I heard about Jolicloud on Engadget back last July before it came out of beta. I even contemplated installing it on my netbook when version 1.0 came out, but decided I wasn’t brave enough yet. I continued reading the news about it & the Jolibook over next few months, but it wasn’t until Jolicloud 1.1 came out that I made the jump. I first installed it right before Christmas & immediately fell in love. I first started out by running the Live version from a 4gb USB key on my little 10″ eMachines netbook. After about a week of that I got brave enough to actually install it using the Jolicloud Express Windows Installer. It wasn’t an easy decision to make since this was my first experience ever with Linux. However, I figured that if I didn’t like it, I could easily uninstall it. But what end up happening was that I totally abandoned my desktop running Windows XP & embraced the cloud. I pretty much took complete control of the netbook till this day & never once used the desktop running Windows XP. I’m not sure my wife was real happy about that since I had bought the netbook for her over a year ago. 😉 We originally planned on buying her a bigger laptop with a DVD drive so she could watch movies, but a lot of unforeseen expenses came up & we no longer could afford to buy one. That’s when I decided that maybe it was time to install Joli OS on the desktop.
Our desktop has been our primary means of streaming TV content like Hulu to our TV & Xbox 360 via a Windows DLNA server called PlayOn. Without that program we can’t watch our favorite shows on the big screen. Unfortunately they don’t have a Linux version of their app and that’s the biggest reason why I’ve dragged my feet about installing Jolicloud on it. Last night I finally downloaded the Express edition & installed it. I wanted to get some feedback for this review. The install & everything else seemed to run fine, but I noticed that the Windows Boot Manager never showed up on the first boot & it went straight to Joli OS. At first I thought it might have been temporary because of the install, but after the install finished I rebooted & it still never showed. I started getting worried that I lost Windows. I frantically searched the Jolicloud GetSatisfaction site looking for a way to fix it & finally came across a solution that was posted over a year ago. What had happened is somehow the Windows Boot Manager’s boot.ini file had incorrectly set the timeout value to 0. With it set to 0 it keeps the Boot Manager from showing up & since it was automatically defaulted to Joli OS it boot straight to it instead of Windows. Editing that file & setting it to a number greater than 0 fixed the problem. Whew! That was a close one! 🙂
Just a quick recap for those who don’t know about Jolicloud(pronounced Joe-ly Cloud). It’s a cloud-based OS that was originally designed for the small screen & low specs of netbooks but now works on wide range of older & newer laptops & desktops. Version 1.1.1 is the latest version & it’s based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS & uses Chrome & HTML5 for the main interface. It has an App Library similar to Apple & Google App Stores that contain mixture of local Linux apps & web apps(some based on HTML5). There are currently more web apps than local apps, but if your adventurous you can install any app that installs under Ubuntu. For more info check out their website at Jolicloud.com or the Wikipedia page.
OK, so what’s this about Jolicloud 1.2? We’ve been getting some hints over the past month or so that another version was on it’s way. All the hints have been from founder & CEO Tariq Krim on his Twitter account(@TariqKrim). I’ve collected the relevant tweets & have decided to make a list of what we know & show you some of those differences with Jolicloud 1.1:
What we know:
- “on any modern browser or a recycled computer” – Tweet 1
- The main launcher will get a few minor UI changes (more later) – Tweet 4
- There will be a new “HTML5 based filesystem” (more later) – Tweet 5
- When asked on Twitter when it was coming Tariq replied “before OSX Lion ;)” – Tweet 6