How will an Ubuntu netbook edition work on a full sized laptop?

Gustavo Ibarguengoytia January 19, 2011
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Every day I move more and more into the cloud and the bulky Windows 7, while great (for a Windows OS), seems rather excessive for my laptop. I don’t use it for gaming or design, I use it for music, internet, downloads, mail, and the occasional stream to my 360.

I don’t use an Office suite, since I moved to Google Docs. And because of this I was interested in Ubuntu Unity. I already tried Ubuntu 10.10 desktop edition and didn’t like it. Previous editions were not very compatible with my system, so I am downloading Unity as I write.

I was wondering if it would work properly since it is designed for netbooks. Will I get better battery life? What happens when an OS designed for a smaller, and less powerful system is installed on a more powerful system?

I already know I´ll loose my 64-bit software benefits, but I really don’t use or need them.

  1. Chase Vandiver
    January 29, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    i tried jolicloud on a normal laptop b4 and couldnt get the wireless to work...

  2. Gustavo Ibarguengoytia
    January 29, 2011 at 3:48 am

    I did try pinguyOS but found it to be a dull experience. I have tried Mint before and didn't like it. Jolicloud was somewhat out of my radar, and I have never heard of EasyPeasy. I have to admidt that I went for Ubuntu because it is a platform I have tested and enjoyed before, but i didn't like the 10.10 release, so when I heard about Unity i was intrigued to try it out.

    I'll keep those options in mind in case I grow bored or start having troubles with Unity, thank you pceasies.

  3. pceasies
    January 29, 2011 at 2:57 am

    You may also want to look into Mint, Jolicloud, pinguyOS, and EasyPeasy

  4. Gustavo Ibarguengoytia
    January 24, 2011 at 4:06 am

    Follow up.

    Just to let you guys know, in case you want to know, I am using Ubunutu 10.10 Netbook edition and loving it! I am still getting used to the menu, but that is normal. My CD/DVD drive wroked perfectly and I didn't have to change anything or add drivers, same thing for my audio drivers, display and wireless (which is always a problem somehow in Ubuntu). I like how fast it is and clean! I still have some stuff to test like managing my mobile and streaming to my 360 so fingers crossed... This (Dell Inspiron 1525) combo and configuration is a keeper!

  5. Jessica Cam W.
    January 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    From my experience, the netbook edition should work fine. For my HP laptop, the Desktop version was never able to pick up the Wifi networks (and I tried installing Ubuntu several times), but the netbook edition never had an issue at that.

    You can always switch back to the Desktop appearance by going to System > Preferences (or Administration, I can't quite remember which one) > Login Screen. You can choose the desktop version even if you have the Netbook Edition, which will remove the Unity desktop.

    And you said you might use it for the occasional streaming to your 360. If you're using Netflix to stream movies, you'll be out of luck since Netflix doesn't support Linux systems and requires Silverlight (the Moonlight plugin won't work). Just a note.

    • Gustavo Ibarguengoytia
      January 21, 2011 at 6:10 am

      Thanks Jessica for the suggestions, I'll check them out if my dl doesn't work properly.

      As for streaming it's more like streaming video and music from my Laptop into my 360 using Windows Media Center or WMP, or shared folders.

  6. Richard Carpenter
    January 20, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    The next Ubuntu release (11.04 Natty Narwhal) will include the Unity desktop. There is only one key difference between Netbook and Desktop, It is optimized for the Intel Atom processor.

    Have you tried Xubuntu or Kubuntu?

    • Richard Carpenter
      January 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm

      You can also try to install the Netbook packages on top of Ubuntu Desktop Edition. Here one command that will install it, will probably take some time.

      sudo apt-get install ubuntu-netbook

    • Gustavo Ibarguengoytia
      January 21, 2011 at 6:08 am

      I have used them before and didn't like either, in fact I haven't like a single release of Ubuntu since 9.04. Thanks for the tip below, if my dl doesn't work, I'll try that.

    January 20, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Yes, Ubuntu netbook edition will work in a normal laptop. The installation requirements for the netbook edition are similar to the requirements for a laptop/desktop. Also there are differences in the user interface.

    There a few caveats though. Your dvd/cd burner will not work for the obvious reason...netbooks do not have dvd/cd drives. Depending on your laptop you will have to look for drivers. Also you will have to make do with a smaller screen resolution. I am not sure about battery life...but I would think it should be better than running a normal laptop. Hope it helps.

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