Five reasons to put Ubuntu Linux on your netbook

Eee-PC Tux 2Microsoft pounded itself on the chest last week saying over 96% of netbooks now use Windows. This made me somewhat sad, because I was hoping these little computers could be the break Linux had been waiting for.

The first couple of netbooks all had Linux pre-installed. Unfortunately, Asus chose to go with a custom Linux distribution for which it has yet to release its first update. No Firefox 3, no Flash 10 and no easy way to get additional software. Except for the easy to use interface, they came up with the worst example of what Linux can be. But if there’s one thing Linux offers its choice. It is my opinion that Ubuntu is the most user-friendly Linux distro out there, and I highly recommend giving it a go on your netbook.

1. It does everything netbooks are good at

There’s no Adobe Photoshop for Linux, and the same goes for many other professional applications. There are alternatives, but that’s not the point here. Running Photoshop on an Atom processor is no fun. That’s the kind of thing you do on a desktop PC or a high-end laptop. Ubuntu comes with everything installed that you need to surf the web, chat, download (a bittorrent client!) and email. Oh, and OpenOffice too.

2. It’s fun

If you’re even slightly geekish, you’ll probably like tinkering with a new Operating System. Ubuntu, like any Linux distribution is extremely configurable. Lots of options to play with, tons of new software to get to know. But even if you’re not into all that, you’ll find Ubuntu to be incredibly easy to operate and very stable.

3. It’ll soon boot in seconds

Intel’s Moblin version of Linux has proven that it doesn’t need to take minutes to boot into a fully operational OS. Moblin boots in seconds, even on slower hardware. They’ve released it into the wild on the very same day a Microsoft’s post, and I think good things will come of that. Because of the nature of open source software, these good things will probably end up in Ubuntu as well.

4. Freedom

Linux is the software equivalent of punk rock. Some Mac users may credit themselves for being rebellious for not going with Bill Gates, but if you really want to ‘stick it to the man’, that includes Steve Jobs too. With Linux there is no man. Linux is free as in speech.

5. It makes your netbook more than just a slower, smaller laptop

I used to have Windows XP on my Asus Eee-PC 901. It came pre-installed. It took a long time to boot and then I had to wait for the updates to finish. Firewall, virus definitions, Windows Updates. Not fun at all. And once all that was done I’d be looking at XP’s ugly (and ancient) user interface. I could then do ll the same stuff as on my main PC, just a lot slower.

With Ubuntu, using my netbook has become a little adventurous. Because I’m still new to Linux I’ll occasionally need to figure out how to do something, and that’s when you come across Linux’ best feature. Its user community is full of helpful people. I’ve never not been able to do something I wanted, and even the most challenging issues took no longer than minutes to fix.

Lies, damned lies, and statistics?

I wonder if Microsoft included people like me in their statistics btw. Most netbooks might be sold with Windows on them, but the only reason I didn’t get one with Linux was because those weren’t actually available. Very few Linux models are, so everyone wanting to run Linux on them will still need to buy a Windows version. That will definitely skew the statistics.

But I don’t want to be a poor sport. People like Windows. It’s familiar. Yet many of those people buy a 4×4 car because the commercials told them it would add adventure to their lives. So how about really going off the beaten track on your netbook? Perhaps that’s the angle Linux should use to lure in new users. Linux as the SUV of operating systems, who’d have thought?

31 Comments

  1. I am going to translate a post that I did some time ago about why Windows is better than Linux

    “I was reading a noob’s blog when all of a sudden among some of his BS I read an article where he claims that Linux uses better the proccesor than other OS, because you can compile the Kernel so it fits your needs without the need of loading all the drivers while booting.

    After LMAO for about 3 days and half, now I proceed to asnwer:

    1.- The fact that you achieved a faster booting loading less drivers DOES NOT MEAN THAT MAGICALLY YOUR PROCESSOR IS WORKING FASTER.

    2.- Windows have had that option for a long time and under a friendly interface (http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/958/ss20090215135233iw8.png)
    Right there you can select by the ease of 1 click which drivers and services you wish to load, and of course if instead of loading 100 drivers and a 100 services whole booting, you load only 3, its only logic that the OS boot will be faster.

