Shortly after my previous post, bemoaning the apparent lack of updates and updated applications for the Eee’s “factory” Xandros Linux OS, I found a thread on the EeeUser.com forum which seems to have solved the mystery.
The explanation for the apparent lack of OS updates is simple: there haven’t been any, at least since about the time that Asus changed their netbook “allegiance” from Linux to Microsoft, and apparently left “their” Xandros variant to wither on the vine.
So, I have now embarked on a new quest: to find an alternative Linux for my 701, which will hopefully support all the hardware features (hotkeys, webcam and so on) whilst giving me access to more applications (and more up-to-date versions of my existing ones).
Thankfully, I don’t have to make any big decisions yet; Eee/Xandros on my 701 still “does the job” well enough, and I’m especially keen to find out if I can install Fluxbox on whatever other OS I end up using, as I really like the FB interface. Moreover, I don’t have to wipe the 701’s main drive (an 8Gb SSD) yet, as I can install different OSes on a USB flash drive or SD card and boot from that, until I know which OS I want to switch to.
The first OS I’m going to test-drive, is Eeebuntu; specifically, the “Standard” variant, which I have just downloaded and am trying to install to a storage device which will actually boot. Depending on how it all goes, I have also heard positive things about the next release of Ubuntu (due for release in April 2010), regarding compatibility with netbooks, and may hold off any replacement of Eee/Xandros until I have had a chance to test the final version of this next Ubuntu version.
One way or another, I’ll let you know how I get on. In the meantime, stay tuned to this blog for the December 2009 “desktop of the month”, which will be revealed just before Christmas and will have a suitably festive theme… in more ways than one!