Switching to Ubuntu

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:

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.

Finally, remember: Ubuntu is not just a Linux distribution, it’s a philosophy.

3 thoughts on “Switching to Ubuntu

  1. This guy wrote a rather good account of his experiences using Ubuntu instead of Windows. Overall positive, although you’ll see where most people will likely trip.

    http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=business06_june27_2006

    If you still haven’t tried Ubuntu, try it out! Heck, it comes by default in a LiveCD version, so there’s no installing involved. You just burn the ISO, reboot the computer and you’re set to go. Not many brains necessary.

  2. Here’s yet another link, via Linux.com, about configuring the firewall:

    Frankly, I’m glad that the default install doesn’t set up a firewall. Most of my computers live behind a firewall at all times anyway, and I’ve always been annoyed by installers that demand I deal with firewall questions when I’ve already got the situation well in hand. If I want a firewall on a machine, I can set one up on my own. Since Ubuntu is, in part, aimed at corporate desktops, a firewall is unnecessary for many installations. But if an Ubuntu desktop is your sole machine that connects directly to the Internet, then it’s a good idea to configure one.

    Read the rest of the artcle at Linux.com.

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