Hold ALT and drag with the mouse to move windows which are larger than the screen.

Scaling the display to 1024x768

If your Eee came with Windows XP you'll remember it had a feature to show the screen in compressed 1024x768 resolution when you press the "change resolution" hotkey. This can be a great help when using applications that don't fit in the standard 1024x600 view.

Unfortunately that doesn't work out of the box in Ubuntu, but you can set it up quite easily once you know how - it took me a while to figure it out so I am sharing it here. First create a script to switch between normal and compressed mode:

mkdir ~/bin
gedit ~/bin/toggle-zoom

Copy/paste the following script into the window (delete the space before the '#' sign, I don't know how to make the wiki show # without putting a space in front!):

 #!/bin/sh

if xrandr | head -n1 | grep -q '1024 x 600'; then
  xrandr --output LVDS1 --scale 1.0x1.28
else
  xrandr --output LVDS1 --scale 1.0x1.0
fi

Save and exit, and then make the script executable:

chmod 755 ~/bin/toggle-zoom

If you just created the ~/bin directory (if it didn't already exist) log out and back in to add it to your path. Then you can open a terminal or press Alt-F2 and run the command by typing:

toggle-zoom

You can also create a launcher on the panel. If you want to assign it to the hotkey you need a program called Eee-control, that you can find here: http://greg.geekmind.org/eee-control/. Once you have installed this, you can assign the display resolution hotkey to "toggle-zoom" and you are set.

Customizing the tiny desktop

You may notice that such a tiny desktop doesn't leave a lot of real estate for applications. There are a few tweaks we can set for the gnome desktop in order to make some more room. I've used these and it does allow for a bit more space in our otherwise cramped display:

Setting smaller font sizes

gconftool-2 --set /apps/nautilus/preferences/desktop_font --type string "Sans 8"
gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/interface/document_font_name --type string "Sans 8"
gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/interface/font_name --type string "Sans 8"
gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/titlebar_font --type string "Sans Bold 8"
gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/interface/monospace_font_name --type string "Monospace 8"

All applications can go full-screen using F11

gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/window_keybindings/toggle_fullscreen --type string "<Alt>F11"

Smaller toolbars using icons only

gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/interface/toolbar_style --type string "icons"

Setting the right mixer (fixes the mute key)

gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/sound/default_mixer_tracks --type list --list-type string "[PCM]"

Do not display the incorrect battery warning at login

gconftool-2 --set /apps/gnome-power-manager/notify/low_capacity --type bool 0

Unconstrain windows to the top of the screen

gconftool-2 --set /apps/compiz/plugins/move/allscreens/options/constrain_y --type bool 0

Making the top & bottom panels smaller

gconftool-2 --set /apps/panel/toplevels/top_panel_screen0/size --type integer 19
gconftool-2 --set /apps/panel/toplevels/bottom_panel_screen0/size --type integer 19

Removing icons from the Menu

gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/interface/menus_have_icons --type bool 0

I have modified a script (gotten from http://wiki.eeeuser.com/getting_ubuntu_8.04_to_work_perfectly) to do this automatically: http://file-hosting.site-hosts.net/eeepc/ubuntueeetweak_eee900_customizations.sh - christian-chess-geek

Consolidate to a single gnome-panel

I've also removed the second panel from my desktop to squeeze that little bit more in. This takes a bit of manual work (assuming you want to keep the existing applets).

  • right-click on all the existing applets and remove the 'Lock to panel'
  • right-click on the applets from the panel you want to remove and select 'Move'.
  • move all the existing applets (show desktop, workspace switcher, trash, etc) to the other panel by dragging them via the mouse.
  • right-click on the now empty panel and 'Delete this panel'.
  • right-click on all the panel applets (after you've placed them) and 'Lock to panel' when you're done.

I found that in order to get everything to fit I removed the Main Menu and replaced it with the "slab" menu, which is in the gnome-main-menu package.

sudo aptitude install gnome-main-menu
  • once you've installed this package you'll likely need to logout and log back in for it to be available.
  • once you've logged back in you can right-click the panel and select 'Add to panel'.
  • select 'Default menu and application chooser' from the list.
  • right-click and 'Remove from panel' your old menu.
  • you'll also likely want to right-click 'Move' the new menu into proper position.

See this blog post for more details and a screenshot:

Overclocking

WARNING: This is for experienced users only. You may experience system lockups if you do not do the steps correctly.

NOTE: This section is not required for the EeePC 900 which runs at 900MHz by default. It only applies to the previous 701 model.

Overclocking the system is what allows the EeePC to run at the advertised 900MHz, vs the 630MHz/675MHz that it actually runs at. I have my machine overclocked and I have not seen any ill effects. Again, this is for experienced users only. Use this at your own risk.

In order to achieve the overclocking we'll need to compile a kernel module available for download at a Google code site.

