What about Ubuntu?

It was commented that I try Ubuntu. I did, and I still use it on occasion. The laptop I have is a Dell 1505N, came pre-installed with Ubuntu 7.04, and I have dual-boot setup with XP. Why dual boot?

I ran with the Apple crew for almost a year, and from my earlier post, it got sluggish, slow, and outdated too quickly, so I bought into the Ubuntu hype. I wasn’t disappointed. The software runs great. Installs are as easy as a couple of clicks, and damn-near everything on it is customizable. The problem with it lies in the compatibility.

Windows has been around forever. Apple came into main popularity with the iPod, and Linux…well, you can’t just go into any store and buy Linux software, and that’s the problem.

Wine, a windows compatibility layer for running windows programs, is just shy of it’s first actual release candidate…RC-1. It’s been in a beta status for as long as I can remember (running wine under Redhat back in 96) but only recently has it been really good. Most games run on it now, and even some of the intensive ones are in platinum status (you can check which ones work at http://appdb.winehq.org/. That takes care of running my games. :)

My problem with Ubuntu, is that it isn’t Microsoft or Apple, and thus there aren’t any Linux stores. The reason is that there are over 100 different variations of Linux: Ubuntu, Redhat, Mandrake, Fedora, etc. Debian, which Ubuntu is based, is even different from Ubuntu. How can a store cater to all the different distributions? You can’t. The fix to this, is that there are any number of programs made to replace their Windows counterparts. Open Office.org runs GREAT with Office documents. Gimp is a very close representation of Photoshop. Both of these have versions for all 3 major OS’s, and I use them on each…they’re that good. And did I mention free? All programs for Linux are FREE! (thanks in part to the GNU/GPL free software license).

Linux and all of it’s programs are made for free distribution, with programs that are free. No charge, no shareware/freeware licenses to buy. No cost whatsoever…for the end user. Obviously these guys have to make money, and the sponsor of Ubuntu, Canonical, makes their money from their commercial support contracts and engineering services to customers all over the world. This support pays for the development, and we reap the benefits.

Yes, Linux is free software. Yes, it’s came a LONG way from a command-prompt interface for installing and running programs even though I still find myself going into the shell to install stuff because it’s what I’m used to. But it’s just not mainstream enough.

The problem with Apple, it only works on it’s hardware.

The problem with Microsoft, works on everything, and because of that, it is hacked, laden with viruses, etc.

The problem with Linux, which one do I choose?

Today’s world of computing allows one to enjoy ALL aspects of computing from 3 different OS’s, and for us geeks, playing with a new version of Linux every couple of months is just what I asked for. Personally though, I prefer 7.04. I’ve got it just where I want it.

“apt-get install FTW”

3 Responses to “What about Ubuntu?”

  1. > All programs for Linux are FREE!

    That’s not true. There is quite a bit of commercial software, especially in the server-sides of things but there’s also a growing market for commercial desktop apps.

    I’m a Hardy Heron user and I don’t see this trend as an issue. The more companies that make their games and apps natively available on Linux, the more people can transition over and then more companies will develop for Linux. It’s a vicious circle that, given enough users, results in better software (both free and otherwise) for all Linux users.

  2. Linux isn’t mainstream enough.
    Windows is too mainstream.

    Personal taste is just that – personal.
    But what exactly are you looking for?

    -lefty
    ThermionicEmissions

  3. mordok33 Says:

    I love Ubuntu Linux because it has allowed me to move away from Microsoft who thinks they own the world.

    I don’t love it because it still lacks the ability to us proven Windows programs even with such programs like “Wine.” Most Linux programs are well written but more than a small amount of those programs still lack that special quality expected from programs.

    It has come a long ways but until software companies stop being “afraid of Microsoft,” Linux in what ever form, will never truly become “main stream.”

    I can’t wait for that day so I can truly become a Linux only user.

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