Ubuntu offers Remix, a lighter Linux for mobile users

Linux Remix targeted to OEM vendors that are building their own netbooks for sale to consumers

To keep up with the growing popularity of the recent wave of low-cost, flash drive-equipped, wireless, small form factor "netbook" computers, Ubuntu Linux this week announced its own specially modified Linux operating system that can run on the machines.

Called Ubuntu Linux Remix, the new operating system will be targeted to OEM vendors that are building their own netbooks for sale to consumers, said Gerry Carr, marketing manager for Canonical Ltd., the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu around the globe. Ubuntu Linux Remix is built to be compatible with Intel's new Atom processors, which are miniaturized, low-power CPUs that can be used in smaller netbook chassis, Carr said.

Netbooks equipped with Intel Atom CPUs and Ubuntu Linux Remix are expected to be on retailer's shelves in the next six months, he said, at prices estimated between US$300 to $500.

Unlike its other consumer desktop and enterprise Linux versions, Ubuntu will not offer free downloads of the Remix version and will only offer it to prospective netbook vendors for their use, Carr said.

The new classification of netbook computers provides users with a smaller laptop they can take anywhere, but without all of the features of a standard laptop machine.

The netbooks enable users to go online wirelessly, send and receive e-mail, chat on instant messaging clients and more, while using a device packaged in a small, energy-efficient form. As such, netbooks are slotted in the marketplace as secondary computers for use when traveling, vacationing or whenever a full-sized, fully-featured laptop isn't needed.

Canonical is working to ensure that other popular desktop applications are certified for use on Remix to give users choices in software they can run on the machines.

A key difference with the Remix from the standard desktop Ubuntu Linux is the inclusion of a "launcher" that allows users to start the machines and get online more quickly, Carr said. "There are also lots of tweaks for the Intel Atom chips, and optimization, too, for the flash drive (in lieu of a disk-based spinning hard drive) and for other underlying technologies. Probably the major difference ... is that this is very much a device-tied OS" aimed specifically at netbook architectures.

Netbook machines are already on the market from other vendors, including Asustek Computer. Last month, Asustek launched its latest US$549 Eee PC 900 machines in Windows and Linux versions.

Asustek will also use new Intel Atom chips in some of its upcoming Eee PC machines.

The Ubuntu Linux Remix version may be just the start of a procession of new vendors to join the netbook arena, Carr said. "If the market's successful, I think there will be other players in it," he said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Todd R. Weiss

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?