    3.- There is a software called ASROCK Instant Boot which allow us to boot Widnows under 4 seconds, this doesnt mean that is doing an overclock to our processot, it only loads the critical services to boot the system using the less time possible.

    Enough of this lammers that, without any knowledge they dare to publish that kind of BS, as you all know I’ve always supported Microsoft , for the quality of their products, although is not perfect, is WAY over ahead Linux, why? Because in Windows you have NO LIMITS, you can do everything with the ease of this OS.

    Everytime I have this arument (usually noobs) they all answer the same:

    1- What happen if I wanna play videogames such as Call of Duty in my computer??????

    -Juazzz emmm if I wanted to play, I would of bought an Xbox juazzzzz, I dont even like videogames juazzzz

    2- What happen if I wanna develop a 3d enviroment like in Maya or LightWave?????????

    -Juazzz emmm I got Blender….

    3- What happen if I need to develop ASP.net with a stable SQL database????????

    – Juuazz I got Mono

    4- What if I need to develop Active x components??
    - juazzzz ermmm rmmmmmm…. juazzzzzz

    5- What if while developing my software I find out that is not comaptible with 90% of the computers arounf the world?????

    -Juazzzz ermmm I can always install linux….

    6- What if I need a CRM software for my business like Microsoft Dynamics, or Microsoft Project??

    -Juazz ahhhh mmmm…. then I run it on VMWare or Wine juazzz I got you!!!

    Hahahaha always after beeing cornered like that, they take out their last card “I run it on Wine”, then you are not using Linux genius!! besides it doesnt give you the same stability.

    If an OS doesnt let you do some things IT HAS A LIMIT ON YOUR CREATIVITY
    is that simple, dont say “I dont even like videogames” .
    Its like if Windows couldn’t play mp3s and I would say “I dont even like music that doesnt affect me”.

    Remember the computational systems were invented by the human to facilitate daily tasks, they should be a tool to enhance our creativity, it should be simple and easy to avoid waiting 1 year to learn it, that is the basic principle of all software, the easier the frontend, the more productive you will be, not because you wanna look all “leet” with your black terminal and green font like in a hackers movie it means you are the best.

    and answering to the question: Why Windows is Better than Linux??

    BECAUSE WINDOWS HAS NO LIMITS

    Atte

    Raul Robles

    Senior IT Consultant.”

    Original Source: http://mbytesecurity.com/articulos/linux-sucks/

    Comment by Megabyte — April 8, 2009 @ 11:59 pm

  2. They’re called margins – look into them.

    Comment by Vonskippy — April 9, 2009 @ 5:02 am

  3. @ Raul: Your post has only very little to do with mine (imho), because most of your arguments are about things you’d not want to do about on a netbook. My post wasn’t about replacing Windows on your main development machine, I was talking specifically about this new breed of mini notebooks.

    But then again… Almost all the software you list is made by Microsoft. They’ll never port anything to Linux, and by doing so they impose the biggest limit of all. If your organization depends on Dynamics, you have one single choice of OS. You’re limited to a single, commercial, source for your software. Major limitation imho.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Windows. I use Vista every day, and I’ve had little trouble with it. I’m also looking forward to Windows 7, which I’ll probably upgrade to the day it’s released. But I do think it’s time to look at alternatives. Choice is good, and the main reason most of the non-microsoft apps are unavailable on Linux is because Linux users are too small a target audience. It’s a catch-22 that we’ll need to break out of.

    The way I see it, your argument is to yield, whereas mine is to keep up the fight.

    @Vonskippy: huh?

    Comment by Roy — April 9, 2009 @ 8:35 am

  4. @Raul – Your argument is just a rubbish rant. All you are saying is that Linux is not Windows, well derr.

    Also, as Roy said, you would do none of that on a netbook anyway.

    As for the 96%, that is 96% of netbooks sold by major bricks and mortar retailers in the USA. So we are talking about a subset of 20% of the worlds netbooks. Dell have reported that 30% of all Inspiron Minis are Ubuntu, but Microsoft chooses to ignore that stat as it does not fit with their chest beating.

