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An Ubuntu netbook?

By   |  June 9, 2008

Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has hinted at the likelihood of an ultra-portable netbook pre-loaded with Ubuntu Remix in the very near future. Ubuntu Remix is the lightweight version of Ubuntu that Canonical announced last week.

Writing on his blog Shuttleworth says that “the Canonical OEM team has been approached by a number of OEMs who want to sell netbooks (small, low-cost laptops with an emphasis on the web) based on Ubuntu.”

Although Shuttleworth gives no indication of who these companies are he does say that Canonical is “working with two companies that want more radical user interface innovation. Canonical is participating directly in the design and implementation of one of those UI’s, and we’re integrating someone else’s UI on an Ubuntu base for the second project.



16 Responses to “An Ubuntu netbook?”

  1. 852258
    June 9th, 2008 @ 5:51 pm

    Sounds pretty cool but why can’t I fkkng install anything on it. I’m running Ubuntu on my computer right now but I am having so many problems with it. I know the “Package Manager” is recommended to install anything for security reasons but I have LimeWire PRO the Linux version & I want to use that. I searched for Java in the package manager and I got over 3,000 results. I don’t need that kind of headache. When I use the su command I get an error. People tell me to use the sudo command instead but no luck I get some kind of other error message. Is it so hard to just install something?? Having low or no vulnerability to virus attacks is cool plus an advanced user interface with an extremely stable OS is also very cool but when you can’t install third party application then that’s just stooped. Why is it so easy to install something in WindowsXP? Even WindowsVISA makes it easy. But then you are vulnerable to VIRUS attacks…
    There’s really no point in using Ubuntu if I can’t install anything I need. Java for online applications, LimeWire for downloading stuff, games & other cool applications that make using the computer interesting.

    So in conclusion; if Ubuntu is going to come pre-installed on laptops then they should up^ their ease of use; like allowing the user the ease of installing things easily.

  2. Etienne
    June 9th, 2008 @ 9:42 pm

    I agree with previous comment, I have tried Ubuntu before and installing an application was such a headache. Dont get me wrong, I think the Ubuntu team is doing a great job. I would just like to be able to download an application and double click on the file to install.

    Have ordered the latest version from the Ubuntu website, will see how that goes…

  3. FAIL
    June 9th, 2008 @ 10:15 pm

    Seems like your installation has failed miserably. I have been using Ubuntu for about 2 years now, and I’ve never had a problem running java based applications.

    The best way to install it and everything you need is go to terminal and type ‘sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras’. This will install Flash, Java, MS Core fonts, a load of codecs and the software needed to play DVD’s.

    Also try installing Frostwire instead of Limewire. It works perfectly.

  4. Alastair
    June 10th, 2008 @ 8:51 am


    Actually, you can do exactly that on Ubuntu. If you download a piece of Ubuntu software (something.deb) you can double-click it and Debi will launch which will install the software for you.


    Your installation does appear corrupt. Installing software is either done through Synaptic or through the command line as FAIL described. You really ought not to have any problems.

  5. 852258
    June 10th, 2008 @ 5:49 pm

    I know for a fact that the file is not corrupt. I reinstalled Ubuntu five time. I re-downloaded the .bin installer from Java like more then twenty times & I also downloaded the other file type they offered at the Java website. I get an error using both su & sudo. I think it’s very unlikely that they are going to make it so you can execute files straight from the desktop. It will pose a security risk.

    All of the tutorials I have read on installing software on Ubuntu are either incomplete or extremely badly put together. In every tutorial they assume that you are an expert. They explain things in such a bad way that there are easily many combination to try. Like for example; different tutorials show different symbols “” or “(your text goes here)” or “”your text goes here””. I don’t know if I should try with the symbols they showed me or just after the point where they showed me. And that’s not the only thing, that’s just one example.

    Don’t get me wrong I am a computer programmer. I’m an expert with computers, I fix computers for a living. I know everything there is to know about Windows based systems but Ubuntu is just completely different for me. It feels like I’m starting over again leaning about computers from scratch again.

    …I don’t want to install Frost-Wire. I want to install what I have..!
    Does it make any sense that I want to use what I have & not just use something else because I can’t use my first chose?

  6. Alastair
    June 10th, 2008 @ 6:55 pm


    You say you get an error using su and sudo. What sort of error? What does it say?

