A couple of months back, when we reviewed the UBUNTU NBR, we were fairly impressed with it. EEEbuntu existed even before the Ubuntu NBR and has always been my choice when it comes to Linux distro for netbooks.
Unlike Ubuntu NBR which comes in IMG format, the EEEbuntu comes in much more familiar ISO format. This means that you just have to use the extremely easy-to-use utility, UNETbootin to burn the ISO to your pen/USB drive.
Other than that, the installation is just like installing any other Linux distro. If you have installed any Linux distro in the past, you should not face any problem in installing EEEbuntu
Also, EEEbuntu is not only for ASUS branded EEE PCs. It also works very well on the other netbooks too. My ASPIRE D250 runs it without any problems.
Bootup was fairly quick, even on the slow EEE 701. It took 30 seconds to get to the login screen and further 6-7 seconds to display the desktop. This is a huge improvement over EEEbuntu’s earlier versions. Shutdown took no longer than 10 seconds.
Before EEEbuntu 3.0, I was using Ubuntu NBR by canonical and I must say people behind EEEbuntu have done a better job in adapting the desktop OS to the netbook environments. Note that Ubuntu may be the best Linux OS for your desktop, but we have to say that EEEbuntu is better for netbooks than Ubuntu Netbook Remix (NBR).
I went for the EEEbuntu Base edition as I wanted myself to have control over the apps that I wish to use.
The youtube video worked out of box, but was very choppy on EEE 701. I downloaded the flash player myself from the Adobe’s site and then it ran fine on my EEE 701. However, full screen mode was still choppy at best.
On the other hand, the Aspire D250 was able to play flash content without any problem. Even full screen videos played without any problem.
The EEEbuntu is fine tuned for netbooks!
The fonts being used in the EEEbuntu are small (and still very much readable). As a result of which you can see more on the screen. Here is a screenshot of the desk. The new EEEbuntu 3.0 makes you feel as if you are using a high-resolution screen.
I was able to run upto 4-5 apps (which included Firefox, Audacious (a great music player for Linux), Abiword (on which I typed this review) and GIMP (a freeware photoshop equivalent for Linux)) concurrently without any problems on my Aspire D250 which is pretty good for a netbook.
By default, the base edition does not comes with Compiz installed as the main moto of the Base edition is to have minimal install size. So I downloaded Compiz on my EEE as-well-as on my Aspire D250 from Add/Remove programs. You should also install Compiz Fusion which will make configuring Compiz a bit more easier.
After installing Compiz, you need to make sure you enable it. To do this:
- Right click on desktop and select “change desktop backgroud”
- Go to “Visual Effects” tab
- Select “Extra” and it would enable Compiz
Also, you should install Emerald. You can do this from the terminal by typing. If you skip it, the title bars will disappear.
sudo apt-get install emerald
Now, you should add these to the startup items (go to system>startup applications) by adding these two items to the list:
compiz –replace (note: two dashes)
Alright, let me not wander from its review. The EEEbuntu has a modified kernel due to which the NBR interface also works well on the EEE 701s. The UBUNTU NBR’s interface could not run well on the EEE 701 due to some kernel issues and ultimately, you had no choice but to disable the netbook remix launcher.
Note that you need to get the EEEBUNTU NBR edition to get the netbook remix launcher.
I did not notice any change in battery runtime in both of my netbooks. EEEbuntu offers built-in underclocking support which should help you to squeeze some more juice out of your netbooks. I kept using it at “high performance” mode and got 4.5 hours of run time while running WiFi on my D250 netbook that is equipped with a 6-cell battery
The EEEbuntu is a custom made distro that is made for the netbooks that works incredibly well on all the netbooks that we tested. Other than some minor issues on the rather old EEE 701, we had no problems with it. IT JUST WORKS.
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