Ubuntu 6.06 LTS

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
July 8, 2006
Views
36150
Linux is one of elusive topics in many discussions relating to computers. Cut through the fog and try a real operating system with Ubuntu. Take the ease of Mac OSX and the stability of Linux and you have Ubuntu. Read on...

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Intro:

What flavor of ice cream do you like? That question is a great analogy to how fragmented Linux distributions are. Each distribution is a different flavor and some of those flavors are built upon others. When someone mentions Linux, they are usually referring to a distribution of it because Linux is only a kernel after all. Ubuntu is based on Debian and the newest version includes long term support. Consider it a cross between Windows 2000 and Mac OSX. It is one great operating system.

Ubuntu:

What is Ubuntu? "Ubuntu (ooh-BOON-too) is an African word that has been described as "too beautiful to translate into English". The essence of ubuntu is that "a person is a person through other people". It describes humanity as "being-with-others" and prescribes what "being-with-others" should be all about. Ubuntu emphasizes sharing, consensus, and togetherness."

You should not worry about the meaning of the word, just the fact this it is one of the best operating systems to date. Ubuntu thrives on "Just Works." That does not mean that everything works out of the box like a Mac does. I had a bit of a time to get a Broadcom based wireless card to work. Do not fret on my problems, most things just do work.

Live CD:

Previous releases of Ubuntu had two different CDs to download. The Live CD was different from the install CD. Starting with Dapper Drake (the codename for 6.06), a single CD serves as both the live CD and the installation CD. Would you like to get your feet wet with Linux? Pop in the CD and boot off of it. You will have a fully functional Linux desktop running entirely off the CD. No messing with your computer required to see if everything works.

Desktop


This is what you will be greeted with upon successful boot. Go ahead and poke around. The examples folder shown below contain some useful videos and other media for testing. Very useful to determine if your hardware is supported.

Examples


Enough playing around, install the operating system on your computer. Get rid of Windows for good and get a REAL operating system of that computer. If you are not able to run Mac OS X (who says you need an Apple Wink), Ubuntu is the next best thing.

Installation:

To begin the installation, just double click the "Install" icon and the installation will begin asking you a bunch of questions. The thing that really impresses me is the fact that EVERYTHING is GUI based (meaning it is not text based). Even in Windows, the installation requires disk management to be text based. Macs also have a GUI based total install. Next best thing, just like I said.

Installation


The first question is the language. I bet most of you will be picking English. There are many language choices to pick from.

Installation 2


What time is it? The installation is pretty straight forward so far.

Installation 3


American English for my layout. You can chose whatever you want and test it out.

Installation 4


This one requires some thought. You need to pick your username and password. I suggest you remember them both because you need both to log in. Unlike Windows, Ubuntu is setup to not display a default username. Make sure you have a strong password. Do not leave your computer wide open to attacks because you cannot remember a password.

Installation 5


You can chose to have the entire disk used or to have Ubuntu resize the current partition (if you have enough space and there is an OS loaded already). Just click next.

Installation 6


This is the final part before the installation begins. Click Install and stuff will start to happen.

Installing


After about 20 minutes of installing and copying files, you will need to restart the computer and everything will be installed. It is at this point that you can stop if you want the base install. I suggest you keep reading and get the most out of Ubuntu.
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Updates:

Updates


Software updates are built into Ubuntu and are easier than Windows. First of all, they do not download and install automatically (nor do I care if that is an option), they notify you. I know you can do this on Windows, but most users just place too much trust in Microsoft and then they push spyware in the form of Genuine Advantage out as a critical updated. Misplaced trust indeed.

Software Updates


The updater is a smaller version of Synaptic, the package manager. If you are not using Ubuntu in a production use environment just go ahead and install all the updates. If you are running specific software, test each update on a test machine or even a virtual machine!

Downloading Updates


The updater will download and install all the updates you requested. Yes, that is my download rate. The Ubuntu package servers are very fast.

Update Done


Sometimes there are some parallels to the lesser operating system. You need to restart if you have a critical package that has been updated (the kernel, etc...).

The Operating System:

We went through the installation and updating, but how is Ubuntu to use? Awesome to say the least. Ubuntu comes with Gnome by default but you can opt to install, or download right off the bat, KDE or XFCE. Gnome reminds me more of Mac while KDE mimics Windows. Both can be setup to look anyway you want. The default orange theme is nice enough.

Drives


Ubuntu has no problems with flash drives or optical drives or even hard drives (got to install it somewhere). You can use the drive manager to partition and format many different types of filesystems. Good stuff.

SMB Shares


I actually have a Samba fileserver running Mandrake on my network and Ubuntu comes with a network manager better than Microsoft's own Network Neighborhood. It can easily detect computers 'close' to you. I am able to access all my shares on the network with no problem.

Synaptic


If you are interested in more software from the base install, check out the package manager Synaptic. It handles downloading and installing software with ease. Yes, you can still configure stuff from the source and for some thing you have to. Sometimes the packages that are offered are older than the stable source. Most of the time it does not matter. I suggest adding all the repositories to get all the packages you want. you can go one step further and install the stuff that is needed all automatixally...

Automatix:

Automatix!


Automatix is the batteries that Ubuntu needs. It puts the software that people would want in one step. To get Automatix, you need to do some command line actions. It is very simple and requires a cut and paste. No problem. Follow the instructions at this thread. Once you have Automatix installed, run it. Follow through the prompts...

Warning!


Oh no! You could be doing something illegal if you install a CODEC! That is right, you can break the law by viewing content you purchased. Is that not terrible? Do not follow the instructions that I am going to give you: Install the codecs anyway, preserve your right to fair use.

Automatix Stuff


The big ones are the laptop wifi and the TrueType Fonts. These two packages alone are worth whatever you need to do. If you get errors when download any of the packages, Automatix should attempt to download and install them again and again. It had to try at least 6 times to get all the fonts to download. It was totally worth it. Select everything or as little as you want. Once it is installed, you will have a fully ready to use operating system with media support. Ubuntu does not come with many codecs by default (such as MP3). Automatix takes care of that.

Conclusion:

I have personally begun to remove the Windows installations from my home computer including my parents computer. Most people use a computer for writing documents and web stuff, Ubuntu works great for that with OpenOffice (preinstalled) and Firefox. It is easy to use and it comes with many pieces of very useful software. It is perfect for laptops and desktop and even for servers. I recommend this to everyone and anyone. Seriously, it is free: http://www.ubuntu.com/

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