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Joli OS – A Great Alternative to Windows

Joli OS – A Great Alternative to Windows

Illustration: Gordon McAlpin

If you’ve got a PC that’s ten years old or more, Windows Vista or 7 won’t run on it, and Windows XP just isn’t a modern operating system. Luckily, there’s an alternative OS out there designed for really old PCs, netbooks, student PCs, and so on. It’s called Joli OS. It’s cloud-based and very easy to use – reminding one of how an iPad screen looks. Because it is cloud-based, it requires the Internet to be running at all times, so you’ll want to run wired or wireless Internet to the machine.


Installing Joli OS is super easy. You have two options: you can run it alongside whatever version of Windows is on there, in order to switch between them, or you can get rid of Windows completely and just run Joli OS. Next week, I’ll be installing Joli OS on my son’s first PC.

As always when installing a new OS, be sure and back up all your files first.


To install alongside Windows, go here and click the leftmost download button. Run the installer and simply follow the instructions.


To install in place of Windows is a little trickier. You’ll need a PC with CD-burning software (Windows 7 has it built in) and a blank disc. Download the ISO via the rightmost download button here and burn it to disc, then reboot your old PC. Press F2 when it starts up to enter the BIOS, and change the boot order to boot from CD first. Save and exit, and the installer will run from disc.

This method can also be performed using a USB thumbdrive of at least 1 GB or larger. Check this page for instructions on how to do that.


Once Joli OS is installed, you’ll notice that it’s colorful and icon based, just like an iPad. You have quick links to things like a web browser and DropBox. And, if you drop files into DropBox from any other PC, they’ll automatically show up here. Joli OS is a simplified version of Linux that doesn’t require any technical know-how whatsoever … and it runs very fast on even the most ancient of PCs.

Good luck!

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