"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert A. Heinlein)

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Installed Xubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet on the EEEPC

After some testing of light-weight desktop environments I decided, at last, for installing Xubuntu (Xfce flavored Ubuntu) on my good old EEEPC 900. Xubuntu choice came because Xfce desktop environment behaved well, during my tests, working smoothly on the resource-poor EEEPC while being still able to render a modern enough user interface. Last but not least I've been using for years Xubuntu on my old desktop Sempron 2400 without problems.

Before installing

Before starting with installation procedure I had to do some preliminary operation. First has been, of course, backing-up my home folder into an external USB disk (hosting all my backup since I removed original Xandros installation). Then I executed Ubuntu's disk analysis tool in order to have a hint about how to partition the new installation disks. Until now, in fact, I kept the EEEPC900 4GB on-board disk for a minimal Windows XP installation (when I bought it the EEEPC was my fastest computer) but time has come to get rid of it. So a fair distribution of disk usage among the two netbook disks is going to be important.
The disk analysis showed how my disk usage was almost evenly split between the “home” and the “usr” folder (where most of application are installed) while the rest of system folder are well less of the 4GB limit.

Installing Xubuntu

I prepared, as usual, a booting SD card with the just downloaded Xubuntu 15.04 image and started the EEEPC from it. The installation set-up proceeded with default choices until I arrived to the installation type selection
Here I selected the “something else” option in order of proceeding with a custom disk partitioning. In the disk partitioning tool I reserved the 4GB disk for the root “/” mount-point while I split the 16GB disk for “/home” and “/usr” mount-points with just a little space reserved for swap.
The installation started and, in a few minutes, I had my new EEEPC …

Some customization

Xfce, unlike many modern desktop environments, is widely configurable. I moved the main panel to the bottom and increased its size to make it more visible on the small EEEPC screen. I also added a side, automatically hiding, panel to host launchers for the most commonly used applications.
It might not be as flexible as gnome-shell but it's functional enough for the limited use I have not of the EEEPC.