Monday, October 17, 2005

Ku-bun-tu, My Lord, Ku-bun-tu...

Yee-ha! Got Kubuntu Linux up and running this weekend, and did away with three years of Mandrake /Mandriva Linux. I probably should have been doing my 3,500 word essay for Management Theory, but what ya gonna do...

For those not in the know, Kubuntu is part of the Ubuntu Linux project, currently storming the world. Started in South Africa, Ubuntu is giving many new users their first taste of Linux goodness. It is a breeze to set up - so much so that it's release codename is 'Breezy Badger'. I had the choice between moving to Slackware (ultimate control, but unwieldy and arcane) or one of the newer lightweight distro's like Yoper, Xandros and Ubuntu. And given that I needed to be able to type up a report on my fully functioning computer this week, I chose to take the path of least resistance.

I must admit, I was sceptical at first. You see, Mandrake was derived from Red Hat Linux, which had a certain way of doing things that I liked. The filesystem layout was logical, and fairly standard. Ubuntu and Kubuntu, on the other hand are based on Debian, another popular distro, but one which uses a different filesystem structure. It uses a different packaging system, too. However, Ubuntu and Kubuntu have excellent package managers which take care of everything for you, including updates and upgrades to the operating system itself. So there's no need to stress.
No more beating your head against the screen because gcc can't find your lib-xyz!

Also available are the 'Live' discs. These are bootable CD-ROMs that allow you to 'try on' Ubuntu or Kubuntu without actually having to commit and install them - no risk, no obligation.
As many of you will know, I'm no fan of Microsoft and their monopolistic attitude. Now would be the ideal time to give Linux a try. If you go to the Ubuntu web site mentioned above, they will even send you a copy of both the install and live versions for free! I refer to an earlier post, and leave you with this question:

Will you be shelling out the likely NZ$700 or so for Windows Vista upon its release?


Blogger dreamer said...

I've got a few cds on the way.. but mostly it's for play rather than anything serious.
Vista.. well no. I don't expect anyone I know to purchase that. Then again, I'm a macos boy now.

Kubuntu .. I like how gnome attempts to copy how osx works, but I'd still like to give it a go at some point.

Package management: I think debian/ubuntu's apt / synaptic are so many times better than rpm based management, because - like you said, you don't have to worry about dependencies. YaST is driving me up the wall with that on Novell.

6:09 am  
Blogger 04 said...

Excellent, another microsoft hater (dis-liker?)
I am currently running Mandrake at work, but was considering installing it for home use...this Kubuntu seems a lot better from what Ive heard recently right enough, so the decision is made.

Thanks for helping me with my un-made-upness of mind


2:33 am  
Blogger J.L. said...

Kubuntu is certainly very user friendly, and fairly intuitive. There's heaps of good, useful software available from the Ubuntu repositories (Kubuntu and Ubuntu share these), and it's a doddle to set up.

Why not give the 'Live' disc a try before making the jump? You can down load it from - it's just a single CD-ROM.

I think it has been a good move on the whole.

The reason for my dislike of Microsoft is that they've had it too good for too long: I don't think it's right for them to hold users to ransom, and that seems to be their main mode of operation. I think their software is outrageously overpriced, considering that there are so many flaws in many of their works. They have too much influence in personal computing, although with that said, there seems now to be a bit of a user's revolt against them, with the likes of Apple's OsX and Linux becoming more popular.

There are a whole slew of reasons why I'm anti-Microsoft, but I believe freedom of choice is necessary. They are but one option.

Give Kubuntu a try - you won't be disappointed.

4:48 pm  

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