I've seen Ubuntu at the top of DistroWatch for some time. I've avoided it for
the usual reasons: I don't know how to pronounce it, I didn't
have a machine conveniently available to test it on, and so on.
Well, apparently its pronounced "oo-BOON-too" and now that
is available to run VM's on my Mac, I don't need a sacrificial machine
to play with distributions.
Ubuntu is a single CD. There's also a "live CD" version available
if you just want to play with it without installing; I didn't
look at that. Installation was quick and simple. Apparently
some folks don't like that the install is text based - sheesh,
is it so hard to live without a mouse during the install? To me,
it makes perfect sense: there's darn little that requires mousing.
Probably the only real place was during the selection of allowed
resolutions for the yet to be started .. if that screen
confuses you so much that you can't get by it, I don't know how
you get through your daily life anyway.
There's a sticky thread "Is Ubuntu for You?" that mentions other reasons that
might dissuade you from trying Ubuntu; none seemed to apply to me so
I pressed onward.
Much has been made in the press about Ubuntu being "easy". For
example, this review entitled Dumber people can run Linux. Well, Ubuntu wasn't difficult, but
it's the first Parallels install I've ever done where the network wasn't
set active. No real problem: a quick click on System->Administration->
Networking let me activate eth0, and that was all that was required, but
it still was a little surprising.
I was also surprised that selecting the Update Manager didn't
cause a large download of fixes. How can that be? The version
I downloaded was first released months ago - do they keep the cd's
updated with bug fixes and security patches?
I liked the "sudo update-alternatives --all" script - it
presents alternative programs and alows you to choose which you will
use. For example, here it asks me about "editor":
There are 3 alternatives which provide `editor'.
* 1 /usr/bin/vim
+ 3 /bin/nano
Press enter to keep the default[*], or type selection number:
Sshd wasn't installed by default, but I found it in the Synaptics
Package Manager (OpenSSH server) and installed it in a flash.
I was once again surprised to find that the installed
sshd_config has PermitRootLogin set to "yes".
Ubuntu is the gift of
to the world. Seriously. This is the guy who founded Thawte and sold it
to Verisign for $575 million. You can hear Mark talk about Ubuntu and
other things he's doing
at this google video. It looks like Mark is doing the right
things with his fortune - that's great to see; the guy deserves applause
from all of us.
By the way, if you must have KDE, there's also Kubuntu.
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