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easypeasy-netbook-distro

best Linux distribution for netbook

Linux based distributions are now becoming more popular (among the common computer users) , user friendly and easily compatible with newer or older hardware configurations. For Servers Linux based distributions (such as Red Hat, Cent OS, SUSE…) has been the best choice from years but now, desktop users are also migrating to Linux based distro (obviously from Windows or Mac). Now it’s the time to select the best distribution for desktop computing.

This post will guide you in selecting the best Linux distribution for your netbook (computer), depending on your work (for which you primarily use the netbook), experience (how much experience you have, with linux distributions) and your netbook’s hardware configuration. All of the distributions, recommended here are free and licensed under GPL or other similar open source license.

How to choose The Best Linux Distro for your Netbook ?

In the past few years, number of Linux based distros has augmented – almost exponentially, that’s why hundreds of Linux distributions are available now! (despite of the fact that – only few of them are popular e.g Ubuntu, RedHat, CentOS, Linux Mint, Fedora etc); some of them are dedicated for special tasks or special users. So, one of the most simple way of choosing – ‘best linux distro’ would be – First select few of them and try one by one, finally select the one which you liked most.

For Beginners

If you are a beginner user; I mean if you don’t have any experience (or very little experience that is hard to count, for example ,you have used a Linux based distro for removing viruses from your Windows Computer, using a Live CD or bootable USB) with Linux based operating systems, then I would recommend using Ubuntu (Ubuntu had already released some dedicated distro for small screen devices such as Netbook or Laptop computer, but after Ubuntu 11.04, both desktop and laptop versions has merged together due to reason that ‘unity has become the default desktop in the latest version’) or Debian based Linux distribution. You can try EasyPeasy which is supposed to be the dedicated linux distribution (and probably the best option! although I personally suggest Ubuntu!) for netbook computers. So you have two good option  – either use EasyPeasy or Ubuntu 11.04.

#1 EasyPeasy : Dedicated Linux distribution for Netbook users

easypeasy-netbook-distro

EasyPeasy (formerly known as Ubuntu Eee) is a Linux based operating system , specifically developed for Netbook computer. EasyPeasy is very simple to use and very similar to Ubuntu, actually it is based on Ubuntu and Debian. It is free and available as an open source software. The latest version 1.6 was released (around an year ago). A lot of Ubuntu derivatives are also available each one with specific package or component e.g KUbuntu (Ubuntu with KDE as default Desktop), MythUbuntu, XUbuntu (XFCE Desktop edition of Ubuntu, specifically recommended for hardwares with low RAM or graphics capabilities), Ubuntu Studio etc.

Important features of EasyPeasy includes –

  • it’s simple and easy to use!
  • Some proprietary codecs (Audio and video) and plugins are installed by default
  • uses well known proprietary Apps instead of open source alternative
  • provides special netbook features such as Automatic File Synchronization
  • consumes less power

How to install EasyPeasy

>> Download EasyPeasy 1.6 ISO File.

>> Now, Download the installer (I assume, currently you are using Windows) and run it to make a bootable pendrive of easypeasy.

>> That’s all.. now reboot the computer and install easypeasy..as you install Ubuntu 11.04 from USB.

#2 Ubuntu 11.04 : One of the best Linux distro for netbook

ubuntu-11-04-for-netbook

Ubuntu is the most popular (around 50% of share in Linux desktop uses) open source (and free) Linux distribution among Desktop users. Ubuntu is based on Debian (GNU/Linux Operating System). Ubuntu 11.04 is the latest version (released few months ago) which uses unity as default desktop (earlier version uses Gnome desktop).

Features of Ubuntu 11.04 as Glance

  • Focuses on simplicity and ease of use
  • Compatible with most of the modern (and old) hardwares
  • Great online community and supports available free!
  • A number of free Applications are available
  • Great look with a lot of features
  • Customization is pretty easy

How to install Ubuntu 11.04 on your Netbook

Follow this tutorial on – installing Ubuntu 11.04 on Netbook – using USB Drive , step by step, installation will be complete within 30 minutes.

