So it's a little over a week since Canonical released the latest version of their GNU/Linux distro Ubuntu 7.04
I've been trying to get into the open source world for some time now and finally made the jump 3 months ago with the purchase of a new hard drive to install what every distro took my fancy on.
But I've been disappointed in the past.
Slax, is a really good live distro (runs faster from USB), it's well packaged and comes with all the drivers you might need, but it's just a live distro and all your settings are lost at shutdown. So I've been searching for a good full install.
Having tried Fedora 5 and 6, Suse 10.2 and Ubuntu 6.06 and 6.10, each one had a drawback. Fedora wouldn't play mp3's or DVD, I couldn't find good user support for Suse and I kept destroying my Edgy Eft (code name for Ubuntu 6.10) install by trying to get Compiz to work.
So since my last install died sometime over a month ago I said I'd wait until Feist Fawn arrived.
And I was right to wait.
Everything worked pretty well out of the box and anything that didn't was fixed inside a few minutes on www.ubuntuguide.org
The Compiz XGL graphics are the coolest eyecandy I've seen, NTFS support is great, MP3's & DVD just work, networking with Windows PC's is perfect.
Not to for get Opera, installing Opera is a breeze, got to the Opera site, click download and you will automatically be prompted to install Opera for Ubuntu (the 6.10 package works fine).
The only snag is Flash. Supposidly Adobe Flash 9 for GNU/Linux doesn't support Opera. But that doesn't mean it doesn't work... Download the Flash 9 zip file from the Adobe site, upzip and run the install script. This installs the plugin for Mozilla but not Opera. So then open terminal and paste in;
sudo cp /usr/Mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so /usr/Opera/plugins/libflashplayer.so
Then open up Opera and flash will work.
I actually think I have found a distro that can fully replace XP. So far I have spent the past 11 days on Ubuntu and so far haven't ran into any problems with it and I haven't been back to XP at all.
Now I do tell I lie, I have experienced problems, but they didn't relate directly to Ubuntu, I really wanted to use Ubuntu's sister distro Kubuntu (using the KDE windows manager instead of Gnome) but the support for Compiz is not as good and some windows were not appearing correctly so I've been using straight Ubuntu so I can still use Comipz. But I know KDE support will improve as the guys are working away on KDE4 the next generation desktop.
Now that even Michael Dell is using Ubuntu I can see the tide turning in open source's favour.