Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04 hands-on


In episode 6 of our podcast we asked the question, "should netbook manufacturers standardise on a single distro?" Well, as netbook manufactuers continue to find ever more obscure distros to fit onto their systems, Canonical has stepped into the fray wielding a mighty cluestick: Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR).

When we interviewed Mark Shuttleworth a few weeks ago, he agreed that Ubuntu was late into the netbook arena. But the arrival of Jaunty Jackalope means that UNR has finally seen an official release, so there are lots of questions that need answering: how is it different from normal Ubuntu? How well does it work on average netbooks? And, most importantly, is it any good?

If you've already read our group test of netbook distros and want to know what Ubuntu can do to pull ahead ahead of the pack, you can read our full review of Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix below. Read on!

Lots of people loved it, just as many hated it, but few can doubt that Asus changed the computing world with the original Eee PC. Suddenly you can could get the functionality of A Real PC out of a laptop you could slip into your bag and still have room for lunch and a good book. Sure, it might have looked like something Toys 'R' Us would produce, but the Eee PC 701 has been followed by dozens of other devices that add more style, more power and more refinement.

But, despite having an early lead, Linux managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and Windows XP has managed to forge a home for itself on netbook devices. In fact, at the computer store nearest to TuxRadar HQ, nearly all the netbooks ship with Windows as standard, and most of them don't have a Linux option.

Part of the problem people were facing with Linux was that it simply wasn't Windows - they wanted their Start menu, they wanted My Computer and they wanted Microsoft Office. OpenOffice.org, good as it is, just doesn't cut it if someone is looking for the ribbon toolbar from Office 2007. Another problem was that some of the netbooks were ridiculously oversold. The Eee PC 701, for example, was marketed as being a great laptop for photographers on the move, which is remarkable given that it came with nothing more than mtPaint.

But by far the biggest problem with Linux netbooks was that too much stuff just didn't work out of the box. People don't know what codecs are and they don't care. What they want is to be able to double-click on an MP3 and have it play. They want to watch kitten videos on YouTube. Someone called us once because they were having trouble installing Skype on their Acer Aspire One - they were double clicking a setup.exe file and, unsurprisingly, nothing was happening.

Thanks to its aggressive marketing, we all know that Ubuntu is "Linux for human beings", but can the Wizards of Polish really take the bruised and fragmented Linux market and make it work? Yes, they can.

Perfect out of the box

One of the major advantages Apple has in the market is that it controls the hardware and the software, which means it can test things on very limited hardware configurations and be sure it works for everyone. With netbooks, Ubuntu has the same happy situation: the vast majority use Intel's Atom CPU, have 1GB of RAM, onboard graphics and a fairly standard wireless network card. As a result, UNR does something desktop Linux rarely manages: it looks great out of the box.

We don't mean it has nicer colours, prettier icons or nicer widgets. Instead, we mean if you hover icons they grow a little larger. When you click one, it spins around to show it has been activated. Menus fade in and out, and real alpha transparency is there as standard. You don't get wobbly windows or other Compiz frippery - instead, the effects are subtle and easy on the eye, constantly reminding you that just because the laptop is cheap it doesn't mean it's no good.

Ubuntu Netbook Remix strips desktop clutter back to its absolute minimum, making the most of limited screen space.

Ubuntu Netbook Remix strips desktop clutter back to its absolute minimum, making the most of limited screen space.

But UNR doesn't stop there. Canonical recommends that netbook manufacturers purchase Windows Media Audio and Video codecs before shipping devices to customers, and makes it easy to purchase licences for MPEG4 (H.263), MP3 and AAC as well. Adobe Flash, Acrobat Reader, Java and Skype are all also easily installed.

All this may make hardcore Free Software advocates gnash their teeth, but ultimately it means that more users have more positive experiences with their new Linux netbooks, and that's crucial to helping spread the word that Linux isn't scary/broken/rubbish.

And, of course, it comes with Ubuntu's now ubiquitous brown, albeit the darkest shade yet.

What's special about Ubuntu Netbook Remix

Following the trend set by Asus and Xandros back with the Eee PC 701, UNR makes it very easy to run programs by listing all the available applications directly on your desktop. But where the Eee split programs up into categories such as Work, Learn and Play, UNR sticks with Gnome's standard category breakdown of Accessories, Graphics, Sound & Video and more. But it breaks with style in three important ways:

  • It has a Favourites menu with the most commonly run apps - you can also drop things in there for later access.
  • Preferences and Administration are easily accessible, being placed beneath the other menu items.
  • Regardless of which menu category you view, common folders from your filesystem are always visible on the right.

