Linux Review 2- Ubuntu

Ubuntu 7.10
is a well equipped Live CD type OS, so in terms of having an install time, I'd say, within 2 minutes I had a working OS, and within 30 minutes I had an installed working OS. Ubuntu is easy on the eyes, and it uses GNOME for the Desktop Environment.

Installing Ubuntu was quick, under 30 minutes, just like Fedora. With the Edubuntu/ Digital Equity project I have discovered that memory makes a huge difference. It took under 30 minutes, and quickly rebooted into GRUB, so I could select which OS to boot. It didn't even ask me to install the boot loader, so I checked anyway by clicking advanced on the last install prompt screen, and it was checked, so it was good to install. Once rebooted I logged in, and It was ready.

Again, I had a large amount of updates, 186, more than Fedora. It took a while to update, and there were some really slow points but I could actually do things while it was updating, and Fedora's updater would turn non- responsive if you didn't pay attention to it. Another great feature is update download resuming, so if you already have some updates downloaded then it would resume from those updates.

The repositories are great, I found many things that just sounded cool, I found a screen recorder, again with that familiar Add/Remove programs feature, and If you don't find it in a program, then you can add a repository, or with Firefox there is a search engine already there called the Ubuntu Package search, an in-browser download program.

With programs that you get off of the CD, there is my favorite Browser, Firefox(Which I use in Windows too) Open Office(Which I use in Windows) The GIMP(Which I use in Windows) and some Games(That might have a Windows Relative.) Many people see Open Office as a slow word processor, on Ubuntu it is not. It is just as fast as Microsoft Word. The Word Processor loads in 5 or 6 seconds.

This OS was the first one I could enable desktop effects in, and they are brilliant! I also downloaded the Compiz-Fusion control panel to change the settings and I set 3d Cube as one, it truly is pretty cool. My graphics card, well integrated chip set, is the Ge-force 6150SE, with 128 MB of video memory. I'm not sure about this improving productivity, because I found it somewhat fun to drag my windows around to the next desktop and have it rotate. There are also a set of keyboard controls so you can change desktops, but the multiple desktop feature is so much more helpful, for example have one window with a web browser, with another with a word processor, and yet another with your file browser. I am now using a FAT partition that both Windows and Linux can put files. It is a 2GB partition, and it is much faster than using my thumb drive and rebooting every time I want to move a file.

Setting up a printer is easy, and you can use one connected to a windows computer through SAMBA (SMB) You can print into a PDF file, like digitally printing, not physical paper and ink, and there are options to have a server have a printer folder on it so that you can use a server to print, have an Ethernet printer on a switch connected to a server, and all other computers can see it. I configured an Edubuntu computer on Tuesday so that it could use a lab printer. HP has drivers for Linux, and many other companies, such as Canon, also have them.

Ubuntu does not have any packages for a new desktop environment, instead you must use a flavor, like Kubuntu for KDE, and Xubuntu for XFCE. Edubuntu comes with GNOME, and it is customized with many Education programs, like the popular GCompris learning suite.

The repositories from Ubuntu are humongous, with All Programs selected in Add/Remove, there must be thousands of programs to install. I selected a screen recorder called Istanbul, It records your screen into a movie file so you can make a tutorial, show how cool Ubuntu is to your friends, or put how cool Ubuntu is or a tutorial on Youtube so every one can see. When you load the Add/Remove application, you are given a brief introduction to Synaptic, telling you that to add a program, check the box, to remove un-check it, and to make your check/un-check changes click Apply. You can still install KDE programs such as Koffice, or what I am trying now, KGet, a download manager.

Download speed, although varies with connection speed, seems faster on Ubuntu than on Fedora. I normally get speeds of up to 100KB/s and the fastest I have ever seen with Linux, was 136KB/s with an Ubuntu server. I checked a few of my favorite websites, and did some simple configuration.

Ubuntu is simple, easy to learn, and the repositories are great. Installing Flash was done through command line, but instead I unzipped, clicked setup and hit run in terminal, simple as that. Ubuntu is defiantly something to check out if you are looking to switch to Linux, It comes in a Live CD to test your hardware, and it is easy to dual boot.

Overall I give Ubuntu a 4.5/5 for ease of use, full feature, and it just works, The only downside is that it uses deb packages instead of RPM, and RPM is more self- extracting, and that is the way I would normally install flash.

If you would like me to review another Ubuntu based distribution,
Leave a comment with one of these letters,
K= Kubuntu
X= Xubuntu
E= Edubuntu
G= Gobuntu
or other= leave name of the distribution.

Now off to watch DistroWatch.

Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 4 is out, I'd like to Beta it.


  1. Nice post.
    If your Ubuntu setup become slow, don't forget to check this out:

  2. @tempeman
    Thank you for the advice, I am working on a live CD of Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 4. That is a very nice blog, and post you pointed me to.