I can say that Linux on netbook is gaining momentum right now contrary to what others believe. Just take a look at the growing number of Linux distributions that are optimized for netbooks so that you will know what I mean.
For those of you who are interested, I've compiled a list of well-known, netbook-oriented Linux distributions. If you have something to add, please do so via comment later on. So here's the list already:
Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR)
Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) is a Canonical-sponsored netbook-optimized Linux distribution that is (of course) based on Ubuntu. It has been available since Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron". UNR is an optional preinstalled operating system (OS) on some netbooks such as Dell Inspiron Mini 10v and the Toshiba NB100, and also runs on popular models such as the Acer Aspire One and the ASUS Eee PC. Canonical has collaborated with Intel and is working with a number of OEM's to deliver Ubuntu on netbooks in retail. All of the initial Ubuntu Netbook remixes combine optimizations from the Moblin project for Intel Atom processors.
More about Ubuntu Netbook Remix HERE.
Moblin (Mobile Linux) is built around the Intel Atom processor with current builds designed to minimize boot times and power consumption. The netbook/desktop version of Moblin currently supports other chipsets based on the SSSE3 instruction set, such as the Core2 and some Celeron processors. Products built around Moblin 2 include a Foxconn netbook and an InvenTech smartphone. Acer has also announced the replacement of Linpus Linux with Moblin on their Acer Aspire netbooks. More recently, Dell began accepting orders for its Ubuntu Moblin Remix. Mandriva has started to offer Moblin's v2 version to all Mandriva distribution and netbook owners.
More about Moblin HERE
Easypeasy (formerly Ubuntu Eee) is one of the many netbook distros that is based on Ubuntu. It is known to offer proprietary software instead of free and open source software alternatives (e.g. Skype instead of Ekiga) for functionality reasons according to its developers. Easypeasy is specially designed to work well with Asus EeePCs but its most recent versions are known to support other brands of netbooks.
More about Easypeasy HERE
Eebuntu is originally made for Asus Eeepc series of netbooks and works out of the box on ASUS Eee PC 700, 701, 900, 900A, 901, 904HD, 1000, 1000H, 1000HA, 1000HD and 1000HE. However, other nebooks such as the Samsung NC10, Acer Aspire One, and Dell Mini's are supported but with minor issues. Eeebuntu comes in 4 variations: Standard, NBR, BASE and LXDE.
More about Eeebuntu HERE
Linux4One is an Ubuntu based Linux distribution that is specifically designed to offer out-of-the-box functionality for the Acer Aspire One series of netbooks. To achieve this, it incorporates a customized Linux and appropriate drivers, as well as a number of tweaks to system files to improve performance. Linux4One comes in two flavors: The "Standard" release that uses the GNOME environment, and the "Lightweight" version that uses LXDE.
More about Linux4One HERE
CrunchEee is a special version of CrunchBang Linux that's developed for the Asus Eee PC. It is quite similar to that "Lite" edition of CrunchBang, but it includes a full suite of Internet applications and an Eee PC specific Linux Kernel and scripts. Some of the applications installed by default on Crunchee are Transmission, Firefox, VLC, Pidgin, and many more.
More about Cruncheee HERE
Kuki Linux is a lightweight Ubuntu based distribution that was developed as an alternative for the Fedora based Linpus OS, which was bundled with the Aspire One. Its main goal is to give users the ability to install an operating system that will be fully hardware compatible with the Acer Aspire One out of the box. Kuki Linux uses Xfce as its default desktop environment.
More about Kuki Linux HERE
Linpus Linux Lite
Linpus Linux Lite is the faster and slimmer version of Linpus Linux and fully supports Acer Aspire One and Northtec Gecko netbooks. Take note that the Linpus system contains not only the free and open source operating system, but also Acer-specific shareware. The fact that the Acer distribution contains this software that is not available in source code prevents the system from being considered a fully free operating system.
More about Linpus Linux Lite HERE
Jolicloud (currently in development and alpha testing) is built upon Debian and Ubuntu 9.04. It utilizes Mozilla's Prism Prism-based packages and Canonical's Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) to deliver a Web-centric Linux environment that is very user-friendly. Jolicloud is designed to run on relatively low-powered netbook computers and claimed to support all the major netbook manufacturers such as Asus, Acer, Dell, MSI and Samsung.
More about Jolicloud HERE
Google Chrome OS
Though the stable release version of Google Chrome OS will not come out until the second half of 2010, it is showing early signs of someday dominating the netbook market. As demonstrated at a November 19, 2009 news conference, Chrome OS closely resembled the Chrome browser, but with tabs for frequently used Web-based applications.
More about Google Chrome OS HERE
You may also like reading our previous post about optimizing GNOME for netbook display.