Eee 701 Planetoid

2013/06/18

A new beginning for my Eee… or at least, a reboot

Filed under: Linux, Software — Tags: , — Tim @ 17:49

It’s almost twelve months to the day since I last posted anything to this blog, because of a busy life and the fact that my Eee was working quite nicely. No change with the former, but the latter is about to get some serious attention…

Thanks to botched “manual intervention” on my part, whilst trying to accommodate Arch Linux’s recent consolidation of all binary executables in /usr/bin, I ended up with an unbootable OS on the Eee (and the Raspberry Pi too, though that’s another, less pressing, issue). Despite Googling around and trying all sorts of fixes, I simply don’t have the time or the inclination to hack the system back to working order.

Given that the system has a number of long-standing issues (again, which I’ve never quite got around to trying to resolve), and the Eee’s solid-state drive is permanently over 95% full, I have taken the decision to “wipe the slate clean”. I’ve made a backup of my home directory and any other important files I could think of, and I am going to wipe the Eee’s drive and do a complete, “ground-up” reinstallation of Arch.

This time around, I want to avoid installing any GNOME-related material wherever possible, and am planning to go for XFCE and Fluxbox as my desktop environment and lightweight window manager respectively (so I can choose between them). I’ll be setting up Chromium, Dropbox and various other applications I make regular use of, and I’ll try and drop by here from time to time and let you know how it’s getting on.

I know that a total reinstallation sounds drastic, but I’ve had it on my mind for the Eee for some time. I still think Arch is the Linux distribution most suited to the 701—though I can’t pretend I’m entirely happy about the way the distro handles major “under-the-bonnet” system changes (and the /usr/bin one isn’t the first to cause me problems), in my view Arch’s customisability (especially for limited hardware) gives it a serious advantage over the Linux competition, at least for me.

So, if there’s anyone still “following” this blog: thanks for sticking around all this time, and I’m about to hoist it out of mothballs…

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6 Comments »

  1. good to hear the mighty and venerable 701 is carrying-on; finding your blog a ways back inspired me to build ARCH on an Acer 1401 as my eee701 has some dead keys and left mouse button. I’m using the Acer more or less like a Chromebook but it is getting a little stale now as I haven’t put in the time to resolve the /usr/bin issues I too am seeing when I ‘pacman -Syu’ – tis the ARCH way I suppose.

    Looking forward to following on with your reinstallation.

    Comment by UpstateScott — 2013/06/19 @ 15:15

    • Thanks! I just have to find time to “do the deed”… stay tuned for further developments :-)

      Comment by Tim — 2013/06/20 @ 16:15

  2. This is great news – my Eee 701 keeps winking at me across my workshop, trying to get my attention whilst I’m messing about with a Pi and a Motorola Lapdock…

    Comment by irregularshed — 2013/06/27 @ 12:57

  3. Ah haha ok, thanks for not making me feel like an idiot – The consolidation update did also cause my system to become unbootable and I had no patience trying to get it up and running again. My un-holy action (in the views of the ARCH-way) was to opt for ArchBang, rather than spending my time installing things that are already in ArchBang. It’s nice and light – OpenBox, tint2 etc. and not too far away from Arch – and yes! We’re back to pacman -Syu :-)

    Comment by Jakob — 2013/07/01 @ 11:26

  4. Yes, /usr/bin shenanigans stung a lot of people. ‘Tis a sorry state of affairs that you have to check archlinux.org before enacting major upgrades, but still it is a great OS for the Eee. My install from 2008 has still survived, which I think might make it the longest innings of any computer I’ve ever owned. I have the 700 surf edition, with all of 2gb ssd space, so no xfce for me, just fluxbox and my home directory stored on an encrypted sd card, pam_mount-ed on login. Sometimes I post about it:

    http://smallmachine.wordpress.com

    Glad to hear you are keeping the eee alive. Also, use the awesome kernel package that I maintain, customized for the 700/701 with ck1 patchset:

    https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/linux-eee-ck/

    Comment by harmonicesmundi — 2013/07/29 @ 12:07

    • Thanks for your comment – I’ve now reinstalled Arch, and it’s running even faster than before (not sure how). I installed both Xfce and Fluxbox, so I can choose whichever environment suits me at the time. Haven’t worked out how to set up different .xinitrc settings for Xfce and Fluxbox, so I may have to go back to SLiM…

      It’s wonderful to receive a comment that isn’t spam :-) Thanks again!

      Tim

      Comment by Tim — 2013/07/30 @ 07:47


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