Netbooks with 3D translucent Compiz desktop
It is very unproductive to be using anything less than 3D translucent compiz desktop on something like the EEE. With Ubuntu it works so well, its almost a new class of devices just enabling all the features.
Since the EEE 1000 hasn't got an optical drive, I installed with
from the SD Card formatted to EXT2 (Micoshaft FAT format is a disaster
for an SD Card and won't work at these speeds)
Here below some pointers to how it all got done...
Using extlinux to convert a liveCD iso to bootable SD card
Converting an ISO file to a bootable USB stick or a bootable
SD Card for EEE is easy.
Without being able to convert a distro into a bootable USB flash /SD Card,
that distro can't be easily loaded into netbook like EEE
and stand to miss out on users installing it into netbooks.
So I would recommend all distro mainters look at their netbook
boot strategy and offer something to boot their distros
from USB flash and SD cards or miss out on users installing it into
Having done a few conversions, a pattern emerges that works well for
most syslinux / isolinux / extlinux based distros.
1. Put your SD card or USB flash drive into your desktop Linux PC and
then open a console and type dmesg
You should see some line indicating your flash drive as
being picked up and allocated with a comment like sdc / sdc1 etc..
Remember both names - the first is /dev/sdc which is your
device name, and the second is /dev/sdc1 which is your partition name.
(Don't get confused between drive /dev/sdc and partition /dev/sdc1
or your drive could become scrambled eggs later on. Also remember
it may be called sdg or sdh etc depending what you see when you
plug in device and type dmesg)
2. Install gparted on your machine using synaptic.
To run it you can type
in a console window and select on the right side the drive name allocated
in step 1. Right click on the bar that represents the partition
and click on manage flags.
Enable the boot flag and click OK. This makes the SD Card / USB
3. Format the partition /dev/sdc1 to ext2 linux format.
This format is not directly readable under WINDUMMY Osen, but there
are free drivers for it - try for example www.fs-driver.org
The ext2 format is many times faster than windummy FAT so
ditching WINDUMMY file formats is advised.
4. Identify that you have syslinux or isolinux in your liveCD by
opening the .ISO file in archive manager and checking that it has
isolinux or syslinux directory somewhere in the liveCD.
In ubuntu, the root directory of /dev/sdc1 will not be writeable
unless you are in super user mode.
You can run
to open iso files like xubuntu-9.04-desktop-i386.iso in super user
mode and extract all the files in the iso file
to the /dev/sdc1 partition.
5. Go to the flash drive and locate the syslinux (or isolinux) directory.
rename it to extlinux. Inside the now renamed extlinux directory will
a file such as syslinux.cfg or isolinux.cfg. Rename that to
6. Get syslinux - this is a boot loader and menu system for FAT based
file systems. Download the latest version from here...
Unzip it and go to the extlinux directory.
On my machine path is something like this....../syslinux/extlinux
Run the program there by typing this - (note this command is updating
the partition /dev/sdc1)
./extlinux --install /dev/sdc1/extlinux
This puts a new file into your SD card / USB flash disk
7. from the extlinux directory change to the mbr directory
and then run this - again note this time its updating the device by
writing data to the first sector as opposed to the first partition.
sudo cat mbr.bin > /dev/sdc
(Note at this stage you may need to do some of the sudo commands after
entering super user mode to make it work properly.
So the above command would have been done as follows in Ubuntu.
cat mbr.bin > /dev/sdc
This makes the card bootable and useable in an Asus EEE and many other
PCs with SD card or USB flash disk boot facility.
This method tested and works for
9. MoonOS Kachana
11. TinyOS (incredible distro!)
(Note the method does not work for .ISO files built with grub bootloader -
need a different install method with grub boot loader instead of syslinux.)
Try installing something powerful like Ubuntu on to a netbook
and see it take netbooks to new heights.
3D Translucent Cube Desktop
The latest EEE1000 has fast enough graphics for translucent
3D desktops. An easy way to do all this with Ubuntu is:
Install Ubuntu on EEE (compiz itself
appears to be installed by default in the default install),
then install compiz settings manager using Synaptic
which allows compiz to be fully 'exercised'.
And then do the following to get the 3D cube desktop
Go to General > Display Settings > Lighting and turned it off
Enable Desktop Cube and then Desktop Cube > Transparent Cube and set the
two opacity settings to 30%
then Desktop Cube > Skydome and check the skydome check mark
Enable Rotate Cube
Enable Enhanced Zoom Desktop
Right click the virtual workspaces panel and increase the number
of colums to 8.
And hey presto - 100% 3D translucent desktop with 8 screens!!!!!!!!!!
[Some shortcuts for the 3D screen
ctrl + alt + left or right arrow to spin cube
ctrl + alt + down arrow and then left or right arrow for a ring switcher
super + E for yet another switcher
super + mouse wheel scroll to zoom in and out of the 3D desktop.
Reducing Font Sizes And Turning ON Sub Pixel Rendering
The EEE can be astonishingly good to look at once the
font size is reduced to about 8 and sub pixel rendering
is turned ON. It is still absolutely
readable and everything appeared like a 'full screen' miniature
desktop equivalent of a big desktop PC.
System > Appearance > Fonts get to the font settings
in Ubuntu. On software like firefox and some other applications,
need to also to set local use of fonts ( Edit > Preferences > Content
will have font settings for firefox that also need to be changed).
Yes! VirtualBox can run on Ubutu set up with 3D translucent desktop.
Install virtual box and then install programs like windopws XP and run
it pretty much at it would run on a normal netbook. Its hard to tell
if the netbook is running Linux or the WINDUMMY OSen when the software
is run full screen becaue the speed and responsiveness is about
the same between a real windummy OSen install and a virtual box
virtual machine running it all in Linux.