Acer Aspire OS Alternatives

Last Update: 25 July 2022

Ported from (not very well!). Log/Summary at top, followed by Test Table (embedded googlesheet), then test notes. Broken links are quite likely

----- Original Plan -----

This page will be used to collect requirements and rate alternative operating systems for an Acer Aspire One Netbook (532h). Originally setup to evaluate alternatives to win7 home but turned into somewhat of a hobby. The evaluation checklist is tailored to my world, but may be useful to others. Slow/Low Priority project ... Thoughts/comments welcome.


(notes/observations below the test tables)

2022 Testing - Finally back to it

July 2022 - Exploring faster alternatives to NST (Network Security)

  • Backbox - Looks great, installed to AAO SSD - Alternate boot!

April 2022 - AAO Dusted off and Powered up!

  • MX-Linux: Highly regarded. Looks VERY Nice! Seems to run well on AAO.

  • Manjaro Plasma on 2nd partition of SSD ... Still Slow/Not good!. Notes below

  • Win10 on SSD seems like a keeper! Couple of hurdles/tweaks. Notes below

2021 Summary - See notes below Test Tables

Jan 2021: Playing w/ SSD in AAO. Win10 reinstall on an SSD

2021 Status: AAO is STILL alive 10+ years!

  • Current Config: AA0 532h. Upgraded Memory (2g) and Win 10 in 2017

  • Now used as our one and only Windows machine. Also periodically used as a home Network Monitor, via USB boot to Network Security Toolkit (NST 32)

2020 Summary - See notes below Test Tables

  • Manjaro KDE Plasma - Live Boot from USB: Nice & fast! Same version installed to SSD: SLOW!

  • Elive - Works great on AAO, would take a lot of getting used to!

  • Bodhi - Minimal w/ Enlightenment - Nice!

2018-2019 Summary - Test notes below Table

  • Manjaro - It was OK, lots of stuff on there! "User Friendly"

  • Network Security Toolkit NST 28 - In process w/ some struggles

2017 Summary

AAO has been working great in the following roles:

22-23 July 2017 - Took 2 days, but updated to Win 10 Creator (v1703). Works OK, but would not attempt on a stock 1g AAO - See Notes/observations below. Simply wanted to make sure MS still supports AAO

2016 Summary

  • Removed Ubuntu from chart below - aborted attempt to run 13.04

  • Brief attempt @ Elementary OS 3.2 AAO hung on splash "e" screen,

2013-2015 Summary

Test Table/Scorecard

(tabs by year, links may be broken)

Aspire Test Tables


2022 Test Notes

Overall: Looks great and runs very well!! I'll use as an alternatives to Network Security Tool (NST) installed as alternate boot on AAO SSD

Tagline: "A Free Open Source Community Project"

"BackBox Linux is a penetration testing and security assessment oriented Linux distribution providing a network and systems analysis toolkit."

  • Performance and speed are key elements

  • Everything is in the right place

  • It’s hacker friendly

More: "BackBox is more than an operating system, it is a Free Open Source Community Project with the aim of promoting the culture of security in IT environment and give its contribution to make it better and safer. All this using exclusively Free Open Source Software, demonstrating the potential and power of the Community. If you’d like to know more feel free to navigate in our web site and get in touch with us."

Motivation: Looking for a simple/fast Pentest distro that works well on AAO

Install Notes:

  • 64-bit only: BackBox Linux 7 - amd64. Release: 2020-05-15

  • Booted live on 8g USB stick, came right up. Runs very well!

  • Seems quite fast/snappy. Very usable!

  • AAO Hardware

    • Little tweak to get speakers working (set default device)

    • Some function keys didn't work as expected, but nothing critical

  • Software

    • Ubuntu based, plenty of add-on's available

    • Seems like a good set of Pentest/Security software ... not overwhelming

Overall: VERY NICE. I was THIS close to installing it as dual boot on AAO SSD!

Tagline: "Midweight Simple Stable Desktop OS"
More: "
MX Linux is a cooperative venture between the antiX and former MEPIS communities, using the best tools and talents from each distro. It is a midweight OS designed to combine an elegant and efficient desktop with simple configuration, high stability, solid performance and medium-sized footprint."

Motivation: Looking for a good/fast Linux to run on slow/old AAO

Install Notes:

  • Playing with 32-Bit Fluxbox edition. Xfce is MX Linux Flagship.

  • Burned ISO to 4g Thumbdrive using RPi Imager! Works Great

  • Booted right up on AAO. MX-21.1 "Wildflower" - user=demo/demo

    • Little sluggish to boot ... could be the 15 year old 4g memory stick I chose for live boot

  • AAO Hardware Tests

    • External Monitor: Little fiddling to get it working, including a reboot

    • All AAO harware seems to work!

