Difference between revisions of "ASUS Eee PC 901"

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(Kernel Installation and configuration)
(Speedstep: info for eee 900 and 904 users)
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For more information on overclocking the Asus EEE PC line, see http://wiki.eeeuser.com/howto:overclockfsb
For more information on overclocking the Asus EEE PC line, see http://wiki.eeeuser.com/howto:overclockfsb
{{Note|Speedstep is applicable to the 901 as it's CPU is of the Intel Atom family. The eee 900 and 904 use an Intel Celeron M CPU and so should use the p4-clockmod module instead. }}
=== Faster boot and udev ===
=== Faster boot and udev ===

Revision as of 20:29, 30 May 2011

This page contains instructions, tips, pointers, and links for installing and configuring Arch Linux on the ASUS EEE 901 PC.

Most of the article can also be applied to eeepc-models which are similar to the 901 such the 901H, 1000 and 1000H. If you discover a configuration or software option applicable to a certain model that differs from what is described in this article, please add it, with a note about which model the suggestion pertains to.

Install Tips for the Asus Eee PC

This wiki page supplements these pages: Beginners Guide, the Official Install Guide, and Installing Arch Linux on the Asus EEE PC. Please refer to those guides first before following the eeepc-specific pointers on this page.

Most of this information is from the Arch Forum EEE 901 thread. Consult this thread, and other resources on the Arch forum, for more details and discussion.

Kernel Installation and configuration

Follow the Arch Linux installation Guide to install the latest stock distribution from USB media or CDROM. Install the BASE and DEVEL package categories. Reboot your PC.

Note: The wireless driver (rt2860sta) does not seem to work with the latest linux kernel (2.26.32). The current arch release (2009-8) still uses the 2.26.30 kernel. Install arch using the core images, rather than netinstall. This will install the 2.26.30 linux kernel, rather than downloading the latest kernel from the repositories. Then, after rebooting, and before upgrading any package, include


in /etc/pacman.conf, to avoid upgrading the kernel.

As of the advent of kernel 2.6.30, all drivers needed for the EEE 901 are included in the Arch Linux stock kernel. In case you would like to compile your own kernel, make sure that you build the following modules:

Network card:

 Device Drivers - Ethernet (1000Mbit) - Atheros L1E Gigabit Ethernet support

WiFi card:

 Device Drivers - Staging Drivers - Ralink 2860

Eee Hotkey stuff:

 Device Drivers - X86 Platform Specific Device Drivers - EeePC Hotkey Driver

Video Camera:

 Device Drivers - Multimedia Devices -  Video Capture adapters - V4L USB devices - USB Video Class (UVC)

Sound Card:

 Device Drivers - Sound card support - ALSA - PCI Sound devices - Intel HDA - Build Realtek HDA codec


 Device Drivers - Input Device support - Mice - PS/2 mouse - Synaptics & Elantech PS/2 protocol ext.

For flawless operation with the eee-control FSB frequency changing mechanism, you have to compile

 Device Drivers - I2C support - I2C Hardware Bus support - Intel 82801 (ICH)

as a _module_ (thanks for the hint, dieghen89, even though I never got to include it...)

For some tricks to speed up udev boot time, see below.


Using the Stock kernel

This section gives some hints and clues about how to tweak the stock Arch Linux kernel for the EeePC 901. For more general information about building custom Arch Linux kernels, see Kernel Compilation.

The stock kernel has some advantages over the custom kernel:

  • The ethernet driver is now available in stock kernel (called: Atheros L1E Gigabit Ethernet support), so no external modules or patching needed
  • As of kernel 2.6.29 the Ralink wireless driver is included in the stock kernel (though it is still a work in progress). Just add the rt2860sta module to /etc/rc.conf and it works out of the box.
  • From kernel 2.6.33 on you only need to blacklist rt2800pci in /etc/rc.conf and wireless works flawlessly
  • It is likely that more Asus and EeePC-specific features will be included in future versions of the stock kernel, and current drivers will improve with each kernel release. (Word has it that Linus Torvalds himself bought an EeePc). Chances are that the stock kernel now includes the drivers and features you need for your EeePC.
  • The stock kernel, as part of the core repository, is always available and maintained in a number of mirror repositories.

example .config

Here is a sample kernel .config file created for the 1000H with the stock kernel: .config.

You can take it as starting point to build your own kernel. Make sure that the filesystem types you want to use are configured (at the moment this configuration only contains ext2, compiled in, and ext3 as module).

OS Configuration

To support the devices listed below, make sure the module eeepc_laptop is loaded on boot.

To automatically all the modules needed (including bluetooth, if it is enabled in BIOS, and the ALSA sound drivers), enable autoloading in your /etc/rc.conf:


Networking: Ethernet

Ethernet (wired) network access should work right out of the box with precompiled kernels, or with atl1e module you built from AUR.

Networking: Wireless

After a bios-upgrade the wireless-card of the Eee PC will be disabled by default, so if you have any troubles with wlan check that it is enabled in the bios.

To enable/disable the wireless card from the command line:

 # enable
 echo 1 > /sys/devices/platform/eeepc/wlan
 # disable
 echo 0 > /sys/devices/platform/eeepc/wlan

For newer kernels enable/disable wireless the following way:

 # enable
 echo 1 > /sys/devices/platform/eeepc/rfkill/rfkill0/state
 # disable
 echo 0 > /sys/devices/platform/eeepc/rfkill/rfkill0/state

The precompiled kernels listed above contain a patched version of the wifi driver rt2860sta and it should work with both WEP and WPA.

If you are compiling the rt2860sta kernel driver yourself, use the newest (1.8) version of the driver in AUR: http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=14557.

Make sure you have the wireless_tools package installed, also. You may need to manually download the package from a Mirror (look in core/os/i686/) and install it locally (e.g. after moving it with a usb-stick to your eeePC) using Pacman.

There are reported some problems associating an AP with netcfg2 (WEP and open, WPA-PSK works ok). If you experience problems, try another connection manager, for example wicd works fine.

 pacman -S wicd

If you experience problems with the Ralink driver and your connection manager, try using the following script to connect:

 case "$1" in
   sudo ifconfig ra0 up
   sudo wpa_supplicant -B -Dwext -ira0 -cwifi_up.conf
   sleep 3
   sudo dhcpcd ra0
   sudo kill -15 `cat /var/run/dhcpcd-ra0.pid`
   sudo rm /var/run/wpa_supplicant/ra0
   sudo ifconfig ra0 down
   sudo ifconfig ra0 up
   sleep 1
   sudo iwlist ra0 scanning
   sudo ifconfig ra0 down
   $0 stop
   $0 start
   echo "usage: $0 {start|stop|list|restart}"  
 exit 0

Here's a working example wpa_supplicant config file:

 # change ap_scan to 2 if running into problems

Your mileage may vary, but experience seems to show that the ap_scan=1 parameter is critical. Try tweaking the other "header" settings, too, if you continue to experience problems.

ACPI (Hotkeys)

Option 1: Install the acpi-eeepc-generic package from AUR

For this package to work, make sure the eeepc_laptop and rfkill modules are loaded at boot.

Consult the notes included with the install for instructions on configuring /etc/conf.d/acpi-eeepc-generic.conf.

This will enable all the Fn + xx keys and the four silver hotkey buttons buttons as configured in the default Xandros distribution, with some minor variations. Edit the /etc/conf.d/acpi-eeepc-generic.conf file to change or modify the behavior of the function keys.

Option 2: Configure the stock kernel ACPI features

Enable the ASUS_LAPTOP (Device Drivers -> Misc Devices) switch in your kernel config and turn off ACPI_ASUS switch (Power managment options -> ACPI).

To enable the FN keys, the WLAN and Camera on/off toggles, etc., activate the EEEPC_LAPTOP switch also (Device Drivers -> Misc Devices).

You can use Robertek's PKGBUILD and files for acpi-www901 at http://robertek.brevnov.net/files/linux/arch/acpi-eee901/ as a base to incorporate the stock kernel modules and ASUS OSD into the ACPI system.

Note: The kernel interfaces /proc/acpi/asus or /proc/acpi/eee are not available with the eeepc_laptop module. The corresponding eeepc_laptop interfaces are files in: /sys/devices/platform/eeepc/. You may need to edit some of the scripts under /etc/acpi/ to point to the correct paths.


Asus OSD is included as part of the acpi-eee901 package. Simply add the command asusosd & to your desktop manager startup script, or create the file /etc/xdg/autostart/asusosd.desktop with these contents:

   [Desktop Entry]
   Name=ASUS OSD
   Comment=ASUS OSD


Currently, Bluetooth is not enabled with the Fn + F2 hotkey. To communicate with Bluetooth devices, make sure Bluetooth has been enabled in the BIOS.

To enable/disable bluetooth from the command line :

 # enable
 echo 1 > /sys/devices/platform/eeepc/bt
 # disable
 echo 0 > /sys/devices/platform/eeepc/bt

Install the bluez package. Make sure the bluetooth module is loaded.

See the Arch Linux Bluetooth and Bluetooth Mouse wiki pages for more information about configuring and using Bluetooth devices.


To enable/disable the camera:

 # enable
 echo 1 > /sys/devices/platform/eeepc/camera
 # disable
 echo 0 > /sys/devices/platform/eeepc/camera

To record video and take photos, you may use cheese or the wxcam package (available in the edgy repository or AUR).

 pacman -S wxcam

To simply test the camera, you may use mplayer:

 mplayer -fps 15 tv://

The webcam is reported to work with Skype.


Audio output is enabled with the default ALSA drivers distributed with the kernels. You may need to install the alsa-lib and alsa-utils packages to get full functionality. Make sure the snd-hda-intel module is loaded.

Both the microphone and PC speakers should work out-of-the-box with current versions of the kernel and ALSA drivers. A common gotcha: if you're not getting any sound, did you run alsamixer and unmute your channels?

See the Arch Linux ALSA wiki page for more information about configuring and using ALSA.


This section is out-of-date, and needs to be cleaned up.


You will need the xf86-video-intel video driver:

 pacman -S xf86-video-intel

To set-up the touchpad, (including two-fingers scrolling & tapping), just install xf86-input-synaptics (no xorg.conf required):

 pacman -S xf86-input-synaptics

Some users have reported problems with vsync and the xf86-video-intel driver. These problems may be partially solved in the application (see this forum post.)

Connecting an external Monitor

The xrandr utility (part of Xorg) can be used to switch into screen modes appropriate either for the EeePC's LCD or an externally connected monitor. Running "xrandr -q" will show you the available output devices and the supported modes. Then run the tool as follows:

 xrandr --output LVDS --off  --output VGA --auto   # disable LCD, enable monitor
 xrandr --output LVDS --auto --output VGA --auto   # enable both

Your monitor will probably support a bigger resolution than the LCD. To make use of that additional screen space, tell the X server to create an appropriately large framebuffer by adding the "Virtual" directive to the Screen/Display section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

 Section "Screen"
   Identifier "Screen0"
   Device     "Card0"
   Monitor    "Monitor0"
   DefaultDepth     24
   SubSection "Display"
       Viewport   0 0
       Depth     24
       Virtual 1600 1200   # max resolution is 1600x1200

On the LCD, the additional space will be unused, but when switching to the external monitor, the screen will be. Note that some window managers (such as ratpoison) might need to be restarted to realize that the visible screen size has changed.

Letterboxing with XRandR

If you have set up your X server and kernel to use KMS you might have some trouble getting a 800x600 resolution letterboxed (centered) rather than stretched, which might be unpleasant in some programs that don't support 1024x600 such as older games. This is because with KMS the xrandr syntax is a bit different [1]. To get a centered 800x600 visual field on your 1024x600 panel run:

$ xrandr --output LVDS1 --set "scaling mode" "Center"
$ xrandr -s 800x600

Replace "800x600" with "1024x600" to go back to the native resolution.

