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Maximum PC Primer: Lightweight Netbook Computing with Linux

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These days, netbooks have become a very popular alternative to conventional notebooks for mobile computing. Linux is an ideal choice for netbooks for multiple reasons in addition to CPU architecture. This primer will help you set up and optimize Linux for your netbook.

The Operating System

While any Linux distro will work for your netbook with some degree of success, it is better to use one that is explicitly designed for that purpose. Many specialized distros (optimized for a specific hardware configuration) have sprung up for models like the Acer Aspire One, The Asus Eee, and several others while more generalized distros exist for all netbooks. Most netbook distros are based on Ubuntu, since Ubuntu is very well developed and has enjoyed unparalleled success on more conventional systems.

The first distro we should address is Ubuntu Netbook Remix, which is a trimmed-down variant of Ubuntu designed for netbooks. It is compatible with most netbooks makes and models on both x86 and ARM architecture. (mainline Ubuntu support for ARM is coming soon)

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