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Wednesday, 06 May 2009 14:46

Ubuntu 9.04 UNR on Asus Eee PC 901: good and fast

Last night I downloaded the Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix (UNR) and installed it on my Asus Eee PC 901. Here’s how it all went.

Firstly, I downloaded it from the Ubuntu site by clicking on the link about Ubuntu Netbook Remix. Then I followed the instructions on the site (and echoed in David M Williams’ article here) and put that image onto an old 1 GB USB key.

Booting from the USB key was pretty trivial - hit the Escape key while the Eee PC is booting and select the USB device from the menu. Booting from the USB key only took a few moments.

I went through the installation process, choosing to manual format the partitions to Ext4. I have a Windows XP Eee PC, with the 4GB+8GB SSDs. I still dual-boot with Windows and I choose to have my Linux home and root partitions separate.

I keep the Windows installation on the 4 GB partition (Windows C:\), and install Ubuntu into the 8 GB partition (Windows D:\), using 3.3 GB for the home partition, 3.3 GB for the root partition and some swap space with the remainder.

The entire install process took about 30 minutes and then I rebooted into the new system. UNR booted very quickly and is quite responsive.

Considering the system requirements for Windows 7 as stated by Stan Beer in his article here, I was interested to find out what the disk and RAM usage of UNR was, so I checked using System Monitor and Disk Usage. The results are rather interesting.

Disk usage
/home (where user related files are) = 153 MB
/ (root – where the system files are) = 2.34 GB

Positively miserly when compared to Windows 7 minimum requirements for a 16 GB disk!

RAM usage
At startup: 237.0 MB

And with the following applications running
Firefox: 258.9 MB
Open Office Writer: 278.6 MB
Rythmbox: 294 MB
VLC: 314.1 MB
F-Spot Photo Manager: 339.2 MB
FileZilla: 351.8 MB
Deluge: 372.5 MB
OpenOffice Spreadsheet: 380.9 MB
OpenOffice Presentation: 396.8 MB
Movie Player: 420.8 MB (playing a movie increased it to 440 MB)

At this point I gave up. When you have 10 applications open at the same time and you're still using less than 50% of the available RAM (994 MB), you know something is going well.

The final result is a fast booting, good looking Netbook. Thanks Canonical!
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