You'll most likely need the kernel headers installed as well as build-essential before we can get started:

sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-generic

Download the source, and create the module:

wget http://eeepc-linux.googlecode.com/files/eeepc-linux-0.2.tar.gz
tar -xf eeepc-linux-0.2.tar.gz
cd eeepc-linux/module
make

You should now have a file called eee.ko. To make this module a permanent fixture of your current kernel we'll add it to the list of modules that are loaded at boot time and move it to the proper location.

sudo mv eee.ko /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/

Then edit the /etc/modules file and add the module name eee to the end of the file.

Next register and load the new module into the kernel.

sudo depmod -a
sudo modprobe eee

In general, jumping directly to the overclocked speed can cause lockups so smaller jumps toward the speed are suggested. Below is an example of gradually making your way to the overclocked speed:

sudo sh -c 'echo 85 24 1 > /proc/eee/fsb'
sudo sh -c 'echo 100 24 1 > /proc/eee/fsb'
echo "FSB overclocked to 100MHz"

And going back down to the default speeds again:

sudo sh -c 'echo 85 24 1 > /proc/eee/fsb'
sudo sh -c 'echo 70 24 1 > /proc/eee/fsb'
echo "FSB returned to 70MHz"

More information regarding overclocking the EeePC available here: http://wiki.eeeuser.com/howto:overclockfsb

Reducing Drive Writes

  • Set the 'noatime' or 'relatime' mount options in the /etc/fstab file. Look for the 'defaults' section and add 'defaults,noatime'.

UUID=57480a3f-e7db-4a5e-9fca-7df45f5a7d9d /               ext2    defaults,noatime,errors=remount-ro 0       1
  • Put data that is not needed long-term on a tmpfs, which is written to memory. Below is an example:

tmpfs      /var/log        tmpfs        defaults           0    0
tmpfs      /tmp            tmpfs        defaults           0    0
tmpfs      /var/tmp        tmpfs        defaults           0    0
tmpfs      /var/log/apt    tmpfs        defaults           0    0

You will lose the data in these areas after a reboot. Data in /tmp is not a big deal, though you may want logs longer than that. If so see below for additional tips on network based logging.

If you did create a swap partition and want to make sure the EeePC does not use it, you can add the following line to the end of the /etc/sysctl.conf file:

vm.swappiness=0

If you did not create a swap partition at least as large as your RAM, you will not be allowed to hibernate.

2008/03/28 - Ubuntu 8.4 will offer aufs, "AUFS ( Another Union File System ) Root File System On Usb Flash", as an option.

Reducing power consumption

  • Install the powertop package and follow some of its basic suggestions on increasing battery life. The current lack of ACPI support limits what powertop can do.

Adding Netbook Remix features

The eeeuser site contains instructions indicating how to install packages that add Ubuntu Netbook Remix features (which are customised for embedded devices).

Enabling Bootbooster

Boot booster is a function implemented in the BIOS of all eeepcs that will make booting faster by caching data from the BIOS to a partition, thus not needing to go through the BIOS process at the next boot. This saves you a few seconds during the boot process, at least from pressing the power button to going to the boot loader.

Since this requires tampering with partitions, you are recommended to take a backup of you data. This guide is only aimed at advanced users!

Boot into a live linux enviorment.

You'll need to resize your current partitions in order to make room for a new 8Mb partition. Its not confirmed if this matters but the partition should be on the first disk (sda).

* create a primary partition, at least 8 Mb in size

* set the type of the new partition into EFI (FAT-12/16/32)(hex code 0xEF)

* and make a normal boot.

The next reboot should skip the BIOS menu and take you directly to the boot loader.

There are many tools out there that can manipulate partitions, so use your favorite tool to do this. Assuming you've made enough room for a new partition, which is easily done in gparted, here is a step-by-step guide on how to create an EFI partition with the "fdisk" command:

* boot into the live linux enviorment, open the terminal and type

fdisk /dev/sda

(following commands are to be typed without quotes)

* make a new partition by typing "n"

* press "p" for primary partition

* then press "4" (this will create a primary partition as sda4)

* when you're offered to choose a size, make a choice that will create a 8 Mb partition which is 1 cylinder. My partition is located between 489 and 490.

* Next we need to set the type. press "t", then "4", then "ef"

* Press p and you should see something similiar to this:

Device      Boot    Start    End       Blocks     Id     System
/dev/sda4           489      490       16065      ef     EFI (FAT-12/16/32)

Your output might differ slightly, the most important thing is that the Id/system colum and that the blocks size is no less than 16065 blocks (8 Mb).

* Once that's done, press "w" to write your new partition table.

* Reboot. You might need to reboot twice in order for the cache to be created during the first boot.

Remember to disable bootbooster if you're going to change the components of the eeepc. After a normal boot with the new components, it can be safetly re-enabled.

EeePC/Using (last edited 2010-08-01 21:19:12 by thomas-horsten-com)