Ubuntu nOOb

Soldato
Joined
11 Sep 2003
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14,703
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London
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Hey Linux/open source lovers!

I just got given a link to an Ubuntu Alpha and thought I'd give it a try, very impressed that it just loaded up and everything works fine!

I don't know much about this open source stuff but from half a days use I can see how this software could be very useful . . . .

Just wondering if anyone can get me up to speed with attempting to use this as a main O/S, like what is the main limitation, what do you do about drivers and stuff, etc etc

I just read a few posts here and saw a few people mention you can run games?, I really had no idea how far this stuff has moved along, good job! :cool:
 
Soldato
Joined
22 Dec 2008
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10,368
Location
England
Ubuntu is a good call, an alpha release of it might not be. A lot of effort goes into making Ubuntu easy to use, and it is very popular as a result. Their forums are fantastic. An alpha is an unstable testing release however, and stands a far better chance of breaking. I suggest installing Intrepid (8.10 rather than 9.4) in its place as this is stable. That way when it doesn't work its probably something you've done :)

Its main limitation? Probably that programs written exclusively for windows are difficult to run. I use it for almost everything day to day, and the learning curve has been pretty shallow. Wireless support was pretty gash until recently. You can get a long way with a list of programs in Ubuntu that perform the role of ones that you are used to in windows (msn = emesene, pidgin = pidgin).

system -> administration -> synaptic package manager is a pretty graphical interface that lets you search for programs to install
applications -> terminal is where the fun starts

Id expect you to start with the graphical programs, and move towards the terminal as time goes on. As an example, typed into the terminal:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

this will first update the list of programs available to you, then install the set of programs 'ubuntu-restricted-extras'. These are nice things like flash, microsoft fonts, java, the ability to play mp3s. You could alternatively install this using synaptic, but it'll take a little while to find the package. the && means execute the code to the left, wait for it to finish, then execute the code to the right.

I suggest having a play. "ls /" without the " will list everything in the root directory. This is your equivalent to my computer, it'll contain boot (where boot files lie), bin (binaries), and slightly more cryptic places like /etc. After a while, probably during the first time you play with things you're unsure about as root (the admin, sudo x means do x as admin), the system will break quite badly. At this point shrug and reinstall, or try to backtrack.
If there's anything more specific you'd like to know I'll do my best, it's always good to see someone new coming to linux.
 
Soldato
Joined
9 Dec 2003
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Location
UK
Just have a mess around and browse google/ubuntuforums.org.
Linux can do everything except Windows/DirectX games really. You can get some windows stuff to work if you try though.

You need to add the Medibuntu repository for Ubuntu. Read up on how to do that.
Then get all the codecs and such.

As far as drivers go, usually most stuff just works. Video drivers are the biggest cause of problems. For best performance you need to install the closed source ati/nvidia drivers. The installation often goes wrong and is the main reason for peoples complaints about Linux in the first few weeks.

Like Windows, it takes a few weeks to adjust stuff and tweak things until you feel at home.
 
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Soldato
Joined
8 Mar 2006
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Near Winchester
I take it you're running 9.04 then, aka unstable.

I'd suggest you back down to a stable 8.10, or 8.04 which is a long term release.

You can run some games using a windows environment called Wine.
 
Soldato
Joined
29 Apr 2007
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4,843
Location
London
I suggest you go for linux mint instead ;)

It is easier to use and comes with a nice theme, and also comes with codecs and dvd support installed.
 

JC

JC

Soldato
Joined
10 Dec 2003
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5,774
Location
Surrey
I'd also echo the others and suggest you switch to 8.04 or 8.10.
You could try Mint, I only just downloaded it the other day to test on another laptop. It works nicely out the box but you can get ubuntu up and running in a very short amount of time.

Ubuntu is highly documented all over the web, so any problems and you're just a google away from lots of potential solutions.

Simple changes from windows, such as the menu, top panel and bottom panel etc can all be customised so easily if you wish.

Check out http://www.gnome-look.org/ for themes, icons etc
Get your flash player and mp3s working well.
Get compiz-fusion setup
Update GIMP and get Inkscape if you want graphics programs
Maybe try audacity if you're looking for a media player, however rythmbox is fine for me.
Pidgin for MSN etc, and Skype works nicely
You can update openoffice to version 3 (outside of the repos) if you google a guide
 
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