Jolicloud (Linux-based, Free)


Jolicloud is the most distinctly netbook-oriented operating system in this Hive Five. It's not just pretty good on a netbook—it was actually designed from the ground up to be a netbook operating system, so it's a great fit. (For the curious, it's a combination of Debian and Fedora Linux with WINE mixed in to support Windows-only apps.) Jolicloud has been tweaked and tuned to make it shine even on systems with low resources and small displays. The emphasis is not on a traditional computing experience but on harnessing web-based applications and storage services so that much of the heavy lifting and deep-storage of the netbook is transferred from the netbook to more powerful and larger servers. The application launcher—see in the screenshot here—makes it easy to organize and select your applications. The launcher emphasizes easy to read and identify text and logos, and all applications launch in full-screen mode by default. In addition to the default applications, you can browse the app directory to find new applications—the Jolicloud team curates the list to ensure compatibility. Jolicloud can be installed over any other operating system, but it has a handy express installation tool for installing from Windows. Read More...