Jolicloud Pre-Release

I’m writing this in the browser as I tend to do, though instead of running Windows or OSX, I’m using Jolicloud on my netbook.  I’ve had it loaded previously, but since I hacked the system with a new wireless card (to hackintosh) it failed to work without a wired connected, severely limiting my desire to use it.  Recently though Jolicloud released a more public beta and I loaded it up yesterday from Windows 7 and Jolicloud took care of everything …

A few system updates later (seems every OS has that post load) I’m really pleased with how Jolicloud runs.  The metaphor is a bit different than most operating systems – for starters, you need to have a live connection to do most everything.  This is great for most things, but something to really consider if you travel around as you won’t be able to do much without finding your way online.

Jolicloud runs over ubuntu from what I can tell, and while it’s linux all the geeky stuff is hidden away behind a simple interface that’s essentially just a launcher.  The “apps” you load are all single window browser apps via Mozilla Prism.  Just like running prism on a standard pc or Fluid on your mac, these apps look like apps when you use your task switcher, but also have the limits of just being in the browser.  A few examples of minor limits are no easy way to see you’ve got new mail with Gmail or ?alerts from twitter.  These are hardly deal breakers, but certainly adjustments you need to make.

I’ve encountered a few bugs (this is pre-release) which will hopefully be resolved in time for the full release.

  • The first is that Prism is not maintaining my login from Firefox to the Prsim web app.  I’m thinking this should work as it’s running from the same base, though perhaps I am misunderstanding how Prism utilizes the Firefox system.
  • A more serious issue is that it’s impossible to use Facebook Connect to login to various sites.  When I’ve clicked to use it Firefox loads from Prism and instead of redirecting back to Prism, the page load dies.  This one neds to be fixed so things are considerably more fluid

Jolicloud is really a slick system.  I’d definitely recommend checking it out for someone less geeky and using one of the linux based netbooks.  Coming from Windows, there are going to be some adjustments (no real offline apps), but for casual computing it’s a great system.

8 comments for “Jolicloud Pre-Release

  1. 1/1/2010 at 3:16 pm

    “Coming from Windows, there are going to be some adjustments (no real offline apps)…”

    Actually there are a couple, notably the suite.

    There's also Synaptic, the standard interface for Linux software repositories (“apps”). If you're interested, here's my primer on Linux package managers from 2006:

  2. 1/1/2010 at 3:22 pm

    OpenOffice is a gimmie. No one running this for real will even seek that out.

    The repository thing is there yes, though again it's a bit wonky. I tried to install something last night (honestly now can't recall what it was) but got a message saying it was more current than the one provided and should be considered “less supported.” That was a new one … 😉

    I don't like the web app thing much either (read your other post). It's a lame excuse for what should be full apps … like iPhone 1.0. I “installed” Evernote only to see it be the browser version, which I loathe.

  3. 1/2/2010 at 7:31 am

    I really don't see the point of cloud-only OS' like ChromeOS or Jolicloud. It seems like an “in” thing to do but unless you have ubiquitous connectivity it is far too limiting. I wrote about my thoughts in a post a little while ago ( but the bottom line is that a user is probably better off running Ubuntu Netbook Remix than a purely cloud based OS. Having some offline apps isn't just a nice-to-have, they can be the difference between a sort of “all weather” productivity device and a brick when the wifi goes down.

  4. 1/2/2010 at 3:53 pm

    absolutely agree. offline only (and yeah you can install real things too but they make that very secondary) is ridiculous for a computer. It's bad enough on a phone …

    I do like the UI a lot though and enjoy using Jolicloud. It would be impossible for a real travel system without an assured form of connectivity.

  5. Hugh
    1/8/2010 at 10:06 am

    With my Netbook, my MacBook is all but mostly redundant these days as a result of better (lighter) portability and six hours + of battery life. I have switched back and forth betwixt Windows and others OSs but have settled now for the last few months on Ubuntu 9.10 NBR. I have been using Chrome in place of Firefox, TweetDeck, Spotify (under Wine) and MobileMe as my main apps – all of which run very well. Whilst most activity is On-line, there are options to revert to OpenOffice etc. as other contributors have noted. Far lighter, speedier and more power efficient than even the tweaked XP. All in 4G with room to spare too!

  6. 1/8/2010 at 10:50 pm

    I keep coming back to Windows 7 on the netbook … everything works just fine. I like the idea of the lighter OS options, but find myself back in the “old world” more often

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