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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Is Ubuntu Linux for you?

Fresh off my post on whether Ubuntu can replace Windows, the folks at Wired have posted a nice assessment on whether Ubuntu will work for you.

Here's a synopsis:
  1. You'll be able to do most things you do now. Ubuntu comes with software for office documents, web browsing, email/calendar, music playing, etc.
  2. You can use a digital camera or iPod with Ubuntu
  3. It takes some hoop-jumping (and some Terminal commands) to set up playback of proprietary audio/video formats such as AAC, MP3, DVD, etc.
Perhaps the most important question is this:
Can Ubuntu completely replace Windows or Mac OS X?
Probably not. Even after you get it working pretty smoothly with your peripherals, you may miss industry-standard professional programs, such as Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, or entertainment software such as iTunes and video games. The best strategy for most people is to run Ubuntu on the side as a hobby, gradually learning its intricacies.
I used Ubuntu on an extra computer for a bit and found it really easy, especially compared to my other aborted Linux experience (Slackware). I still found it frustrating, however, to have to resort to online forums and Google searches to learn commands for simple things like setting my screen resolution to anything greater than 1024x768. Your mileage may vary.

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