More on Ubuntu

So after starting the installation a few minutes ago, Ubuntu is up and running! I’m really more shocked than anything, I had already put 6-10 hours in getting Gentoo running and then it just wouldn’t work, probably something to do with my SCSI card. Ubuntu just worked. I’ve got a beautiful desktop running right now. I plugged in a USB mouse and it works with the scroll wheel. That might not seem trivial, and it is if you’re on Windows or a Mac, but my previous experiences with desktop (as opposed to server) Linux have been so awful, this is like heaven by comparison. And installation was so easy… Ubuntu is the WordPress of Linux distributions.

56 replies on “More on Ubuntu”

  1. I’ve had good experience with Debian and Gentoo before, my main home server is right now Gentoo, though it breaks fairly often. Hence, its new replacement. I’m used to Gentoo taking a really really really long time to get going, but it’s not like I have to watch it through the whole process so it’s not a big deal.

    My other tries (years ago) were with Red Hat 4.something-9.something, Suse, and Knoppix.

  2. Ah! The ease with which you can do things in Ubuntu (as with any other Linux, of course) is only surpassed by the ease with which you can install it on most systems, including a certain Acer Travelmate…

    I have never looked back after installing it in December. I was about reinstall Win XP for the nth time (everyone knows of Windows Os’ half-life period right?), and thought that before I did that, I might as well try installing Ubuntu. No Linux OS before that had made the wireless stuff and the sound work, but Ubuntu did, and so I ended up not installing Windows at all. No multi-boot 🙂

    So this is for your home-server you say? I have one at home too, maybe we should get them talking (singing) to each other 🙂

  3. kudos on getting ubuntu set up! you won’t regret it 😉
    got it set up on a dual system myself on the Acer Travelmate… but run Windows natively for my encoding needs 🙂

    ubuntuForums is always a good source of problem solving if need be…

  4. The fact that it works on my notebook with the Centrino chipset “and” registers the battery life the right way is great. All of the other versions of Linux that I’ve tried, even if the wireless worked right, wouldn’t run unless I had it plugged into power.

  5. I agree but for the wireless (ACER ASPIRE 1801WSM-i (2005) and the infrared
    These do- up to now – not function

    I’m on multiboot, because online bridge playing (STEPBRIDGE – HOLLAND) is not yet possible on LINUX

  6. Well, I have tested both and I would not really say the same. I had so far no problem with gentoo’s install but Ubuntu was truly a pain in the butt… It won’t install on my first hard drive (generates some errors), on an other drive had some cryptic errors and the final install won’t even boot. This is not really my vision of a fool proof distro.
    By the way, I got bored of gentoo because it is a time consuming distro. I’m not bitching about the compile thingy, because I had some script that build updated packages on night, the major issue is that there is always something that breaks down. Some unusable ebuild, some non working program, some moving around configuration file. Then, you have to guess the problem and fix it. That is annoying.

  7. I have a bunch of Ubuntu CDs sitting on my bookshelf, including LiveCDs. Unfortunately I’m too much of a noob to even think about attempting to install it.. I’d probably end up wiping Windows by mistake. And that would not be good.

    I can’t even get the Live CDs to work 😛

    Ah well…

  8. Ubuntu is amazing. It’s the first distro that works out of the box with my PCI wireless card, which is certainly no small feat. October 13 cannot arrive soon enough. 🙂

  9. I have been using linux exclsively for many years now (my first being a redhat 7.3 box) and I have to say, Ubuntu is where it’s at as far as the desktop goes. Fast, well structured release cycle, and very active development and support. I can say this unbiased, as I don’t use it myself and am not your usual Ubuntu zealot – I am a stubborn slackware user – but have installed ubuntu on may occasion and it is an absolute pleasure to use.

    For me it is easy enough for the uninitiated to get their computer up and running – and running well – but has enough freedom for the experienced/inquisitive linux user to custom administer their box without fear of the dreaded rpm hell that is redhat/mandrake/suse. Dependancy-hell is what pushed me to slackware ~3 years ago, and I have never looked back. They say Ubuntu is ‘Debian done right’, and I tend to agree.

