Saturday, June 5, 2010

Slackware 13.1 on the asus laptop (eee 1005HA)

I've been using this little machine as my main system for the last couple of days since one of my hard drives died... well it was recoverable with zerofill / dban but why bother? The hard drive still under warranty.

back to Slackware 13.1 released on may 24th; it is not really a breakthrough but an update to the legendary linux distribution. The upgrade from 12.1 to 13 was the biggest change just by taking into consideration that since then, Slackware Linux support officially amd64 processors.

I've chose slack because of
Anyways, i wanted to write about my experience with Slackware and the little netbook that could. This machine lack the horsepower but has enough capabilities to print out a nice smile on my face; and Slackware 13.1 has improved the performance in comparison with winXP or kubuntu; wich is amazing.


Installation is sort of easy once you know what you are doing. Slackware sine i don't know when let you do a network install. A boot ISO image for usb pen drive can be used to install from samba shared server over the network. Alien bob has provided with version 13.1 a fancy bash script that create a us installer with the whole Slackware tree.


Once installed... there is literally nothing to do. xorg pulls hardware data directly from HAL. This little machine has an intel graphics card which has been a topic of discussion for long time on linux forums... since slack 13.. no issues. The native driver on the vanilla kernel let me run fancy desktop effects on kde with no issues on an external monitor.. (slow when plugged on a full HD one since graphics memory is shared)

ACPI works fine on the system with no extra packages needed. I get a little more over 6 hours out of a single charge 100% of the time hocked to a wireless network, BUT some functions keys do not work. I'm trying to figure out how to enable fn+f3 for example (that disable the touchpad) to type with no issues...

this is a configuration issue on the acpi deamon that i haven't figured out how to enable... other than that.... everything works.

UPDATE June 11 2010
I've came with a silly and elegant solution to disable the touchpad as in using Fn+F3 key combo. Synaptic touchpad is recognized by default and after some research I've found that you can disable the touchpad using synclient

"synclient -l" will how the settings running. To disable it we want the parameter TouchpadOff to be equal to "1"; achievable by the following shell script:

# get current state
STATE=$(synclient -l | grep TouchpadOff | awk '{ print $3 }')

# change to other state
if [ $STATE = 0 ]; then
synclient touchpadoff=1
elif [ $STATE = 1 ]; then
synclient touchpadoff=0
exit 0


  1. Thanks, i was looking for that :). Did you managed to assigned to FN+F3 or left top dedicated button for it ?


    The problem here is that you'll need to restart the acpi deamon every time you start X.... which sucks.