Even though the menus are presented as flat tabs, they still use the standard menu format so you can edit them using Alacarte, and any software you add using Synaptic or apt-get is automatically added.

But the real surprise comes when you launch any program, because they nearly all launch automatically maximised and with their window decoration (the brown bar at the top) removed. This behaviour - powered by a background daemon called Maximus - is a simple and pragmatic attempt to save screen estate, because the most common screen resolution on netbooks is 1024x600 so the screen real estate is very limited.

Instead of window decorations, UNR launches programs as if they were browser tabs. Every app that's running is shown in a small icon along the top left of the screen, whereas the currently activated window takes up the remainder of the space and is clearly highlighted. Losing the window decoration in this way clearly only saves 25 pixels or so, but part of the magic of UNR is that work has been put in to save pixels everywhere and eventually all those savings add up: you really do get more data on your screen with UNR.

Maximus in action: only the active program occupies much space in the top panel, with the others appearing as small icons.

Maximus in action: only the active program occupies much space in the top panel, with the others appearing as small icons.

Not every app benefits from being maximised using Maximus - Gtk's system of making widgets fit their allocated space makes some apps look distorted and hard to use. Fortunately, none of these ship with UNR as standard, which means that users coming to Linux the first time won't have any problems. But if you're a more advanced user and decide that Cheese, F-Spot and OOo Draw don't cut it in the Graphics category, you may find that some of the more obscure packages in Synaptic don't look quite right.

We should point out that Update Manager does not get automatically maximised, so it's clear that there are workarounds in place. Earlier test versions of UNR had each palette in The Gimp being maximised, but that small flaw has been fixed now.

Continuing to follow Asus's lead, UNR doesn't have virtual desktop enabled by default. On the one hand we can absolutely understand that virtual desktops would confuse newbies (although Apple managed to make it digestible by giving it the catchy name "Spaces"), but on such a small screen virtual desktops must surely be more of an advantage than ever.

What sucks about Ubuntu Netbook Remix

Even though it's head and shoulders above most other netbook distros, UNR still needs more work. Yes, we know it's only the first official release, but every distro has some litte niggles in that can be improved. And with UNR the biggest problem really does come back to Maximus - we love the idea, and on the whole it works just fine. But when you run a program that wasn't really designed to be run in full screen and Maximus hasn't been told to leave it alone, it doesn't look too good.

A small mitigation to this is that you can right-click on any window tab and tell Maximus to Unmaximise it, but the next time you ran that same program it would be maximised as before. If Maximus were smart enough to remember that you didn't want that app maximised previously, this wouldn't be a problem.

When Maximus gets it wrong: this is actually the preferences window for the tabbed window applet, but Maximus stretches everything to make it full screen and it just doesn't look good.

When Maximus gets it wrong: this is actually the preferences window for the tabbed window applet, but Maximus stretches everything to make it full screen and it just doesn't look good.

Another problem with Maximus is that it makes some day-to-day operations a bit clumsy - drag and drop, for example, is done by picking up files, hovering approximately over the 32x32-pixel icon for the tab you want to drop it onto (which is neatly obscured because the thing you're dragging is over it), then waiting a second for the tab to automatically change. It's precarious at best, but could easily be fixed by making dragging icons partly transparent so you can aim more precisely.

The only other problem - also minor - is Gnome's viciously slow code for reading icons, which is compounded by the fact that UNR won't change tabs until the icons for that tab have been loaded. Although SSDs ought to leave hard drives in their dust, lower-end netbooks appear to come with SSDs that have been dipped in treacle - OpenOffice.org Writer loads in a respectable 12 seconds on our Aspire One, but changing tabs for the first time can take up to two seconds. And installing a couple of hundred megs of system updates? It's almost slow enough that you're tempted to run older, broken apps than sit through the process.

To be fair, these aren't Ubuntu's problems. Yes, having a holding throbber in place while loading icons would help, but slow SSDs will act as a speedbump for any distro.

