|A few days back, a post from Aditya got me thinking about Ubuntu, a relatively new distro, based on the old giant, Debian. Now Debian was a distro, I never got to like simply because I found it a pain to get working in the first place. No offence meant to existing Debian users, but hey!, the old Debian installer sucked!! But I guess with Ubuntu, I have finally found a distro that doesnt leave me dissatisfied in any manner. Ubuntu is a mix of good 'ol Mandrake's luser-friendliness, Slackware's speed, and Debian's awesome package management.|
|Good things have been happening to me off late, and the real high point of this year has been the fact that I now have a 512K broadband connection with absolutely no download limits till Jun 30th this year. I made the most of it by downloading Ubuntu and the 14 CD Sarge snapshot. Ubuntu comes with a GNOME as the default and the only desktop, but is functional enought to be the sole desktop one would ever need.(See above). However, I missed KDE and thats where the 14 Sarge CDs came in handy. I have been more of a urpmi user than an apt-get fan, so I chose to use the frontend for apt that ships with Ubuntu -- Synaptic All I had to do was, to click on Add CDROM and after 14 iterations all I needed to do was pop in whichever CD it asked me too. Now I am running KDE on Ubuntu!! I still wasnt quite done yet. I had to get my broadband connection set up. Now that wasnt too difficult either. I fired up a terminal, and ran pppoeconf to set up my username and password. With that done, I now had access to the online repositories as well!!|
After a 30 second apt-get update, my first stop was to correct the infamous Nvidia skew. All that was needed was a search for nvidia in Synaptic and I had the three packages I needed, nvidia-glx, nvidia-kernel, and nvidia-settings. A click here, a click there and that was that. Next I needed MPlayer, which I cant do without. I thought of visiting the MPlayer page to grab the latest tarball and compile by hand, but then the patent infringement issue that looms large on MPlayer's homepage, is too depressing a sight to see. So I decided to take the easy way out -- apt-get install mplayer. Within minutes, mplayer and all its dependencies were on my computer. I also had to get rhythmbox to play MP3s. An apt-get install gstreamer0.8-mad, did the trick for me there. It doesnt take too much guessing to realise great part about Ubuntu is the fact that it is based on Debian. It gives the distro the flexibility to install a minimal working system and the power to customise, upgrade, tweak or break. What Ubuntu does well though, is install simple yet effective defaults for a user to work with.
|As far as hardware support goes, I dont have a single piece of hardware in my computer that doesnt run out of the box with Ubuntu; and that includes my Sony DSC-P150 which gave me quite a lot of trouble on Fedora. To beat Fedora, an out and out desktop distro, at this, is an acheivement in itself.|
From what I have seen already, I am sure, that this being a testing release by Canonical, the next release, expected in May this year would be a great summer treat to look forward to. In fact Canonical has started work on a faster boot process, as well as a graphical installer. Its time the Red Hats and the Mandrakes stood up and took notice of Humanity to Others, cos Ubuntu simply rocks!!