Opera lets you use the Eee's screen space much more efficiently than Firefox. Going fullscreen really uses all the screen for the page, and you can use the keyboard to navigate in pages easily. Furthermore, if you select 'fit to width', then you never need to scroll horizontally again.
Here's how to set it up optimally for the EeePC (Xandros).
It works just fine with the standard 512k memory.
Note: The instructions below require you to use the command-line; this is really worth learning how to do.
Download Opera from http://www.opera.com
Get the Debian Etch variant, which will save a .deb package whereever you decide to save it.
Don't use the Xandros variant as Xandros Desktop is based on Sarge while Xandros Server 2.0 is based on Etch, from which EeePC is based upon.
Note: Even though EeePC Xandros is based upon Etch, it uses an older version of KDE (for man power reasons), so anything built for Etch repos (Debian) that has to do with KDE will usually break the system, everything else is usually fine.
Open up a terminal, Ctrl+Alt+T, then cd to the folder you saved opera to. The Firefox default is cd /home/user/My Documents
To install the package type sudo dpkg -i opera_<your_version>.
Hint: For those of you new to Linux you can press Tab after typing a few characters to autocomplete things, very useful for installing packages and browsing with long folder names. Also if it doesn't autocomplete, you can press Tab again to show all the entries with the current start you have typed in (if there are any).
Now you can run it: just type opera into the command-line.
But wait, the first problem has occurred, the EULA screen is too big and you can't see the buttons. Don't worry just press Enter, and you'll never see it again.
Hint: You can also always move too-large windows by doing ALT-click anywhere in the window and dragging.
The Opera UI is designed for bigger screens than we have, so let's fix it up.
You can do whatever the heck you want with the UI. There are also a lot of themes available for Opera as well.
Starting UI, this is the bloated state that is Opera on first run on an EeePC. If you don't see the side panel, just move your mouse to the far left side and left mouse click.
Tools → Appearance… → Icon size, set this to about 40%. Then press Ok
Icons → Tools → Preferences… → Advanced Tab → Fonts
For Browser menus, Browser toolbars, Browser dialogs, and Browser panels
Set the fonts to 9, using the same font (or another if you don't like it). You will have to select the font from the list as it does not let you change the default.
Now, you could manually set all the fonts, through this dialog for web pages, but I prefer to use Opera's zoom feature, as it is probably the best out of any web browser as it zooms everything and doesn't just decrease the font size.
Some web site are in 1024 pixels width. The EeePC 701 are only in 800 pixels, so we will set the default zoom to automatic for all website up to 800 pixels : go to Tools → Preferences… → Web pages tab and set Fit to width
To set the default zoom, go to a web page http://www.google.ca, go to View → Zoom → 80%.
Next, if you like the size, go Tools → Preferences… → Web pages tab and set Page zoom to the desired size (80%).
Start opera. Remove “New tab button” from Pagebar. Close opera. (Do not edit .ini files when Opera is open)
Edit .opera/toolbar/standard_toolbar (1).ini and add Button0 to Pagebar.
[Pagebar Head.content] Button0, "Menu"="Show popup menu, "Browser Menu Bar""
Next, start opera to see if there is working menu dialog in page bar.
If it worked then close Opera and hide the old menubar by setting “Show menu=0” and “Startup type=2” in .opera/opera6.ini / [User prefs]
[User prefs] Show menu=0 Startup type=2
Now your Opera should look something like this.
Optional: Move menu to navigation bar and hide Pagebar when it is not needed.
Menu → View → Toolbars, → Customize
You, me, everyone, likes tabs, but as you know sometimes there are too many of them. Well, Opera has a solution that keeps me having 10-20 tabs open at any one time and they are still easy to read (no, this is not just wrapping the tabs, but Opera does that if you want it to).
The first part of this is easy, but as you'll see next, there is still more fat to cut.
Go Tools → Appearances… → Panels tab and check off Windows, and press Ok.
Next go to the left panel and select Windows
Now look at that, all your tabs a nicely displayed on the left. This menu even keeps track of other windows and its tabs as well.
Since I like this mode sooo much more than the traditional tab bar, lets just get rid of the tab bar.
Go Tools → Appearances… → Toolbars tab and uncheck the Tab bar
This screenshot is supposed to be the last, one but I messed up and don't want to reset things, the main thing is that the Tab bar is gone, which is the only thing that has changed. I'll upload another pic when I put a new build on.
Now, there's still a little bit more to do; however, lets do it pictorially instead as it encourages you to play (there are a lot of customization options in Opera).
Note: Everything in the next Screenshot is done in the Appearances… menu.
This is something that I have only recently discovered, from the wonders that are the command line. Just type opera –help or man opera.
