Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!

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Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!

Post by sebastjava » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:30 pm

This is just a part of a group of short tutorials:

Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!

Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Fix The Speaker And Microphone!

Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Get A Suitable Video Playback!

Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Get A Precise Brightness Control!

Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Get Those Missing Blue Function Keys!



First, Choose The Right Linux Distribution: Linux Mint Mate

I got tired of using Windows 7 on my little Asus netbook, the Asus EeePC X101CH. This netbook is now much faster, functional and beautiful after i installed Linux Mint MATE on it. You have to choose the best Linux distribution for your small computer. There are four different Linux Mint distributions. For such a small computer, you need a lightweight one: XFCE or MATE. But i found some flaws on the XFCE. The most serious one is with the screen. The screen is off after resuming from suspend, so the computer is still working but you can't see anything! Also, it will not check if you have unsaved documents before you shutdown the machine. And there are other small flaws on the XFCE. If you really want to keep your XFCE, read this: How To Switch On Your Black Screen: Shortcut & Script. But i strongly recommend you avoid the XFCE and choose Linux Mint MATE instead (32-bit version). LM MATE is a fast, functional and beautiful system. I found just a few minor flaws on it and... i got it all corrected! They are listed here along with simple instructions on how to fix them.

Not convinced? I tried Lubuntu, Xubuntu and Linux Mint XFCE before finally choosing Linux Mint MATE. The latest one: 18.2. I installed it alongside my Windows 7 so i can go back to Windows if i need to. But i rarely do. If you want to install your Linux Mint system alongside Windows, you must have some free space on your hard drive so that option is available from your Linux Mint installer. "Free space" is a space with no partition at all. Typically, we get this by shrinking the (C:) partition. But it takes time. Are you using your Windows automated system backup? These backups are stored on (D:) partition. If you are not using it, you could delete this (D:) partition. Do this from a Windows session. You will instantly get 180 Gb of free space. Just make sure you have nothing important stored on that (D:) partition before you delete it. In all cases, backup all your precious documents before attempting anything. I mean, backup your documents on some external drive or USB key, not on that partition you are about to delete!

This Linux Mint MATE has a few little flaws, but less than the other systems. Most of those flaws are specific to your machine and its devices. The manufacturers are making drivers for their devices to operate in Windows, but not in the other systems. So there are people working hard on retro engineering to make those drivers for Linux. But they can't test everything on every machine. So we are going to "tune up" our machine all by ourselves.

First things first, you must read this easy, short tutorial on how to create a booting USB stick and install Linux Mint:
https://linuxmint-installation-guide.re ... en/latest/
There is no CD/DVD on this computer, so you will need that USB stick.

Get your system here: LinuxMint Download and select "Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" - MATE (32-bit)".
The newer versions will be 64-bit only: it won't work on this netbook.


Speed up your file browser (Caja)

Initially, Caja had an intolerable latency. It took several seconds to react to any command. I do not know if you have this problem too. Perhaps it is due to an incompatibility between my chosen theme, a modified Mint-Y, and the extension "caja-folder-color -switcher". In any case, if your Caja is not perfectly responsive, do as I do: disable several unused extensions.
Go to Edit> Preferences> Extensions. Disable all extensions except:
  • gksu
  • Open terminal
  • Engrampa
It makes a big difference, Caja now reacts instantly with every click!


Do What Can'T Be Done

Your screen is very small and there are a few windows that won't fit. In that case, the bottom part of the window is hiding below the bottom of your screen. Just press the Alt key while dragging the window... By pressing Alt and dragging, you can push the upper part of the window outside the screen so you can access the lower part.
Note: At home or at the office, you can also plug a bigger screen, with a bigger resolution. This small integrated GPU (called "IGP") can actually control 2 screens simultaneously! I am currently enjoying a 1440 x 900 screen resolution. (2019-08-18)


Accented Letters In The Start Menu

Those using French, Spanish or any other language with special accented letters will find some errors in the start menu here on the bottom left corner. There are things like "À propos de moi" or "Économiseur d'écran" which do not appear in alphabetical order. They stand at the bottom of the menu list. That's because their names start with an accented letter. Remove that accent and the menu item will fall in the appropriate alphabetical order.

Right-click on any misplaced menu item, select Edit properties, then change the name from something like "Économiseur..." to "Economiseur..." and close. Repeat this for every misplaced menu item.


