Note: If you use any of the information in this blog post and trash your computer, it’s not my fault. I’m not liable for anything that happens to you or your equipment. This information is provided as-is with no warranties, expressed or implied.

During late spring 2008, I used up about $600 of my personal savings to buy an ASUS EeePC 900. In retrospect, the EeePC was probably one of the best purchases that I ever made. It’s amazingly light (a little over 2 pounds) and gets decent battery life. These two features were especially handy during my trip to the Plone Conference Sprints in Washington DC in October 2008.

In my typical geek/modder/hacker fashion, I proceeded to trick out the default Xandros operating system. I replaced the default tabbed interface and IceWM with the super-light XFCE desktop environment. I even installed a rudimentary compositor so could have translucent windows.

At the time, I didn’t see the need to install a new OS. Xandros is a derivative of Debian, after all. What I didn’t realize is that ASUS made modifications to core libraries used in Debian, such as libaudio. This made compiling certain applications rather difficult. I also saw some weirdness with the Java classpath. The only development environment that I was able to get running was the Plone toolkit: buildout, ZopeSkel, etc. In other words, the default ASUS-modded Xandros operating system isn’t a very good operating system for software development.

Enter Easy Peasy. Essentially, it’s an unofficial fork of Ubuntu with tweaks for netbooks. When version 8.04.1 of Easy Peasy came out, I tried to install it, but couldn’t get my flash drive to successfully boot the LiveUSB copy of it.

Last night, I managed to get Easy Peasy to boot off of my flash drive. When I decided to install it, I decided to manually partition the hard disk. My EeePC 900 came with 2 hard disks. The 4 gigabyte disk holds the system files and mounts to the “/” directory. The 16 gigabyte disk holds user files and mounts to the “/home” directory. Since the EeePC doesn’t have a swap partition (to prevent the flash memory used for the disks from being trashed), there’d probably be two partitions: one on the 4 gigabyte disk, one on the 16 gigabyte disk, both formatted with the Ext-3 filesystem. Right?

Wrong.

When I looked at gparted, the GNOME partitioner, I noticed that there were a total of 5 partitions. Not shiny. To inform readers (and future me) with what these partitions probably are used for, I’ve put together the following handy tables. The information used to compile the “notes” and “label” columns of the first table was borrowed from the “What is on Partitions 3 and 4 ?” EeeUser thread. The information for the “drive” and “filesystem” columns was found using the following command:

sudo fdisk -l

Finally, the information used to compile the “size” column was taken from gparted.

Drive: /dev/sda

Drive Label Size Filesystem Notes
/dev/sda1 SYSTEM 2.4 GB ext2 This holds a copy of the Xandros operating system used for system restoration.
/dev/sda2 USER 1.5 GB ext3 This holds the active copy of Xandros used to run the system.
/dev/sda3 BIOS 8 MB W95 FAT32 (LBA) This holds a copy of the BIOS for updating purposes. Don’t delete this.
/dev/sda4 EFI 8 MB EFI (FAT-12/15/32) Used for the BootBooster BIOS option. Don’t delete this.

Drive: /dev/sdb

Drive Label Size Filesystem Notes
/dev/sdb1 n/a 15.7 GB ext3 Mounted as “/home”. This is where all of your files go.

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