This is my fist blog post from Ubuntu, not a huge deal, but still.
I’m probably 75-80% of the way done, with a few holes yet to fill, notably the dual monitors/docking station issue, which will probably require me to edit xorg.conf. If you have any insight, please share it in comments.
Today’s big hurdle was getting Cisco VPN client installed and connected to our VPN servers, a show-stopper for work. A quick search of Google tells you what a pain that is, and again, Rich warned me in advance.
I finally did get it working though, after a few hours, including a chunk of Rich’s time over IM (thanks pal), and a lot of blind command execution. Then I got Thunderbird up and running, including my archived Inbox of 30,000 odd messages and 20,000 sent messages. Like I said before, I’m a pack rat. I also imported my old Pidgin chat logs, so I’m feeling pretty good.
The big remaining pieces aside from monitors are a GUI for Cisco VPN and testing out OpenOffice as a Microsoft Office replacement. Even if it works, I’ll probably install MS Office in the XP VM I have, just in case.
So, time for impressions.
Ubuntu isn’t for the average user, even though it’s a huge advance over the Red Hat distros I initially tried to switch to over the past 10 years or so. This is probably just the way the community likes it too, and frankly, it works for me.
Things I like:
- The fact that you can Google just about anything and get an answer or 20, i.e. the huge community supporting it.
- The Synaptic Package Manager that allows me to install from a wide range of “universes”, rather than going to a bunch of disparate sites and downloading software.
- The fact that it’s both a great desktop and a fully functional server.
- It’s free as in freedom, and sometimes as in beer.
- It’s rock solid. I did have my first crash, but it bounced back quickly without a reboot.
- It’s fast, much faster than XP on the same hardware, even the XP VM seems to be faster than native XP was, but that’s probably because it’s new.
Things I don’t like:
- The fact that I get 20 or so answers to every question, but I guess over time, I’ll figure out the authoritative sources.
- The lack of an exact answer, due to the wide variety of kernel versions, modifcations and hardware.
That’s really all for now. I’m pretty impressed. Ubuntu really is a hacker/hobbist O/S, but with a new version coming out every few months, it’s only a matter of time before it’s on your desktop too, installed by IT.
Maybe it’s a function of newness, but right now, I’m preferring it to my Macbook. So far, making the move has been a big plus. We’ll see how it goes down the road.
What are your thoughts about open source, switching O/S, O/S comparisons (OS X vs. Linux distros vs. Windows), reimaging, etc. Sound off in comments.