asus eee pc 1000he netbookI bought myself an Asus EEE PC 1000HE yesterday, probably the best netbook out right now. Cheap, nice design, light weight, good performance and amazing battery capacity. It came with a 160 Gb HDD with Windows XP Home pre-installed on it, something I ofcourse did not want, I had my eyes on Ubuntu but it proved to be abit of a challenge to get it installed.

The netbook ofcourse comes with no CD/DVD drive or disk drive, so options to install another operating system is to boot on network (PXE/BOOTP) or by USB-memory of some kind, but both are abit difficult to get it working. Also, even if you get it booting you will find that the Ubuntu installer does not find any disk to install to. There is a good page with installation guides of different methods, but none of them really worked for me since I couldn’t boot on my USB-disk and the network installation image did not recognize the network interface. Too bad because I like network installations. Here’s how I did it…

I decided not to try the normal Ubuntu distribution, but rather a special Ubuntu compilation (modified kernel) that has all the drivers ready for the Eee PC, it’s called Eeebuntu. Eeebuntu comes in three different variations, “standard” which has everything, “base” which is a slim installation and “netbook/NBR” which is a tight install with NBR launcher, a special desktop and menu system for netbooks.

I got myself a portable CD/DVD-drive and plugging it in to one of the USB-ports, booting up on the DVD I burned with the Eeebuntu NBR image. After booting up on the Live CD option (not installing right away), I had to start gdparted (“sudo gdparted”) to edit the partition table. First I cleared everything, creating a new msdos partition table, leaving 160 Gb of unallocated space. After that I could launch the installer (“install”-icon) and it would recognize the disk and I could partition it.

eeebuntu nbr screenshot

The installation went smoothly, I did some updates and configurations and everything works right out of the box, the WIFI, sound, bluetooth and everything. It comes with most of the softwares you’ll need; MSN clone, VLC player, Firefox browser (I don’t want this tho, going to replace it ASAP), OpenOffice, file synchronizer and remote desktop client and much more. It looks good too. Now I just have to get used to the touchpad and keyboard and put it to good use :).