Your software selection

Content in the knowledge that most netbooks ship with at least 4GB of space, Ubuntu Netbook Remix weighs in at a rather rotund 2.1GB for its default install. This will of course be hugely irritating to people with 2GB Eee PCs, but with many netbooks now packing 160GB hard drives clearly the first-gen netbooks are in the minority.

Thanks to blithely ignoring the 2GB limit, UNR comes with OpenOffice.org, Firefox, Evolution, Pidgin, Totem and lots of other Gnome mainstays. And, yes, that includes Mono: Tomboy and F-Spot are both present and correct. In fact, the only noticeable absence was The Gimp, perhaps because few people are likely to want to do any serious art production on a netbook. That said, it's an apt-get away, so anyone who wants it isn't being held back. Cheese, the Gnome webcam app, worked perfectly out of the box on our Acer Aspire One, again contributing to the slick user experience that is the standard in UNR.

Ubuntu Netbook Remix comes with Gnome's webcam app, Cheese, as standard, and it works out of the box.

UNR comes with Gnome's webcam app, Cheese, as standard, and it works out of the box.

Behind the scenes, Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04 is just like any other Jaunty Jackalope release, which means it comes with the stylish new notification dialogs that pop up in the top-right corner when something important happens. But it also means you can switch back to the standard Ubuntu desktop if you want to, with the panels along the top and bottom as you would normally expect in Gnome. One tip, though: make sure you close any windows before changing back to the netbook view, because they can easily get hidden!

Ubuntu Netbook Remix makes it easy to change between the netbook interface and a standard Gnome desktop.

Get Ubuntu Netbook Remix from normal desktop Ubuntu

The transformation from Netbook Remix to standard Ubuntu isn't one way: if you're running the standard desktop edition of Ubuntu 9.04 you can switch to a netbook interface quite easily, but be warned: it might take a little effort to return your desktop to the way it was!

Warning: if you're using Compiz (aka "desktop effects") please turn it off now. UNR doesn't need them, and in fact it may collide with its own deskop effects system.

First, bring up a terminal window and run this command:

sudo apt-get install go-home-applet human-netbook-theme maximus netbook-launcher window-picker-applet

When you enter your password, that command will pull in various dependencies required to make UNR work. Now reboot your PC, and you should come back to a desktop that has the two largest parts of UNR working - the netbook-launcher app (the thing that now owns your desktop) and maximus, the window maximiser. But this is only the beginning of the transformation - to get the full effect, you should do the following:

  1. Remove from the top panel the Ubuntu menu (Applications/Places/System) from the left and the switch user applet from the right, plus any app launchers you don't want. Just right-click on things and choose Remove From Panel to get rid of them.
  2. Right-click on the top panel, choose Add to Panel, then add Go Home and Window Picker, moving them to the left and centre of the panel respectively.
  3. Remove the bottom panel entirely - right-click and choose Delete This Panel.
  4. Now go to System > Preferences > Appearance and choose the Human-Netbook theme.

So... what do we think?

We've explained how it works, we've told you what it includes, and we've even shown you how you can try it today without installing a new distro. But this still leaves the question "is it any good?" And here's the answer: yes. We're really grateful to Asus for kicking off the netbook market, and its simplified user interface isn't totally disconnected from UNR's.

But what we like about UNR is that Canonical has managed to totally rethink the way screen real estate is used while also building upon established Linux standards. The window tab system isn't a hack; it's just an applet for Gnome panel. The application quick launcher doesn't store its own database; it just reads the same .desktop files as any other menu system.

And yet these are the sorts of features most people won't notice - at least not directly. Instead, when added to the visual gloss that's enabled as standard, Ubuntu Netbook Remix just feels good to use because you know a lot of thought has gone into its design, and a lot of polish has gone into its production.

The only truly scary thing is that this is Canonical's first foray into the netbook world, and already it's kicked competitors into touch. Sure, Ubuntu haters won't go near it, but everyone else with a netbook needs to give UNR a try because we think you won't be disappointed.

Nautilus is used for all file management, and it works as well as ever. Note, though, the small gap left at the bottom by Maximus - presumably this is Nautilus expecting a bottom panel to exist.

Nautilus is used for all file management, and it works as well as ever. Note, though, the small gap left at the bottom by Maximus - presumably this is Nautilus expecting a bottom panel to exist.

