Fedora Core 8 on ASUS eeePC 701

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Fred Welland ( f.welland at verizon dot net )
Created on:   Saturday, December 15, 2007
Last update on:  Sunday, March 23, 2008
  1. Introduction
  2. Goals
  3. Prerequsites
  4. BIOS (check to make things are turned on)
  5. Boot Options
  6. Install Method/Media
  7. Disk Prep
  8. The Actual Install
  9. Wired Lan
  10. Wireless Lan
  11. Other Networking Stuff
  12. Video
  13. WebCam
  14. Filesystem tweaks
  15. ACPI
  16. Compiz/Fusion
  17. BlueTooth
  18. Sound  (& system shutdown)
  19. Misc Space And Ram Savers
  20. Removing un-need or unwanted packages
  21. Cleaning up un-need drivers
  22. Kernel Upgrade (via YUM  including kernel 2.6.23.15-137.fc8)
  23. Kernel 2.6.24.3-12.fc8
  24. Kernel 2.6.24.3-34.fc8
  25. OVERCLOCKING
  26. Keyboard 
  27. My Hardware
  28. Making of this Page
  29. I made a slip case!  (link to different page)
  30. Lots O' Links
  31. Current Kernel:     2.6.24.3-34.fc8 


Introduction

I got a eeePC for my birthday, in mid-November 2007.  It is a wonderfull little machine, that is a nice compliment to my Dell Latitude D820 (see my D820 install howto's for FC5, FC6, FC7, and F8)  and various and sundry desktops.   The top of this page will be devoted to how I installed Fedora 8 on my eeePC.  The bottom part of the page relates my experience with eeePC in general.

NOTE:  As you see, this page is work in progress.  Check back often; as I will be adding stuff daily until I it is 'finished'. 

Fedora 8 Install Goals

  • 1 to 1.5 GB Fedora 8 install
  • Full GNOME support
  • Basic Internet/Web Tools:  firefox, pidgin, thunderbird
  • 1GB +  free space for user files
Things that would be nice to have:
  • COMPIZ/Fusion support
  • working mplayer install (that can play DVDs)
  • basic office like applications (word processing, spreadsheet,  maybe a simple draw widget)
  • CISCO VPN support
  • rdesktop and vnc support
As of 17-Feb-2007, I thought I would put in a comment about how close I have come to the above goals.  So here it is:
  • A 1-2 GB F8 install with GNOME is hard, if not impossible, to acheive!  Fedora and GNOME has lots of dependancies and this just cause some bloat.    It is worth pointing out that Fedora's GNOME is probably more at fault then F8/kernel.   I suspect that if someone took the time to recompile GNOME with alot of dependancies turned off; a much thinner GNOME could be acheived.
  • I chose OpenOffice for word processing and spreadsheet abilities.    OO is not known to be 'small'.   I could have gone with AbiWord and Gnumeric, for example, and possibly saved some disc space.  
  • I haven't done anything with VNC, rdesktop, CISCO vpn, or any other VPN (yet).
  • Generally, I hover around 700MB freespace (17-Feb-2007), with all the support listed here.  That includes a chunk (99MB) of user files.  

Prerequsites

  • eeePC
  • Fedora 8 install media  (in my case, a DVD)
  • A way to use the install media  (in my case, IDE/ATAPI DVD drive in USB2 enclosure)
  • Some time and patience
  • A second computer (just about any flavor) with an Internet connection.
  • A way to get stuff from your 2nd computer onto your eeePC.   A USB flash drive is great for this.  
  • Basic familiarity with the Fedora installation process 
  • A basic understanding of pecularities of the eeePC hardware as pertaining to linux.  A good starting point for this is this thread on eeeuser.  

BIOS (double check to make sure hardware is not disabled)

Recently (13-Feb-2008), a reader of this HowTo pointed out that you can turn some of the eeePC hardware  and features  'OFF' in the BIOS.   Or that sometimes on new eeePCs, things can be disabled in the BIOS 'from the factory'.  

I haven't had this problem, but I have seen the switches in the BIOS screens.   Moral:   double check your bios settings to make sure stuff like wireless or the webcam is not disabled.

Boot Screen Options

I had troubles when accepting the defaults on the GRUB boot options when booting into the F8 installer.  These problems where mainly hangs during boot, just prior to the installer starting up.    A quick search on eeeuser, uncovered a work around  -- I appended the following to the end of the kernel boot line:

floppy.allowed_drive_mask=0  clocksource=acpi_pm

On the boot menu, you can press [TAB] to edit the kernel boot options for the.  I selected the "Install" option, and pressed [TAB], and added the above.  

This tip came from the eeeuser thread: http://forum.eeeuser.com/viewtopic.php?id=1730

Install Method

There are lots of ways to install Fedora.  I choose a DVD based install since I already had the DVD image of Fedora 8, and a DVD drive in a USB/IDE enclosure.  A USB flashdrive live image would work well too.   A network based install, will probably not work, because the on board wired and wireless LAN hardware will not work during the install.    

Basically,  just boot off your install media to get to the installer.   With a USB/IDE enclosure, booting was no problem; however,  after the keyboard questions the installer would forget where the install media was.

