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Thinking about switching to Ubuntu... need some advice.


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Hey all. So, I'm kind of getting tired of XP and some of its shortcomings and was thinking about switching over to Ubuntu. I'm just curious what those of you who have tried both think about the two of them. What are their pros and cons? How difficult is it to find compatible software for Ubuntu? Which do you prefer? Yada Yada... I appreciate those of you who respond and the advice.

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I personally think that Ubuntu is a superb, easy to use, advanced OS. But, just as you mention Windows XP having shortcomings, I would like to share some of my bad experiences for Ubuntu.

1) Although I said before that Ubuntu was easy to use, I never said how easy it was to use. It's full of eye-candy and 3-D effects, but for me it was very hard to configure the Composite Manager.

2) When I opened Firefox for the first time it didn't have the flash plugin. So, I tried to download it but it didn't download the necessary format needed.

3) "Sudo apt" is very hard to use and you will probably have to install many programs this way.

I believe that Ubuntu is exactly what your looking for if you want a lot of eye-candy and "wobbly-windows". But I also believe that Windows XP is the most stable OS(beside MAC OS of course) that you can have.

BTW: Go in to detail about some of these shortcomings that you experience with XP

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i had some issues with ubunt thou.. but i m using it.

you need to get the advance configuration for compiz in order to configure your eye candy well...

and about the sudo apt.. nah thats just a way to ensure you got it right by online tutorials..

both issues can be solved... with synaptic package manager.. you can install things that way... similar to how cydia works on ipod and iphone i think....

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Ubuntu is cool, as soon as I buy a new pc I am going to install Ubuntu on it

And about the software: There is firefox and openoffice, I don't know what else you can need. And I saw a tutorial somewhere where they teach you how to install any Windows Software on Ubuntu

Advantages: Cool effects (Really cool) 100x cooler than XP, Security, and in my personal opinion I think Ubuntu is easier to use and it's the OS of my dreams

Before you change you can try it, boot it from a cd and it will not make any changes to your computer. You will get a clear idea of how it is.

I think its time to switch, Ubuntu is the future

"Also make sure to read the effects of the installation and make sure you read everything

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fbbronc88, first install using Wubi and see how you like it. keep in mind things may work better when you get around to using the 'true' installation method but those issues are minor ones and this experience'll give you an idea of how your system will handle the OS. (besides, using wubi, removing Ubuntu is as easy as uninstalling from windows using Add Remove Programs)

2nd, immediately after your fresh installation, install UbuntuTweak. Take a look through that program. I think you'll find that it take a lot of the difficulty out of enabling things like composite effects.

Next, once you've played around with Ubuntu+ubuntuTweak, report back here and let us know what your impressions were.

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When in doubt, go with 32-bit. Now, Ubuntu has two different installation methods - The first is the LiveCD (which is the Desktop Edition, I believe) or the alternate installer. The Desktop Edition gives you a nice interface to install from. In fact, that interface is the entire OS. Basically, this gives you a chance to play around with Ubuntu before you commit to it without messing up your hard drive. Just pop the CD in, boot from it, and you get a fully functional (albeit slow) desktop right off the CD. It requires a bit of your RAM to do this, so it's not ideal for older systems.

The other CD is the alternate installer. It's all text-based. Just think of Windows XP setup, where there's the blue background and all the text. Use this if you have an older system. May seem intimidating, but its easy to follow through.

Now, judging from your post, you'd probably like to download Ubuntu, which uses the GNOME desktop environment. It's (I believe...) the most "complete" version of Ubuntu. Kubuntu uses KDE instead of GNOME, while Xubuntu uses XFCE. I'd recommend you using Xubuntu if you have an older system. As for Gobuntu, last time I heard about it, it was dead.

For the apt-get command, most of the time you'll just need to know "sudo apt-get install ". Theres a few more I think you'd need (update, upgrade, dist-upgrade, purge, autoremove), but its pretty late here, and I'm too lazy to explain. Maybe someone else can explain it :P.

If you're scared of using apt-get on the command line, theres always Synaptic Package Manager. It provides a nice GUI for installing/uninstalling packages.

If you do need any Windows software on Ubuntu, take a look at WINE. It'll allow you to run some (but not all) Windows apps on Ubuntu.

If you do run into problems with Ubuntu that aren't hardware related, a Google search should send you in the right direction.

The useful stuff/My recommendation: Get the Desktop Edition of Ubuntu, 32-bit. If you're scared of editing your partitions and whatnot, install it using Wubi. Just load the CD in when you're on your Windows desktop, and install it using Wubi. This way, you get the easy install. Downside to this is that you need to keep Windows.

Hope this helps.

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The only bad things I had with Ubuntu:

- A pain to setup nVidia official Linux drivers. But it seems new versions of Ubuntu come with the official ("non-free" as per FSF) drivers, haven't tried 8.10 so can't give my opinion on that.

- Desktop effects (Beryl by that time) aren't so difficult to setup, unless you're trying to do weird things, such as using big jpegs for skydomes, etc...