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Your comments

Should be another WM

I think they choose wrong way, it should be rather another light Window Manager or Desktop especially suited for small screens and netbooks. It could be done from scratch or as fork of any existing, it would be more compact in terms of disk usage and resources.
I don't like hacking rich Gnome desktop, and especially that settings are shared between these two. Therefore I doubt switching btw UNR and Classical Gnome will be ever smooth.


Have just installed UNR on my Aspireone. Absolutely amazing!
I have been running Linpus for the past 6 months and am happy to sy that I now have a COMPUTER rather than a PDA. Thanks for the great review....and thanks to Ubuntu for such a useful distro.

Re: Adobe Flash

@Alex "Don't expect to be able to watch youtube or any other flash streaming video on a 1.6GHz Atom under any linux distro"

I have the EeePC 901 (9" screen & 1.6GHz Atom). Currently with Xubuntu 9.04. Youtube and national tv streams are fine, both in the browser and fullscreen. Then using approx 1.2GHz cpu, which is less than 1/2 of the dual core's capacity.

RE: Adobe Flash

@David A "Then using approx 1.2GHz cpu, which is less than 1/2 of the dual core's capacity."

The Atom cpu from Intel is not a dual-core, there is only 1 core which runs at 1.6Ghz. If the system monitor reports that you have 2 cpu, it's because Atom has hyperthreading, which fools the OS into thinking that you have 2 cpu, allowing 2 threads to run on a single core if one of the thread doesn't use the cpu at 100%.

Fantastic - Works Great

Running an EeePC 900a with 1G ram and a Supertalent FPM16GRSE SSD. Installed Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04 in the full disk space and it runs great. All the features work with no hitches.

Just installed Google Chrome and it works better than Google claims.

The only thing I noticed is that the audio level is a little low. I cranked up all the volume controls and the system is usable.

Has anyone else noticed this?

I Love It

Works Great!! Running on an ASUS N10E-A1. Maximus makes good use of the screen resolution.

Windows forever

Honestly what do you expect from Linux? It doesn’t work, it never did and it never will. Linux is so inferior it’s a shame people still don’t get it. Linux isn’t even an operating system, it’s some kind of religion with all its side effects like aberration, mental incapacity, disorder and so on.

If you prefer stability, security and superiority then Microsoft Windows is your choice!

Linux is a crock of shit. :(

Re: Windows forever

"If you prefer stability, security and superiority then Microsoft Windows is your choice!"

Hah hah. That cracked me up. The worst reasons for a windows over linux case.

Installed with annoying problem on touchpad

Installed UNR on my netbook Zyrex 106P. But my touchpad didn't work at all. I use lsusb to see whether ubuntu detected it, it didn't detected at all.

Don't feed the troll

Win 4-eva is obviously a troll. Don't even reply to such drivel.

UNR on Acer Aspire One SLOW

After upgrading to 9.0.4 I decided to go for the UNR but it was/is terrible slow. Just switching windows take minutes to redraw the screen... And from what I understand this is only due to the UI. After switching the the standard desktop all work as expected.

It was "Niggardly"

The guy that got fired (more likely he was asked to resign) used the word "niggardly", an old Anglo-Saxon word from the 17th century, and lordy-lordy, it has nuthin' to do with "black folk"
But (sigh) some "folk" see evil in every conversation, and asked him to resign.
I believe he was eventually re-instated, after much hand-wringing, cringing and cow-towing (OOPS! Another bad word!).
But, Heavens, dear Americans! NEVER use the Enward, whatever it is! (So I have been advised by sensitive white PC folk)

UNR & Aspire One

Strange all the different reports of slow/not slow on the Aspire One.

Just put the UNR on my Aspire one, dual booting with the old Win Xp (although that will soon get booted off the disk).

UNR runs great on my Aspire One. Nice and speedy, beats windows XP all around the park on almost any speed test, from booting up to loading an app.

The only MS product I truly miss is One Note. I've looked at all the linux alternatives, and can't find any one that's as flexible and productive for me. Too bad One Note won't run under Wine, or I couldn't get it to.

Fullscreen flash

Under standard ubuntu, turn on compiz (desktop effects), then use the desktop magnifier to make the normal flash window fill the whole screen. Kinda lame, but works. (and the analogous trick has been known to keep hulu + macos x from making mac laptops overheat...)

Downloading UNR now, I wonder if there is a similar screen magnifier for it...


I saw the tour video of the UNR and I think its superb for netbooks i had also seen a video of UNR on Dell Mini 12...

