Canonical doesn’t plan to launch Ubuntu Netbook Remix for a few more months. But if you’re itching to check out the customized version of Ubuntu designed for low cost subnotebooks like the Eee PC, the current source packages are already available for download. Keep in mind, this software is still under development, so your results may vary. Of course, open source software is always under development, but if you don’t want to risk mucking up your Ubuntu system, you might want to create a new user to test out the Netbook Remix interface.

Or you can just hop on over to Ars Technica, to read an early review of Ubuntu Netbook Remix. As I pointed out yesterday, the first thing you’ll notice is a new program launcher with big buttons optimized for computers with small screens. But Ubuntu Netbook Remix also has a novel program switcher. Instead of minimizing programs to the system tray, every program you open is always maximized. You switch between programs by selecting icons from the switcher bar. The effect is a lot like switching from one tab to another in a web browser.

The switcher bar is basically just an applet that you can add to the Gnome Panel. Underneath all the shiny Netbook Remix lies a full version of Ubuntu. So if you like the program launcher but not the switcher bar, all you have to do is remove the panel and customize your screen to your heart’s content.

Aside from the visual changes, Netbook Remix will also be optimized to work with Intel’s low-power Atom CPU. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that a stock Ubuntu distro won’t work with an Atom chip out of the box, Ubuntu Netbook Remix will be designed to take advantage of the chip’s power saving features.

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One reply on “A closer look at Ubuntu Netbook Remix”

  1. As a huge Ubuntu fan, I appreciate this info. I’ve been drooling over the tiny notebooks, and this just might push me over the edge to buying one!

    Thanks!

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