Fernando J. Pereda’s blag

October 19, 2008

EeePC 901: Fighting the suckiness

Filed under: blag — Tags: , , , , — Fernando J. Pereda @ 3:04 pm

Ok, so the machine is very nice but the software is very annoying. These are some ‘first tweaks’:

Edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf and set a bigger Virtual so that you can use a big resolution if you are going to use the Eee with an external monitor. You will still need to use xrandr by hand because their GUI has the resolutions hardcoded.

Copy IceWM’s config and set KeySysWindowList and KeySysWinListMenu to something. Don’t leave it empty or the power button will open the annoying window list.

Some people seem to like that shitty tabbed interface called ‘Easy Mode’ that is AsusLauncher. But the thing is that I really hate it, removing it is stupidly tricky, dirty and hacky. AsusLauncher is not a proper display manager, it is an aplication that just runs on top of icewm and asks you for a password. To remove it, this is what I did:

Copy /usr/bin/startsimple.sh to ~/.xsession and remove all the useless stuff. I left mine like this:


BRN=`cat /etc/acpi/brn` >dev/null 2>&1
if [ -z "$BRN" ]; then
echo $BRN > /proc/acpi/asus/brn

sudo /usr/bin/sessreg -a -l :0.0 -u /var/run/utmp user 
if [ -d /home/user/Desktop ]; then
    if [ -d /home/user/.Desktop.bak ]; then
        rm -rf /home/user/.Desktop.bak
    if [ -d /home/user/.Desktop ]; then
        mv /home/user/.Desktop /home/user/.Desktop.bak
    mv /home/user/Desktop /home/user/.Desktop
xhost + si:localuser:root # Allow local user root only to access the diplay

xset dpms 0 0 0
sleep 2

[ -e /var/lock/xandros-rclock/webcam.lock ] && sudo rm /var/lock/xandros-rclock/webcam.lock
[ -e /var/lock/xandros-rclock/webcam.owner ] && sudo rm /var/lock/xandros-rclock/webcam.owner
sudo rm -f /tmp/nologin
rm -f /tmp/.fastlaunch

exec icewm-session

There is something racy going on with that script, the sleep 2 line seems to be important. Then some stuff has to go into .icewm/startup to start network and battery applets and AsusLauncher (yes, AFTER icewm started….). This is hacky but seems to do a good job:


touch /home/user/.doingLogin
/opt/xandros/bin/AsusLauncher &
while [ -f /home/user/.doingLogin ] ; do sleep 0.2 ; done
killall AsusLauncher

powermonitor &
minimixer &
networkmonitor2 ra0 &
networkmonitor2 -i eth0 &
networkmonitor2 -i ppp0 &
/usr/bin/dispwatch &
/usr/bin/keyboardstatus &
/opt/xandros/bin/start_netserv &
/usr/local/bin/asusosd &

If the order of applets in the notification area is important it is possible to tweak where they appear by adding some sleep commands. I don’t particularly care though.

The acpi script that reacts to the power button will check whether AsusLauncher or KDE are running and if neither is, it just sends USR2 to init. This is a bit too much, editing this file was easy, my /etc/acpi/powerbtn.sh looks like this:

# /etc/acpi/powerbtn.sh
# Initiates a shutdown when the power putton has been
# pressed.

if [ ! -f /home/user/.doingLogin ] ; then
        DISPLAY=:0 su -c /opt/xandros/bin/shutdown_dialog user &

At this point, you’ve lost direct access to some of the applications that were there in the EasyMode interface, the paths for those applications are in /opt/xandros/share/AsusLauncher/simpleui.rc. Grab the ones you want and add them to IceWM’s menu.

I think I’ve done some more tweaks but those are the big ones. I’m hating this Xandros thing more and more, and I guess I’ll install Debian sooner rather than later.

— ferdy


  1. Ferdy-

    I share your pain. I’m kind of a newbie, but I think I have to replace the package networkmonito2, hopefully from a repos. As you may know, the apt-get on these things is kind of cranky too, especially newbies.

    Do you know a repos that has it?


    Comment by Bill — March 5, 2009 @ 5:26 am

  2. @Bill: I think I should blog about it, but I ended up ditching Xandros. I installed Debian on it and works like a charm… haven’t had a problem since then. I really do recommend others do the same. Xandros is a bad joke…

    — ferdy

    Comment by Fernando J. Pereda — March 5, 2009 @ 9:08 am

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