Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Linux Update

When I moved what was my monster work PC into the living room to act as a media center PC, I lost the system to drive my printer. This meant that it was very difficult for me to print anything. I would often need to drag a laptop into the office and hook it up to the printer on an ad-hoc basis. I didn't want to move the printer into the living room, so I had to think how I was going to handle this. I decided to rebuild my old work PC that had been disassembled and reconstitute it as a Linux box/print server. So, I downloaded the Lucid Lynx (the most recent Ubuntu release) and went to work.

Oh my goodness!

I was first introduced to Linux back in 1995 with the Slackware distro. This was extremely rough around the edges and installation would take a very long time. I've tried several other distros since then and while I could do them, I found them rough enough that it was hard to recommend.

The most recent Ubuntu release changes that.

The installation was arguably easier and faster than Windows 7 was. Starting out, I provided a few details (password, Timezone, etc) that I would provide to Windows and clicked "Install". Thirty minutes later, I had a fully working Linux system that had recognized my immense HD monitor over a VGA connection and found my printer with no prompting from me.

This intrigued me, so I stuck the live CD into my Vaio laptop and booted. Much to my surprise, it had FOUND the RAID configuration and easily read the disk array.

I would say that (except for how to reset the sudo password) that Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx is ready for primetime. It is a powerful and simple to use OS that I could recommend to anyone, regardless of skill.

If you want to try it out (and are running either a PC or Intel Mac), grab the Lucid Lynx LiveCD and boot it up. You can try it out WITHOUT changing anything on your system. If you don't like it, extract the CD and reboot back into your OS of choice. Its safe, secure, easy, and incredibly fast (Bender boots in about 20 seconds instead of the 1-2 minutes it did in Windows XP). Unless you need iTunes because of DRM (DoubleTwist works if you don't have DRM content) or Windows for Computer Games, its an OS you should look at.


Matthew said...

Welcome to the dark side.

Bwa ha ha.

Matthew said...

More seriously, Ubuntu has come a long way. The only reason I keep Windows around is gaming. Windows 7 is far and away the best Windows ever made and I still prefer Linux to it.

Rachael Storm said...

Since I'm no longer forced to have Windows at home, except for gaming, I'd considered moving to Linux. However, all I ever do at home now (other than web browsing) is gaming, so....