  • Software looks GREAT!

    • Very well equipped! Many of the tools I use are preinstalled

    • MX utilities look to be very well thought out and useful to techies (e.g. Firewall, Boot options/repair ...)

  • Seems very responsive and pretty light (1.6g free when idling)

  • Overall: Final attempt - ABORT. Manjaro is my daily driver on a Raspberry Pi 4 Desktop.
    BUT ...
    it was slooow on AAO SSD ... Never took the time to figure it out!

  • Motivation: Would be nice to use same desktop on AAO as my main system.
    Manjaro also happened to be installed on 2nd Partition of SSD when I plopped it back into the AAO in spring of 2022. We'll let it update to see how it looks.

  • Official info @

  • Notes:

    • Manjaro updates CONSTANTLY, there were 965 updates since last boot in 2020!

    • Update appeared to Fail: "Failed to Commit Changes" (or similar)

      • Didn't scare me! <REEEEBOOOOT> to see what happens next!

    • Not good ...

      • updates didn't take - I'm not going to re-do all 1000 of them!

      • Seems to want to log-in to my wired network connection

      • AND ... its still slow as $h1t!

SSD + Win 10 Reinstall

  • Overall: Looks OK! Attempt #4 (I Think!) Win10 reinstall on SSD just to see!

  • Motivation: SSD has been sitting prominently on the workbench for > a year. May as well try it again.
    AAO is now our one and only Windows machine ...

    • STILL needed periodically for for ONE program!

    • And it is useful when I have to help fam/friends with their PC's

Notes - Picking up where I left off in early 2021

    • Turned on AAO (w/ original Win10 Hardisk) ... for for first time in about a year

      • Waited (A DAY!) for updates to finish ... forgot about the windoze-world!
        ... skipped offers (Edge, Android & 50% off M365)
        ... allowed Brother Printer software updates (looked like 6 of them!)
        ... YEEEEEESH! I just wanted to see where I left things a year or so ago!

      • Terribly slow ... now I remember why I was trying SSD!

    • Plopped SSD back into AAO (Samsung EVO 850 - 250g Drive). it came right up! This should work!
      SSD is Dual Boot: Win10 Partition = 140gb+450MB Recovery. ~90G for Linux

      • Waited (ANOTHER DAY) for updates to finish .... this time they failed (or something)
        We couldn’t complete the updates. Undoing changes"

      • Waited (ANOTHER DAY) for updates to UNDO! Hopefully a network connectivity issue

      • Hey! "Let's finish setting up my device" .... again?!

        • Use recommended browser setting .... that would be Edge .... SKIP FOR NOW

        • "All done! Windows is all yours. Have Fun!"

    • Decided to tweak/check a few things before retrying updates ....

      • AutoHide Task Bar (<rtclick>Taskbar settings)
        ... WIN10 taskbar often covers Accept/Cancel/Save buttons on AAO little screen

      • Performance Tweaks for slow systems (from top of my head ... trying to remember win10):

        • Task Manager->Startup Tab: Turn off Cortana, OneDrive, Skype & Spotify

        • Control Panel->Performance Options->CHECK "Adjust for best performance"

        • Control Panel->Performance Options->Advanced->Virtual Memory
          This was
          "Automatically Managed" and set to 640MB
          ... BUT Recommended size was 1150 MB ....
          ... Soooo, I set it to recommended (you'd think Automatically Managed would use recommended")

        • <Reboot-A-Roooo!>

        • Painfully slooooow ... will pick through this guide

          • Settings->Personalization->Colors-> OFF "Make Start, taskbar... transparent"

          • Settings-> Ease of Access > Other options > OFF "Play animation" and OFF "Show background"

          • Settings-> Diagnostics & feedback->OFF "Tailored experiences" and Diagnostics ... creepy too!

          • Store > user icon > Settings > Update apps automatically > OFF

          • Store > user icon > Settings > Autoplay > OFF

      • Uhboy ... "Your device is missing important security and quality fixes" ... here wee gooo again ....

      • Couple more tweaks, but it looks like Win10 will be better on SSD ... ToDo's

    • Test Table

      • AAO Hardware looked good except for Card Reader ... May need a driver or tweak

      • Performance is not too bad. Can probably be tweaked further (e.g. fastest browser, etc)

    • I'll keep it running

2021 Test Notes

SSD + Win 10 Reinstall

  • Overall: In process, Attempt #3! Attempting fresh Win10 install on SSD to breath some life into AAO.

  • Motivation: AAO Hard disk has now turned 11!

