Sunday, August 20, 2006

The verdict: Ubuntu Linux is a keeper

I'm writing now from the keyboard of my reborn laptop. Having just completed the installation and configuration of Ubuntu Linux on it, and happily retired its installation of Windows XP. Since this blog is really about Sun Solaris and Systems Engineering I don't want to spend too much time talking about this from a technical standpoint. It does have relevance to the theme as we all need a portable means of working on Solaris systems. If you use UNIX as your primary operating environment, you know how awkward it is to depend on Windows as your interface to the systems you support.

So far, Unbuntu "just works" with no headaches at all; It auto-detects and configures my Netgear WG511 "G" Network Card, and can successfully enter and exit both hibernate and suspend modes. These were the two big headaches for me under Fedora Core. I am really impressed that the special volume and mute keys worked as well. Those used to require installing a separate Thinkpad buttons package called tpb. The boot screens look slick, the theme is very clean and coherant, and the desktop is clean and EMPTY. I love that! I give it two thumbs up. It looks like I'm finally going to learn the Debian flavor Linux after years of being a die-hard Red-Hat camper.

Now let me clarify this position; I'm not changing my opinion about Mac OS being the ultimate desktop. But, I can obtain an old IBM Thinkpad T20 for a fraction of the cost of a PowerBook or MacBook. I wouldn't want to process my photographs on it, but for a tool that lets me perform systems work, and use typical Office Software, I'm very happy.

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