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I had my first go on Linux many many years ago when Suse Linux was flaunting itself as a Windows beater. Since then Suse disappeared into obscurity and Ubuntu has come out of the shadows. Nowadays nobody really chooses an operating system: they are given one with their system. However if like me you are keen to build your own PC, then choosing your own operating system can be both fun and rewarding.
Linux isn't everyones cup of tea and the reason is that in the past it has been more technical, even geeky. Ubuntu addresses these concerns with an easy to install and easy to use operating system; almost Windows-like. Hell you can even install it side-by-side Windows. However if you are a little tentative, there is always the virtualbox route.
The installation process which is the first critical step is made very user friendly. In the past you would need to know quite a few linux shell commands in order just to get through this process. Ubuntu has a familiar Yes/No process as is customary on any Windows installation. In fact, dare I say Ubuntu 10.10 has a far easy to use installer than Windows.
Everything in Ubuntu seems to work straight from the disc without needing to figure out what driver is needed and where to get them. So once the installation process is complete and you load up Ubuntu for the first time, you will notice how fast it seems to load compared to your typical Windows Vista or even Windows 7.
With Ubuntu 10.10 you get a variety of applications including Firefox as your web browser, OpenOffice for your word processing and more, a torrent application for any torrenting you may do, media player, image viewer, email, multi-messenger (AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ in one!), games and further you can download more free software from the Canonical source. The library consists of a wide variety of applications that one can expect on Windows - such as VLC media player. There is even GIMP! a photoshop like image processing application as well as INK a vector processing application - both of which are really powerful and absolutely free.
What I should mention however is that be very careful not to use the latest and greatest graphics card as most likely there will be some issue with the drivers - especially ATi cards. I found most nVidia cards are well supported however for example a ATi HD 6850 is hell to get drivers installed and working.
That aside, everything else works from the get go so compatibility is excellent. If you really want to try Linux for the first time or are generally curious, give Ubuntu 10.10 a go and I am sure you may end up liking it.
I have been toying with different flavours of Linux for a couple of years now, but I always ended up going back to Windows. Why? Because as much of a geek as I am, I want my computer to 'just work'. Well, finally Ubuntu has matured to the point where it does this, and boy more. Too lazy to read the full review? Well here's why:
1. It Installs easily - You can install it as a windows program and then if you dont like it simply un-install it from windows.
2. It all Works - Graphics,Wireless,Video,Music - it all pretty much worked 'out of the box' and what wasn't enable d as standard because of Licensing laws could be installed easily with a one click install.
3. It looks amazing - the graphics are amazing and everything is of course customisable.
4. You can download extra software with confidence from the Ubuntu Software Centre - FREE!!!
5. Its much more virus resistant than windows.
6. It much less resource heavy than windows - when you start up you are only using 400-500meg of your precious ram, not like windows 7 that sits at 800-900meg.
7. You can mount(load) windows partitions at boot - without having to first have a computer science degree!see down the bottom for details.
Want to know more? read on...
--- Installed applications ---
Internet - Firefox
Mail - Evolution Mail
Music - Rhythmbox
Video - Movie Player
Office - Open Office
Photo Manager - Shotwell
Plus many more....
You can get Ubuntu direct from their website, either as a direct download, or downloaded via a torrent. I chose the direct download and this completed very quickly on my system.
If you are new to Linux, I would recommend downloading the Ubuntu installer for windows from their website and installing Ubuntu as a application for windows. Its very easy, even my dad should be able to do it.If you know what do are doing or want to install Ubuntu without windows like a true Linux disciple, then simply burn the Ubuntu image to a CD and reboot your system. The Cd will load the Ubuntu Live system, where you csan play around and get a feel for it, and then install using the Graphical installer. This is a fairly straightforward process, and you are presented with the usual options of formatting partitions. The installation itself took 30 minutes on my newish machine.
My system boots in 22seconds, so nice and quick!
Here is a great thing about Ubuntu. You can install things easily,confidently ad and spyware free, and for free - all from a 'one-click' button! just go to the Ubuntu software centre and choose your category and away you go!
As for stuff already on there, you have the brilliant open office, basically it does the same as Microsoft office without the pretty buttons and colours that were designed to make it easier for a 2 year old to use.
This is one area where you have to be careful. Ubuntu still has limited support for some manufacturers (especially lexmark) so if you are going to be printing check you have a linux compatible printer - or go buy one. Otherwise you will have to boot back into windows every time you want to boot.
Gaming and Graphics:
The ATI propriety drivers are not installed by default - but they are available as a one click install and the Catalyst control centre (for those with with ATI graphics cars) works straight off!
As with any linux distro it is infinitely customisable - if you are into eyecandy I would recommend you have a look at macbuntu - a mac skin for ubuntu - its pretty easy to install (some terminal commands but not too hard) and looks awesome.
This is an awesome operating system, that has finally come of age. Heartily recommended.
golferinfr's Full Review: DVDxDVD Ubuntu 10.10, 4-Disks DVD Installation and...
