First, in answer to your question…Yes a USB pen drive WILL work WITHOUT drivers BUT they are going to be Windows drivers, so no use for Linux
And I agree with ‘goldendragonuk’, you should test a few Distros (Linux versions) out first… you are in an ideal position to do this, you can boot the EeePC from USB stick, and therefore check out a few distros WITHOUT loosing your Windows installation, as Linux will run quite happily from a Pendrive.
If you find one you like, and are happy with Linux, THEN you can overwrite the Windows installation on your hard drive (SSD).
Your first stop should be:
Can I also point you to:
where you will find an article about How to install Linux Mint 8 (Helena) on the Acer Aspire One… I know this is for the AA1, but it is actually the instructions for loading it to a USB stick so will apply to the EeePC… as well as any other Linux distro.
Check the rest of that page, because there is a comparison of Linpus Lite (standard linux install on eeepc and acer aspire one netbooks), Mint 8 main edition, and Mint 8 fluxbox.
Mint 8 fluxbox = VERY fast, faster than the standard linpus, and FULL software availability, as it’s based on Ubuntu.
Mint 8 XFCE or LXDE = half way between fluxbox and main editions, desktop similar to Gnome, but with ‘nearly’ the speed of fluxbox, and FULL software availability, as it’s based on Ubuntu.
Mint 8 main = Gnome desktop, very much like windows and easy for first time Linux users to understand, and FULL software availability, as it’s based on Ubuntu.
Linpus Lite = very simple ‘idiot proof’ interface, and quite quick, but very outdated, and limited in software availabilty.
Personally I’d check out the XFCE or LXDE versions, Screenshots here
Linux Mint 8 (any edition) and the Ubuntu Netbook remix will install ALL the drivers for your EeePC for you, but in my opinion Mint is easier going because it also installs the mutimedia codecs and other useful stuff by default. (waits for the ubuntu backlash )
BE AWARE: that your windows applications are NOT going to work in Linux, BUT most Linux distros are going to install most if not all of the software you are going to need for you at the same time as it installs itself, and any other software you may need is going to be free… Viruses and Malware will be a thing of the past too ;D
Once you settle on a distro, and you are sure you want to overwrite your windows installation on your hard drive, we will help you install it.
Links to Mint and Ubuntu (amongst others) can be found in ‘Links’ (top of page) or here: