fedora 9 on the eee pc 901

i need to make a note of all the behaviours of fedora 9 on my eee pc 901 before installing fedora 10 beta on it.

main points are:

  • have to build wireless drivers from source from here – currently version 1.8.0 – which is, hopefully, the same as the 1.7.0 i used plus the patches i had to apply!
  • the wireless driver doesn’t appear to have a monitor mode
  • without a usb dvd drive you have to boot from the SD slot or an external usb hard drive. this works with livecd (if you’ve got the livecd creator tools) but not with the DVD image.
  • after a suspend/resume the brightness control doesn’t work
  • suspend by closing the lid works fine but suspend on idle does a hibernate instead
  • there’s noise from the speakers if they’re not muted – which is a shame on an utterly silent system
  • occasionally the back-light switches off (possibly only after screensaver and screen blank when on AC) and it doesn’t come back on until you use a Fn brightness key. it’s still possible it’s actually any key and it’s just gone to sleep
  • 3D works pretty well for compiz but it goes a bit wrong when you try running a 3D or Xv (video) app at the same time – particularly troublesome when that app defaults to fullscreen mode – e.g. blender or miro. watching DVDs or using stellarium or blender is fine with compiz disabled
  • no middle mouse button (big problem in blender) and we’ve moved to xinput driver so it’s a bit of a pain enabling support again – i created /etc/hal/fdi/policy/3button.fdi with
    <match key="info.product" string="ImPS/2 Logitech Wheel Mouse">
     <merge key="input.x11_options.Emulate3Buttons" type="string">true</merge>

    in it.  can’t remember where i read that – i think it’s the sum of several hints and previous hal experience.

  • sometimes if you type too fast keystrokes (especially shift keys) are missed
  • when compiz is enabled you get a brief flash of the desktop before the password prompt is displayed when the system has been locked or suspended
  • sometimes networkmanager disables networking entirely – not sure why.  i think it only happens after a suspend/resume – but only occasionally.
  • 3D does have its limits – flightgear manages only a couple of frames per second (might not have anything to do with the 3D and might be fixable in the settings) – celestia doesn’t work at all and google-earth runs a several seconds per frame.  also i’ve switched off the compiz cube as there’s a little bit of tearing when it spins.  the left/right slide is much more understated anyway.
  • many bad apps assume you’ll have 600 vertical pixels to play with.  i think there might be a compiz plugin to run the entire screen like a virtual display scaled down – i’ll see if i can find that.
  • everything looks sooo pretty on it that  a) i’ve forgotten how hideous the ‘pearl white’ plastic is and b) i really don’t want to do a clean re-install.

on the plus side:

  • the screen is very nice
  • it plays DVDs – we’ll see how it copes with HD content soon
  • desktop effects, google gadgets and cairo-dock look great
  • it’s completely silent
  • battery life is good – 4-6 hours
  • i’ve installed all the good office, internet and graphics apps without problems
  • it fits in a small bag
  • i can afford it
  • it certainly runs F10 to some extent
  • you can jam a custom touch screen and 3G slot inside it!

happy days.

well, that’s as much as i can remember for now.  on with the show – let’s trash it and stick F10 beta on instead.

oh yes, the 901 actually has two SSDs – 4G + 16G for linux, 4G + 8G for windows.  nice.  so i tried partitioning them with some RAID stuff.  here’s some hdparm numbers for F9:

cached reads (memory speed) are around 550MB/s

the 4G disk goes at around 26-28MB/s

the 16G at around 24-27MB/s

RAID1 at around 24-26MB/s

RAID0 at around 30MB/s

with O_DIRECT (unbuffered):

4G 31MB/s

16G 28.5MB/s

RAID1 31MB/s

RAID0 30MB/s



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