change it.

    #8302
    Moderator
    fatmac
    fatmac

    At a resolution: 800×480~60Hz I would imagine it is awkward. 🙂

    My netbooks use 1024×600 & that isn’t the easiest to use either. 😉

    Linux (& BSD) since 1999

    #8303
    Forum Admin
    rokytnji
    rokytnji

    I used to rok and roll with bigger gig 701SD model with 800hz processor. Good to see posts from other users posting with the same equipment.
    I used to trick out my Xandros installs also.

    At a resolution: 800×480~60Hz I would imagine it is awkward

    Alt + left click was my eeepc 701sd constant companion.

    • This reply was modified 7 months ago by rokytnji.

    Beer, Bikes, and BBQ. It's what we do. Master of none.
    Linux Registered User # 475019
    How to Search for AntiX solutions to your problems

    #8320
    Member

    rob

    For general browsing it’s surprisingly usable. I wouldn’t use it to watch youtube videos for example, it can do it but not very well.

    A few things help. Running on a pi-holed network, otherwise the load from adservers would be a problem on many pages.

    The key with firefox on hardware this old is minimizing drive writes. The only cacheing is into memory, and don’t store browsing history.

    There is a lot that the eee simply couldn’t do. That was true when it was new. But for libreoffice and firefox it still does ok.

    Most of the time memory usage is fine (right now with a handful of tabs open system-wide usage is just under 350 Meg) but firefox has its moments. The memory was upgraded to 2 Gb when it was brand new, and so is now usually enough headroom for pretty much anything firefox and libreoffice want.

    As for the tiny screen, don’t really notice it until dialog boxes, then like rokytni says,lots of alt left-click.

    The one feature of Windows XP that I liked on the eee, and I never managed to find a good replacement for, was emulation of a larger screen size, where you could scroll the whole screen up and down. It wasn’t much more space, I think they took it to 600 pixels vertically. But it was enough to get dialog boxes in when you needed it.

    #9954
    Member

    pbxxx

    I have a similar one. It’s white, though, and only has 500 Mb of RAM. I bought it back in the days (ca.2009) as a stop gap for a laptop that broke. All it was supposed to be was a glorified typewriter to take notes while doing research in a library for my master thesis. And it worked ok.

    Over the past few years I tried to update it to different Linux versions, as I wasn’t quite happy with the one it came with (it didn’t come with Windows XP). I tried many different ones over the years. It was kind of a toy then to try new things out. I always had problems with it freezing at some point when using a desktop environment.

    I tried to install antiX-base and antiX-full. With both I had the same problem, that, at the end of installation, the generation of logins wouldn’t work. I was able to repair the root login with RescuTux, but the desktop environment seems wrong. It doesn’t look like the default, but more primitive. Also, I get an error message about a login failure when I first boot up. I guess this error has something to do with the installation not working out properly.

    So, I opted with giving up on antiX with desktop environments, as the only thing I would want to use a desktop environment for is browsing the interwebs. And with the amount of RAM I have, it won’t be possible really to do so on the websites I want to use anyway, namely web clients of email services. Almost everything else I want to do with it — mostly writing, really, and making first steps with ssh — I can do on the console. And antiX takes away one of the biggest pains with just being in the console by providing great tools, especially ceni, which is really awesome! So, for now, I’m experimenting with antiX core on this machine.

    One major issue I have, though, is the lack of manpages. Is there a way to download them? Could I download them for all the packages or maybe only coreutils? (I don’t need the GCC docs, though, and I heard it’s a lot of stuff they have there.) Or maybe just for the most important programs I use (rsync, tar, vim …)? If anyone can point me in the right direction, I would be pleased.

    #9956
    Forum Admin
    rokytnji
    rokytnji

    Antix as it sits noiw would probably need some special steps if I still had a 4 gig eeepc.

    Full 32bit iso won’t fit.
    Base 32bit iso should fit. < I think? >
    Md5sum check before a usb live install before install to netbook is a must.
    A check with gparted before install to make sure one picks the right drive to install base to.

    Back in the past. AntiX used to get confused between the internal ssd and the pendrive when it came to grub legacy install.
    The [hd,xx) line entry would be all wrong.

    I covered this way back when over here
    http://yatsite.blogspot.jp/2010/04/antix-85-full-install-on-asus-eeepc-900.html

    So I am not sure what mis-steps or show stoppers are hitting your eeepc 701.
    Sorry you having such a problem.

