There are two problems with Ubuntu since 12.10 that relates to the old netbooks:
- Installation requires more than 4GB free space, which means that in cannot be installed on eee 4G and 2G,
- Kernel requires that CPU has PAE.
First problem can be easily solved by booting into Live mode, find certain file in ubiquity’s plugins, and reduce “fudge factor”. There are tutorials how to do this.
The second problem lies in the Kernel, and cannot be easily solved. Since Kernel does not support non-PAE CPU’s, all CPU’s until Pentium3 are not supported. This is the main reason why Canonical has decided to make this move, and it is justified one, since PAE gives small, but significant improvement in performance. However, there is a problem because Intel has dropped PAE from its processors for Pentium M and Celeron M (“M” stands for Mobile, low power and low performance). This brings two another problems with Ubuntu:
- There are lots of fine old notebooks with Pentium M, even 2.2GHz, on which Ubuntu won’t run anymore (while hardware is more than sufficient to run it),
- Lubuntu and Xubuntu won’t run anymore on low spec CPU’s.
Unfortunately, all first eee netbooks were with low power consumption Celeron M, from 700 to 900 series. Ubuntu is a bit heavy for them, but Lubuntu with LXDE would be great.
Leeenux has and always will work on all netbooks, even 2G, with many editions to suit specific hardware those netbooks have.
Here is the list of Asus eee netbooks that use Celeron M (later models use Intel Atom):
- 700 2G Surf,
- 701 4G Surf,
- 701 SD,
- 702 8G,
- 900 16G,
- 900 SD,
- 900 HD,
- 904 HD,
- 1000 HD.
There is another problem with Ubuntu. From 13.04 they have decided to drop Unity2D, which will make it hard for all netbooks that don’t have nice GPU’s to work, reserving Unity only for more advanced computers.
Other netbooks with non-PAE CPUs:
- Dialogue Technology FlyBook V33i
- Sony VAIO PCG-505/CP
- Fujitsu Lifebook P1510
- Panasonic R4
- NEC VersaPro VY10F/BH-L
- Sony VAIO VGN-TX2