Installing Ubuntu on the Asus eeepc

I bought the Windows Xp version of the Asus eeepc 900 a week or two ago (they didn’t have the linux version).

I was putting off installing Ubuntu on it because I wasn’t looking forward to creating a bootable partition on my external hdd (it doesn’t have a cd rom drive), but today I had no choice as Windows caught a nice little virus that caused Windows to get stuck in a boot loop trap.

I didn’t install the vanilla Ubuntu version, but a special optimised version called eeebuntu.

I followed their “idiots guide” and felt like an idiot when it didn’t work, AT ALL.

The guide is good to install the custom kernel (if you even need it), that’s it.

I’m not going to go into detail here on every little step I did, but I’m going to summerize it.

If you are looking to install eeebuntu on you’re eeepc, open the guide from eeebuntu next to these points.

1. Download eeebuntu.

2. Open up Gparted and create a new partition (or for an usb thumb drive, just use the whole thing) and format it to fat32!

The guide tells you to format as ext2.

Fail, ext2 won’t work for most. It didn’t for me.

If you are getting an error saying “operating system missing”, that’s because of ext2.

Something for people using a external hdd with multiple partitions. My usb harddrive wouldn’t boot from the second partition. The files has to be on the first partition.

Don’t forget to set a bootflag to “boot” on the newly created partition.

Make sure you remember what the partition is called (something like /dev/sdf2)!

3. Google for “unetbootin”, go to their new site and download the Ubuntu .deb

After it’s installed, select your iso image and in the bottom, tag the box and select your partition (the one you created with gparted, example here was /dev/sdf2).

They suggest using their script, which didn’t work for me, unetbootin is better.

4. After it is finished (don’t reboot!), unmount your external hdd and put it in the Asus eee pc.

Note that only the two right usb slots would boot, not the one on the left.

When you start up your pc and see the Asus logo, quickly press “esc”  and select your external hdd.

5. Install Ubuntu.

6. Apply the kernel fixes if needed (see guide from eeebuntu forums).

For me wireless, the webcam, … everything worked, if that’s the case, don’t install the custom kernel.

That’s it.

I am wondering if they actually tested their guide before releasing it on the public.

Either way, these steps will save you some stress (sadly, I had it when following their guide).



Note: They made some strange choices in the default installed software.

You can easily remove things like Amarok, AWN (the dock), …

Should you need help with that, ask here. But you might get your answers sooner if you ask them in the Ubuntu forums.

    • Vinicius
    • November 9th, 2008

    you could try Ubuntu Eee instead

    • Sid
    • November 10th, 2008

    You should try 8.1o with the Adam kernel…

    • Tux Notax
    • November 10th, 2008

    If you’ve paid M$ tax, try to manage a refund.

    • JP
    • November 10th, 2008

    yea ubuntu-eee is much better than eeebuntu. and 8.10 should work with adam kernel

    • Bill Goldberg
    • November 10th, 2008

    Thanks for the suggestion,

    I’ll try out ubuntu-eee tomorrow.

    • linuxcanuck
    • November 12th, 2008

    I have a eeePC 900 that came with Xandros, ie. it is the Linux version of your computer.
    I installed XP on the larger partition for my wife who won’t use Linux. I kept Xandros on the small partition and it is the default OS. I don’t like it, but keep it around for fast email and web browsing. It is modified to run KDE instead of IceWM.
    I have Ubuntu 8.10 installed on an SD card and 8.04 on another card. Ubuntu 8.10 works great and installed without a problem just from a usb stick. It is the run of the mill version.
    I have also successfully installed eeeDora, PCLOS Minime, ELive, OpenGEU, Mandriva 2008 and SimplyMEPIS 8. However, MEPIS and Mandriva have since stopped working (after same updates).
    Of the lot, I like Ubuntu 8.10 the best and use it regularly.

    • jurivacanze
    • November 19th, 2008

    hi linuxcanuck,

    i’ll leave you here my email address hoping you can help me with my new asus 900.


    juri miorandi

    • linuxowns
    • November 20th, 2008

    @ jurivacanze;

    If you are willing to install Ubuntu but have trouble with it, aks your question in the ubuntuforums.

    • panos
    • November 30th, 2008

    is there any how to so ican install ubuntu 8.10 on my 900 sd card and have a dual boot system first ssd with xp and ubuntu on sd card?

    • linuxowns
    • December 2nd, 2008
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