Quite recently my eyes were opened to a Linux distribution called Ubuntu. The latest release from the open source company Canonical is called Feisty Fawn. How can you deny or refuse a name like that. 🙂
Well, I figured I would dedicate a post to how much I truely enjoy the OS vs it’s or Linux competitors as well as the big Microsoft. The installation disk is easily available via http://www.ubuntu.com where you can either download it or have 1 or more copies sent to you via snailmail (I get 25 because I’m a consultant). On the install CD (not DVD) there are a few cool features that make the product stand out from the rest like a suite of open source Windows apps that can be installed directly from the CD to include Firefox, Thunderbird, Clam AV, and others. Truly unique. Then when you boot from the CD you actually boot to a live distribution where you can either use the live CD to see if you will actually like the or install it to your hard drive via a very intuitive wizard. The wizard asks you a few non technical questions and guides you through the install. You can dual boot with Windows or another OS or just wipe the drive and start fresh.
On a side note, because of how well setup the live CD is, you can actually read and write to the NTFS, FAT or other drive that you have in your computer as a quick and easy disk recovery tool. Still not impressed. Ok, I really haven’t told you very much but for the novice user these fundamental options make the OS very attractive. After you go through the install, you reboot and come up to a login window and then into the operating system. The only thing that my laptop needed done in addition to the OS install is the installation of the Broadcom WIFI card firmware for my specific hardware which was easily done in Ubuntu’s intuitive package manager, Synaptic. Synaptic is a front end for apt-get that makes installing and updating packages a synch.
I usually judge a product by it’s “Out of the Box” features. As for Ubuntu, the OS installs, Firefox, Evolution Mail, Gaim, OpenOffice, graphics rendering software, a photo viewer, a suite a games, and a terminal services client. So in my opinion, it’s already a step ahead of Microsoft. Accessing shares and other network resources is quite simple just like in XP and has a neat feature that saves the user name and password for a particular network resource in it’s password manager.
I plan to do a few more blog entires regarding the use and utilization of Ubuntu in the home, business and corporate environment on both the client and server end of the spectrum. As the OS is still a Linux derivative, it can run Postfix, Sendmail, Apache, MySQL, Spam assassin, and all of the server centric applications that we rely on everyday. Hope you all at least give the OS a try, I’ll have my first Ubuntu “how-to” on here soon for your enjoyment.