After several failed attempts, I found that when the installer prompted you for the location of the rest of the install image, if I selected "Hard Drive" and then going back, and selecting "Local CD/DVD", the installer would re-recognize the USB DVD drive and allow me to continue.

Disk Prep

On the installer's partition step, I choose "Custom Layout" and proceeded.  The factory partitioning was a bit surprising.  I was familar with the unionfs partition, but there was some other stuff that I was not expecting.

My factory partition scheme consisted of:
  1. 1.7-ish GB  'system' partition
  2. 1.7-ish GB 'user' partition
  3. a 'BIOS' partition
  4. some other rather small partition.
I nuked all the partitions and made one large "/" EXT2 partition, and NO SWAP space/partition.   My "/" partition turned out to be 3.7GB.

The Install

After partitioning, the install was rather dull -- just your basic Fedora install.   Here are some things I did:  
  • Allowed GRUB to go to the MBR. 
  • Selected "cutomize packages"
  • Scanned each package category and eliminated package I did not want.   I focussed on keeping things 'thin' -- I can always yum up things later.
  • You may consider installing some of the developement stuff -- these things will be needed later.   Scan the list of development packages and pick the ones that seem useful. 
NOTE:  I did the install using only the stock eeePC keyboard, touch pad and screen.  Which is OK, but can be a bit tedius, because you (may) have to use the touchpad and mouse button exclusively for package selections and de-selections.   At first I was usint the arrow keys to navigate the lists up and down, and the space bar to select or de-select a package.    This combination caused the installer to crash  -- it happened three times at slightly different points.  Everything was fine, when I only used the the touchpad.

On First Boot

My eeePC with F8 booted up just find, and dumped me into the firstboot wizard.   Here are the things I did  (season to your preferences):
  • set SELinux to disabled
  • turned off the fire wall
  • tinkered with network settings a bit (mainly setting to DHCP) -- this is largely useless cause the network stuff isn't going to work untill installing some drivers.
  • made a user account.
  • reboot ('cause the installer/start screen needed too). 

Wired Network

The wired network 'stuff', according to lspci is  Attansic Technology Corp. L2 100 Mbit Ethernet Adapter (rev a0).    Here is some Atheros spec page about the atl2:  ttp://www.attansic.com/english/products/index.html . This hardware is pretty new and as such F8 doesn't have a driver for it (on the install image/disks).    You can find atl2 source versions of the drivers in several places (some of these require patches):
Here are the basic steps that I followed:
  1. Open a terminal window
  2. su - root
  3. mkdir Lan
  4. cd Lan
  5. wget http://people.redhat.com/csnook/atl2/atl2-2.0.3.tar.bz2
  6. tar xjvf atl2-2.0.3.tar.bz2
  7. cd atl2-2.0.3
  8. make
  9. if directory /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/net/atl2 does not exist, mkdir it.
  10. cp atl2.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/net/atl2
  11. depmod -a
  12. modprobe atl2
  13. at this point your wired lan driver should be loaded and working.  Use dmesg to confirm.  You should see something like the following at the bottom of the dmesg output: 
Atheros(R) L2 Ethernet Driver - version 2.0.3
Copyright (c) 2007 Atheros Corporation.


Obviously if you don't have any sort of Internet connection on your eeePC yet, you really can't do step 4.   So, download said tar.bz2 file on a different PC and use a flash drive to move/copy it over to your eeePC  (and then resume with step 5).

Once the driver is loaded, use the system-config-network (or System->Administration->Network from main GNOME menu) widget to create a new interface and configure it.

Here is a list of other URLS that might be of interest to those getting Wired LAN working.

Wireless Lan

The eeePC has, according to lspci, a AR5006EG 802.11 b/g Wireless PCI Express Adapter wireless adapter.  Like the wired network adapter, the wireless stuff is new and is not included with F8.   Also, like the wired network there is a variety of ways to get it working.   The different ways are variation of using ndiswrapper or using a fairly new release of the mad wifi drivers.

One note:  the F8 installer will detech and install some ath driver.  This driver does not work.  This is OK, though; because there will just be less set up to perform later.

I chose to use the madWIFI drivers.    Here are 2 key links worth scanning:
  1. eeeUSER forum post about new Atheros drivers:  http://forum.eeeuser.com/viewtopic.php?id=3907&p=3
  2. madWifi Bug/Ticket post:   http://madwifi.org/ticket/1679 
Here is what I did  (assumption --  you are connected via wired LAN -- if not, on step 3 & 6 use an alternate PC and USB):  
  1. open a terminal window
  2. su - root
  3. wget http://snapshots.madwifi.org/madwifi-ng/madwifi-ng-r2756-20071018.tar.gz
  4. tar xzvf madwifi-ng-r2756-20071018.tar.gz 
  5. cd madwifi-ng-r2756-20071018
  6. wget -O madwifi-0933.ar2425.20071130.i386.patch http://madwifi.org/attachment/ticket/1679/madwifi-ng-0933.ar2425.20071130.i386.patch?format=raw
  7. patch -p0 < madwifi-0933.ar2425.20071130.i386.patch
  8. make
  9. edit the file /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist and make sure there is an uncommented line that reads like blacklist ath5k  (i.e. don't load the ath5k driver).   Note:  if you have followed any other instructions for getting wireless working on the eeePC, especially ones pertaining to ndiswrapper,  make sure that ath_pci and ath_hal are no longer blacklisted. 
  10. make install
At this point, rebooting is probably the easiest way to make sure the new driver is loaded.    Follow the steps at the bottom of the Wired Lan section for creating a interface, if you don't have one already  (the initial install may have created one).

