A Brief History of My Life on Linux: Part II

7:19 AM

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Ubuntu has both thrilled and annoyed me."]Official Ubuntu circle with wordmark. Replace ...[/caption]

This is the second story in a short series about my experiences with Linux. You can read the first article in the series by clicking here.


For the time being, I was quite happy on Mandrake and even upgraded to a more recent version of Mandriva. After a while though (approximately 6 months) I started getting curious about other distributions, especially when other Linux users talked about how one needed to find the "right" distribution for themselves. I wondered if Mandriva was really the "right" distribution for me or if I just liked it because it was the first distribution I had experienced.


Two distributions I found myself playing with time and time again were Ubuntu and Mepis. Ubuntu was still a fledgling at the version Breezy Badger, so I restricted it to a separate partition from Mepis. Mepis quickly became my main squeeze in the place of Mandriva. It came on a Live CD (which many distributions had yet to do at this time period), came with handy tools for repairing botched installations (which happened a lot with all my tinkering and learning), was easy to use, and was blazingly fast. Best of all though the community welcomed me with open arms and never in the entire time I spent there made me feel like a "stupid noob".


I followed along the development of Ubuntu from the time it was Breezy Badger. The funniest thing about it is even when I wasn't using Linux as a desktop OS any more I was still downloading the latest Ubuntu CDs as they were coming out and trying out the Live CD. That project has a funny kind of magnetism for some people.


Two years down the road, when I decided to get a new laptop I suddenly found that not a single distribution would cooperate with the sound card, which was fairly proprietary. Thus began the time I spent away from Linux. While Windows Vista was not exactly my cup of tea, I found the release of Windows 7 to be fairly refreshing. It really did not strike me to try Linux again until three computers later (and three years) when I was left looking for some other netbook suitable OS other than Windows XP (and I was unwilling to invest in Windows 7 Starter, which I still find to be too resource hungry for a netbook).


Of course, the first distribution I tried was  Ubuntu 10.04.  I was really impressed by that and the following Ubuntu 10.10. I even co-existed a little pleasantly with the release of Ubuntu 11.04. But Ubuntu 11.04 missed with me somehow. Perhaps it was how Ubuntu One would take up a huge amount of resources. Or how there were really weird program compatibility issues every single time I tried to compile from source. But mostly I think it was just that the system ran slow on my netbook and I really couldn't understand why I should go through so many system configuration changes just to be able to have a somewhat decent system. Add in the factor that Gnome 3 caught my eye and it's easy to see why my next choice in a desktop operating system was Fedora 15.


Fedora 15 so far has really pleased me, and I can't wait for the release of Fedora 16. It really flies on my netbook by default. Still, I keep a watchful eye on Ubuntu to see where Canonical takes it next.


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  1. Hi,

    Well... if you enjoy Gnome 3 (shell) and also enjoy the way Ubuntu works then you might want to check out Oneiric when it lands in October... I can't promise that Ubuntu One isn't going to use some system resources but I haven't noticed it taking a lot ;)

  2. Hi Neil,

    I certainly do hope that things fare a lot better in this next release and I have high hopes that they will. The problem I had with Ubuntu One was a documented bug at the time so I am confident it will be fixed in this next release. If it is fixed then Ubuntu will have a spot reserved for it on my laptop, where more system resources are available to it. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  3. Well now, Ubuntu 11.04 is a dead issue for me too, the beta for 11.10 is out And even though it's 'improved' I don't like it. On one of my laptops I use an Ubuntu 10.04 remix
    and Pardus on another one.

  4. If you want to run ubuntu done right, try Bodhi Linux. Its based on Ubuntu, but it runs the enlightenment desktop. Talk about fast! And it comes with minimal programs but will of course run all your favorite linux programs.

  5. You just brought up a great point and I have been curious about Bodhi. I smell a review coming up here... LOL!

  6. The background image with the mesmerizing moire pattern makes your blog post unreadable. I'm not going to look at a page for more than 1 second if it makes me dizzy to look at it.

  7. Thanks for the refreshing article. Your thoughts on Ubuntu 11.04 reflected my own. I found it just too slow. A shame really, as it is a polished interface that makes good use of the limited screen real estate. In the end MeeGo was what I ran with. While not my choice for a working desktop, it is (almost) great for netbooks. Almost, as the only failing is my Telstra elite USB dongal is not yet supported (but is under Ubuntu)

    - frank

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