Arch and Asus EEE 900

My collegue bought an Asus EEE 900 about a year ago, and confessed he was a bit disappointed with the power and HD space, so he sold it to me at a good price.  It had Win XP installed, but I quickly wiped that and installed Arch on it. Mind you, at that point I wasn’t at all confident. I assumed I wouldn’t get things like wireless, webcam, suspend and resume and the function keys to work, and I expected to have to use specialist distributions like EEEbuntu or Moblin.

Well, wireless even worked during the install, so no problems there. The install itself went flawless, which meant that all I had to do was the usual configuration. There were some differences with my normal PC, since I wanted to save as much space as possible. A panel was out, the system tray is on auto-hide, I cropped the window decorations from applications like Firefox and Thunar, and that was pretty much it. Everything else was my normal install of Openbox.

The function keys I got working by adding an extra module from AUR, and although I’m not a regular user of Skype, I installed it to see if the webcam worked. It did, without any tweaking from my part. Same thing for going to sleep when I close the lid. Opening pops it back to live, without a hitch.

Battery life is surprisingly good on this little thing. I’ve been working on it for what must be over two hours now, and I’m still at 30%. CPU load is something like 10% on average, and memory usage has yet to rise over 200 MB, and that’s with Firefox open. About the only thing I don’t really know how to do is slightly adjust the keyboard layout. It’s close to be-latin, but not quite. Some of the more exotic keys aren’t really where they’re supposed to be…

All in all, I love this little thing which I named Tinkerbell, so here’s some showing off:

Tinkerbell: Pseudo clean

Tinkerbell: Pseudo clean

Thunar and audacious. Stalonetray bottom right

Thunar and audacious. Stalonetray bottom right


7 Responses to Arch and Asus EEE 900

  1. Mesanna says:

    I’ve always had desktop PCs cos I like to build my own and swap components in and out, so I’d never bought any kind of laptop before. But nearly a year ago, I bought an EEE 1000 (just slightly bigger than yours) and I cannot imagine how I ever managed without it. They are fabulous little machines and they’re great for the web.

    I’ve tried a LOT of different distros on mine, though I’ve never tried Arch. I’ve had Moblin running for a couple of months now and I’m really liking it (well, I don’t like the built in browser, but Firefox can be easily installed). It’s still a little buggy but on the whole it works fine and it’s being constantly updated. I know you’re a big fan of Arch but if you want to play some more with Tinkerbell, you could always give Moblin a whirl 🙂

  2. Randy says:

    I think he wants openbox. And moblin is still beta. Thanks for sharing San. When I buy one, I will install Arch to, like my pc. Hé I’m belgian (Oostende)to 🙂

  3. Guilherme de Sousa says:

    nice blog you have here;)

    I’m a new user of arch (only started using it for a month or two) and I’m loving it.. I also have it on my Eee 1000H with openbox and its great.

    I used to be a gentoo user (and also ubuntu.. it’s strange I know, but I think you can understand me), but defenatly arch is the way!
    gentoo is a pain in the ass to install, and the performance isnt that different.

    best regards!

  4. celettu says:


    I know exactly how you feel. The desktop PC is a better machine, but I love not being confined to my desk.
    I did consider Moblin, but I wanted to try Arch and Openbox first…it’s what I’m familiar with 🙂 And right now things are working so well I don’t dare to change anything 😛


    Welcome! I’m from Bruges originally, so we’d probably understand eachother 😉


    Thanks for the compliment. I can understand why you’d use both distributions like arch, and ubuntu. They’re just so different…I like them both. Personally I choose arch because of the endless configuration/personalisation possibilities, but I love Ubuntu too. I think it’s a great OS.

  5. Thank.Good Review from your website

  6. […] EEE 900 and Ubuntu Netbook Remix Although Tinkerbell was running fine with Arch and Openbox installed, after the install of the file server, there were some problems. For some reason, I couldn’t […]

  7. So what is the reason for naming it tinkerbell if you dont mind me asking?

    i also notice you are using xp.. i wish i was still using xp i dont really like windows 7 but i guess this is just horses for courses.

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