Superb Job

Webcam on AAO

I'm running UNR on my AAO, but my webcam does NOT work. In cheese the video looks very slow and choppy and it records it like that as well. Any fixes?!

Absolutely brilliant

I own a MSI Wind u-100 netbook and I have tried many linux distros on it, but they are all blown away by this stripped ubuntu version. Slackware, OpenSuse, Fedora and Mandriva were slow either unstable on the netbook. Also none of them directly detected all of the hardware. The Ubuntu Netbook Remix installed smoothly and detected every single piece of hardware in my netbook immediately. Also the limited screen resolutions on netbooks is used optimal.

Two words: Absolutely brilliant!!


Hated linux linpus. This should have come with the acer aspire one in the first place. UNR works as an operating system should. Was about to chuck acer aspire one. Now it is reborn.

Beware of kernel updates on UNR

The UNR is great when it was first installed on my eeePC 1000 until kernel update. I updated from 2.6.28-11 to 2.6.28-13 and the sound simply stopped working.
Like all other Ubuntu updates, it works fine when it was first installed and when I updated to a newer kernel version many things could go wrong.
I've installed Ubuntu 8.10 on my Toshiba satellite notebook and got ride of the Vista. Everything was great until updateing the kernel. Sound and touchpad both had failed to work. I have switched to Fedora 11 and they still work.

i preffer normal ubuntu over any OS

i find that normal ubuntu (version 9.04) runs well in my Acer Aspire One and it even uses Compiz effects. i was also able to play MOST of the 3D games in full screen. video play back works well including flash with no problems and was also able to play HD video in 720p with no problems. the graphics are exceptional for dual displays. the start up speed is slow on the first start up (after installing) but gets faster after. with an Intel Atom at 1.6GHZ with hyper-threading and 1 gig of RAM it responds well. the multi in one card reader does work. Wifi works but the indicator light doesn't work. the only issue is in terminal when you try entering your password on apt get it wont go through but its probably the same for most netbooks that have ubuntu 9.04 and also the blur function on Compiz causes the screen to go blank. if i had a question weather it was worth installing id say yes because its just like installing on a normal laptop/desktop, it runs smooth with almost no problems and it is a good way to tell the people that they don't have to stick with windows.

Youtube Problems

I'm running it on the 9.04 version with every update and additional software I can find for flash, but youtube videos as well as other streaming videos are choppy and constantly start/stop or sometimes even just the audio will play and no video. Though I'm happy I got it to work with Runescape as I hav been trying to do that for a while now. It's enough to keep me entertained and if I want to watch streaming media then I can use my desktop which is Ubuntu Jaunty and Windows XP dual boot (XP just for gaming) instead of my Acer Aspire One. Perfect for playing movies from disk though =]

If anybody knows how to get youtube working please let me know via my email ems_lostdim@live.co.uk

Window navbar

hi i did try the - convert your desktop to UNR thing mentioned here and when i again uninstalled those my window navbar (the one with minimize, maximize and close) has disappeared. I assumed uninstalling maximus should revert my system to its original state but it didnt. What should i run to get it back?
thank you

re: missing navigation bars and maximize bars

Anonymous Penguin,

The missing navigation bars and inability to resize your windows is actually a bug in UNR. I wrestled it for quite a while. If you are still having trouble with it, hit me back via email at this address: fasttalker [at] stevebroome [dot] com. I can forward you the instructions to get it back working. The bug presents itself when you switch from Normal UNR desktop to Classic Desktop and then reboot. Missing panels, inability to resize, and in classic mode, nothing but a brown page with NO menus. The bug report is about 150 different posts of people trying things and successfully getting it to work. Therefore it's tricky to follow. But there is basically two steps to get it back working. Not too difficult. Let me know. You will have to format my email address correctly above, i listed it like that to avoid spammers.


Ext3/4 on Acer Aspire One

All you peeps commenting that you run ext3 or ext4 on their Aspire One 8GB should seriously reconsider. The life of the little 8GB SSD in your machine will be considerably shortened by using a journaling filesystem. Use ext2 instead, as indeed I am right now, no performance probs and the drive will last and last.

Loving UNR + Opera 10 :D

UNR 9.04 works fine on my

UNR 9.04 works fine on my Aspire One. I've had no issues with it unless running from a live USB.

