Wednesday, 1 November 2006

Test driving Ubuntu Linux live CD

(This is a repost. I took it down awhile ago but at dzul's request I'm posting it back with the hope that it'll be beneficial for anybody who's seeking a life without Microsoft.)

I recently received a pleasant surprise in the mail, shipped all the way from Isle of Man. It was the Ubuntu Linux CD that I ordered online several weeks ago. I was surprised that they actually sent it, and all for free.

Ubuntu Linux is a project by South African entrepreneur, Mark Shuttleworth, to provide the public with free Linux operating system software that is user-friendly and at no cost. It is designed to work as similar as possible to the Windows operating system, in order to appeal to non-technical users. 'Ubuntu' is a Zulu/Xhosa word that means 'humanity towards others.'

The CD itself is both an installer and a live CD. I've only tested Ubuntu as a live CD because installing Ubuntu would require me to perform some hard disk management since I already have Windows XP installed in it and if it is not done properly, I might risk losing the data that's currently there.

As a live CD, I simply inserted the CD, rebooted the PC and the CD will load my PC in Ubuntu by reading it directly from the CD. Running a live CD is not recommended if you have a small amount of RAM (less than 256MB), a slow CD-ROM drive or faulty hard disk, as these will slow things down significantly.

And indeed the rumours are true! Ubuntu does look a lot like Windows. However, it's best not to compare between the two because they are both fundamentally different. And that's actually a good thing.

Ubuntu's advantages include: it's free, it's got 3-year security updates support, Ubuntu is virtually virus-free, and there's a lot of free software available for it like OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird and others, that should help users get their things done as they would using Windows. Ubuntu Guide has a rather extensive list of how to get FTP, IRC, media players and other programs to work in Ubuntu.

I played around Ubuntu for awhile because there isn't much you can do with a live CD. I did however watched a video of Nelson Mandela explaining the philosophy of Ubuntu, like when a person goes to village, he will be welcomed and fed and will not be feeling alone, or something similar to that. It also cannot detect any files in my computer because Ubuntu uses a different file system (Ext3) than Windows XP (which uses NTFS). I read somewhere that Ubuntu can read FAT32 file systems, used in Windows 95, 98 and Me.

So what's the final verdict? Ubuntu certainly looks interesting, and I'm feeling like giving it a try. I've been talking to my classmate who's a network adminstrator and he's been encouraging me to make the leap. "If people met Linux first before they met Window, they'll choose Linux over Windows", my friend concluded, at the end of his Linux versus Windows presentation in one of our Management Information Systems classes.

Interested in joining the leap? I can make a copy of the CD (in fact, on the back of the CD case, it says that I'm encouraged to do so) if you want. Or, you order yourself a copy from Canonical and get free Ubuntu stickers like I did.

Free stickers. I'm telling you, they can be a very, very persuasive marketing tool.


ieka said...

terlebih dahulu..selamat hari raya aidilfitri juga untuk mu kawanku.

terlebih kemudian.. nak nak..aku pun nak satu salinan!:D

terlebih2.. err buku ko aku baru baca 1 page pertama..:D

rol said...

Aku takde CD burner, jadi ko kena tunggu sikit. Boleh juga cuba pesan CD Ubuntu dari link Canonical. Boleh dapat pelekat Ubuntu, tapi kena tunggu 3-5 minggu.

ieka said...

takpelah..aku tunggu ko jelah.. nak gi 'mana2' pun dah tak sempat, apa lagi nak isi itu dan ini..heheheh

Aleksandersen said...

As can even cooler stickers be!

Note that Ubuntu Linux don't preform very well off the LiveCD. You will have to actually install it and boot if off the hard drive to get teh real feel of how it will preform on your system.

There are online simulators available though.

rol said...


Ubuntu is an ancient African word meaning “I can’t configure Debian.”


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