Feeds

The best netbook-friendly Linux distros

Android on your Eee, anyone?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04

Prior to Ubuntu 9.04 - aka 'Jaunty Jackalope' - you could only get the Ubuntu Netbook Remix interface built into other distributions such as Eeebuntu or Ubuntu-Eee (now Easy Peasy). Both of these were unofficial Ubuntu remixes, so usually a little behind the curve.

Ubuntu Netbook Remix

Ubuntu offers a good netbook-ready UI

Unlike the rest of the Ubuntu releases, which come as an ISO to be burnt to CD, the netbook version comes as a file ready to be written to a USB stick – handy, as almost all netbooks don't have optical drives. This good thinking is indicative of the OS itself.

The underlying system is the same as the desktop Ubuntu 9.04 so has everything you'd expect from the complete distribution, including full support for 3G dongles – even split mode. All three of our test netbooks had excellent functionality, with everything working out of the box.

The AA1 was the least happy with Ubuntu, presenting some minor issues with the SD slots and the indicator light for the Wi-Fi. With the Ubuntu community as large as it is, it's no surprise that there are already fixes for these issues on its forum.

The only other issue, which affects other machines as well as netbooks, is the poor performance of Intel graphics cores in Jaunty. On the EeePC 701, for example, the effect is so severe that UNR is almost unusable without some tweaking.

This performance degradation is really noticeable when you're watching YouTube videos full screen or trying to play HD content. For general use and SD playback, it's fine, so whether this will be a problem for you depends on how you use your netbook.

Ubuntu Netbook Remix

To cater for the small screen, apps auto-maximise

The netbook-specific portion of UNR is the interface. Split into three panes, the UI presents icons for menu entries, much like you'd find in the launch menu, for your applications and, on the right hand side, for commonly accessed folders such as documents, or the local network. It's a little like the Asus Eee PC interface, but much more adult and customisable.

Incidentally, it's a lot easier to use in moving vehicles than the standard desktop is.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: Eeebuntu

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.