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Asus agrees to publish full Eee PC source code

Asus agrees to publish full Eee PC source code

The Eee PC is a popular little gadget, but has already found enemies in the Linux camp.

That Eee PC is a popular machine right now and, like all popular things, it's found a natural enemy almost immediately. In this situation that enemy is the source code reading, OS tinkering Linux fanboy type.

When it originally emerged that Asus hadn't fully complied with the Linux General Public License, there was a minor furore on the internet. A number of parties were quick to yell that once again a big company was trying to break the law in their favour by not releasing some of the modified parts of the source code for the OS which the Eee PC runs on.

Well, to all those people, Asus has one thing to say and that is; "Calm down, dear!"

Asus has tried to clarify the matter in a comment to Digitimes and has pledged to release the full source code shortly.

In a comment to Digitimes, Asus spokespersons said that the omission was due to a mistake caused by the company's software technicians. The company is now hard at work compiling the full source code so that hackers and tinkerers can have their wicked ways.

What do you think about the Eee PC? Is it a decent machine or is it all mouth and no chops? Was this a deliberate mistake from Asus or a genuine error? Let us know in the forums.

19 Comments

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Greenie 29th November 2007, 15:58 Quote
but we dont want the source code compiled :P

i didnt think it was intentional on asus' part and it seems it wasnt, but we will never know whether some companies 'play' at respecting the GPL or actually work with it. It would probably help to make their products better...
mclean007 29th November 2007, 16:14 Quote
heh, yeah - "compiling the full source code" is a bit of a misleading turn of phrase!
Bursar 29th November 2007, 16:18 Quote
If they bring out the 8GB version, then I'm there! (Well, work is, as they'll be paying for it ;))
specofdust 29th November 2007, 16:24 Quote
Interesting to know, but personally I care far more about the stock shortages than I do about the GPL stuff.
steveo_mcg 29th November 2007, 16:28 Quote
The good news is they'll have the gpl folks off their back and they'll (hopefully) continue to make the linux version even after the XP version comes out. My biggest worry with this wasn't the non compliance as such but that this and other companies would think that making linux based products was too much hassle and not bother.
Zurechial 29th November 2007, 16:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
heh, yeah - "compiling the full source code" is a bit of a misleading turn of phrase!

Phew, I'm not the only one geeky enough to be confused by that one! :)



Error: ";" Expected.
Icy EyeG 29th November 2007, 16:44 Quote
I'm curious about something: is it possible to run the Eee PC Linux Distro on a regular PC? :o

EDIT: From the Eee site:
Quote:
Asus is also pleased to announce the upcoming release of the Eee PC SDK. This will allow for the development on the Eee PC by the OpenSource community making it easy to develop, easy to port and easy to release software for the Eee PC platform. Please check back soon at eeepc.asus.com for more information in the upcoming weeks. We are pleased to work with the OpenSource GNU/Linux community to extend the richness of the Eee PC beyond the standard commercial offerings.

Cool... :)
steveo_mcg 29th November 2007, 16:59 Quote
From what i was reading earlier in the week, the interseting part of the eee pc isn't open source. The ASUSLauncher the part which isn't a KDE desktop seems to be proprietary, which is real shame i had some plans for that.
Greenie 29th November 2007, 18:21 Quote
Icy EyeG: i dont know about the asus 'easy' mode, it seems to be IceWM with an interesting theme, but the distro is basically Xandros, which in turn is built off Debian.

I suppose you could install a version of linux with IceWM as the window manager and copy over the 'themey bits' from the EEE PC to see if it works, it would be interesting to do, but on a regular PC, but with the added real estate of a fairly high resolution monitor, a standard KDE or Gnome desktop would probably be easier, once shortcuts and the like had been set up.

The EEE PC platform will probably be QT or GTK+ programs with some extra bits to make it integrate into IceWM more easily. I hope it might be a little more than that. If it was done well enough, it could possibly inspire younger people to write a few programs and make some new open source contributions at the same time.
Icy EyeG 29th November 2007, 18:41 Quote
It does look lice IceWM, but I don't think that's the case...

EDIT: According to wikipedia is KDE.
Phil Rhodes 29th November 2007, 21:33 Quote
I'm waiting for someone to actually do something useful with this code that's been so hotly demanded.

Linux really is much more about political pointmaking than practical computing.

Phil
Fruitloaf 29th November 2007, 21:51 Quote
@Phil

The useful thing that people will do straight away is to allow the use of the full hardware under other linux distributions. Further to this I imagine the next step would be to customise a more up to date distro like Ubuntu with Asus tweaks that make this system fast to boot plus add the Easy desktop mode to thise distro probably with an easy way to switch to a real desktop.
steveo_mcg 29th November 2007, 21:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
I'm waiting for someone to actually do something useful with this code that's been so hotly demanded.

Linux really is much more about political pointmaking than practical computing.

Phil

The reason it was so "hotly demanded" is because they broke the law. They broke the terms of the license which they published the software under, unlike big brother at Redmond this has be happly sorted out with out resorting to lawyers. Do you honestly believe if Asus sold this with an unlicensed copy of Vista this would have gone away so quickly. If you honestly beilve linux is more about political points then i invite you to try it. Sure it doesn't game so well but then thats hardly "practical computing" is it.
Icy EyeG 29th November 2007, 22:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes

Linux really is much more about political pointmaking than practical computing.

I'm a Windows (dependent) user and a casual Linux user (I use Xubuntu on VMware Player and on an old pc), but I do consider (nowadays) Linux as practical computing. Ubuntu 7.10 is a good example of it IMHO.
DXR_13KE 29th November 2007, 22:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icy EyeG
I'm a Windows (dependent) user and a casual Linux user (I use Xubuntu on VMware Player and on an old pc), but I do consider (nowadays) Linux as practical computing. Ubuntu 7.10 is a good example of it IMHO.

i also consider Linux as a a practical computing experience, especially the latest builds that run just as good as XP and look very nice.... and with synaptics i can get lots of software fast and easy, as long as i have nice repositories.

edit: it is nice of ASUS to publish the source code and not go to court or do something bad.
leexgx 30th November 2007, 02:22 Quote
ubuntu 7.10 is the worst Ver of ubuntu ever made stick with 7.04, never seen so many problems on the ubuntu forums as i keep up with each rels

if you do upgrade (back up \home as it probably will fail the upgrade) or planning on installing 7.10 make sure the network cable is unplugged so the set up does not fail (you need to turn the repositories back on after install as the setup turns them off)
completemadness 30th November 2007, 03:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leexgx
ubuntu 7.10 is the worst Ver of ubuntu ever made stick with 7.04, never seen so many problems on the ubuntu forums as i keep up with each rels

if you do upgrade (back up \home as it probably will fail the upgrade) or planning on installing 7.10 make sure the network cable is unplugged so the set up does not fail (you need to turn the repositories back on after install as the setup turns them off)
It swings in roundabouts

Once you have installed 7.10 (with or without issues) a lot of the features seem very much improved
But whatever, its still early days for 7.10 and 7.04 does what I want .....
steveo_mcg 30th November 2007, 10:40 Quote
You want things to never change, stick with the mother of most distros... Debian, specifically Debian stable: Etch. The last Stable release didn't change for a number of years.
Greenie 30th November 2007, 13:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icy EyeG
It does look lice IceWM, but I don't think that's the case...

EDIT: According to wikipedia is KDE.

the "easy" mode is IceWM, but it does run KDE if you want a full desktop, so i assume both are installed.

there is some good information here: http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardware/eee-pc-review.ars
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