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[P]
Ubuntu, a promising new Linux distribution

By theantix in Technology
Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 03:52:31 PM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)
Software

The past month has introduced an interesting new distribution that is based on the Gnome and Debian projects.  Ubuntu Linux is the end-user-oriented distribution funded by Mark Shuttleworth's company Canonical.  


Idea:

Why another Linux distribution? "Surely there are enough of them already" is the common refrain. Ubuntu Linux is a solution to a lacking niche in the Linux ideaspace -- a polished distribution aimed at novice users that is both free and community driven. If it helps to understand in terms of comparison, you can think of Ubuntu as a hybrid of the ideas of Debian and Fedora.

The new Ubuntu Linux is based on a snapshot of the Debian unstable distribution, which they take and then add packages to. They time their desktop releases to coincide with the new releases of the Gnome, updating at six month intervals. What this means is that you get Debian packages that are no more than six months old on a system base that is quite stable -- and with over 13,000 packages to choose from they have pretty much everything you could imagine.

Their first release, 4.10, based on the release date of October of 2004, is named Warty Warthog, perhaps in recognition that their initial release will have some rough edges to it. As a promotion they are shipping free CDs of Ubuntu Linux when the final release is made, so if you are interested you can check it out without having to burn your own CD.

Installation:

The Ubuntu team is focused on getting things to Just Work, and the idea is that you should never have to use a command line tool to configure your system. Ubuntu uses the new Debian installer developed for the upcoming Debian Sarge release, so upon initial viewing the two look quite similar. The installer is text-based, which might be a bit of a shock to users used to Fedora, SuSE, Mandrake, or other graphical installers. Despite their similar text-based look, the Ubuntu installer is much more straightforward and simple than the Debian installer. It was shocking just how few questions Ubuntu bothered to ask and how well it worked.

The installer has a very important usability drawback: if you don't want it to take over your entire disk, you have to partition it manually. Their partition manager has no support for resizing NTFS (the default Windows 2000/XP filesystem), so you need this functionality you'll have to do that first with qtparted (on Knoppix or the System Rescue CD). Even if you don't need to resize an NTFS partition, you will have be somewhat knowledgeable and manually create a swap and root partition. The option on the Mandrake installer "use free space on Windows partition" is sorely missed here.

For a knowledgeable user who can get past the partitioning step, however, Ubuntu's installer works like a charm. It has no problem autoconfiguring most video, network, and sound devices without you having to provide any input at all - it worked perfectly on the three desktop systems I installed it on. When it doesn't automagically work, however, it can be a bit annoying as I found on my poorly supported Toshiba laptop.

Desktop:

After installation, the most striking thing is that Ubuntu uses the brand new Gnome 2.8. It uses a subset of the new Gnome System Tools for system management, and uses the new Evolution 2.0 - a significant improvement over Evolution 1.4. Ubuntu uses the popular Mozilla Firefox 1.0 as its default browser, and OpenOffice.org for its office suite. Overall it has to be said that the standard Ubuntu install is very Spartan and provides sane default applications for a Gnome environment.

In addition to providing Gnome 2.8, the Ubuntu team has also done some further customizations to the desktop. They have replaced the Gnome "Actions" menu with a new one, "Computer" which contains links to your Home directory, Desktop, Disks, Search for Files, and Networks amongst the usual "Actions" menu items. In addition, they use a Trashcan applet instead of having trash on the desktop. This means that by default the desktop is completely blank, which is quite interesting and unique.

Ubuntu uses a variation on the popular new "Industrial" Gnome theme developed by Novell. It uses a brown colour scheme that is very unusual, but it works better than it might sound. The Ubuntu artwork currently shipping is apparently not finalized yet, so what we see in the preview may not be what ships with their initial release in October.

The preview distribution being shipped right now by Ubuntu is desktop-oriented, and one nice feature is that no ports are open and listening by default. This is brilliant, because with no open ports the OS is very secure. I have to admit that the lack of OpenSSH in the default install surprised me, but it was easy to install in the Package manager.

In addition to the obvious, Ubuntu does a lot of nice things that might not be apparent on the first use. One of those things is their integration of Project Utopia (hal, d-bus, udev) into the Operating System. When I insert a flash card into either my USB or PCMCIA card reader, Ubuntu mounts it and puts a little icon on my desktop for easy browsing... very slick, something I've not seen yet on Linux.

Perhaps the most striking aspect that sets Ubuntu apart from other Linux distributions is how they handle the root (system administrator) account. By default, the root account is disabled, and the system relies heavily on sudo to perform administrative tasks. This means to edit a system file you use "sudo vim filename", and are then prompted for your user password, and if you want a root terminal you use "sudo -s". All of the GUI system administration tools in the menu use sudo as well, so you'd never need a root password to maintain Ubuntu.

Package Installation:

Ubuntu gives users the choice between two methods of installing new software packages, either using the friendly GUI of Synaptic Package Manager or the power of the command-line apt tools. There are three major repositories of software for Ubuntu: "main", "restricted", and "universe". The main repository contains the packages officially supported and maintained by the Ubuntu developers, and contain most of what you'd need for a Gnome desktop environment, such as Abiword, Epiphany, and Inkscape. The restricted repository contains binary drivers like NVIDIA and ATI which are not open source and not fully supported, but included for those who need them to get their hardware to work.

In addition to the programs officially supported by the Ubuntu developers, you can choose additional software from the "universe" component. Universe is a collection of software from the huge and diverse Debian "unstable" package repository, frozen at the time of the latest Ubuntu snapshot. If the Debian packages were working at that time, they will run on your Ubuntu machine flawlessly. These are not officially supported however, so if something breaks or there are needed security updates you are own your own for fixing them.

