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Hara
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:04 am    Post subject: Is this possible? Good idea? ASUS EEE Reply with quote

http://www.eeeuser.com/forums/viewtopic.php?pid=915#p915

The thread is about making a customized distro for the ASUS Eee.

Is this implementation a valid plan? Is there a better way?

Quick background for ASUS Eee can be found:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASUS_Eee_PC
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See links here:
https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-563095.html
They are people already using Gentoo for something like this.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Is this possible? Good idea? ASUS EEE Reply with quote

Hara wrote:
http://www.eeeuser.com/forums/viewtopic.php?pid=915#p915

The thread is about making a customized distro for the ASUS Eee.

Is this implementation a valid plan? Is there a better way?

Quick background for ASUS Eee can be found:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASUS_Eee_PC


The thread looks valid. Unless you want to compile everything on you Asus eee you need an binhost. Furthermore it depends on the hardware, since Xandros is running on it I bet Gentoo will too :). Important question though is how to back up the original OS.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Is this possible? Good idea? ASUS EEE Reply with quote

Aniruddha wrote:
Important question though is how to back up the original OS.


You don't. They come with a service DVD which can create a bootable USB flash drive to restore the OS.

(yeah, I've been looking into these lately..)
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Is this possible? Good idea? ASUS EEE Reply with quote

Monkeh wrote:
Aniruddha wrote:
Important question though is how to back up the original OS.


You don't. They come with a service DVD which can create a bootable USB flash drive to restore the OS.

(yeah, I've been looking into these lately..)


That is good news then. That should reduce the chance of bricking your Asus eee :)
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeh just found one in stock, ordered
will post up on how gentoo setup goes, need to find a way to get my dual core compiling it to a USB stick instead of the SSD though not sure how well those things hold up to extreme data writing, think i could easily add another 10 gig of flash mem with stuff lying around the house and some wiring
should make for a nice xmas present.....to myself....which im going to spend days setting up....... ahh gentoo i have missed ye

Until the good weather comes back, then its back to my new motorcycle :D (ice is not fun/safe)
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just bought an Asus EEE. Though I've been a gentoo user for a couple of years, I don't plan on putting gentoo on it.

The software on the EEE (Xandros) is stable enough for my needs, I don't have the time or inclination to mess around with compiling kernels and other software packages. Yes, flash drives don't take well to extreme data writing, in fact, the use of journaling file systems is not advisable. Oh, and for anyone attempting a Gentoo installation, a system restore is very easy and takes about ten minutes (I tried this out with an exterior DVD). That said, I will never give up Gentoo for my servers and my desktop, where I have all the time in the world for compiling and tweaking stuff :)

As for the EEE itself, I love it. It's not ment for serious work, that's what desktops are for (for the price of an average laptop, you can get a good desktop plus have enough cash leftover for an EEE :) ). It has wlan so it's very usefull for checking email, quick web surfing (hint: F11 is fullscreen in Firefox), etc. The keyboard is quite good considering its size, I had no problems writing a one-page document in OO writer (though people with large hands will have more trouble). The screen is also good, you can watch movies with Mplayer (fullscreen mode, of course). The speakers are only usefull when you are alone, somewhere quite, otherwise I just use headphones. The battery lasts around 4 hours, depending on what you do with it. And the price just can't be beat.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah but I want to watch movies with xine... :)
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use both mplayer and vlc on the EEE, I haven't come across anything yet which wouldn't play. AFAIK you can install xine if you wish, since you can add the Debian repositories (if you don't find it on the Xandros ones).
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm... I'm very tempted to take a spare 19GB 2.5" drive I have, stick it in an external USB2.0 enclosure, chroot to it and use that drive to build a system which I'd then make squashfs archives for all the main partitions (/usr, /opt... /lib). Have to reformat the EEE's internal to take ext2 as the primary partition, then drop the squashfs archives onto it. The running system would mount the ext2 as read only except of course for upgrades and also for changes to made to /etc. Likely mount a flash card as a user partition. Probably disable /var/log except for some minimal in memory only buffers (metalog?)

Hmm...I just need an EEE to test this and make damn damn certain the internal SSD is only ever read from except for upgrades and sometimes configuration changes. Shouldn't be that much work, right?
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello! I don´t write here very often but I´m a regular reader and my only OS is gentoo. So, now I bought eee 4G. I´m going to put gentoo on it. Any advice?
I´ll compile everything in my 32bit core2 system, and use the eee kernel config to compile kernel. Is there any reason not to do this like a normal gentoo install because all of the warnings about the eee´s SSD .
I was thinking about something like that file system that writes everything somewhere else(MMC) and leaves the root file system untouched.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's an article on the wiki dedicated to the Eee: http://gentoo-wiki.com/Asus_Eee_PC_701 - That should help you get most of it running.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also an Eee PC and of course installing gentoo on it occurred to me, but here is why I didn't.

