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Eric discovers Ubuntu

2007-04-25 13:46:13.677708+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

Eric has several times recently been the "I just want software to work for me" curmudgeon, so it's been fun watching as he's discovering Ubuntu Linux and trying to figure out how to move his essential apps over.

[ related topics: Free Software Microsoft Open Source Work, productivity and environment ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-04-25 21:37:46.623448+00 by: ebradway

I installed Ubuntu in my longings for an operating system that doesn't suck. It seems that all my friends use Macs now and I'm tied to XP by ESRI. To make matters worse, Vista appears to be causing some astoundingly bad headaches with it's overzealous license verification (no to mention it's supposed to be slower than XP).

I was absolutely floored by how easy the Ubuntu install was. I've done Linux back to the slackware days - saying y/n to every package. For a long time I used Meuon's "Install Everything on the Red Hat CD" method progressing only slightly to Mandrake (which probably ages me as well).

Ubuntu did leave off some stuff that I wanted - like MySQL and Emacs. But hey, it's supposed to be a BASE install! And it does result in a fluid OS with OpenOffice and Firefox right there - not to mention near pefect handling of my wired and wireless networks including network printing.

What really surprises me is how fast Ubuntu is. I grit my teeth ALOT at how slow Windows is. The amount of time it takes to boot up is insane and I don't mean to just the login prompt - I mean until I'm able to use my applications which seems to be another 5 minutes after the windows startup sound plays. Opening devices is so slow. I shouldn't be able to count my breaths between the time I double click the My Computer icon and when I can actually double click C: much less get up to get a cup of coffee! And this is NOT a slow machine - it's a 2Ghz Core Duo with 2GB of RAM and a SATA hard drive WITH a discrete video processor.

But I was even more surprised to find that my Drupal-managed websites respond almost instantly! I just did some updates with Firefox in Windows and frequently got "Not Responding" errors because the browser gave up. Under Ubuntu, everything I click on comes up almost instantly. I remember "back in the day" that the Linux network stack absolutely smoked the Windows network stack. I seem to forget how big of a deal that is!

The next target - putting Ubuntu on my network gateway at home - the little Via Eden box that manages as our wireless router. It's getting Ubutu-ized as soon as I get a change.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-04-25 21:44:27.209626+00 by: Dan Lyke

One warning on that last bit: The stock "server" install of Ubuntu puts a kernel on that uses instructions that the Via chip doesn't have, so you have to manually install a 386 kernel. I found the page on how to do that once before, if you're planning on a headless install and can't find it, give me a holler and I'll see if I can dig it up.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-04-25 21:46:26.861034+00 by: ebradway

eee... Does the stock desktop install use a similar kernel?

#Comment Re: made: 2007-04-25 21:49:10.149571+00 by: ebradway

Hehe... Googled "ubuntu server via eden" and found this:


#Comment Re: made: 2007-04-25 21:54:29.655308+00 by: Dan Lyke

stock desktop install: nope. Which is why it runs fine with the live version, too.

"this": giggle. Forgot I'd posted that.