ASUS Eee PC 701

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Most of this information is from the Arch Forum. You can also find a lot of helpful information from the EEEUser Forum.

Before You Begin

Avoiding Pitfalls

The install is pretty normal, except that you'll need to avoid the pitfalls of our alternative Linux install:

  1. Never choose to use a journaling file system on the SSD partitions
  2. Never use a swap partition on the SSD
  3. Edit your new installation fstab to mount the SSD partitions "noatime"
  4. Never log messages or error log to the SSD

The rules ensure that we won't reach the maximum limit of writes on our SSD faster than we should, although this is being contested (see this link and this other link).

Some other minor modifications can be made to decrease number of non-mandatory writes by applications: deactivate Template:Filename in vi, deactivate less history file (Template:Filename), and so on.

Choosing Your Installation Media

The Eee PC does not have an optical drive installed on the machine. This means you will need to install Arch Linux through one of the alternative methods:

  1. USB stick (Recommended)
  2. External USB CD-ROM drive
  3. Network (PXE)

Installing Arch Linux

With the release of the 2009.08 installation media, installing Arch Linux on Asus Eee PC model 701 is pretty easy and straightforward since the stock kernel on Arch installation media support all of the 701 hardwares out of the box.

Therefore, aside from the following pointers specific to the 701 described below, there shouldn't be any other major differences between installing Arch Linux on the 701 and any other computer. You should be able to successfully install Arch on the 701 by following instructions on Beginners' Guide without any problem.

Prepare Hard Drive

The most important different between the 701 and other machines is that the 701 use SSD drive instead of normal hard drive. This section advise on how to set up a partition scheme that is best suited to the 701.

The default Eee PC drive is split up into four partitions (here is some information about the partitioning):

  • It is easiest to wipe the existing partitions and use one or two partitions for your install. One partition would be just '/', and two partitions would be '/boot' and '/'.
  • Choose "NONE" for swap in case your eee has a SSD (see #2 in Avoiding Pitfalls)
  • Select "ext2" as your filesystem in case your eee has a SSD (see #1 in Avoiding Pitfalls). If your model has a standard HD choose "ext3".

Install X

Install X by follow instructions on the Beginners' Guide, then install the Intel graphics driver:

# pacman -S xf86-video-intel

You must also install the Synaptics driver to have touchpad working properly (not needed for Eee PC 900):

# pacman -S xf86-input-synaptics

With the latest version of X from extra repository, X should work on the 701 without any need for xorg.conf. However, if for some reason you wish to use an xorg.conf file, you can use an old example Xorg configuration file for Asus Eee PC model 701 as a template or automatically generate a new one by running the following command:

# Xorg -configure

Consult Xorg Input Hotplugging for more information on how to config input devices using HAL.

The synaptics stuff can be removed if you have a EEE PC 900. The Template:Codeline line is important if you need a non-default XkbLayout, because if you don't have it, xorg will find 3 keyboards (at least with the 900 model). The Modeline has obviously to be removed or modified if you dont have a model with this resolution.

Getting Hot Keys, Graphic Indicators and Shutdown with the Power Button Working

If you want to have working hot keys (wifi, brightness, volume etc), an OSD, and be able to assign actions to things like the powerbutton and closing the lid, then you should install ighea's acpi-eee package.

ighea's acpi-eee

Get the latest package from here.

The package can be easily installed with:

# pacman -U acpi-eee-10.0-1-i686.pkg.tar.gz

See messages during installation for more details and don't forget to edit Template:Filename to suit your tastes.

  • For those who use the wireless on/off acpi command; the Template:Codeline setting in Template:Filename, when applicable, should at least release the network. For example, using netcfg2, Template:Codeline will release the connections from before disabling wireless, allowing new ones to be made without netcfg thinking that it's already connected. It is also possible to reconnect to your previous network, however, the network tool you use needs to have a somewhat lengthy timeout as it takes 15-20 seconds for your wireless device to reappear.
Note: Make sure asusosd is enabled on startup if you want to have the Graphic Indicators from Xandros. To run asusosd simply type Template:Codeline at a command prompt.

