I have been using Ubuntu Linux for several months. The whole experience has been great.
Since 1999, I have played with many different favors of Linux, but mostly in the Redhat family tree, from version 6 to Fedora Core 3. I liked it, but still I considered Linux as the good choice for servers, but not as a replacement for Windows. The reason is that:
- There were quite many multimedia tasks that Linux couldn’t compete with Windows, and the support for hardware had been really bad, and causing lots and lots of headaches during installation. What’s more, maintainance of the softwares on the system was also an overwhelming challenge.
- Notably, over these years, Microsoft also made some great improvements for Windows. My WinXP at home almost never crashed in three years! That’s really amazing, considering the amount of usage I put on the box (15 hours/day*3 years = 5500 hours!) If I am using Win98, or 2000, I might have thrown out the box after re-installing my OS the 20th time
Oh, well. Now the Ubuntu Linux changed my “out-dated” view. Linux is becoming a replacement for Windows. Be aware, Microsoft!
The idea of open source is becoming more and more popular. Take a look at Google, by offering quality Free web services (satelite maps…) to end-users, it simply made a huge success.
Ubuntu Linux has a very easy-to-use installer, and it can simply recognize most of the hardwares for you. Video and sound is no longer a headache to set up now. The Graphical Interface of GNOME or KDE provides an user-friendly environment similar to Windows. No more need to use the text Terminal to do everything (although you can still need to do many advanced things with Terminal).
What I like Ubuntu most is the package management and software update. With a simple mouse-click, you can update security patches and installed softwares. Using the graphical interface of Synaptic, you can also easily install all kinds of pre-compiled open-source packages. Linux users are demanding these features for a long time.
Another great thing about Ubuntu is that there is some well-organized and detailed documentations online. You would find most of your questions answered there. If not, the active user forum provides a good place to ask.
If you are interested after reading all this, maybe you are ready to try it out. Ubuntu provides a live CD, which means you can start using it even without installing it. Just burn a CD for the downloaded ISO file and reboot the system using the live CD. It will give a fully featured graphical interface to play around. If you like it, which I believe you will, you’d better install it on the hard drive, making it faster to run.
BTW, surprisingly, I just found out that many PC games designed for Windows can also run on Linux now, thanks to the software called Cedega from TransGaming (not free, though). Games like BattleField 2, World of WarCraft, Half Life 2, WarCraft III, StarCraft, are all supported! I have never dreamed of this day before!