Enabling Advanced Desktop Mode on the Eee PC 900

I am a fan of ASUS’ Xandros tab-based desktop, but for everyday advanced users, it just isn’t cut out to do the dirty work. I much prefer working in the more Windows-reminiscent Xandros full-KDE Mode with a Start Launch button and easier access to utilities and programs. I figured enabling the advanced desktop mode on the Eee PC 900 would be a cinch if I just followed the step-by-step directions for the 700. But there’s the rub. I followed our instructions for the 700 extremely closely; however, when I got to the step to type in “apt-get update” in the terminal, an error message popped up saying the files could not be located. Thanks to some helpful EeeUser.com forum members I was able to solve the problem by following these steps. In the terminal (hold down Ctrl+Alt+T to open the terminal command prompt) type “sudo synaptic.” The Synaptic Package Manager will launch. Select Settings > Repositories. Select the New button and input the following in the three fields:

URI: http://update.eeepc.asus/com/p701/ Distribition: p701 Section(s): main

Select the New button again to save and then click OK. In the Synaptic Package Manager, select the Reload button, and the new update will download to your Eee PC 900. Hit the power button on your machine and you should see the option for Full Desktop. Before switching, we restarted the computer—just to cover our bases. Problem solved! I am now enjoying the full desktop and I don’t have any problems switching from the tabbed interface to the full desktop mode by just hitting the power button. Going back to the tabbed interface, however, requires me to shut down the computer. Any tips from the crowd as to how to get the machine to boot directly into advanced desktop mode?

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  1. natty Says:

    Hi, i tried the above but no luck! i could not connect to the server or it was not availiable,
    any help will be very helpfull

    thanks

  2. kd Says:

    same here, it did not work, synaptic did not like the url, they must have taken it down.

    got any fixes for this?

    would like to get out of easy mode asap.

    also, is anyone else hating the webcam app under “play” in the eee pc 900 linux? mine runs at 1 frame per five seconds. skype doesn’t have this problem, but if you wanted to record a video with the webcam on your eee pc 900 linux, 1 frame per five seconds is absolutely unacceptable.

    this must not be a hardware problem because the eee pc 900 xp ‘s webcam program ran beautifully in the store.

  3. kd Says:

    I got it. I used these instructions instead and they worked like a charm.

    http://wiki.eeeuser.com/howto:getkde#enable_advanced_desktop_mode_-_the_easy_way

    I still love joanna stern, she’s such a hot little techie number.

    ps joanna, you don’t have to power down to switch to easy mode, just press the “launch” button and just above the “logout user” option, there is an option to swap over to “easy mode” that does not require you to power down your device.

    joanna do you have a boyfriend?

    you are beautiful.

  4. kd Says:

    anybody know how to switch the codec in ucview out of ogg vorbis video? that codec is garbage.

  5. Bruce Basger Says:

    The URI is wrong in the article. It is given as:
    http://update.eeepc.asus/com/p701/
    … but should be …
    http://update.eeepc.asus.com/p701/
    i.e. a dot before the com, not a slash
    Then everything works fine :-)

  6. John Says:

    I tried Joanna’s instructions and they didn’t work – I had the same problem as kd. I looked at the alternative instructions that worked for kd, at http://wiki.eeeuser.com/howto:getkde#enable_advanced_desktop_mode_-_the_easy_way

    Unfortunately special extra stuff needs to be done for the PC900 and for a Windows person who is new to Linux, this looks very tricky stuff. I’m not keen at all to do it – don’t understand it anyway. Surely there’s a more straightforward way of enabling the full desktop on a PC900?

  7. Jared Says:

    It looks like Joanna mistyped the URL. Make sure you enter that repository url as a “.com” rather than a “/com”. Here’s the correct url:

    http://update.eeepc.asus.com/p701/

    Good luck, EEE PCers.

  8. Vicky Wong Says:

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work with “.com” or “/com”. I agree with John – for Windows users, this Linux stuff seems incredibly difficult – even to do the simplest things. Help??

  9. AL50 Says:

    Dear Joanna,

    I followed your recipe and it worked beautifully.
    I only changed the following steps:
    After you wrote “Select the New button again to save and then click OK” I did the following:

    I rebooted the system (now that I am thinking about it, I do not think this step is needed)

    I did Ctrl Alt T to open the console window
    I typed:
    sudo bash
    apt-get update
    apt-get install ksmserver kicker

    (you see ksmserver kicker being gotten, then the computer ask you if you want to install them and you answer y)

    Exit the console

    Then reboot your system.