Support:

Like many other Open Source projects Ubuntu maintains a Bugzilla to track and manage bugs. But unlike most Bugzilla's, the Ubuntu team seem to actually pay attention to them. I noticed that my PCMCIA compactflash reader didn't automount when I inserted it into the slot, as it did with the USB card reader. After I filed this bug, the developers paid attention to the problem and fixed in within days - it was impressive that something that has never worked for me before on Linux could be considered a bug and fixed so promptly.

You can get support for Ubuntu on the mailing lists, IRC channel, and soon they will have web forums. In addition, Canonical, the company that employs many of the Ubuntu developers, plans to offer commercial support for Ubuntu.

Room for improvement:

Ubuntu Linux is still a very new distribution, and has some areas that it could stand to improve. The installation is a little bit too automatic, it would be nice if they would autoconfigure your video card and then show you a test - and if it fails to autoconfigure it could prompt you to set it up properly. This concept could be applied to a few other areas too in the installation. Another rough area is the boot process, where you get an old-fashioned text output of the boot process unlike what users might be used to from SuSE, Mandrake, or Red Hat - though this is promised to be fixed for the next release.

Another area that might be an issue for some is the lack of supported KDE packages in Ubuntu. These packages are available in the "universe" component but are unsupported and not integrated into the desktop. If you can't live on Linux without solid KDE packages, Ubuntu is probably not the distribution for you. The developers have made some vague promises of things to come regarding KDE, but at this time only Gnome is recommended on Ubuntu.

Laptop support is still sub par, an area that the Ubuntu team plans to focus on for the future. But in the meantime, switching between various different wireless networks is a difficult task. It is a shame that neither Novell's netapplet nor Red Hat's NetworkManager made it into the first release of Ubuntu. Suspend and hibernate functionality is also quite limited, and depends on the make and model of your laptop.

Another notable drawback to Ubuntu is the lack of X.Org packages, something most every distribution has in recent times. They do use a heavily patched XFree86 4.3.0 xserver and have backported many of the new drivers to their older version of XFree, but it's still not the same. Again, they have promised this to be fixed on their next release - I'm sure you notice the pattern by now, and the reason why this release is nicknamed the Warty Warthog. It's very good, but not quite perfect yet.

Future:

With a six-month release schedule, solid funding, and many prominent Debian and Gnome developers employed by Canonical to work on Ubuntu, the future looks bright for this project. For such a new distribution they have already come quite a long way. The mailing lists and IRC channel are full of people checking out the distribution, and has already moved into the top twenty distributions listed on DistroWatch, an impressive feat considering how young the project still is.

As Ubuntu Warty is still in preview period, there are several quirks that are still being ironed out before the final release, but it is already a very stable and solid desktop system. I predict that this distribution will have the staying power that so many other Linux options seem to lack.

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Poll
Preferred Linux distribution?
o Ubuntu 3%
o Debian unstable 18%
o Debian stable 4%
o Debian testing 7%
o Fedora Core 6%
o Red Hat 2%
o Mandrake 5%
o SuSE 1%
o Xandros 0%
o Knoppix 1%
o Gentoo 20%
o MEPIS 1%
o Other 14%
o - 10%
o theantix was here 2%

Votes: 148
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Ubuntu Linux
o Mark Shuttleworth's
o Canonical
o Debian
o Fedora
o shipping free CDs
o SuSE
o Mandrake
o Knoppix
o System Rescue CD
o Project Utopia
o Bugzilla
o mailing lists
o moved into the top twenty distributions listed on DistroWatch
o Also by theantix


Display: Sort:
Ubuntu, a promising new Linux distribution | 120 comments (97 topical, 23 editorial, 2 hidden)
What the world does not need ... (1.82 / 17) (#2)
by mjl on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 09:30:58 PM EST

... is another Linux distribution.  Rather than have thousands of developers reinventing the wheel with hundreds of different distros, what they should do is focus on one distribution.  With the spare developers that result from the thinning of the distros, they could then focus on one specific window manager and make it the best they can.

One Kernel, One Distro, One Window Manager.

Open source is different from proprietary (2.77 / 9) (#3)
by theantix on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 09:46:35 PM EST

When the Ubuntu developers make patches to their distribution they send the patches "upstream" to Debian, where they can be used by other Debian based distributions like Linspire, Xandros, UserLinux, and others.  Their effort is not wasted because the code they produce is shared and open.  Each distribution exists because it serves to meet a particular purpose -- and by my reckoning Ubuntu hits the sweet spot that so many others miss.

Further, You seem to be under the false impression that competition is poor for the marketplace.  It isn't true in capitalism, nor is it true in coding -- having competition in different open source projects spurs development and improvement across the board, especially when the code and ideas they produce are reusable.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]

Why? (2.66 / 6) (#4)
by thejeff on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 09:52:46 PM EST

If people like it, it will grow, otherwise it will fade away. This is good.

There is no one perfect distribution or window manager. What I want from my desktop is not what you want from yours, which is again not what I want from my server. Variety and choice is good.

[ Parent ]

Oh yes there is! (none / 0) (#91)
by CorwIn of Amber on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 09:12:41 AM EST

Perfect distro : Gentoo
Perfect WM : Enlightenment

See? Easy enough :p


-Do you realize the suicide rate we'd have if people killed themselves just because they're stupid?
-Yes, an acceptable one.


[ Parent ]
One Kernel, One Distro, One Window Manager. (2.62 / 8) (#6)
by QuantumG on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 10:07:40 PM EST

No Choice.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Great idea. (2.75 / 8) (#33)
by felixrayman on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:49:59 AM EST

One Kernel, One Distro, One Window Manager.

Introducing Stalinux.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]

"Stalinix" (none / 0) (#85)
by Elendale on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 12:36:27 PM EST

I suddenly am inspired to write up a distribution...
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
People always complain (3.00 / 2) (#19)
by Azmodan on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 11:21:21 PM EST

When you don't like something, people tell you "write your own".  When you do, they aren't happy either.

