written by: Daniel Case•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 11/9/2010
In this article I will take a look at Linpus Lite, its advantages and disadvantages. It may be easier for new users to the computing (and Linux) world, but for some things it just does not cut it and tries to restrict the software which we can use.
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Linpus Lite is based on the original Linpus operating system. Linpus was created by a Taiwanese firm called Linpus Technologies and has since grown into a couple of different flavors. It was designed for low-power PCs and smart devices and the original Linpus has an optional windows-like interface as well as an icon one.
Linpus Lite is the one we mainly hear about in the western world because it comes preinstalled on many Linux netbooks from Acer. Whilst it is based on Linux it cannot truly be called an open operating system, mostly because of the closed-source nagware which Acer installs.
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Linpus Lite Overview
Linpus Lite comes with a very simple icon-based interface, while this is great for new users it is criticized by advance Linux users for not allowing things such as terminal access and custom kernels without going to great lengths. It is however perfect for a new computer user who could get used to the system very quickly. It is similar in this respect to other cloud-based operating systems such as Jolicloud.
Linpus Lite mainly focuses on internet based applications, but usually does have offline applications such as Openoffice and a few games pre-installed. It also uses apt as its package manager which means more games and other goodies can be downloaded depending on which repository it is using. Some people have managed to configure it so that it uses the Ubuntu repositories.
A Linpus Lite computer would be very useful for someone who wants to own there very first computer (such as a young child) as they are relatively inexpensive and very easy to use. It would also be useful for people of the older generation who maybe have slight technophobia. It would be a great Christmas present for these people and I am sure they would get the most use out of this easy preinstalled operating system.
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Other Linux Operating Systems
Due to the fact that many netbooks do not come with a CD drive many people think they are stuck with what they are given. However, most netbooks will boot from a USB stick and you can install a variety of operating systems using this method such as Ubuntu Netbook Remix using unetbootin.
There are many reasons to upgrade to a 'full' version of Linux rather than stick with Linpus Lite, one of which is the closed source element of Linpus Lite and the fact that Acer will not disclose what they collect. Another reason is that updates and security is done more actively on other operating systems, and a final reason of many is the fact that there is far more support for the mainstream Linux operating systems, usually in the form of a freenode IRC chat channel.
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This concludes my overview of Linpus Lite, while it is suited to newcomers it hides many of the advance features that a lot of Linux users rely on, and usually someone who seeks out a Linux netbook knows there way around the operating system. There are also many free and better alternatives out there for hardware because they get updated all of the time, whereas Linpus does not seem to get updated that often.
All in all, I would not keep using Linpus Lite and instead use a better free alternative, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to comment below!