EeePC - Linux OS

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The eeePC can be configured with many versions of Linux but this section deals with how to integrate the OS that ships with it (commonly called eeeOS)

Information on loading/configuring other versions cab be found elsewhere (if someone makes the pages that is)

Easy Guide to setting up the eeePC for use in Schools

To use the eeePC usefully, some configuration needs to be done.

(Optional = some useful additional tips for the Desktop to aid configuration - not essential - just useful!)


Basic Setup

  • Select the Settings tab and then Personalisation.
  • Enter a Full name (no idea what affect this has at the moment - I'm entering a basic domain user logon name but don't know whether this is useful!)

Put the domain users password in (Why not!)

  • Make sure keyboard layout is set to English/UK and all the following ticked
    • Log me in automatically.
    • Turn off display.
    • Easy Mode (if available).

Wireless Network Setup

Double-click on the little wireless icon at bottom of screen.

If no networks appear in the box but YOU KNOW that at least one is available then disable wireless (by unchecking Enable wireless) - WAIT TILL THE CHECK BOX CLEARS (it takes 30 seconds!). Then re-enable wireless - - WAIT TILL THE CHECK BOX ENABLES (it takes 30 seconds!) and then...

Select the network you want to connect to and press Connect.

(I don't have protected APs so don't know what happens if you do but I'm sure the dialog boxes are self-explanatory!).

Select Close.

Select Internet main tab and select Network.

Find the connection you have just made - select it and click on Properties - change Start mode to On Boot - press OK.

Your machine should now be setup to connect to your wireless network every-time you switch on!

Proxy settings (for Internet access)

Firefox

  • Select the Internet main tab and launch Web.
  • Select Edit - Preferences and then the Advanced tab at the top. Then select the Network sub-tab.
  • Select Settings - Manual proxy configuration and then enter your proxy name or ip address and the port number needed.
  • Then select Use this proxy server for all protocols.
  • Additional, it can be a good idea to add your local network IP range e.g. 10.12.32.0/24 for a small network with subnet mask of 255.255.255.0, to the "No Proxy for" list (separate all entries with a ,)
  • Then select OK and Close.

Additional tip to clone Firefox settings to other machines

Using a proxy with Apt

Create a file named /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/proxy as a super-user Add the following to the file:

// Configure apt to use a proxy (unless one is set using an environment variable
Acquire::http::Proxy "http://myproxy:prot";
Acquire::ftp::Proxy "http://myproxy:port";

Printing

If your lucky and your printer is supported by eeeOS, then adding a printer is just as easy as adding a printer in Windows and doesn't really require an explanation.

Accessing network Windows file shares

Windows files shares can be accessed via the normal file open/save dialogs in a very similar fashion to WindowsXP.

e.g in OpenOffice Writer just click on My Eee PC when opening files and navigate to your windows file shares via the Windows Network icon.

The issue with using this method, is that some applications (e.g. OpenOffice) can't properly access files via this method and they end up making a copy of the file that you can then alter and re-save locally - you cannot directly edit the files held on the windows share.

The way around this is to mount the windows share. You can do this via the File Manager BUT you will get asked questions at reboot and pupils can easily say no to this.

Amother method is to have a shortcut on the desktop that mounts the share (Not managed to do this yet!)

Automatically connecting Windows shares

A lot of the following information comes from the main source of eeePC info - http://forum.eeeuser.com/ but has been tailored for primary school use.

Open a Terminal (CTRL-ALT-T).

Create the following script in a text editor. I personally use kwrite - just enter sudo kwrite on the command line.

#!/bin/bash

export DISPLAY=:0.0

MYNETSTART=/home/user/.network-autostart

if [ -x $MYNETSTART ]; then
   su -c "$MYNETSTART" user
fi

Save it as /etc/network/if-up.d/mynetstart and make it executable

sudo chmod 777 /etc/network/if-up.d/mynetstart

Note:- This script is overkill to just run a network start script (/home/user/.network-autostart) but it can also be used to launch GUI apps such as Skype and is therefore quite a useful script to be used for other purposes later.

Scripts in folder /etc/network/if-up.d only get executed when a valid network connection is made and therefore no attempt is made to connect any windows shares before the wireless is up and running properly.

Now create the following script (which actually connects a windows share to the uses home folder!) Just use kwrite (no need for sudo kwrite)

#!/bin/bash
#
# subsitute a username/password that allows access to the windows share on
# your server - I use asus and asus to keep things simple
#
# subsitute the ip of your windows server for 10.81.61.3 and the name of your windows share for classwork.
#

cat /etc/mtab | grep classwork
if [ $? != 0 ]; then
      sudo mkdir /home/user/classwork
      sudo chmod 777 /home/user/classwork
      sudo mount -t smbfs -n -o username="asus",password="asus",uid="user",gid="user",iocharset=utf8,file_mode=0666,dir_mode=0777 //10.81.63.3/classwork /home/user/classwork;
fi

and save it as /home/user/.network-autostart

Make this one executable as well

sudo chmod 777 /home/users.network-autostart

Test it out by manually running .network-autostart

sh /home/user/.network-autostart

and make sure it doesn't give any errors and that your network share and files then appear in File Manager.

