First thoughts on Ubuntu

I decided to install Linux Ubuntu a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been having an interesting learning experience ever since.

Ubuntu is currently the most popular Linux distribution, mostly because of the excellent support, and the strong community that has grown from that. It is also the only distribution primarily aimed at the Desktop market.

This, and the number of recommendations I had received, was one of the main reasons I decided to use it as my distribution for a final foray into Linux. You can find the webpage at:

I have used Linux (and FreeBSD) in the past, with the help of proficient friends. However, I’ve never managed to keep it running on my own. I’m also a keen gamer, and the lack of support for gaming has always put me off. Nevertheless, I decided to try for one last go.

The initial install is easy. I downloaded the Live CD iso from Windows, burned it to disk, and followed the instructions from the Ubuntu website. They even recommended a free CD burner with Infra Recorder.

The thing I love about the latest Live CD (for Hardy Heron, 8.04), is that the partitioner allows you to make space from existing partitions. So that if you have your Windows partition taking up all the space on your harddrive, you can just use an easy graphical bar to shove it over a bit, creating space where you can install Ubuntu. See my ‘How To’ on installing Ubuntu Linux for more information:

How To – Installing Ubuntu Linux

Once I’d set up the options, I went away to make a cup of tea, and when I came back, I had Linux!

A whole load of things worked straight out of the box; most importantly my wifi (so I had internet), but also sound, most of the applications I could want were there, the menus were well laid out and easy to use, and, apart from the ability to play games, I could have been very happy with this as an alternative to Linux.

However, that would have defeated the object, because (apart from the games) this would make my Linux Desktop almost exactly like my Windows Desktop, even down to appearance.

The great advantage of Linux is the ability to fiddle, to tinker, to change anything, and everything, about it, if you really wanted to.

The great disadvantage is the amount of trouble doing this can cause, as I have been finding out ever since…


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