Wednesday, 5 August 2009

PCLXDE 2009.4 On The Eee PC 900

Somebody posted something on the EeeUser Forum asking about this distro, so I thought I'd take a look.

You can download the distro here (as well as have a look at a list of apps included) and I used Unetbootin to put it on a 1GB USB stick.

If you didn't already know, PCLXDE is a spin of PCLinuxOS which is based on Mandriva.

And so to boot.

Initially, I chose the Default option at boot, but this hung and dropped me to BusyBox. And so did the LiveCD option. Rebooting and choosing the LiveCD_sata_probe brought up the login page and I logged in as guest (password is guest). To use root, the password is root.

A very nice looking desktop, no?

And the PCMan file browser...

And so to internet access. After all, a netbook's not much good without it's wireless. Well, at least for me...

Hit the network tray icon and a list of available networks appears.

Typed in my WEP pass...

And hit Connect.

Oh. Um...

Erm... Hit the Monitor button...

Then the Connect Wifi button...

And... presto! Connected.

I probably went the wrong way about this, but it worked. If there is an easier way, let me know!

Midori is the web browser. Lightweight and snappy, it's perfectly suited to this distro. It also has the speed dial plugin a la Opera, which is nice. I used it to check out YouTube and the BBC iPlayer.

Both sites worked perfectly without the choppiness of some other distros. Switch to fullscreen, however, and the choppiness kicks in.

So, what else works?

Um, actually it's more a case of what doesn't work.
The volume hotkeys (Fn+F7, F8 and F9) had no effect at all, the brightness keys do work (but very slowly), there's no wireless toggle and the webcam (I tried it with Wxcam and Cheese) didn't work properly. I'm pretty sure the webcam can be got going fairly easily though. The wireless doesn't work on coming back from suspend/hibernation.

PCLXDE 2009.4 was never meant to be an Eee specific distro, so it's easy to forgive the stuff that doesn't work. The wireless works and that's all you need to get online and search for solutions if you want them.

It is, however, ideal for older hardware and that's probably where it will be most used.


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