Jolicloud is a netbook distribution based on Ubuntu Netbook Remix that takes the “netbook” concept to the extreme, encouraging you to use all webapps and cloud storage.
Overall, my impression is that this is a very good distro for a netbook (duh).
I’m testing Jolicloud right now on my Starling (which is on their list of “approved” computers). It’s very fast, with the sweet interface you can see below:
In the right corner, you can see the time, caps/num lock indicators, some sort of processor applet, wifi indicator, battery, the Jolicloud icon (which indicates that I’m signed into the Jolicloud system) and the Dropbox icon.
In the left corner, you can see the Home applet, which takes you to the menu; as well as the open programs.
It comes with a lot of the stock programs that come with UNR: Firefox, gedit, terminal, F-spot, Pidgin (though empathy is standard on Ubuntu now), Media Player and sound recorder. There is a HUGE repository of programs available, because Jolicloud uses the same repos as UNR. Also, the Jolicloud team has integrated Mozilla’s Prism concept to the OS so it’s very easy to immediately go to your email or facebook or other webapps.
Below you can see the Jolicloud dashboard. It’s got all the programs you’ve installed and can install, as well as the people you follow. I’m still new to this distro, so I really haven’t had a chance to add anyone as a friend.
This is a “pre-beta” release, and there are bugs (none that I’ve really uncovered so far; I’ve only run it for two days). I’d say, install at your own risk, and keep a good backup of your data. The advantage of Jolicloud is that you could easily save everything on the web and if your computer takes a suicide dive, you can reinstall and easily get all of your stuff back. I’d suggest Dropbox for this functionality, as it’s easily installed and works very well with the concept of Jolicloud.
Jolicloud would also be great for a very limited netbook (think an eeePC 4g surf) because of its online focus. In this way, it’s similar to the much talked about Google Chrome OS.
I’d give Jolicloud a 3/5. It seems stable, and there’s a very simple way to install any program you want that Jolicloud offers. I have not tried to add a PPA or do what I usually do with my normal Ubuntu install (add Flock, Chromium, Zim, Gwibber etc) because I wanted a complete Jolicloud experience. Either way, this would be a great distro to include as an OEM distro. It has the stability of UNR and the ease of use of online storage solutions. Overall? This is a distro to watch. It’s a very good contender to go against Google’s Chrome OS.