It's been a while since our last review of the Jolicloud operating system, and since we just got a brand-new eMachines eM350 netbook (see it in the enclosed image) we thought to give you guys a glimpse into the new release of Jolicloud 1.0. As many of you already know, the distribution is not yet available for download as an ISO image. At the moment, Jolicloud 1.0 is only available as an upgrade option to selected users. But don't despair, as it will be available for download by the end of the month!
Our netbook has the following hardware specifications:
· Intel Atom N450 1660 MHz processor;
· Intel GMA3150 integrated graphics card;
· 1 GB DDR2 of system RAM;
· 160 GB SATA hard drive;
· 1024 x 600 capable LED LCD. What has changed since the Pre-Final release?
First of all you should know that the main and biggest difference, compared with previous releases, is the interface. The new user interface was created in HTML5 and it is simpler and productive. As far as we've noticed, some things are still missing from it, such as access to
general system settings or
(the settings are located in My Jolicloud -> Device -> Extra -> Local Settings) updates. The developers know that the interface is not yet complete and urge users should to bugs or submit feature request on the Jolicloud feedback page
The old panel is still available and it features the same icons found in previous releases. Only the Jolicloud icon has been moved to the left side of the screen, and it is now used to "show the desktop." The new interface also features a panel with a general search engine for friends and applications, a button to access the Jolicloud software repository, a shutdown/reboot/sleep/logout button, and four more buttons that offer access to the main "desktop", activities, local or online storage and account settings/device information.
The "desktop" was made in such a way to display all the installed applications, on multiple pages with 14 icons per page. By clicking on a small arrow situated next to the application's name, the user can easily remove it, set it as favorite, or view detailed information about it. The applications can also be moved across the pages.
Installing applications has never been easier! The apps are listed in categories and can be installed with a single click. Multiple applications can be added for installation, and the overall process can be observed by clicking on the installation icon (see the screenshots below for details). What worked?
Everything we've tested worked flawlessly, including the applications and the netbook's hardware components (webcam, touchpad, speakers, keyboard, etc).
A few secrets!
The big "Add" button situated in the left side of the screen provides access to over 700 applications. The button is available only if you are connected to the Internet.
If you are a geek and you're used with the Ubuntu operating system and Linux in general, you can hit ALT+F1 and login in text-mode, from where you can easily install various applications or libraries, add extra repositories or update your machine. However, new applications installed from the command-line will not appear in Jolicloud's interface!
There are some keyboard shortcuts that will give users access to the original Ubuntu menu, to access applications installed manually or system's settings (by pressing the menu key), or access to the main "desktop" (by pressing the Windows key) if you have many applications opened.
We've discovered that the new HTML5 user interface is also accessible via a web browser at the following URL: http://my.jolicloud.com Under the hood?
To our disappointment, Jolicloud 1.0 is apparently still based on the Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) operating system, but it has a newer Linux kernel and mostly up-to-date applications, which are optimized for netbooks by the Jolicloud developers. However, they should switch soon to a newer version of Ubuntu, because Canonical will stop supporting Jaunty Jackalope in about two months, at the end of October 2010.
The boot splash has also been revamped...
...and the login screen looks like this... Bugs?
We've found a couple of bugs in this release of the Jolicloud operating system, but the most annoying one is related to the new user interface. The bug can be reproduced like this: with no application running, double click the black panel (where the application's titlebar appears), and you will see that the HTML5 interface will go under it. There is no way to put it back!
Another bug we've found, is the battery icon, which appears only sometimes. You can also see this from our screenshots.
Another bug is with the search engine. If you search for something and you find it, the search string will remain in the search box.
Not a bug, but our machine is not even listed on the supported eMachines netbooks category. The Jolicloud team should add it! Will this OS work on my netbook?
We bet that this is the question everyone is asking right now... and as it appears from its official website, Jolicloud 1.0 is compatible with lots of netbooks, old and new ones. Among the supported netbooks we can mention Acer Aspire One, BenQ Joybook, Compaq Mini, Dell Mini/Latitude/Vostro, Epson Endeavor, Fujitsu LifeBook, AMILO Mini, Gigabyte Café Book/Booktop/Myou/InNote, Hannspree HannsNote, Hercules eCAFE, HP Mini, Intel Classmate, Lenovo IdeaPad, Medion AKOYA, MSI Wind, NEC Lavie Light, Nokia Booklet 3G, Pioneer DreamBook Lite or Sony VAIO. But these are just a few of them, and therefore we recommend checking the Jolicloud netbook compatibility webpage
before installing, to see if your machine is supported.
There are a lot more things to discover in Jolicloud 1.0. Click here
to upgrade to Jolicloud 1.0 today.