Switch: Windows Vista to Ubuntu Linux
As most of you know, I am mainly a Windows and OSX user – however, that does not stop from occasionally attempting to use Linux as a desktop operating system. I do use Linux to run all of my servers, just not my desktop machines. Regardless of what operating system I prefer to use daily, sometimes change is good.
I have blogged about my trials with Linux (mostly Ubuntu, though I have messed with other distributions in a virtual machine) and generally, the result is not too good, however, this post will be a little different in its tone.
Alright, so I install Ubuntu Hardy Heron (8.04) – the install is relatively quick and quite painless. Good so far. Now to get my dual monitors working – install nvidia-settings and configure the second monitor. Works almost flawlessly, it was unable to update my xorg.conf file, so I had to do it manually based on the configuration it provided to me. Restart X and now I am back in business with both monitors working. I must say I was impressed how relatively painless it was to setup and how it well it manages the monitors as two separate ones instead of just cloning them.
Next up – installing updates. The update system is very friendly and easy to use, it’s essentially click and go. I was a little bummed that I still had to reboot, but I’m used to that with Windows and OSX. Nonetheless, everything is still going very well.
Alright, now time to install some software – I needed my music at this point so I installed Banshee which is an excellent audio player for Linux. It did not play my MP3 files right off the bat, however, it did provide the necessary software to install in order to get everything playing with a click of the mouse. I also installed Wine (which recently just went version 1.0) so I could then install mIRC since I just cannot bring myself to use any other IRC client. By the way, mIRC runs quite nicely in this version of Wine. At this point I needed to call my girlfriend (we talk a lot using Google Talk), however, realizing Google Talk would not work on Ubuntu I installed Skype. I installed Skype via Synaptic after doing a little bit of researching, however, I had to install the Skype-Static-OSS package instead of the regular Skype version. I may be wrong here, but based on my reading it seemed that the Skype-Static-OSS package was the one that worked better on Ubuntu 64bit (which is what I’m using), so that is what I went with and it worked (somewhat).
I posted on my forums asking for help with the issue I am having with Skype and the static I am expericing. So if anyone has any suggestions or fixes, feel free to post them. While this may not be a show stopper for most people, it is for me (sort of). If I can fix this issue, I would definitely be able to spend considerably more time on Ubuntu and Linux in general.
My latest experiences are definitely good ones, that being said, Ubuntu has definitly come a long way since I first messed with it back in 2004 (Warty Warthog).
If you do not rely on propritary software or if there is alternatives for your propritary software in the opensource world I think Linux can be considered a definite candidate for an operating system. Ubuntu and some other distributions that I have been playing with lately have the usibility functionaility now to make stuff work out of the box or at least with (relative) ease.