    • Had an unused Samsung EVO 850 (250g) SSD* on my workbench ...

    • Still have a couple of Windows-Only Apps in the house, AAO now is our only windoze machine!

    • Current AAO Win 10 has never been snappy, but has slowed after years of updates.

  • Notes:

2020 Test Notes

Manjaro KDE Plasma

  • Overall: Broken Hearted. Manjaro is my daily driver on a Raspberry Pi Desktop.
    It also ran VERY well on the AAO when I booted from USB - Live boot.
    BUT ... the same version installed to SSD from VERY same USB, ran like crap ... Never took the time to figure it out!

  • Motivation: Have settled on Majaro KDE for my Raspberry Pi desktop replacement project - it has been working very well. Decided to boot it up on a couple of older X86 machines to see how it does, including AAO!

  • Official info @

  • Notes:

    • Start here @

    • Downloaded manjaro-kde-20.1.2-201019-linux58.iso (2.9g) and burned it to 8g USB stick using Etcher
      (on a Raspberry Pi 4 Manjaro Desktop!)

    • Booted right up - pretty snappy

    • Live Boot Tests

      • AAO Hardware

        • WiFi - worked fine.
          One little glitch, it didnt dicsonnect when I plugged Ethernet. Probably by design

        • Webcam via VLC, seemed to work fine. smooth movement!

        • Audio - tested using YouTube video via Firefox, smooth, 40% CPU max!

          • Internal Speakers worked fine

          • Headphone jack, switched when plugged, worked fine

        • External Monitor - worked! Popup when plugged, options of mirror, dual left/right, etc

          • Some flaky behavior when using dual monitors, mouse stuck on Monitor#2.
            I didn't fiddle with it,

        • Function Keys - Most work fine, WiFi was exception, had to enable/disable via panel

      • Software - I like Manjaro A LOT!

        • Active Project

        • Official Repository is quite full and active

        • Also access to Arch AUR applications, VERY nice, integrated into Software GUI

NST 32

  • Overall: Looks really good, so far! Seems much faster than current (NST 28)

  • Motivation: Our AAO runs NST most of the time, monitors our IoT/Things subnet. Accessed via browser

    • Have been running NST 28 for quite a while, thought I'd try 32.

    • Also sort of a test of Fedora 32, NST underpinnings

  • Official info @

  • Notes:

    • Too big for usual NST 8g Memory stick - first time! Used 16g for live boot test
      Downloaded nst-30-11992.x86_64.iso from

    • Live Boot test

      • GUI seems MUCH faster - may be Fedora 32

      • Does support multiple users, not sure I'd say FAST user switching

      • Home Network, SHOULD Work. Samba installed, may have to play with smb.conf. I suspect it is secure.
        I may have to set min protocol and WG name in our world

      • AAO Hardware most seems to work ...

        • skipped a few, but suspect cam, mic and such will work

        • Some FCN keys work, be careful with external monitor

        • Something went bump switching to external monitor, freeze! Had to reboot, didn't dig into it.

      • Some Mate config screens didn't fit on AAO display using default resolution ... probably can be fixed, easy to work-around

      • Looks good enough to push on ...

    • Install to faster/larger Thumb Drive (instead of messing with fedora persistence)
      Takes quite a while. Watch Anaconda installer, I always mess it up. BE PATIENT!

      • Run Set NST System Passwords - sets passwords *and* starts web worlkd (NSTWUI)

    • Post install - pretty random setup and testing, mostly for my world. Getting old, need to leave tracks


  • Overall: Runs well on AAO, but too different to operate. Probably OK if this were only OS in use

  • Motivation: Just HAD to try ...

    • Very intrigued by Enlightenment Desktop *and* support for older/slower hardware

    • Taglines on main web page are sooo good ...

      Elive, maybe the best Linux OS ever made
      - And probably the only distro you'll stay with -
      But Elive is not for everyone, are you the exception?"

      "...Do not waste your time doing your own customizations which already took 14 years of polished work here."

  • Official info @

  • Notes

    • Download immediately with donation or wait an hour of so. Interesting technique, reasonable!

    • Started with Stable version 3.0.6. Live USB image w/ persistence!

    • Install notes - first time boot

      • Persistence is option right out the gates!

      • Skipped hardware accelerated desktop (OpenGL), don't think OpenGL supports AAO GP

      • Post boot setup is nice/thorough!

