As I have already implied, I installed Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring on my EeePC 900. Mandriva is such a great Linux distribution and almost 100% EeePC-friendly. The first obstacle I had to overcome was the seemingly broken touchpad behaviour. The next obstacle I had to overcome was of much less importance: simulating ASUS EeePC Control functionality on Linux. Thankfully, there is a great software called EeeControl, but it wouldn't install on my new distribution. Hey, I am a Linux guy, so I had to fix this too. It wasn't that hard after all. Interested?

First things first. EeeControl is a combination of a daemon (system service) and a GUI application running in the tray which enables you to over- and underclock your EeePC, enable/disable built-in hardware (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, camera, card reader) and automatically control the fan speed according to system temperature. Oh, yes, it also enables the F-keys shortcuts, like pressing Fn-F2 to toggle Wi-Fi. It's essential if you want to conserve battery power, keep the fan noise down and make your life with your EeePC easier.

Installing from an RPM

Installing EeeControl in Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring is a pain in the buttocks. I will give you step-by-step instructions to build an RPM yourself.

Installing from sources

Make sure you have set up all the media sources and that you are connected on the Internet before proceeding. If you have not added the media from the Mandriva Control Panel, you can do so by typing this at a root console:

urpmi.addmedia --distrib --mirrorlist '$MIRRORLIST'

Open a root console. All commands described below will be issued in that console.

First, we are going to install all the dependencies of the build process:

urpmi wget python-smbus rpm-build
python-devel

Next, we'll try to build the binary RPM from its source RPM. Do note that this process will fail in the last step. This is the expected behaviour and we'll patch it later on.

cd /usr/local/src
wget http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/285824/eee-control-0.8.4-1dj2009.0.src.rpm
ln -s /usr/lib/python2.6/ /usr/lib/python2.5
rpmbuild --rebuild eee-control-0.8.4-1dj2009.0.src.rpm

The last step will halt with an error. After this error appears, edit the file /root/rpmbuild/SPECS/eee-control.spec and change this line:

/usr/lib/debug/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/ioport.so.debug

to:

/usr/lib/debug/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/ioport.so.debug

Basically you just change the 2.5 to 2.6, as Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring has a newer version of Python than the one this source RPM package expected. Next up, we'll manually build the RPM:

cd /root/rpmbuild/SPECS
rpmbuild -bb eee-control.spec

After the build is complete, you have a working, installable RPM file. So, let's install it!

cd /root/rpmbuild/RPMS/noarch
urpmi ./eee-control-0.8.4-1mdv2009.1.noarch.rpm

After the installation is over, you'll have to activate the eee-control service:

service eee-control start

Now we can clean up by deleting the unnecessary files:

cd /root
rm -rf /root/rpmbuild
rm -f /usr/local/src/eee-control-0.8.4-1dj2009.0.src.rpm

That's all! You can now close your root terminal.

Using EeeControl

In order to use the EeeControl tray application, you have to run eee-control-tray, for example by pressing ALT-F2 to open the run box of your favourite desktop environment and typing in this command.

This will make a tray icon with the EeePC logo appear on your tray. Everything is self explanatory.

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