Alternative operating systems..

Anyone use ubuntu? Any good?


I use Kubuntu (yes wif a kay, I’m rogue like that) exclusively at work. I’m a software developer, and I love it. But that’s me, a geek, I live for this stuff.

Horses for courses, I wouldn’t hand a novice a sniping rifle, if you get my metaphor. So what’s your course like? Any software you need to be able to make a living? What is this PC used for?

I’m increasingly hearing about ‘lay’ people who get along with ubuntu just fine, better than windows sometimes. BUT it depends on your needs.

Yes and yes–with the disclaimer that I don’t update every 6 months as per the release cycle, but go from long-term release to leng-term release, so I’m still using 10.04 which came out 2 years ago. I haven’t seen Unity (Ubuntu’s new DE) yet, about which there has been a heck of a lot said, mostly negative.

The pros of using Linux (whatever distro) over Windows are relative immunity from malware and far fewer crashes and BSODs. Cons are software incompatibility (want to play that shiny new game? Chances are it won’t run in Wine) and sometimes applications break, although this is seldom.

If you have the technical ability to learn how to use Linux properly you will be lavishly repaid for ditching Windows. If you don’t, ditch Windows anyway and buy a Mac.

Thanks both

I mainly use word, excel, powerpoint sometimes movie maker nothing massively technical, I’m more competent than patient when it comes to these things. I just want to avoid the ever increasing stream of viruses coming from school computers (our IT technician is far too busy editing wedding photos he takes on weekends to actually do his job!) and use free software.

I’m sure the entire reply has screamed NOVICE!! :slight_smile:

You won’t be able to install MS Office, but OpenOffice or LibreOffice do the job fairly well and you can save documents in MS Office formats. For anything really complicated (i.e. spreadsheets with complex macros, etc.) it might not be adequate, but for all my purposes it works.

Your biggest problem will be getting used to new editing software, and possibly getting your video from weird devices onto the PC. If you can just dump video files via USB storage, you should be fine.

I'm sure the entire reply has screamed NOVICE!! :)

Not really. Linux is just different, once you accept that this is not windows things should go just fine. If I recall correctly ubuntu can boot from the install CD/DVD, allowing you to play a bit before committing to installing it on a hard drive. Ofc this is limited, you couldn’t install all kinds of 3rd party apps in this mode.

Having a internet connection will help when you decide you need a new piece of software. The linux packages tend to be a fraction of the size of their windows counterparts, so speed is not the main concern. However an internet connection makes installing software on ubuntu a doddle.

Another thing you may considder is a “dual boot” PC. To not lose your data, and given that you’re not technical, I’d recommend buying a cheap hard-drive somewhere (just about any size would do), having it installed by a geeky type to help you install Ubuntu on it without trashing your windows install (which is fairly easy if you don’t pay attention). That way you get a menu when you turn your PC on, allowing you to select either Ubuntu or Windows (just in case). This sometimes drives people to not “try” too hard with linux, but it is a much more conservative approach.

If you’re around Gauteng I’m willing to lend a hand.

PiTiVi makes a fair fist of video editing; it’s quite intuitive and even allows a doofus like me to splice videos together. I haven’t tried any advanced stuff, though.

It’s not necessary to install a second disk–you can create new partitions on your existing Windows drive, just do a defrag first, back up your data, and take extreme care every step of the way. I’ve done this a few times and it works well. If you’re in the civilised, good-looking part of the country (you all know where that is) I’m also prepared to assist.



I’ve done it twice (fat32 resize), but if it’s NTFS I doubt it can go well?

The reason I don’t recommend it is because even for a techie this takes “extreme care”, I get nervous every time I do it.

Yes I am … obviously Cape Town :slight_smile: Ok thanks for the help I’m going to look into a bit more and decide.

Get yourself a live distribution (try a trade magazine) of knoppix or ubuntu et. This will run from your DVD without changing your hard drive (windows will be unaffected). You will be able to see what hardware works and use the thousands of bundled programs. The downside is that is that DVDs read slower than hard-drives. You will just have to imagine the increase in performance until you install it to your hard drive. As indicated above you can add Linux to a windows machine without disturbing windows ( dual boot). Last thing - there is not much advantage ( other than cost) if different OSs were the same. It is the difference that makes Linux important. Dont expect a windows wannabe (although Ubuntu tries hard).