After my long (and generally happy) days with Linspire, I’ve finally decided to make the switch to Ubuntu Linux. What can I say? I’m a sucker for distributions, and having tried it a while back, then hearing how much it’s improved, I decided to take another shot I at it.
Man, am I ever glad I did.
Now, before I get started on my gushing, let’s get something straight: there was nothing wrong with Linspire. The distribution is generally clean, software is dirt-easy to install, and with CRN you get a super friendly UI and discounts on a lot of commercial software. Really, it is one of the best distributions to start with if you’re used to Windows, but want something in the Linux realm that “just works.” I highly recommend it to anyone. In fact, if you’ve never tried it, you can grab the Live Distro (as in “it runs from CD and doesn’t install on your computer”) here. (Note: Bittorrent is required for this download, so either grab yourself a Bittorrent client or Download Opera with Bittorrent support.)
With that said, up to now, I have found Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper Drake) to be quite possibly the best distribution I’ve ever used. (I take back anything bad I might have said about it.) It’s super easy to install and generally easy to run. I say “generally easy” because there were a couple of things I had to unlearn, relearn, or actually read parts of the help file in order for me to properly understand how to use it.
Sine I last used it, the distribution has improved ten-fold, with better integration with the Synaptic install package (which allows you to download and install just about any software you want by selecting it from a list), better helper applications, and tons of other great, make-my-life-easier features.
I won’t get into the details, but if you’re interested in trying out the most popular Linux distro out there (and for good reason), you can do the following:
- Download Ubuntu Here, or
- Get a FREE Ubuntu Installation CD, or
- Read up on it at DistroWatch.com, or
- Donate, or
- all of the above.
Now, once you get started (in fact, you can do this as the OS is installing, since you can run the OS, connect to the Internet and do your work — at the same time as it installs), make sure you read the recent Linux.com article titled Ten Tips for New Ubuntu Users, which outlines some of the more important things to learn when using Ubuntu. Most of the info there is usable to anyone, but some of the stuff is a bit advanced, and users who just want to get up and go can safely ignore it. (Adding users to the “sudo” group, for example.)
The distribution still has a ways to go, but it has already come far, and the future for it looks bright.