Sunday, January 02, 2011

Linux Ubuntu

I am seriously thinking of making the switch from Windows to one of the Linux Operating Systems. The two most popular Linux systems are Fedora, and Ubuntu. I chose Ubuntu because one review I read said it is slightly more user friendly. Plus Ubuntu has a netbook version. And you can load Ubuntu onto a USB drive, and test it out by booting your computer from the USB. I tried that for a few days, then I went ahead and installed it beside my Windows XP.

Now it's been about a week and I'm thinking of removing Windows. Ubuntu is so much better in a lot of ways. For the most part, generic versions of all the most common drivers are built into the OS, so you don't need a hard-to-find manufacturers driver for each and every device in your system.

No anti virus program needed, (at least no one is telling me I need one.) No tons of apps running in the background, (look in your system tray, by the clock in the lower right corner of your screen.) All those icons show SOME of the programs running in the backgound that are consuming your computers resources, and most of them you aren't using and your computer doesn't need.

Another thing I mentioned before is Windows updates pisses me off. I install them after being harassed, Then I start getting harassed to install more as soon as I get done. Ubuntu releases updates every six months. I can handle that.

Plus there are tons of free programs available, for almost everything. I got a most excellent astronomy program. There is Open Office, which handles all Microsoft Office programs, free and built in.

I don't claim to know it all, I have barely seen the tip of the iceberg. I have a problem where I have to logon when the computer boots, and I have all the settings I can find set for "do not ask for password", but it still asks. I'll find it.

Most of the programs install the same way you are familiar with, click the install file. But I have one program, that I need to install by "running a terminal" which I haven't figured out how to do yet.

Windows is super screwed up, I think everyone agrees. Windows 2000 was the best Windows ever released, I don't care what anybody says. Windows XP almost was as good, and the most acclaimed, but you inexplicably have to reboot XP every week or so. (Windows 2000 would run forever and never need a reboot). Windows Vista sucks, non usable in general and NOT approved for business. (I got rid of Vista immediately, and went back to XP.)

We got ripped off being forced to buy Vista, now Vistas flaws pressure us to spend more buying Windows 7. How much is Windows 7? Too freakin much.

The problems I have with Ubuntu are minor, caused by me not knowing the system yet. Overall, Ubuntu is very good and it's free! Since I installed it, I haven't missed Windows. I have never yet had to go to a Windows computer to do something I couldn't do with Ubuntu.

Labels: , ,


Blogger jks said...

Ubuntu is the right choice in my opinion. Fast, stable, not too many new releases to deal with, no surprises. I use it in situations where I don't want any problems. And, as you say, bootable from anything, including over the network.

Debian is an alternative and much of Ubuntu is based on it. Debian seems to get new features more quickly and I've had to use it when it does something Ubuntu doesn't.

Fedora I don't like, although that might not be fair. We run a very old distribution at work.

As much as I hate it I still have to keep Windows on one machine for all those programs that will never run on anything else. Sad, but true.

OpenOffice is great but you have to be careful about one thing. Don't edit and save Microsoft file formats directly (.xls, .doc etc.) You can start by opening a file in these formats, but then immediately save them to a new file in an OpenOffice format (.ods, .odt) When I tried editing, saving and reopening MS files they would get corrupted almost immediately. When the time comes to send your work to someone else who uses MS Office you can export a copy of your OpenOffice document as a .xls or .doc file. So no problem exchanging work with MS Office users. Just don't edit and save the MS files yourself.

Good luck with all this.

January 02, 2011 10:55 AM  
Blogger Happy Days said...

I've never heard of Ubuntu. I have XP Professional. I still would reccomend some kind of anti-viral or spyware. I have Malwarebytes. It does a great job. Also have a spywareBlaster and a CCleaner. Keep us all informed. Might be something some of us might want....debbie

January 02, 2011 5:06 PM  
OpenID proletariat said...

Yes, in Ubuntu I book up click wireless icon, input ssid and then its automatic from then on. In W7 I was messing around for 45 minutes to get it to work. Had to create a home network each time and go into advanced for put in WPA SSID.

Anti virus may be use as a Windows courtesy if you download alot. Won't effect you any but you don't want to pass them on via sharing.

January 02, 2011 9:12 PM  
Blogger YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

I'd be afraid to change anything for fear of fucking it up..

January 02, 2011 9:57 PM  
Blogger PV said...

