Sunday, March 22, 2009

My archlinux on eeepc (1)

Maybe it's unfair to archlinux if we just look it as a lightweight
linux distribution but it is really slim by default.

I have installed this distribution several months before. I just used
the command line during last days but finally if found I need a real
desktop instead of the text based command. Because my virus protection
software is invalid on windows. I decided to install a desktop on
archlinux though I really need several commercial software for windows
during my daily life.

1. desktop environment or window manager ?
I need a window manager indeed. A window manager can to anything i
really need on linux, but it seems that I am not very interested in
doing whole the configuration things for a desktop. So if a
lightweight desktop evironment is not a bad idea for me.

GNOME or KDE or Xfce or LXDE ?
i dont like gnome though i have to use it during working days. i like
KDE but it seems very buggy as least for the earlier version serveral
years ago. It seems Xfce and LXDE are both suite me, but xfce uses too
many gnome packages. what's important thing is i dont know if LXDE is
useable ... haha...

Final decision: try LXDE first using the default window manager for
LXDE - openbox

2. base system
pacman -Syu
pacman -Sy gcc g++ make ld
pacman -Sy udev hal syslogd
pacman -Sy vi
pacman -Sy netutils
pacman -Sy dnsutils

3. drivers for eeepc
I installed the wireless driver manually several months ago. I am not
sure if it is supported in the lastest kernel.

4. desktop
pacman -Sy xorg
need to edit the configure file for xorg (xorg.conf) to enable the
touch pad and ajust screen setting. (also multi-touch ??)
install LXDE: just install the default packages. add the start command
to xinit file following the instruction on

panel, file manager, launcher, menu etc. are all included in lxde.
(randr seems not working properly, right?)
bash-3.2# pacman -Sg lxde
lxde gpicview
lxde lxappearance
lxde lxde-common
lxde lxlauncher
lxde lxmenu-data
lxde lxpanel
lxde lxrandr
lxde lxsession-lite
lxde lxtask
lxde lxterminal
lxde menu-cache
lxde pcmanfm

5. applicaitons:
browser: firefox
audio: google music manager (gmm) -- this is my first try, it looks nice
video: mplayer+codecs
IM: pidgin skype
input: scim-pinyin
office: epdfview
tools: wine
fonts: wenquan
programming: cscope

6. what's next?
a. my biggest problem is how to use windows software on it. need to
try wine but what can i do if failed ?
b. fonts may need further configuration because the english fonts is
so ugly in my current setting
c. play with alsa... volume is so small sometimes.
d. play with wireless setting -- randr is not working properly. i may
write a script to manually configure it.
e. tools for hardware: blue tooth ? camera ? battery monitor?
especially, acpi configure ?
f. at least i need to find out how to power off camera and bluetooth
and how to change to save power mode when i am using battery.

maybe i don't have time to solve all of these one by one. it works
well now at least. :)

after all, it is amazing that i did not encounter any issues during
the desktop setting. compared with about 8 years ago when i was
playing with redhat this is paradise.

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