Zonbu

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Zonbu
Type Private Startup
Industry PC
Genre Computer
Founded 2006
Founders Grégoire Gentil and Alain Rossmann
Headquarters Palo Alto, California, USA
Products Zonbu Box and Subscription
Website Zonbu.com

Zonbu is a technology company that markets a computing platform which combines a web-centric service, a small form factor PC, and an open source based software architecture. Zonbu was founded by Alain Rossmann (previously Founder and CEO of Openwave) and Gregoire Gentil (previously co-founder of Twingo Systems).

Hardware[edit]

Zonbu Mini PC.

The first-generation Zonbox hardware was the eBox-4854[1] sold by DMP Electronics of Taiwan. Called the Zonbu Mini, it was a nettop computer measuring 6 ¾” × 4 ¾” × 2 ¼”. It is flash based, fanless, and thus effectively silent. The official specifications for the device in 2007 were:[2]

Disassembly by Zonbu owners has shown that the Zonbu includes options for internal expansion:[3]

Service[edit]

The Zonbu subscription plans[4] include online storage (using Amazon S3), automatic upgrades, online support and remote file access. The subscription service is promoted as reducing the hassle of typical computer maintenance tasks, such as hardware repair, software installation, updates and upgrades, and malicious software removal.

Software architecture[edit]

Zonbu disk architecture.

The Zonbu OS is a customized version of Linux based on the Gentoo distribution using the Xfce desktop environment. It is geared towards non-technical users, and the user interface focuses more on simplicity than advanced features.

The filesystem architecture combines a transparent overlay filesystem (pioneered by Linux Live Distributions) with an on-line backup service. User data is locally cached on Compact Flash Card, then transparently encrypted with 128-bit encryption and transferred to remote storage servers at Amazon S3.

Applications[edit]

Zonbu comes pre-loaded with a number of software applications.[5] These include the Firefox web browser, OpenOffice productivity suite and Skype IP phone service, and 30 casual games.

With the default OS, the user is not allowed to install any third-party software. The default set of applications is supposed to fit the needs of non-technical users or of a second home PC. However, Zonbu provides instructions to unlock the operating system and install additional software.[6] The procedure is technical and intended for a minority of users (Standard for many linux users, unlocking GRUB, root, and install with emerge/portage).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "DMP's ebox-4854". Archived from the original on August 31, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Zonbu: Good things come in small packages". Official website. Archived from the original on October 2, 2007. Retrieved October 16, 2011.  (Mini no longer on website)
  3. ^ "Zonbu Live enthusiast site". 
  4. ^ "Zonbu official website". Archived from the original on September 8, 2008. 
  5. ^ Lam, Brian. "22 Things to Know About the $99 Zonbu Linux PC". Archived from the original on May 20, 2011. 
  6. ^ Zonbu Documentation: developer_edition Archived February 2, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Notebook-style computing appliance runs Linux - News - Linux for Devices Archived February 20, 2009 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

Media[edit]