Thursday, December 24, 2009

Running a lightweight OS on my Netbook

I investigated running a lightweight operating system on my Netbook to get off Windows XP. I looked at Ubuntu Net Remix and Moblin but consider their simplified interfaces too restrictive.

I will be interested to see how the Google Chrome OS compares when it is available.

In the end I installed Kubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) from a USB drive as a dual boot option. Details on the installation and configuration are available in this article on Greenlivinpedia. Being a wiki, you can edit the article and add more information if you wish too.

My overall impressions are that Kubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10 is polished, easy to use, stable and quite slick. For those thinking of moving from Windows XP or Vista, this is a compelling option.


Grant said...

Evening Peter
I have been running UBUNTU for many months, and to date have not had any problems with it.
Actually I have built a dual boot desktop with Vista, and UBUNTU (in my case running on separate HDDs), but most of the time running just the UBUNTU.
One down side is that unless you have been playing with LINUX it takes some time to reset your mind from the Windows mindset to the LINUX mindset.
One thing for sure is that the whole LINUX setup I use, including OpenSource sfw, takes up considerably less space. I run everything I can think of on just a 50Gb HDD.
As stated earlier, with the frustrations, for the first couple of weeks, keep the bottle of Valium handy.

Peter Campbell said...

Grant, I think the Gnome desktop that Ubuntu uses is too limiting. In the past I have used KDE (Kubuntu) and prefer its look, feel and function.

I have got Kubuntu booting and running from a 4GB USB drive and so far so good and it runs surprisingly fast.

I now plan to install it on the netbook as a dual boot option.

Chris Watkins said...

Wow - would never have thought of Kubuntu as lightweight.

I've usually not liked KDE (e.g. in MEPIS - couldn't find networking info), but when I played with PCLinuxOS about 2 years ago, I really liked it. So I guess it's about the implementation.

Peter Campbell said...

Chris, you are correct - Kubuntu is not really lightweight. Distros like Moblin and Ubunto for Netbooks are - but I think their UI's are very limiting - hence the move to Kubuntu. However, Kubuntu is much quicker than XP - possibly due to the underlying EXT4 file system. It boots up and shuts down in seconds. Apps run quite quick too. My MIS Wind U100 Netbook has 2GB ram too.

Chris Watkins said...

Peter, have you ever tried LXDE or Openbox? Both are very light - LXDE s a fairly complete desktop environment (still in development, but definitely ready to use) I don't find it limiting.

Openbox is the window manager it uses, which can also be used standalone or with other tools. In raw form it's hard for newbies, but with some setting up it's extremely cool. I'm working on getting up a guide to making a usable Openbox - we've made a start here:

Dating Offers said...

including OpenSource sfw, takes up considerably less space. I run everything I can think of on just a 50Gb HDD.