Some Other Networking Stuff & Setup

Here is a few other random things reguarding wired and wireless networking, Fedora 8 and the eeePC :
  • /etc/modprobe.conf should probabaly contains these two lines:  
    • alias eth0 atl2
    • alias wlan0 ath_pci   ##this is probably not needed;  currently (12-Feb-2008) I have this commented out.   Something, somewhere seems to care for this, because dmesg output gives me "udev: renamed network interface ath0 to wlan0" once the driver is loaded.
  • NetworkManager is working well, for both wired and wireless.  You may want to make sure youy have the latest NM packages via YUM.
  • I have used both WPA psk and WEP under F8 and have had few problems

Wireless and Suspend

There maybe some issues with resuming wireless after coming back from suspend.   Go to the forums on eeeuser.com and search around a bit on this topic.  You should see plenty of topics about this.  

I haven't really followed this much; but I have seen problems.   So I whittled up this:

#!/bin/sh
/etc/init.d/NetworkManager stop
/etc/init.d/NetworkManagerDispatcher stop
/usr/local/bin/madwifi-unload
sleep 1
modprobe ath_pci
/etc/init.d/NetworkManager start
/etc/init.d/NetworkManagerDispatcher start


As root after coming back from suspend, I run the above script and typcially my wireless begins to work again.

Video

Lspci on my eeePC says that I have a  VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/GMS/910GML Express Graphics Controller (rev 04) .    This controller has good linux support and works more or less out of the box.   The only thing I have done, is to use a tweaked /etc/X11/xorg.conf file that I borrowed from the Ubuntu eeePC wiki.  FWIW here is my xorg.conf file.

Here are couple of notes about video:
  • I have no idea if an external monitor works with this xorg.conf;  I haven't tried one yet.
  • As the comment suggests you'll need the "Composite Enable" if you are going to doe compiz
  • Recently (13-Feb-2008) a reader informed me that:  "FYI the external monitor works great out of the box no extra configuration required."  I haven't got to test this yet - but it is on my radar.  I am not sure if this reader has used the Fn-F5 combo to get the external monitor working or not.  More news soon.  Also, this reader provides some more details of how to do this on this eeeuser post:  http://forum.eeeuser.com/viewtopic.php?id=15490  (see post #2). 

WebCam

The web cam is, according to lsusb, a Device 003: ID eb1a:2761 eMPIA Technology, Inc.  This cam appears to be supported by the UVC Linux Driver.    Jumping to the 'supported devices' section, you'll see the id  (eb1a:2761)  corresponds to  "eMPIA 2761 based camera (unbranded)".

After floundering about a bit here is what I did:
  1. opened a terminal window
  2. su - root
  3. mkdir webcam
  4. cd webcam
  5. svn checkout svn://svn.berlios.de/linux-uvc/linux-uvc/trunk
  6. cd trunk
  7. make 
  8. make install 
  9. modprobe uvcvideo   (this actually loads the driver)
  10. dmesg   (to see if the driver is OK)
  11. Observe output like:
uvcvideo: Found UVC 1.00 device <unnamed> (eb1a:2761)
usbcore: registered new interface driver uvcvideo
USB Video Class driver (v0.1.0)


If you get the above output, then the driver is installed and should be working.  Now you need something that 'uses' the driver to do 'stuff'.  So I have little interest in the webcam, but I wanted to get it working for completeness.   I opted to just get UCVIEW  (the standard webcam app that originally came with the eeePC).     UCView is (I think) built on top of UNICAP (linux widget for video capture) so I started there.   Here are the rough steps I followed (you need to season to taste):
  1. open terminal window
  2. su - root
  3. go to http://www.unicap-imaging.org/download.htm in a WebBroser 
  4. follow the links and down load the tarballs for  unicap-0.2.17 and ucview-0.16
  5. copy or move these two tarballs to /root
  6. tar xzvf unicap-0.2.17.tar.gz
  7. tar xzvf ucview-0.16.tar.gz 
  8. cd unicap-0.2.17
  9. ./configure --enable-ucil-alsa  --enable-ucil-theora  (Note:  Run ./configure --help and pick options you feel are appropriate.   These options are just what I felt is needed for basic support.) 
  10. note the missing lib and dependencies
  11. use YUM to install the missing stuff
  12. goto step 9 and repeat untill you get a clean 'configure' run.  When you get a clean "configure" proceed to next step.
  13. make
  14. make install
At this point you should have a UNICAP lib(s) installed in /usr/local/lib.  Now try UCVIEW:
  1. (assuming you just finished step 14 above)
  2.  cd ../ucview-0.16/
  3. export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/lib/pkgconfig/:/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig/
  4. ./configure
  5. As above YUM-up missing dependencies as needed to get a clean 'configure' 
  6. make
  7. make install
Now you should have a working UCVIEW.   Start it via ucview from a command line -- you should now see your self! 