    Maybe buy a larger sd card for eeepc and run AntiX off of that. Something I did a lot of back in the past. I got so good at it. I was able to run linux with a desktop, browser,text editor, pdf reader, image viewer, music player, video player. Not AntiX. On a 128MB sd card

    Maybe some one else can answer about the man pages. I usually run the locate command to find what I need on my internal installs.
    Not even sure the link I will provide below will be any help or not.
    https://github.com/antiX-Linux

    Beer, Bikes, and BBQ. It's what we do. Master of none.
    Linux Registered User # 475019
    How to Search for AntiX solutions to your problems

    #9964
    Member

    pbxxx

    Thanks for the reply.

    I run the live OS and the install from an external dvd drive. So the issue about confusing pen drives and ssd does not apply.

    I hadn’t checked the sums, I must admit. But I did it now and they all matched.

    I had the same idea about putting it on an sd card. As it happens, I went to a shop yesterday to get usb pend drives and sd cards, but the cards they had were all fancy ones and more expensive than what I was willing to pay. So, I’ll try to get cheaper, simpler ones in a more specialised shop and try maybe put the full antiX on it. (Sadly, I don’t have spare ones I can use right now.) Or maybe I’ll stick with the console. I haven’t made up my mind yet.

    It’s really impressive all the stuff you managed to run from a 128 Mb card! (°o° )! Was it with tiny core Linux or something like that?

    Thanks for the link about the man pages. I’ll have an in depth look as son as I have a little more spare time. Solving this would be great.

    #9970
    Member

    rob

    I tried to install antiX-base and antiX-full. With both I had the same problem, that, at the end of installation, the generation of logins wouldn’t work.

    I had seen this same problem with the gui installer on the 17.1 full iso when installing to small drives using the “Auto-install using entire disk”, and it was reported by one other forum member previously. The installer has been updated and this bug has been fixed.

    If you boot from your live-usb and enter into a terminal:

    
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install antix-installer cli-installer-antix
    

    (If not using persistence, you would need to do this each time you boot from your live-usb)

    Using the default (ext4) installation, you can fit antix-base onto the 4GB eee-pc with plenty of space left over.

    If you select “Custom install on existing partitions” and select one of the btrfs compression options on the next screen, you can get antiX-full installed using less than 1.5GB of the eee’s 4GB of space.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by rob.
    #10048
    Forum Admin
    rokytnji
    rokytnji

    It’s really impressive all the stuff you managed to run from a 128 Mb card! (°o° )! Was it with tiny core Linux or something like that?

    Nope. It was

    http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=72576

    Beer, Bikes, and BBQ. It's what we do. Master of none.
    Linux Registered User # 475019
    How to Search for AntiX solutions to your problems

    #10116
    Member

    pbxxx

    Hello,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    I had seen this same problem with the gui installer on the 17.1 full iso when installing to small drives using the “Auto-install using entire disk”, and it was reported by one other forum member previously. The installer has been updated and this bug has been fixed.

    If you boot from your live-usb and enter into a terminal:

    
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install antix-installer cli-installer-antix
    

    It didn’t quite work out. I booted from DVD and did that. I don’t remember the problem that occured, but I thought maybe it is because I’m running live from DVD. So I put it on a stick with the MX Linux tool (I have MX Linux on a Thinkpad X200), but to my surprise the persistence doesn’t seem to work properly. :-/ Anyhow, after trying to install antiX base on my eeePC, at startup, I would only have a blinking cursor in the top left corner. (That is, after the grub.)

    So, I just figured my eeePC is cursed to never have a working DE. 😀 I just reinstalled antiX core and it is working great, aside the quirk of not having manpages, which is the only drawback. I really want to say again that the nice tools you put on core are really great!

    So, I gave up on getting it working with a DE for now, because I don’t want to spend too much time trouble shooting it. Someday, I might consider installing a DE on top of core to see if this works, but it is just a big maybe for now.

    If you select “Custom install on existing partitions” and select one of the btrfs compression options on the next screen, you can get antiX-full installed using less than 1.5GB of the eee’s 4GB of space.

    I chose not to do this, because I fear that might slow down the system considerably.

    On a side note, I noticed the cli-installer is much better for the eeePC because of the limited screen space available. With the gui installer, some windows don’t fit properly, which obscures buttons on the bottom of the window. This can be quite a bit awkward.

    Thanks again for all your feedback! 🙂

    #10143
    Member

    pbxxx

    UPDATE:

    Solving the issue about the manpages was a s simple as sudo apt install man.

    It only took about 5-6 Mb.

    Sometimes, it’s the obvious solutions. rofl. xD

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