[ Parent ]
A fucking men. (nt) (none / 1) (#61)
by Run4YourLives on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 06:15:52 PM EST



It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
One Kernel, One Distro, One Window Manager. (none / 1) (#69)
by Tobywankenobe on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 08:48:46 PM EST

Wait, I've seen this before. It's called, uhh, oh yeah, Windows. Wait, what am I saying? Even they screwed that up, and they have a monopoly. Windows ME--what the hell we're they thinking?

But you're right of course. So how do you balance the whole freedom/open-source/hemp is the superior fiber attitude with the idea that a lot more people would probably use this OS if it was, uh I don't know, more useable? The number one thing that would make it more useable of course would be if it was/were (hell I can't even figure out if Linux is singular) standardized.

But the minute you standardize the distro, someone releases the anti-standardized distro as a big middle finger to the rest of the community, prompting the rest of the hemp fans to break with the crowd and release their own esoteric distros. So the rest of us have to live with the tyranny of Redmond, but at least the dorks have freedom. No wonder mean people rule the planet.

[ Parent ]

obligatory quote... (none / 1) (#102)
by smileybyte on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:09:15 PM EST

One world, One web, One program - (old) Microsoft Ad
Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer - Adolf Hitler

[ Parent ]
Qtparted can resize ntfs partitions? (1.75 / 4) (#8)
by RandomLiegh on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 10:25:43 PM EST

Odd, I've never managed to get it to do so.

I don't care "why we need another linux distribution". We've covered this endless times and the answer boils down to: "we don't need another one because we should only use one distro goddammit" - or - "hey, if it scratches an itch, what the hell -that's the beauty of open source". depending on who you ask.

What I want to know is why you feel this is worth mentioning to us.

Why should we care?

---
Thought of the week: There is no thought this week.
---

You must be using an older version of qtparted (none / 1) (#10)
by theantix on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 10:33:34 PM EST

The version that comes with sysresccd and knoppix has no problems with resizing my NTFS5 partitions, even with data at the end.

Why should you care?  I can't tell you what you should or shouldn't care about.  I tried to tell you how this new distribution addresses many of the problems that plague existing Linux distributions, and what you might expect if you were to use it.  It's up to you if you care or not.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]

hmm (none / 0) (#42)
by reklaw on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 08:16:09 AM EST

Well, I used qtparted on Knoppix a few weeks back, and it crashed hard when asked to resize my NTFS drive. Then poor Windows XP had to spend ages doing its boot-up scandisk thing, recovering bits of files that were towards the end of the drive.

I've never seen a Linux distro resize an NTFS partition correctly. Are there any that claim they can make it work at least 99% of the time?
-
[ Parent ]

NTFS resizing (none / 1) (#60)
by RadiantMatrix on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 05:24:07 PM EST

I've never seen a Linux distro resize an NTFS partition correctly. Are there any that claim they can make it work at least 99% of the time?
I have made it work 100% of the time, when proper care is taken.

The important things are:


  • You must make a partition division on a cyl boundary that Windows understands.  Linux partitions can begin/end just about anywhere, but NTFS partitions are picky.  Read up, research, and grab a calculator before you begin.

  • It is very good practice to fully defrag your NTFS partitions before attempting to resize them.  Files at the end of the partition may be damaged or lost otherwise.

  • Make sure you leave enough freespace on the NTFS partition for another CHKDSK and defrag operation.

NTFS isn't usually pleased about being resized and will "reoptimize" when you reboot more often than not.  But, if you follow these points, it will go cleanly and without data loss.

Of course, you should still take routine precautions like making a comprehensive backup before altering partitions.

"In any sufficiently large group of people, most are idiots" - Kaa's Law

[ Parent ]

I believe he said automatically (none / 1) (#64)
by QuantumG on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 06:40:58 PM EST

You shouldn't have to do any of this, it should be built into the tool that does it. Then everyone gets to share your expertise.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Built-in ability (none / 1) (#83)
by RadiantMatrix on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 12:14:01 PM EST

You shouldn't have to do any of this, it should be built into the tool that does it.

I partially agree.  It shouldn't be horribly difficult to get a resize tool to respect cyl boundaries.  However, asking it to defrag is asking it to have comprehensive low-level support for a given filesystem.

That support is non-trivial, and leads to trying to maintain FS drivers for every major FS out there.  Which, of course, leads to problems.

Making a system backup is not a job for a partition tool.

So, the ideal process is:

  1. Make backup of host OS (Windows) installation.
  2. Use host OS to defrag FS
  3. Reboot to new OS (Linux)
  4. Use partition tool to resize partition, respecting cyl boundaries
  5. Reboot

NTFS' need to defrag post-resize is a FS design issue, so that's not in scope.  So, really the only thing that a partition manager needs to add is automatic resizing on appropriate boundaries.

"In any sufficiently large group of people, most are idiots" - Kaa's Law

[ Parent ]

For what it's worth (none / 1) (#86)
by theantix on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 03:35:40 PM EST

I talked to an Ubuntu developer who said that parted is getting NTFS resize support, so future releases of various distributions that depend on parted in the installer (Fedora, Debian/Ubuntu, maybe SuSE?) should have the ability to safely resize partitions.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]
It worked for me (none / 0) (#74)
by Wildgoose on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 03:02:55 AM EST

...when I installed Knoppix on a friend's machine as part of the Linux drive towards "World Domination".

[ Parent ]
Because it will unseat Bush from office? (1.20 / 5) (#13)
by The Fifth Column on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 10:42:29 PM EST

I dunno, that's the only motivation I can see K5ers having.

