Ubuntu 11.04 works fine on Eee PC 701. Installation requires some counterintuitive steps.
In my brief test, I found that display, mouse, keyboard and wireless network worked.
Backup files from your Eee PC before installing a new OS. Also disconnect any memory cards. Backup files from the USB stick you are going to boot from.
Created bootable USB
I created a bootable Ubuntu USB with
- StartUp Disk Creator on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS
- Ubuntu 11.04 32 bit Desktop CD ROM image
USB Boot Eee PC 701
I put USB first in BIOS Boot Order, using F2 on boot.
Even with this setting, I had to press ESC on boot and select USB. (Without boot menu / ESC, it just booted internal hard drive).
Fixed Syslinux “Unknown keyword”
Boot stopped with SysLinux error: “Unknown keyword in configuration file.”.
Mounted the USB disk to a working computer, and modified syslinux.cfg: just removed the word “ui”, so the last line became “gfxboot bootlogo”. (Yes, files on bootable USB can be modified just like any files on USB mass storage).
Rebooted, so Ubuntu booted normally (but slowly). To show boot log instead of Ubuntu logo, I pressed ESC.
Desktop worked automatically
I got Unity desktop. Touchpad moved cursor. Display looked sharp. I could start Firefox.
Fn-F2 Fixed Wireless
Top right network applet did not show any wireless networks. I pressed Fn-F2 to enable wireless. After this, I was able to connect a wireless network.
I googled “Tero Karvinen” and found my own page. Thus, network was working.
I didn’t install, I just used the system in a Live USB mode.
Ubuntu 11.04 32-bit desktop works on Eee PC 701. My initial experience is that it’s suitable system for this tiny netbook.
Some of these were sources, some contain additional advice I haven’t tested yet.