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Operating Systems Portables Linux

The Future of Portable Linux Distros 107

i_want_you_to_throw_ sends in a Tech Radar piece about the various portable Linux distributions, focusing on operating systems like Android, Chrome OS, and Ubuntu Netbook Remix. The article compares the distributions designed for similar purposes and discusses where they will likely go in the future. "As UNR is built on Ubuntu, it's highly likely that we'll see almost as many UNR respins as we have for the parent distribution. We've already seen one example in Jolicloud, and we'd put money on many community distributions, such as Linux Mint or Crunchbang offering a UNR overhaul alongside their standard desktop installations. It's also likely that Canonical will be able to forge stronger relationships with companies like Dell, which is already shipping a specific version of UNR on its Mini 9 platform. As Windows XP is phased out and the cost of bundling Windows 7 rises, manufacturers will be looking for a cheap and easily maintainable netbook OS, and UNR fits the bill admirably."
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The Future of Portable Linux Distros

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  • Missing ones (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @12:11PM (#30905558) Homepage Journal

    If well aren't so focused on netbooks, Maemo should be included. Nokia N900 looks more like a subnotebook than a cellphone.

    Some tiny, but damn fast linux mini-distros like i.e. SliTaz [] could be interesting to put on the mix.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @12:12PM (#30905578)

    The biggest hindrance so far has been Cloud Computing. Device manufacturers, rather than focusing on making their portables more powerful and useful on their own, have been banking on Cloud Computing to make their devices usable by offloading any strenuous processing.

    As we've seen so far, Cloud Computing is a failure in virtually all cases, especially when semi-connected portable devices are involved. The service is spotty, connectivity proves to be a major issue, and the services implemented so far have been far, far, far inferior to more traditional approaches.

    What people want is basically their desktop system, with the ability to run arbitrary applications and store the data locally, but compacted down into a portable device that can be used on the go. They don't want to host their data on some third-party servers, they don't want to use web-based applications, and they don't want to have their application selection limited by a single vendor or network operator.

  • Re:Diversity (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @12:16PM (#30905654)

    I hate diversity.

    For one, the market is fragmented. To work steadily, you have to be up on a bunch of technologies because if you stick to one, then there's much less work and in some cases it drops off as it becomes established. As more phones come on the market, the iPhone work is starting to drop off.

    Two, you have to have a bunch of different development tools and development environments. They also have to be kept up with.

    the actual devices for testing. I can only afford so many devices to test and develop for. Simulators? Pffft! They're OK for development and maybe some unit testing, but functional testing? Forget it.

    But that's life and I gotta deal.

  • Re:Waiting... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @02:07PM (#30907332)

    UNR works better than a default install on a netbook with a small screen; the biggest issue I've found so far is that it forces dialog boxes to full screen and they often don't like it... they're still usable but look really ugly.

  • Re:Waiting... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WeatherGod ( 1726770 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2010 @02:19PM (#30907488)

    This problem has been getting better with each release. Software developers are rethinking their assumptions when designing their GUIs, which has lead to improved GUIs for everyone. Diversity exposes assumptions which leads to more robust software.

    What I do wish is to somehow teach all users the "Alt-drag" trick to deal with dialogue boxes that are too large. While it is fairly common knowledge among many users, it is non-obvious to the uninitiated.

The best defense against logic is ignorance.