After reading about Mark Pilgrim’s famous switch from Mac OS X to Ubuntu along with his list of must-use stuff, I installed Ubuntu Linux on my system (and removed Fedora Linux in the process…)

First impressions:

  • It is fast. Here’s where I say “Bye Bye Fedora”. Firefox runs smoothly whereas it used to crawl and cry on Fedora (I have a P3 667 MHz Intel machine)
  • The looks are great, especially the bootup screen. My non-techie cousin said “I thought you were starting up some game!”. That’s a good compliment.
  • The booting process is slow. It runs dosfsck, etc which slows down the process a lot.
  • The Add/Remove programs works like a charm. In Fedora, I had to manually update my ‘yum.conf’ for the repositories I needed. Here, I can select the software, and if the “Universe” repository is not enabled, it asks me whether I want to enable it, I click yes, and the rest is taken care of.
  • The printer configuration took just 20 seconds as opposed to more than 5 minutes previously in Fedora where I had to hunt for the right set of drivers and driver options
  • The red quit button at the top right portion of the screen is a nice touch
  • The documentation is excellent. Click on System -> Help -> System Documentation. Click on ‘Ubuntu Desktop Guide’ and start reading. For example, further click on ‘Common Tasks’ -> ‘Music’ and look under the section ‘Using your Ipod’, it clearly recommends how to use/install the “rhythmbox” and “gtkpod” software.
  • Finally a distro that my dad has started to use comfortably
  • EasyUbuntu is a must-use
  • UbuntuGuide.org is a must-read
  • The fact that it is a single-CD distro is both a boon and a bane. Boon because it is easier to give to others and use and is faster to install. Bane because anything else I want to install means a bandwidth hog, for example, any of the compile/build tools.
  • Is it true that Ubuntu has an Indian mirror? Somehow it seems to result in faster downloads.
  • The UbuntuOS blog and their podcast seem interesting, as well as the Unofficial Ubuntu blog
  • Hardcore users will like Planet Ubuntu
  • It’s surprising that I didn’t find many gripes with Ubuntu. Is it that “Desktop Linux” is finally coming of age or is it that the Ubuntu team have done a really good job that others haven’t been able to?