Saturday, 13 August 2011

The Hunt For The Perfect Netbook OS Continues...This Time, Xubuntu

Hi Guys,

As some of you will know, I have been hunting high and low all over the internet for the perfect Operating System for my netbook. I REALLY want a Chromebook but can't justify spending £350 when I have a perfectly good netbook (even though I'm still struggling to find the right OS).

So far I've tried quite a few, Meego, Peppermint, Joli OS, Ping Eee, Ubuntu 11.04, Elementary OS, even Windows 7! The next OS in my rather long list is Xubuntu, for me, the perfect netbook OS will be light, which means a fast machine even on the low powered hardware of a netbook - but I still want some eye candy. My netbook is my work horse, so I don't want to be looking at a machine all day that looks like something from the Windows 3.11 era!

So far, about the best I've tried are Joli OS and Ping Eee, Joli is great, but not enough customisation for me. Ping Eee is a little too heavy and my netbook slows down after a while (although it looks amazing, if I have a dual core atom CPU then this would be my choice). Peppermint is based on LXDE, it's lightning fast but looks like crap.

So, I've been hunting for somthing in the middle...along came Xubuntu.

I've been running Xubuntu now on my netbook for around a week or so and I'm pretty impressed. It boots quickly and has just enough eye candy too keep me interested. It can run most of the same themes as Gnome but the more advanced gubbins like desktop cube etc aren't possible (which is fine). I boot up in around 15 seconds (thats from turning on to having a usable desktop). There is very little lag when opening apps. I am currently creating this post in Chrome, I have dropbox syncing away and some music playing via Clementime and using only 11% of my 2GB RAM is quite impressive (oh and shutter is running in the background as well).

After some tweaking and playing around, here is a look at my desktop, with a panel acting as a dock and some other bits and bobs:

My Xubuntu Desktop

A window and my dock

As you can see, it looks a lot like Gnome, only faster. So far so good with Xubuntu I think I might be sticking with this for the time being. Is it the perfect Netbook OS? No, but it's very close. The only thing I don't like at the moment is the Menu, it's too basic. I know there is a way to install the Mint Menu in XFCE so I'm looking into that at the moment. According to the guys at Mint, adding th Mint Menu will add an extra 30MB of RAM to your usage - this isn't a problem as I currently have loads of RAM in reserve.

If any of you guys have been using Xubuntu (or any XFCE based OS) then let me know what you think as I would love to hear from you. On the other hand, if you are in a similar position to me, why not try downloading Xubuntu from HERE too see what you think.


  1. I am going to try adding the mint menu this weekend thanks Jing. I found this, but have not tried it yet.

  2. I use xubuntu too. I am try to install ubuntu but dont satisfied with performance. thank to sharing :)

  3. I have an Acer D250 netbook that I don't really need, but love using as a test-machine for different linux distro's.

    It's currently running LinuxMintDebian_Xfce [], but the two systems that it ran best with where;

    Crunchbang (#!) []


    Peppermint OS []

    All three worked very well on most applications. Of course, a netbook really isn't the right tool for heavy graphics or video rendering, so the applications I was using weren't all that taxing.

  4. nice article...
    The best 5 netbook linux distros


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