Here are some follow on notes:
  1. Basic article about UCVIEW and UNICAP on eeePC:   http://www.unicap-imaging.org/unicap_eeepc.htm 
  2. I have been able to save a snap shot to a JPG file and view them with firefox
  3. I have been able to save videos to a OGG file (w/o sound) and play them with mplayer
  4. After turning on the MIC via the GNOME volume control widget, I was able to capture videos with sound.
  5. Since I don't have much use for the webcam I haven't done much more than what is listed here.  Thus:  YMMV, there maybe better ways to support the webcam, and let me know if there is something missing in these steps. 

Bluetooth

I got spam from CyberGuys about some bluetooth deals.  The deals were pretty decent so I sprung for a new bluetooth headset for my Samsung (SGH-A737) and an adapter for my eeePC.

The adapter I got was the Cirago BTA-3210 Micro Bluetooth USB Dongle.  I haven't used bluetooth much on any computer and wasn't eactly sure what to expect.   My (initial) goal for bluetooth was to find a way to connect my SGH-A737 and my eeePC and swap files (mainly music and pix).

To be able to swap files with my SGH-A737, this is what I did:
  1. stuck in the dongle (into external USB port)
  2. noodled around a bit and remember that I deleted or YUM removed much of the BlueZ and bluetooth stuff to save space. 
  3. YUM installed (at least) the following:
    • bluez-gnome.i386
    • bluez-gnome-analyzer.i386
    • bluez-hcidump.i386
    • bluez-libs.i386
    • bluez-utils.i386
    • bluez-utils-alsa.i386
    • bluez-utils-cups.i386
    • bluez-utils-gstreamer.i386
    • gnome-bluetooth.i386
    • gnome-bluetooth-libs.i386
    • pybluez.i386
    • gammu.i386
    • gammu-libs.i386
    • python-gammu.i386
    • wammu.noarch
    • (and any dependancies YUM felt like I needed)
  4. removed and re-inserted the dongle (and 'broke' the dongle see below)
  5. scratched my head cause nothing was happening
  6. /etc/init.d/bluetooth start    #I had shut this service down long time ago
  7. Bluetooth applet appeared in my GNOME notification area!
  8. Right clicked on this icon and selected Browse Devices....
  9. noodled a bit turning on (don't recall the exact steps) some bluetooth features that were disabled in my phone.
  10. Repeated step 8, and there was my phone.
  11. Selected my phone and a Nautilus file browser window appeared where I could copy and paste files to and from!
Now it is time to explore what else I can do with this!   More (phone book editing, and such) to come soon.

Broken Dongle!
The dongle fits rather snuggly into a free USB port.   In one remove/insert cycle I performed, I ripped the guts of the dongle (with the translucent end) right out of the small USB sleeve!   Bummer, I thought I just trashed my dongle.   After close inspection, it was clear the I had just really removed guts from the sleeve.   There were a few shards of plastic that fell out of the sleeve; these were probably tabs that fastened the guts to the sleeve.   

It is simple to just re-insert the guts into the sleeve.    From this point out, I had to be carefull to grab the sleeve while removing.   After a couple of 'disembowel' events, I grabbed some all-purpose adhesive/weldit and dabbed a few small dots on the plastic cuff that inserts into the sleeve, and that was that.

MORAL:   Becarefull on dongle removal -- grab the sleeve not the plactic tip area while removing this.

Filesystem Tweaks

There are a few tweaks/items that are widely suggested to perform on filesystem/ssd after an install of a different OS/distribution.  These tweaks all have to do with 'perserving the life' of the SSD.  You can reall all about them on various threads on various websites.  Here is the summary:
  • avoid journalling filesystems
  • avoid using a swap partition
  • turn of filesystem access time recording
  • avoid  log file writes.
I am following the first three of these things.   I haven't implemented the last one yet, nor am I sure if I will do this.    For the interested readers, here is my /etc/fstab:

LABEL=/                 /                       ext2    defaults,noatime        1 1
tmpfs                   /dev/shm                tmpfs   defaults        0 0
devpts                  /dev/pts                devpts  gid=5,mode=620  0 0
sysfs                   /sys                    sysfs   defaults        0 0
proc                    /proc                   proc    defaults        0 0

ACPI

I haven't done anything with this yet.  More recent F8 kernels claim to have some eeePC ACPI support.  See the kernels area below.   I still (3/18/2008) haven't done anything usefull with ACPI.

