Jeremy Smith's blog

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Ubuntu

I have no "religious" ties to any piece of software or "software philosophy." Many think of me as an open source zealot, but I'm not. I think of software as nothing but tools, and I don't care how the hammer is made; it just needs to work for me. In a lot of situations, I tend to think of software as cars in that I like to be able to tinker with its innards, but it's not a make-or-break thing for me. Afterall, on my two desktops, I use Windows and OSX (epitomies of closed source systems); and I have impossibly high expectations. And, yes, I have read Mark Pilgrim's Freedom 0 and When the bough breaks; and yes, I agree with everything he says... to a point... I just want stuff that works – and Windows and OSX have always fulfilled that requirement for me and I have never been bitten by the data lockin problems that Mark has experienced (maybe I just don't generate a lot of locally stored data?).

So anyways, as I was saying, I use Windows on the desktop located in my office. But what I should be saying is "I used to use Windows on the desktop located in my office."

It finally came to the point where I was spending too much time grooming the tool rather than using it to get my stuff done. It was time for it to go, and go it did. I'm typing this post up via Ubuntu.

I'm going to follow this post up with some others such as "What Broke the Window's Back," "Why Ubuntu," "First N Things a New Ubuntu User Should Do," etc. If you are already a Ubuntu user and have any tips or tricks to dish out, please do (for example, how to make it not so ugly).

Comments

  1. gravatar

    Not so ugly? Install Kubuntu instead. You will love KDE's IO Slaves. Just open up Konqueror or any KDE application and type fish://jms18@blog.case.edu or sftp://jms18@blog.case.edu to open up files on remote *NIX file systems. Easy as cake.

  2. gravatar

    Is Kubuntu a separate distro or is it just KDE+Ubuntu? I think I've got gnome running right now.

  3. gravatar

    I was planning on setting up a linux box soon to mess around with it and get a server up and running for a new project.

    I had read some good things about SuSE...is there any reason why I should use Ubuntu or Lubuntu or any other distro over another?

  4. gravatar

    From what I understand, Kununtu is Ubuntu + KDE. I could be wrong.

    I just installed OpenSuSE on a new server. For first time Linux users, the Yast2 "Control Panel" is amazing. Hardened Linux users will scoff at any GUI to the config files, however.

    To answer Ben's question, some distros offer more than others. Some are designed for corporate use. Some are designed for simplicity. Some are designed for power users. For most, what it boils down to is support. Ubuntu has very good user support and support for lots of applications. Gentoo has some excellent user support as well, but not for the faint of heart because the *entire* operating system, including the kernel, is compiled from scratch. SuSE seems to be Ubuntu with an excellent config tool.

    With Xen available, I would just say install a distribution with support for Xen and install virtual machines and find your favorite one.

  5. gravatar

    I found this, HOWTO: Switching from Ubuntu to Kubuntu.

    I'm going to give it a shot because the GNOME/Nautilus stuff is for the birds.

  6. gravatar

    Kubuntu user here. I have been a kde user for years, on gentoo mostly. Switched to kubuntu because I got tired up compiling on my laptop.

    If I recall correctly, and it has been a while since I installed it, you have kubuntu-desktop which is a modified version of KDE. I guess I should say selected version.

    I ended up just apt-getting(is that a new verb?) all of the KDE stuff. You may run into some dependencies.

  7. gravatar

    Greg,

    Per your xen comment, and by pure coincidence, I am installing xen on my kubuntu laptop as we speak. Using the following howto:

    http://www.howtoforge.com/xen_3.0_ubuntu_dapper_drake

  8. gravatar

    Every few months I try out Ubunty/Suse/etc on my backup comp. And within a few days, I uninstall them. It's just to much effort to configure and get everything working.

    On Windows, wireless, media, networking, and printing just work. Even on Ubuntu, wireless still doesn't work on my laptop, and the insistence on not including mp3 codecs cuts a chunk out of media capabilities. Video is okay, but 3d graphics is a terror unless you use NVIDIA cards. Networking/ printing is just a mess on Linux in general, regardless of the distro. I'm aware that there are scripts to make things easier in Ubuntu, et al, but I don't need scripts like that on Windows to get the basic functionality for the stuff above.

    While it's certainly gone through significant improvements, the reason Linux hasn't taken off is *because* of the insistence on non-GUI configuration.

    It's not simply a matter of intimidating novice users; even techies who don't have the time would rather just do it with a few clicks.

    Until that can be addressed, Windows (and Mac) will remain on top of the market.

    Oh...and I recommend Blob Warz or Pingus if you're looking for some good Linux games.

  9. gravatar

    Every few months I try out Ubunty/Suse/etc on my backup comp. And within a few days, I uninstall them. It's just to much effort to configure and get everything working.

    On Windows, wireless, media, networking, and printing just work. Even on Ubuntu, wireless still doesn't work on my laptop, and the insistence on not including mp3 codecs cuts a chunk out of media capabilities. Video is okay, but 3d graphics is a terror unless you use NVIDIA cards. Networking/ printing is just a mess on Linux in general, regardless of the distro. I'm aware that there are scripts to make things easier in Ubuntu, et al, but I don't need scripts like that on Windows to get the basic functionality for the stuff above.

    While it's certainly gone through significant improvements, the reason Linux hasn't taken off is *because* of the insistence on non-GUI configuration.

    It's not simply a matter of intimidating novice users; even techies who don't have the time would rather just do it with a few clicks.

    Until that can be addressed, Windows (and Mac) will remain on top of the market.

    Oh...and I recommend Blob Warz or Pingus if you're looking for some good Linux games.

  10. gravatar

    Definitely check out Aiglx/compiz (or XGL/compiz). Since I discovered OpenGL compositing (and how easy it is to setup with Ubuntu), I rarely boot into XP anymore.

  11. gravatar

    To many 'buntu's for me!!

    Learned most of what little I know of Linux on U/Kubuntu. Got tired of the "fanboyism" from it.
    Who comes up with these names? Seriously.

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