      • Very keyboard/hot-key oriented. Would take some getting used to

        • alt+esc: Launcher

        • Hotkeys help in toolbar helps! (looks like boat throw ring)

        • easiest to left-click on desktop to bring up app menu

      • Boots sloowly AND presents GUI WHILE things are still ramping up, confusing

    • AAO Hardware - so far so good

      • Cam - tested via Cheese ... fired it up via Terminal

      • Power management is here someplace, would take some GUI tweaking

      • AAO hardware seemed to work well in general

    • Software - I did a lot of fiddling via Terminal. I suspect all will work, but may take some effort

      • Windows network wasn't browsable, couple of smb.conf tweaks didn't help

      • Launcher wasn't much use - comes up, but doesn't fire stuff up - trackpad?

      • Quite a lot pre-installed software! 3 or 4 internet browsers, for example

      • Repository seemed pretty well populated -


  • Overall: Runs pretty well, nice and light. Will probably take some tweaking for full time use

  • Motivation: Have noticed a couple of lightweight with Enlightenment desktop ... interesting

  • Official info @

  • Notes:

    • Downloaded and etchered a 16g usb drive using bodhi-5.1.0-64.iso - 820M Download

    • Live booted, didn't install. No obvious way to add persistence

    • Nice/light install not a lot of extra apps

    • AAO Hardware seems to work fine

    • Settings are a little different - felt light/minimal. Suspect brute force to adjust some things

    • Did not get image on ext (vga) monitor, didn't fiddle much. Should work 'Presentation Mode"

    • Browser didn't seem to handle html5(?) - youtube visit failed. VERY odd

    • Little sluggish at times, but may have been the old/slow USB stick I used

    • Interesting App Center @

      • Pretty nice library, AppStore-Like installs

      • Traditional Package MGR also included


  • Overall: Quite painless. Seems a little sluggish at times, but it works, usable - especially for Pi/Pixel fans!

  • Motivation: I have a lot of PI's, just wanted to see how this works on AAO

  • Official info @

  • Notes

    • ISO Download was 3.1g. from

    • Created Bootable (16g) usb using Etcher from

    • Booted RIGHT UP!

      • Even had option to run with Persistence

    • Automagically Fired up "Welcome to Raspberry Pi" dialog to take of must-do's

      • Language/Keyboard

      • Change Password

      • Set up WiFi

      • Update OS and software friends

      • Restart!

    • AAO Hardware looks pretty good!

      • WiFi worked right out of the blocks

      • Webcam, OK

      • Touchpad worked fine, even 2-finger scrolling. No fine tuning w/o installing help, tho

      • Audio seems fine, external jacks too! I didn't test Mic jack

      • Keyboard/Function Keys were flaky, some may work

      • External (vga) Monitor works ... but ...

        • Function Key does not seem to switch

        • Dual Monitors (Appearance Settings in Pixel) seemed to always mirror the display

      • Power Management: Monitored AAO battery, no pre-installed power management utils

    • Other Observations/Experiences

      • One inexplicable lockup - happened when switching from Ethernet back to WiFi

      • Seemed a tad sluggish at times - cpu pegged when visiting youtube, for example.

2018-2019 Test Notes

NST 28

  • Overall: It works, I'm using it, but I STILL don't like NTOPng! Still poking around, but Network Security Tookkit NST 28 runs quite well on AAO.
    Some new/different tools, but I'll get used to it

  • Motivation: My AAO runs NST most of the time, it watches over our 'Things' subnet (IoT monitor), but also periodically used to debug/monitor network. AAO has been running NST 24 for a few years ... struggled with upgrades in the past

  • Notes (used Getting_Started guide to get things rolling)

    • ISO Download was 3.6g - nst-28-10439.x86_64.iso, may be too new for me (8/24/2018)

    • Created bootable 4g USB using Mint's Disk utility (Restore Disk Image) booted up fine

    • Initial AAO tests using live boot

      • AAO Keyboard seemed fine. fcn keys all seemed to do what they are supposed to

      • External Monitor worked right out of the box

      • Power Management seemed fine too - battery monitoring, etc

      • Sound/Audio - Seemed to be more utilities in this release (Players, Mixer controls, etc)

        • Output sound seemed to work fine out of the box

        • Did not see Mic detected, but I'll bet it would work if needed

    • Install to 32g USB drive for more testing ...

      • I don't use persistent USB boot with NST, can't recall why. "Install to Hardisk" w/ big/fast usb stick

      • Install is slow, seems unresponsive at times but wait it out ...

      • Had to delete all partitions on target USB - could not figure out how to get install to format/use

      • Looks like 18g avail on 32g USB after install - plenty for now

    • Ran System/Configuration/NST Package Management -> Upgrade NST System ... seemed to be worth it

    • Tools I've configured/used

      • NSTWUI - Webfrontend @ https:<ip address>:9943/nstwui

      • Odd, I had to bookmark /etc/nst.conf - useful nst passwords in here! And yes, I did run nstpasswd!

