Related To The New Laptop Question: CentOS On A Netbook?

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I’ve got a netbook, circe 2009. When I got it, not that I was wild about ubuntu, but there was specifically an ubuntu netbook remix. Well, it’s a few years later – has anyone put CentOS (6, preferably) on a netbook, and were there any problems?


8 thoughts on - Related To The New Laptop Question: CentOS On A Netbook?

  • ‘netbook’ is a mostly obsolete category, they were just low power
    1st/2nd generation Atom 10″ notebooks with 1024×600 screens and 1-2GB
    max ram, painfully slow. They’ve been largely superseded by the Ultrabook category of 13″ ultra-slim ultra-light notebooks.

    I’d expect the only major compatibility issue with any of these would be the wifi adapter. Most of these small format consumer machines don’t even have an ethernet port. Otherwise, they are pretty much bog stock Intel based architecture machines, using Intel integral graphics on the newer Core i3 Mobile processors.

  • Yes, but:

    Only among the well-heeled. Your typical ultrabook is around $1,000 today, whereas a true netbook was $200-300.

    Netbooks were widely misunderstood as “cheap notebook” because they happened to run desktop OSes.

    The netbook category didn’t turn into ultrabooks, it got calcinated and distilled into tablets and Chromebooks. Those processes left you with a device that *only* did what the original netbooks promised (i.e. cloud terminal) without trying to provide everything we expected from a “real” notebook computer.

    If you were happy with the original netbooks, I recommend picking up a cheap Chromebook and installing Crouton on it:

    That only currently works with Debian type OSes, but it gives you *most* of the best of both worlds: fast boot into ChromeOS most of the time, with the ability to shell out into a real Ubuntu or Debian environment when you need to.

    You can get a full desktop GUI if you’re willing to burn the CPU time, RAM, and SSD space, or you can just set up a CLI-only chroot, if that serves your needs.

    You can run everything off the internal SSD even on even the lowest-end Chromebooks if you only need a fairly straightforward user environment without a lot of user storage space. Much of the OS is shared with the ChromeOS host, and Debian type OSes lend themselves to small-footprint installs.

    If you do happen to need more than 4-ish gigs of user space, don’t spend a bunch of money on a big internal SSD, unless you’re also going to jump to a high-end Chromebook like the Pixel. If all you need is more storage space, most Chromebooks have SD card readers, and Crouton lets you set up encrypted disk images on the card. With a reasonably fast card, it works fine.

    Is an Ultrabook running CentOS a nicer experience? Sure, in some ways. But for 3-4x the cost difference, you’d certainly expect that.

  • I have an Acer Aspire One netbook. I use it every day.

    I had CentOS 6 on it up until CentOS 7 was released. Now I have CentOS 7 on it.

    It works perfectly. I use it mostly for reading books and a tiny bit of web surfing.

  • John R Pierce wrote:

    Right. And it serves me perfectly well when I’m travelling, for email and websurfing. Why is it that I should go out to spend $$$$ on a larger, ultralight notebook, before this one dies? It does *everything* I want from it… and it cost me something like $40 (never before in my life had I heard of a phone company giving out promotional items….)

    Original HP, and yes, it has an RJ45 as well as wifi. Sounds like I should follow the other thread’s suggestion, and build a liveCD on a flash drive, and boot from there. I was just wondering if someone else had done this.


  • Me too, though before CentOS-7 I was running Fedora 19. Everything works, including the dedicated fn- functions.

    Mine is a dual-core Atom, so it’s not quite as painfully slow as many of the other netbooks.

    I’ve also got an older Asus 901, originally shipped with their version of Linux. Got tired of that hacked up and crippled linux and started trying other distros. found that Fedora worked pretty well, back at F10, though some things required tweaking. There was a guy (no longer recall a name)
    who was building custom Fedora kernels specifically with the 901 in mind, that enabled the extra goodies that didn’t quite work right. I ran that, thru F10-F14, until F15 came out–took a look at Gnome 3.x and had to run to the toilet to throw up. disgusting. Right now, it is sitting here, running F20 with MATE desktop, operating a webcam for me.

    You don’t say which netbook it is… the earliest Asus models came with severely limited storage. There are people who’ve managed to put some relatively modern linux on those, though I don’t really know how they managed to shoehorn that all in. google is your friend.

  • running a cheap Acer Aspire one 722, 2gb ram, dual core 1ghz, swapped the HDD for a SSD. it’s running fedora 21 LXDE. it’s fast, powerful enough for working on the move and boots / shuts down in about 10
    seconds flat.

    I also had CentOS7 on here before but Fedora has better support for multimedia in my opinion.

    ran into one issue about waking the netbook after sleeping. ended up disabling it.

  • scratch that, I swapped the 2gb for 4gb. most people are amazed at the speed of it…

    I managed to convert a few people to linux on their netbook recently and they will never turn back. great way to rejuvenate old hardware.