Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Ubuntu 6.06 on my laptop

I had ordered the Ubuntu 6.06 CD's in early June and I got them today. I immediately took the PC edition of Ubuntu and set about installing it on my laptop (WLG 22200).

The Ubuntu CD is both a live/install CD. You first boot into the Lice CD and login with a user name you provide while the Live CD boots into the GNOME desktop environment. Once you are on the desktop, you can click the 'install' icon and set about installing Ubuntu on your PC/Laptop.

Ubuntu is debian based and my recent foray with trying to install Debian turned out to be fiasco.

The install process is kept very simple. All you need to provide are details like
1) timezone
2) keyboard layout
3) partitioning information (I used the manual option here) etc.

There are about 5-6 steps and the installation time is neat, less than 20m i believe. Hmm so that set me wondering if i would get the software i wanted. I did not find an option of custom installation of packages/features. Meanwhile the installation was done with and it was time to reboot and get into Ubuntu.

I must say, The look and feel of Ubuntu is real cool. Its neat and its polished. Windows now really Beware!! Ubuntu is getting there for sure :)

I booted into Ubuntu and as i booted i realized that
1) The 915 chipset drivers were 'in' and hence i got a good resolution straightaway.
2) the sound subsystem was up and running

After logging in, i opened the terminal and tried gcc. Hmm!! It wasn't installed.
I then used system->administration->networking to setup my Ethernet connection. No problems there. Don't have a wireless network to test with in my office, hence i decided to test it with my Huawei wireless router/modem (BSNL) the moment i got home.

Other things i noticed while i was logged on was that the firefox version was and that the 'check for updates' in the menu was disabled.

As i left office for home, i put the Ubuntu Sticker on my laptop. Its a neat sticker which i placed just below the 'Designed for Windows XP' sticker.

Once home, as i booted into Ubuntu again, i realized that the 3rd party drivers were 'in' which probably meant that the wireless firmware was also taken care of!! SuSe/Fedora (in my earlier post) dint have the firmware. Of course there is a lot of debate on including 3rd party driver binaries/blobs, but that's an issue that's more to do with GPL/philosophy/Morals than user experience.

Again back to system->administration->networking to setup my wireless. Added the BSNL DNS address and 5 seconds later, i could open my router admin page and google.com. wow!! That's really seamless wireless networking for you!! Ubuntu is cool!! Way to go!!!

More updates with Ubuntu in more posts later. I guess I'm going to stick with Ubuntu for some time now (next week or so :)) ). Have had 3 flavors FC5/SuSe 10.1/Ubuntu 6.06 and the 'feel better' experience has been in exactly the same order of my installation experiences.