The Asus Eee is a "mini-notebook" which I purchased slightly used on eBay. It came with Xandros linux (commercial variant of Debian) pre-installed on its internal solid-state flash drive and working very well, thank you. The native OS uses unionfs which, per the website, can "appear to merge the contents of several directories" and in the case of the Eee includes a read-only partition and a full read-write partition. The read-only partition can be used to instantly restore the system to it's pristine factory settings. The Eee also uses a simplified boot scheme (very fast, but not multi-user) and a simplified GUI, but it's fairly easy to expose a full KDE desktop, as well. I have tweaked the native system a bit, but done nothing startling or that is not well-documented on the EEE PC user site (http://wiki.eeeuser.com/)
One of the nicest aspects of the Eee is how easy it is to boot from other media: any USB drive, floppy, optical or flash, or from the internal SD card reader. The BIOs recognizes all those options, so there is no need to wipe out the original operating system on the internal 4Gig flash drive, if you want to experiment. Of course, a full restore DVD is also available if you do want to wipe out the internal SSD. The restore DVD also includes a set of Windows XP drivers for the Eee hardware, in case you want to install that OS. You can also purchase the machine with Windows XP pre-installed.
I have, so far, installed a variant of Puppy Linux (called Pupeee) onto a 1Gbit USB stick for use as a 'rescue' system, and I have installed and more fully explored a variant of Ubuntu called EeeXUbuntu. EeeXUbuntu, like the original XUbuntu, uses the lightweight xfce-4 window manager, and is otherwise a full linux distribution with 'normal' partitions and boot scheme. It has a few tweaks to account for the Eee's small screen and proprietary internal wi-fi. I have it installed on a 4Gig SCHD card which I keep in the unit's SD card reader slot, and I've defined that slot as the primary hard drive so the BIOs boots from it preferentially. The Grub loader on the SD card can also boot the native operating system off the internal SSD.
I will not include the gory details from either my Xandros, tweaks or from my Pupeee or EeeXUbuntu installations, since everything I've done is well documented and fully supported on the aformentioned http://wiki.eeeuser.com/. The main purpose of this page is just to keep the documentation of my various linux-based laptops complete, and so go on record that the Asus Eee PC is a very nifty little machine.
Document maintained by rgm at fabbnet.net. last update: October 28, 2008.