  7. 852258
    June 10th, 2008 @ 9:50 pm

    This is the error I keep getting when I use “su”…


    To run a command as administrator (user “root”), use “sudo “.
    See “man sudo_root” for details.

    admin-eu@admin-eu-desktop:~$ su
    su: Authentication failure


  8. Alastair
    June 10th, 2008 @ 10:11 pm


    In Ubuntu you don’t need to use su. Use sudo. So to run a comand that needs root access use:

    sudo command

    that will prompt you for your password (not root”s, yours)

    Enter your password and the command will be run.

  9. 852258
    June 10th, 2008 @ 11:30 pm

    Yes, as I have said before, I also get an error while using sudo. Not right away like the su command but after I get a few commands into it…

    Take my word for it when I say I have spent many hours trying to figure this out.
    I’m sure there is a way to do this but I haven’t figured it out yet & for the people who will be purchasing these Ubuntu laptops, I don’t think they’ll be to happy after they find out that installing something will be more of a burden then having a VIRUS on a Windows computer.

  10. Pete
    June 11th, 2008 @ 7:40 pm

    Hi all,

    As a Win user myself, I have tried various flavours of Linux before and must say it was horrible!
    Either they don’t play mp3’s or you can’t load an app or there is some package missing.
    Then there is always the library headache which is compounded by non standardisation in desktops.
    Another minus point is the lack of programming languages and decent help for Linux.

    The open source gurus should get their act together and the time is now with the release of crappy Vista which about 70% of adopters changing back to XP.
    Until some co-ordination is achieved in the OSS world, Linux will always remain some obscure, unfriendly, geeky OS with very limited use for the average user.

  11. john
    June 12th, 2008 @ 3:06 am

    strange how how hard you make it seem, go to add remove programs pick what you like it will ask for your password and install it.

    synaptic package manager is similar in operation but you can choose to search descriptions as well as names. thats in the system menu.

    Ubuntu has a huge collection of software in its repositories, trusted software. This is a big difference over windows software where each time you install something you gamble and hope it is harmless.

    The user model is different, on windows by default you are adminstrator or root by default this means you can go into program files and windows and delete what you find there and so can any program you run.

    As a normal user on ubuntu you cannot do this and nor can any program you run.
    of course there are times when you wish to change the system in someway and for this you use sudo as a prefix to your commands eg sudo nautilus gives you full ability to browse and delete any files on your system without sudo you cannot do anything harmful to anything but your own files. that is the files in your home directory. you can’t do anything to other users files either.

    sudo gives you root access for one command, then it will ask for the root password
    before that command can be carried out for subsequent commands you can prefix sudo for about 10 minutes usually before you need to enter your password again.
    sudo su is a special variation as it switches you into super user mode until you decide to type exit and return to normal user mode.

    To be honest i think the original poster was being a troll, essentially someone who posts purely to be annoying. After all a programmer would realise you code against an api and windows programs use a number of windows api’s. linux uses a different set, the exception is java programs which present a standardised api to a virtual machine.

    If you want to run windows software run windows it is what it was written for.
    however windows can be run in a virtual pc as a dual boot system or on a second computer.

    The nice thing about a virtual pc is essentially the whole windows system is just part of a big file so you can copy this and have a working system and a backup preinstalled with what you want. you can suspend this machine instead of shutting down so you can resume at a later date as you left it.

    it’s generally a good idea not to use windows on the internet , due to it’s flawed design, (in this respect vista is an improvement). So use for example firefox on ubuntu instead. For your powerpoint presentation use windows.

    Ubuntu can meet most of your requirements but if it can’t do something windows probably can. So use the best tools you have for a particular task.

    the words howto and ubuntu in any google search along with your problem usually results in at least one step by step guide

  12. 852258
    June 12th, 2008 @ 7:05 am

    Don’t call me a spammer! I’m not a spammer, I’m simply stating the fact that if Ubuntu is to be pre-installed on a computer then the Ubuntu people should en-least make it easier to install software.

    & no I’m not trying to install an .exe file on Ubuntu. I’m not that dumb! Of course I’m having problems with installing a .bin file & the other file types made for Linux.

