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My time with Ubuntu - freedom isn't always easy

Posted by ClifNotes, Jan 2009, permalink Operating System


I've had time to play around over the holidays. I finally got around to installing Ubuntu on my laptop which already has two versions of XP on it. I played around with it for about 2 weeks and I've slowly gained enough knowledge about it that I can share some opinions with you.


Easy to install?

No. One of first hurdles a new user will face is setting up partitions on a hard drive. There isn't enough guidance for the average PC user at this point unless they are starting off with a completely empty hard drive.


Easy to use?

Yes. Most of the time, you'll be able to double click files and they open in the correct applications that you need to be in. Finding the pre-installed applications is as easy as clicking on the Applications menu. Installing new apps is also at the bottom of the Apps menu and there are a good selection of apps already tweaked to be ready for Ubuntu.


Easy to customize?

Yes and no. Some of the customizations are simple to figure out. You can change wallpapers and screensavers very easily. Many of the other customizations are pretty geeky and require some study before attempting.


Is it ready to replace Windows?

That depends on how you use your PC.


If Grandma only uses her PC to browse the web and read email, then Ubuntu is a far safer alternative to Windows. There just aren't as many bad guys who care to take time to hack linux for a profit. Grandma will need help getting it set up, but you won't get as many phone calls for additional help later.


If you need it for business, you'll have a harder time setting it up and finding exactly the right software for your situation.


If you're a young kid. It's safe to use. You can't accidentally screw it up unless Daddy gave you the admin password.


Will I switch to Ubuntu?

Not yet. I love the idea that all software should be free. That's what Ubuntu is all about. I'm all about free software, but I'm definitely not ready to take the time needed to become a software guru in Linux.


Could I use it if I had to?

Definitely. By the time I was done tweaking it, I did have all the software I needed to perform my everyday activities.


Quote from the website

Ubuntu is a community developed operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers. Whether you use it at home, at school or at work Ubuntu contains all the applications you'll ever need, from word processing and email applications, to web server software and programming tools.


Ubuntu is and always will be free of charge. You do not pay any licensing fees. You can download, use and share Ubuntu with your friends, family, school or business for absolutely nothing.


We issue a new desktop and server release every six months. That means you'll always have the latest and greatest applications that the open source world has to offer.

Ubuntu is here: