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Asus EeePC 901 - how's it looking?

sim

Active Member

Thanks: 5
Messages: 157

#1
If I've been a good boy and Santa is feeling generous, I might just find an Asus eee pc 901 in my stocking this year. Of course I specified^H^H^H hinted at the Linux 20GB variant. But I have to wonder, how is FreeBSD shaping up on this model? I haven't found a great deal of chatter from real users yet, but I'm really looking forward to hacking around with this thing. :e

sim
 

Ole

Member

Thanks: 58
Messages: 94

#2
I've using FreeBSD-HEAD at Asus EEE PC 901 without any problem. Regrettably webcam is not supporting but for the rest all the fine.

PS: Some 901 model using of new chipset for WiFi who still not supported by native ral(4) driver. In this case you can usage IEEE 802.11 only
with ndiswrapper/WindowsXP driver.
some tips: http://wiki.freebsd.org/AsusEee
 

rene@

New Member
Developer


Messages: 9

#3
did you get wireless working? The Windows XP driver (rt2860.*) uses the NDIS 5.0 API, while ndisgen requires the NDIS 5.1 API.

I can kldload the resulting module but the link never gets up ('dhclient ndis0' says "no link", 'ifconfig ndis0 scan' says "ifconfig: unable to get scan results".

This is on 8.0-CURRENT from 2008-12-21 with version 11 of the firmware (from the RaLink site).

I've also checked the Perforce repository (//depot/projects/vap/...) but that doesn't have a driver either (except for a firmware file).
 

Ole

Member

Thanks: 58
Messages: 94

#4
rene@ said:
did you get wireless working? The Windows XP driver (rt2860.*) uses the NDIS 5.0 API, while ndisgen requires the NDIS 5.1 API.

I can kldload the resulting module but the link never gets up ('dhclient ndis0' says "no link", 'ifconfig ndis0 scan' says "ifconfig: unable to get scan results".

Really, confirm. Just (earlier did not use, however on the Internet there are messages that ndis works) today i have tried to make it at myself. To receive the working interface through ndis on FreeBSD-HEAD at me it has not turned out too - the same symptoms (no link. etc). ;-(
There is an information on http://wiki.freebsd.org/AsusEee not absolutely correct.
However, my friends have Eee PC 701 and 901 model (but with other chipset) and on them ndis works perfectly.
 

sim

Active Member

Thanks: 5
Messages: 157

#5
Current status report:

Got my new 901 :) Am experimenting with FreeBSD, running from a bootable USB pen. First tried 7-STABLE with custom kernel - worked OK but: LAN (ale0) only worked with static IP, not DHCP. No WLAN, No S3. (Later found out that S3 failure *may* have been due to running an SMP kernel).

Upgraded USB pen to 8-CURRENT, custom kernal (not SMP). S3 (lid & button) works. DHCP on LAN works. Am now trying to get the Ralink RT2860 Windows WLAN driver to work via ndisgen, but I'm getting the same problem reported by rene@ above :(

I don't know about sound and camera yet as I'm still at the console...

Will keep trying!

/sim
 

sim

Active Member

Thanks: 5
Messages: 157

#6
PS.
I've noticed various other 901/FreeBSD threads on the web - it might be worth directing people here so we can focus our collective efforts? Fixing the WLAN is the last (I hope :D) major barrier stopping FreeBSD from being a viable everyday OS for the eee.

/sim
 

oliverh

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 38
Messages: 557

#7
>major barrier stopping FreeBSD from being a viable everyday OS for the eee.

Depends on the "EEE". I have the EEE900A which uses Atheros for Wifi. So the only fix I need is the new HAL from current. And this is a rather easy fix.
 

DemoDoG

Active Member

Thanks: 1
Messages: 193

#8
I have bought a EEE 701 SD. Anyone knows if its better to use 8.0 current than 7.1 stable? Is the wirless of EEE supported in 8.0 without need to compile the kernel?

And another question, If I install a snapshot of 8.0 for december, can I then upgrade it to next snapshot when it comes out?
 

sim

Active Member

Thanks: 5
Messages: 157

#9
DemoDoG said:
I have bought a EEE 701 SD. Anyone knows if its better to use 8.0 current than 7.1 stable? Is the wirless of EEE supported in 8.0 without need to compile the kernel?
I believe it is - my understanding is that although it is a standard atheros wireless card, it requires mini-PCIe support in the ath_hal driver, which I believe is present in the standard -CURRENT (8.x) source and GENERIC kernel. Check here for more info on the 701:

http://nighthack.org/wiki/EeeBSD

DemoDoG said:
And another question, If I install a snapshot of 8.0 for december, can I then upgrade it to next snapshot when it comes out?
I imagine you can, but I found it easier to do it the old-skool way: Installed 7.0-RELEASE (for which I had already had a CD) and once that's running modify the csup file to track -CURRENT (tag=.). Then just sync src with csup (using LAN cable), make buildworld/kernel etc and away you go. On the 901 buildkernel took around 50mins, and makeworld took around 200 (if I remember correctly).