    Fast-forward about 4 years Matt, and you will be using a PC/Mac and feel lost. I know I keep trying to ‘ls -a’ and ‘rm -r’ on my work box and wonder why nothing happens.

    P.S. Gentoo is for schmucks who use linux because they think it is geek-cool. They are the ricers of the linux world.*

    http://funroll-loops.org/

    (* gross generalization)

  10. I installed Ubuntu and was amazed that it had the drivers for the PCI wireless I have in my old desktop. The only problem I have is that Evolution is really not great to access my Exchange server.

  11. I installed Ubuntu on my machine about a month or so ago, and I had a heck of a time installing the drivers for my wireless card. That, and apart from having to configure the sound manually, was the only problem I had with my Ubuntu installation. Glad to see it worked better for you the first time around!

  12. I just installed Ubuntu after running RH9 for a year. Ubuntu installed with no problems and started ad ran immediately. It even allowed me to install it on my 2nd HD, then I installed a base copy on my 1st HD so I could access it for file storage.
    The only complaints are that by default it won’t let you run as root, which I am used to doing when I need to do things like install tar file apps. The other is that it seems to not do Make installs, also I am having problems running Java apps. I really would like to run Zoe, an e-mail indexer and search app, and RSS Owl a News Aggregator.

    But, otherwise it is a dream. Installing and uninstalling Debian apps is easy. Keeping it updated is easy, and it runs fast and stable. My Earthlink DSL account actually runs better with Ubuntu !

  13. Yeah, I’m about to give up on Gentoo in favour of Ubuntu.

    Gentoo is sensible for server situations where performance is #1 and device support (beyond the network card) is a non-issue. But it’s just not a viable desktop platform. The mouse-wheel has *never* worked for me, and I recently had to plug in my USB mouse through the PS/2 adaptor to get it working at all. Ugh.

  14. Ubuntu is my Linux distro of choice, and I’ve never found one that I’ve liked as well. The package management is excellent, there are fewer broken packages, and things Just Work™. It’s not as polished as OS X, but it’s very usable right out of the box. I’ve tried Fedora, Debian unstable, Mandriva, SuSE, and a bunch of others, and Ubuntu seems to be the one with the most polish.

  15. I’ve tried most Linux distributions and I have to say, Ubuntu is one of the nicest for the Desktop. I use either Red Hat Enterprise or Debian Stable for server stuff.

    And Matt, as far as Gentoo goes I’m running into the same problem with trying to install Gentoo. Gentoo IMHO is only for the geekest of the geeks! 🙂 I hear it’s nice if you can get past the install.

  16. I wonder if this would tame the Windows Demon in our house, the PC that was taken over by spyware despite all the firewall/anti-virus/anti-spyware stuff on it. It’s a shame to restore XP on it just to have it happen again, and I’ve always wanted to try a Linux system like Red Hat. Maybe Ubuntu is the way to go.

  17. Distro discussions always seem to bring out a lot of folks. I’ve used a ton of distros. Some reflections:

    I do have to take some issue with saying Gentoo users are the ricers of the Linux world. Gentoo, because of its nature, tends to attract far more of the funroll-loopers than other distros, and Gentoo is quite easy to make go a great deal slower than a “vanilla” distro because how many of us really know how to set correct compilation directives for our architecture? Gentoo is good for a) users who know how to get those performance gains and really need it, b) users who have very specific goals for their systems, like a server with packages compiled with those and only those flags one wants (i.e. apache with SSL support and only PHP scripting support) — you can do that without leaving the package management system and maintaining the software yourself, c) as a learning distro. The only concern is that QA isn’t as good in Gentoo as it is in other distros in my experience, so you have to be careful if you’re in the “highly specified system” category that you don’t break things when you’re updating your packages. As a learning distro for the intermediate user, it’s great — I learned a ton installing Gentoo several times over the past few years that have been invaluable in doing systems administration on other distros, troubleshooting laptops with strange hardware, etc.

    I’m really happy with Ubuntu as my desktop distro (running KDE), but also find Fedora to be nice. My servers are running Debian, though Suse Enterprise, Redhat, etc, are great distros as well.