It honestly depends what you plan to do on the netbook though. I leave it as a dualbooting machine.

Personally, though, I find the netbook interface to be a bit limiting, and it feels much less like you're using a laptop than a phone or something. I switched to the classic interface as soon as I could.

UNR works great on my HP Mini 110

I recently bought an HP Mini 110 (got it for $99 as part of a promo package when I signed up for Verizon FiOS). I chose a unit that was loaded with HP's "Mi" Linux, which is basically Ubu 8.04 with HP's weird netbook shell on top of it. So I did manage to avoid paying the Windows Tax. I was originally going to just keep that, but after experimenting with UNR there was just no going back. I wiped out the Mini's 16 GB flash drive and installed UNR. It looks beautiful, it uses the limited screen real estate wisely, and it's got all of the wonderful software in the Ubuntu repositories available (which is nice because I really wanted to install a Citadel client, and there it was). Good stuff. I'll be enjoying this.

Works great on a Gateway

I'm new to linux. I purchased a Gateway LT3103 2gig ram, 160 gig harddrive, AMD Athelon 64 processor with (of all things) Vista. Vista constantly crashing, slow booting, a general pain in the neck. Could have got Windows 7 . . . but I'm tired of the "Windows tax." Felt very empowered when I went to Open Office and saved the price of Microsoft Office. Decided to try UNR. Surveying the net, it was the easiest distro to make a bootable flashdrive. Ran it for a week off flashdrive, and decided to try something I had never done before -- partition my c drive. Installed UNR to my hard drive . . . and wonder of wonders . . . Windows still boots and UNR works wonderfully. Everyrthing is going fine -- wireless internet to work out of the box -- got codices to play mp3 . . . Got Evolution to work. . . Just cant get my Lexmark printer to work. Must revert to windows to print.

Boots fast. Doesn't crash. Only had to pay for the flash drive. AND You Tube videos play flawlessly.

I'm not a techie, but I bet I get that printer working eventually.

hmvhmvb nbhm vmfhn bmvb

hmvhmvb nbhm vmfhn bmvb vbjmk,jm vnj,mgcvnvhbn cvbxfbdfn vb

>>"A small mitigation to

>>"A small mitigation to this is that you can right-click on any window tab and tell Maximus to Unmaximise it, but the next time you ran that same program it would be maximised as before. If Maximus were smart enough to remember that you didn't want that app maximised previously, this wouldn't be a problem."

You can trick Maximus into remembering. In a terminal type gconf-editor. scroll down to apps/maximus. Check the box next to 'no-maximize.

The result seems to be that window opemn maximised as normal (which is usually a good thing) but if you do happen to unmaximise something, it will stay unmaximised next time you open it.

nearly there

UNR + acer aspire one is the best setup I've ever experienced. First came to Linux 2 years ago coz real ie not stolen MS software is expensive and for old boxes virtually nonexistent, at that time had to compromise / sourcebuild everywhere to get round problems. Since then Ubuntu has moved so far that what I sourcebuilt in September is fully packaged now in 9.10. A couple of quibbles that make this Linux a little bit beyond the current generation who never learned to use commandline- you still have to hunt & experiment to get things working, eg, some wireless cards, flash videos... yep I know its easy but thats for ppl who've used Linux for a while. Best yet is that you can keep your home files intact while you switch distros in and out, almost at will. The Ubuntu installer might offend some of the guys who want to cook everything from raw ingredients but mostly I got other work to do! So I love this easy walkthrough installation.

UNR A Godsend

Windows XP Home on the Acer Aspire One was a disaster. UNR, on the other hand, worked beautifully--seamlessly, although I have been reprimanded about using such terminology: "Nothing is seamless." Well, uh, UNR appeared so. What is more, I still run Windows XP on VirtualBox so that I can access Netflix and their MS Silverlight CDN. I have fallen in love with Linux many times. And with UNR, I have fallen in love yet again! Highly recommended!

Great Experience

I had to purchase an Aspire 1 with WinXP last year for my wife since a Linux version was not available at Fry's. She has limped along until just last month when I "upgraded" her to UNR 9.10. The upgrade was seamless with a 1GB thumbdrive and the netbook runs MUCH better (removed Maximus). She wanted to know why I didn't do this from the beginning.

ellice_roberts@hotmail.com - EMAIL

i bought a unbuntu laptop of the dell website not realising i wasnt getting a windows laptop, is there any chance i can pay to get windows on there ?