If you get an error about SMB signing you will have to disable SMB signing on your windows server

From "Administrative Tools" open "Domain Controller Security Policy"

Select "Local Policies" ---> "Security Options" folder

Double-click "Microsoft network server: Digitally sign communications (always)", and then click Disabled to prevent SMB packet signing from being required.

Click OK.

Reboot the server or run "gpupdate" to apply the Group Policy change.

Finally, re-boot the machine and see it if automounts once the wireless network has connected.

simple samba instructions

http://wiki.eeeuser.com/howto:setupsamba?s=windows%20network

Adding Items to the 'Simple' menu

Open a Terminal (CRTL-ALT-T) and backup the file simpleui.rc

sudo su
cd /opt/xandros/share/AsusLauncher
cp simpleui.rc simpleui.rc.bk

edit the simpleui.rc file using

nano simpleui.rc

or for the less geeky amongst us

kwrite simpleui.rc 

to add any menu entries you require. The format is self-explanatory (look at Parcel entries to just add an item to an existing tab). Extra png files can be added as icons.

Restart the machine to display any changes you have made.

Adding rdesktop

From a terminal, open the simpleui.rc:

sudo kwrite /opt/xandros/share/AsusLauncher/simpleui.rc

At the end of the file, before the closing </simpleui> enter the following to create a shortcut to rdektop:

<parcel simplecat="Work" extraargs="/usr/bin/rdesktop -f -u '' terminalservername"
icon="iptv_norm.png"
selected_icon="iptv_hi.png" >
<name lang="en">Terminal Server</name>
</parcel> 


Some users reposrt a segfault with Rdesktop workaround: http://forum.eeeuser.com/viewtopic.php?id=9025

Cheating ;-)

If you cannot be doing with all this typing lark, download the 'Easy Mode Editor'.

  • Download the latest package from http://download.projectsakura.com/eeepc/emeditor.html and then browse to the downloaded .DEB file in file manager
  • Right-click the .DEB and select 'Install DEB file'
  • Press HOUSE-t to open a terminal
  • Type emeditor at the command prompt (you could even add an icon for emeditor to save you this hassle in the future)

Adding More Applications

Installing Realplayer

I don't recommend following this bit! The Debian archives aren't 100% compatible and this method does not explain about 'pinning' - Ric_

You need to be root so on the terminal (Ctrl+Alt+t) type Code:

sudo konqeror 

in the location bar, type /etc/apt. then right click on the 'sources.list' file and select > open with text editor. Append the following into it and then save the file.


deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org stable main
deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org testing main
deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org sid main
deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org experimental main
deb-src http://www.debian-multimedia.org sid main

back on the command line type

 sudo apt-get install debian-multimedia-keyring
 sudo apt-get update

and

 sudo apt-get install w32codecs

The .rm files should now play in mplayer.

Adding More Applications (Part 1)

(From http://eeepcrepos.tuxfamily.org/)

  • Edit /etc/apt/sources.list as root
  • Add the line deb http://download.tuxfamily.org/eeepcrepos/ p701 main
  • As root run aptitude update
  • Use aptitude to select and install the packages... some good ones:
    • Miro – For downloading podcasts and Internet media
    • Planner – Project management app (Gannt charts, etc.)
    • Kivio – Flowcharting application

Alternatively, use 'synaptic' to add the repo and download new packages.

Adding More Applications (Part 2)

(From http://ruckman.net/tech/2007/08/17/eeepc-xandros-added-repositories/)

It is also possible to use the standard Xandros repositories to install applications. In order to stop these 'taking over' the EeePC there is a need to perform some jiggery pokery.

  • Open a command prompt
  • Type 'sudo su' to become root
  • Edit /etc/apt/sources.list and add the following:
deb http://xnv4.xandros.com/xs2.0/upkg-srv2 etch main contrib non-free
deb http://dccamirror.xandros.com/dccri/ dccri-3.0 main
deb http://www.geekconnection.org xandros4 main
  • Create the file /etc/apt/preferences containing the following:
Package: *
Pin: origin update.eeepc.asus.com
Pin-Priority: 950

Package: *
Pin: origin xnv4.xandros.com
Pin-Priority: 900

Package: *
Pin: origin dccamirror.xandros.com
Pin-Priority: 850

Package: *
Pin: origin www.geekconnection.org
Pin-Priority: 800
  • Run 'aptitude update' to update the apt cache
  • Use either Aptitude or Synaptic to select and install new packages such as Audacity

Making 'Simple Mode' less simple

Once you start pimping the EeePC, you will soon run out of room for your icons. Rather than using the 'Advanced Mode' you can simply add a program menu. Of course, you will need to add items to the this start menu.

  • As root edit /etc/X11/icewm/preferences
  • Find the line reading TaskBarShowStartMenu=0 and replace the zero with a one
  • As root edit /etc/X11/icewm/menu
  • Entr5ies take the form prog "Item Name" app command

It is also handy to remove some of the taskbar clutter – we will remove the silly 'tip' application and the shutdown icon since it's easier just to press the power button!

  • As root edit /etc/X11/icewm/toolbar2
  • Simply add # to the beginning of the lines for these two apps (if you don't like the task manager that can be commented out too)

The num-lock and caps-lock status icons take up heaps of space too:

  • As root edit /usr/bin/startsimple.sh
  • Comment out the line reading (sleep 3; /usr/bin/keyboardstatus)&

After doing all this, restart the EeePC for all the changes to take affect.