Compiz/Fusion

Compiz and Compiz/Fusion work quite well.  I am using compiz/fusion based on the howto specified on this fedoraforum post:   http://sourceforge.net/project/shownotes.php?group_id=36382&release_id=561228.  Here is what I did (which isn't too much different than what the posting suggests):
  1. open a terminal window as my 'normal' user
  2. cd
  3. rm -rf  .gconf/apps/compiz  (not entirely sure if this is needed -- but it is supposed to clear out any configuration data that may exist for the 'stock' fedora compiz; also do this for each user account that may use compiz fusion)
  4. su - root
  5. for pkg in `rpm -qa | grep compiz` ; do rpm -e $pkg; done   #this just remove any/all older compiz packages  -- do it however you see fit.
  6. cd /etc/yum.repos.d/
  7. wget http://www.dfm.uninsubria.it/compiz/fusion/compiz-fusion.repo
  8. yum install compiz-all fusion-icon-all compiz-fusion-plugins-unsupported compiz-bcop ccsm emerald-themes
Now you can just run the fusion application at Applications->System Tools->Compiz Fusion Icon and configure compiz as you desire.   If you want Fusion Icon to run when you login to GNOME do this:
  1. Select System->Preferences->Personal->Session from GNOME menu. 
  2. Select the Startup Programs tab
  3. Use the Add button to make a new startup program
  4. Give the new startup program a new name (e.g. Fusion-icon) and specify /usr/bin/fusion-icon as the command.  Click OK.
  5. Make sure this new startup program is enabled.
  6. Close the Sessions applet
Upon next login, the Fusion-Icon applet should start.   You can use the Fusion-Icon to toggle between compiz and metacity or go to the settings manager or other compiz tweaks and things.
NOTE:  the above yum command will install some stuff that you may not need or want.    Feel free to yum remove as needed.   The trimming the fat section will cover cleaning up accumlated lint.

Here are some good links regaurding compiz:

Sound

Sound works out of the box.  No tweaking is really needed.   You may experience a shutdown issue after the sound driver is loaded:  upon shutdown the power indicator lamp does not turn off.  Pressing the power button and holding for a few seconds will make the eeePC shut totally down.  

The solution I used was to remove the sound driver in the halt script.  Here are two links that discuss this:
  1. http://wiki.eeeuser.com/ubuntu  (go to the section "Shutdown/Poweroff Workaround" ) 
  2. http://forum.eeeuser.com/viewtopic.php?id=1859
I added:  /sbin/rmmod snd-hda-intel to the file /etc/rc.d/init.d/halt .   I put is at approximately line 202.   If you put it too early in the halt script, you may get a problem where the current volume settings and such are not saved; you'l see the (harmless) error message during shutdown if this happends.  Just move the rmmod line lower and try again.  

Services & Deamons

I like to try and trim all the services down to the bare minimal.  There are several things that should be obvious as to weather you need them.   A few of the things that I feel are safe to disable (that are maybe not as obvious)  are:
  • bluetooth  (I currently don't have or use any bluetooth stuff)
  • anacron
  • nasd  
  • irqbalance
  • sendmail  
  • firstboot  (I am pretty sure this is only needed once -- I have always disabled with no appearant problems) 
  • mdmonitor
  • kudzu
  • crond
  • avahi-daemon
  • atd  
As always Mauriat Miranda has good info about Fedora and services.  Here the F8 page about services:   http://www.mjmwired.net/resources/mjm-services-f8.html .

Overclocking

There are lots of resources about overclocking the eeePC on the Web, and as always the eeeuser wiki and eeeuser forums are great places to look for information.  

Nonetheless here is some information that I have distilled that I feel is relevant to F8:
  • The CPU is capable of up to 900MHZ  (perhaps even more)
  • By default, the eeePC is slightly underclocked to 630MHZ
  • No vanilla Linux (or Windows) installs will change this -- including F8. 
  • Most overclocking techniques involve boosting the speed of the front side bus.
  • There are at least 2 main stream ways to increase FSB speed (to attain faster CPU core speeds):
I  think that updating to a new BIOS that allows for FSB adjustment is utimately the best way to go.   However, for me, software overclocking makes the most sence, since there doesn't appear to be a BIOS that allows for good FSB adjustment without some other drawback.   Hopefully a future 'golden' BIOS will allows FSB adjustments without any serious drawbacks.

Fortunately, the linux eee/fsb module builds easily and runs well on my eeePC under F8.  Here is my recipe:
  1. open terminal window
  2. su - root
  3. cd    ##get to root's home directory
  4. wget  http://eeepc-linux.googlecode.com/files/eeepc-linux-0.2.tar.gz  ## this gets the 0.2 version
  5. tar xzvf eeepc-linux-0.2.tar.gz 
  6. cd eeepc-linux/module
  7. make
At this point, the module should be compiled and ready to go.  What to do at this point?  Well you can simply insmod the module and start playing around.   A good thing to do is to review the wiki about this module at http://wiki.eeeuser.com/howto:overclockfsb .   I found the 'overclock' script here  (page 6 of version 1 thread; post #140) works well.

Here are a few final notes:
  • I have overclocked all the way to 100, or the full 900MHz.  I have had no problems; rock solid, no video problems.
  • Haven't gone over 100Mhz.
  • My eeePC does heat up.   I monitor the temps via sensors-applet and I have seen significant jump in temps while overclocking, but nothing to be alarmed about.  
  • /proc/cpuinfo will not change and will continue to read approximately 630Mhz. 
  • hardinfo (yum install hardinfo) is a simple and useful tool that will display all sorts of useful info about your system.  It will still note the processor as currently running at 630Mhz even after overclocking.    Use the benchmark tools in hardinfo, and run some before and after tests to see the affects of overclocking.  On my eeePC, I observe significant 'benchmark improvements' after overclocking.
  • As of 17-Feb-2007, I will point out that I actually don't overclocking too much.  Maybe 10% of the time I will overclock.  I still use it manually, not on boot up.    

