Leeenux V3

created: 1270575375|%e %B %Y, %H:%M
TAGS: eeepc leeenux
Few days ago the new version of leeenux was released. Despite the fact I was really happy with the old version (2.0), I have decided to spend part of the belgian rainy easter testing the new version on my 701.

With respect version 2.0, the main differences are:

New kernel, new UNR menu, splitting up from EasyPeasy and switching to Ubuntu Minimal as base, new applications. Leeenux usplash, xsplash, gdm login. New eee-control modes. For eee 701g (2G, 4G, 4G surf - with Intel Celeron): 450MHz, 540MHz, 630MHz, 765MHz, 900MHz, and overclocking to 945MHz. Corrected modes for netbooks with Intel Atom processor.

I've downloaded the standard edition (extended and game editions are also available): the iso is of 450MB and once installed takes 1.3GB of space on the hard disk. Not bad.
The installation is fast and dummy proof, not a single problem. About the installation I can only say to do manually the HD partitioning, so to get rid of the swap partition of 256MB. With 1GB of ram is almost useless, it take a lot of space (I have 4GB…) and increase the number of read/write cycles for my little SSD HD.

First impressions
The boot, once leeenux is installed, is fast: I would say about 30 sec to arrive at the login screen. The new graphical interface loose a bit of appeal with respect the old one, but I have to admit is more clean

The new gui (the background is mine…)

The top bar can be customized with some applets, which allows to use multiple workspaces.

Navigation through the menus and screens is smooth even with the cpu underclocked at 450MHz (by default the clock is set to 630MHz). The new settings for the cpu clock seems to work flawlessly and allows to manage heat (the cpu temperature while I write this page increase from 48-50 @450MHz to 53 degrees Celsius at 900MHz. Also, the frame gets noticeable hotter) and the duration of the battery (1h30 and I'm still 40%… btw, the battery is almost dead) Also, the Eee icons let us turn on and off wifi and card reader, but not the camera (pity).

All the function keys are working, as well as resume/suspend, wi-fi, brightness, external screen and mute/volume with relative OSD. Microphone is also working, while the camera is, for me, in black and white only, both in cheese and skype. Yes, I have tried to change the size/resolution of the camera. Well, not a big deal for me.

As usual, the pre-installed software is a good selection, and can make happy the majority of the users. What is missing, can be easily installed via synaptic.
Since I need a scientific distro, I had to remove some software I was not going to use, in order to install what I needed. in particular I have removed:

  • all the games and emulators
  • thunderbird
  • sunbird
  • prism facebook
  • rhythmbox
  • gnasm video player
  • abiword
  • gnumeric
  • paint

and some other minor packages

What I have installed is:
for work:

  • latex
  • openoffice (I needed for impress)
  • gfortran
  • java
  • gnuplot
  • xmgrace
  • imagemagick
  • povray
  • tachyon
  • pyton-numpy
  • gromacs
  • tinker
  • vmd
  • marvin beans
  • ekee
  • openbabel
  • skype
  • chrome
  • prism google-mail

for fun:

  • gphoto2
  • babelgps

and something more.
This leave me with 909 MB free on 3.7GB (25% free), more than enough to work, considering I have a 8GB SD always in my card reader.

Now, many people find the screen of the 701 too small to work, and that is true, but with leeenux… is a bit less true. Every window is maximized by default so there is plenty of space. Let's see some examples:

From the repository, we can install the version 3.1. Openoffice has a quite messy GUI: lots of icons, menus and sections. I have set the view options to scale the interface to 90% and to use the small icons. The result is below:


Not bad.

The terminal is simply perfect:


Browser: Chrome
Already Chrome has a clean interface, that makes it perfect for the small screens like that of the 701, plus it can be used fullscreen (F11):


xmgrace is not well displayed by default, but it is enough to add the option -free to the command used to fire it up (also via the menu), and you will get:


Marvin Beans
Marvin Beans is one of the best suite to work with chemical structures: it has a 2D editor with 3D clean up capabilities, a converter and a 3D viewer. It runs wonderfully in Leeenux:


VMD is a bit tricky: I would suggest you to unmaximize at least the main gui. in the picture, a caffeine molecules is displayed and the tk console is also active. All in unmaximized mode. Hint: use the option -size 400 400 to start vmd, so that when unmaximized you will have a manageable windows.


I use gThumb to create screenshows of images of plots or VMD renderings. Also, it can be used to perform basic photo editing.


You cannot use a computer in the lab if it cannot visualize pdf files. In Leeenux evince is installed by default. Here in action in full screen mode with a paper of mine:


In few words, leeenux is the uber distro for the 701 and, probably for all the netbooks out there.

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