    The last point I also must point out is that the Windows users are just making netbooks into cheap and nasty notebooks without DVD drives. What is the point of that. A netbook is supposed to be a mobile internet device – that is where the net in netbook comes from. If you need to install MS Office then you are using the wrong hardware, you need a real notebook. My EeePC has an external DVD drive to make it a portable DVD player, it has an external hard disk to make it a portable media player, it has an external USB GPS to use as a navigator, it has a USB TV stick to make it a portable TV, it has a car charger and link to the car’s sound system and a 16gb SD card full of music for long trips, it has a card reader for storing and viewing photos from my DSLR, and lastly it has a 3G mobile internet connection. It runs Ubuntu Intrepid and it all just works, including raw photo processing.

    I do not use it much at home, I have a real computer there.

    Comment by GregE — April 9, 2009 @ 2:31 pm

  5. If only Ubuntu (or any other linux distribution for that matter) worked on a netbook. I recently bought an Acer Aspire One that came with XP pre-installed. I tried to installing Ubuntu and like another four different distributions and could not get any of them to work. It was either the Atheros WiFi card or the sound that would not work. So for the moment I am stuck with XP until Ubuntu 9.04 comes out. Then, I will try again hoping this version will work. Most likely this is another reason why Micro$oft is bragging about those netbook statistics.

    Comment by Torres — April 10, 2009 @ 2:24 am

  6. @Torres
    Have you tried eeebuntu?
    http://www.eeebuntu.org/

    Although it was meant for eeepc, I tried it on Acer Aspire One and everything works out of the box. another use report that the wifi a little flaky (not sure what he meant) but he use NBR whereas I use standard install:

    http://bytesnbikes.blogspot.com/2009/03/eeebuntu-on-acer-aspire-one.html

    I use unetbootin to install eeebuntu:

    http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/

    Comment by David — April 10, 2009 @ 4:50 am

  7. @Torres Regular Ubuntu runs very well on Asus Eee-PC’s if you use the array.org kernel (which adds a few steps to the setup process, but it’s well worth it).

    Comment by Roy — April 10, 2009 @ 8:10 am

  8. Link: IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: April 9th, 2009 - Part 2 | Boycott Novell
  9. You use ubuntu.. you learn to do things some other people give up on and winge about…

    where does that leave you

    Comment by Ils — April 10, 2009 @ 4:02 pm

  10. Your left hand margin is non-existent in small sized windows. It should NOT float, it should just be a consistent margin no matter what the window width is. Until I viewed your site on my desktop, I didn’t think you had ANY margins (my bad), since on my netbook, it had zero with all of your items completely crammed against the left hand boarder (easy to replicate – just resize the width of your browser window and watch the left hand margin completely disappear).

    Comment by Vonskippy — April 11, 2009 @ 2:06 am

  11. Link: jasoncrane.org » Got a netbook? Get Ubuntu
  12. I bought an ACER AspireOne with linux pre-loaded and replaced it with Ubuntu intrepid ibex. I had no problems at all. Installation was incredibly fast and i’m amazed at how well the OS runs. I do have to admit that with a kernal update the network quit working, restoring the old kernal brought it back up. I’m sure it will get patched soon. Even with compiz running it is quite smooth.

    Comment by FreeBooteR — April 11, 2009 @ 6:17 am

  13. @Vonskippy. I’ll look into that. The site was designed with a minimum of 1024px in mind (and the browser maximized). I want to avoid horizontal scrollbars, but I’ll see about adding a little padding.

    @FreeBooteR: Are you using Ubuntu’s default kernel? The current one doesn’t support my Asus’ network card, so I have to make sure to run Array.org’s custom one.

    Comment by Roy — April 11, 2009 @ 9:23 am

  14. Link: Ubuntu Look » Five reasons to put Ubuntu Linux on your netbook
  15. @FreeBooteR

    You just need the module backports installed. The package is called

    linux-backports-modules-2.6.xxxx

    You will probably need to activate backports and/or proposed from the updates tab in Synaptic to be able to install.

