Feeds

The best netbook-friendly Linux distros

Android on your Eee, anyone?

The next step in data security

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.

Security for virtualized datacentres

Next page: Eeebuntu

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
Profitless Twitter: We're looking to raise $1.5... yes, billion
We'll spend the dosh on transactions, biz stuff 'n' sh*t
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.