Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

alternative netbook osSteve Jobs may disagree but I think netbooks are fantastic. They’re more functional than a phone and more portable than a laptop, and feature a full keyboard to boot.

Netbooks are capable of running regular operating systems, but I’ve recommended time and time again that users find an alternative netbook OS to get the most they can out of their systems.

To that end, I reviewed Moblin in November. I was impressed, but stated it’s not quite ready for prime time. More recently I wrote about four netbook operating systems worth checking out 4 Netbook Operating Systems Worth Checking Out 4 Netbook Operating Systems Worth Checking Out Read More ,  and mentioned that Moblin had merged with Maemo and been rebranded “MeeGo.”


Well, MeeGo 1.0 is now available for download, and while the merger has slowed development a little, I must say I’m impressed with this operating system (although I’m still not sure it’s ready for prime time.)

First Impression

Boot up MeeGo and you’ll be impressed with the boot time, a very similar experience to Moblin. In fact, if you used Moblin, you’ll find almost everything about Moblin familiar, even if the branding is a touch different. The taskbar is the same and features most of the same buttons (albeit with more colours) and the first thing you see when the operating system starts is the “MyZone” which combines your calendar with your recent documents and posts from your friends on Twitter.

alternative netbook os

Ads by Google

Unlike last time, however, it’s now possible to set up Google Calendar to work here. Joy!

Browser: Google Chrome

I mentioned in my Moblin review that the system came with a Mozilla-compatible Moblin-branded browser, and that it was amazingly fast. Since that time Google’s Chrome has made tremendous strides on Linux, and is also blazing fast. It’s probably for these reasons that Chrome is the default browser in MeeGo.

If you don’t like Google-branded products in your Linux operating system you can opt to download the open-source Chromium version of MeeGo when you download the operating system.

Music Player: Banshee

The Moblin media player was a weak point of the system, in my opinion. It’s gone in MeeGo, replaced with the fantastic Banshee media player. Capable of becoming a library for your music and video, Banshee fits into the MeeGo operating system perfectly.

alternative netbook os

The down side, of course, is that MeeGo does not at this time support proprietary media formats, so my MP3 collection don’t play back at all. And as far as I can tell I need to compile these codecs myself in order to use them (though if someone can correct me on this in the comments I’d be really grateful.)

Other Changes

There are a few other changes to Moblin worth mentioning here. My favorite is the new page that comes up when you click the clock:

As you can see this screen is split into three columns: the time in other time zone, my schedule for the day and my current tasks. This is a really efficient use of the space.

Another key change is the “devices” button on the main bar. It features information about all the storage devices connected to the drive. If I click “Import Data” Banshee will import all music and video from that device. Neat, huh?

Get MeeGo

You can download MeeGo for yourself right here, with or without Chrome. You can find instructions for copying it to a flash drive here.

Conclusion

MeeGo’s really coming together as an alternative Netbook OS. Sure, there are quirks””I couldn’t get the Twitter integration working for the life of me””but overall the system is very polished and, most importantly, fast. If you’re finding other netbook system disappoint you try this one out just to see what’s possible. Even if you don’t find the system ready for you it will give you something to be excited about.

What do you think? Is MeeGo an improvement over Moblin, or is it pretty much the same? Do you think this system has potential for netbooks, or are you happy with another system? Sharing in the comments below won’t necessarily help you impress the opposite sex, but it might.

  1. Jorin
    August 17, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    easy peasy 1.6 works well at my netbook (Asus 901, 20G SD)! It has it all!

    http://sourceforge.net/project...

  2. Jorin
    August 17, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    easy peasy 1.6 works well at my netbook (Asus 901, 20G SD)! It has it all!

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/ubuntu-eee/files/

  3. Amielchris
    August 5, 2010 at 10:48 am

    well i have a n220 plus samsung netbook running windows 7 starter and ive installed dual boot to meego its ok but things dont work out of the box like wifi ( fixed on 1.0.1 update ) and little things but important for netbooks like control the brightness using the hotkeys as thats the only way to do it on meego !! battery life seems worse than windows 7 starter but i like the interface for a netbook - but they need to fix the hotkey issues with the n220 plus cas its super annoying

  4. neopeek
    June 8, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    @Eddie:

    it is possible to run MeeGo - without the hardware restrictions which make trouble for virtualizers - in QEMU:

    Meego 1.0 (kernel 2.6.33.3-11.1-netbook), image size: 787 MB (extracted: 2.5 GB)

    http://www.neopeek.com/en/stor...

    MeeGo 0.9 (kernel 2.6.33.3-8.1-iv), image size: 282.3 MB (extracted: 1.2 GB) - with XFCE4

    http://www.neopeek.com/en/stor...

  5. neopeek
    June 8, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    @Eddie:

    it is possible to run MeeGo - without the hardware restrictions which make trouble for virtualizers - in QEMU:

    Meego 1.0 (kernel 2.6.33.3-11.1-netbook), image size: 787 MB (extracted: 2.5 GB)

    http://www.neopeek.com/en/stories/meego/85-meego-10-gui-qemu

    MeeGo 0.9 (kernel 2.6.33.3-8.1-iv), image size: 282.3 MB (extracted: 1.2 GB) - with XFCE4

    http://www.neopeek.com/en/stories/meego/67-meego-with-ui

  6. MelSha82
    June 3, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Is there someone I could ask a few questions about Meego. I would love to try it out but I need to know some stuff about it. I Dont really care for windows and cannot afford mac so I thought going linux would be for me but being an online student I worry about software compatibility issues.

