Yesterday I mentioned Kuki Linux, an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution (or just the kernel if you prefer) centered around the 8.9″ Acer Aspire One.
Today, I’m mentioning a different Linux distribution, one that is focused on netbooks in general, and that’s designed around using the internet and cloud-based computing.
It’s called jolicloud (www.jolicloud.com), and in the word of it’s developers:
We love netbooks: they are cheap, compact, light and always connected via 3G.
What we didn’t like so much was the user experience so we decided to build our own.
We used Linux and made it boot faster and we optimized it for surf and cloud computing. We redesigned the interface and integrated some cool stuff.
This is how the jolicloud project started. The next step is to let you try it out and have your opinion so together we can build the best netbook experience.
As you can see from the full-sized screenshot (link below), it’s icon-based (at least as far as launching applications), with an emphasis on internet-oriented applications (Google Mail, Calendar, Skype, Facebook, etc.) and while you are connected, it keeps track of your local storage as well as your online storage. It appears that it has your online storage integrated with the OS (when you’re online obviously), so that you can use that to store data that you don’t need access to as much, or that you want to keep backed up somewhere (say photos for instance). Combined with the smaller-sized Solid State Drives (SSDs) that are in a lot of the early netbooks, it should reduce the need for many to upgrade their storage or to require more storage. In a college environment, or other environments where you have wide-scale wireless coverage, the benefits become even more obvious.
It’s interesting that we are seeing more small-scale Linux-based projects and distributions for netbooks even as some netbook makers start to shy away from Linux. This is a case of the software potential catching up to the hardware. You can’t simply take Windows and easily integrate cloud-based/online storage into the system itself – usually you are having to use third-party applications and even then it’s not as seamless as something like this.
As far as release dates, all we know is sometime in 2009. The developers mention that it’s “running perfectly on all the Asus Eee PC and all the Atom netbooks, including the Dell Inspiron Mini!” Once it comes out of beta, we’ll be covering it (along with some of the other Linux distributions).