    Comment by GregE — April 11, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

  16. Funny, how many here seem to have a need to bash Linux for working. Netbooks are a breed built just for something like a lightweight Linux install. XP is built for a desktop. Vista, well I won’t go there. I am typing this from a USB stick install of Kubuntu 9.4 from my Dell e1705. Everything worked out of the box. I’m testing it for my Dell Mini 9 when it gets here. I’m a Debian user most of the time. Gave up windows about 5 years ago and don’t miss it at all. I use wine for gaming and have never had any problems. It would seem that there are windows folks out there that just can’t stand to hear about any Linux success. I make a living supporting Server 2003 and Linux/ESX in a pretty large datacenter. Once a person gets over the learning curve Linux presents, its usually game over. All you Windows folks please keep using windows as I have another 20 years to retirement…..

    Comment by PhilR — April 15, 2009 @ 5:00 am

  17. Please check out below link:

    Windows Is Not on 96% of Netbooks

    http://www.microsoft-watch.com/content/desktop_mobile/windows_is_not_on_96_of_netbooks.html?kc=MWRSS02129TX1K0000535

    Comment by David — April 15, 2009 @ 10:35 am

  18. Just want to add my two bits. Although I agree that XP is plug and go, my real gripe was crashing/ virus madness. I try to do to much at once, and go where most should fear to tread–one shouldn’t do that stuff anyway. Hence my switch to Ubuntu 8.04LTS on my WidowPC gaming laptop. I used Crossover 8.0 for widows aps/ WoW. Play DVDs, Rip DVDs, and played every formated I could find. However, unlike XP it required a fair bit of tweaking. My machine now runs smooth as glass, where as with XP, well it wasn’t very smooth. So if you can handle the learning curve, the research, and are fairly system smart I recommend this one. I have well over 5000 packages (programs, drivers, ect) at my disposal for download one one easy spot–ok maybe two. My system doesn’t crash at all, backups albeit not as fancy are very fast, coping is very fast, WoW is very smooth (XP version). The odd part is that my XP games didn’t run smooth on XP, they run smooth through Crossover 8.0 on Linux. My ripping programs are 50% faster too (also windows aps). Same system, same programs, different operating system. Best of all it’s free and legal. But again XP is very easy/ plug and go and the world loves easy no think options. I could go on, and on, but leave things as stated. My only main point is that there are preferences based on the strong suit of your choice (OSX, Window, Linux).

    Well, that’s my though for what it’s worth,

    Avery,

    Comment by avery — April 26, 2009 @ 5:07 am

  19. Hey Raul,
    I really agree with you on this one. I also have some friends, who tries to act smart ‘cause they use Ubuntu. I also use Ubuntu, and I’ve seen the difference.

    An OS is a program, it meant to be easy, not some mathematical calculation u need to do on every step. If it’s so much pain, then it’s not worth it. A friend of mine, who has been a Linux user his whole life, couldn’t get a external hard drive to work on his Linux machine, and guess what; we needed a Windows machine to get it open.

    Apart from that I often see Linux users use programs as aMSN or other Windows-like software. Or they use crossover or Wine to use it on their Linux machine, apart from that’s very lame, cause Linux has alternate software, usually u can’t use the latest versions of those software via an emulator and second, if you hate MS products so bad, why to use MS-like products?

    I always say, it’s not the OS that makes it great, it’s the software you need in your daily life that you can run on it, and if most software don’t work and the alternate software suck so bad, then you don’t have much choice.

    So to the Linux-fans, bitch please :)

    I’m not saying Windows is the best thing out there, but its way better then Linux in every way.

    Comment by Navin Poeran — May 3, 2009 @ 5:50 am

  20. @Navin Poeran

    Hi my friend, its not that i’m trying to act smart, i’m a linux user since 2004 and let me tell you this: i can do every single work than you on your Windows XP/Vista. In fact, i can do more things now with my linux, what kind of tasks? Browse hard drives from ANY O.S. without download 20 patches and reboot my pc another 20 times, I’ve finally get rid of all that anti virus software (it just make your computer slower, you can’t deny it!).

