After reading about Mark Pilgrim’s famous switch from Mac OS X to Ubuntu along with his list of must-use stuff, I installed Ubuntu Linux on my system (and removed Fedora Linux in the process…)

First impressions:

  • It is fast. Here’s where I say “Bye Bye Fedora”. Firefox runs smoothly whereas it used to crawl and cry on Fedora (I have a P3 667 MHz Intel machine)
  • The looks are great, especially the bootup screen. My non-techie cousin said “I thought you were starting up some game!”. That’s a good compliment.
  • The booting process is slow. It runs dosfsck, etc which slows down the process a lot.
  • The Add/Remove programs works like a charm. In Fedora, I had to manually update my ‘yum.conf’ for the repositories I needed. Here, I can select the software, and if the “Universe” repository is not enabled, it asks me whether I want to enable it, I click yes, and the rest is taken care of.
  • The printer configuration took just 20 seconds as opposed to more than 5 minutes previously in Fedora where I had to hunt for the right set of drivers and driver options
  • The red quit button at the top right portion of the screen is a nice touch
  • The documentation is excellent. Click on System -> Help -> System Documentation. Click on ‘Ubuntu Desktop Guide’ and start reading. For example, further click on ‘Common Tasks’ -> ‘Music’ and look under the section ‘Using your Ipod’, it clearly recommends how to use/install the “rhythmbox” and “gtkpod” software.
  • Finally a distro that my dad has started to use comfortably
  • EasyUbuntu is a must-use
  • UbuntuGuide.org is a must-read
  • The fact that it is a single-CD distro is both a boon and a bane. Boon because it is easier to give to others and use and is faster to install. Bane because anything else I want to install means a bandwidth hog, for example, any of the compile/build tools.
  • Is it true that Ubuntu has an Indian mirror? Somehow it seems to result in faster downloads.
  • The UbuntuOS blog and their podcast seem interesting, as well as the Unofficial Ubuntu blog
  • Hardcore users will like Planet Ubuntu
  • It’s surprising that I didn’t find many gripes with Ubuntu. Is it that “Desktop Linux” is finally coming of age or is it that the Ubuntu team have done a really good job that others haven’t been able to?

13 thoughts on “Ubuntu

  1. Yeah! Ubuntu rocks!

    Ubuntu is an excellent distro for most poeple (beginners and experts alike).
    Ubuntu has been my desktop os at home for more than an year, after a long relationship with Mepis :)
    Also, both Ubuntu and Mepis are a good choice for slightly older systems (P3 and above).

    I feel there is no reason for people to continue using Fedora unless you are living in a place where broadband is not available.

    Installing anything using YUM is such a pain. AND it is so damn slow.

    easy ubuntu is a nice touch. and its written in python :D
    But, the total downloads come upto ~110MB, which might be little too big to download over dial-up/limited broadband.

  2. @Pradeep : Yeah, I have a feeling that I’m going to stick with Ubuntu for a long time. The distro just “feels right”. EasyUbuntu downloads a lot but at least it is just a one-click thing!

    @Akshay : Agreed :)

  3. There is no Indian mirror. foobar.archive.ubuntu.com is just an alias for the main server unless there are local mirrors (tw, de, fr, etc.).

  4. You mentioned that you would have to have a rboadband connection to be able to install anything after the initial install. There is a project that is setting up a deb repo on a cd so that you can point your /etc/apt/source.list to it and install the apps that you have there. It isn’t the same as pointing to a live repo but if you have to set up a number of machines then it could be helpful.

    I would recommend using “aptitude install something” instead of “apt-get install something”. Aptitude does a better job of dependency checking and removal if you choose to uninstall at a later time.

    Another great site to check out is http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/

  5. I personally like the idea of having an easy to set-up linux, Has been doing it from RH-6.2 onwards, But I have a few things which unfortunately dont work and broadband is really costly stuff in India
    So I had to trow out ubuntu and install FC5

  6. I was on FC4 and quite happy with it but I switched to Kubuntu after reading this post and I am really glad that I did. The best part about ubuntu for me was the ease in getting the whatever applications I wanted. Synaptic rocks!

  7. Yes it does.

    Install real player 10.
    Select the songs to be played
    The player pops up.
    Right Click on the frame of the player
    Select “This Frame”
    Then Open “View Frame Source”
    Search for ‘.smil’ (not ‘blank.smil’)
    Copy and paste the URL to the Real Player’s “Open Location”

    Thats All

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