A man shall not lay down with another man and ravage his reeking, unshaven cornhole.
[ Parent ]

Write-in (2.50 / 6) (#14)
by zrail on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 10:46:06 PM EST

OpenBSD

Puffy (3.00 / 2) (#39)
by QuantumG on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 05:46:16 AM EST

If I was working on Finding Nemo II right now I'd be sneaking in a reference to Puffy The Blowfish.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Mubutu Linux? (1.00 / 11) (#15)
by The Fifth Column on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 10:47:28 PM EST

Jesus, that's insensitive. Why don't you just go on and name it Hitler Linux, for chrissakes!

A man shall not lay down with another man and ravage his reeking, unshaven cornhole.

Hitler GNU/Linux, dumbass [n/t] (3.00 / 7) (#32)
by felixrayman on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:41:42 AM EST



Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
GNU/Stalinux (3.00 / 3) (#49)
by wiredog on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 10:51:47 AM EST

The commie OS.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
-1, Not as good as Quadrillion Linux... (1.00 / 14) (#16)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 10:48:40 PM EST

Named so because it was the quadrillionth distribution. That was back in 1998, I wonder what number they're up to now?

Even if this were a slackware blowjob sort of article (my favorite, period), it would be difficult to vote it up. Truly though, why do I think this can be nothing other than a flaming pile of shit? And if it's a flaming pile of shit, how come you aren't saying so?

How come all the fanboys think that linux needs yet another distro that does nothing other than switches the default window manager and theme? So fucking lame.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.

Favorite article or favorite blowjob? (nt) (none / 1) (#54)
by cburke on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 03:28:01 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Favorite distro... (none / 0) (#65)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 07:01:24 PM EST

I've ensnared yet another K5er with my incredibly bad grammar! Mwahaha!!

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
My favourite bj... (none / 0) (#112)
by bobdole on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 06:32:41 AM EST

Prolly the first one... or the last one... which ever I remember better...
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
Doesn't really fit my needs (2.78 / 14) (#24)
by EvilGwyn on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 12:16:59 AM EST

Ubuntu Linux is a solution to a lacking niche in the Linux ideaspace -- a polished distribution aimed at novice users that is both free and community driven.

Actually what I really want to get my hands on is an unpolished distribution aimed at expert users that is really expensive and driven by a large evil corporation.

Hey, they even have that (3.00 / 7) (#26)
by theantix on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 12:26:54 AM EST

It's called Java Desktop System.  Hope that helps.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]
Life's not the same without Caldera Linux eh? (3.00 / 4) (#27)
by RandomLiegh on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 12:27:57 AM EST

I know I miss being able to play tetris during the installs too. :~(

---
Thought of the week: There is no thought this week.
---
[ Parent ]
Don't despair (none / 1) (#34)
by Azmodan on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:54:03 AM EST

You can play Tetris during Ark Linux install process.  Another distro ehich looks like a cross-breed of the ideas of Fedora and Debian but it is Red Hat based (you still have apt and synaptic) and they use KDE.

[ Parent ]
what i want to know (1.91 / 23) (#31)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:35:05 AM EST

is why on god's green earth linux distributions continue to put the word "linux" in their names. or worse, gnu. "red hat linux," "gentoo linux," "debian gnu/linux," et al. when are they going to figure out that the last thing you want to tell your prospective user is that they're about to install linux on their machine? and gnu? jesus, who'd call that a selling point?

what does linux mean to consumers? it means cryptic commandlines, poorly designed graphical interfaces, immaturity in every aspect they of computing in which they have any interest, a community of nerds telling them it works for them -- honestly now, hasn't each of us at some point thought "if it works for you, maybe i'm not as sure i want it work for me as i'd thought!"

linux will never achieve acceptance by incremental change. it needs to transcend itself. no more stupid names. no more help menus that contain nothing but a link to the free software foundation (oh, that's helpful!) or worse, some tie in to an external help program that never starts. and did you know there's no way to input extended latin characters via a standard keyboard under linux? you can do it easily in mac osx and with a little more effort in windows, but in linux? no. hell no. you have to use the character map!

if you like half baked user interfaces that barely do what they claim, don't offer you any way to find out how to accomplish those things, and a user community that says that's your fault, by all means, jump on the linux bandwagon today. i'm sure this latest attempt will do its very best to conceal the systemic problems of linux. it may even take you as long as a week to realize what a deeply unsatisfying user experience you're having.


rmg: comments better than yours.

Answers (2.85 / 7) (#35)
by theantix on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 02:14:46 AM EST

is why on god's green earth linux distributions continue to put the word "linux" in their names. or worse, gnu. "red hat linux," "gentoo linux," "debian gnu/linux," et al. when are they going to figure out that the last thing you want to tell your prospective user is that they're about to install linux on their machine? and gnu? jesus, who'd call that a selling point?

I'm going to have to agree with you on the GNU thing... trying to explain the concept of GNU to someone who has showered in the past week is pretty tough.  On the other hand, if they didn't call it Linux it would be bit a bit confusing what they are selling.  Gentoo, they want me to buy a penguin?  I have enough hats, don't need a red one.  And Mandrake was one of Peter Seller's characters on Dr. Strangelove right?

no more stupid names. no more help menus that contain nothing but a link to the free software foundation (oh, that's helpful!) or worse, some tie in to an external help program that never starts. and did you know there's no way to input extended latin characters via a standard keyboard under linux? you can do it easily in mac osx and with a little more effort in windows, but in linux? no. hell no. you have to use the character map!

I agree with you, actually.  I like how Gnome doesn't have each application start with a "G" anymore, and even in KDE some distros change the menus to not all start with "K".... it's a start.  I agree fully in regards to the help menus, they pretty much all suck.  For inputting extra latin characters I use ctrl-shift-keycode, which is similar to the windows method with is alt-keycode right?  There might even be a better way to do it, but since I need to use extra latin characters about once a year I haven't bothered to investigate.

it may even take you as long as a week to realize what a deeply unsatisfying user experience you're having.