My Hardware

Asside from a memory upgrade and the F8 install, my eeePC is stock.  Here are the specifics:
  • 701 4G black
  • My serial number starts with 7A
  • I got it from Directron
  • I do have the 2nd mini PCIe slot
  • I have 2GB of ram
  • My ram stick is a PQI 2GB ddr2-667 which I got from newegg:  http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16820141297
  • I have sucessfully used a 1GB PQI  I-Stick  usb flash drive with my eeePC
  • I have plugged in and tinkered with a 2GB PQI micro SD card via USB adapter - me eeePC seems comfortable with this.
  • I installed Fedora 8 via a LG DVD DL burner via a USB enclosure  (so it seems to work).  

Misc Space And Ram Savers

The following a list things that you can do to recover some SSD space and/or RAM.    Some of these  things may not net too much but they could help.
  • RAM -- Turn off unneeded virtual consoles.  I run 2; fedora 8 will set up 6 (ctl-alt-f1 thru ctl-alt-f6, plus ctl-alt-f7 for X).  You can turn them off by editing /etc/inittab and commenting out the lines  looking like 3:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty3  
  • blacklist pcspkr.  I don't think there is a pc speaker in the EEEPC.  PC Speaker is different than sound card speakers -- pc speaker is just a beeper used for bios beepcodes and other alarms via a simple beep.  I suppose some laptop can have a speaker serve both as a pc speaker and sounder card speaker.  At any rate, I find pcspkr beeps annoying and my EEEPC never makes them - so blacklist.   You blacklist it by editing /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist and adding a line:  blacklist pcspkr .   

Cleaning up un-needed or un-wanted packages

I spent some time weeding through all the packages that have accumulated intentionally or otherwise.   By doing this fairly simple, but a bit time consuming, step, I have been able to reclaim several 100 MB worth of space.   Here are some things that are good to know if you do this:
  • you'll need to be root.
  • you'll need to be connected to the internet.
  • familarize your self with command line YUM.   Here are some tips:
    • yum clean all  #cleans any packages in the install cache as well as repository meta data
    • yum info <pkgname>  #displays a summary about what a package is/does  
    • yum list installed   #list all installed packages.   HINT:  redirect the output to a file and browse the resulting list with gedit or vi or something like that. 
    • yum erase <pkgname>  #removes/erases the named package.  Does prompt you to proceed or not.
  • Don't be afraid to yum erase something, to see its dependancies - BUT be ready to answer N if you don't like what you see
  • When in doubt don't erase something.   You can seriously damage you install if you erase too much.   
  • If you do feel you have erased something important:   STOP -- Don't reboot!  You can probably 'un-do' it just by re-installing with yum install <pkgname>.
  • As of 16-Feb-2008, I have re-installed some of packages listed below.   I re-installed these packages because I needed support for 'stuff' that I previously didn't need. My Point:  If you see something in the list below that you think you might need -- don't remove it.

After all this below is the list of things I have removed.  Note:  These are packages that I deem un-needed for me.  You may have other needs so please keep this in mind.   Oh and:
  • yes I know there are some packages that hardly seem worth removing.
  • yes I know I removed a bunch of KDE stuff that was installed by the compiz steps above.  In hindsight, instead of compiz-all, I could have selected the individual packages.

So here is the list:
yum remove selinux-policy               #  7.5 MB
yum remove selinux-policy-targeted      #  25 mb
yum remove mono-core                    #  35 mb   
yum remove kdelibs                      #  45mb
yum remove arts                         #  4MB
yum erase totem totem-mozplugin         #  6MB
yum erase jack-audio-connection-kit     #  0.3MB
yum erase qt4                           #  32mb
yum erase qt                            #  18mb
yum erase postgresql-libs               #  0.5mb
yum erase sip                           #  0.5mb
yum erase slrn                          #  2mb
yum erase smolt-firstboot               #  11kb
yum erase sound-juicer                  #  3MB
yum erase tetex                         #  66mb
yum remove xorg-x11-drv-amd             #  300kb
yum erase xorg-x11-drv-i740             #  45kb
yum erase attr                          #  144kb
yum erase coolkey                       #  200kb
yum erase ccid                          #  192kb
yum erase cdparanoia                    #  90kb
yum erase dbus-qt                       #  81kb
yum erase dialog                        #  467kb
yum erase firstboot                     #  765kb  this will take out system-config-keyboard too -- only do this if you don't think you'll need the keyboard applet
yum erase firstboot-tui.noarch          #  689kb
yum erase htdig                         #  3.1mb
yum erase icedax                        #  366kb
yum erase  pcsc-lite ifd-egate          #  350kb
yum erase kde-filesystem                #  17kb
yum erase jasper-libs                   #  312kb
yum erase nas                           #  1.3mb
yum erase numactl                       #  87kb
yum erase pcsc-lite-libs                #  34kb
yum erase pinfo                         #  287kb
yum erase quota                         #  819kb
yum erase rng-utils                     #  25kb
yum erase setserial                     #  25kb
yum erase smartmontools                 #  648kb
yum erase tetex-dvips                   #  1.7mb
yum erase tetex-fonts                   #  57mb
yum erase texinfo                       #  1.8mb
yum erase at                            # 81kb
yum erase libfreebob                    # 413kb
yum erase oprofile                      # 6MB
yum erase zenity                        # 1.9mb
yum erase glib-java                     # 90kb
yum erase swig                          # 8.5MB
yum erase xterm                         # 784kb

Making this page

I have built this page entirely on my eeePC using KOMPOZER.    There are some challenges when doing this, but in the end it worked out OK.  The biggest challenge I had with doing this was the keyboad.   Besides it being cramped, some of the keys are in odd ball placements (e.g.  right hand shift key and Fn cursor keys).   