Get A Decent Brightness For The Boot Splash Screen (Plymouth Theme)
...AND no error/warning messages ...AND also a soft, precise brightness control...

This is for the Linux Mint logo showing after the Grub menu, before the login screen. The boot sequence. The screen brightness is reduced to a minimum and you can hardly see anything at that time. That can be fixed.
  1. Open /etc/default/grub text file as administrator (right-click on it and select "Open as administrator")
  2. Find this line: #GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=keep
  3. Change it to: GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=1024x768,800x600,640x480,auto
  4. While we are at it, find the line starting with this: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=
  5. After "quiet", type "loglevel=3". This must be separated from the other parameters by one space before and after; see example below. Adding this will get rid of 1 or 2 warning/error messages for which there is no solution. This message was there before but you could not see it because the screen was too dark.
  6. In this same GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT= line, at the END of it, but before the closing quote, type "acpi_backlight=none", preceded by one space. This will make your brightness control blue keys soft and precise.
  7. Again, make sure there is one space separating each parameter in this line. Usually you end up with a line like this EXAMPLE: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet loglevel=3 splash acpi_backlight=none"
  8. Save this text file.
  9. Open your Terminal and run sudo update-grub
Restart to see the result. You can now see the Linux Mint logo and the five little dots showing progress during boot sequence.


Stay With Mint-X (until Linux Mint MATE 19.x)

You can choose from different Appearance themes in the Menu > Preferences. The Mint-Y is much more "zen" with it's bright, pure look. But, at the time of testing, it is not ready and has some bugs:
  1. No visual hint on default button (ex.: "Save" vs "Close without saving")
  2. Scrollbars-junction: it looks like the slider stops before reaching the end...
  3. Progressbar-osd has half-rounded corners.
  4. There is a weird and ugly 1/4 second flash around tooltips.
  5. IMPORTANT: In Caja file manager > View menu: Extra Pane ON and both Views in List mode: Select one file in the first List and then another file in the second List: the first selected file "disappeared!" (white text on white background!)
This Mint-Y might be ready by the time you read this, but if you still get those bugs, just stay with Mint-X. Mint-X is mature. Or do what i do, contribute in making Mint-Y better...

...
That was just the beginning. Take a look at my others Asus Eee PC X101CH tutorials listed on top of this page. There you will see how to fix the speaker, fix the microphone, get a good video playback, get a better brightness control, and get those missing blue function keys! Follow these quick and easy instructions and you will have a nice, well working computer.
...
Tested on Linux Mint MATE 18.2 & 18.3 with the latest kernel.
Linux Mint 18.x is based on Ubuntu 16.04.
Last edited by sebastjava on Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:14 pm, edited 32 times in total.

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Re: Asus Eee PC X101CH - Fix Everything! Including: Speaker, Microphone, Brightness, Etc.

Post by sebastjava » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:48 am

Coming soon: get an appropriate video player.

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Re: Asus Eee PC X101CH - Fix Everything! Including: Speaker, Microphone, Brightness, Etc.

Post by sebastjava » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:28 pm

added section:
GET AN APPROPRIATE VIDEO PLAYER

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Re: Asus Eee PC X101CH - Fix Everything! Including: Speaker, Microphone, Brightness, Etc.

Post by sebastjava » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:00 pm

updated section:
GET AN APPROPRIATE VIDEO PLAYER

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Tutorial content splits in 5 parts

Post by sebastjava » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:16 pm

This tutorial was named "Asus Eee PC X101CH - Fix Everything! Including: Speaker, Microphone, Brightness, Etc."
Now named "Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!", this tutorial now comes into 5 different tutorials, as listed on top.

This "Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!" is now just the introduction to this group of tutorials. All the original content is still there, but redistributed, updated, and enriched.

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Re: Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!

Post by Fishaffair » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:57 am

Thank you for tutorial :D !

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Re: Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!

Post by sebastjava » Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:52 pm

Added section:
"Speed up your file browser (Caja)"

I am sorry. I forgot to mention that before. I saw it only a few days ago, when I created a new account on this same netbook. Caja was suddenly very slow. This made me realize that I had to disable some extensions to make it responsive. I did that in 2017, but I forgot to mention it here until... now.