Other Linux distros that you may want to try on netbook

A number of Linux distros are available these days and sometimes it’s really very difficult choose one out of them, in that case you can easily filter out the best one using some constraints or properties or the nature of job performed on the computer. For example, if kids are the primary user of the netbook, then you may go for Qimo or PuppyLinux; The Netbook is going to be used in school by a student or teacher, then Educational version of Ubuntu i.e Edubuntu will be the perfect choice. You can also Try Edubuntu live from your browser before Downloading/installing it on your computer.

#3 Fedora : For Advanced Users

Fedora is one of the most popular Linux based operating system that is available free as an open source software. Fedora is based on RPM (A package Management System). Fedora has released its latest version (a month ago) – Fedora 15 (Lovelock) with Gnome shell 3.0.

Fedora 15 with Gnome 3.0

Some Imprtant Features of Fedora

  • focuses on stability (Fedora is a rock solid Linux distro) and usability
  • enhanced security policies and features
  • latest features are available due to short life cycle
  • well supported by most hardwares (specifically by PowerPC (RISC based computer))
  • Free Online support and discussions are available

#4 PuppyLinux : Lightweight and Fast OS for your Netbook

PuppyLinux is a lightweight – free and open source Linux based OS which can be run from RAM itself i.e you can remove the boot medium (after the successful boot). PuppyLinux has suitable applications, so it may be well suitable for your netbook (depending on your need and type of work). You can boot it from a SD card or live USB (or CD) or harddrive etc. Since it’s very fast and virus free (it’s based on Linux), often used in removing viruses from Windows. it uses JVM (Joe’s Window Manager) as default desktop. Puppy 5 is the latest stable version released last year. I think puppy is one of the cool (probably the best) option for a netbook user.

puppylinux-screenshot

Remarkable features of PuppyLinux

  • Lightweight (around 100MB) and fast
  • easy to use
  • contains common useful Apps
  • run from RAM

Download Latest Version of PuppyLinux

(Update 1 : One more distribution has been added)

(Update 2 : post formatted correctly)

Linux Mint

Linux Mint is a Debian based GNU/Linux, very similar to Ubuntu but it has better hardware compatibility specially when it comes to Laptops or Notebook/Netbook. So you may like to give it a try if not satisfied with the above ones.

Linux Mint

Download Linux Mint

MinimaZero Gnome Shell Theme

best gnome 3/shell themes

Gnome 3 is the latest version (released in last month) of Gnome Desktop, with totally different (from the previous versions) User Interface and components. Gnome 3.0 has been developed from scratch and claims to be ‘The Next Generation Desktop’. The main goal of Gnome 3 is to allow users to focus on the task with less interruption or distraction, in an elegant environment (look, feel and apps). This post is written for users who are looking for some cool and beautiful themes for the Gnome 3 desktop. You can also install Gnome shell 3 on Ubuntu 11.04 via PPA although it breaks the Unity and performance is very poor; in next release of Ubuntu i.e Ubuntu 11.10 (code named as Oneric Ocelot), it may be installed along with Unity.

Due to arrival of Gnome shell (although Gnome 3.0/Gnome shell is compatible with the previous versions) the applets, Widgets, Gadgets and Dock (Windows List, Maximize or Minimize Buttons etc..) are no longer available but, in fact a lot of other useful features are available such as Dash (some sort of launcher container which allows easier access to frequently used programs and currently running applications), new style of Panel,system status area, Window Picker, Search (System or Internet resources e.g Wikipedia ) etc; so a number of Gnome 2 features seems absolute in Gnome 3.0.

Due to lot of innovative features, Gnome 3.0 appears to be the desktop of Future (at least for Linux based operating system such as Ubuntu; Fedora 15 and OpenSuse has already released with Gnome 3 Desktop). Here is my favorite collection of top 10 Gnome 3 themes (elegant) and I hope you will like it!

