Thursday, September 25, 2008

GOS 3 on a EEE pc 901

I am environment friendly, I am a botanist and probably that's the reason why I love Green. GOS a.k.a Green OS, Good OS or Google OS has always attracted me because of its aesthetics and more importantly the dominance of green (Opensuse being its alter ego). I am a fan of the environmental friendly Asus EEE pc which consumes less power and seemingly helps reduce global warming. Asus has done a great job in introducing a tiny, yet cheap laptop that would shape computing in the years to come. It would be a good combination for GOS and EEE to work together in delivering a great computing experience. So I set out to test my hypothesis by installing GOS on my new EEE 901.

Gos 3 Gadgets was released yesterday, I downloaded and installed it using a USB stick, thanks to Unetbootin. I installed GOS into the 4 GB SSD in the EEE with 600 mb for swap and the rest for / .Sound worked out of the box, and to my surprise the screen resolution of 1024 X 600 was set automatically. But as expected both wired and wireless did not work. The quick fix was to download and install the kernel from using a USB stick. When I rebooted into the custom array EEE kernel both lan and wlan were working fine and I could go immediately online with my 64 bit WEP encrypted home wifi. I added the array repository and gpg keys and updated the system. The special Fn keys for brigtness control worked but the audio control keys did not work.

After updates, i was able to boot from grub screen to desktop in 50 seconds which is impressive. GOS looked pleasing and a joy to use. The use of Google gadets added to the coolness and functionality of GOS. I interchanged the awkwardly placed right shift key and end key to the up and down arrow keys using the script from here. I installed maximus to make use of more space from this here. I did not install the full netbook remix , but only maximus, so that I could claim more space from the tiny laptop screen. The lack of close buttons on the tabs in the panel was bit difficult to close a window (I used right-click and close), but it is a worthy tradeoff for getting more screen space. I wish future editions of GOS will use maximus by default.

Though I am an ardent KDE user, but gnome based GOS still attracts me. It took only a meagre 2.5 GB of disk space so the 4GB SSD in EEE 901 is enough to hold the fully functional OS. I liked the MacOSX like dock which is very attractive and also useful. I prefer the neat dock to the Ubuntu NBR's UME launcher, which looks kind of cluttered all over the desktop. With the use of Mozilla Prism applications like Gmail, Google Docs and Youtube get more space. With Prism the navigation bar and and location bar are gone and whatever inside the window is just the web application (see screenshot below).

Rhythmbox is the default audio player and Totem is the video player. Openoffice is very snappy and it took only an impressive 5.11 seconds to cold start and open an excel file. The system in general is fast and responsive. Adobe Flash was not enabled by default and so were the codecs to play proprietary media formats. But being Ubuntu based, it would be easy for even a newbie to get Flash and other codecs running.


GOS 3 is truly an impressive OS for netbooks. The choice of cloud applications is very good. Though I tried both Ubuntu-eee and EEEbuntu, I prefer GOS for its neat interface. The look and feel is somewhat mimics OSX the use of Prism improves usability in netbooks. Being Ubuntu based, it is easy to get support and the latest packages with the goodness of apt-get. Ubuntu's interface has deterred me from using it, but I love GOS which is an attractively dressed Ubuntu. Overall I liked GOS 3 very much and I plan to keep using it as the main OS in this EEE.


Looks : 9/10
Functionality : 8/10
Installed packages : 8/10
Ease of Use : 7/ 10

Overall : 8/ 10


Minni said...

hhahaha...continue to use GOS OS for how long la ;)???..anyway good blog..I too agree that GOS fuctions good..lets go green!!!!

Ross said...

Heya. Great overview.

If you'd be willing to break it down a bit more step by step, I'd be quite happy to pay for it as a post on Simple Help (one of the sites you linked to in this post).


Sid said...

Hi Ross,

Thanks for your comments. I will take care of your suggestion in future posts. How is it going with the NBR.

Kleinenbroicher said...


I think I remember from eeeXubuntu on the 701 that there are schripts out there for installing the missing hardware drivers and even OSD support.

Shouldn't they work for any Ubuntu based OS?



Sid said...

acpi and OSD worked with the script in the EEEuser forum

Davide said...

thanks a lot for this blog entry.
i have a question: how can i move the three window-buttons from left (à la osx) to right (à la win)? (as in your last screenshot)

Sid said...

Hi Davide,

I don't know exactly how to I change the window buttons from left (Mac) to right. I installed Maximus and then uninstalled it, the buttons were in the right now. You can try this dirty trick.

Sid said...

If you used a USB drive to install GOS, like I did, the /etc/fstab is messed up. So everytime you insert a USB disk, it is not mounted (thinks its a CDROM), here's the fix

or simply edit your /etc/fstab file with gedit

sudo gedit /etc/fstab

remove the line

/dev/sdb1 /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0

save the file and its done

Todd said...

I installed gOS 3 "Gadgets" on my eee pc 1000 and I have no internet at all, neither wifi (as expected) nor ethernet (which perplexes me). I did "sudo modprobe atl1" because I *think* that's the right driver, but nothing improved.

Anyone else have this problem? Did you resolve it?

nielsentyler said...

I used the the following files and commands and recommend it to everyone for getting all your hardware functionality going.

Thanks for the tip Sid.

acpi and OSD worked with the script in the EEEuser forum

Matthias said...

Hi there!

I've installed gOS on my Eee 901 throught this tutorial (which was very useful) but, there is one "bug" which left:
When I want shut off my pc, there is one window which list all my GoogleGadgets and say "they can't be saved" or something like it.

There is someone whose see this, and what can I do for close definitivly this window?


vale said...

Hi everybody.
I am trying hard to load and install ubuntu from my usb to eeepc900 as I always did with other linux distros, but as the boot loader screen appears I press enter to start it live and nothing happens.
what could I do?
any help please?
thank u

MowerL said...

Which goddammn linux-image should I use?!