    I should be able to install what I want, not what the Ubuntu people think I should install in there trusted list. I have my own program & I don’t want to run anything else but it! I have my own program for a reason!

    Please tell me I make credible sense because I feel like I’m on a one sided argument here@!,….,!@

  13. amir
    June 15th, 2008 @ 10:56 am

    To the ‘troll’ (!)

    it’s very hard to write tutorials for such varied user-experience levels (and variations in system set-ups) in Linux. After you understand things a bit better you’ll only need the key points and get pissed off with too much detail

    The first thing i’d recommend is to do this:

    sudo passwd root

    Having entered your normal password, it’ll ask you to create a ‘root’ password

    Then, use ‘su’, using this new password, and you can then skip the whole sudo business on the comand-line.

    Don’t get me wrong, sudo works fine for me but it’s a bit of a hindrance.

    Also, you need more of an open mind to get along with Linux.

    For example, so much of the unexpected behaviour relates back to complex licence restrictions with the GPL (the GPL is restrictive in ways which will keep Linux open-source, but mean a lot of stuff isn’t pre-installed). Try the software alternatives offered, then if you don’t like it go ahead and use Limewire or whatever other software.

    The joys you will find with Linux is what you find after scratching the surface. Stuff which is obfuscated-by-convention on Windows. There’s a lot of different stuff going on under the hood, and as for ‘lack of programming languages’, well .. that’s just utter b*ll*cks

  14. 852258
    June 16th, 2008 @ 4:54 pm

    Yeah no, I already managed to turn on the su command but I still have a problem after a few steps into it. After the Java website tells me to pick a directory to install I type in a directory & then it tells me that the directory doesn’t exist.

    It drives me crazy trying to figure out what Linux wants from me…
    I did pick the directory too the Java installer or do I pick a place to install it???
    Can someone help me out with this.
    When it asks for a directory of the installer; do I just type in the directory or the full path name. What I mean by that is do I type in the location plus the file name & then the file extension. For example; “Installer.bin”.

    Or if it means; pick where to install it. It tells me the directory doesn’t exist. What’s going on here? I asked a guy in a Micro-Center store. The guy tells me that he hasn’t used Linux in five years but he told me that I have to create the directory myself… “Create it myself??” Shouldn’t the installer be in charge of that? Anyway, if that’s the case then ware would I install it. Where should I put it?

    Plus the tutorial shows a bunch of symbols. Like for example ” “. Could you show me what to use & what not to use. Give me the exact commands. Step by step.
    It would help a lot.

  15. CubanCigar
    June 17th, 2008 @ 1:14 pm

    @ 852258

    For LimeWire you obviously need Java, probably Sun’s Java. Here’s how you install it:

    Step 1) In a terminal (maximise the window), type the following:

    sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre

    You should then see this in the terminal:

    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    The following extra packages will be installed:
    odbcinst1debian1 sun-java6-bin unixodbc
    Suggested packages:
    sun-java6-fonts sun-java6-plugin ia32-sun-java6-plugin ttf-wqy-zenhei libct1
    libmyodbc odbc-postgresql
    Recommended packages:
    The following NEW packages will be installed:
    odbcinst1debian1 sun-java6-bin sun-java6-jre unixodbc
    0 upgraded, 4 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
    Need to get 34.0MB of archives.
    After this operation, 97.5MB of additional disk space will be used.
    Do you want to continue [Y/n]?

    Type “Y” (without the quotation marks) and press Enter. Now, at some point, sun-java6-bin has to be configured. You’ll be asked to agree to the license. Use your Tab button to highlight and press enter. You’ll be asked again, highlight and press enter. That should be it.

    If that worked, I’ll help with installing limeWire PRO. If that didn’t work, post your output, it’s difficult to guess what problem you’re having.

  16. Solid Knight
    June 30th, 2008 @ 4:23 am

    It takes a bit of time to get over the hump on application installs in Linux. Turns out that often times it’s actually easier than Windows albeit there are scenarios where the package name and descriptions are inadequate and you must google it to know what they are. Synaptic Package Manager is fairly easy to use and the reason for the command line tutorial is that it is very explicit and often hard to screw up if you just copy and paste the commands.

    However, you’re going to have to let go of the idea of downloading software off web-sites through your web-browser and just double clicking to install it. Unless of course you’re downloading .deb files.

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