  7. marwel
    June 2, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    it looks amazing, I sam a review on http://www.mee-go.pl

  8. chanklor
    June 2, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    nop, if anyone was interested, it DOESN'T work in the Acer AO751h
    Too bad, it looked pretty good.

  9. marwel
    June 2, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    it looks amazing, I sam a review on http://www.mee-go.pl

  10. Petr_Kohout
    May 31, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Nice piece... But can anyone compare it with Jolicloud. I prefered it design, and also concept (by screenshots and webpages). I already run Win7 on my AOO 531h, but I think about dualboot with some netbook linux distro...
    So which one - Jolicloud or MeeGo?

    Thanks for advice!

  11. Anonymous
    May 31, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Nice piece... But can anyone compare it with Jolicloud. I prefered it design, and also concept (by screenshots and webpages). I already run Win7 on my AOO 531h, but I think about dualboot with some netbook linux distro...
    So which one - Jolicloud or MeeGo?

    Thanks for advice!

    • jhpot
      May 31, 2010 at 5:37 pm

      Jolicloud is more mature at this point, I'd say. If you've never really used Linux before I'd suggest Jolicloud over MeeGo, but MeeGo show's a lot of potential.

  12. Eddie
    May 31, 2010 at 4:20 am

    Hi; I'm on love with their design and user interface; I can totally live with it!! I would really like to try it out to just experience the looks and theme, but I don't have a netbook.

    Has anybody tried it on vmware or virtualbox? I don't want to waste an 800MB download and not be able to try it out on a virtual machine.

    Thanks!

  13. Eddie
    May 31, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Hi; I'm on love with their design and user interface; I can totally live with it!! I would really like to try it out to just experience the looks and theme, but I don't have a netbook.

    Has anybody tried it on vmware or virtualbox? I don't want to waste an 800MB download and not be able to try it out on a virtual machine.

    Thanks!

  14. Nat Jay
    May 30, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    My Acer Aspire One netbook came loaded with Win XP. I've been meaning to load it with a Linux variant, but I'm willing to give MeeGo a try if some of the chinks are ironed out.

  15. Bernard
    May 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    MeeGo really is not ready yet. a lot of bugs, and so much stuff I don't get.
    What is the advantage to "zones" to just normal windows in a standard linux distro for example?
    Also the driver support isn't there. Wifi drivers for example are often missing even on "supported hardware". You can get them to work easily enough though: http://slaine.org/_slaine/Meeg...
    There is no read/write support for NTFS drives, most of the important codecs for audio and video playback are missing, the repository for applications is very small, and the support forum is still in its infancy.
    It does boot up pretty fast, but the overall speed in applications isn't very different to Ubuntu 10.4 or Linux Mint 9 (MUCH more mature distributions).

    This is not what I would call "polished" at all. On MeeGo 1.0 you get the impression that more time has been spend developing the system than the total time using the OS. It is a toy for developers, not suitable for end-users at all at the moment IMHO.
    This MeeGo 1.0 release should have been a beta, not an actual release.

  16. Bernard
    May 30, 2010 at 10:11 am

    MeeGo really is not ready yet. a lot of bugs, and so much stuff I don't get.
    What is the advantage to "zones" to just normal windows in a standard linux distro for example?
    Also the driver support isn't there. Wifi drivers for example are often missing even on "supported hardware". You can get them to work easily enough though: http://slaine.org/_slaine/Meego_1.0_Wifi.html
    There is no read/write support for NTFS drives, most of the important codecs for audio and video playback are missing, the repository for applications is very small, and the support forum is still in its infancy.
    It does boot up pretty fast, but the overall speed in applications isn't very different to Ubuntu 10.4 or Linux Mint 9 (MUCH more mature distributions).

    This is not what I would call "polished" at all. On MeeGo 1.0 you get the impression that more time has been spend developing the system than the total time using the OS. It is a toy for developers, not suitable for end-users at all at the moment IMHO.
    This MeeGo 1.0 release should have been a beta, not an actual release.

  17. Michael Struwig
    May 30, 2010 at 10:11 am

    What about 3G modem support? Moblin 2.1 didn't have any - and it was the only quirk that was keeping me from using it on my Netbook.

  18. Cario
    May 30, 2010 at 9:30 am

    I agree very much that netbooks are great, I love my AspireOne. What I also love is the WinXp OS that allows me to multitask and use any sofware i want except for high-end games. Even Google Earth works great! The OS is certainly not slow, so for me there is no need to switch to an alternative.

  19. chanklor
    May 30, 2010 at 5:02 am

    does anyone know if MeeGo works with the Acer AO751h??? Moblin won't...

    • chanklor
      June 2, 2010 at 4:45 pm

      nop, if anyone was interested, it DOESN'T work in the Acer AO751h
      Too bad, it looked pretty good.

  20. pratomo
    May 30, 2010 at 2:25 am

    Finally! Downloading now :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *