Finally, after a few hours of searching, reading and thinking through, I’ve found my “best Linux variant” for my Asus Eee PC 4G netbook. Though Joli OS was my first pick, it seemed that the developers were gearing it to netbook models that are more powerful than my Eee PC. Not to mention it’s roots to Ubuntu.
Puppy Linux was another good choice because it’s lightweight and such, but I feel it needs the “tinker more for your convenience” type of Linux, which at the moment I am not that kind of Linux user. So yeah.
As said in my previous post, my “third opinion” was Peppermint OS, a lightweight Linux flavor that I overlooked at first. It was clean, it’s fast, and the interface is smooth and direct. Though somewhat Ubuntu-based because it came from Linux Mint (as well as Lubuntu and such) and uses the Synaptic Package Manager, the desktop environment is not GNOME-based nor Unity-based, two of which are known to be system resource-intensive. Instead it uses LXDE, a desktop environment that’s fast and efficient, and has a low memory usage compared to GNOME, KDE and others.
And so just a couple of hours ago this netbook of mine underwent another SSD-wipe, then booted Peppermint using the live USB. The first gripe that I have is that the installation window was too tall for the 7-inch screen, and I had no way of scrolling down to see which buttons were the “yes”, “no”, “cancel”, “quit”, etc. Not to mention the installation process acted up on me again by stopping midway and giving me the cyclic cursor of doom (yes, I made that up), which meant something happened along the way, either the live USB is missing something or I’m doing something that isn’t right (which is weird, considering all I wanted was to install the darn thing onto the SSD).
So I went back to the tried-and-tested live CD route, but this time another surprise flanked me: after choosing the “try the Live CD first” option, I was greeted not a desktop, but a command line interface! I mean, what the heck? Two different types of interaction from two kinds of media (optical and thumbdrive), but I only used the same ISO for making either the live CD AND live USB. It was really frustrating.
Unfortunately, I don’t know the command for “install peppermint”, but I do know “sudo reboot”, which the machine gladly recognized. So out with the live CD, and once more I tried my luck with the live USB.
Since the only frustrating thing about installing was the window height of the Peppermint installer, I searched around the web to see if anybody else who has a 4G netbook had the same problem as mine. Turns out there was one article that was posted last December that had the same type of problem, and the author left instructions on how to edit (kudos to you sir!). I did so as well, and when I fired up the installer, I can finally see the “forward”, “back”, and “quit” buttons. Hoooray!
This time the installation process proceeded as straight as it can be: asked me if I want to use the whole partition of the SSD, what timezone I’m in, and so forth. I guess the Linux gods gave me a good second chance to see if I’m worth it. And after a bit of time, I rebooted, changed boot priority of hardware, and the next few blips, I was greeted by the login screen of Peppermint OS.
After a few software/component updates (and leaving me with 800+ MB of free space from the SSD), the netbook’s performance does not suffer at all. the cursor isn’t jittery, opening windows doesn’t lag, and opening Chromium (their default choice of browser) was speedy enough.
Right now I’m finishing this post using the Eee PC. Interface-wise, I don’t see any reason to customize it yet; the default look works for me. But the Site Specific Browsers and Ice Application is something I’d like to experiment, since Peppermint OS boasts itself as a hybrid “cloud-desktop” computer OS. We’ll see.
For now, I’m just happy I’ve found the right OS for my netbook. Though I had to go through all that trouble, it’s prolly safe to say it was worth it.