Strangely enough, I've been going on strong for at least a year now and don't find that to be the case for me. Since you disagree you might have a hard time believing me, but it is literally a joy for me to use a finely polished Linux distribution such as the one that Ubuntu provides.  Sure it has rough spots at times, but so Windows and OSX... and the rough spots that exist in Linux right now I can live with, and outright prefer them to the problems using other operating systems.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]

How 'bout (3.00 / 3) (#37)
by curien on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 03:09:07 AM EST

"Red Hat OS". Seriously, I think rmg's onto something there. Nobody talks about "Debian Linux", they just talk about "Debian". Hell, it could even make rms happy ("Red Hat 2000, Based on GNU/Linux Technology").

Speaking of which, this is the same reason Win2k isn't called "NT5" and XP isn't called "NT 5.1".

--
This sig is umop apisdn.
[ Parent ]

Thought that was so they didn't have to pay (none / 0) (#84)
by rhdntd on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 12:26:27 PM EST

Northern Telecom quite so much to brush up against the trademark.  Actually I don't know.  I understand  "Windows 2000 Professional" and "Windows 2003 Server", but I have no idea where "Windows XP" came from.

-- 
"book chicks really seem to like anal"
  — Lady 3Jane
[ Parent ]
XP is (3.00 / 2) (#87)
by glor on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 04:03:48 PM EST

"extra painful."

--
Disclaimer: I am not the most intelligent kuron.
[ Parent ]

explaining GNU (2.50 / 4) (#38)
by QuantumG on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 05:43:48 AM EST

trying to explain the concept of GNU to someone who has showered in the past week is pretty tough.

Explaining the concept of Free Software to someone who 1) Can't code and 2) isn't willing to read two pages in a book, is hard yes. People who can code understand the concept of Free Software every time they use a proprietary application "man this thing is broken, I WISH I COULD FIX IT." People who are willing to read something you can just point at Why Software Should Not Have Owners and after reading it with an open mind they get it (but don't necessarily agree with it). Unfortunately the majority of people don't fit in either of these two categories.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]

Yeah (none / 0) (#52)
by theantix on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:58:32 PM EST

I was talking more about the recursive acronym part than the free software part.  Seriously, try to explain it to someone who doesn't give a rats ass about computers.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]
your ideas intrigue me, (3.00 / 3) (#47)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 09:32:22 AM EST

especially this part about extended characters. if you could elaborate, i'd be pleased as punch (note that in windows, i'm used to going "^: u" and "^@ s" for umlaut u and double s respectively...

on the stupid names, i was thinking of things like "komodo," "sodipodi," and "the gimp." these don't tell you a goddamn thing about the programs they "describe" (taking the word in a loose sense, of course). how about "vector graphics creator," [NB: i first thought to use the word "editor," but that is programmer talk and must be avoided] "impossible to navigate, purportedly scripted but in a language everyone hates and done in such a way that it takes days just to figure out how to input a script, horrifying time sink that's a liability to anyone but the five or six programmers who say 'it works for me' and have thereby deprived linux of a useful raster image editor for the past seven years," and "whatever the hell it is komodo does"?

anyway, i'd love to change to a decent system, but i'm too invested in this gentoo shit. plus, i'd have to figure out how to burn a CD, which is something i've spent about twenty hours on in the past three years, producing a grand total of six cd's, only two of which actually worked.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Gimp is accurate.. (2.50 / 4) (#55)
by The Amazing Idiot on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 04:43:05 PM EST

Crippled Adobe image editor.

[ Parent ]
GIMP is crippled, but indispensible (3.00 / 2) (#57)
by RadiantMatrix on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 05:15:36 PM EST

Yeah, if you need the kind of tools that Adobe Photoshop provides, GIMP is simply not an option.  Photoshop is king of the market because it does a really good job.  Especially so if you need professional-quality image editing.

However, Photoshop is also very expensive.  For those, like me, who want to do a little more than Picasa and its ilk, but  can't justify the pricetag on Photoshop, the GIMP is a great niche-filler.

I can do everything I need and nearly everything I want, just not as fast, in GIMP.  Why spend hundreds on Photoshop?

The great thing about "good enough" free software like GIMP and OpenOffice is that it motivates commercial vendors to continually improve in order to justify their pricetag.  Adobe has always had a modicum of competition, so they've always been innovating.  MS hasn't had competition in a while (I mean with Office), so their Office suite has stagnated.  With OpenOffice up-and-coming, they will be forced to make improvements in stability, interoperability and so on to keep market share.

So, those who don't need the high-grade level are happy, and those that do get a better product.  Everyone wins!
"In any sufficiently large group of people, most are idiots" - Kaa's Law

[ Parent ]

your ideas intrigue me (none / 1) (#97)
by anotherJeff on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 07:30:29 AM EST

especially this part about extended characters. if you could elaborate, i'd be pleased as punch (note that in windows, i'm used to going "^: u" and "^@ s" for umlaut u and double s respectively...

Try the Character Palette applet.

on the stupid names, i was thinking of things like "komodo," "sodipodi," and "the gimp." these don't tell you a goddamn thing about the programs they "describe"

Unlike such well founded names as Outlook, Powerpoint, Excel or Dreamweaver which leave you in no doubt as to the purpose of the program.

[ Parent ]

a good try. (1.33 / 3) (#99)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 07:26:55 PM EST

i almost went for it.

next time, remember that i typically ignore counterarguments based on recrimination (look it up). i'm actually less prone to bite you if you try that kind of thing.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Dead keys can be enabled for extended latin (none / 0) (#66)
by jonabbey on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 07:23:43 PM EST

and did you know there's no way to input extended latin characters via a standard keyboard under linux?

