More on Ubuntu Netbook Remix

For those of you who read my earlier post, Ubuntu Netbook Remix on an EeePC 701, you’ll know that I installed Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) on my other half’s EeePC 701. The clue is very much in the name.

Initially I was sceptical of using it myself. I’m a Red Hat / CentOS / Fedora fan. All my home machines are Fedora; my work PC is Fedora and all the servers I look after are CentOS. My own EeePC 901 was, until yesterday, running Fedora too. I had no real gripes about Fedora on my 901, except the boot time, which was acceptable but slightly slow.

But after seeing how well thought-out UNR is, I was tempted to give it a shot. Despite being a Red Hat fan, I eventually decided that I didn’t actually use my 901 for anything Red Hat specific – basically I use it as a web browser, email client, MSN/AIM client and ssh terminal. So I’m not tied to any particular OS at all.

Installation from a Live USB was a breeze. My 901 has a so-called 20GB SSD, which is actually a 4GB SSD and a 16GB SSD. I’ve also added a 16GB SDHC card. In the end I set up my partitioning like:

  • 4GB SSD: /var
  • 16GB SSD: /boot, /
  • 16GB SDHC: /home

In short, this gives me 16GB for the OS, and 16GB for my stuff. This is a pretty healthy amount for a netbook, and more than I’m likely to use in a hurry.

So what are my first thoughts on this Debian-based OS that I’m supposed to hate?

Well, it’s pretty good. The first thing I notice is how polished everything is. The login screen, the custom menu, the theme… UNR looks like a saleable OS. The UNR custom menu looks smart and is easy to use on a netbook screen – 9″ in my case, and 7″ in Hana’s.

I was able to configure my installation the way I like it without using a terminal. Of course, the terminal is there if I want it but I think this distro marks a new era – a Linux distribution that can be installed, configured and used without the user having to use the terminal. I’ve already said that my non-geek girlfriend Hana is using UNR and finds it great. I’d also be happy to recommend it to other non-technical users.

Well done Ubuntu!

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