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Jolicloud 1.0 review – watch out Google Chrome OS!

by Russell Barnes

Can a small team of French developers really take on the might of Google Chrome OS with Jolicloud 1.0? Linux User & Developer thinks they’re in with a shot…

This article originally appeared in issue 91 of Linux User & Developer magazine.Jolicloud 1.0 review - watch out Google Chrome OS! Subscribe and save more than 30% and receive our exclusive money back guarantee – click here to find out more.

Jolicloud homepage
Slick installer and near-faultless interface and an excellent range of search bar options
Cons: Social networking tab only shows Jolicloud feeds; legacy apps tucked away unnecessarily

We last encountered Jolicloud back in issue 87 during the ‘Pre-Final’ stages of its development. As an operating system designed for web-surfing netbook users, it played a great game and even catered for Windows switchovers with an easy dual-boot routine from a Windows executable. Four magazine issues down the line, Jolicloud 1.0 is complete and it’s come a really long way – far enough to give Google’s ChromeOS development team something to think about.

Jolicloud 1.0 review - watch out Google Chrome OS!

The new and improved Jolicloud interface is a masterstroke. It’s slick, one hundred times cleaner than at the Pre-Final stage and much more attractive for it. The interface is all but completely clean barring a software install button, four tab buttons and a search bar sat across the top of the screen. The tab buttons are broken down very tidily between installed applications, files and folders and settings.

The first shows your currently installed apps for quick launching and acts as your default home screen. The second connects you to fellow Jolicloud users using Jolicloud’s own social network which permits you to interact with them and view their installed applications. The third tab caters for files and folders. Not only can you search directories and connected drives, but you can also connect directly to your cloud-based storage services including Dropbox, ZumoDrive and others. It didn’t take us long to replace the standard set folders with network shares connected to a Bubba Two home server via Nautilus ensuring we had round the clock access to our files forgoing the need for any local storage.

Click throught to page two for more…

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    • Been using JC since the very early alphas. Agree that it’s a great OS with great potential.

      Launching legacy apps can be done via the top search bar (or Do) but you are correct saying this needs a fix.

      JC’s HTML launcher is its prime feature, but it still needs some work, and easy customization is essential to that. Hopefully they are aware of that.

      Good write-up.

    • don hardaway

      This is not a competitor to Google’s Chrome OS. This is still a system with local applications—knock off of Ubuntu’s netbook ti looks like.

    • I think you are very much wrong Don. Chrom OS will also have a good number of on-system applications, as any operating system should. Jolicloud just also integrates with cloud services in addition to the applications on the system.


    • CJ Burke

      Actually, Don, Jolicloud is a hybrid between Chromium’s cloud-based system an da traditional, local-app-based system. Which has the distinct advantage of being usable even when not connected to the Internet, which is important to a lot of users such as myself who use their computers on the road or in isolated areas.

      It’s good to have the option to run applications locally.

      I have Jolicloud installed on my Sony laptop (not a netbook) that is not “officially” supported. The only issue I’ve had on there is the battery life, and I haven’t had the chance to test it out since the V1.0 release became available. When I do get around to buying a netbook, Jolicloud is going on there, no question.

    • Juan Carlos Garcia

      I liked Jolicloud, it was the only one (and fedora 11) who worked with the infamous intel gma500

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    • I’d like to give this a spin on my netbook. But I already have Peppermint One installed. It’s also Ubuntu-based (10.04 LTS), comes with cloud and local applications and has LXDE as desktop environment. I don’t see any compelling reason abandon it anytime soon.

      Dark themes are nice but on a netbook they make the 10″ look even smaller.

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