JoliCloud moves into Pre-Beta

29 12 2009

Previously I wrote about Jolicloud while I was testing different Linux distributions on my EeePC netbook. I chose distributions that were, in theory, better suited to life with a netbook. After some basic trial use of Google ChromeOS, Ubuntu Netbook Remix, Moblin and Jolicloud I settled on Ubuntu and for the last month I’ve been using it quite successfully on my little EeePC 901.

The thing I liked about Jolicloud was its ‘Jolicloud application installer’ this provides a whole slew of applications ready to install and not just the off the shelf Linux stuff, this also has applications that would normally require you to compile from source or run through Wine (the pseudo windows emulation library for Linux)

Since that initial look Jolicloud, which is based in Ubuntu so shares the same solid foundation, has gone from alpha to pre-beta. Pre-beta drops the need to be invited to try Jolicloud and opens it up to the wider world, in their words, “We consider the product and its installation stable and simple enough for a broader release.”, I would agree.

Now the thing that potentially interests me again in Jolicloud is the ‘New UI’, reading the Jolicloud blog further reveals this to be a lot of theme and icon redesign with the goal of providing a more consistent feel to the, lets be honest, mixed bag of typical Linux distro’s.

The launcher has been given a HTML5 makeover and looks greatly improved, cleaner, clearer and ultimately more usable. Compare

with the current/old

It seems to me that if Jolicloud roll out the UI update and pull off a good attempt at a cohesive UI for Linux then they will have a success on their hands. Google’s play is to simplify (dumb down?) the UI to a HTML5 browser, but its tomorrow’s toy, Jolicloud looks set to offer this today.

Season the mix with 98% netbook compatibility and a Windows installer that will install Jolicloud alongside Windows on your netbook (assuming you have the disk space) and there might never be a better time to give Jolicloud a spin and see what the latest world of Linux has to offer the daily netbook user.

So I am going to be re-installing Jolicloud soon, once that new UI is available, and quite possibly moving on from Ubuntu Netbook Remix. That is as soon as I get hold of a new SD card to load it onto.

Posted via email from Steve’s Blog


JoliCloud and EeePC901

23 11 2009

I don’t quite remember how I came to be invited to take a look at JoliCloud, its based on Ubuntu Netbook Remix and offers a different UI theme (not that different) and the ‘JoliCloud’.

The JoliCloud is a sort of online portal for updates, applications tracking and contact. It offers applications that are not normally part of a typical linux application vault, for example Spotify is in there. What’s interesting about that is that Spotify does not have a native linux client (come on Spotify, why NOT?) so this is the windows client and Wine.

That makes it a more interesting prospect, the JoliCloud is trying to take the hassle out of installing the apps you had on your windows desktop but cant get out of the box on your linux desktop. Want to run Google Chrome as your browser? No problem, just install it from JoliCloud. Now some of these ‘apps’ are little more than the normal web pages, served in a full screen view, but even so, its making it easier.

So does JoliCloud offer the best linux mix for a netbook? A light weight linux distro based on UNR (Ubuntu) and a pretty well desinged app store that means you need never see a .deb package or have to chant “./configure, make, make install” (though you will be missing out)

In the week where Google announced it was taking over the world… oh sorry, thats next week, announced Google OS and made its starting play in the netbook game what does it all mean for JoliCloud? Well I suspect like many nice projects it will either be absorbed in part of whole by other bigger or more ambitious projects or maybe it will just disappear.

Its all going to come down to the niche’s for the netbook, corporate adoption and how well we all take to really trying to live in the cloud. JoliCloud is an evolutionary step in my opinion, it takes the well established update/app store model that Ubuntu uses and adds more to it. Perhaps its the closest thing to an open app store yet?