10 Best Gnome 3.0 Themes

#1 : MinimaZero Theme

minimazero theme

Download MinimaZero Theme

#2 : London Smoke Theme

london-smoke-theme

Download London Smoke Theme

#3 : Dark Glass

dark-glass-theme

Download Dark Glass Theme

#4 : Atolm Theme

atolm-theme

Download Atolm Theme

#5 : Orta Theme

orta-theme

Download Orta Theme

#6 : DrakFire Caffe Theme

drakfire-cafffe-theme

Download DrakFire Caffe theme

#7 : Ubuntu Ambiance Theme

ubuntu-ambiance-theme

Download Ubuntu Ambiance Theme

#8 : KiK Theme

kik

Download KiK Theme

#9 : Adwaita White

adwaita-white-theme

Download Adwaita White Theme

#10 : GnomeShell 0.1 Theme

gnome-shell-theme

Download this theme

Update 1 : One great theme added!

Other Great Themes that you must try :

Zukitwo

zukitwo-theme

Download it

Fedora 15 with Gnome 3.0

best Gnome 3 Distro

Gnome 3.0 or Gnome shell has released few months ago, with a lot of new/exciting features and amazing experience. Gnome 3.0 claims to be the next generation desktop because of its innovative way the user interacts with the desktop. That’s why Gnome3 has been developed from scratched instead of just appending some features in existing versions (2.*).

So there is nothing wrong in thinking that – Gnome 3 is just a preview of the next generation (upcoming) desktop (that you will notice in most of the Linux based Distributions) ; Fedora and OpenSuse is already using it in its new versions, while Gnome 3 can also be installed on Ubuntu 11.04 but the experience isn’t enjoyable with Ubuntu (because the PPA used for installing Gnome 3 is very unstable and often crashes Unity ..and eventually your desktop would become unusable).

gnome3-on-fedora15

Best Gnome 3 Distro : Fedora 15

Fedora 15 (Code Named as Lovelock) was released a months ago with a lot of changes and surprises – Gnome 3 as the default desktop was the greatest one! Fedora is a free and open source Linux based operating system, and it’s the core of the most popular open source OS – Red Hat. Fedora strictly follow open source principles so it is considered as 100% free and open source Linux distro. A lot of good apps and large community supports are available. Fedora itself is a rock solid and stable operating system even though it has very high release frequency (similar to Ubuntu, but Ubuntu is very buggy and unstable as compared to Fedora). Fedora is often the most popular choice as a desktop OS among the enthusiastic GNU/Linux users (with some experience).

Download Fedora 15

Alternate Option

Other Distro You may Try is OpenSuse although OpenSuse is more suitable in Office Environment but If can’t wait to try Gnome 3.0 and fedora seems a hard choice for you (I mean, you are an absolute GNU/Linux user) then better go with OpenSuse (latest version 11.4 has a lot of remarkable features and Fun!).

UPDATE 1 : Ubuntu 11.10 is out now and Gnome 3 experience seems to be better with it .. if you may want to install Ubuntu 11.10 or install gnome 3 on Ubuntu 11.10 (if you’re already using it).

elementary-lion-theme

best themes for ubuntu 11.04/10.10

Ubuntu 11.04 (or code name : Natty Narwhal simply : Natty) or its previous version 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) has shipped with a great collection of good looking themes but I can’t say that – those are the best. It depends on your choice and flavor; enjoy the flexibility of Ubuntu or other Linux Distribution; I mean you can customize the look and feel as you want – a lot of options are waiting there for you (right click on desktop select themes -> customize and begin!).

