Some of my friends may call me a fan of Ubuntu, others may call me a fanatic. You can call me either one and I wouldn’t mind one bit. I’m in love with Ubuntu Linux and I can say that with no shame or regrets whatsoever.
I originally started using Ubuntu approximately 12 months ago. At the time it started just as a fling, something to try and maybe have fun with, but no serious commitment. After I had tried it for several weeks however, I decided that I had found my electronic soul mate and made the switch from stodgy and disagreeable Windows to fresh, new and exciting Linux.
As with any relationship there are the inevitable bumps along the road. Over the past year however, I have definitely grown to appreciate the differences that set Ubuntu Linux apart from ‘that other operating system’.
As a sort of anniversary celebration of my year with Linux, and with the release of the new version of Ubuntu Linux 8.04 due this month, I decided to list the Top 10 Reasons why I am in Love with Ubuntu.
1 - Easy to Try - If you are just interested in Ubuntu and want to give it a try without destroying your existing installation of Windows, that’s no problem. Ubuntu Linux has a ‘Live CD’ option that allows you to start, load and use the full operating system directly off of the installation CD/DVD. There is no harm done to your existing Operating System or any files on your Hard Disk Drive.
2 - Security - Linux is built with security in mind from the ground up. It was made to be used be multiple users and on the Internet from the word GO. Right from the moment that Ubuntu is installed and you start up your computer for the first time Ubuntu is ready to face just about any threat. Ubuntu Linux is more secure with no additional software being installed than the most patched, firewalled and anti-virus program laden Windows computer will ever be.
3 - Excellent Graphics - This isn’t your old command-line style of Linux that was the norm just a couple of years ago. The newest versions of Linux have Graphical User Interfaces (GUI’s) that are not only very pretty, they are clean, clear, easy to understand and navigate.
4 - Helpful Community - If you have never visited a Linux website or forum before, I suggest visiting UbuntuForums.org and seeing for yourself how helpful the members there really are. The amount of knowledge that is shared on a daily basis and the help that is available for the asking is truly incredible. Rarely does a question get asked or help requested that an answer is not posted for within minutes if not hours. If you have never even seen or heard about Linux or Ubuntu before, I highly recommend the Absolute Beginners Talk thread at ubuntuforums.org.
5 - Ease of Switching Operating Systems - If you have ever used an operating system that is based on a windowed type GUI, like Windows or Mac, there is very little learning curve required. Most if not all of the actions and commands that need to be given can now be controlled with the mouse. Gone are the days of needing an advanced degree in Computer Science in order to simply open your email. If anything, the Linux GUI that has evolved is even easier to use, navigate and makes more sense than the Windows environment.
6 - Easy Software Installation and Updating - Compared to installing a new piece of software on Windows, the Linux method appears almost too easy. Basically you open the included Package Manager, type in the type of software you are looking for in the built in search tool, select the application that most fits your needs and click install. Done. Gone are the days of restarting the computer in order to complete the installation or reading long complicated End User Agreements.
7 - ShipIt Ubuntu - Don’t have a broadband Internet Connection or don’t want to create your own installation disk for Ubuntu? No Problem, Canonical, the company that manages the Ubuntu Linux business affairs and commercial support options, will ship you a completely free installation disk that is ready to go. There is no requirements, no backroom deals to agree to. You ask them for a free copy, they send it to you. You don’t even have to pay for shipping!
8 - Customization - As little or as much as your heart desires, you can make the Ubuntu operating system fit your every whim. Don’t like the standard media player or internet browser, just download, install and try a different one. There are so many different flavors of just about every type of application that it is practically guaranteed that you will find one that fits your particular style.
9 - Extend Your Life, Or at least extend the life of your computer - Ubuntu is perfect for people that either can’t or don’t want to spend top dollar for new computer equipment every 2-3 years. Linux is so resource friendly that it can run perfectly well on computers that are over 5 years old. MS Vista has a hard enough time running on state of the art PC’s that are brand new and cost thousands of dollars.
10 - Freedom - As in free to download, free to install as many copies of the software on as many computers as you want. Freedom to escape the constant Microsoft dance of constantly updating drivers, security patches, restrictions on what you can install and when you can install it, what media you can play and what hardware you have to have in order to play it. All of that pressure to conform to Windows pressure leaves the moment you make the switch to Linux.
I know that Linux isn’t for everyone, and that is fine. For those of you that do want to try something a little bit different or if you have an old computer just sitting around that you don’t know what else to do with. Consider giving Ubuntu a try, I know that you won’t regret it once you do.
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