Day One

I’m about to hand my life over to Linux, but unlike almost everything else in that life, I’m actually going to prepare for this. My first decision is which distro to choose. Linux comes in multiple flavours, all with their own oddities, charms and utterly brilliant names. Forget Windows and Mac OS blah, how about Ubuntu, Fedora, Xandros, Mint and Mandriva? I’m going with Ubuntu 8.04 for home because it’s Dell’s distro of choice, and Fedora 9 for work because it’s free; two factors marking them out as frontrunners should this Linux revolution ever occur.

Ubuntu immediately justifies its selection thanks to the Wubi installer, which allows you to install it through Windows like any other application. It’ll then take care of the fiddly bits such as partitions and setting up a dual-boot system, meaning that 15 minutes after inserting the disc I’m staring at my new Ubuntu desktop. And blimey, it’s ugly. I haven’t seen that much brown since I peered into my grandfather’s wardrobe, and the menu bars are the wrong side of 1995. Given all the talk about Vista being bloated, I expected Linux to be faster than Usain Bolt chasing the last bus home, but boot times seem roughly similar and it isn’t much quicker opening programs either.

Otherwise, I’m far more impressed. A quick root through the wonderfully simple menus reveals a great selection of preinstalled software, including Firefox 3 and OpenOffice. Alongside the preinstalled applications, the add/remove utility points me in the direction of dozens of other free packages on the internet, all tried and tested with Ubuntu, which is reassuring.

My first concern is to start listening to my MP3 music collection and for this I turn to Rhythymbox, which has clearly been… ahem… inspired by iTunes. Anybody familiar with Apple’s baby will no doubt feel right at home but I’m a Media Player 11 man, and Rhythymbox’s sparseness leaves me cold. Still, it recognises all my music and knows what to do with my MP3 player. A couple of hours after installation and I already feel right at home with Ubuntu.

Next: Day Two

Back to “My life with Linux”

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos