I was wondering peoples opinions on the best distro for netbooks.

asked 14 Apr '10, 01:16

george's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

12next »

TEST BENCH for Netbook OSes. Highly Recommended: LEEENUX 3.0


Puppy and BrowserLinux Puppy is only mentioned here because of it's popularity and notoriety of being small and fast. But don't let that fool you: it is not designed for netbooks, but rather for old hardware. Features like WiFi, power management, screen brightness are all afterthoughts, retrofitted into it. It doesn't manage WiFi well, requiring "profiles" you create and manage for different hotspots, and enhanced hardware management features may or may not work with your computer or may be absent. Also, having several apps to manageone thing (such as wifi) becomes confusing - in which case do you pick one, and in which case is one a precursor to another? Browser Linux is a scaled/slimmed down version of Puppy, with less apps and features, but still more ideal for old machines than for netbooks.

Puppeee This is a new, promising, distro in the making, by a Puppy enthusiast, "Jemima". Adapting Puppy for the eeePC and all other popular netbooks and laptops, improving the menu items groupings, and slimming things down to things that work. It is still perfectible, but coming along at a nice clip. Where other netbook OSes have a whole team for development and theirOS drags along the same bugs for weeks, Puppeee's developer, Jemima, responds to bugs and requests fast. In all, a very nice project. If you like to tinker, and be involved with this community, ahd have the ultimate lean and mean OS on your netbook, give it a try.

AntiX 8.x Antix (from antics/LinuX, and not anti-"X") is a slim fast OS that runs well on netbooks, but we wonder if it may not be more of a design for old hardware than for newer netbooks. You may be disappointed at it's lack of support with the default WiFi app for WPA encryption. No encryption is the default for most hotspots, but not in your home, where WPA is safer than WEP. It looks, plain, runs very well, but you should try it on your old PC with wired ethernet-to-dslmodem.

Knoppix Knoppix is nowhere near the compactness you would expect from a linux for netbooks. BUT it is extremely fast for a standard distro with full apps, and one of the only stable LXDE based OSes out there. Although Knoppix doesn't look exciting, it performs faster than many "netbook" linuxes, and configures everything automatically for you, just like Linux Mint ubuntu does. If you don't use it on your netbook, consider it, and Mint-ubuntu, as your desktop OS of choice. Use it if: your netbook has more hardware resources (1+gh processor, the typical 160gb HDD), and you prefer a conventional interface to the ones designed for small screens. It runs rather well on most types of hardware, whether old and slow or new and fast with modern features - but it's not a space saver for mini disks (SSD or solid state drives).

EasyPeasy (Ubuntu Netbook remix) Renaming of ubuntu netbook remix, now called easypeasy, this latest version has an extremely annoying stall-and-jump pointer bug in it. If it weren't for that, this is a reasonable speed, wonderfully designed OS. Try it on your netbook to see if it has the same problem on yours. If not, you'll love it. (eeePC owners, look at Leeenux 3.0)

Jolicloud Just like ubuntu netbook remix / easypeasy, but with added shortcuts/quick launchers for (disguised, minimalistic Firefox) cloud apps links. This doesn't have that annoying jumping/stalling mouse pointer bug of easypeasy. In theory, running apps from the "cloud" should save you space, and some would reason, less bulk, more speed. NOT! A surprising quantity of cloud apps are available for activation in jolicloud, but not all are on reliable servers- you don't know if your data is safe, confidential, nor if the server will be functioning tomorrow, or if it will deliver your application at a satisfactory speed during waking hours. I liked this OS, but installing a few cloud apps brought my system to it's knees! And I reluctantly turned elsewhere ("reluctantly", because the idea is so good and appealing that you just want to believe in it). The only cloud apps I use now are Google Docs, Live mail and Gmail. And those can be used on any computer.

Leeenux 2.0 Discontinued and replaced with a completely remastered 3.0. This was a slimmed down EasyPeasy, had the same bugs, and has nothing to do with the new 3.0

Leeenux 3.0 With an interface much like EasyPeasy/ubuntu-netbook-remix/Jolicloud. Currently, this wins hands down, as the best netbook OS at this time, as compared to all that were tested here. On a eeePC with only 512MB RAM, a 8GB SSD, and a leisurely 800mh celeron processor, this OS is fast, full featured, and stable. You can't really ask for more. Perhaps a future Leeenux will be faster, but for the moment, working out of the box, managing all your features out of the box, including WiFi, hotkeys (screen brightness, etc), it does the job, and does it astoundingly well. Version 4.0 is already being worked on and promises to reduce it's dependency on Ubuntu, moving closer to Debian sources. (for noobs like me: Mint and Leeenux are perfected/enhanced versions of Ubuntu with is a perfected/expanded version of Debian which may very well be the most highly regarded Linux system).

