Anne van Kesteren

Installed Ubuntu

Arve installed Ubuntu on my laptop last summer. Earlier today I installed Ubuntu on my mom’s new desktop computer. (It’s quite amazing how cheap these things come nowadays. 450 EUR for a desktop computer including a nineteen inch widescreen flat panel. She saved a hundred or so on not buying Windows and instead getting an Ubuntu 8.04 installation disk with it.) The new desktop is replacing a Pentium III running Windows XP that gave confusing modal error dialogs on startup and where the internet only worked half the time. My mom uses her desktop for roughly the same things as me (on a high level anyway), internet, text, and spreadsheets, and since Linux has greatly improved over the past few years I thought it would be worth the try. I didn’t do hardware analysis as that seemed too much trouble. My mom went to some shop around the corner and bought the simplest model there with the only addition being a wireless network card. Fortunately it all worked fine, although Ubuntu did complain about the wireless network card and drivers (probably some “non-free” thing). Installing was a breeze, it took about thirty minutes including booting from CD and demonstrating how it would look in the end. (To be fair, downloading and installing the eighty-nine patches released after 8.04 took another five to ten minutes.)

I think it’s really cool that Linux has advanced this much. I remember trying Red Hat six years ago or so and it was a big multifail. I hope Ubuntu keeps it up. Maybe next I can convince my dad who told me his recently bought Windows Vista laptop became amazingly slow and basically useless for anything.

(See also: 2008 is the year of Linux on the desktop.)


  1. I am unable to install the latest Ubuntu on my desktop because it fails to properly install the bootloader (which, shall we say, is a bad regression to have), and I've heard complaints from many acquaintances about strange, highly annoying regressions, but as a general rule Ubuntu is getting better with every release---with the possible exception of the installer itself, which seems to get worse with every release.

    Now, if only we could get an audio player even half as good as foobar2000, I'd have no reservations about making the switch.

    Posted by J. King at

  2. Now, if only we could get an audio player even half as good as foobar2000

    Music Player Daemon and Sonata Music Client. I've found these two applications to be a great alternative to foobar2000 (which I use when on Windows).

    Posted by Hemebond at

  3. I've had lots of problems with Ubuntu myself.

    Ubuntu is easy to install, but audio and video configuration can be annoying.

    Posted by burnout426 at

  4. Now, if only we could get an audio player even half as good as foobar2000, I'd have no reservations about making the switch.

    Would any of these work?

    Note, since I wrote that, Rhythmbox has actually also progressed a lot, and is no longer a horrible player. Quod Libet is, however, still my media manager of choice.

    Posted by Arve at

  5. Well, good to know it works for most people. Linux has never been easyon any of my PCs, they all have strange audio cards with no available drivers. It's been a while since I tried though...

    Posted by Sigurdhsson at

  6. I too have parents with sluggish installs of Vista on new (and powerful) PCs. The biggest issue is overcoming technophobia. They have learnt how to use Vista and Office and I know would be worried about learning a new OS. I've found Ubuntu to be excellent so am considering a migration!

    Posted by George at