Asus Eee PC model 701 repository from toofishes

Toofishes created a repository for the 701. The repository contained customized kernel built specifically for the 701 and some additional packages.

While the stock Arch kernel works very well with the 701, toofishes kernel have the following advantages:

  • Faster boot time – because most of the modules have been compile into the kernel, no time is wasted waiting for the modules to load
  • No need to generate initial ramdisk every time a kernel is upgrade
  • Small size (around 4MB)

To use the repository, add:

Server =

to your Template:Filename and then issue:

pacman -Syu

Package List

Currently, toofishes' repository contains the following packages:

  • kernel-eee – customized kernel for Asus Eee PC model 701
  • luvcview – webcam program for testing webcam driver

Kernel-eee Installation Instruction

Simply use pacman to install the package you need. Install the packages with this command:

# pacman -S kernel-eee

then, add the following to Template:Filename; note that no initrd is needed:

# (2) Arch Linux
title  Arch Linux Eee kernel
root   (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuzeee root=/dev/sda1 ro

Restart and select Arch Linux Eee kernel from the grub boot menu.

Additional Tips & Tweaks

Tweaking kernel-eee

Toofishes' kernel, also known as kernel-eee, can be recompiled to include custom features. You can download toofishes' kernel PKGBUILD and all the nesseary files from his gitweb by installing the git package and using the following command:

$ git clone git://

or if you are behind a proxy and can't use the git protocol:

$ git clone

There are two ways to tweak the kernel. The first is simply to edit the Template:Filename file with your favorite editor and the second is to insert a Template:Codeline line into the PKGBUILD before the kernel's compilation.

Using Wine with toofishes' kernel

Note: Since kernel-eee 2.6.32eee, wine is working fine without the need of customizing toofishes' kernel as explained below

Normally, Wine won't work with toofishes' kernel because it is compiled with VMSPLIT_2G_OPT option. In order to use Wine with toofishes' kernel, you have to recompile his kernel with VMSPLIT_3G option.

Download the kernel PKGBUILD and all the necessary files from toofishes' gitweb using the above instructions, then change the following lines in the Template:Filename file from this:

 231 # CONFIG_HIGHMEM4G is not set
 232 # CONFIG_HIGHMEM64G is not set
 233 # CONFIG_VMSPLIT_3G is not set
 234 # CONFIG_VMSPLIT_3G_OPT is not set
 235 # CONFIG_VMSPLIT_2G is not set
 237 # CONFIG_VMSPLIT_1G is not set

to this:

 231 # CONFIG_HIGHMEM4G is not set
 232 # CONFIG_HIGHMEM64G is not set
 234 # CONFIG_VMSPLIT_3G_OPT is not set
 235 # CONFIG_VMSPLIT_2G is not set
 236 # CONFIG_VMSPLIT_2G_OPT is not set
 237 # CONFIG_VMSPLIT_1G is not set

Compile and install the kernel and Wine should now work.

Power down with the power button

Note: If you are using ighea's acpi-eee or dkite's acpid_eee package then you should already be able to shutdown by pressing the power button and should not need to do this.

The two alternatives here are described in Allow users to shutdown.

If you don't already or don't plan to use sudo, it may be simpler to use the setuid /sbin/halt method, otherwise using sudo is preferred.

Below are all the steps required for the sudo method. If you want to use the setuid method, read the article linked above and perform the 'power' file step here, while omitting the 'sudo' in it.

# pacman -S sudo

As root, do the following:

# visudo

Add the following line to the file:

USER HOST = NOPASSWD: /sbin/poweroff

Where Template:Codeline is the user you want to be able to power down with and Template:Codeline is your hostname (from Template:Filename).

Now, create a file called Template:Filename, containing:

# /etc/acpi/events/power
# This is called when the user presses the power button

event=button/power (PWR.||PBTN)
action=sudo /sbin/poweroff

Make sure that you execute:

# /etc/rc.d/acpid start

And/or add acpid to the daemons list in Template:Filename:

DAEMONS=(hal, acpid ...)