- As someone said before, you don't need sudo apt-get, just Synaptic.

- I was unable to run Windows games such as NFSU2, Richard Burns Rally, etc... with WINE. Had a little more luck with Cedega (sometimes I could get to the game's menu), but couldn't play them anyway.

Really good one:

- The Live-CD installation method is cool. I was chatting via Gaim (old Live CD) and browsing the web with Firefox while at the same time Ubuntu installed itself into the hard disk. :D

Keep in mind Ubuntu's motto: "Linux for humans". You shouldn't find it difficult to use for your everyday tasks.

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In addition to my recommendation of UbuntuTweak, another very useful program (which was also just updated to v4.0) is EasyStroke Mouse Gestures. The last time I tried it, the program got closer to performing like StrokeIt for Windows than even other Window's mouse gesture apps.

I told myself that I could leave Windows behind if I'm able to use Mouse Gestures, and my Windows Media Center remote.

Unfortunately, I was never able to get the remote to function (I can't believe that with Ubuntu reaching v8.10, they haven't made remote setup, a GUI friendly affair. :( I would think that with modern computers, that would be an important feature.

I suspect however, that my strict adherence to the guides I found via googling (Something to do with Lirc,) didn't succeed because I was running Ubuntu using Wubi. Wubi is a wonderful way to install Ubuntu, especially if you are trying to decide whether to commit to Ubuntu 100 percent. Consider it a stepping stone, where nearly everything works, just not things like hibernation since Wubi is effectively running Ubuntu in a virtual disk file so it might run just a tad slower during HD operations. But other than that, I was able to answer for myself whether I could live with Ubuntu, then all I did was uninstall it using Windows Add-Remove, and now plan to proceed with an 'official' disk installation. (haven't gotten that far yet. :)) I think I'm going to wait for their April 9.04 release.

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It's giving me the dual boot option menu when I start my computer...How can I FULLY uninstall XP now that I've decided to use Ubuntu?

1. I would suggest you tell dual boot to boot Ubuntu by default, within 1 second, and leave XP installed just in case you need to run something there.

2. If you really want to fully uninstall XP:

- Backup all data from XP partition (you can do this from within Ubuntu, copying the stuff into your Ubuntu user folder /home//.......).

- Run GParted. If you can't find it, go to Synaptic and install it.

- You will notice GParted looks a lot like PowerQuest's Partition Magic. :) If you've used that, you may already know what to do.

- Delete Windows' partition (you've been warned: you'll loose all data there) (and Windows too of course ;)).

- Try to resize your Ubuntu partition to fill the now free space. Maybe Ubuntu installer did many partitions, I would then suggest you resize the partition containing the /home directory. Remember for "logic" partitions, there is a super-partition (primary/extended partition) containing them, you must resize the extended one first, then the ones inside.

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3) "Sudo apt" is very hard to use and you will probably have to install many programs this way.

You're buggin. apt is the best way to install a piece of software IMO. no files you have to save to your desktop and execute etc etc, just "sudo apt-get install thunderbird" for example. And that's it, it's installed.

Ubuntu; like most/all Linux distros is different from Windows in a lot of ways; so be sure that you're commited to switching over cold turkey. As matonga said, you can just resize your Windows partition and install Ubuntu on the free space; giving you some playtime with Ubuntu before you make it your mainstream operating system; but it looks as though you've decided to stick with it. For reference, I suppose, then.

Anyway, once you've tinkered with Linux enough, you'll catch on pretty quick with GNOME and it's customization abilities. Look at my desktop, that just happens to be Ubuntu on my laptop.

Besides the actual transition from Windows to a Linux environment, there's many system-related/security advantages to running Ubuntu that you should know about;

The lack of need for an Antivirus. Most viruses are made for Win32 based systems, which require certain Windows-related files to infect a system; such as DLLs or system executables, or directories that just simply don't exist on a linux system. There's also the su factor; aka super-user. Super-user (su/sudo; see wiki) is somewhat similar to Windows Vista's "Click to continue" feature which requires you to confirm an action that an application wants to do, such as changing a setting. super-user requires someone with a root password (again, read wiki) to be able to change system settings, install applications, or run system-related tasks. This makes it more secure than say an XP system, because malicious code will not be able to execute without that root password.

Guess that'll wrap it up pretty much for now; be sure to keep us updated on your voyage.

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Super-user (su/sudo; see wiki) is somewhat similar to Windows Vista's "Click to continue" feature which requires you to confirm an action that an application wants to do, such as changing a setting.

Extra stuff (I think):

If you want to get something like that with a graphical interface, just run gksu firefox or whatever. You'll get a nice little window asking for your password, and then it'll run the program with root privileges.

You'll run into this window if you go under System -> Administration and change an option. (Something like that)

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

yeah, same here. just installed ubuntu 8.10 last mont after more than a year of runnung it from CD. It has now by choice my default OS )in quad-boot: ubuntu, vista ultimate sp1, xp home sp3, sp pro sp3). Just finished modding the GUI using latest Mac4Lin...

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