Cleaning Unneeded drivers and Kernel Modules

Fedora installs lot of drivers and modules for hard ware and functionality that I (and many others) simply will not use.    This is probably the case for many Linux distributions.   In my case there is well over 20MB of modules and drivers.  I am guessing that 10MB are stuff that I will not be using.

So I whittled up a script to clean up some of this stuff.   Here are some things to consider, before you go cleanning unneeded modules & drivers:
  • doing it by hand takes a really long time
  • doing it with a tool takes a long time too -- but not as long
  • removing unneed stuff may get some MBs back -- but don't expect 100's of MBs.
  • BECAREFUL not to remove modules that you need!   You could render you system useless or unbootable or something nasty like that.
  • when in doubt - don't remove it!   Do some research before you remove something. 
There is a 'tool' and website called LKDDb: Linux Kernel Driver DataBase.  Basically, it can give you an inventory all the drivers that your kernel was compiled with and what those drivers are.   I used this tool and a bash script to identify and locate drivers to delete.  NOTE:  This is an interactive script and will only remove drivers based on user input.

Here is the recipe:
  1. open terminal window
  2. su - root
  3. (optional) cd/move to a location where you want install this stuff.
  4. wget http://cateee.net/sources/lkddb-sources/lkddb-sources-2007-12-11.tar.gz 
  5. tar xzvf  lkddb-sources-2007-12-11.tar.gz
  6. cd lkddb-sources-2007-12-11
  7. wget http://mysite.verizon.net/vze2j8bn/drvrCleaner
  8. chmod +x drvrCleaner
  9. ./drvrCleaner /usr/src/kernels/2.6.23.1-42.fc8-i686/ /lib/modules/2.6.23.1-42.fc8/  (change these parameters to match your environment; the first argument the kernel source location, the second is the module install location)
  10. wait -- there well be lots of output from lkddb tools -- much of which may look like errors.
  11. If you get a shell prompt back -- something crashed.  Scan the out put and see if it is something you can fix/tweak
  12. Eventually, you should see some output like:
-------
Begining of .ko/module clean up
-------
  1. select 'y' or 'n' when drvrCleaner asks you about deleteing a driver. 
  2. Keep doing #13 for a long time.   If you get tired, you can CTL-C to quit.  (drvrCleaner will not remember your previous selections; but when you answer 'y' to a driver - it removes it - so it will not prompt you about already removed drivers) 
  3. If you let it run all the way through, it should print out how many total bytes it reclaimed.
  4. run depmod   ( depmod -a )   (not entirely sure if this is needed - but can't hurt).
  5. reboot to see if you killed anything ;)
  6. Clean up any empty directories made by removing unneeded drivers.   Any easy way to do this is to cd into the directories containing the driver modules (in my case /lib/modules/2.6.23.1-42.fc8/kernel ).     Try this:  cd /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel to get to your drivers directory.    Then issue find -depth -type d -empty  -exec rmdir {} \;  to remove the empties.   Run it with out the  -exec rmdir {} \; part to see what you will remove.  

Kernel Upgrade (via YUM)

(If you are upgrading to kernel  2.6.23.15-137.fc8, read this note first.)

Somewhere somehow I broke something such that NetworkManager was not starting.  I thought it was a YUM package I removed or something.    At any rate, I had been meaning to update lots packages and the kernel.  Now  (writing this on 1/27/2008) seemed like I go time.    

I let yum update the kernel to 2.6.23.14-107.fc8.

After the update and reboot, as expected I needed to rebuild the wired and wireless lan drivers and care for a few things.   Here are the steps:
  1. open terminal window
  2. su - root
  3. Follow the steps for wired lan.  
  4. Follow the steps for wireless lan.  
  5. Follow the steps for the webcam.  NOTE:  you really only need to the UVC Driver step as ucview will still be installed after kernel update. 
  6. Reboot and make sure everything works
  7. If you feel like it, remove unneeded drivers (again) 
Feel free to optomize this steps some.   For example, I didn't really download all the drivers again; I just reused the stuff I downloaded before.   Also, I rebooted and tested after building each LAN driver.  

NOTE:  Sometime around 12-Feb-2008, PUP/YUM informed me of a new Kernel.  The kernel release notes suggested there was now support for the ATL2 driver and some ACPI eeePC hotkey support.  I took the plunge and can say that atl2 support works without have build your own driver.   So if you YUM up kernel  2.6.23.15-137.fc8, you can skip step 4, from above.     I haven't tinkered with ACPI driver yet, but I will post more info in the ACPI section when I do. 