1) Flash drives (including the SSD) can sustain only a limited number of write and erase cycles before failure. Since using gentoo entails lots and lots of compiling, which entails lots and lots and lots of disk I/O I feel I would wear out the lifespan of my SSD earlier than normal.

2) The 900Mhz processor. Compiling = Slowness.

3) For me the Eee is a nice device I can toss in my bad and pull out whenever I need to pop off a few emails, read some feeds, or just have some time to kill. By putting gentoo on it I have an obligation to maintain it, fix issues, etc. I already do that with enough of my gentoo machines. I want the Eee to give me something to do that doesn't involve system maintenance.

Just my opinions.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ramblurr wrote:
I also an Eee PC and of course installing gentoo on it occurred to me, but here is why I didn't.

1) Flash drives (including the SSD) can sustain only a limited number of write and erase cycles before failure. Since using gentoo entails lots and lots of compiling, which entails lots and lots and lots of disk I/O I feel I would wear out the lifespan of my SSD earlier than normal.

From what I've been reading recently, while there's still limits, they're a lot better than the original flash drives. According to the figures I've been reading, even with continued use you're still talking about tens of years of lifetime. I severely doubt I'll still be using my Eee in 10 years.

I/O can easily be reduced by not using a swap partition/file and be using a secondary machine to compile packages for the Eee (which is what I do).

It wasn't that long ago everyone wasn't too fussed about keeping their only good copies of files on floppy disks with no backups. SSD is a lot more reliable and has a much better lifetime than floppy disks.

Quote:

2) The 900Mhz processor. Compiling = Slowness.

So it's not 3GHz with 2 cores... so what? Who needs that, really? For what people are going to use it for, it's not that slow. OK, so it's not going to run the latest games and you'd have problems editing large image files or videos. But then if you bought it for doing any of those things, you're a tad thick in the head if you ask me. 90% of what most people do is web surfing, email, instant messaging and office programs. The Eee is perfectly sufficient for these tasks.

Quote:

3) For me the Eee is a nice device I can toss in my bad and pull out whenever I need to pop off a few emails, read some feeds, or just have some time to kill. By putting gentoo on it I have an obligation to maintain it, fix issues, etc. I already do that with enough of my gentoo machines. I want the Eee to give me something to do that doesn't involve system maintenance.

IMO whatever distro is on there you're going to want to maintain. You're maybe going to want other software or features or simply upgrade the software that's already on there. IMO, if you have another machine to do the compiling, Gentoo is the perfect choice. It allows you to create a slim distro with only the software and features you want.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AllenJB wrote:
IMO whatever distro is on there you're going to want to maintain. You're maybe going to want other software or features or simply upgrade the software that's already on there. IMO, if you have another machine to do the compiling, Gentoo is the perfect choice. It allows you to create a slim distro with only the software and features you want.


Oh that is a good idea.. to handle the compiling on another machine. When I complained about the CPU speed I was referring to compiling everything on the little machine, of course modern games and media editing is not ment to be done on the Eee
I guess I should read up some more on flash drives' lifetimes. I wasn't aware of the advances.

How are you doing the compiling? Do you manually copy over binaries?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ramblurr wrote:
AllenJB wrote:
IMO whatever distro is on there you're going to want to maintain. You're maybe going to want other software or features or simply upgrade the software that's already on there. IMO, if you have another machine to do the compiling, Gentoo is the perfect choice. It allows you to create a slim distro with only the software and features you want.


Oh that is a good idea.. to handle the compiling on another machine. When I complained about the CPU speed I was referring to compiling everything on the little machine, of course modern games and media editing is not ment to be done on the Eee
I guess I should read up some more on flash drives' lifetimes. I wasn't aware of the advances.

How are you doing the compiling? Do you manually copy over binaries?


create a binfile and install that
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use an NFS shared portage combined with FEATURES="buildpkg" (see "man portage" and "man make.conf")
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those interested in the SSD write limits of the disk in the EeePC check out this article:
http://wiki.eeeuser.com/ssd_write_limit
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those interested in the SSD write limits of the disk in the EeePC check out this article:
http://wiki.eeeuser.com/ssd_write_limit

