Ubuntu Linux

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Ubuntu Linux is a free, Debian-based, GNOME oriented distribution, on a 6-month release cycle. April releases (numbered x.04) are long-term support versions which are considered quite stable. October releases (numbered x.10) are more of a development release which usually includes newer technologies, but is sometimes less stable or user-friendly.


Recent Releases

  • 8.04 Hardy Heron
  • 8.10 Intrepid Ibex
  • 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope
  • 9.10 Karmic Koala

Architectures Supported

i386, x64/AMD/Intel, Netbooks (Intel Atom, etc.)

Installation

You can download Ubuntu from the Ubuntu homepage. The LiveCD version allows you do one of 3 things:

  1. Test the system directly from the LiveCD without making changes to your system.
  2. Install the system to a new partition directly from the CD.
  3. Install the system from inside Windows so it leaves your Windows boot.ini in tact.

Software Installation

Being a debian-based OS, many programs can be installed via Synaptic Package Manager. New development has also brought forth the upcoming Software Store application which will attempt to make packages more easily accessble and basically 'Windowify' the process making it even easier for new users.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Very simple to use, great for the new-to-linux person.
  • A plethora of community (and officially) supported help and documentation
  • Can be beefed up for 'power user' use.
  • Has become a mainstream-driver/pusher of open source development.

Cons

  • Forum support is ruled by elitists, can seem unfriendly to new users.
  • Ubuntu has been slowly branching away from the 'linux-geek' user-end to a more windows-like environment.
  • Development cycles tend to suffer more regressions with each new cycle.

Derivates

Official (Canonical Supported)

Unofficial (Not officially supported)

  • Linux Mint - A more-polished Ubuntu-based release with it's own software development staff/community.
  • #!CrunchBang Linux - A lightweight system which uses Openbox. Great for reviving older machines! Super fast and comes with some great tools.

External links

Forums,Mailing lists

Documentation