      • Struggling with resolving local hostnames ... more to come

      • Network/Monitors

        • Network Bandwidth Monitor works fine - eth & wifi

        • NTOP came up fine @ https:<ip address>:3001

          • Default uc/pw = admin/admin (DID I run nstpasswd?)

          • NTOPNG Community edition only ... I'll get used to it!

      • Security/Intrusion Detection

        • Snort/Sguil is working! NOW I remember WHY I started this NST upgrade!

          • Sguil UI is new @ https:<ip address>:7743, PW is in nst.conf! (don't get me started)

          • MUCH easier than installing snort & friends!

          • Lot to learn here ....

          • <still working here>

      • Lanalyzer/Packet Capture Tools (keep it simple - Single Tap capture/tshark decode)

        • Works fine, with stumbles on capture filter syntax, of course! Just copy from examples!

        • Handy link/tool - hex packet decoder @

        • Very handy tools here - lot to learn/see, addictive/fun if you can see entire network

      • Network/Tools & Utilities - Looks like there are new ones here, nice!

      • Stumbled on Cockpit web console via SSH - Quite nice

        • start: systemctl enable --now cockpit.socket

        • Access via: http:<ip address>:9090

        • Looks like AAO will be fine with NST 28 (test with snort/sguil and NTOP running)

          • Processors < 50%

          • Mem & Swap - around 1.5 of 2.6g

      • Kismet - haven't used before, struggling thru set up ... yeeesh!

Parrot OS

  • Paused - Loaded latest version of ParrotOS Security Edition on USB Drive

  • Motivation: Home networking issue driving me nuts! Parrot worked great in the past

  • USB Via Etcher - 32-Bit downloaded (in haste, but that's OK) - Parrot-security-4.4_i386.iso
    back to original USB stick (overwriting Manjaro, in haste again!)

  • Notes as I go (but not right now, I need to fix something!)

    • Ack - fumbling with persistence ... paused for now

    • <more to come>


  • Overall - It worked, seemed nice. A bit overloaded/cluttered for me. Lots of preinstalled stuff!

    • Nice/user-friendly Linux Dist -

    • Testing cut a bit short when I reused the USB memory stick for Parrot! I had a network issue

  • USB Live test - no persistence, just a quick test

  • Motivation: Actually looking for alternatives to Mint for my main desktop, had it on USB, decided to test on AAO

  • Notes as I go

    • Apparently based on arch linux ... Been on my list!

    • Looks pretty good - sort of easy to use. LOTS of stuff preinstalled

    • Package Manager is odd interface, not sure what it is. No apt or yum from commandline? Its pacman!

    • External Monitor worked, but kinda wierd. I didn't mess with dual monitors - default was mirror, I think

    • USB's seemed to work, but looked like it was trying to autorun flash drives (failed to mount, op pending)

    • Not as simple/intuitive as I'd hoped


  • Neverware CloudReady Home Edition - Chromium OS on a stick!
    Overall -
    It works, Neverware did a good job - it's ChromeOS

  • On my ToDo List for a long while, noticed that AAO 532h on the list of supported devices!

  • Motivation: I needed a Chromebook to test out an idea - we'll see how close this comes!

  • Notes as I go

    • Zip download was 1g - from Home Edition Download Page

    • for bootable USB (my fav). Using 16g mem stick

    • Came up fine - little sluggish, but that may be old USB

    • Hardware appears to work BETTER than advertised in Aspire 532h Features & Exceptions doc

      • My webcam worked out of the blocks - which was GREAT because my test involved video calls!

    • May just be how chromebooks work, but adding apps can be fun(ny)!
      Web Store, some get added as 'apps' on OS others may be extensions in chrome browser.
      Be careful in Web Store, seemed like a lot of junk to weed thru

    • My Checklist

      • Looks like it will support multiple user accounts - sort-of Fast-User Switching

      • Home network participation w/ some help

        • Installed Network File Share for Chrome OS (in spite of 2 our of 5 star rating)

        • Printing - network printers didn't work out of the box, installed cloudprint app, but not what I was expecting.

      • AAO Hardware - card reader, external monitor, output audio and such seemed fine

      • Some minor slowdowns/sluggishness, but overall quite usable

  • Enough of this - it works, it's OK, It's ChromeOS

Linux Lite

  • Overall, VERY NICE! Runs great, almost everything worked w/o tweaks - one little bump

  • Forgot about Linux Lite! Have been using on slow PCs for some time ... Should be great on AAO

  • Took a few tries, but ...