Hope that helps,

sim
 

oliverh

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 38
Messages: 557

#10
>On the 901 buildkernel took around 50mins

Do you have a SSD or a harddrive in this EEE? With a SSD I wouldn't try it.
 

sim

Active Member

Thanks: 5
Messages: 157

#11
oliverh said:
>On the 901 buildkernel took around 50mins

Do you have a SSD or a harddrive in this EEE? With a SSD I wouldn't try it.
That's all running on my USB pen drive (4GB Sandisk Cruzer). The EEE's drives were not involved in any way. To reduce writes I've tmpfs(5) memory drives on /tmp and /var/log and the pen is mounted with noatime option. crond and something else I've forgotten is disabled.

I'm using the USB pen until I've got a working solution, that way I still have a fully functioning Xandros-based Eee.

If it kills the £4 pen it's not the end of the world, but having checked up on the current state of wear leveling technology I think I should be fine for a while. :)

/sim
 

rene@

New Member
Developer


Messages: 9

#12
sim said:
Current status report:

Got my new 901 :) Am experimenting with FreeBSD, running from a bootable USB pen. First tried 7-STABLE with custom kernel - worked OK but: LAN (ale0) only worked with static IP, not DHCP. No WLAN, No S3. (Later found out that S3 failure *may* have been due to running an SMP kernel).
With an SMP kernel I can suspend my eee901 (running 8.0-CURRENT version 800060), but I cannot resume it. Will try UP.

sim said:
Upgraded USB pen to 8-CURRENT, custom kernal (not SMP). S3 (lid & button) works. DHCP on LAN works. Am now trying to get the Ralink RT2860 Windows WLAN driver to work via ndisgen, but I'm getting the same problem reported by rene@ above :(

I don't know about sound and camera yet as I'm still at the console...

Will keep trying!

/sim
I don't know about the camera, but for sound you can use snd_hda (also present in 7.X). I wouldn't use the camera for anything serious anyway ;)
 

mgp

Active Member

Thanks: 13
Messages: 107

#14
try to put this in rc.conf
syslogd_enable="NO"
 

lme@

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Developer

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Messages: 775

#15
sim said:
On the 901 buildkernel took around 50mins, and makeworld took around 200 (if I remember correctly).
Only build the kernel modules you need. This way I can build the kernel in ~15 min on my 701.
But normally I build it on another machine and export /usr/obj via NFS and install it on the eeepc.
 

oliverh

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 38
Messages: 557

#17

sim

Active Member

Thanks: 5
Messages: 157

#18
lme@ said:
Only build the kernel modules you need. This way I can build the kernel in ~15 min on my 701.
Is there a guide somewhere for how to do this? My custom eee kernel (ASUS-EEEPC-901-8.0 :)) has very few devices enabled but of course they still get built as loadable modules so the build time isn't reduced.

Thanks,

sim
 

lme@

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Developer

Thanks: 293
Messages: 775

#19
From the Handbook:

handbook said:
Tip: By default, when you build a custom kernel, all kernel modules will be rebuilt as well. If you want to update a kernel faster or to build only custom modules, you should edit /etc/make.conf before starting to build the kernel:

MODULES_OVERRIDE = linux acpi sound/sound sound/driver/ds1 ntfs

This variable sets up a list of modules to build instead of all of them.

WITHOUT_MODULES = linux acpi sound/sound sound/driver/ds1 ntfs

This variable sets up a list of modules to exclude from the build process. For other variables which you may find useful in the process of building kernel, refer to make.conf(5) manual page.
 

DemoDoG

Active Member

Thanks: 1
Messages: 193

#20
Pardon me for being a little lazy but what modules did you exclude/include? :) I have a EEE701 and I guess I can use mostly the same setup.
 

sim

Active Member

Thanks: 5
Messages: 157

#23
DemoDoG said:
arghh it seems I have the Realtek RTL8187SE wireless card.
I'm not familiar with that card but I take it it's not supported, and is unlikely to be supported soon? You might then decide to take the pragmatic option and do what I did with my Dell laptop, which had a Broadcom card - rip it out and replace with an atheros. Saves a lot of hassle in the long run....

sim
 

mathuin

Member


Messages: 45

#24
I tried sim's config for 7.1 and ale0 doesn't even get a carrier. I unplugged the cable out of an Eee PC 701 so there's nothing wrong with the cable. Ideas?

I'm using an Asus Eee PC 1000 running 7.1-STABLE with no patches. If there's a better place to post this, please let me know. Also, if any logs or notes are desired, I can USB-stick-shuffle them and post.
 

sim

Active Member

Thanks: 5
Messages: 157

#25
mathuin said:
I tried sim's config for 7.1 and ale0 doesn't even get a carrier. I unplugged the cable out of an Eee PC 701 so there's nothing wrong with the cable. Ideas?
Not sure I can help if you're not even getting a carrier, but I found that I could only get ale0 to work with a static configuration. DHCP flat out failed.

So far I've found 8-CURRENT to be more promising than 7-STABLE in a number of areas, so I'd suggest trying that.

sim