Until very recently, my eee900 was running on Suse Linux. I was more than happy with it, I liked the look and feel of it, I liked the fact that it was waaaay faster than windows and generally I thought we two were going to stick together for a long time. I did not know of one little detail though:
Vpn connection. I needed to be able to connect to my workplace through PPTP, since we are using windows machines there, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t make it work. Network manager, had support for vpn, but not pptp tunneling, so I resorted to Google and spent a whole day trying all kinds of remedies to no avail. My colleague, the one who talked me into installing Suse in the first place, had pptp up and running on his own machine and that only frustrated me more. It only meant that there was a way to make it work, I just hadn’t found it yet. When I asked him how he had done it, he said he could not remember (of course) but he could use Norton Ghost to bring his own image onto my machine. I agreed and gave him my eee, because I thought that having vpn was better than having to re-fine-tune suse. Due to a *slight* mistake on his side, I ended up booting in Windows home again (he had used the wrong image to restore on my eee), which solved me one problem (I now had vpn), but created a whole lot more (speed, hiccups, poor performance) .
The dilemma: Keep windows and try to speed them up, or re-install suse?
The windows user in me was screaming for the first option and I quickly found my self browsing through this thread and installing nLite. For the record, I believe the instructions on the thread above are fantastic and to my knowledge they work like a charm, but something did not go well with nLite, so I wasn’t able to complete them. In the past, I have tried some of the tips mentioned in there though and they really make a difference, but still nothing compared to my experience with suse.
The fact that I failed tweaking XP (or sabotaged my self sub-consciously) meant only one thing: Back to Linux! But should I move back to suse, or maybe try something new. While searching for a linux distro that works well with netbooks, I stumbled on Easy Peasy. The scree-shots were nice, it is based on Ubuntu (ie user friendly). So off with the installation!
The OS installation was easier than easy, you only have to follow the instructions given here. One word of advise though: Use an MD5 checker with your download! It will save you a lot of frustration later ;). I had to download the iso 3 times to finally get it right but it worked like a charm in the end. Almost like a charm…
The very first thing I tried to do was to set up a vpn connection and – what a surprise – I couldn’t. From what I understood, reading countless web sites, was that pptp is not directly supported in linux, and it’s usually used only for windows vpns. I found some great instructions here, but they are great for everybody else, except me, since I could not install network-manager-pptp. For some reason that I cannot understand, the specific package was not available in any of the repositories that were configured in Easy Peasy. There is however an application, similar to Windows “Add Remove Programs” and when I tried that one, it found a pptp client and let me install it. Be sure to select “All Open Source Applications” from the drop down list!
Now, I need to do some extensive testing, but so far I love it.