You may remember my post on Ubuntu Netbook Remix and how to get it running on an Acer Aspire One with the now infamous GMA500 graphics adapter. It isn’t hard but isn’t easy either and it’s not for the beginner. With the price of GMA500 netbooks dropping there will be more people picking them up. From experience I can safely say that the Windows experience on the lower end netbooks is not that fun. The performance with Linux is much better and since the UNR interface is intuitive I can see folks wanting to run it but not wanting to go through the pain in the arse that it is to get UNR running. Top that off with the issues with the sound that haven’t been worked out yet UNR won’t be the choice of the masses no matter how good the interface is. In comes Jolicloud… The install was dead easy. After getting my invite I followed the instructions on the website and about an hour from start of the download to reboot after install I had a running system. I didn’t play with any drivers and have native resolution, didn’t have to reboot to get any weird sound issues sorted out, didn’t have to add any PPAs or download anything in order to get anything working. Out of the box Jolicloud installed on the Acer Aspire One 751h and just plain worked. The install consisted of less questions than a Windows install and never gave an error. It was so easy it was almost decadent. Under the hood Jolicloud is some sort of social/cloud/netbook OS based on Ubuntu. You can follow other Jolicloud users and get suggestions for applications. I don’t really get the social aspect just yet but I also haven’t really tried it out. The Jolicloud Dashboard has the best end user interface for installing applications that I have seen in a Linux based system at present. Most of the apps are Prism based which makes sense for a cloud based OS. For those that don’t know Prism is a system that allows web based apps to run on your desktop but isn’t a browser. I know it doesn’t make a lot of sense but it works pretty damn well. Dropbox is included for online storage and all the Google services your little heart desires are available along with a ton of web based apps I have never heard of. They even include Adobe Air in their list of Applications so getting Tweetdeck up and running was as easy as installing Air and running over to the Tweetdeck website. Everything was really that easy. Even Boxee is available out of the box and while it doesn’t work wGMA500 it worked without any weird steps involved. This is an OS I could give to my mom without worrying about tech support calls until the end of time. Now being who I am I did do some playing. I installed Ubuntu One which isn’t included in the apps list. I also installed terminator because it’s my favorite terminal application. Being based on Ubuntu you can get to Synaptic but it’s not in the menu. Jolicloud would prefer you used their applications list and rightfully so since they can vet the apps and make sure they work properly as well as offering more cloud based apps than local apps. But if you really want to play, and I always do, you can hit alt-f2 and run ‘gksudo synaptic’ and get the old familiar Ubuntu package installer. Once you are there anything you install does show up in the menu so it’s pretty easy to fiddle around with your netbook and the fact that everything works, out of the box, on what they are referring to as a pre-beta release makes this a pretty freaking nice choice for geeks and end users alike. My recommendation is to skip futzing around with UNR and get yourself a Jolicloud invite. Even if you don’t go in for the social aspect of the OS, and I still haven’t, it’s the real deal and it works very nicely at the moment. I want to play with Chrome OS if there is ever GMA500 support but trying to get me to wipe out Jolicloud on this box will be a wrestling match for sure.