    Now you see the full desktop button and can choose to open full desktop

    Thank you for your kind help,

  10. Jake Says:

    i have tried everything on this list… and nae joy… the ONLY difference is that im using a 20gb 900 model, and nobody has actually specified this model… i have no idea about ANY of this, I keep convincing myself to type dangerous looking codes into my girlfriends computer and nothing happens, and there aint no ‘undo’ button to hit…. as far as i can see, linux (or at least this twisted copy of) just isnt ready for the average XP user…. I feel like im stuck between using an operating system clearly designed for toddlers/lower primates or one which requires me to either learn a VAST AMOUNT about an operating system i dont really want to know this much about, or put my trust entirely in people I dont know, online… in limbo, i like most people will undoubtedly jump ship to XP or (hopefully) leopard…

    as for asus’s “website” / “support page”, dont get me started…..

    J

  11. Vicky Wong Says:

    Jake –

    I can’t agree with Jake more. The last time I used code was in my 5th grad computer science class in the 80s. There is an “eject” button, though if you don’t mind losing everything in you computer – hitting “F9″ works like a charm to get your eee back into its original factory settings.

    If anyone…..and I mean, please…ANYONE…can suggest a simple (simple for an average non-computer geek person) step by step way to get to full desktop mode for the 900, I will name my next child after you!!

  12. Chris Says:

    With the “.com” correction and the added steps provided by AL05 it worked fine on my 900 16 GB. Thanks.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    I agree with Chris. make the change to the .com and use AL05’s suggestions and it works fine. Used it on my 901 20GB

  14. asi4 Says:

    @john, @AL50, you ppl rock…

    I bought eee pc 900 16G couple of hours ago and had no luck for first two tries to install ksmserver and kicker. Finally, went to wiki.eeepc easy way and could do it no probs.

    @jake, @vicky wong, c’mon ppl if you could put up with windows BSOD and s**t you can take couple of failures while setting this one. But apart from jokes, the reason you and I couldn’t get it the first time is that the link used by Joanna and AL50 have removed ksmserver and kicker (or so I think), additionally there is a conflict with ‘libqt3′ and ‘libqt3c-102′ in files called ‘available’ and ‘status’ thats it.

    You fix those and trust in ‘tuxfamily.org’ everything will be fine. I am new to linux, I will tell you my opinion (after using windows for a decade) if you are a windows user you are taking more risk by clicking on random ads on web than trusting linux codes, which has been tried by couple of people.

  15. asi4 Says:

    for jake and vicky wong… here are some of my screenshots of eee pc 900 while set advanced desktop. Hope it gives a flavor for the type of task at hand. Honestly I just followed verbatim from the wiki.eeeuser link from john’s comment (thanks again)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/27935226@N05/2764184402/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/27935226@N05/2763339679/in/photostream/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/27935226@N05/2763339663/

    If I could do it I am sure all of you can !!

  16. asi4 Says:

    BTW… Thanks Joanna for this very nice post.

  17. Hangedman Says:

    Hi Joanna,

    If you want to have your eee boot directly into advanced desktop mode after you have set it up:

    While in easy mode click the Settings tab
    Click Personalization
    Set Log in mode to Full Desktop

    :)

    hope that helps
    PS: to return to easy mode click Launch – Easy Mode

  18. Vicky Wong Says:

    I have to say that, although I am still slogging through all this (will try again tonight with all of your suggestions above) and am not yet a Linux convert, I do love how everybody comes together and tries to help. Don’t see much of this in the Windows world…thank you all!!!

  19. Laura Says:

    As a complete newbie to Linux, I have to say that I finally got this to work! I tried multiple times without success, but also without harm (to calm the fears of other newbies out there) Finally I was sucessful after using AL50’s addition to the other instructions.
    So cool!! Thanks you all for your help. I agree with Vicky, the user community seems really helpful. Who knows- I might even try something else using the console!