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Re: Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!

Post by Lloydbiker » Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:39 pm

Fishaffair wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:57 am
Thank you for tutorial :D !
Amen to that! Worked seamlessly!
Does anyone know if Chrome browser will work with this, too?
Answered my own question: Only downloads for 'Chrome Browser'/Linux available, are 64 bit. So, Firefox it is.

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Re: Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!

Post by raspu » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:04 am

Lloydbiker wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:39 pm
Fishaffair wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:57 am
Thank you for tutorial :D !
Amen to that! Worked seamlessly!
Does anyone know if Chrome browser will work with this, too?
Answered my own question: Only downloads for 'Chrome Browser'/Linux available, are 64 bit. So, Firefox it is.
Did you install the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Mint? If you installed the 32-bit OS, you cannot install Chrome (only 64-bit) but you can install Chromium.

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Re: Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!

Post by Lloydbiker » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:56 am

Of course 32 bit as that's what the X101CH is.

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Re: Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!

Post by raspu » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:43 am

Lloydbiker wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:56 am
Of course 32 bit as that's what the X101CH is.
Then, if you use a 32 bit Mint, you must install Chromium. Present versions of Chrome are 64 bit only. But I thought the CPU in the X101CH is a N2600, which as far as I know is 64 bit.

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Re: Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!

Post by sebastjava » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:28 am

raspu wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:43 am
[...] But I thought the CPU in the X101CH is a N2600, which as far as I know is 64 bit.
Hmm, this requires some memory efforts and i am into other kinds of thinking, at the moment, so i am not absolutely sure about what i am going to say here.

As i remember, the Asus EeePC X101CH is a 32-bit architecture. The CPU is 64 bit capable but deliberately limited by Asus for this small machine.

And also:
  • I think i already tried the 64 bit Mint version: "wrong architecture detected" error message right there, at the start, in the early boot sequence. So, it is clearly incompatible, as i remember. EDITED on 2019-09-17: I tried a LinuxMint-19.2-mate-64bit once again, just to make sure. I got this message saying my computer is a 32-bit one and couldn't run a 64-bit kernel:
    This kernel requires an x86-64 CPU. But only detected an i686 CPU.
    Unable to boot - please use a kernel appropriate for your CPU.
  • The Windows 7 that came with the machine is a 32-bit one...
  • Besides, some people say the Linux Mint system needs a bit less ram on the 32-bit version... Considering you are definitely limited to 1 GB ram, it probably makes a "big" difference.
I am still on Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia Mate 32-bit. I strongly recommend it for this nice little Asus netbook. I am currently on Chromium and i also use Firefox sometimes, but Chromium is currently faster.

I can watch movies. Surf the internet. Create websites. Create images. Use the LibreOffice applications. And many, many other things. All this while listening to some music on this same machine. And there is almost no bugs. And it is not too slow.
Last edited by sebastjava on Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!

Post by raspu » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:23 pm

sebastjava wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:28 am
raspu wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:43 am
[...] But I thought the CPU in the X101CH is a N2600, which as far as I know is 64 bit.
Hmm, this requires some memory efforts and i am into other kinds of thinking, at the moment, so i am not absolutely sure about what i am going to say here.

As i remember, the Asus EeePC X101CH is a 32-bit architecture. The CPU is 64 bit capable but deliberately limited by Asus for this small machine.

And also:
  • I think i already tried the 64 bit Mint version: "wrong architecture detected" error message right there, at the start, in the grub. So, it is clearly incompatible, as i remember.
  • The Windows 7 that came with the machine is a 32-bit one...
  • Besides, some people say the Linux Mint system needs a bit less ram on the 32-bit version... Considering you are definitely limited to 1 GB ram, it probably makes a "big" difference.
I am still on Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia Mate 32-bit. I strongly recommend it for this nice little Asus netbook. I am currently on Chromium and i also use Firefox sometimes, but Chromium is currently faster.

I can watch movies. Surf the internet. Create websites. Create images. Use the LibreOffice applications. And many, many other things. All this while listening to some music on this same machine. And there is almost no bugs. And it is not too slow.
That's why, if that user doesn't want or can't install the 32 bit version, needs Chromium instead of Chrome because if he runs a 32 bit Linux there is not a current Chrome version for Linux 32 bit. But on the other hand he can install Chromium from the repositories if he wants.
I use 3 computers, one of them is this 32 bit Asus 1000HD netbook which runs Linux Mint 19.1 perfectly, including Chromium. The other 2 computers are 64 bit and run Mint 64 bit.