Editt: Another good article
http://www.storagesearch.com/ssdmyths-endurance.html

From Eee Hackers:
Quote:
* If the SSD in your 4GB Eee were rated at 1 million write/erase cycles you could write to the disk at 40 MB/s for 3.24 years straight before wearing out the disk.
* If the SSD in your 4GB Eee were rated at 100,000 write/erase cycles you could write to the disk at 40MB/s for 118 days straight before wearing out the disk.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought an Eee a few days ago. I currently have Arch Linux installed on it, but I'm tempted to replace it with Gentoo, despite the fact that it has been working flawlessly. :)
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

omp wrote:
I bought an Eee a few days ago. I currently have Arch Linux installed on it, but I'm tempted to replace it with Gentoo, despite the fact that it has been working flawlessly. :)


na leave arch, arch is on mine and it seems a good match.
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naib wrote:
Ramblurr wrote:
AllenJB wrote:
IMO whatever distro is on there you're going to want to maintain. You're maybe going to want other software or features or simply upgrade the software that's already on there. IMO, if you have another machine to do the compiling, Gentoo is the perfect choice. It allows you to create a slim distro with only the software and features you want.


Oh that is a good idea.. to handle the compiling on another machine. When I complained about the CPU speed I was referring to compiling everything on the little machine, of course modern games and media editing is not ment to be done on the Eee
I guess I should read up some more on flash drives' lifetimes. I wasn't aware of the advances.

How are you doing the compiling? Do you manually copy over binaries?


create a binfile and install that


Would the distcc stuff work for this, if you have another Gentoo box available, that is?

Bill
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wlchase wrote:
Naib wrote:
Ramblurr wrote:
AllenJB wrote:
IMO whatever distro is on there you're going to want to maintain. You're maybe going to want other software or features or simply upgrade the software that's already on there. IMO, if you have another machine to do the compiling, Gentoo is the perfect choice. It allows you to create a slim distro with only the software and features you want.


Oh that is a good idea.. to handle the compiling on another machine. When I complained about the CPU speed I was referring to compiling everything on the little machine, of course modern games and media editing is not ment to be done on the Eee
I guess I should read up some more on flash drives' lifetimes. I wasn't aware of the advances.

How are you doing the compiling? Do you manually copy over binaries?


create a binfile and install that


Would the distcc stuff work for this, if you have another Gentoo box available, that is?

Bill


I am, too, thinking about the eee and I have recent experience with a similar install - I put gentoo on a 6 or so yr old laptop (Dell Inspiron, Pentium 600, 6GB hard drive). It works fine but it is SLOW. So I also do the compiling on my desktop.

First I tried distcc with my desktop. The result was no (or almost none) speed improvement. I even specified that the compilation should be done exclusively on the other computer. The laptop's CPU was still doing a lot of work, and maybe the network was too slow for it.

Then I found the article about NFS shared portage. That did not help. It saved laptop hard drive space but the compilation was still done on the laptop.

Then, finally, I learned how to do that via chroot, also using the NFS filesystem. All is done from the desktop. You mount the laptop's root filesystem - so you are using the portage options from the laptop. Then you mount desktop's portage tree (which includes distfiles to avoid double downloading) and some temp space for storing temp files (saves about 1 GB of the laptop's harddrive space). Then chroot and do all the compilation. ONLY the desktop CPU does the work, while the packages are seamlessly installed on the laptop. Another very useful thing about this is that when the desktop is not available, or for some small quick installs, you can still do it the old way on the laptop. You only need to update the portage tree from the laptop.

I should specify, the laptop is networked via a wireless card (g) which is not the fastest thing and I do not know if that makes any difference in what I just described above.
Any thoughts on this?
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wlchase wrote:
Naib wrote:
Ramblurr wrote:
AllenJB wrote:
IMO whatever distro is on there you're going to want to maintain. You're maybe going to want other software or features or simply upgrade the software that's already on there. IMO, if you have another machine to do the compiling, Gentoo is the perfect choice. It allows you to create a slim distro with only the software and features you want.


Oh that is a good idea.. to handle the compiling on another machine. When I complained about the CPU speed I was referring to compiling everything on the little machine, of course modern games and media editing is not ment to be done on the Eee
I guess I should read up some more on flash drives' lifetimes. I wasn't aware of the advances.

How are you doing the compiling? Do you manually copy over binaries?


create a binfile and install that


Would the distcc stuff work for this, if you have another Gentoo box available, that is?

Bill


Absolutely definitely yes.

I have a 1.2 Pentium3-m laptop which distcc's over to an amd64 x2.
Just make sure you add -m32 to the CCFLAGS.
Some packages you'll have to have the mahcine itself build.
Most notably busybox & gcc (maybe glibc also).

With distcc you can make it so the local box itself never does any compilation, just the other box.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion the simplest way is to use a chroot or virtual machine (eg. xen) and use a more generic set of flags that both machines can cope with (ie. march=i686). The speed up you'll get from "optimising" CFLAGS is negligable and this way you can build absolutely everything on the more powerful machine.
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