K-adora is born?

So I've been following, and wanting, one of those little "netbooks" since Asus announced plans for the Eee. Being a wait-and-watch person I held out until there was one that met what I wanted in features and price - the Acer Aspire One (AA1). Being the tinker I am, the first thing I did when I got it was try to update the Linpus OS installed and configure it to have a more normal (aka 'advanced') desktop interface.

While Linpus is based off of Fedora, my preferred distro, the customizations Acer did were not meeting my needs and there were conflicts on some updates when I went to use 'yum'. Long story short, I liked what was done for eeeDora but not enough to just install and add the missing drivers/configs to make it fully work on the AA1. However, it did lead me to exploring and eventually attempting to make my own custom spin Live CD based off of Fedora.

Since I started with only myself in mind and the additional hardware available on the AA1, as compared to the Eee 2G Surf which I believe was the original target for eeeDora, I decided to go with KDE for the Window Manager and desktop. When I showed my first attempt to a few folks, one who has the Eee and one thinking of getting the AA1, interest was expressed. Thus lead to me thinking about offering up this custom spin to others and hence "K-adora". The name being based off of KDE + AA1 + Fedora (my thoughts being someone else might want to do a Gnome or XFCE spin and, as far as I'm concerned, are more than welcome to use the "adora" bit).

Before we go any further, I must give many thanks to the hard work of others that helped me:

  • The eeeDora project: For their livecd kickstart that gave me many clues in making mine
  • Ubuntu sub-forum on AspireOneUser.com: To all the folks on there who dove right in to started figuring things out and posting what they did. If you like Ubuntu, I highly suggest following the threads there and I wouldn't be surprised to see a custom spin or two for Ubuntu coming out shortly.
  • Swâmi Petaramesh: For all his tweaks, many of which I've incorporated as much as possible.

What I have so far:

[last updated 9/7/2008]

  • Based on: Fedora 8 [1], but I am pulling in the newer packages
  • Window Manager: KDE v3.5.9, with KDM
  • Primary packages: The basic KDE utilities, net applications (including Kopete for IM), and games. Also OpenOffice.org v2.3, Firefox (web), Thunderbird (email) [2].
  • Custom packages: Drivers for the wireless (madwifi-hal- and wired (r8101-1.009.00) network cards, scripts for on-screen display of function key changes
  • Tweaks: Some KDE theme tweaks plus Kooldock, Firefox tweaks to reduce memory usage and disk writes, blinking wifi LED, adjustments to hopefully reduce wear on the SSD, and power setting adjustments.

Confirmed working:

[last updated 9/7/2008]

  • Wired network
  • Wireless network (tested w/ WPA2)
  • Webcam (tested with Kopete)
  • Sound out of built-in speakers (a little low in volume?)
  • Sound out of headphone jack
  • Firefox: Flash support and can play QuickTime movie trailers
  • Touchpad: Synaptics is used by default w/ scrolling enabled. Mine does not support mult-touch, but does support "hot" areas for things like middle-click.
  • "Fn" keys:
    • Touchpad on/off, on-screen splash display of change
    • Volume up/down, via KMix
    • Mute/unmute, via KMix (on-screen status via KMix icon)
    • Brightness up/down, on-screen splash display of change
    • Home/end
    • Num lock
    • Scroll lock (Linpus had this invoke the screen lock, I am not)
  • Wireless on/off switch, with script to add/remove the drivers
  • Left and right card readers. (Note: Must insert once, wait, then reinsert. Otherwise have one inserted at boot.)

Not confirmed or in progress:

[last updated 9/7/2008]

  • Installation to hard drive (I wouldn't recommend trying this yet)
  • Left card reader auto-adding to hard drive size (not going to do, Linpus using aufs)
  • Microphone internal/external
  • Sleep and/or hibernate with proper wake-up
  • "Fn" keys: monitor switching (untested)
  • Suspend (works, but see previous)

Would like to do:

  • Have some of the recommended kernel boot parameters included when installing. So far this doesn't seem possible and might have to be manually done by the installer.
  • Some Firefox tweaks: Maybe default to small icons with the bookmarks bar off. The idea being to get a little more vertical viewing space.
  • Provide a repository for the rpms I've created. This is primarily so updates to the kernel modules would be available for the new kernels the Fedora project puts out, otherwise wired and wireless would stop working if the kernel was updated and the end user would have to recompile the drivers. This is in the works.
  • Avoid as many custom rpms as possible. Goal is to stay as compatible with the Fedora project and better known repositories, ala Livna, as possible. The needed madwifi-hal package should eventually be available, but most likely not for Fedora 8. I don't think the r8101 driver, from RealTek, would be included but a compatible alternative might come along eventually.
  • Have instructions for what would be needed to have it work on the Asus Eee.


Screen Shots

K-adora LiveCD Desktop

Firefox with kicker hidden

Kpowersave (battery charging time is off)


Kopete w/ webcam working

Administration menu

Games menu

Graphics menu

Internet menu

Mulitmedia menu

Office menu

Settings menu

System menu

Utilities menu


How to get the K-adora LiveCD

The iso is currently 738MB. I'm afraid of what my bandwidth usage would jump to if I posted it for download. So if you'd really like to try it at this stage, and it is not polished or near 100%, use the "Contact" link. I'd also like to know the general interest out there, to determine if I need to find a hosting solution for eventual general public download.

I will gladly email you my livecd kickstart file too. Some of my custom scripts and rpms are available here:


[1] Why Fedora 8 and not 9? While I really like KDE and I support KDE 4, I don't feel ready to use v4.0. I do run a virtual machine with F9 and KDE so that I can provide testing and feedback.

[2] Why OpenOffice.org, Firefox, etc instead of their KDE equivalents? As much as I like KDE and the majority of KDE applications, some of them don't quite cut it for me. I like KOffice, but it has some compatibility issues with documents I have to work with (more so that OO.o). Please remember this started out as something I was only doing for myself, not as a demonstration of KDE. You would be more than welcome to use my livecd kickstart to make your own LiveCD with the applications you prefer. If a group of folks wanted to go the pure KDE Fedora route and use the K-adora name, I'd be more than willing to turn over the name to such a project and share the work I've done with it.