Ubuntu Linux

The last time I tried a Linux OS was back in the late 90′s with Red Hat and it took me about 20 minutes before I broke it. I didn’t give it much of a chance after that.  Now I take another look at a Linux distribution by the name of Ubuntu.

Since my last excursion into the world of Linux, the open source distributions of this OS have been forging ahead at an astounding pace. One of the most popular, free and well supported distributions of Linux at the moment is Ubuntu. I’m going to take you through some of the highlights.

Introducing Ubuntu 9.10 – The Karmic Koala.

Ubuntu Gnome Desktop

Distributions:

In linux distributions, there are two main flavors of desktop environment: KDE and GNOME. These are the graphical environments that display the software you wish to use. Some programs developed for one environment won’t work well under the other, or at the very least will use a lot more system resources to run.

Ubuntu uses the GNOME environment, however the underlying operating system comes in a KDE form called Kubuntu. Another variant is called Xubuntu, which uses the Xfce environment designed for slow computers or those that wish to have a resource light interface.

In addition to the Desktop Environment variants, there is also an Ubuntu distribution targeted at schools and parents called Edubuntu. It comes preloaded with learning programs for children.

For this review, I will basically be looking at the standard Ubuntu desktop release as well as a small look at the Netbook Remix release, which includes a new user-friendly application loader.

Applications:

The Applications Menu

The available applications are what might make and break an operating system. Ubuntu comes with several great applications built-in. I will go over some of the most useful:

Firefox 3.5

The popular and fully featured web browser comes standard with Ubuntu.

CD/DVD Creator:

Built into the explorer (nautilus) allowing you to burn DVD and CD discs.

Brasero Disc burner

Burn music cd’s

Evolution:

An email client which includes calendar and organizer similar to Outlook.

Empathy IM:

An instant manager client supporting most popular IM services.

UbuntuOne Online Storage:

An online storage account providing 2gb of free storage. This can be mounted as a virtual drive on your system to be synchronized with the local disk

Transmission BitTorrent:

A client for downloading files with Torrents.

OpenOffice:

Ubuntu comes with Presentation, Drawing, Math Formula, Spreadsheet and Wordprocessing apps.

RhythmBox Music Player:

A fully featured Music player which includes support for mobile devices, internet radio, magnatune and jamendo music sources, podcast feeds and playlists. It also includes some plugins which include UPNP and DAAP servers to share your music to the network, cover art, song lyrics and visualization.

F-spot Image Manager:

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