And did you know you were wrong about that? It varies from distribution to distribution, possibly, but if you select an 'International' keyboard mapping, you can use dead keys to enter accented characters.


Ganymede, a GPL'ed metadirectory for UNIX and friends.
[ Parent ]
OH, OF COURSE~!!! (none / 1) (#67)
by the ghost of rmg on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 07:41:56 PM EST

WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT???


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
Wow, an actual tech item (2.75 / 4) (#40)
by Nursie on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 05:58:02 AM EST

don't see many of those here any more, we've strayed to political and cultural argument more and more lately.

It's also just what I was looking for, a very user friendly distro. anyone know of any other with similar aims that may be a little more lature by now?

Meta Sigs suck.

Not really (none / 0) (#50)
by theantix on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 12:40:53 PM EST

The closest I can think of is the Fedora project, which I was using before I moved on to Ubuntu.  But Fedora hasn't really nurtured the commmunity all that much, even after promising to do that for a good year and a half now... which means that there are few quality packages in the semi-official repositories, and you'll have to end up compiling applications to get what you want if you are anything like me... and Red Hat seems to do very little QA on Fedora, so there are a lot more bugs and annoyances with it.  But it is certainly more mature than Ubuntu.  If you check out Ubuntu, you might be surprised with how mature it feels despite the age of the project.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]
Thanks (none / 0) (#78)
by Nursie on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 07:26:21 AM EST

Will probably check it out!

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
might give it a go actually (2.00 / 8) (#41)
by noogie on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 07:36:32 AM EST

dont like gentoo anymore.


*** ANONYMIZED BY THE EVIL KUROFIVEHIN MILITARY JUNTA ***
WIPO: Slackware (2.25 / 8) (#45)
by misfit13b on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 09:01:28 AM EST

I mean, how could you forget Slack?

The same way (none / 1) (#111)
by bobdole on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 06:30:33 AM EST

a rhino misses you if you stand completely still.

Slackware doesn't keep up with the releaseschedules of the "rich and famous" so it doesn't attract the amount of attention that some of the other distroes does...

Doesn't make it less of a good choice for distro, though.
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]

Slackware (none / 0) (#113)
by Cro Magnon on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 10:36:29 AM EST

keeps up with release schedules a lot better than Debian does.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
in my experience (none / 1) (#114)
by bobdole on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 09:55:02 PM EST

most end users tend to use unstable or testing and gets the endless trickle of new packages that hits unstable (and in some degree testing) all the time, and therefore don't actually care about release schedules as debian seem to be an endless stream of releases.

Slackware-current isn't as active as debian unstable, which makes debian seem a more "alive" distro than slackware is.
However the sheer volume of packages of debian probably contributes more to debian looking alive than the actual update-frequency of each package.
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]

Slackware-current (none / 0) (#116)
by Cro Magnon on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 09:50:32 AM EST

Many (though not all) of the packages in Slackware-current are the latest and greatest. Debian does seem more active, but they include every package with a free licence.

Also, Debian's OFFICIAL release is ancient! The reason most users use testing/unstable is that stable is just too old. AFAIK, all of the Debian-based distros branch off testing/unstable too, for the same reason.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]

Debian with a sane release policy (3.00 / 8) (#56)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 04:43:48 PM EST

Ubuntu looks very promising and it's nice to see that somebody finally got around to doing a Debian derivative correctly. Thus far Debian derivatives have gone the route of branching off the stable and/or testing pools, whereas Ubuntu has wisely opted to entirely abandon stable/testing and branch directly off of the unstable pool.

Debian's release policy makes a lot of sense for servers which will fulfill relatively stable functions (e.g., smtp, ftp, ssh, etc...) unlikely to require any upgrade in functionality over a 2 to 4 year period. On the other hand, Debian's release policy is utterly inadequate for puposes of a modern desktop distribution. By the time a new release is stabalized it's already out of date. For instance Sarge isn't even released yet, and last I heard it will ship with KDE 3.2, Gnome 2.6, and Xfree86 rather than X.org. This means that three years from now Debian stable will still be stuck with KDE 3.2, Gnome 2.6, and Xfree86. Not exactly competitive with other more desktop oriented distros.

By opting to branch off of unstable Ubuntu will be up to date, have available to it the huge pool of apps in the unstable branch, and avoid the occasional dependency nightmares encountered when trying keep stable current by backporting or running a mixed testing/unstable system. Add to this a regular release policy and a version life cycle of 18 months (commercial support plus bug and security updates) and I think you've got a real winner.

Personally, I'll be sticking with plain Debian unstable for now, but if KDE makes it into the main Ubuntu pool, then I'll seriously consider switching.

A couple questions for the author (or anyone else who's installed Ubuntu):

  1. How does Ubuntu's install routine differ from Debian's new beta installer? My understanding is that Ubuntu's installer is derived from the new Debian installer and I'm wondering what they changed as I've had nothing but great experiences using new Sarge net installer to set a system which tracks unstable.
  2. Does the Ubuntu universe pool include everything which is in unstable, or only those packages in unstable which have a Ubuntu community maintainer?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


A couple of answers: (3.00 / 4) (#58)
by theantix on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 05:17:37 PM EST

  1. The routine is indeed derived from the Debian installer, but they have simplified and streamlined the Sarge installer.  But it basically is just the Sarge installer, you'll recognize it immediately.
  2. Universe includes every package that is in Debian unstable at the time of the freeze, so long as it builds... if the package has an Ubuntu community maintainer it would be main and supported in bugzilla.  Synaptic reports 13,686 packages listed right now if that gives you any indication.
I agree with your analysis... I've wanted to have a distribution like Ubuntu for a long time now... even scheming to come up with one myself.  The only problem with me doing it is that I don't have funding or know-how, and Ubuntu has got both of these... so I'm glad they bothered to do it.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]
I appologize (none / 0) (#63)
by QuantumG on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 06:37:05 PM EST

I would appear there are enough people who recognise a good article left on this site.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
No need to apologize (none / 1) (#72)
by theantix on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 01:11:43 AM EST

I'm just glad I didn't write it for nothing.  =)

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]
This is a travesty (1.00 / 17) (#59)
by The Fifth Column on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 05:21:55 PM EST

How could you let The Antics post the release announcement for Linux Distro #35624375 to the front page of all places?