Lubuntu Keep an eye out for this one. It is a slimmed down Ubuntu with an LXDE front end, and some "light" OSes are expected to be based on it - aiming ot slim it down and customize it for different hadware platforms. But for the moment, it suffers the same problems as most other ubuntus with lxde: not reliable. Hopefully, LXDE and Ubuntu development will allow a future version (ubuntu 10.xx) to work better. Also when this comes out, check out the Mint Lubuntu which will soon be released thereafter.


answered 17 Apr '10, 12:29

Timmi's gravatar image

accept rate: 50%

edited 17 Apr '10, 15:00

thanks, good post. Still, LFS / Gentoo wins in customization :D

(17 Apr '10, 15:34) Web31337

According to my Experience The best OS currenly out theire is Ubuntu Netbok Remix with Following justifications

  1. As Netbook is a gaining market , you don't get all the options/Softwares for every platform (But if its in Linux, it will be there for Ubuntu :D)
  2. UNR is not only a selection of software's and Customized GUI's. It has been specifically optimized to Atom processors by collaboration with the Intel developers (Which Others don't have)
  3. GUI is always great as always
  4. The softwares get updated everyday
  5. Its one of the most looked after Netbook OS from a Large community/Backend
  6. Still not very popular hardware can be worked out as ubuntu is a most helped out distro from the community

NOTE: If you are on for a Totally different challenge, go for Moblin , Its more Great than UNR as its only been developed for atom processors , and the Backend is mighty Fedora.(My Fav) :)


answered 14 Apr '10, 03:33

Derulz's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

PuppyLinux 4.x runs well on my ASUS 901. It loads entirely into RAM, so it's fast and prolongs the life of SSD's, as it generally only writes on shutdown. HTH.


answered 15 Apr '10, 21:53

BaldGuyKen's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

it loads into ram?! that sounds perfect

(15 Apr '10, 23:35) george

... maybe even one with builtin BTRFS and COMPRESSION support? (You know, for netbooks with small flash disks, and because it would be speedier.)


answered 14 Apr '10, 02:00

mario's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

The term 'best option' for a netbook will depend on the type of user you are.

I have been jumping around between distros on my netbook like a madman, trying to find the perfecft fit for me and my needs. Ubuntu Netbok Remix was great, and I did enjoy it, but even with 2GB of Ram it felt sluggish at times, plus the interface felt a bit too safe. Almost idiot-proof. Now this is great for someone who doesn't know much about Linux and wants to try out the alternative. But I love tweaking and playing with everything.

The distro I have found now is #!Crunchbang it's based on Ubuntu, but the next release is based on Debian, it is fast, customizable and the user support is very good. A small and very active community, which will grow a lot.

So if you are looking for a distro that is very functionable ad that will satisfy your inner geekiness. Go with #!Crunchbang.


answered 04 May '10, 04:44

charl's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Gentoo Linux


answered 14 Apr '10, 01:32

Web31337's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%

jolicloud seems to me like the best OS for a netbook is based on ubuntu so you get all the software that you could get with ubuntu.


answered 14 Apr '10, 02:30

jramirez's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

There is also the Kubuntu Nebook remix if you're into KDE.


answered 14 Apr '10, 15:51

Emmanuel's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%

oh well and xubuntu if you're into XFCE. still the same ubuntu.

(14 Apr '10, 16:19) Web31337

he said for netbooks! (ps: the xubuntu project is dormant (if not dead)).

(17 Apr '10, 12:33) Timmi

Google OS (gOS) has been praised for being the most beautiful and easiest to use Linux operating system for Netbook on the market.


System Requirements

Bare Minimum 300 MHz x86 processor 64 MB RAM At least 4 GB of disk space (for full installation and swap space) VGA graphics card capable of 640x480 resolution CD-ROM drive or network card

Recommended 700 MHz x86 processor 384 MB RAM 8 GB of disk space Graphics card capable of 1024x768 resolution Sound card.


answered 16 Apr '10, 11:53

mustu's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 16 Apr '10, 12:10

Nice that you did a copy-paste of the quoted minimum requirements, and all the hype... but do you actually use this? It's hard to get a download link of anything that is working and not in beta or outdated.

(17 Apr '10, 12:31) Timmi

the g in gOS doesn't stand for Google, but GOOD. The reason people think that gOS has anything to do with Google is because the developer of gOS loaded it with Google apps and more or less marketed it deceptively as a Google product.

(04 May '10, 15:08) Yaro Kasear

Greetings from Guelph! It really depends on what type of experience you are looking for on your netbook. If you like a desktop feel OpenSuse 11.2 KDE or Gnome runs beautifully on the Asus EEE, for example. So does full Ubuntu. If you want a "netbook remix" interface, I recommend Jolicloud, which now includes a desktop-switcher to enable you to have both a full desktop and a netbook remix interface. Also, hardware support is excellent in Jolicloud. Cheers!


answered 17 Apr '10, 01:38

Freshmeadow's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "Title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "Title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported



Asked: 14 Apr '10, 01:16

Seen: 47,123 times

Last updated: 08 May '10, 22:07

powered by OSQA