Sunday, May 13, 2007

What to do with Ubuntu

There are far too many questions ask by Linux newbies. Why, because it is new stuff. So here is my take on the situation.

First, get the "live CD" version of Linux if you can. You then can test out Linux without tampering with your Windows install. It will show you if you can run out of the box with your current hardware. Then find a Linux Hardware Compatibility List for the Linux you are attempting to run. There are many dissatisfied folks who run into driver issues because they have exotic video cards or motherboards. Laptops especially need to be looked into because they have their own requirements. There are lots of internet descriptions of installs so I'll skip that part for now.

Second, realize from the beginning that Linux is a different animal, a different realm, a different adventure. You must add stuff to it if you want it to be "like windows" or most of your expectations are bound to be dashed. But if you don't mind learning new ways to do things, you will have fun exploring Linux. Do some homework, read a little. The web has stuff and there are good books out there.

Many, many folks new to Linux have heard that Linux is "Command Line driven", that they must learn "DOS like " commands used in a terminal window. Linux has all the gui you could want. Typing commands into the command line interface is not that scary. But as you get into Linux you will see there are a number of ways to get things done. You once had to learn Windows, so now you have to learn Linux. The help available is very good.

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