A man shall not lay down with another man and ravage his reeking, unshaven cornhole.

Enough of these zeroing antic, The Antics. (1.00 / 7) (#62)
by The Fifth Column on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 06:17:38 PM EST


A man shall not lay down with another man and ravage his reeking, unshaven cornhole.
[ Parent ]

Wait a second... (2.66 / 3) (#68)
by abegetchell on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 08:04:41 PM EST

Why is there an article about technology on K5?

--
Every time you "2" a comment, god kills a kitten.
hmm... (none / 1) (#110)
by bobdole on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 06:28:52 AM EST

Must have slipped through moderation the same way Bush slipped his way into the whitehouse...

See now I politicised the whole debacle; let the flamewars begin!
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]

two not-great things (2.33 / 3) (#70)
by drbart on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 10:48:43 PM EST

I have a couple problems with Ubuntu.

The first is that you are discouraged from installing regular Debian packages on it. This sounds like an APT version of RPM Hell.

The second is sort of related to the first. I've been hoping for a low-maintenance installation of spamassassin 3.0 (db-savvy, Bayesian learning, etc). Ubuntu doesn't have one, and being discouraged from using a Debian package is off-putting.

Reply (none / 1) (#71)
by theantix on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 01:08:24 AM EST

You misunderstand... debian unstable packages are in universe, and you can install them quite easily.  Those are packages from the snapshot taken when the they froze.  So in the case of spamassassin, the packages froze when spamassassin was still at 2.63.1.  It's not just that they don't recommend you installing the 3.0 package from Sid that is in there today, it's just that it probably won't work if you try to do it, because the dependancies have most likely change as they do quite often in Sid.

However, if you are ambitious it's very simple (heh) to get new packages from Sid or Experimental working.  You get the package source from debian and rebuild the package with the Ubuntu dependancies, and install that package.  I've used that procedure to get a few goodies that weren't already available at the time of the freeze such as netapplet (from Sid) and X-Chat 2.4 (from Experimental.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]

RPM Hell (none / 1) (#88)
by wastl on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 03:53:35 AM EST

However, if you are ambitious it's very simple (heh) to get new packages from Sid or Experimental working. You get the package source from debian and rebuild the package with the Ubuntu dependancies, and install that package.

That sounds exactly like RPM Hell. I prefer sticking with Debian. There is a very comfortable Debian-based distribution already - Knoppix. You don't have any problems upgrading your packages there.

Sebastian

[ Parent ]

Some IMHO good things about Ubuntu (2.66 / 6) (#75)
by joib on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 03:15:07 AM EST

I'm hopeful about Ubuntu. There are certain thing that I think could be improvements over debian:

1. Time-based releases. IMHO timetables are important for any project, whether it's a one man show you do only for your own benefit or a bigger collaborative effort. Timetables keep the focus on what's important at the moment. Yes, timetables do slip, but I still think they are better than some fluffy "release when ready". Projects are never absolutely ready, there's always some little knob to polish, but at some point you just have to decide to cut off and produce some results.

2. Collective ownership of packages will hopefully avoid the turf battles seen in debian. Debian has some packages that haven't been updated in years, maintainers missing and so on, while other maintainers are overworked with some large package.

3. Ubuntus committment to civility and more leadership will hopefully avoid the endless, ridiculous flamewars over petty topics that sometimes seem to consume debian.

Hmm, hard to make up my mind about this... (2.66 / 3) (#76)
by infraoctarine on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 03:21:10 AM EST

In a way an interesting project, it's true that the existing large community-driven distributions, I'm thinking primarily on Debian and Gentoo, are not for novice users.

On the other hand, I find it somewhat contradictory with a community-driven project in search for a user-base that, being novice users, can't become part of that developer community. It doesn't seem like the easiest way to attract and retain a large amount of developers. But if it works, great.

However, if you're satisfied with a distro that is just optionally-free and partially community-driven there are already many nice and polished ones out there, for instance Mandrake. I can't really see any significant benefit with Ubuntu compared to these. Especially for a novice user, isn't it better with a distro where there are at least some books/training material and support already available?

A comment about USB hotplug (2.66 / 3) (#80)
by trixx on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 10:01:04 AM EST

When I insert a flash card into either my USB or PCMCIA card reader, Ubuntu mounts it and puts a little icon on my desktop for easy browsing... very slick, something I've not seen yet on Linux.

Just for completeness, Mandrake 10 does exactly the same thing: plugging an USB camera, flashcard or HD mounts the volume, and shows instantly an icon on the desktop

Re : comment on USB hotplug (none / 1) (#90)
by CorwIn of Amber on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 08:56:13 AM EST

Yes, but in Mandrake it breaks things. The Mandrake distro is even famous for having "that automount feature that never works, and breaks things". Maybe that has been corrected since last time I checked...

-Do you realize the suicide rate we'd have if people killed themselves just because they're stupid?
-Yes, an acceptable one.


[ Parent ]
I can't believe Slackware wasn't in the choices (2.83 / 6) (#81)
by xutopia on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 11:35:30 AM EST

it's one heck of a fine distribution. Though Ubuntu has my respect. I tried it and loved it.

nice review (2.50 / 2) (#89)
by wobblie on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 07:03:15 AM EST

Considering I despise most linux distro reviews - they only review the installer. One thing missing, how is the authentication support in the installer? Does it support NIS? ldap? samba?

