[Debian-eeepc-devel] Fw: Debian and the EeePC

Ben Armstrong synrg at sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca
Thu Jun 19 11:00:22 UTC 2008

My response to Robert, Martin and the others at Asus:

On Wed, 18 Jun 2008 19:47:32 +0200
Martin Michlmayr <tbm at cyrius.com> wrote:

> Ellis, thanks for making the contact.

Thanks, Ellis and Martin for getting us started working together.

> Robert, I suggest you talk to Ben Armstrong who is working on Debian
> support for the EeePC.  Ben, maybe you can give brief a status report.

Sure, Martin.  Robert, we keep our todo list here:


I have asked the team to update this page so you can get a more
accurate picture of where we are today.

The key areas where work is happening now are in the installer, ensuring
that as much as possible is set up automatically for the user and that
the install will run a variety of situations (e.g. different network
needs: WPA, pppoe, etc.) and fine-tuning the ACPI scripts to ensure
that they are reliable and implement a good default set of behaviours
for the user, while allowing some configuration by more experienced
users & users with special needs.

There are a couple of interesting projects that are happening at the
same time.  One is to make a flavour of the installer that installs
LXDE (http://lxde.org/) by default.  They have written a drop-in
replacement for AsusLauncher to provide a desktop like the "easy mode"
of the default Eee PC OS.  Underlying this are a collection of small,
open source, efficient programs integrated to provide a desktop
well-suited to the limited resources of the Eee.  This system is
modular, making it possible for more advanced users to customise the
system at will, which is an important subgoal of our project.

A second effort is to reduce the time it takes to boot the Eee while
remaining in compliance with Debian policy and standards.  There are
some notes here: http://wiki.debian.org/DebianEeePC/Boot.  While we are
impressed by how fast the Eee boots with the default OS, we are
concerned about things working as expected in this environment as the
user installs additional packages, and so would like to aim higher than
just Eee-specific tweaks, using an approach that could be implemented
for all Debian users.

Finally, we are doing what we can to encourage people to help improve
the development of wifi drivers.  We're waiting for the Madwifi project
to release support for the chipset in the Eee and have successfully
tested their latest code from revision control.  However, our hope lies
in the Ath5k project, that they would produce an open source driver to
replace Madwifi.  A pure Debian install for the Eee cannot exist
without this.

More work remains to be done, particularly in the area of filing bugs
and patches against applications to make them fit on the 701's display,
but at this point, we're more concerned that we deal with the key areas
outlined above before proceeding to fine tuning of individual

 ,-.  nSLUG    http://www.nslug.ns.ca   synrg at sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca
 \`'  Debian   http://www.debian.org    synrg at debian.org
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