In a previous article, I talked about setting up my Asus Eee computer with eee-control on Ubuntu. Today, this is no longer valid if you’re using Ubuntu 11.10 or Linux Mint 12. Now you must run different software. Not only that, now more than ever disenchanted Ubuntu users are switching to Linux Mint due to the ongoing frustrations presented with the Unity desktop. The great news for folks wanting to switch to Linux Mint is that Ubuntu packages and PPAs work great in Mint. Even better, you have additional Gnome desktop choices made available.
In this article, I demonstrate Linux Mint 12, based on Ubuntu 11.10 and installed onto my trusty Eee PC. In the video below, I show off a eee-control alternative while also explaining how with some simple tweaks, one can make the default Gnome 3 desktop a little less of a shock to use. After all, Gnome 2 and Gnome 3 have next to nothing in common.
(HD available, just click on the area that says 360p)
Now that you’ve seen the video, here’s all the critical pieces of the puzzle that you need to know about. Before turning anything on, I recommend connecting an external monitor. I will explain why later. To get things running smoothly on my Eee, I had to press the Tab key after coming to the boot menu on the LiveCD. From there, I had to type in the following (see video above) after the words “quiet splash.”
Now hit the enter key and Mint 12 should boot up great on your Eee 1005HA (among others). Finally things will come up and despite the fact that you’ll find the backlighting to be terrible, you can use the “blue keys” to get it bright enough to at least get things installed. We’ll fix the backlighting shortly. Remember earlier how I asked you to connect an external monitor? Yes, it looks terrible now. So I want you to go into the display settings and setup that monitor as a new, display while disabling the one on the Eee. You do this by going to Monitor Preferences, unchecking “Same image in all monitors”, then clicking on the netbook display monitor, choosing Monitor: Off, then clicking apply. This will disable the netbook screen and keep the main monitor as the only display. With these changes made, go ahead and make the resolution as high as possible. This is possible, as the graphics card will support a higher resolution on the out-bound monitor only. Got it? Great, now you can install your operating system without the headaches of a low 1024×600 resolution.
Next up, you will want to get the backlighting fixed. This is actually ease, as copy/pasting goes that is. Just do the following, and you will be set in a matter of a couple of minutes.
From a terminal window:
sudo gedit /etc/default/grub
then do a Ctrl F and type in GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT
Locate it, then change it to (be mindful of spaces, it should be exactly as it is here.
Click this link for the text file — WordPress formats this code incorrectly, so I had to share it here.
**IMPORTANT** Manually remove the “” quotes in case smart quotes were copied due to a WordPress bug. Then type them manually. So this would be the quote next to *quiet* and *splash*.
then in the terminal window, do a
Now reboot. From here on out, your blue keys handling the backlighting on your Eee screen will work. You won’t know this until we turn it back on, but trust me, this fixes it.
Gnome 3 extensions found in the video!
1) Autohide extension – get it from this link.
2) Other headache saving extensions — you will find them here at this link.
3) And finally, the Jupiter applet. Designed to give you outstanding throttling controls for your Eee or other netbooks.