For the first time since I've been using Linux (for about 8 years now) I feel 100% comfortable with a distribution, and that is Ubuntu
Dapper Drake. I've used Mandrake and Red Hat initially, and SuSE, Debian and the previous Ubuntu in more recent times.I am a spoiled power user
I have to say that I consider my self a power user, not afraid of the CLI
but very thankful of aiding graphical interfaces for some tasks. I prefer Gnome-Baker or K3b over cdrecord, for instance. But I also prefer to get my hands dirty with Perl to automate boring repetitive tasks, and I even enjoy reading man pages. I am no newbie Windows-like user, but I could use some visual aid.
Therefore Windows gets too stupid-proof for me, without even actually being stupid-proof in the end. Linux, on the other hand, was always a powerful tool. It always allowed you to go under the hood to see what was going on, and was also slowly creating an environment for those not willing to go there so often. But there was always something wrong. And I am talking beyond hardware support.Broken expectations
In SuSE 10, for instance, USB
sticks were automatically detected, but the unmount feature when right-clicking it showed some error stating that only root was allowed to do that. And this was the best experience I have always had with flash memory sticks in Linux.Ubuntu to the rescue
I never really dumped Linux for these minor annoyances, but I always found my self needing Windows every once in a while. And I was never really able to fully convince my point-and-click relatives and friends that they were going to feel comfortable with Linux.
Ubuntu Breezy was like the promised land but it fell short of being it. The RootSudo
thing (rightfully praised as wonderful and intuitive) never worked for me, don't ask me why. But the rest of it seemed tasty and I expected the next release with anxiety.And waiting gave the expected results
Ubuntu Dapper Drake 6.06 LTS
answered many questions and covered nearly every expectation I had. Everything worked seamlessly and I can even recommend it without having to bring myself to ease the installation process, because installation is the easiest and seamlessly I've ever tasted ever, not only with Linux. Who said Windows was an easy install?
Ubuntu starts as a Live CD, so you can taste it before you embrace it. Once on the desktop and you'll love it. Gnome 2.14 comes out shining from end to end. The Human theme makes XP's Luna and KDE's Plastik look like amateur.
The initial and reduced set of applications pre-installed is very well chosen and covers a great spectrum of most common tasks. Gimp
for graphics manipulation; OpenOffice.org
as the office suite; gedit for simple text editing; Rythmbox, Serpentine and the Sound Juicer on the media side, Firefox
for web browsing and Evolution as the mail client, are all excellent choices.
And a simple icon on the Live CD desktop triggers the installation process. You may need to make room for Ubuntu in your hard drive, and this might be the hardest part, but not that hard. Gparted
is also available at this stage so you can comfortably resize some windows partition graphically without loosing your data (although backing up some data is not a bad idea though). I expect them to incorporate the partitioning stage of installation into the wizard for the next Ubuntu release.Up and running!
Once installed, the RootSudo thing work
and the available set of applications is enormous, provided you enable the proper software repositories. The documentation
in this respect is wonderful, so an in-depth coverage of the details here is not necessary.(Here you have another great source of information about Dapper Drake.)
I just have to say that Ubuntu 6.06 is amazing and you should give it a try. In the true Linux and Debian spirit, Ubuntu is freely available (both as in beer and as in speech), downloadable directly from the web
or obtainable by ordering free installation CDs