Smoothwall Firewall project

Wednesday 24 December 2008

Why do I use Ubuntu?

I just read this meme from Jono Bacon, and he asks all users of this operating system to say why they use it. I thought that was a decent challenge and one worth taking up.

I have been using Linux for over a decade now, thanks to someone called Paul Branston, who I worked with at Freeserve in Leeds. Paul had been using Unix/Linux since birth I think, and a person whose gravitas when he spoke about Operating Systems was definitely important to take notice of. I was working at Freeserve mainly on Firewalls and networking but also did work on the Microsoft clusters they used, really buggy and unreliable things, but thats another tale.

I used Windows as a desktop system, simple because like most other techies it came on the PC I was given. I experienced many problems with it, and it kept crashing , but I hadn't been inclined to look for anything to replace it. Paul recommend I give Linux a go on my laptop and see how it got on. Well it was a Toshiba laptop with Red Hat 5.0, and getting it installed was like wrestling with a snake. Laptop hardware then was not the same as todays.

I have used Sun OS for years, and had learned the command line in University, so I roled up my sleeves and kept at it. I eventually got it all working, even the built in modem, and just stuck with Red Hat , and after Redhat changed, just moved onto Fedora Linux. They offer a great Linux distro, but Fedora does have some drawbacks for new users, mostly media support. So when I had an issue upgrading from Fedora 8 to Fedora 9 I thought I would give Ubuntu a try.

Well I have to say I'm glad I did, as moving to Ubuntu is worth the effort just for the package manager. It is a well rounded Linux distro that currently does everything you need to get up and running quickly and efficiently. I have installed it onto every machine I own, and every friends and family machine that I look after and it has been extremely reliable. I do use an Ubuntu derivative ,Linux Mint , where I feel the user doesn't want to do any work after installing.I have bought several machines from Dell with Ubuntu pre-installed and they have been extremely reliable and useful.

Today I work on an Ubuntu distro, Eeebuntu, release for the Asus Eeepc netbooks, so I've now installed it there as well. It works extremely well on these small footprint machines.

As I sit and type this post today, I think that for an all round desktop Operating System , this sets the bench mark. I still keep an eye on what the others are doing, and Fedora 10 has received good reviews, but I don't feel the need to move back at the moment. I have installed it in a virtual image, and that is were it will stay for now.

So yes I'm glad I moved and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to give Linux a try.


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