  18. It must be a bit frustrating for the Xandros folks to see Ubuntu getting so much press for recently doing what they have been doing all along: just making Linux work. Lest anyone be of the wrong impression, Xandros does offer an ‘Open Circulation’ version that is free to download.

  19. After experimenting with all kinds of wierd distros (gentoo was one of them…damn SCSI!) I too was really impressed with Ubuntu’s ease of install, however…
    i’m trying to install any proportioned OS on a P3 with 64MB of ram, so ubuntu is a but too much for me, in order to install it package by package I need to use the web, last i checked they didn’t have a package CD.
    can anyone recommend anything I could install without tearing out all of my hair and that won’t kill my system???

  20. All these problems will be solved when we are able to use our familiar programs on a Linux OS.
    VMWare, Win4Lin, are much too expensive for the mass market to embrace. Or even the home user. If they weren’t so short sighted they would see that the business potential is enormous. The first one to make it available will clean-up financialy.

  21. Oren, I have tried a bunch of different distros, and I can’t say anything bad about Ubuntu. For your low end system, try one of these:
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LowEndSystemSupport
    http://www.binonabiso.com/en/Ubuntu-miniRAM-HOWTO.html
    http://linus.yhspatriot.net/cs/docs/ubuntu_howto/UbuntuLite
    XFCE is nice and snappy, but the file manager takes some getting used to. Fluxbox is another option. Both are much less memory intensive than Gnome.
    Hope this helps. DM

  22. Oh my freaking god. I was installing Gentoo last night — what a good waste of 6 hours. The network just won’t connect! Deleting and re-adding routes, contacting the ISP, unplugging the network card just wouldn’t do it. I’m about to give up on Gentoo 🙁

  23. “Gentoo […] is not a viable desktop platform.”

    I’m sorry, but that is so not true. If you visit the Gentoo forums (the best of any distro around, I’d say) you will meet many users who are doing great with Gentoo on the desktop. I myself have used Gentoo on the desktop for almost three years now, on various boxes, and I wouldn’t want to change it for any other distro.

    I know Gentoo can be daunting for beginners and when you start it can be a long journey to get everything to work, but it is well worth it, if you are willing to put the time in it and learn something. Gentoo is very versatile and gives you more choice, more freedom than any other distro (or OS for that matter).

    But a steep learning curve may not be evryone’s cup of tea. So that’s why it’s such a good thing we have ‘newbie-friendly’ distros like Ubuntu and SuSE. Glad you’re on board now, Matt!

  24. I had a lot of trouble with a bundle of Ubuntu 5.04 discs that I order directly from the web site. Not one would install without error. I downloaded the latest image and burned it myself (burning at a slower speed than usual — suggested by the install error message). The install went perfectly and it was up and rolling without a glitch in a few minutes…
    I love the distro. I had been using Mandrake.
    So — Great distro, download it and burn it yourself instead of ordering the discs.

  25. I also switched from Mandrake to Ubuntu and was very impressed. I was not impressed, however, with the “missing” features. I understand the licensing issues behind it all, but I wish there was a big, unofficial “everything-else” patch that “fixed” Ubuntu. 😉

  26. if you know nothing about linux the ubuntus will help you:

    http://www.ubuntuusers.de/wiki/ (ok it’s german, but this is what i call support! i searched for a way to use my fourth and fifth mouse key with ubuntu (go back and forth in browser pages e.g.) and i found a wonderful tut here )

    this was extremely useful, although there should be a better way for a modern OS to do things like this. On the other hand this is a driver problem. not really related to the system, but explain this to grandma 🙂

  27. “it just works” My thoughts exactly. I couldn’t believe it either when I installed Ubuntu on my Averatec 3270. I am still amazed every day just how well it works with all of my devices! Cheers

  28. I am a hardcore gentoo user, and I have to disagree with those who say it’s not good for desktops. It does a good job for my laptop and desktop systems. Someone once said something like “there are kids that play with toys, and kids that play with Lego”. Now, which ones do you think will handle Gentoo better? If you are not the DIY kind of person, just stay away from Gentoo. It really isn’t for everyone, like Mandrake, Ubuntu or Fedora. As a matter of fact, I belive the same applies more or less to Slackware. Lots of people thinking it’s l33t to run gentoo or slack break their teeth in the bare metal :D. Oh, and someone who really knows Linux will be able to play with any distro (well, I haven’t tried GoboLinux) and have no problem.

