Practical notes about ubuntu

Here are a few things I have found out whilst experimenting with ubuntu.

Altruism: What stands out is that this is an operating system produced by users for users, not with the aim of earning obscene amounts of money. Changes are made not to make existing software redundant, but because the change is an improvement. It has a really good feel and inclines me to put up with can't dos just to be shot of Microsoft at last.

Can't do: There is a page devoted to things that I haven't found out how to do, or that can't be done.

Naive users: I have just installed ubuntu on a laptop used by a technophobe. Unlike a windows installation, ubuntu automatically installed all necessary drivers. The user initially reacted badly to the repositioning, and different appearances, of standard icons, but she was soon using it easily. Round one to ubuntu.

Users and super-user: Ubuntu desktop is aimed at a single user, or if needing more one user, then no setting up of groups. You use super-user permissions at your peril. I had to re-install after going wrong trying to set up groups of users. Best to stick to administrator permissions unless you really know what you are doing.

Viruses: Malware writers seem to be concentrating on business as a target. However there are still malicious nerds who target private users for the hell of it. Because of the variety of linux flavours and their inherent security features, most seem not to bother with it. As viruses become cleverer this will be a major advantage for ubuntu.

Re-install: There is a non-destructive re-install that works. With Windows you lose anything that is on the boot partition, but in ubuntu you can choose to keep installed software and of course data. This is a major plus, even if it does take a while for ubuntu to sort it out for you.

Software repositories: There is a lot of free and low-cost software in the built-in Software Center repository, and from the universe and multiverse available through Synaptic. There is additional software available under the GNU licencing system. There might be a slight risk of the latter being corrupt but this is probably very small.

Reboot after installs: At last you no longer have the archaic Windows nonsense of having to reboot after installations and changes. This is a grown-up operating system.

Hardware and drivers: Hardware compatibility is random. Some bits of hardware seem just to work but others will not work at all, and cannot be made to.



(C) Peter Scott 2013

Last edit 26 December 2015