@jks: Hmmm, that's interesting. I've never had any issues with saving new documents in Microsoft Office file formats in That said, do be careful when editing and/or saving in the post-2007 Microsoft Office file formats - that is, the new OOXML ones, like DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX. No matter what the OO.o developers say, OO.o simply isn't fully compatible with those formats, and the issues could range from slight formatting errors to more major things like corrupted file contents.
@Happy Days: You should definitely try Ubuntu, unless you run software on Microsoft Windows XP for which it is certain that there is no suitable alternative on Ubuntu. The issue I have with antivirus software is that none of them are perfect, meaning no matter how careful a user is, a Microsoft Windows (especially XP) installation is bound to get infected or even just slow down and grind to a halt. The other issue is that they bog down the system by having to always run in the background (at risk of an infected system), further contributing to the slowdown issue.
@proletariat: Your last statement is true, and I'm guilty of not following that as well. On Linux, it certainly isn't necessary to run antivirus programs constantly in the background, so I would only use it when needed, meaning I'd really just get complacent and never be willing enough to actually use it.
@YELLOWDOG GRANNY: I suppose in a sense, the devil you know is better than something you don't. Then again, you really won't have anything to lose by trying Ubuntu; in fact, you can try it via live media without messing with your installed system in any way, and even if you choose not to install Ubuntu, it's a great rescue system as well as a good way to browse and do things like online banking with full security, in that once you shut down a live medium, all history, cookies, and related things are totally erased. Anyway, you should certainly try it some time; you won't regret it.
Happy Linuxing to all!

January 02, 2011 10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mark,

Congratulations on switching to Ubuntu. Wish you a stable and bug-free experience. :D

In your post you mentioned,
>Most of the programs install the same way you are familiar with, click the install file.

I think you've got it slightly wrong here. You don't need to download installation files to install programs, you can just go to Applications > Ubuntu Software Center, search for the program you want, and install it (kind of like app store in iPhone).

PS: Can you mention the name of the application that required the command line to install? Chances are that it is already available in the Ubuntu Software center, and you don't need to enter any commands.

Anonymous Coward

January 03, 2011 12:22 AM  
Blogger Mechatotoro said...

Congratulations on your potential migration: I migrated to Linux (Mandriva) two years ago and I'm as happy as a clam. However, I feel one has to be very honest. You must be aware of one detail before migrating to Ubuntu for good: even though Ubuntu is promoted as a user-friendly Linux distribution, Ubuntu releases are not as stable as other Linux releases (they are based on Debian unstable). That means that sometimes things break and you need to fix them in a way that many Windows users find scary or uncomfortable (the terminal). I've also tested many Linux distributions and Ubuntu was the one that crashed the most because it is packed with the newest software packages, but not necessarily with stability. I'm not saying that to bash Ubuntu or to scare you away, but you must be informed to make a good choice and stick to it. Linux is a journey of learning and I have seen that some distributions work better than others on certain hardware. If you are happy with Ubuntu, good! But, if your Ubuntu love grows sour, remember to try other distros.

January 03, 2011 12:35 AM  
OpenID llewton said...

First of all, welcome :) and second, do yourself a favor and if you like Ubuntu, try its improved version, Mint

I'm a Debian user so I don't care either way, but everyone says and I agree that Mint, while based on Ubuntu, is simply better.

January 03, 2011 5:25 AM  
Blogger redgirl said...

i use the on button and just hope and pray that whatever is on my computer works lol

January 03, 2011 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To login automatically:
Go to System -> Administration -> Login Window. There will an option to choose a user to automatically to login. Doing this can open to possible issues as this automatically logs in as that user, especially if that user the "admin user", the first created at install.

January 03, 2011 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations. About the password at login time: Enable Autologin for your user in the login manager. But be sure that you are the only one with access to your machine if you do that, unless you don't care or have nothing important on there. There is a reason for passwords you know.

January 03, 2011 11:24 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

I've been using ubuntu on the desktop at work since early 2008 and have been very happy with it. Openoffice is fine for most scenarios, but for 100% compatibility with our elaborately formatted msoffice docs, and the need to work with visio files, I run ms office under linux. This is made possible by an app called crossover office - it's the best $39 I ever spent.

January 03, 2011 2:13 PM  
OpenID darwinsurvivor said...

I do hope you are planning on updating more than once every 6 months. The 6 month updates are equivalent to different versions of windows (xp -> vista -> 7). There are still regular updates that come out almost daily that you should be installing. Don't worry, very few of these updates will require (or even request) a restart.

Kernel updates are the only update that require a restart. If you upgrade the X server or your graphics driver you will need to log out and then log back in before the changes take affect. Other than that, just run the upgrade and whatever software is being upgraded (firefox, openoffice, etc) will show it's upgraded version then next time you start that application.

January 03, 2011 7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I switched from Windows to Ubuntu about 3 years ago and never looked back.

January 03, 2011 9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try Linux Mint 10. It's based on Ubuntu 10.10. Linux Mint is what Ubuntu should be. :)

January 03, 2011 11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been using Ubuntu at home for about three years now. It does what I need it to do. I agree with the above comments that the six month update cycle you refer to is actually an upgrade cycle. Ubuntu updates bug fixes and minor improvements on no set schedule. (Sometimes hourly). I also agree that LinuxMint is a slightly better distro for beginners. I may be changing to Mint in the future as Ubuntu lately seems to make changes with each release that I have to go and change back to the way that they worked previously.

January 04, 2011 3:03 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home