Comparison of netbook-oriented Linux distributions

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Netbooks are small laptops, with screen sizes between approximately 7 and 12 inches and low power consumption. They use either an SSD (solid state disk) or a HDD (hard disk drive) for storage, have up to 2 gigabytes of RAM (but often less), lack an optical disk drive, and usually have USB, Ethernet, WiFi and often Bluetooth connectivity. The name emphasizes their use as portable Internet appliances.

Netbook distributions

There are special Linux distributions, called netbook distributions, for these machines. All such distributions are (supposedly) optimized for use with small, low-resolution displays. They tend to include a broad mix of VOIP and web-focused tools, including proprietary applications rarely seen installed by default by mainstream desktop distributions[citation needed]. For instance, Nokia Maemo and Asus' customized Xandros both ship with Skype and Adobe Flash installed, and Ubuntu's Netbook Edition offers the option to do the same to OEMs.[1]



Distribution Working State Aim Creator Producer Base Distribution Installed Size (MB) Initial Release Date Interface Linux Kernel Default File System Architecture Support Approximate Number of Pre-compiled Packages Default Package Management Tools Default Installer
Aurora 2009

Last Release

ASUS Eee PC optimized Eeebuntu community Debian 2009-05-15 Gnome or Gnome + Netbook Remix Array kernel (modified kernel)[2] APT
CrunchBang Linux 11-20130119 2015-02-06

Development Stopped

Limited hardware machines Philip Newborough Debian 2013-01-19 Openbox 3.2.35 x86 + x86_64 APT
Debian Eee PC Asus Eee PC Debian
Debian Wheezy Written from scratch i386, AMD64, PowerPC, SPARC, ARM, MIPS, S390, armhf, s390x. Loongson[3]
EasyPeasy 1.6 2012

Last Release

All netbooks EasyPeasy Community Jon Ramvi Ubuntu 2010-04-24 Gnome + Netbook Remix 2.6.32 ext4 x86 APT Ubiquity
Eeedora[4] ASUS Eee PC 701 Martin Andrews Fedora Xfce RPM
Firefly Linux 1.0 Beta 1 2009

Last Release

Firefly Linux community Arch Linux LXDE x86 Pacman
Fuduntu 2013-04-14

Last Release

All netbooks[5] Andrew Wyatt "Fewt"[5] None (Originally based on Fedora 14) 2012-10-01 Gnome 3.6.9 ext4 x86[6] + x86_64[7] RPM + YUM
gNewSense Free software Brian Brazil and Paul O'Malley Sam Geeraerts with sponsorship from the FSF Debian Linux-libre 2.6.32 Loongson, x86, x86-64 APT Ubiquity (software)
Joli OS 1.2
(formerly named Jolicloud)
2013-11-22 Last Release All netbooks[8] Joli OS Joli OS Ubuntu 2011-03-09 HTML5 + Gnome ext4 x86 APT
Kuki Linux 2.0 2009

Last Release

Aspire One optimized Kuki Linux community Ubuntu Xfce
Linux4One 1.5 Aspire One optimized Linux4One community Ubuntu Gnome or LXDE



Active Development

Limited hardware machines Lubuntu Community and LXDE Foundation Ubuntu 2011-10-13 LXDE Synaptic
Manjaro Netbook Edition[9] 2015-07-25

Active Development

All netbooks Rob McCathie Manjaro Linux Arch Linux Xfce Intel Atom-optimized Manjaro kernel ext4 x86, x86_64 Pamac (graphical frontend for pacman)
Midinux All netbooks Red Flag Linux 2007 ext3 x86
MeeGo 1.2 2012

Last Release

Intel Atom processor netbooks, Nokia ARM smartphones Intel, Nokia, Maemo community Intel, Nokia, Linux Foundation None (it is a distribution developed out of Maemo and Moblin) 2010-10-28 "Netbook User Experience" (based on Clutter) 2.6.35 btrfs x86 with SSSE3 support RPM
Moblin 2.1 2009-04

Last Release

All Intel Atom processor netbooks and MID Intel Intel/Linux Foundation None (borrows components for various distributions[10]) 2009-11-04 Clutter RPM (may change[10])
OpenGeeeU 8.10 2012-08

Last Release

Luca De Marini Easy Peasy[11] 2009-03-23 Enlightenment plus Gnome 2.6.27 ext3 x86 26000 APT Ubiquity
Puppeee Linux 4.3X ASUS Eee PCs with Intel Chipsets Jemimah Ruhala Puppy Linux 4.3.1 200MB Choice of IceWM / OpenBox / Flwm with ROX-Filer / PcManFM / LxLauncher 2.6.33 AUFS + SquashFS + EXT2 Atom / CeleronM Pet PetGet
Trisquel Mini 2014-11

Last Release

Limited hardware machines Trisquel 2010-09
Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 2010-10

Last Release

Intel Atom processor netbooks[12] Canonical Ltd. Canonical Ltd. Ubuntu 2010-10-10 Unity 2.6.32 x86 32000 APT

Specific Features

Distribution Target Boot Time Whole OS Loads to RAM




Target Users SSD Write Optimization

(SSD degradation, I/O optimization, etc.)

Specific Supported Hardware
Aurora 3.0
EasyPeasy 1.6 LIVE Medium Beginner, highly mobile netbook users.
Firefly Linux 1.0 Beta 1
Joli OS 1.2
Kuki Linux 2.0
Linux4One 1.5 40 seconds[13]
Manjaro Netbook Edition
Moblin 2.0 5 seconds[14][15]
OpenGeeeU 8.10
Puppeee Linux 4.3X 30s Loads to RAM Layered filesystem - caches writes in RAM Lightweight kernel compiled for EeePCs only
Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10

Google Trends

While no public numbers measuring the install-base of these operating systems are available, Google Trends data on a handful of them indicate their relative popularity:

Netbook linux compared June 2010.jpg


See also