Joli OS: A Cloud-based Operating System


About a two or three weeks ago, I came across a cloud-based OS which is called Joli OS. Perhaps you are familar with Jolicloud? Joli OS is made for netbooks in mind, but can run in any computer. It is a Linux system, based off of Ubuntu Netbook Edition. Joli OS claims that it can make your computer that is up to 10 years old a “cool new cloud device”. But I for once can’t really make heads or tails of that situation, since I really don’t have a computer that is 10 or more years old. If they had a PPC port, then I could give it a test drive on my 12 year old iBook Clamshell. Here’s a little walkthrough. There’s lots of pictures!

First off, I installed Joli OS side-by-side with Windows. (Similar to the Wubi install in Ubuntu.) You’re gonna need about 3-5 GB of free disk space. I recommend doing the side-by-side installtion, in case you dislike Joli OS, and want to avoid the nastiness of formatting and repartitioning. Joli OS has a cool little boot screen. It has a picture of two computer screens and some clouds passing by from one screen to another. I really wish I could record that, so I could show you how neat it looks. So after doing the install, it will restart, and you’ll see this:

That pretty much means that you need to connect to the internet. (Duh…) So, connect if you haven’t already.

The above screenshot is where you can login to use your cloud desktop. If you have a Jolicloud account, then use that to login. If you don’t have a Jolicloud account, you can either create one, or login using your facebook account. After logging in, you’ll see a lovely little animation:

As soon as login, You will encounter a series of questions and things to configure. Here’s the first one:

No biggie. Just simply follow the instructions in the following screens:

In the above screenshot, just simply select the type of computer you are using. If you’re using a netbook, then click “netbook” and so on.

After selecting what type of device you are using, Joli OS will ask you what model your device is. Since I chose “laptop”, I searched the list for my brand name. Since my laptop is a Toshiba Satellite A215-S4697, I searched for “Toshiba” in “brand”, and then my model. My model wasn’t in the list, so I simply chose “other” and in the text box below, I typed in my model name. (Above screenshot)

In the above screenshot, assign your computer a name. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It could be something like, “Victoria’s Netbook” or “Mona’s Laptop” or even “Franny’s Dilapidated Desktop” just name it anything is the main point. I was too lazy to come up with a name, and clicked next. That’s the last step. (Thank goodness!) and you’ll see this:

After all that trouble, you will finally be able to use Joli OS. By the way, that lotus wallpaper isn’t the default one. I had a Jolicloud account before using Joli OS, and customized it to my liking. Since I use different passwords on different accounts, it took me about fifteen minutes to figure out my Jolicloud password… So here is my Joli desktop:

To change your wallpaper, go to a grey icon at the lower right portion of your screen. Its an icon that has something that looks like two mountains. Click that. You can choose a wide selection of wallpapers provided by Jolicloud. If you don’t like their wallpaper, you can always use your own:

To set the wallpaper you want, simply click on the one that you like. Almost instantly it will change. This is the one I chose:


Shouldn’t have chosen that one. It makes it harder to see. The default web browser that Joli OS uses is Chromium. (Google Chrome is based off Chromium. Just letting you know.) To launch the web browser, click on the app that says “Browser”:

Ok, lets now explore some other Joli OS features. Joli OS has a streaming utility. It informs you of things, like apps that your friends recommend, sharing of apps.

Joli OS has a file manager that lets you browse your local hard drive, (or browse your Dropbox account.) I really like the pie graph on the right that displays your hard drive data:

It even displays your profile. So here’s mine:

Some settings:

Here is my favorite part: The web app store. Here is where you can download and install web apps for use in Joli OS. Similar to the Chrome Web Store:

Just for the heck of it, I decided to install VLC Media Player. It downloads and installs on your computer. Joli OS syncs it to your Jolicloud. Did you know you can access your Jolicloud from any web brower outside of Joli OS?

After installing and syncing, your newly downloaded app icon appears on your desktop:

Ok, lets now run VLC:

Unfortunately I couldn’t play a video, because I didn’t have one… But you get the idea! You can check an app’s properties or info by hovering your mouse over the app, and clicking on a little button that has an “i” inside a grey circle:

An app’s properies:

To share an app, click on the star. I honestly have no idea who I shared this app with:

Uninstalling an app is really incredibly easy. Just click the “X” and that’s it. And finally, logging out:

In conclusion, Joli OS is made specifically for users who spends like 99.9999% of their time on the web. (That was made up percentage.) I guess this could be run a fairly old computer. I give Joli OS two thumbs up, because it utilizes Chromium as the base of it. Like I said earlier, Google Chrome is based off Chromium. Startup time is incredibly fast, its fairly easy to use, and pretty lightweight. I guess I could say that Joli OS is a decent alternative to Google Chrome OS, if you can’t afford to buy a Chromebook, or are too lazy to compile Chromium OS yourself. As always, your mileage will vary. Also, you can access your Jolicloud desktop in any browser. You can download the Jolicloud app in the Chrome Web Store:

Download Joli OS: http://www.jolicloud.com/download

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