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Re: Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!

Post by Lloydbiker » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:34 am

System is working well, even smooth Video (not movies, but Video clips), no Audio, without ext speakers, without any of the updates shown, but I have a pretty consistent glitch: If I start up with charger plugged in, I quite often fail to get a 'Clean' boot, have to force shutdown, and restart (on battery- unplugged charger). But, if I boot on battery, I get a 'Clean' boot every time. Also, if I go to 'menu', select 'quit', and abort to 'Restart', if the charger is connected, the restart quite often fails. But, if on battery only, 'Restart' is completed cleanly.
?????

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Re: Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!

Post by Lloydbiker » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:44 pm

sebastjava wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:28 am
raspu wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:43 am
[...] But I thought the CPU in the X101CH is a N2600, which as far as I know is 64 bit.
Hmm, this requires some memory efforts and i am into other kinds of thinking, at the moment, so i am not absolutely sure about what i am going to say here.

As i remember, the Asus EeePC X101CH is a 32-bit architecture. The CPU is 64 bit capable but deliberately limited by Asus for this small machine.

And also:
  • I think i already tried the 64 bit Mint version: "wrong architecture detected" error message right there, at the start, in the grub. So, it is clearly incompatible, as i remember.
  • The Windows 7 that came with the machine is a 32-bit one...
  • Besides, some people say the Linux Mint system needs a bit less ram on the 32-bit version... Considering you are definitely limited to 1 GB ram, it probably makes a "big" difference.
I am still on Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia Mate 32-bit. I strongly recommend it for this nice little Asus netbook. I am currently on Chromium and i also use Firefox sometimes, but Chromium is currently faster.

I can watch movies. Surf the internet. Create websites. Create images. Use the LibreOffice applications. And many, many other things. All this while listening to some music on this same machine. And there is almost no bugs. And it is not too slow.
Could you please post a link to the download of the 'Chromium' version you're using?

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Re: Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!

Post by absque fenestris » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:54 pm

For all the small netbook monitors, the Vivaldi browser is worth a try: based on Chromium, it has, in my opinion, the smartest screen usage...
Vivaldi updates are reliably provided by Mint Software Update.
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)
Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa (Mate) 64-bit - MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core2 Duo, 8 GB RAM, 240 GB SSD) - with some separation difficulties...

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Re: Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!

Post by sebastjava » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:53 pm

Lloydbiker wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:44 pm
Could you please post a link to the download of the 'Chromium' version you're using?
There is no need for a link. Chromium can be found in your Linux Mint Software Manager, right there in the menu. You will get the 32-bit version when you install it from a 32-bit computer, of course.

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Re: Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!

Post by Lloydbiker » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:32 pm

Wow, that was easy! It even copied all my 'Bookmarks/Favorites' from my Desktop (main home computer) (Windows7/Chrome).
I even placed selection button on task-bar, replacing 'Firefox'
Thanks a bunch!

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Re: Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!

Post by Lloydbiker » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:30 pm

Lloydbiker wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:34 am
System is working well, even smooth Video (not movies, but Video clips), no Audio, without ext speakers, without any of the updates shown, but I have a pretty consistent glitch: If I start up with charger plugged in, I quite often fail to get a 'Clean' boot, have to force shutdown, and restart (on battery- unplugged charger). But, if I boot on battery, I get a 'Clean' boot every time. Also, if I go to 'menu', select 'quit', and abort to 'Restart', if the charger is connected, the restart quite often fails. But, if on battery only, 'Restart' is completed cleanly.
?????
I'm wondering if I had created my own problem, as I just tested the 'Restart from Quit', (with charger connected), and was successful 5/5.
(Chromium - closed properly, or not started)
Previously, I was using 'Firefox' and had neglected to close browser before attempting 'Quit - Restart'.
?????

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Re: Asus Eee Pc X101ch and Intel Atom: Start With Linux Mint Mate!

Post by Lloydbiker » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:27 pm

Anyway, why not just use it as intended, as a 'portable'?
Always boot on battery, connect charger if battery is low, disconnect before booting.

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