I have an Eee PC 900 which I wanted to use with Easy Peasy, a netbook version of Ubuntu. But I didn't want to touch the original Xandros installation. After much fumbling and surfing, I worked out how to do it. The solution is to install it to an 8GB SDHC card which you can then leave in the card slot and conveniently take around with you. It's also persistent, so files, settings and updates all work as one would expect with any standard install.
Here are the (currently) pertinent links. All I can say is this worked for me. I take no responsibility if it doesn't work for you!
- Go to geteasypeasy.com and click on the download link
- Download the iso file to your computer of choice
- Follow the instructions to create a USB stick installation. The instructions you follow will depend on which computer you're using to create the USB stick in question. If it's Windows, you'll need to download this helper application (unetbootin). If it's any flavour of Linux, then you'll need to click here
- Run the helper application with an empty USB stick plugged in. Install the iso to the USB stick
- Once everything is installed on the USB stick, cancel the reboot on unetbootin, safely remove the USB stick and go to your Eee PC 900 (I assume it works with 701s - but I am awaiting feedback on this)
- Make sure your Eee PC is switched off
- Plug in the USB stick. Turn it on. At the first grey start-up screen, press the ESC key. Choose the USB stick to boot from. Wait a bit - it takes a little longer than the normal Xandros installation to boot up
- If you haven't already, put your 8GB SDHC card (I used a Maxell Class 4 - I'm sure other cards by reputable manufacturers will however work) into a USB card reader. Do not put it into the card slot itself - if you do, you will probably not be able to install Easy Peasy to the card. Then plug the card reader into one of the other USB ports
- On the Easy Peasy screen, go to the Administration tab and click on Install. Follow the instructions until you get to the page which asks you how to partition the hard drive. Choose the second Guided instructions radio button and then ensure you select the drive option which says something like "sdg" (in my case, it was the third in the list) - this will be the external card reader
- Continue by following the instructions on the Install program. Ensure that the booter is installed to the same "sdg" (or equivalent) drive
- The program may take between half an hour to forty minutes to copy the files from the USB stick to the SD card in the card reader. The Eee PC's own hard drives should only be accessed right at the end as grub looks for other operating systems. If the hard drive light lights up during installation, something is surely going wrong! But it may be too late to do anything about it ...
- Once it's installed, you can quit the USB version of Easy Peasy, power down the Eee PC, remove the USB stick from the USB port, the card reader from the Eee PC and the SD card from the card reader. You can now put the SD card directly into the Eee PC's own card slot
- Go through the same process to boot up as before - wait for the first grey start-up screen, click ESC, choose the SD card option to boot from and you'll now be booting up Easy Peasy from the card
- You can now configure your wireless connection by inputting the passphrase or passkey by clicking on the network icon at the top right of the screen. Once configured, go to Update Manager and update your software. I haven't gone as far as updating Ubuntu itself but I was able to install all other 69 packages that required updating with no problem whatsoever
I ran unetbootin under Windows Vista and installed Easy Peasy from the USB stick to the SDHC card via the card reader under a live version of Easy Peasy running on the Eee PC itself.
As always, the only caveat you should really keep in mind is to back up any important data before you try new installations of operating systems. If in doubt, back out!
Comments and rewrites of the above most welcome.