Monday, December 07, 2009

Netbook operating systems - Back to Jolicloud

This past weekend I tried out some different Linux based operating systems for my Dell Mini 9. Going into the weekend, I was running the alpha of Jolicloud, which for the most part, I have been happy with.

First I tried Easy Peasy, which is a Ubuntu fork, originally developed for the Eee PC. Used Unetbootin to create a bootable USB key and installed. Discovered that wifi requires additional drivers to be loaded manually to support the Broadcom card in the Mini 9. Didn't notice a lot of difference from Jolicloud. Easy Peasy prompted me to upgrade to Ubuntu 9.1, which immediately failed due to lack of drive space. That's what I get for using a 4 GB SSD.

Next I tried Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) 9.1. Install went fine, but upon rebooting, I was greeted with messages of imminent drive failure. Some quick online searches show that the S.M.A.R.T. disk monitoring routines in UNR falsely indicate drive failure on Solid State Disks (SSD). My Mini 9 is running a 4 GB SSD. Just like Easy Peasy, the wifi did not work.

So, I reinstalled Jolicloud. This time, I left the default keyring password blank. Otherwise, the keyring password is required when connecting to wireless access points that require login keys.

Trying these 2 other systems made me appreciate Jolicloud even more. It just works.

Why not Windows? My Mini 9 shipped with XP, and I don't use it. Everything I do on my Mini 9 is in a web browser (Google Docs, Reader,, so Windows is unnecessary. And slow. I've been quite impressed by Jolicloud on my Mini 9, and it runs on a 4GB SSD with almost 1G to spare. If your netbook is supported, I would try it.

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