  20. Laura Says:

    OK, after a day in advanced mode, I want to say I’m really glad I switched. Advanced mode offers so many more options- I encourage people to try the upgrade.
    One question, though- if I add an icon to the desktop, it doesn’t survive a reboot. I know I saw instructions for this somewhere but don’t remember where. Anyone know how to fix this?

  21. Amit Says:

    I have figured it out. Follow Joanna’s instructions replacing the url with http://www.eeepc.asus.com/p701 then rememeber you HAVE TO CLICK “OK” AFTER YOU HIT “NEW” (in the repository window)! THEN YOU NEED TO CLOSE THE repository window. If you do not do the above 2 steps exactly then you will not be able to follow AL50’s instructions. After that follow AL50’s instructions.

    I did Ctrl Alt T to open the console window
    I typed:
    sudo bash
    apt-get update
    apt-get install ksmserver kicker

    (you see ksmserver kicker being gotten, then the computer ask you if you want to install them and you answer y)

    Exit the console

    Then reboot your system.

    Now you see the full desktop button and can choose to open full desktop

    Thank you for your kind help,

  22. TurboFC3C Says:

    AL50,

    THANK YOU!
    This man speaks the truth! Just do as he says, and it works.

    I’m on a brand new Eee PC 900 16gb

  23. John Says:

    P900 20G

    Finally get it working following a mix of instruction :-)

    P900 (connect to internet)

    (hold down Ctrl+Alt+T to open the terminal command prompt) type “sudo synaptic”

    Within Synaptic, choose Settings…Repositories
    Press New…
    Enter the URI http://update.eeepc.asus.com/p701/
    Enter the section: main
    Press OK
    Press Reload

    Close the Terminal

    Open a terminal in Easy Mode hit ‘Ctrl+Alt+T’

    Type: # Install KDE ‘Advanced mode’
    sudo aptitude update
    sudo aptitude install ksmserver kicker
    sudo reboot

    Press power button. The full desktop optional will appear. choice and reboot :-)

    Code:
    # Install KDE ‘Advanced mode’
    sudo aptitude update
    sudo aptitude install ksmserver kicker
    sudo reboot

  24. John Says:

    I’m getting conflicts whilst resolving dependencies when using John’s method above and it seems to be taking a VERY long time (perhaps because I already have a lot of data/files on the machine?).

    Anyway, will update when ive finished but just wanted to check if anyone had any info or could confirm that it is expected, ok or otherwise….

  25. Amit Says:

    UPDATED apparently now the website I gave previously no longer works you can use the following website and it will work just fine! Yes in my infinite wisdom I tried to do some stuff and had to reset the machine to factory default.

    I have figured it out. Follow Joanna’s instructions replacing the url with http://update.eeepc.asus.com/p701 (Thanks john)then rememeber you HAVE TO CLICK “OK” AFTER YOU HIT “NEW” (in the repository window)! THEN YOU NEED TO CLOSE THE repository window. If you do not do the above 2 steps exactly then you will not be able to follow AL50’s instructions. After that follow AL50’s instructions.

    I did Ctrl Alt T to open the console window
    I typed:
    sudo bash
    apt-get update
    apt-get install ksmserver kicker

    (you see ksmserver kicker being gotten, then the computer ask you if you want to install them and you answer y)

    Exit the console

    Then reboot your system.

    Now you see the full desktop button and can choose to open full desktop

    Thank you for your kind help,

  26. pat Says:

    ok guys i tried all of your innstructons and nothing worked at all for me the download address is no longervalid. it will not update right in the terminal. im getting impatient with this. the EEE is supposed to be easy to learn work play but yet i cant even get kde desktop?

  27. Mike Says:

    Hi guys,

    I am running a 900 with Linux (20GB) and I followed the instructions given by Amit and they worked for me fine!

    Thanks again, I’ve been waiting a long time to get full desktop working!

    Sweet.

  28. ANL Says:

    John’s instruction’s worked on 10/13/08 that one!

    Awesome thank you I have the EEE PC 900 Linux 4gb.

  29. pinegreen198 Says:

    Well, running synaptic from the terminal and adding the Asus 701 repository then running apt-get from the command line worked, where manually adding the repository to sources.list did not work for me. For the life of me, the end result in sources.list after all was done looked identical to what I tried before. However, something worked differently.

    Thanks for the info that enabled advanced mode on my 900.

