Back in Ubuntu land

After some weeks of having to deal with Windows, I finally upgraded my laptop to Ubuntu. What a relief! Here’s a (not so) short list of immediate advantages that I missed badly on Windows:

  • Virtual desktops. Really, can’t live without this. Desktop becomes utterly cluttered when more than 3 windows are open. And I usually have 20 or so. I know there are tools that do similar on Windows (my laptop had one from NVidia) but this is really not the same.
  • All important software and drivers on board. Installation was a breeze (a few clicks and 20 minutes waiting) and when finished, _everything_ just worked. Including wifi, printer, scanner. Maybe I was just lucky, or maybe Linux dramatically improved over the last couple of years. And of course, no day long searching web for stuff, installing tons of crapware, etc.
  • More consistent, usable and clean UI. On Windows, every app seems to be proud of looking and behaving differently. This is nice for the bling, but makes using the computer unnecessarily difficult. And then there’s small but significant details that make life easier on Ubuntu.
  • Worldclock applet. Extremely useful when your team is all over the world.
  • Language support. I always considered this obvious, but apparently, it’s not.
  • No need to run millions of apps in the system tray to keep your system half up to date. (The other half still needs manual updates 😉 ).
  • No need to run all kinds of security software, firewalls (they are still a good idea, but I usually don’t  use them on my laptop and never had any problem), virus scanner.
  • It uses all 4 GB of my RAM. Which is actually quite important when you make heavy use of virtual machines (for running Windows 😉 ).
  • Cultural stuff: Apps on Linux usually install themselves, and not a handful of other pieces of software. Recent example on Windows: After having installed some codecs (yay, I was thinking that codecs are a non-problem on Windows, but it’s not the case..) I found that I now have Google Chrome as well. Not that I object trying Chrome, but I prefer to be in control of what gets installed or not.

I probably could continue this list, but I leave that task to you readers if you like ;-). The point is, I have absolutely no pressing need (as in Hardware or Software that only works with Windows) to run Windows as base OS. It’s actually much better to run it in VirtualBox, where I can easily reset it to a clean state when I want to. This is cool for testing anyway. And working on Ubuntu instantly gives me a productivity boost of at least 50-100%.

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6 Responses to Back in Ubuntu land

  1. Mario Torre says:

    Welcome back in the sane world!

  2. Dave Gilbert says:

    About the only thing in Ubuntu that doesn’t work as well as in Windows (that I’ve noticed) is Flash support in the browser (out-of-the-box at least, I didn’t try to solve this problem yet). Not a big problem for me, but it would likely bother some people.

    On the plus side for Ubuntu, it has a command line that you can actually use, an easy install for ‘pdflatex’ (essential for me), cool applications like GnuCash and Gnumeric, and all those points you already mentioned. I would pay money for this stuff.

  3. @Dave: I’m sure you know this so this is more for others, but the Flash issue is one that’s out of the hands of GNU/Linux distributors and it’s the same as the one we had with Java for many years. Maybe someday Adobe will see the light and release their plugin as Free Software, but then even Sun seems incapable of that…

  4. matemik says:

    “It uses all 4 GB of my RAM.” There is something called Vista 64 bit 🙂

  5. Olivier says:

    @Dave Windows has the Power Shell, which puts all other shells to shame, and is the default shell on Windows7 (maybe also on Vista, I don’t know). cmd.com sucks, no argument, but it is also a museum piece now.

  6. Ludovic Claude says:

    Roman, you may also appreciate to have Maven 2.2.0, Jetty 6, Tomcat 6, Groovy 1.6.2 and more Java software nicely packaged for Ubuntu. Check my PPA and add it to your sources.list:
    https://launchpad.net/~ludovicc/+archive/ppa/
    Those updates are going slowly into Debian then back into Ubuntu repositories, maybe Karmic will have them,

    Enjoy,
    Ludovic

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