Use cpufreq for power saving

Note: toofishes dropped CPU scaling from his latest kernel builds, due to the fact, confirmed by other users, that there were no effective power savings with p4-clockmod's module, and it introduced "unacceptable latency", even with relatively low percentage up thresholds.

Install cpufrequtitls:

# pacman -S cpufrequtils

For scaling down the processor you have to load the p4_clockmod module. Insert it into your Template:Filename MODULES array for loading it at startup.

MODULES=(... p4_clockmod ...)
Note: The merits of p4-clockmod are debatable. Particularly on the EEEPC 701, battery time isn't extended due to its usage, and some users have even reported less battery duration. More hints to the reasons why can be read in this fine blog entry.

Add 'cpufreq' to the DAEMONS array in Template:Filename to have it start on startup.

DAEMONS=(... cpufreq ...)

Add the following into Template:Filename:


With enabled cpufreq it scales the processor between 113MHz up to max. frequency. That should save a lot on battery power. The stated 900MHz will be never reached by the eeePC, the p4_clockmod reports a wrong frequency here. But scaling works, you can feel it in the performance of eeePC that he slow down the processor.

More responsive system with ondemand governor

The default up_threshold (where it will bump to a faster speed) for the CPU governor is 80, which means it will increase the CPU speed when utilization is above 80%. This can make X applications have a bit of lag.

Try changing this value:

$ sudo bash -c  "echo 40 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/ondemand/up_threshold"

With 40 it still leaves the majority of CPU cycles at the lowest available clock speed but increases responsiveness. You can add this line to one of your startup scripts (such as Template:Filename) if you wish to keep it, for example:

# /etc/rc.local: Local multi-user startup script.

echo 40 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/ondemand/up_threshold

Also, following line is also reported to help makes system more responsive. You can use it by adding it to your Template:Filename:

echo 2000000 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/ondemand/sampling_rate

Speeding up udev for faster boot

You can also disable the autoload by editing your Template:Filename:

MODULES=(pciehp ath5k)

Update your BIOS without Xandros

Warning: You can break your system, do not update if you are not sure of what you are doing!

First, you need to download the .rom file.

You also need an USB stick formatted in FAT32. To format the USBStick, use the cfdisk tool:

# cfdisk /dev/sdc     # could be something else than "c"

Choose [delete], [type]: "fat32" (code 0B), [write] and then exit with [quit].

NOTE to EEE PC 900 owners and possibly others: Using this method will require a flash drive formatted with a FAT16 file-system. If the BIOS update process hangs up at "Reading file 900.ROM" for more than a few minutes then it should be safe to power down your EEE PC and reformat your flashdrive's file-system to the correct one. You can force FAT16 creation with the following command:

# mkdosfs -F 16 /dev/device-path

Now just copy the .rom on the USBStick :

$ cp /somewhere/blabla/.../thecurrentnameofthefile.ROM /path/to/mounted/usb_stick/701.rom

The name of the copy must be xxxx.rom where xxxx is the model of your eee PC. (i.e. 900 users it's 900.rom)

Next step, reboot the eeepc with the USB stick pluged-in, and press Alt+F2. It will launch the built-in tool. Everything should be Ok, you can make a coffee during the update. When it asks you to push the power-button it has finished.

At the next boot, you'll be invited to configure the BIOS. Check if the everything is enabled (my webcam and wireless were disabled after the update) and if it displays the good version in the main screen. It's done!

More usable font sizes

The_glu's method

I found an easy solution that works on a 901:

Edit Template:Filename and add "-dpi 134":

exec /usr/bin/X -nolisten tcp -dpi 134

Restart X and fonts should have the correct size. Notice it's won't works if you have Xft*dpi: in your Template:Filename.

You don't need to edit your config file to set a smaller font size, I you did you should set font-size to 10 or you will have to small fonts...

Old method

On a default installation with Xfce 4 my font sizes were too big, here is what I did to sort them out.

First, I set the DPI by adding the following to Template:Filename:

 Xft*dpi: 134

This then caused the fonts to be even bigger, so I set them all to be font-size 6 by adding the following into Template:Filename (note that this will be overwritten if you use any tools to change GTK settings):

 style "user-font"
     font_name="Bitstream Vera Sans 6"
 widget_class "*" style "user-font"

To do the same with KDE fonts (without KDE installed) you have to add the following to Template:Filename:

  StandardFont=Bitstream Vera Sans,6,-1,5,50,0,0,0,0,0
  activeFont=Bitstream Vera Sans,6,-1,5,75,0,0,0,0,0
  fixed=Bitstream Vera Sans Mono,6,-1,5,50,0,0,0,0,0
  font=Bitstream Vera Sans,6,-1,5,50,0,0,0,0,0
  menuFont=Bitstream Vera Sans,6,-1,5,50,0,0,0,0,0
  taskbarFont=Bitstream Vera Sans,6,-1,5,50,1,0,0,0,0
  toolBarFont=Bitstream Vera Sans,6,-1,5,50,0,0,0,0,0

To make your fonts even prettier enable the LCD Fonts.

Alternative Method

For me it worked far better to open the gnome appearance control panel, go to the fonts tab, click defaults, and change the resolution to be 96 dpi. Changing .Xdefaults doesnt work when running gnome, as gnome-settings-daemon overrides it. You can then leave all font sizes at their default, and things should look good. Simply changing the font sizes and leaving the DPI at its technically correct value (~134) gave me weird layout problems in some apps, and oddly large fonts in others.

Known problems and their solutions


For most people, sound should work right out of the box with no troubles. However, others might need to add the following line to Template:Filename

options snd-hda-intel model=3stack-dig

or the following one for the Eee PC 900 model

options snd-hda-intel model=auto

If your internal microphone doesn't work, you probably have to turn the capture feature on. Simply fire up alsamixer, find your Capture control, and press spacebar to enable it.


If for some reason webcam has been disabled on your 701, you can enable it by issuing the following command as root:

echo 1 > /sys/devices/platform/eeepc/camera

If you want the webcam application that the default Xandros installation uses, install ucview from the AUR.

The webcam also works fine with the latest version of Skype.

If you already have mplayer installed you can launch:

$ mplayer -fps 15 tv://

I have yet to get it working with vlc or any other software such as xawtv. If you know how, please update this.

  • NOTE: For anyone who has accidentally disabled Auto Exposure for their webcam in luvcview (making the image dark), and can't enable it again, do the following:

Install libwebcam from the AUR.

Issue the following command:

$ uvcdynctrl --set "Exposure, Auto" 4
Note: Be sure the "OS Installation" option is set to "finished" in the BIOS' "Advanced" tab or your camera may not work in some applications (like Skype).
Note: Make sure you are a member of the video group edit /etc/group and add your username to video


Solution for problems with the internal microphone.

1. First of all set in alsamixer "Input Source" to "i-Mic"

2. Increase "Capture" and "i-Mic Boost" to your needs

3. Edit Template:Filename the following, change the 2 "false" to "true" like showing:

control.11 {
               comment.access 'read write'
               comment.type BOOLEAN
               comment.count 2
               iface MIXER
               name 'Capture Switch'
               value.0 true
               value.1 true

4. After editing run following as root

# alsactl restore

5. Now your internal microphone should be working.

Wireless doesn't work, even after installing custom Madwifi module

I found that Arch tried to use the ath5k module for wireless, and that meant it took control of the card rather than ath_pci (the module I had compiled and installed). I got a Madwifi status 3 message in dmesg when this happened.

The solution is to blacklist the ath5k module in Template:Filename:

MODULES = ( ... !ath5k ... )

Laggy or Unresponsive ACPI Events

The latest kernel (2.6.26) introduces new problems with Eee's ACPI events handling. Basically, ACPI events become very laggy and after some time ACPI get disabled after a heavy usage (e.g. changing volume, brightness). This problem affects both stock kernel and toofishes' kernel.

