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My Ubuntu finale. What will I take away from it? September 18, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Interesting Reads, Opinions, Reviews.

Ok its been a month since I tried using Linux as my primary desktop.  It was a nice little ride and Linux definately has made some improvements and while Ubuntu may be the best Linux distribution out there I doubt it will make any serious strides against Windows Vista.  Ubuntu was the closest and possibly has the better chance.  With that said here have been my Ubuntu observations.

Ubuntu and Xubuntu are better than Kubuntu.  I dont know if its because the GNOME and GTK preferences but Kubuntu seems very unpolished, doesnt work correctly and is very tempremental with packages in Adept.  Adept, also for some reason breaks packages very easily.  So Ubuntu or Xubuntu have my votes as to what I will keep using for awhile.  In fact Im going to plug Xubuntu for a sec, if your machine is less than a 1 ghz Processor with less than 256 mb of RAM, Xubuntu is for you.  End plug

One of the problems I have with Ubuntu is its lack of stability in reference to Java apps.  It crashes constantly when running some Java apps and forces a hard reboot when running others.  Hardware support isnt bad especially with removable devices.  Even hardware that SLED 10 didnt pick up Ubuntu did.

The usability of Ubuntu is amazing.  Today my sister in law came over and wanted to use a computer to print out some address labels and check her e-mail.  I told her to go ahead and use it while I was working on a vehicle.  She asked me for the password and I told her, I forgot Linux was booted on the system when I went in to change it she was actualy using the system. I didnt have to instruct her I didnt have to tell her anything.  The layout was simple, Internet, Office, multimedia.  In fact she even commented the only thing missing was the iTunes music store.  This just proves that Linux yes, can be acceptable as a desktop OS since my sister in law is one of the most untechnical users I know.  If something goes wrong, well thats another story.  Also they should include tools like ndiswrapper and ndisgtk in the default install.
In some ways I liked the Synaptic/Adept system for installing packages.  Im not going to need all the packages on my desktop computer that I need on my laptop like wifi radar, Network manager etc.  As a developer though you will be glad to know that GCC and the other build essentials are on the CD just reinsert the install CD during an installed session.

What will I take away from this?  The fact Ubuntu is almost there.  Its a good, reliable system and I look forward to future releases.  Some people like Greg Kroah Hartman of Novell, RMS and others in the Linux comunity will do more damage to the reputation of Linux than any technical deficiency present in the system itself.  Ubuntu does a good job though of staying out of the political side of it, lets hope it stays that way.



1. Erik - September 21, 2006
2. Denton Thomas - March 3, 2007

I like your description of Xubuntu usuability (vs. fix-ability), and your directly addressing the challenges you faced with Linux. Good reading.

In your case, however, you didn’t really say what advantages persuaded you to stick with Vista – the advantages? Day-to-day, I don’t rely on Java softwae, so JRE crashes in Linux are unknown to me … perhaps this is more overwhelming that I can truly appreciate!

Frankly, I haven’t yet tried Vista. The more I read, the more I think I should … but, I dual-boot Xubuntu/XP, and I am leaning toward doing away with Windows altogether. I agree that Xu has its shortcomings, but it’s hard to pay for an upgrade in problems when I can get new crashes for free. 🙂

3. Neil Kelsey - June 20, 2008

I personally have xp, vista and ubuntu installed on my computer and pick to use ubuntu every time. Vista is bloated with unnecessary stuff I never use and I dont know how ubuntu have done it, but it is faster then vista by miles, vista is only any good if you have a top spec machine, and not your ordinary machine like mine …

pros – stable, simple easy to use … I havent had any crashes, its far more stable then xp or vista on a simple normal spec machine, so you wont need to upgrade, everything just works out the box, audio, video etc etc and it just goes and gets the codecs it needs, brilliant! if you have a problem, google it, so many brilliant forums, and if you leave a post its usually answered in minuets! I’d say that equates to better customer support then windows!!!!!!!!

cons of ubuntu – The main one, software support, most of the time you can get a free linux version of software, but things like photoshop of finale music notation software, theres nothing that quite lives up to the same standards, but you can get wine to run windows programs on linux so this is one saving grace.

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