Email me if you know.

Is there a trick to getting the USB to boot?

I downloaded the ubuntu-9.10-netbook-remix-i386.iso and used the usb-creator after first using fdisk to ensure just one bootable win95 vfat32 partition (type b) and using mkfs.vfat /dev/sdc1

the USB drive appears fine, the files can be read, but the ASUS Eee-pc 900 will not boot from the USB! The BIOS is set to try the "removable drive" first, and the drive lights during the boot sequence, it just doesn't boot. If I intercept the boot with Esc and specifically choose the USB boot device I get a blank screen with a single colon (or semi-colon) and pressing any key will boot from the onboard SSD.

is there something else I need to do? do I have the right partition type? could the USB drive itself be incapable of booting?

Tried the netbook theme on my (non-netbook) laptop...

...and it's soooo slow. I followed the instructions provided above, but something must be wrong since the menu items take about 10s to get focus. Anyone have any suggestions? I would have guessed that if anything, it would run faster on a full size machine.

I know this thread is ancient, but if anyone else has tried, please let me know if you got it working.


I like unr 9.04 , in

I like unr 9.04 , in classic desktop mode. The remix desktop is ok I guess but, I use my netbook for work and I need the features of the classic mode. I thought about 9.10 but, it does not support this feature. The problem I'm having is that 9.04 only comes in Img.. which is fine but I've had flashdrives fail, And I would like to burn to disc. ISO and make a live cd. Also I'm Trying to acquire the repositories on disc.

offline installs?

I am planning to decide between crunchback/UNR to an eee Asus (10")
But at first offline, because of the license-matter which are better in ctrl offline. Can i use it at no problem with a GParted first , to make an XP netbook dualboot? By then, i could easily use my existing data and del XP afterwards...! (Lovely linux) and then working online is safer as with W.
But the licenseproblem:
Does Canonical provide a cookiemgr? I suppose to have this from Noscript.
Grateful for constr answers!

G luck all with UNR.

Adobe Flash still sucks

Acer Aspire One + Ubuntu = Choppy Flash
So no internet surfing, 'cause 80% of the sites are Flash. And almost 100% of the movies are Flash (Youtube.com, IGN.com, Gamekings.tv to name a few).
So if I install Ubuntu I can use my Acer as a paperweight...

Back to XP unfortunately. Where I can watch 480p Flashmovies without problems.

Low Volume Fix for Ubuntu Netbook Remix

In response to Sobhraj
I too have notice unusually low volume on my Acer aspire one, using Ubuntu Netbook Remix, however i also found a fix.

This is not my solution, found it on the web. However worked for me.
Right click on volume icon at the top toolbar, click "Open Volume Control", now with device set to "HDA intel (Alsa mixer)" click on preferences button at the bottom, and make sure all options are checked (or at least playback options). Now turn all volume levels (you can ignore mic playback/boost), to 100% or some where close to 100%, now open terminal, and type

sudo alsactl store

to store all volume levels,
This should have set the audio levels relatively high with Alsa driver, hope this helps.

gnome-do and gnome-shell and docky

As an alternative to the UNR-like theme, and maximus, you can try gnome-do + docky.
in gnome-do, it acts like a finder in mac computers, while docky allows you to put any shortcut in the app menu into the dock.

Love Ubuntu

Been using Windoze for almost 15 years and then switched to Mac. Still use OX, but bought a netbook last year and got rid of XP as it reminded me of the 90's and stuck Ubuntu Remix on it. I love it and makes me feel so good using Open Source software. Well done guys and thanks!!

Toshiba NB205 XP T42 Xubuntu...

I have a Toshiba NB205 and am currently running XPsp3. I have had no issues whats so ever and cannot think why I would move to UNR or any other distro. I just can do more with XP than Linux... At the moment.

I do have Xubuntu on my "coffee table" T42 and love it. If I had to go Linux on my NB205 it would be Xubuntu. Its been rock solid with out any glitches right out of the box. I like watching the BBC (iPlayer) on the T41. Damn cable TV. All of those channels and nothing but shit!

Slow work Ubuntu

hello sir
i using xp in my laptop celeron in 1gb ram then warking fast
now i am install linex ubuntu then work very slow

so sir plz give me soluttion in my email address
e mail id :bishnu.371@gmail.com

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