MIssion Statement

This site is intended to help individuals become better Ubuntu Linux users.  Below is a little bit of my own enthusiam about this website.

I have gathered all this information for computer users who are tired of Microsoft's high priced operating systems, its security vulnerabilities, and would like to find an alternative.  With the advent of Windows Vista you will need a considerable hardware upgrade just to run the OS satisfactorily.  Would it not be nice to have a capable OS free of charge that would be able to do whatever you want?  There is an alternative called Ubuntu Linux.


There are many flavors of Linux out there (Red Hat, Mandriva, openSUSE, Slackware, MEPIS, Freespire, Debian, etc.) but I personally have found Ubuntu to be the easiest to use.  This is my opinion and we all know about opinions.  Since this site will center on Ubuntu, I cannot provide much assistance with Kubuntu (Ubuntu Linux that uses the KDE graphical environment) usage.

While I feel that there are many procedures out there to help Linux users, the problem is that many of  the steps are not clearly explained.  What usually ends up happening is the person new to Linux decides it is too difficult and heads back to Windows.  Granted a part of Linux participation is to "figure it out", but clear explanations to the new Linux user are very important.  I feel that the more clearly explained a procedure, the more likely that Linux support will grow.

Ubuntu Linux was created just a few short years ago and is now one of the most popular Linux distributions.  Ubuntu ranks as the #1 most downloaded Linux distribution according to DistroWatch.  It combines a user friendly interface with fantastic hardware support.  Windows users should feel at home in no time.

Since Ubuntu is ever evolving, this site will continue to grow.  As I discover more and more information about Ubuntu I will post here.  Please feel free to reference my work all you want.  I simply ask that you please site me as a resource as I have done throughout this site.  Copying others work and calling it your own is wrong.

Download the latest distribution from Ubuntu's website and see what everyone is  talking about.  The latest stable distribution is called Feisty Fawn 7.04.  I use Feisty on both my desktop and laptop.  Feisty's focus centers on a new graphical control center, multi-media codecs, and a new kernel that will feature better hardware support (especially wireless).  If you wish to download other/older releases refer to the Ubuntu Downloads on the left side menu.

The biggest complaints from people new to Linux are driver and software installation.  While Linux driver installation can be somewhat cumbersome there are numerous available online sources of information (including this site).  Driver installation on Linux while sometimes necessary, is not often needed.  The latest kernel for Linux has excellent hardware support for ethernet, chipsets, SCSI controllers, RAID controllers, SATA and PATA interfaces, video cards, USB and firewire devices, bluetooth, digital cameras, memory cards, etc.  The only devices that may need drivers are newer video cards and Winmodems.  Nvidia and ATI are the best choices for video cards to use with Ubuntu Linux.

As far as software installation with the advent of apt-get that is now very easy.  For 90+% of your software installation, you will simply use the apt-get or Add/Remove.  Other software will require you to add the repository to your database.  The only program I have installed outside apt-get is Google Earth.  The included apt-get repository contains thousands of free programs for you to install.

Another big complaint is that Ubuntu Linux is too difficult to navigate and get other tasks done.  I find this to not be true as with either Gnome or KDE one can have a familiar graphical environment.  I was a Windows user for many years and found the Gnome interface to be very familiar.  While the options may be in different places the methodology remains the same.  While it is true that a lot of Linux duties can be done in a terminal, a lot of the same duties can be done through the GUI.  Many Linux veterans are so used to the command line that they forget that the GUI has the function as well.  The Ubuntu community is there to help you with anything you need.  The more users that switch to Linux the more hardware manufacturers will make Linux a priority.  The forums are a great place to start for information.  Remember, Ubuntu Linux is not harder than Windows, just different.

Another excellent feature of Ubuntu is that you can test the OS out before you install.  The distribution has the ability to act as a stand alone OS (known as a LiveCD) so that a potential user can get a feel for Ubuntu.  Microsoft or Apple does not let you do this.  The LiveCD is also a useful tool for partitioning and other duties that need to be performed say if your PC crashes.

You may or may not know it but most people that have ever used a computer have used Linux in some form or another.  Home entertainment devices such as DVRs and cable/satellite boxes use Linux as their OS, ~65% of the websites you go to use Apache webserver on Linux, institutions that rely on a secure network (banks/colleges/ecommerce) use Linux, broadband network routers and switches use imbedded Linux.  The list goes on and on.  Linux has been used in many forms since 1991.  Just in the last few years has Linux started to migrate to the mainstream desktops.  Just think, no viruses and spyware as they have little to no affect on Linux.

Apple computer saw the power of Linux by moving their desktops/laptops to use the FreeBSD Unix kernel in OS X.  Unix and Linux are functionally similar to each other as Linux is a derivative of Unix..

Virtually all the software you will run on Linux is open source, meaning free.  In a comparison of Ubuntu to Windows I show you how you can do just about anything on a Linux machine that you can do on a Windows machine.  Just think you will be able to get all the productive software programs, all for FREE.

No licesing issues either, feel free to install Ubuntu on as many computers as you want.  Install it on your friend's, brother's, aunt's, uncle's PC etc.  The only issue is that if you use an open source program potected under the GPL, you must provide the source code to anyone who wishes to see it if you modify it.

Ubuntu Installation History

Note:  I upgraded my laptop to use Feisty Fawn and I must say it was somewhat painless.  There are a few quirks but no more than Edgy.  Feisty did have more functionality out of the box than Edgy and also had restriced drivers for ATI and Nvidia cards.  Wireless also worked without any tinkering.  I was amazed that my networked printers were detected so I had to do nothing to get them working.  I had to re-install a few apps and used a few of the procedures below.  I marked them Feisty tested as they worked for me.  I also have created a Feisty tips section that I will update from time to time.

I have recently upgraded my desktop to Feisty and all went well.  My Audigy 2 card gave me a few problems, but the Ubuntu Feisty Guide helped me fix the problem.