  29. Yeees, I love Ubuntu too.
    It works just well with everything.

    Before I used Ubuntu, I had Debian (with nice impressions), but Ubuntu is just better then it (new packages and so on..).. I just love it 🙂

    P.S.: Sorry for my bad english :S

  30. Brad, Ubuntu doesn’t have any “missing” features. Ubuntu shares the same social ideals as Debian – which is one of freedom.

    Various software packages strip users freedoms and as such, these distros rightfully do distribute them as part of the main packages. This is why the GNU/Linux movement was started – to produce as free (as in speech) alternative to UNIX.

    As it happens, for those users who do not care about personal freedoms, both distros have a “universe” and “non-free” pool of packages respectively that aim to provide this type of software.

  31. I tried ubuntu in the past and while it was a painless installation, I couldn’t find certain things there and wasn’t able to customize it to my liking (I use Mandriva 10, and it’s sort of easier for me in certain ways). I guess I wasn’t looking hard enough. Anyway, from the looks of it here, I think I’ll give it another shot. :p

  32. I’ve used several linux distro’s on my HP nc6000 notebook with various levels of success. Ubuntu is the only one that just worked out of the box. Even the integrated wireless was picked up with out any issue and it actually works if I use WEP encryption. Now if they could just add support for WPA encryption the world would be almost perfect.

  33. I love Gentoo but I know it’s not for everyone – just for a bunch of masochists like me who love spending 10 hours compiling stuff. But then, there is Ubuntu, I believe it’s the best desktop distribution around. Nice choice!

  34. I’ve been using Ubuntu to run my wordpress design and testing blog and it’s awesome. I’d used Mandrake, Fedora, Knoppix and Debian before but for a graphic UI, Ubuntu rocks. It’s also the most stable distro of Linux I’ve had running. *knock on wood*

  35. I just installed Ubuntu 5.10-rc yesterday on an old Dell Latitude 400 mhz. WOW! This distro is absolutely the friendliest distro I have ever used on my laptop. It is very fast and recognized all of my hardware, including my scroll mouse. No modifying the modules file to make it work. Ubuntu is probably the most intuitive distro I have used. Being a slacker, I didnt like the sudo but easily changed it by ‘sudo su – root’ and issuing the ‘passwd’ command and changing the password. ‘su -‘ works fine now. Unlike the other two distros I am using, Ubuntu actually boots and shuts down without hanging. The laptop power management also worked without a hitch. Another great thing was how easy getting my m521 netgear wireless working. Ubuntu CD came with ndiswrapper. Just issued ‘ndiswrapper -i NET8180.INF’ and ‘modprobe -m’. I then was able to configure it using the Gnome menu for network setup. It set up like any lan card and worked perfectly. Even has signal strength indicated. Was nice not having to build a script file to start it up. I will be dual booting Ubuntu and Slackware now.

    My only gripe is with Kubuntu. I am a KDE fan. I installed Kubuntu first but all of the kde menus have vertical blue lines on them. There seems to be a problem with the video setting, but I am unsure. I have the same problem with Mandriva. This does not occur with Suse 9.2, 9.3 and 10 or Slackware 10.2. I could not find a fix searching Google so I just installed Ubuntu. Works fine. I do see a few vertical blue lines from time to time. After using it, I think I may like Gnome better now. 😀

  36. I run ubuntu on an HP laptop and got the wireless up and running with not too much work. The problem I have is with WEP keys,,, apparently every 4 characters you need to add a “-”

    Example: XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XX

    Otherwise it’s a reasonable solution. I like Ubuntu, but still not as user friendly and plug n play as Windows.

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  38. I made the full switch 3 years ago and haven’t looked back, I love working on the same systems that run my servers. I admire your desire to stick to your OSS principles by the way and make the leap, congrats.

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