    • Got it running on persistent USB (4g stick with 2g persistence) using UNetbootin

    • Really struggled to get it connected to wifi initially - ended up being the keyboard! Drove me nuts!

  • Other notes

    • Tested all multimedia with VLC - will need to install music player


  • Overall: Nah, looked like most stuff would work - messed around with USB boot too long - aborted

  • Messing with Debian Stretch for another project, could have sworn I ran on AAO before, but no record of it!

    • Have had good luck/performance with Xfce on AAO, will start there

  • Struggling to create bootable USB with persistence ... stretch may have changed things? Some guides:

  • Test notes

    • Never did get USB w/ persistence working ... messed around long enough

    • Failed to browse home network via file manager - I didn't dig into this

    • Failed to find a couple of my favorite packages in repository

    • Attempted quick test of webcam using VLC media player - failed, but I didn't attempt to tweak/fix

    • Audio output worked out of box but no obvious volume control on desktop - used alsamixer

    • Audio in (Mic) appeared to be working - didn't find recorder, but managed to get some feedback going

    • Did not get card-reader working - simply quick test, didn't look into this either

Ubuntu Studio

  • Overall: Booted for the fun of it, but it ran remarkably well! Didn't spend a lot of time on AAO, but did install on a bigger machine to do some video editing work

  • Xenial Xerus 16.04.3 LTS (64-bit), actually quite snappy on 2g AAO

  • Power Management seemed to work right out of box ... BUT ...

    • one odd event where battery level went from 40% to critical/alert/plugin-now! May be AAO battery

  • Most AAO Hardware worked fine - I didn't attempt to poke/tweak to get devices working

Network Security Toolkit (NST 26)

  • My AAO runs NST 24 most of the time - network/security probe running NTOP and Snort

  • Nov 2017 - NST 26 SVN:9267 upgrade *** Aborted ***

    • Overall: Live Boot worked well, but install went poorly. Features were not what I had hoped

    • Live Boot: Things ran very well off of USB stick, fedora 26 seemed to get along fine on AAO

    • Install was rough: No grub choice for standard Gnome Desktop - Fluxbox was default

    • Security App Changes:

      • No pre-installed OpenVAS (Vulnerability Scanner), I must have misread release notes

      • Old NTOP was removed, I like/know that one. Will play w/ NTOPNG to be ready next time!

      • Hoped to play with Snorby - not there

    • Created 4g usb boot using iso and mint USB Disk utility

    • Initial Boot from Live USB:

      • Blueman takes a dump @ startup ("quit unexpectedly") - has happened since NST 22

      • OS Runs fine, notes as I go

        • WiFi - no prob

        • Network - Win/Workgroup fine

        • Audio output works

        • trackpad, works fine, had to tweak to set tap-to-click

        • Seems to have more general apps, media player for example

    • Install Notes - I 'install' to a USB drive instead of using persistence ... can't recall why

    • Apps

      • old NTOP is gone! Oh NO! change! I liked that one! AAO constantly ran NTOP!

        • ntopng - it works .... but...

          • had to set admin password to match nstpassword? THEN login with admin/admin(!) and change it again via WebUI ... I need to retrace my steps here

          • Need to figure out filters - need to ignore the probe itself?

          • no show stopper, more testing needed

      • snort/snorby - TBD, BASE is gone, but I'd like to run snorby

        • Fumbling as usual

        • <punted>

2016-2017 Test Notes

Win 10

  • Works pretty well - STILL TWEAKING, but IS USABLE especially after adding memory*

  • Pretty tight on memory, Still working on making more avail for apps

  • Chrome is a PIG - pretty much un-usable! Probably due to memory

  • Initial Performance tweaks:

    • Turned off Animations - sysdm.cpl/performance/visual effects; Adjust for best performance

    • Attempting to Shut up Cortana - Settings/Privacy/Speech, Inking & Typing: click "Stop getting to know me!" BUT She is still running ... more to come

  • Windows 10 Creator (v1703) - July 2017

Elementary OS

  • Had been playing with Elementarty OS on a desktop, decided to give it a boot on the AAO.

  • Failed - never got past splash screen

Mageia 5

  • Always liked Mandrake, came up great on AAO - but gave up on testing/tinkering

  • Testing cut short, Aborted - never did figure out USB persistence - lost interest and patience

  • Touch pad worked out of box with right/bottom scroll areas, but no real tweaks that I could see (e.g. 2finger scrolling is a fav)

  • WiFi worked out of box - little different configuration

  • Power Management seemed to work fine, even suspend/resume, but noted some odd auto brightness adjustments while running on battery

  • Little slow/sluggish running off of USB stick

  • Didn't test mic or camera

Puppy Slacko

  • Nice! Fast!