Once you are satisfied with a new kernel, you can uninstall older kernels via YUM like:

yum remove kernel-2.6.23.14-107*

Finally, if you have manually installed any thing (and you probably did if you are following this HowTo) in to the /lib/modules/<kernel_ver> area,  YUM will/may not remove that stuff.    You can safely go remove that directory via something like:

rm -rf /lib/modules/2.6.23.14-107.fc8

Kernel 2.6.24.3-12.fc8

Somtime during the week of March 3, 2008; PUP informed me of a bunch of updates including 2.6.24.3-12.fc8.   I tried this kernel out on a couple of desktops and it seems fine.  So on 3/08/2008, I asked, YUMEX to update it.   The kernel upgrade went fine and I rebooted.  As expected, I had no wireless; so I went about recompiling the mad-wifi drivers as discussed in the wireless section above.      I didn't fully pay attention to what was spewing out; but when I got the prompt back I did a 'make install'.  Normally, I test the driver via 'modprobe ath_pci'; but for whatever reason I rebooted.

Well, that was a bad move.  I got some sort of kernel problem during boot that would ultimately result in a hung eee.   After a few boot-hang iterations; I rebooted into the old kernel (wireless still works on this kernel) and removed the dir /lib/modules/2.6.24.3-12.fc8/net .  Now rebooting was fine and I could get back into the 2.6.24.3-12.fc8 and fix my mistake.

Long story, short:  reading thru many links and in particular madwifi ticket 1679, I found out that mad-wifi snapshot and 933-2425 patch for the AR5007EG chipset shouldn't compile much less work with the 2.6.24 kernel.   Fortunately, there are already patches to make this mad-wifi snapshot work under 2.6.24 kernel.   NOTE:  Mad-Wifi has an officical 0.9.4 release that is kernel 2.6.24 compatible.  The release notes for 0.9.4 suggest that 2425/AR5007EG is still not integrated into the release.  

Here is a working recipe for Mad-Wifi under 2.6.24:
  1. open terminal window
  2. su - root
  3. wget http://snapshots.madwifi.org/special/madwifi-nr-r3366+ar5007.tar.gz  ##this tar ball has the 5007 patch and 2.6.24 patches pre-applied. 
  4. tar xzvf madwifi-nr-r3366+ar5007.tar.gz
  5. cd madwifi-nr-r3366+ar5007
  6. make
  7. make install
At this point, you should have a working and installed version of mad-wifi.   You can then modprob ath_pci and be off...

Now to complete things for kernel 2.6.24.3-12.fc8:
  1. open terminal window
  2. su - root
  3. (you should have done the WLAN by now)
  4. Follow the steps for the webcam.  NOTE:  you really only need to the UVC Driver step as ucview will still be installed after kernel update.
  5. Follow the steps for overclocking if you do that sort of stuff.    The 0.2 eee.ko seems to work nicely.
  6. Reboot and make sure everything works
  7. If you feel like it, remove unneeded drivers (again)
  8. To save some space & if you are confident you don't want the old kernel:   remove unwanted kernels and module directories.    Kernel removal example:  yum remove kernel-2.6.23.15-137*
    Old modules directory removal:  rm -rf /lib/modules/2.6.23.15-137.fc8  
NOTE:  I got some COMPIZ updates while doing the kernel updates.  These update brings COMPIZ up to 0.7.3.  However, my COMPIZ stopped working.   After some poking around, DRI wasn't enabled at the driver level (glxinfo |more , first couple of lines tell the current DRI-ness of your driver).    I will provide more details when I learn more, but the breakage was probably due to the new kernel and the 'intel' driver that probably came with it.    Here is a quick fix to get COMPIZ working again:   Add  Option  "Legacy3D"  "true" to your device section.    This only applies if you are using the 'intel' driver.  If you are using 'i810' or iegd - things are different.    In fact, the i810 that comes with F8 2.6.24; has some sort of scaling and panning abilities -- much like iegd.  I just stumbled upon that; and it warrants further exploration....

Kernel 2.6.24.3-34.fc8

It is March 18, 2008; and time for a new kernel 2.6.24.3-34.fc8.   This kernel install went realy painlessly, since all the hard work was done for 2.6.24.3-12.fc8.  Nonetheless, after yumming up the new kernel, I did the following to 'round-out' the kernel:
  1. open terminal window
  2. su - root
  3. follow steps in 2.6.24.3-12.fc8 section for WLAN.  Or simply remake/re-install your directory that you left behind...
  4. Follow the steps for the webcam.  NOTE:  you really only need to the UVC Driver step as ucview will still be installed after kernel update.
  5. Follow the steps for overclocking if you do that sort of stuff.    The 0.2 eee.ko continues to compile and work nicely.
  6. Reboot and make sure everything works
  7. If you feel like it, remove unneeded drivers (again)
  8. To save some space & if you are confident you don't want the old kernel:   remove unwanted kernels and module directories.    Kernel removal example:  yum remove kernel-2.6.24.3-12*
    Old modules directory removal:  rm -rf /lib/modules/2.6.24.3-12.fc8  
NOTE:  COMPIZ seems to work fine with this kernel.   It is not clear if the tweak applied in the last kernel 'makes' it work OR if there is some fix.    I still have the Legacy3D value in places.

Lots 'O Links