Like with anything you buy (though Ubuntu is free) you're probably going to weigh the pros and cons first. Here are my observations in no particular order.
- It is completely free. Order a CD via their ShipIt service, and you get the CD delivered.
- Installation is fast and easy, in my case I upgraded from Ubuntu Feisty 7.04.
Desktop looks beautiful and Compiz-Fusion makes it out of this world. Improved interface for setting up 3D effects selection - the Compiz Fusion is now enabled by default.
- You don't need expensive hardware to run it. It can run perfectly on a Pentium 3 machine with a normal configuration.
- Ubuntu updates every six months (free)
- Installing apps in Ubuntu is very easy. Just a single command and you’re done or use the GUI installer for a list of suggested apps.
- Ubuntu Installer imports your Windows OS settings, so some things come configured when you install it - just like you had on Windows. For instance, your XP Firefox profile could be imported.
- Layout is clean, uncluttered and all applications are easily accessible.
- System speed and responsiveness, both boot-up and actual work with the OS is faster than in the previous release. Startup and shutdown screens won’t blink any more, so no more watching of a boring black screen even for a second.
- WiFi support with WEP during system installation
- Tracker (full-text file search) works without any actions.
- Automatic detection of existing systems, proper GRUB configuration.
- Automatic detection and mounting of all system partitions (including the NTFS one).
- Option to install the OS on encrypted partitions (when installing from the Alternate CD only)
- Firefox Fonts are rendered better, look clearer and sharper
- Repositories in this release are well stocked with many updates/addons. All are easy to activate and there was no need to manually enter new ones to get non-free add-ons and other proprietary software like Opera or Adobe Reader.
- Firewall application is not included by default.
- New users to Ubuntu still need to install additional open source apps and utilities such as Some basic applications that you should consider installing :
vlc - open source video player that plays about every format under the sun.
gftp - ftp program (basic but does the job)
k3b - one of the best CD/DVD burning program on the planet
opera - alternative web browser (make sure you have the canoncial repository enabled)
mozilla-thunderbird - can’t live without this one.
amarok - very slick itunes like audio player
kubuntu-desktop - installs the KDE version of ubuntu
ardour - multitrack audio editor
azureus - bittorrent client
Kino - non linear video editor
Soundconverter - convert audio files between Ogg, MP3, FLAC, WAV
1.) Select “Synaptic –> Repositories –> Third Party Software –> + ADD”
2.) Paste this into the APT Line: “deb http://download.skype.com/linux/repos/debian/ stable non-free”
3.) Then search for “Skype”, check the corresponding box and then click “Install”
Google Earth / Desktop
1.) Download PGP Key : linux_signing_key.pub
2.) Select “Synaptic –> Repositories –> Authentication –> + IMPORT KEY FILE”
3.) Browse to the directory where you downloaded linux_signing_key.pub and select that
4.) Select “Synaptic –> Repositories –> Third Party Software –> + ADD”
5.) Paste into the APT Line: “deb http://dl.google.com/linux/deb/ stable non-free”
6.) Click “Reload”
7.) Then search for “Google” and install the Google applications of your choice
VMware Server (Run Windows and Windows applications in Ubuntu 7.10)
1.) Register for a VMware Server serial number here.
2.) from terminal “sudo apt-get install build-essential”
3.) download VMware Server for Linux - Binary (.tar.gz) here.
4.) from terminal cd dir to the downloaded file and type “tar zvxf VMware-server-1.0.4-56528.tar.gz”
5.) from terminal “cd vmware-server-distrib/”
6.) from terminal “sudo ./vmware-install.pl”
7.) hit the “enter” key for every question asked, if question doesn’t accept the “Enter” key then select “Yes”.
8.) Run VMware Server by selecting “Applicatoins –> System Tools –> VMware Server Console”
- After I upgraded from Ubuntu Feisty 7.04, my Desktop effects (eyecandy) got reset and after re-enabling it all I am still not able to get the 3D Cube back to work like it was. Still trying to debug that, but all other effects are spectacular and working great.
The much anticipated wait is over. Ubuntu 7.10 is worth every penny (though its free) and I highly recommend it for all those who dont mind installing 3rd party open source apps. I toke it to the next level now and customized Ubuntu to look like Mac's OS X Leopard, take a look here.