Wed. Dec 8th, 2021


Jack Wallen has found a Chrome OS-like Linux desktop distribution that makes it potential for customers to chop ties with Google whereas having fun with a full-blown working system.

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Picture: Jack Wallen

Linux powers the cloud. However for the longest time, the working system that single-handily makes the cloud potential did not actually have a desktop distribution that provided a lot in the way in which of functions that interacted properly with the cloud. Sure, there is a Dropbox app and some third-party instruments that may be put in to sync your desktop to cloud storage accounts … however not way more.

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Though GNOME makes it potential to attach your desktop to your Google Drive account, that answer is way from viable for many customers. In truth, the Linux desktop and the cloud have been actually hit and miss for the longest time.

After which comes Ubuntu Net. This new-ish distribution guarantees to be the Chrome OS for Linux and, wow, does it obtain simply that. To be sincere, once I first heard in regards to the remix I used to be uncertain. I would seen so many distributions try them and, for probably the most half, fail. So, with trepidation, I downloaded the most recent model of Ubuntu Net, spun up a VM, and gave it the take a look at.

Upon finishing the set up, I logged in and was greeted by a window I would by no means seen earlier than in a Linux distribution. Stated window required I log in. However to what account? It did not take me lengthy to appreciate it was requesting I log into an /e/ basis account (which I already had). Logging into the /e/ account makes it potential so that you can make the most of a slightly nifty trick Ubuntu Net has up its sleeve. Stated trick is WayDroid, a port of Anbox which permits customers to put in Android apps from the /e/ retailer.

That is when doubt began to trickle away. 

These Android apps carry out as in the event that they have been native to the OS, and there are many apps to select from (Determine A).

Determine A

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Putting in Android apps from the /e/ app retailer on Ubuntu Net.

One caveat to WayDroid is that it would not perform as anticipated when Ubuntu Net is operating as a digital machine. you need to use the app, however the installer solely downloads the .wapp file for the app (as an alternative of putting in it). In line with the developer, when Ubuntu Net is put in on naked metallic, the app performs as anticipated.

The enjoyable did not cease there with WayDroid. As soon as you have logged into your /e/ account, you may discover a particular file supervisor has some particular options in retailer. Open /e/ Recordsdata (from the Utility Overview) and you will find tabs for recordsdata, e-mail, contacts, calendar, notes, duties and pictures (Determine B).

Determine B

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The /e/ Recordsdata app with the added /e/ goodness.

That is actually one thing no different Linux “cloudified” desktop has ever achieved and it is fairly superb. Unexpectedly the file supervisor is like having an alternative choice to Google Workspace put in, dashing my doubts that Linux would by no means have a strong relationship with the cloud on the desktop. For instance, click on on the Recordsdata part of the file supervisor, click on the New Doc button, and ONLYOFFICE opens so you may create your new doc. Save that file after which level your browser to your /e/ cloud account. Guess what? That file is obtainable so that you can use from anyplace.

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It ought to be famous that there are actually two file managers put in, there’s /e/ Recordsdata, for working together with your cloud account and GNOME Recordsdata, for working with native recordsdata. Additionally, from the Utility Overview, you may launch /e/ Apps, /e/ Calendar, /e/ Contacts, /e/ E-mail, /e/ Notes, /e/ WayDroid, /e/ Photoes, and /e/ Duties. Every of those launchers will open the related /e/ cloud utility.

Who’s Ubuntu Net for?

This can be a tough query to reply. To attempt to simplify the reply seems to be one thing like this: For those who’re searching for an working system that features equally to Chrome OS however need to reduce ties with Google, Ubuntu Net would possibly properly be the best platform. This Linux distribution is simple to make use of, and works seamlessly with the /e/ ecosystem. All of the whereas, Ubuntu Net can perform as a full-blown Linux working system, so it is like getting the very best of each worlds.

Ubuntu Net has crashed by that barrier and makes working with the cloud on Linux a fairly spectacular expertise. Give this OS a try to see if it would not make you notice the Linux love/hate relationship with the cloud could be largely love.

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