  30. Chicken Says:

    Amit s tip worked perfeclty

  31. Matt Says:

    AL50’s advice + Joanna = sweetness. worked fine for me on 1/21/09 on my new 900!

  32. robyn Says:

    I have finally managed to change to the full desktop after a variety of hit and misses with using the synaptic terminal and sudo? it eventually worked i think with the synaptic setup although it said it couldnt download it as the webpage was wrong. then in the sudo dos screen it mentioned a couple of errors but managed to kicker it and then the full desktop button was there.
    im a complete linux virgin and really have no idea what im doing.
    my problem now is that, the internet was working fine before i changed to full desktop, now it wont work on either full or basic. im using the internet from my friends computer with the same cable and its definately working. any ideas or suggestions as to why it wont connect? just comes up with “pending” for hours.. ive tried disconnecting and reconnecting and it goes through the setting up stage find but gets stuck at pending.
    Help please!!!

  33. robyn Says:

    problem solved!! it was a problem with the cable! fingers crossed its all running smoothly now!! thanks for everyones help here! i would not have been able to do this without all of you!

  34. karen Says:

    please help!! i have followed all of the above instructions so many times and not working, getting very frustrated!!
    when doing the bit in the synaptic i keep getting error messages that things havent downloaded, or the address(in instructions eeepc.asus) is invalid or no linger available!!
    this is doing my head in and really want to resolve this, so if anybody can shed some light on it i would be very very appreciative!!!!!

  35. Jim Harris Says:

    I also could not get it to work with eeepc 900 20gb
    But it eventually worked with the following mix:
    Connect to wireless
    (hold down Ctrl+Alt+T to open the terminal command prompt)
    Type sudo -i (to get root access)
    Type “sudo synaptic”
    Within Synaptic, choose Settings…Repositories
    Press New…
    Enter the URI http://update.eeepc.asus.com/p701
    Distibution: p701
    Enter the section: main
    Press New
    Press OK
    Press Reload
    Close the Terminal

    I then restarted machine connected to wireless and followed EXACTLY the instructions for the eeepc 701 on http://www.laptopmag.com/advice/tips/5-asus-eee-pc-customization-tips-youll-love.aspx?page=6

    I don’t know if I had to restart or needed root access, but this worked for me

  36. Karl Says:

    Hi, I was excited about finding this after being fed up with the silly-ness of my Eee PC that I tried it but everything worked up the point after downloading the repository and it came up with the message “http://update.eeepc.asus/com/p701/dists/p701/main/binary-i386/Packages.gz: Sub-process gzip returned an error code (1)”
    Any help?

  37. Knight Says:

    Thx very much it work for me but i got to restart my computer

    After you wrote “Select the New button again to save and then click OK” I did the following:
    I rebooted the system (now that I am thinking about it, I do not think this step is needed)
    I did Ctrl Alt T to open the console window
    I typed:
    sudo bash
    apt-get update
    ///////////////i restart my pc here //////////////////
    apt-get install ksmserver kicker
    (you see ksmserver kicker being gotten, then the computer ask you if you want to install them and you answer y)
    Exit the console
    Then reboot your system.
    Now you see the full desktop button and can choose to open full desktop
    Thank you for your kind help,

    and thank you guys :)

  38. Rama Says:

    This is correct ! i tried all and didnt work and finallt seen amit post and when i did it exactly as amit said then it worked fine , mine is eeepc 900 16 gb :make sure you close the repository window and no restart is needed.

    I have figured it out. Follow Joanna’s instructions replacing the url with http://www.eeepc.asus.com/p701 then rememeber you HAVE TO CLICK “OK” AFTER YOU HIT “NEW” (in the repository window)! THEN YOU NEED TO CLOSE THE repository window. If you do not do the above 2 steps exactly then you will not be able to follow AL50′s instructions. After that follow AL50′s instructions.

    I did Ctrl Alt T to open the console window
    I typed:
    sudo bash
    apt-get update
    apt-get install ksmserver kicker

    (you see ksmserver kicker being gotten, then the computer ask you if you want to install them and you answer y)

    Exit the console

    Then reboot your system.

    Now you see the full desktop button and can choose to open full desktop

    Thank you for your kind help,

    Read more: http://blog.laptopmag.com/enabling-advanced-desktop-mode-on-the-eee-pc-900#comments#ixzz137EW781k

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