Hmmm (none / 0) (#92)
by theantix on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 11:49:50 AM EST

Just going from memory, but if I recall correctly it does none of those by default for authentication.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]
Why anyone uses anything but Gentoo (1.33 / 3) (#93)
by aldjiblah on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 01:30:36 PM EST

... is beyond my comprehension.

Oh, Gentoo's great... (3.00 / 4) (#98)
by TheLaser on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 01:59:32 PM EST

...but it certainly isn't newbie-friendly.

It can also be a pain for those with insufficent bandwidth.


[ Parent ]

Not that promising (none / 1) (#107)
by pcfreak on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 06:12:46 AM EST

Gentoo isn't that promosing as many people say. The speed you gain by using Gentoo instead of Debian is almost unexistent, and it takes a lot more time to install or upgrade packages.

--
Greetings - Dietrich Moerman
UseBB: Open Source Forum Software


[ Parent ]
Oh, Gentoo's great... (none / 1) (#109)
by bobdole on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 06:26:53 AM EST

It can also be a pain for those who don't have a quad Xeon blahdiblah available for those situations where gentoo has broken something you need...

Read GCC ;-)
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]

Pentium III 933 MHz here (none / 0) (#117)
by shash on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 03:07:36 AM EST

And doing fine with Gentoo! Who really needs a quad Xeon?

[ Parent ]
I tried once. (3.00 / 2) (#101)
by Hillgiant on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 10:22:58 PM EST

I needed a liveCD to fix my botched XPSP2 install. I had heard good things about Gentoo and found a live CD.

The liveCD dumped me on a command line with no network access. I thought, "okay.... guess i will have to RTFM". Guess what? There is no FM! It seems that to save space, the maintainers had cut man out of the distribution.

I downloaded the latest Knoppix, got a pretty GUI and (what appeared to me) a full man system.

Gentoo may be good for experienced users, but the newbs need a little more help.

-----
"It is impossible to say what I mean." -johnny
[ Parent ]

Why anyone uses anything but... (none / 0) (#105)
by drquick on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 08:42:41 AM EST

I'm using Sourcemage. Why should I use Gentoo?

[ Parent ]
Why is a text installer a problem? (2.00 / 3) (#95)
by nh1 on Sat Oct 02, 2004 at 12:12:55 AM EST

I'm unlikely to use the installer more than once per machine; and I'd much rather have simple ASCII-art style graphics than some pseudo-Mac eye-candy. Don't waste time on prettying up the install, just make it work better and faster.

There seems to be a superstition that this will scare off users. I really doubt that anyone who determines to install a new OS on their machine will be that easily scared; if they are they have no hope of running it anyway, no matter how user-friendly the rest is.

Why does it have to be a problem? (none / 0) (#108)
by QuantumG on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 08:07:19 PM EST

Can't you just improve something to see what you get? The Ubuntu strategy is to make the installer ask as few questions as possible. As such, a number of people are already complaining that it installs too many packages and it doesn't install specific things that you might need. There's less control over the installer and this is because it's perceived that the installer needs to be faster and easier. Another approach has been taken by Mepis Linux. Also based on Debian, they took the plunge and wrote a graphical installer that runs off a live CD. They feel free to ask you a million questions to get your install just right because people are comfortable in a live CD environment. When I installed Mepis I was posting on Kuro5hin whilst it wrote files to my hard drive.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
WIPO (2.50 / 6) (#96)
by C Montgomery Burns on Sat Oct 02, 2004 at 12:46:07 AM EST

Mac OS X
--
ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD
Intelligent design
No (none / 1) (#100)
by bugmenot on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 07:33:36 PM EST

Wouldn't that be a *BSD distro?  And even then its pretty iffy if you can count it as that.

---

I am living on borrowed time.
[ Parent ]

Just installed Ubuntu (1.50 / 2) (#115)
by OregonJohn on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 12:56:07 AM EST

Thanks for the recommendation. I found easy to install on a new SATA hard drive. Three unknown devices but so far everything works. I am new to Linux. I am building a file server to replace an NT box. My biggest headache was getting root permissions. Thankfully your article mentioned that quirk about root access. Finally, I can access smb.config to set up Samba. I also just got back from Barnes/Noble with a linux and a samba book. Ready to go. I tried Gentoo but it was just too overwhelming, all those configurations. I consider myself of the new Linux generation (well, I'm 56 yrs old but only a few days old with Linux). I like easy and graphical. I couldn't take off on computers until win3.1 because I have to have that graphical cue, even if it is kinda meaningless for most techies. Again, thanks for the article. This is what I remember Kuor5hin for when I first started visiting, then there was all that sci fi and story stuff kinda threw me for aloop. John in oregon

good (none / 0) (#119)
by soart on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 11:07:44 AM EST

Yes, timetables do slip, but I still think they are better than some fluffy "release when ready". Projects are never absolutely ready, there's always some little knob to polish, but at some point you just have to decide to cut off and produce some results.
机票打折机票
[ Parent ]
yes (none / 0) (#118)
by keleyu on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 02:53:49 AM EST

i want study english

new Ubuntu community website (none / 0) (#120)
by NoFelet on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 03:34:05 AM EST

I've found a very interesting website about Ubuntu linux: http://www.ubuntux.org. So if you're new to linux and want to get some information about (maybe) the best linux distribution out there, this is your choice :)

As I see, the other good websites about Ubuntu have been already mentioned in this thread.

I'm running Ubuntu linux for nearly a year now and I must say it was very easy for me as a former Windows user. The reason for that is, that there are many websites like the one mentioned above and other support options out there, so that you're never left alone. Everything runs just fine, so I really see no reason to switch back to Windows :)

Ubuntu, a promising new Linux distribution | 120 comments (97 topical, 23 editorial, 2 hidden)
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