Thursday 27th October 2016

Ubuntu

Welcome to my Ubuntu page! I've been using Ubuntu since the release of version 10.04 "Lucid Lynx". I was initially impressed with the level of polish on Ubuntu though I've since learned that it's best to stick to the long term support releases and skip the ones in-between.

Ubuntu is a somewhat controversial Linux distribution insofar as it gained a large user base by making Linux simple for non-technical users; but in doing so it dumbed down the Linux experience to a degree that offends many of the old school Linux users.

My first experiences with Linux were with early versions of Red Hat, Slackware and Mandrake. However I started to use Linux as my main work OS with the arrival of SuSE Linux 7.1. I was able to move to Linux as my desktop OS because all of my work was being done on Solaris and Oracle using SQL and Java at the time and I had no need for Windows applications. The Linux environment was awesome to me, I had the best text editors I'd ever used and a slick, fast and resilient place to work. After moving jobs I went through a couple of years of having to work in Windows again and then eventually found my way back to working on a Linux desktop, this time I tried out the newer versions of SuSE (now renamed to openSuSE) and found that it was, much to my dismay, seriously lacking in stability I started to fish around for a stable alternative with good hardware support and a friend handed my a copy of Ubuntu, I've been here ever since.

The Ubuntu desktop and Unity

A couple of versions ago, Ubuntu moved away from the Gnome 2 desktop and onto a desktop of their own design called Unity. I did not personally appreciate this change as I honestly feel that the Unity experience, while more intuitive for the beginner, is less productive than Gnome 2. All is not lost however! by installing a single package you can have your cake and eat it, simply run the following command from a console...

sudo apt-get install gnome-session-flashback

...once you have done this, you can select "Gnome Flashback" from the session type during login and you're old Gnome 2 productivity will be back. This simple change addresses my main gripe with Ubuntu and puts a huge smile on my face.

The rest of the OS is slick, simple and well supported with good documentation and very easy to get set up in a hurry. I value anything that saves me time and I can honestly say that using Ubuntu has saved me a lot of time on my desktop and on my servers.