It appears that the solution is to apply this patch (original bug report) to the kernel.

Note: The latest toofishes' kernel, version 2.6.26-1, now includes the patch, but you can still use ighea's one for the extras features listed below.

Until toofishes update his kernel to include the patch, you can use ighea's slightly modified toofishes' kernel that included the above patch, as well as other modifications:

  • Support for Wine
  • uvesafb is built as module
  • Use new eeepc-laptop driver (which also handles fan-control) instead of older acus_acpi or asus-laptop -drivers.

You can get the modified kernel, as well as the associative packages, from here.

After you have downloaded the packages, Install them using this command:

# pacman -U kernel-eee-2.6.26-1-i686.pkg.tar.gz madwifi-eee-svn-3752-1-i686.pkg.tar.gz	

You might also want to use IgnorePkg-line in Template:Filename to hold packages from being accidentally updated.

IgnorePkg = kernel-eee madwifi-eee-svn

Also don't forget to upgrade ighea's acpi-eee package to version 9.6.

Unclean unmount during shutdown when having home directory mounted on SD card

If you experienced unclean unmount during shutdown when having your home directory on SD card, then add the following 3 lines to "Write to wtmp file before unmounting" section of your Template:Filename file:


stat_busy "Unmounting Filesystems"
/bin/umount -a -t noramfs,notmpfs,nosysfs,noproc

# Add these 3 lines
eject /dev/sdb  # Or whichever is your SD-card's device name. /dev/disk/by-uuid/ followed by the UUID identifier is preferable though.
sleep 3
# End of hack



Booting from card without initrd

Let's say you decided to install Arch Linux on a card and compiled your own kernel (or used the kernel26eee kernel) without initrd. Card reader on EeePC is connected as an USB device. Unfortunately, USB storage devices are detected with a delay, so we must tell the kernel to wait until this device becomes available. You do this with "rootwait" option passed to kernel at boot time.

Sleeping and waking system on a card

If you have Arch Linux on a card, waking up from sleeping state will most likely fail. The only solution is to enable the CONFIG_USB_PERSIST option in kernel. The kernel26eee package should have this option enabled.

The command to do this is:

echo 1 >/sys/bus/usb/devices/.../power/persist

Replace the Template:Codeline with the device like 1-3 or 1-5 where the first number is the bus and the second is the device

Each device that is connected to your computer gets an entry in the sysfs "system file system" it is a virtual file system like proc

More info:

Display doesn't wake up properly

If you encounter black display (but apparently working system) after suspend/resume, consider using the "uswsusp" package (available in the official repositories) and correcting suspend2ram script in /etc/acpi, where you use this line to make the machine go to sleep:

/usr/sbin/s2ram --force --vbe_post --vbe_mode

Battery Tests

The following are reported battery runtimes:

Battery runtimes
Task Series Wireless Screen Brightness FSB Speed Fan Speed Runtime Comments
DVD Playback 701 On Max 85mhz 100% 134min Reading DVD ISO from 16gig SDHC Card
DVD Playback 701 Off Max 85mhz 100%  ??? Reading DVD ISO from 16gig SDHC Card
AVI Playback 701 Off Max 85mhz 100%  ??? Reading AVI from SSD
IM and Surf 701 On ~30%  ??? low 173min Normal web-browsing, Flash should reduce runtime a lot !
Programming and PDF reading 1000HA Off ~40%  ??? low +6hs Using Evince and SPE under XFCE with camera and USB disabled
Surf and OOo 1000HA On ~40%  ??? low +4hs Stock kernel without laptop-mode
Surf and OOo 1000HA On ~40%  ??? low 5hs Stock kernel with laptop-mode and other tweaks

N.B. - Will add battery runtimes as I am able to test them, please contribute.

-- Grecko.1

Still tweaking, but disabling everything from BIOS got me about 6 hours and a half. With eee-kernel, I *could* get a little more.

-- ekuber