This post will give an overview of some of the best themes for Unity desktop (Ubuntu 11.04 users) as well as for Gnome desktop (for Ubuntu 10.10 or 10.04 users). All the cool and great themes I’ll talk about, are totally free of cost,so just download it and try. I change my desktop theme often, mostly –  twice in a week. If you do like to try new things and want to give a new look to your ubuntu desktop them you may like to install some of my favorite top 10 collection of ubuntu themes (it doesn’t include unity or Gnome 3.0 themes). Finally, here is few (more precisely it’s 10) cool, beautiful and best Ubuntu themes that I like most –

10 Best Gnome Themes for Ubuntu

#1 : Elementary Lion

elementary-lion-theme

Download Elementary Lion Theme

#2 : Gotchione Theme

gotchione theme for ubuntu

Download gotchione theme

#3 : Victory Theme

victory-theme for ubuntu
Download Victory Theme

#4 : Equinox Evolution Theme

equinox-evolution-theme

Download Equinox theme

#5 : Aero Clone

aero-clone for ubuntu

Download Aero Clone

#6 : Mac OSX Tiger Theme

os-x-tiger-theme

Download osx tiger theme

#7 : Elegant Brit Theme

elegant-brit-theme

Download Elegant Brit Theme

#8 : Good Choice Theme

good-choice-theme

Download good choice theme

#9 : gekosMac Theme

gekosmac-theme

Download gekosMac Theme

#10 : Mint X Metal Dark

mint-x-metal-dark-theme

Download Mint X Metal Dark Theme

Nvidia 8400 GS 256 MB

best graphics card for ubuntu 11.04/10.10

Ubuntu or any Linux based distribution has very bad history regarding the graphics card compatibility and performance (The reason is obvious, driver manufacturers do not provide driver softwares for their graphics card..), but in past few years I’ve noticed some nice changes and improvements which is worth acceptable. Since Ubuntu is the most popular desktop distribution, so now a days, it’s not a difficult task to find a good video card well compatible with Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) or 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) or 10.04 LTS (alias : Lucid Lynx). Most of the graphics cards will be auto detected by Ubuntu (Just after the installation of Ubuntu 11.04/..).

In this post, you will learn how to select a graphics card for you Ubuntu computer, depending on your need and budget. If you are a normal users and think that I do not need any graphics card, then also you would probably have to purchase a graphics card because of the 3D effects of unity desktop (Although you can use classic desktop instead and turn off the compiz effects to go smoothly). By the way there are other advantages of using Graphics Card – such as better video quality (which in turn means that watching movies will be more Fun!), a lot of funky 3D effects, better system performance (due to dedicated video memory or GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)), and of course – good for video game players because you can play more games in better ways depending on the power of graphics card.

If you’re building a Gaming rig, then you should also checkout these : Entry level gaming PC under 40k and this one : Mid range gaming PC under 70k (INR)

Best Graphics Card for absolute beginners

MSI 8400 GS 256 MB

Nvidia 8400GS – 256MB is one of the Cheapest graphics card and well suitable for the users who want to purchase just a graphics card for enjoying some 3D effects with Ubuntu desktop. it will be automatically detected by the Ubuntu and all you need to do is to Enable the restricted driver, and reboot the computer!

Price : $34.63

Buy MSI 8400GS from amazon.com

Best Graphics Card for Entry Level Gamers

Buy ZOTAC Nvidia Geforce 9800GT from Amazon

ZOTAC Nvidia Gefore 9800 is a good graphics card for novice gamers and users who wants little more than 3D effects on Ubuntu 11.04. it is also detected automatically, for 3D you need nvidia-glx; works with version 180.44. (More Help in installing Binary Driver on Ubuntu).

Price : $89.99

Buy ZOTAC Nvidia Geforce 9800 GT from Amazon

Best Graphics Card for Moderately Advanced Level Gamers

ZOTAC Nvidia Geforce GTS 250

ZOTAC Nvidia Geforce GT 250 is good for moderately advanced level gamers (little better than entry level graphics cards), comes between the entry level and high end graphics cards. GT 250 is automatically detected by Ubuntu and 3D requires nvidia-glx (More Help).

Price : $138.99

Buy ZOTAC Nvidia Geforce GT250 from Amazon