  • Different: Not really Multi-User, session can be saved/restored - so no 'Fast User Switching"

  • Win Workgroups and Linux Network shares came right up

  • Lots of stuff installed/buit-in - a tad cluttered on AAO display ... BUT many nice facilities, including a tool to remove built-in packages!

  • Used pAVrecord to test webcam

  • Did not get audio input working, but pretty sure I could if I tinkered with ALSA, inbuilt sound could probably use a tweak or two - sounded like crap

  • Persistence is a gimme! You setup persistence and save config during first shutdown/restart - Nice!

Security Onion

  • Originally tested to simplify Snort install/setup

  • Based on ubuntu 14.04 64-bit

  • 14.04 Release Notes: Little disappointed, no Live Boot option, no Snorby

  • No Live Boot: Couldn't find/figure out LiveCD, ended up doing an install to a 32g USB flash drive. 3 partitions - 8g ext4 for /, 4g swap and 20g ext4 for me (home). so far so good

  • Based on Ubuntu 14.04 ... works a lot better than 13.04 (abort!), but still quirky.

  • Mouse Pointer disappears - probably this bug - its annoying, always happens after sleep/wake sequence
    My lame work-around:

    • Bring up app menu by moving imaginary mouse pointer to upper left

    • Type some stuff in search box of programs menu while moving mouse

    • Mouse pointer eventually reappears (Yeeeesh!)

  • Misc Notes

    • System appears to be nicely locked-down from firewall (iptables) perspective, did not fiddle to test home network. Even struggled with ssh to access system!

    • Personalization, user switching, etc handled by outer Ubuntu 14.04, features seemed to be intact

  • Not what I was looking for. I wanted a simple way to spin-up a portable IDS and plug into our home network to watch over things (IoT world in particular). Looking forward to *not* installing/configuring snort/snorby, but seeing how they work. Snorby was no longer avail on SO 14.04


  • Updated to Kali 2016.2 32-bit on 32g Flash Drive. I needed more space for logs, capture files and such

  • No audio devices, a few fcn keys work. Overall appears to be solid

  • Config steps and links so I don't have to find them next time!

    • Live, Persistent Kali USB drive @

    • Tweaking in process

      • AAO Trackpad - turn on Tap to Click, but still a bit touchy/odd

      • service ssh start (as needed)

    • snort/snorby - I punted, not using snort/snorby under kali - it was a pain to install/configure

      • Kali is now my road warrior boot - for external scans and such away from home

      • NST used as probe, IDS, monitor, etc when AAO is on home network


  • KNOPPIX 7.7 - install to flash disk to get reusable environment, I didn't bother

  • It talks (Audio) when it boots!

  • LOTS of applications, very nice UI and pretty snappy on AAO

  • Almost too much included with the distro - you have to sift through applications and menus

  • Audio did not work out of the box - record or playback. Fiddled a little with kmixer, probably OK

  • Touchpad worked, but never found the tweaks I use for 2 finger scrolling and tapping

  • Some function keys appeared to work - Mute, Brightness and monitor on/off

  • Networking worked out of the box. One slight hiccup with WiFi required reboot

Network Security Toolkit (NST 24)

  • My AAO runs NST most of the time now - quite useful as a network/security probe
    more @

  • Jan 2017 - NST 24:SVN 7977 - works VERY Well

    • Successfully updated to 24:SVN 7977 64-Bit - lots of nice tools

    • "Installed" to a 32g memory stick this time - instead of live boot w/ persistence

    • Notes to self (stuff I struggle with each time I upgrade this one)

    • Runs great on AAO - lots of security tools accessible via web browser

  • Nov 2017 - NST 26 SVN:9267 upgrade *** In Process ***

    • Mostly interested in OpenVAS (Vulnerability Scanner) and snort UI (snorby), release notes @

    • Created 4g usb boot using iso and mint USB Disk utility

    • Initial Boot from Live USB:

      • Blueman takes a dump @ startup ("quit unexpectedly") - has happened since NST 22

      • OS Runs fine, notes as I go, will fill-in test table later

        • WiFi - no prob

        • Network - Win/Workgroup fine

        • Audio output works

        • trackpad, works fine, had to tweak to set tap-to-click

      • old NTOP is gone! Oh NO! change! I liked that one! AAO constantly ran NTOP!

        • ntopng - it works .... but...

          • had to set admin password to match nstpassword? THEN login with admin/admin(!) and change it again via WebUI ... I need to retrace my steps here

          • Need to figure out filters - need to ignore the probe itself?

          • no show stopper, more testing needed

      • snort/snorby - TBD, BASE is gone

        • Fumbling to get this working


  • Security Oriented OS, runs great on AAO!