Just before I begin, don't use Widgets… I have no idea why stuff like that is even popular, so…inefficent. But, whatever floats your boat, as some say.
The Opera mail interface is very good, but if you don't plan to use it, you can start Opera with opera -nomail, which disables the mail and IRC chat options.
In order to prepare the .desktop file for below navigate to cd /usr/local/share/applications then edit sudo vim opera.desktop (make a backup first) (or you may prefer sudo kwrite opera.desktop).
Change both TryExec=opera to TryExec=opera -nomail and Exec=opera %u to Exec=opera -nomail %u where the %u is the pass through variable for the url.
Note: Vi(m) mini tutorial, press i to edit (mode), Esc, to exit the current mode, type :w then press enter to save, type :q then press enter to quit, type :/<search string here> then press enter to search for a word or group of words, then press n to go to the next find of the search, and u to undo.
This just came to me as I was writing this little howto.
As I don't really use Firefox anymore now that I have Opera, lets just replace it in the UI.
Browse to cd /opt/xandros/share/AsusLauncher/, make a backup copy of simpleui.rc, then open it, sudo vim simpleui.rc'(or sudo kwrite simpleui.rc).
This file is the config for all the icons in the Asus Launcher, and is in bulky XML format, which happens to have a fairly good syntax … most of the time. If you mess up editing, usually the item will disappear from the menu after you restart the Xorg (simpleui.rc is only parsed when refreshing the icons).
Search for :/Internet, then change the shortcut=”/opt/firefox/firefox.desktop” to shortcut=”/usr/local/share/applications/opera.desktop”
Now as you probably want to view your webmail from Opera as well, search for :/Gmail, and change extraargs=”/opt/firefox/firefox http://gmail.google.com” to extraargs=”/usr/bin/opera -newpage -nomail http://gmail.google.com“
Wikipedia, Google Docs, iGoogle, Internet Radio (Just remove (comment out the entry in simpleui.rc it and use Amarok/Music Manager), Web Learn, Hotmail, Yahoo, and AOL are changed the same way.
Note: You probably wondering why I used a command line arg for one and a .desktop file for the other. Well, for one its good to follow convention and use .desktop files, as they sometimes have a fail-safe, and include translations, and icon pictures for you, and I'm too lazy to build a tutorial on how to build a desktop file (they are simple enough, just open them up with an editor).
Now if you still want to keep the Firefox Icon, you can just create a new Internet Button'.
Just copy the Internet Entry and paste it below, then enter the desktop file for Opera instead of Firefox, easy, right.
Here's a few features that will keep you using Opera.
Desktop shortcut to start Opera: Ctrl-Alt-N will start Opera from the desktop. (Don't ask me why, it just works).
Mouse Gestures: better with a real mouse but still. My main ones are, forward (Hold Left Click then Right Click), back (Hold Right Click then Left Click), Refresh (Hold Right Click and move the cursor up then down then releasing the right click, and close a tab Hold Right Click make an L then release Right Click.
Sessions: You can save various sessions, I know Firefox is just getting this, but Opera has been doing it for a long time (has all the kinks worked out already). It also saves your session when you close, so when you open the browser back up all your tabs are there from the previous session of use (I don't even use a Homepage anymore because of this).
Passwords: now this is the ultimate time saver, if you let Opera save your passwords you can press Ctrl+Enter at that dialog page, and it will enter your username and password information and press enter for you.
Full screen mode: Pressing F11 takes you to a real full screen mode, unlike Firefox or IE, which really uses the screen to its best. Press F11 or Esc to exit. You can scroll with space and backspace, and move down and up with the arrow keys.
Fit to width: Since many web pages are designed for wider screens, it can involve a lot of horizontal scrolling. To avoid this go to Tools → Preferences → Web pages and select “Fit to width”. Then if a page is too wide, Opera will reformat it to avoid having to scroll horizontally. You can also set an inital zoom factor on pages here.
Zooming: use the keys “0” and “9” to zoom in and out of the page. This can make those pages with tiny fonts much more readable. If you have 'fit to width' on, the page will reformat too. Keys “7”and “8” zoom in bigger steps, and “6” takes you back to 100%.
Moving between tabs: Keys “1” and “2” move you left and right through the tabs; ctrl-tab takes you to the last tab you went to and pops up a menu of tabs, which you can continue navigating through with ctrl-tab. Ctrl-F4 and Ctrl-W close the current tab.
Next page: Another minor one, for the forward gesture, it is smart enough to go to the next page in a search (such as in the forums), try it out! Scrolling down with space will do the same too. So if you are on Google search results page, scrolling down with space, when you reach the bottom of the page, it will automatically go to the next search page.