A Pleasant Ubuntu Experience

Album Cover: It's Not Me, It's You

"I'm not a saint, but I'm not a sinner...everything's cool as long as I'm getting thinner."
Lily Allen / The Fear

Posted on July 30, 2007 12:56 AM in Computers
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that ever since I got my first taste of Linux I've pretty much been a Red Hat/Fedora user.

It's been a while since I've had an excuse to install Linux on a computer, but this week I needed to install it on a work computer. I've heard and read so many good things about Ubuntu that I ordered free Ubuntu install discs a few weeks ago, and so I used one of those to install Ubuntu 7.04 on the computer.

The install process was simple as usual, maybe even more so than I'm used to. My first impression of the user interface was positive. I'm not a huge fan of tan and brown, in general, but they found a way to make it look somewhat professional. I had to turn on the wobbly windows feature, just 'cause it adds a somewhat unfamiliar feel to the experience, which is nice when talking about an operating system.

The two things that impressed me the most, though, having installed and used Linux many times in the past, were very minor things.

First, when I tried to run a subversion command from the command line, I either expected the command to work, or to get some kind of message back like svn: command not found. What I got was something somewhere in-between the two. Subversion wasn't installed by default, but rather than telling me the command wasn't found, it told me it wasn't available and how to install it! I saw something along the lines of:

To install subversion, type:
apt-get install subversion

One of the other things that's always bugged me about Linux desktops is how you almost always had to add newly installed applications to the graphical menus yourself. Whereas Windows will add a new application to your Programs menu, for example, Linux has never been all that great at this. Therefore, I was very happy to see that Ubuntu was able to handle this. After running the following command:

apt-get install ntfs-config

I had a new menu folder under Applications called "System Tools" that had the newly installed "NTFS Configuration Tool" listed as a selectable menu item. Pretty cool!

Admittedly, I haven't really had enough experience with Ubuntu yet to really weigh in, but it was nice getting such a positive first impression. I'll doubtless post more once I've gotten more Ubuntu experience under my belt.

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