Install Ubuntu 12.04 on Eee 701

Update: Have a look at installing 13.04 first.

Summary: add an 8GB SD card to your Eee 701 an install Ubuntu 12.04 on it! I believe Ubuntu has improved for this netbook with every release and now it is really nice.
Ubuntu 12.04 is the best Linux distribution and operating system for the Eee 701. This is with 1GB RAM. Not so sure about running with original 512Mb.

You need to make a little fix to run the CPU at 900MHz instead of 630MHz (if you want to).

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install cpufreqd cpufrequtils
$ sudo modprobe p4_clockmod

$ cat /proc/cpuinfo
(should tell you CPU runs 900MHz)

$ sudo vi /etc/modules
(add p4_clockmod on a line, to make it work after reboot)

On disk usage and partitioning
I choose to partition putting /var on a 1.5GB partition on the SD card, and use the rest of the SD card for /usr. The root partition (/) goes on the internal SSD, giving me more than 3GB for fast /home (also on /, to be clear). No swap. I use ext2 for all filesystems (journaling can hardly be faster than not journaling).

The great thing compared to earlier versions of Ubuntu, is that with final 12.04 Ubuntu recognizes the SD card as installable media. It will not complain that the 4GB SSD is not enough as it used to!

  1. I’ve felt that Ubuntu rather lost the plot on UI design for a netbook, and so my Eee 701SD is still running on 10.04 which works well. Also I run with 2GB of RAM, which Ubuntu supports.

    Big SDHC cards are cheap, 32GB for rather less than the 8GB card I popped into the machine when I bought it. And there are “nano” format USB drives.

    I shall have to look at what Ubuntu is doing in terms of the UI before I decide what to switch to. Mint 13 needs investigating. In the end, it’s the built-in SSD which will set the limit on the machine’s useful life.

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