I was on a website called Tagged.com two months and as I was sending and inner-site email I heard it. My disc's were going crazy in my hard-drive and no signal from Norton 360 Anti-Virus software I didn't didn't get to my computer turn off button in time, the black command prompt boxes were popping up erasing all my data, 40 years of pictures and all of my music that I download over the years. Gone !! I was so mad I could of knocked out Floyd Mayweather with one punch. I tried to reboot it, nothing, safe mode, nothing. The error came up "No Start up Configuration Files". I tried F-10 and that just made it worst and I had no back up CD for this computer. What happened was a virus hit my computer and me trying to fix it erased the memory tattoo for which the Motherboard recognizes the the hard drive.
I went to my work computer and went online and I was on C-Net.com and I seen a public ad asking if I was tired of getting viruses. I clicked on it and I read the promotions for this Ubuntu 10.10 program supported by Linux. So I downloaded the program on my disc burner and while I was doing that I did a DOD erase on my computer hard drive. I took a image of the hard drive first and see if I could save any files, I couldn't. Then I did a verify check to see if the hard drive had any skips or bad sectors and it came back clean..Whew !!
I installed this Ubuntu Operating System and did all the usual requirements like my name and registrations. Then came setting up my user profile, this is fairly easy but this program has protocols like password recognition when starting a new program. I had to do this a lot, but I felt safe for once, because some of the programs you have to Archive Manager to enlist these programs. I am far from a computer geek, I'm more of a Novice when it comes to learning. It takes me a couple times before I hit myself upside the head and say, Dumbo this is the third time you tried running it this way and it's not working. I downloaded Mozilla/Firefox as my browser and I started checking out the operating system.
Accessories, contains calculator, disk analyzer, print jobs manager, take a screen shot (webcam), text editor, and tomboy notes. Unlike Windows where everything is at the start button, these operating system programs are on the top left of your monitor. Games, Solitaire, Gbrainy, Mines, Quadrapassel, and Sudoku. Graphics, I just added Shotwell Photo Manager and my scanner to upload and scan all my photos again. Office, comes with a dictionary and I put Office.org on it just in case I need to read a PDF file and other office utensils. Sound and Video, contains Brareso Disc Burner, movie player in which I watched Expendables on it, came out great. Pitivi movie editor for your video camcorders or webcam or plain movie editor, Rhythm music player, and a sound recorder for recorded messages for your emails, movies, etc..
There are a total of 1,293 programs you download from their library.
Places is the next category that caters to your computers core. These sub-places are, Home Folder, your Desktop, Documents folder, music, pictures, videos. Then your computer with each drive shown, followed by your network, connect to server, recent documents and search for files.
System is the final monitor desktop category and it pertains to, Preferences just like to Windows users it's the Control Panel for this Ubuntu/Linux Operating System. Next is Administration, this has all your tools, drivers and system coordinateness in it like system testing and utility tools. The final two is Help and Support with email addresses or online help and the final subject is all "About Ubuntu". This is where I suggest you go to first before you start uploading and downloading your needs. They let you know that they have updates and that every 6 months they fully update their system.
Downloading your favorite programs. See if they come in Linux programs, if not you can work your way through Linux's programs that thread into most programs. I have 2 ways of getting on Yahoo Messenger the first downloading YM 1.5 for Linux and the easier route and more compatible is a program named Pidgin which lets me work through Windows Messenger, Yahoo, AIM, Google Talk, Jabber and MSN.
Like I said I downloaded Mozilla/Firefox to get started, then I added Google Chrome so I can access my Google AdSense account and my Google Gmail. Scanning and downloading pictures can be a little struggle. The photo's I had on disc went through 3 stages before they appeared on my monitor, they saw the image, took the code for that image, then made the image appear. As I'm typing this, I went on Google and came on here and with Windows I used to have to do spell check after I wrote the review, but as I'm writing now spell check comes on automatically after every mis-spelled word. Let me reiterate by saying that on your major programs that you download you will have to go through your own security to be able to run these programs.
One thing I have to say is, on this program there is Microsoft Compatibility program where you can use some of their programs. I haven't tried it yet and probably will not because then your more prone to their viruses again. So I'm going to play it safe and see how much and far this operating system will let me take them. I down loaded some music and sounded okay, but I'm going to find a Linux equalizer tomorrow to make the music sound fuller. One other thing, if you download this program, everything is turned off. Music is on Mute and you have to turn it off to hear your tunes. As you go through the list of programs, you have to click on them to turn them on or download them from Ubuntu zip file log. With just my photos and the Operating System it took up 4 giga bytes out of my hard drive leaving me plenty of room for my other music and things to find in Linux Land.
Updates are everyweeek on Wednesday.
Overall this is one sweet alternative to Windows. Even though you don't have the full luxuries as you do on a Windows Operating System, catching a virus on this Ubuntu/Linux OS is at a minimal. Once you see how things are put into their own perspective here, your computing fun, work, or play will become easier, believe me, everyday is a new experience.
Thanks for reading !!!!
This is my original work from Epinions.com and Triond.com