Disappointed with the usability of the new Unity interface in the Ubuntu Netbook Remix edition (my screen is not wide enough) I’ve recently decided to switch my Linux netbook OS. My distro of choice was MeeGo, but it had some major issues with my Wi-Fi setup, so unfortunately I had to let it go. I went for Jolicloud (project by Netvibes’ founder).
My first impressions were rather unpleasant ones. Though the general feel of the launcher is good enough, I couldn’t find an easy way to access the terminal (apart from a dozen clicks through local/native apps) . And what kind of Linux distribution is this if I can’t easily access the command line?
Fortunately, the terminal is conveniently accessible through a not-so-well-documented keyboard shortcut that I’ve stumbled upon reading the tips & tricks section in the Jolicloud blog. Just press Alt+F1 to bring up the console. By the way – the Menu key gives access to the standard Ubuntu menu (Jolicloud is based on Ubuntu), which can come in handy too.
Full listing of the shortcuts (from Jolicloud blog):
- Windows key – main launcher
- Alt+Tab – application switching
- Alt+F1 – console access (via classic terminal app)
- Alt+F2 – run command (application text launcher)
- Alt+F4 – close application
- Menu key – Ubuntu style menu
Using those keyboard shortcuts Jolicloud’s usability is acceptable for daily use (from my perspective). It could use some improvements here and there, but it’s much better than UNR 10.10. However, the joint venture of Nokia (Maemo) and Intel (Moblin) in the form of MeeGo looks really promising. So when major bugs are ironed out and more hardware gets supported out of the box it can become one of the most promising netbook (mobile) operating systems around. Just wait till Smeegol (or SUSE MeeGo) comes preinstalled on new hardware. Jolicloud will definitely need to keep up pace.