Mouse and Synaptics driver

To enable the Synaptics drivers, first install the synaptics package:

 pacman -S synaptics

You also need the evdev driver for Xorg:

 pacman -S xf86-input-evdev

Then make these changes to /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

 Section "ServerLayout"
   Identifier     "ArchLinux"
   Screen      0  "Screen0"
   InputDevice    "keyboard"
   InputDevice    "mouse"
   InputDevice    "synaptics"
 Section "Files"
   #    RgbPath      "/usr/share/X11/rgb"
   ModulePath   "/usr/lib/xorg/modules"
   FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/misc"
   FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/100dpi:unscaled"
   FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/75dpi:unscaled"
   FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/TTF"
   FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/Type1"
 Section "Module"
   Load  "GLcore"
   Load  "glx"
   Load  "record"
   Load  "dri"
   Load  "extmod"
   Load  "xtrap"
   Load  "dbe"
   Load  "freetype"
   Load  "synaptics"
 Section "InputDevice"
   Identifier  "mouse"
   Driver      "mouse"
   Option        "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
   Option        "Protocol" "IMPS/2"
   Option        "Emulate3Buttons" "yes"
   Option        "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
   Option        "CorePointer"
 Section "InputDevice"
   Identifier  "synaptics"
   Driver      "synaptics"
   Option      "Device"           "/dev/psaux"
   Option      "Protocol"         "auto-dev"
   Option      "PalmDetect"       "0"
   Option      "SHMConfig"        "true"
   Option      "SendCoreEvents"   "yes"
   Option      "RBCornerButton"   "0"
   Option      "RTCornerButtom"   "0"
   Option      "TapButton1"       "1"
   Option      "TapButton2"       "2"
   Option      "TapButton3"       "3"
   Option      "AccelFactor"   "0.0320"
   Option      "MaxSpeed"      "0.72"
   Option      "MinSpeed"      "0.6"
   Option      "Emulate3Buttons"       "true"
   Option      "TouchPadOff"       "0"
   Option      "LBCornerButton"        "2"
   Option      "LeftEdge"      "60"
   Option      "RightEdge"     "1070"
   Option      "TopEdge"       "90"
   Option      "BottomEdge"    "680"
   Option      "VertTwoFingerScroll"   "1"
   Option      "HorizTwoFingerScroll"  "1"
   Option      "HorizScrollDelta"  "20"
   Option      "LockedDrags"   "1"
   Option      "CoastingSpeed" "0.13"
   Option      "CircularScrolling"     "1"
   Option      "CircScrollTrigger"     "8"     # 8=Top Left Corner

The latest version of the Elantech touchpad driver patch is available at http://arjan.opmeer.net/elantech/ or here mac how to You'll need to apply this patch to your kernel source, then recompile the kernel. This patch has been tested on the and kernels.

A complete working set Xorg/HAL config files

The latest version of xserver recommends using the HAL subsystem to manage X device configurations, in place of xorg.conf.

If it isn't installed already, install HAL, then add hal to the list of daemons in your /etc/rc.conf file:

 pacman -s hal

Create the following HAL device configuration files for X:

File: /etc/hal/fdi/policy/10-keymap.fdi (configure the input.xkb.layout parameter to match your locale)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?> 
<deviceinfo version="0.2">
    <match key="info.capabilities" contains="input.keymap">
      <append key="info.callouts.add" type="strlist">hal-setup-keymap</append>

    <match key="info.capabilities" contains="input.keys">
      <merge key="input.xkb.rules" type="string">base</merge>
      <merge key="input.xkb.model" type="string">keyboard</merge>
      <match key="/org/freedesktop/Hal/devices/computer:system.kernel.name" string="Linux">
        <merge key="input.xkb.model" type="string">evdev</merge>

      <merge key="input.xkb.layout" type="string">se</merge>
      <merge key="input.xkb.variant" type="string" />
      <merge key="input.xkb.options" type="string">ctrl:nocaps</merge>

