View Full Version : Ubuntu Linux

Chuck Wintle
05-19-2007, 11:34 AM
Ok I just installed Ubuntu version 7.04 and its up and running. I like it so far except that the learning curve is steep. Years of using MS windows, which does it all, has not left me with the skill set to quickly master the intricacies of linux, but it is progressing. Who out there is using Linux? And what opinions do you have of it so far? :)

Burt Alcantara
05-19-2007, 1:50 PM
I switched after reading a number of articles comparing Vista to Linux (specifically Ubuntu), all saying that Linux was hands down the better deal.

I've been using Windows2000 since it came out and never upgraded to XP. Reason being "if it ain't broke the don't fix it." Now, with Vista, to run the software an investment in hardware is required. In some cases, this hardware means a new computer.

I don't like ANYONE telling me to buy a new computer to run an OS. Support for W2k is virtually non-existant. Eventually, it will be deprecated and an upgrade, both hardware and software will be essential in order to be able to turn on a computer.

I tried Ubuntu just on a whim. I've tried other distros over the years but never found one that would do what I do in Windows.

I've used OpenSource software for a while and keep looking for more. Once I made the switch, this was no longer an issue. There is terrific support for this OS.

It doesn't get viruses because there are no .com, .bat, .exe and other vulnerable softwares. It has no root to attack.
It is so free that you can get a CD absolutely free, including shipping. Total cost? $0.00.
The Ubuntu support community is huge with over 200k users. No flamers here.
Huge selection of excellent software - music players, video/dvd/cd players galore, the best office suite - OpenOffice -- free. I"ve used this software for about 4 years in Windows, not wanting to pay for every upgrade. OpenOffice will update itself transparently (if you desire) so no fees for upgrades.
It doesn't require the latest whiz-bang computer. It will run on old 386 machines. It will run on mainframes. There are no memory limitations. If fact you can install it on a USB thumb card and boot any machine from the card.

Being no expert here, google ubuntu and see for yourself. Ubuntu can be downloaded and run from a LiveCD. This means you can run the OS from a CD without installing it. Excellent way to try it out.

BUT...as Charles said, it is a steep learning curve. Installing software can be a simple click but more likely requiring opening a terminal any typing things like: sudo apt-get install <software>. Software comes in packages. There is no setup.exe (which is a major source of Trojans). You must install libraries which are usually not to obvious. Getting sound and video to work can be (very) challenging.

I tired it and liked it. I don't boot Windows at all. I can access Windows data by opening the NTFS partition and grabbing anything I want (not executable programs).

As you see, I like Ubuntu and eagerly invite you to try it. Don't expect miracles right away. If you put time into it you may find yourself in a whole new world.


Ed Falis
05-19-2007, 1:54 PM
Hi Charles,

I've been using various Linux distributions for years. Ubuntu seems pretty refined and well thought-out for newbies. Don't overlook the program it supplies (synaptic?) for getting software (as well as the update manager). There is an incredible amount of software out there that you won't have to pay for.

If you're a user of MS Office, one of the first things you'll want to make sure you have is OpenOffice (I suspect it comes with the distribution when it's installed). For retouching photos, check out the GIMP. Music and DVD players are probably already installed.

Enjoy the adventure. If it's all working out of the box without having to mess around with hardware drivers, you're in good shape. Eventually, you will come to terms with the terminal window and bash.

Art Mulder
05-19-2007, 3:15 PM
Ok I just installed Ubuntu ...
Who out there is using Linux? And what opinions do you have of it so far?

So Far? So Far?!? :confused:

Charles, I first sat down at a Unix terminal back in 1987 sometime. I'm the wrong guy to ask "switching" questions. People like me find Unix/Linux to be normal, and Windows to be weird, rather than the reverse. :p

And Ubuntu was a good choice. From my perspective, it seemed to be the closest to a "it just works" experience that I'd yet found. I've been using it for almost 3 years on my home box.


ps: but I still bought my wife a Mac Mini. Now that one, "just works".

RickT Harding
05-19-2007, 5:01 PM
I've been using it full time for a few years now. I run a few debian servers and use Ubuntu on my laptop/desktop. It's pretty nice although I'm not always into all the new candy.

I tried to get into linux for years, but kept hitting wall after wall. It wasn't until I finally stopped trying to make linux do things like windows and just appreciate linux for it's own methods (I've come to LOVE a decent command prompy and yakuake with screen is your friend) that I managed to make the move ok.

Congrats on the move and here's to hoping it works well for you. I tried out vista for a week before I got so frustrated I ripped it off. Checkboxes? We don't need no stinkin' checkboxes. :D

Ed Falis
05-19-2007, 6:15 PM

ps: but I still bought my wife a Mac Mini. Now that one, "just works".

