Canonical optimizes Linux distribution for netbooks

The Ubuntu Linux 9.04 Netbook Remix is designed to run Web and office applications typically used on netbooks

Canonical on Thursday released a Linux distribution optimized for netbooks with features to improve battery life and rapidly access programs.

The Ubuntu Linux 9.04 Netbook Remix is designed to run basic Web and office applications typically used on netbooks. Netbooks are lightweight laptops characterized by limited computing resources and small screen sizes.

The OS boots faster than other Ubuntu distributions and has better power-management features to boost battery life, Canonical said. It also centralizes applications and bookmarks under one interface to rapidly access programs and Web sites. Numerous design changes have resulted in a better visual experience, the company said.

It comes with the Firefox Web browser, the OpenOffice office suite and multimedia tools. Minimum hardware requirements for the OS are 4GB of storage, 384MB of RAM and an Intel Atom processor. The install file can be downloaded from Canonical's Web site.

The Remix edition works on netbooks including the Acer Aspire One, Asus Eee PC 1000 and Dell Mini 9. It can be downloaded directly to a USB stick, from which it can be used to boot a netbook. Typically, netbooks do not include CD or DVD drives, so USB sticks are used as an alternative to launch an OS.

In an early review, Scott Gilbertson of Webmonkey wrote that configuring Netbook Remix to work on an Asus EeePC 1000H took a while, but its interface was impressive.

"The result is a powerful but simple interface that's far snappier than competing options like Windows XP," Gilbertson wrote.

Netbook makers typically recommend not changing the preloaded Linux OS because of hardware issues. For example, switching to another Linux distribution could render a Wi-Fi card unusable because drivers are unavailable. However, one blogger was impressed with the range of drivers provided in Ubuntu Netbook Remix.

Testing a beta version of the OS on an Acer Aspire One 110 a day before its official launch, blogger Neil Ashley wrote the OS booted quickly off a USB stick. It also effectively loaded a Bluetooth software stack and drivers for a network printer from Samsung.

The OS was a welcome change from Linpus Lite Linux, which typically comes preloaded on the Acer Aspire One. "The amount of hassle getting those [drivers] ... working on Linpus Lite is not believable," Ashley wrote. Linpus Lite has been criticized in the past for its unfriendly interface and lack of drivers for external hardware.

Canonical on Thursday also released Ubuntu 9.04 Desktop Edition and Ubuntu 9.04 Server Edition. Ubuntu 9.04 is referred to as "Jaunty Jackalope" in the Linux community.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Linuxnetbooksubuntu

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?