File: /etc/hal/fdi/policy/9-x11-elantech.fdi (configuration for the Elantech touchpad -- could be improved)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<deviceinfo version="0.2">
    <match key="info.capabilities" contains="input.touchpad">
      <match key="info.product" contains="Elantech Touchpad">
	<merge key="input.x11_driver" type="string">synaptics</merge>
	<merge key="input.x11_options.SHMConfig" type="string">on</merge>
	<merge key="input.x11_options.MaxSpeed" type="string">1.00</merge>
	<merge key="input.x11_options.MinSpeed" type="string">0.75</merge>
	<merge key="input.x11_options.Emulate3Buttons" type="string">on</merge>
	<merge key="input.x11_options.VertTwoFingerScroll" type="string">1</merge>
	<merge key="input.x11_options.HorizTwoFingerScroll" type="string">1</merge>
	<merge key="input.x11_options.TapButton1" type="string">1</merge>
	<merge key="input.x11_options.TapButton2" type="string">2</merge>
	<merge key="input.x11_options.TapButton3" type="string">3</merge>
	<merge key="input.x11_options.LockedDrags" type="string">1</merge>

File: /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section "ServerLayout"
	Identifier	"ArchLinux"
	Screen	        "Screen0"

Section "Device"
	Identifier	"Device0"
	Driver		"intel"
	Option		"XAANoOffScreenPixmaps"	"true"
	Option		"AccelMethod"		"XAA"

Section "Screen"
	Identifier	"Screen0"
	Device		"Device0"

The xorg.conf file is no longer strictly necessary, but some features, such as windowtitles in wmii, run faster if configured here.


If you don't have an xorg.conf file, and want to configure the keyboard layout on the fly:

 # Set keyboard to cz with qwerty
 setxkbmap cz qwerty

To configure the mouse speed:

 # Set mouse movement and acceleration (you need to tweak this to your needs)
 xset m 2 1

Performance Tips

The following tweaks can be used to improve performance and/or power consumption.


Speedstep is included by default in the Linux 2.6.x kernel.

The zen-eee901 kernels contain the Speedstep modules. Add acpi-cpufreq to your MODULES list in /etc/rc.conf to enable it on boot, or execute:

 modprobe acpi-cpufreq

See http://rffr.de/acpi for more information.

For more information on overclocking the Asus EEE PC line, see http://wiki.eeeuser.com/howto:overclockfsb

Note: Speedstep is applicable to the 901 as it's CPU is of the Intel Atom family. The eee 900 and 904 use an Intel Celeron M CPU and so should use the p4-clockmod module instead.

Faster boot and udev

To safe a little time with udev during boot, you can edit your /etc/rc.conf and disable MOD_AUTOLOAD. It should look like this

 MODULES=(atl1e rt2860sta rfkill acpi-cpufreq pciehp intel_agp snd-hda-intel !snd-pcsp bluetooth)

In addition, it may be helpful to do the following:

 MODULES=( ... !eeepc_laptop ... )

and then load that module in the background in rc.local:

 modprobe eeepc_laptop &

(insert that line)

Boot Booster

Enable Asus Boot Booster feature in BIOS to skip some tests during boot.

 "Boot">"Boot Settings Configuration">"Quick Boot">[Enabled]


Hardware Overview for 901

The following hardware is used in the Asus EEE 901:

   * CPU: 1.6GHz N270 Intel Atom
   * RAM: 1024 MB, DDR2 667
   * ports: 3x USB, VGA
   * LAN/ethernet: Atheros L1e 1000 Mbit
   * WLAN: Ralink rt2860 802.11b/g/n
   * Bluetooth, webcam 1.3 Mpix
   * Card reader: SD, SDHC, MMC
   * touchpad: "Multi-touch" elantech
   * display: 1024x600 8.9"
   * weight: 1 kg
   * battery: Li-ion, 6600mAh
   * HDD: 4 + 8GB, empty slot for 1,8" (remove of the 8GB module needed)
   * Graphics:  Intel GM950 core, 945GME chipset
 00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GME Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GME Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
 00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/GME, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
 00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 02)
 00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 02)
 00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 02)
 00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 3 (rev 02)
 00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 4 (rev 02)
 00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 02)
 00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 02)
 00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 02) 
 00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 02)
 00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 02)
 00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e2)
 00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GBM (ICH7-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 02)
 00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) SATA IDE Controller (rev 02)
 00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 02)
 01:00.0 Network controller: RaLink Device 0781