  • Followed Parrot Live Install Procedure to create 3.4.1 Live USB. Booted fine on AAO

  • Lots of Security Tools! Well organized.

  • Mate bottom panel gets in the way of dialogs periodically - set to autohide on AAO

  • Looks REALLY good - Playing with persistence so I can put some more miles on it

    • Ended up moving to 16g USB Stick w/ persistence. Some tools require space to install/use

    • Quite possibly a replacement for my Kali portable security toolkit

  • OpenVAS vulnerability scanner is pre-installed, typically a BEAR to get up and running.
    Steps (and notes to self):

    • Menu: Parrot->Vulnerability Analysis->OpenVAS initial setup - will take a while (hours?)

    • Remember to reset OpenVAS admin password or record password created by script

      sudo openvasmd --user=admin --new-password=<new_password>

    • Menu: Parrot->Vulnerability Analysis->OpenVAS start

      • Menu: Parrot->Vulnerability Analysis->OpenVAS Sanner->openvas check setup
        (fix anything that needs it

      • Menu: Parrot->Vulnerability Anaysis->OpenVAS Sanner->start gsd

      • Greenbone is @ https://localhost:9392 - add ssl exception and permit scripts

  • Sept 2017 update:


  • Aborted tests - lots of odd sh1t to deal with: GUI apps failing, authority (even as root)

  • Installed livedvd-x86-amd64-32ul-20160704.iso

  • Had to boot with no Framebuffer (no fb) to get GUI up

  • if using USB boot - here's Persistence setup

  • Keyboard: Most function keys appeared to work, no menu w/ windows button

  • Power MGT: Didn't appear to deal with Battery, no monitoring

  • External Monitor did not appear to work

2013-2015 Test Notes


- Worked very well. Fast, easy to work with. AAO hardware worked right out of the box with the exception of the mic, which required fiddling to get working - used this post Connected nicely to mac world, windoze network and network printer (Dell M5200). Mate is snappy and easy to use.


Twas rough - did not run well at all. Slow, periodically unresponsive, not worth continued effort. Aborted.


- A little disappointing, KDE Plasma Desktop is cool. A lot of good old Linux monkeying around to achieve network participation. Never did get SD card reader working. Live USB boot seemed slower and more cumbersome than Mint. Periods of slugishness/unresponsiveness.


- Some probs switching between wifi networks - would not release network connection dialog box, had to reboot. Lots of fiddling to participate in home (windows & mac) network. External monitor was flaky, appeared to be related to differences in resolution/aspect.


- Specialty distro (security tools) but a VERY pleasant surprise, it runs great on AAO 532h. Tested KDE (plasma) window manager, but didn't mess around testing hardware or features that wouldn't be used for security scans, audits and such ("n/a" in table above). Odd/sporadic issues adding software via kPackage.


- Attempt #2, little rough, tinkering required. Takes dumps on startup (ubuntu internal error and keyboard input method), connecting to smb network did not work out of the box. Some AAO hardware seems to be working., Doesn't seem as fast as Mint ... Maybe more to come

Kali - Attempt #2

Live/USB is pretty painless/easy - Some fiddling to get persistence Internal mic didn't seem to work (very quick test), internal/external audio seemed fine via smoking monkey youtube test. USB, cardreader, external monitor and trackpad worked with no putzing. Kali tools don't seem to be as fully baked as BT - but could just be learning curve.

Kali 2.0

- Somewhat of a forced update due to 1.0 EOL and repository purge. Had a heck of a time going back to 1.1 with persistence for some reason. I'd recommend sticking with Kali 1.x on the Aspire for the time being and using archive mirror for time being ("deb moto main non-free contrib" in /etc/apt/sources.list)

Network Security Toolkit (NST 22)

- Looks REALLY good! Still some testing to do, but the toolkit (and fedora) seems to function well on AAO!

  • 11/11 - Didn't make it through the night - looks to be hung, power management?

  • 11/19 - More testing with new USB stick (w/ 1g of persistence). Will switch to NST until Kali 2.0 has a few more miles on it.

    • Card reader works fine, I initially used a bad adapter

    • Little burp at Startup - bluman takes a dump when you initially boot (probably due to no bluetooth)

    • Power Management seems fine, no hangs, features seem to work

    • Built-in Audio seems fine - input levels seem to change when testing mic, output tested fine

    • Did some putzing with Exile media player - did not work out of the box

    • Fedora Live USB Creator is a little flaky. After adding persistence it fails with "vesamenu.c32: not COM32R image" during boot. Workaround for now: Tab Key, then enter 'gdm' to bring up mate