In a lot of ways, when you factor in that OS-X does have a functional shell, a super UI, and that the fink project provides most open-source software of interest, OS-X is sort of like Linux with exceptionally good manners.

Peter Stahl
05-19-2007, 8:20 PM
I installed Ubuntu on a second harddrive on my PC but after getting it running I haven't had much time to mess with it. Running from a CD does let you try it out but will limit you as to some what. There is a different download of Ubuntu for Booting from a CD or Finger drive verses a full blown hard drive download. I know nothing about Linux programming so the Ubuntu forum folks were very helpful. My PC is setup to give me a menu option as to booting up the XP drive or the Ubuntu drive. I've been using my daughters laptop for a while now which runs XP. I also used the Dapper version of Ubuntu which I think is version number 6.06. The is a newer version called Edgy I think but don't remember the version number.

Jim Becker
05-19-2007, 9:28 PM
I've used Linux, Unix and Xenix over the years from time to time, but applications dictate my personal PC's OS...which has been Windows since Windows became available. I could switch to an Intel MAC with little issue and might do that next time around (and that's a nice Berkley derived kernel, I believe), but Linux would be tough for me purely because of how I use my computer.

That's not to say that Linux isn't great, 'cause it is. I effectively sell it every day given more and more of my employer's solutions sit on Linux...

Kevin Beck
05-19-2007, 11:46 PM
I've been using various versions of Unix for almost 20 years and using Linux as a development platform for software engineering for about 10. I've also been using Linux (in an embedded form) as an actual platform for the software I develop for almost 6 years.

I used Redhat Linux for several years, Mandrake, SUSE, and several other distributions. We currently have 20+ developers using Fedora Core 5, 6 and I'm using Fedora Core 7 Test 3.

I haven't found a better environment for developing, testing, or running software and I've been at it for 20+ years. I did develop embedded software using Windows for 3+ years and it wasn't all that bad but I much prefer Linux.

The only strange thing to me about Ubuntu (as a long-time Unix user) is that it doesn't have the concept of super-user but I'm sure I would eventually get used to that.

I'm pretty much most productive developing software as long as I have Linux, vi, grep, and a pretty recent version of gcc.


Randal Stevenson
05-20-2007, 12:11 AM
When my last Win98 pc screatched (hard drive failure), I went from dual boot, to just Linux (everything I ever read said go try just it for 30 days). Only installed XP recently (last year), on a machine for one game (little gaming time), and it recently failed (think video card failure). Haven't had time to mess with it and check.
Been very happy with it, and I know a few experts, I am a LONG ways from that. (kernal hackers, Unix programmers, published authors). I wished our first IBM PC (pc's previous to that, Timex Sinclair, TI, Atari, etc), which was an XT, would have had a second hard drive. Dad worked at IBM, and everyone thought he was nuts for having one with a hard drive and Word Perfect 1 (1/10 the drive). He wanted a second one, and a second video card, with the really expensive color moniter (RARE option). The second drive would have had Minix on it and I would have been so much further along. The biggest problem with switching, is terminology. I have a friend who worked for AT&T and used both pc's (dos, at home), and Unix. He used a translation program, so he could use a dos command, and it would translate it to the Unix equivalent. Linux has sped up, and IS more user friendly, so now the books are out of date quicker (normally by the time they are published). But the best one that explained terms, concepts and all to me, was Red Hat Linux Unleashed 5.2. I wish the books were that good now (although it is MUCH easier).

I switched around the time that Suse 9.0 came out (I think about 3.5 years), and had been using it dual boot since Red Hat 5.2. Still waiting for the day when someone (I am not a programmer), writes a cutlist program, directly for Linux (for now, still use pen and paper).

RickT Harding
05-20-2007, 7:08 AM
The only strange thing to me about Ubuntu (as a long-time Unix user) is that it doesn't have the concept of super-user but I'm sure I would eventually get used to that.

$ sudo passwd root

Root user returned and done.

Burt Alcantara
05-21-2007, 12:36 AM
Take a look at this demo. I use Ubuntu but don't have a clue how they to this.


Peter Stahl
05-21-2007, 7:43 AM
Take a look at this demo. I use Ubuntu but don't have a clue how they to this.


I was looking at the Demo and it looks really cool. Here's the Title of this youtube demo, Mac OS X Tiger and Windows XP running ontop of Ubuntu Linux! Like to know how they do that too!

Timo Christ
05-21-2007, 3:52 PM
I'm using Ubuntu Feisty both on my and the LOMLs machine. XP lives in a virtual machine (vmware server is free to use) with no internet connection so i don't have to bother with firewalls and viruses, but i can use the windows-only applications.