Monday, August 9, 2010

Installing Jolicloud 1.0 on a Macbook

As of late, I have gained an interest in Cloud OSes.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, Cloud OSes, from my understanding, deliver a very thin desktop OS that largely lives and acts in the Could (AKA the Internet).  Two examples of such an OS are Google Chrome OS and jolicloud.  For a good introduction video on the topic, you can watch this video

 Now, for the time being, Chrome OS is in its very early stages, so much so that it doesn't really have a formal release just yet.  So, I decided to take jolicloud for a test drive.  Of course, I don't have a netbook, which is what it's designed for, so I worked my way through installing this thing on my 3-year-old white Macbook.

So, for anyone else interested in installing jolicloud on a Macbook, these are the steps I took:
1) Use Bootcamp Assistant (located under Applications -> Utilities) to create a partition for jolicloud.  I made mine about 8GB, but you could get by with much less.
2) Install rEFIt (available here).  This is basically a boot menu that makes installing (and subsequently launching) jolicloud a bit easier.  Make sure you run the enable script mentioned in the install documentation, or you'll never see the boot menu.  If you've done everything up to this point, you should see the rERIt boot menu when you reboot your Mac.
3) Burn the jolicloud ISO (available here) to a CD.  (Note: I tried using a USB thumb drive for this portion, but I couldn't get my Mac to detect it).
4) Insert the CD and reboot your Mac.
5) You should see a little penguin icon next to your Mac partition in the Boot Menu -- go for the penguin!
6) At that point you should be able to follow the installer -- it's basically your typical Linux installer.

Once installed, you'll probably want to change a couple of things immediately:
1) Go into the device settings/control panel and update your keyboard settings.  You'll want to make sure that it's set to the appropriate Mac keyboard
2) In that same area, update your mouse/accessibility settings so that long-clicking on something = right-clicking.  Unfortunately, with only one mouse button, this was the only way I could figure out how to get right-clicking to function.

I haven't had much time to play around with the OS itself yet -- but if you have any tips or suggestions, I'd be glad to hear them.