    And by the way, Windows-like? there are no such things! That’s one of the major problems, a lot of people forgets that Word is a word processor, and not viceversa, same as Write or AbiWord; MSN Messenger its a software that uses a protocol to send/receive messages instantaneously, same as aMSN, pidgin or yahoo Messenger.

    So, do you think that some applications are “Windows-like” because they exist in Windows? Or because my need to use them was born from Windows? no my friend, i use them because they’re tools for the daily work. If you think that I’m in an error then the Mac users are working in “Windows-like” software? hahaha.

    Windows it’s not the only option (luckyly for me!)!

    Comment by Julio Leon — May 4, 2009 @ 10:05 am

  21. Ohhh, and by the way…

    For all those people who are having trouble installing ubuntu on your netbook:

    Ubuntu has released a “special version” (they call it Remix) for Netbooks, its like that eeebuntu but developed for Canonical directly.

    Check here to read more:

    http://www.canonical.com/projects/ubuntu/unr

    ——
    Windows it’s not the only option! (luckyly for me!)

    Comment by Julio Leon — May 4, 2009 @ 10:13 am

    • In fact, Ubuntu 9.04 runs out of the box on most netbooks. Netbook remix or not. The differences are in the user interface, not so much in hardware support.

      Comment by Roy — May 6, 2009 @ 3:13 pm

  22. @Raul:

    You seem quite defensive about your choices. About Windows. Like you need to defend them. You probably don’t want any choice in the first place. People that use Linux do, because we all used Windows at some time and found it lacking for one reason or another.

    I do know XP well, I still use it on one system to play games and I don’t agree with you on the speed issue:
    Linux is faster and leaner, more efficent. It comes from the modularity and possibility to deactivate everything. That is why it is used on so many devices, much more then windows:
    mp3 players, navigation tools (most sold, Tomtom runs Linux), TiVo, are just examples.
    Windows is a monolith, ever tried to switch these services that you talk about? Well, I did and Windows becomes defunct pretty fast since everything is interconnected.
    Linux you can even run without a graphical frontend, which is impossible with Windows, because it was just not designed for it.
    Windows is also getting fatter in each release… ever wondered why Vista runs on not even one Netbook? The newest version of Windows does not run on them because it is too fat and inefficient. Ever tried to run it on a less than lightning fast computer? Yawwwnnnn… people do hate it for a reason, it is a resource hog.

    I am writing this here on my 901 eee PC, Ubuntu running on it and the 1 gbyte ram seem to be huge real estate, since Linux IS lean and fast.
    You will have to settle for XP, an almost 10 year old ancient Operating system that needs endless installs of drivers that are included from the start in Linux (just setting up Ubuntu, you need to install the kernel, that is the only thing, all other things work without fiddling with CDs or downloading drivers from a million websites.) Webcam, wireless, ethernet, 3d acceleration (compiz shows more effects and runs faster than anything you can have on Vista, go check it out if you care to really know facts)

    So I guess it all depends on what you want and you seem to be happy with Windows and happy with all the Microsoft feeds you. Or you seem to be the kind of person that is happy with non working solutions or just complains but does not get the job done.

    I hate that dilema, I pride myself (also a professional consultant, with Windows AND Linux/Unix experience) to be able to solve any problem. I guess you would be amazed to find out how powerful bash scripting for example and the command line modularity concept and the ability to automate EVERYTHING is.
    If a Microsoft tool or software is crap, (and yes, there are some that make your hairs stand on end), you are stuck and have to happily smile. I like choice, if I don’t like one program, I will have the choice of other 8, that is the advantage to not be tied to a vendor or a proprietary closed standard that serves most the seller and not the user or consultant.

    For me Linux has always been about doing more with less, less cost, less restrictions. You say that Windows has no restrictions. I don’t know if we talk about the same Windows, if there is maybe another OS called like that, one that is radically different than the one that I know :-)

    The one that I know restricts pretty much everything you do:
    Compulsory activation, restrictions for incomming connections (so you cannot use a XP as a server and have to go out to shell out lots of money for a Windows server), restrictions on use as a Terminal Server, reactivation when you reinstall it or change too much hardware (and the possibility that they deny your right to do so)

    You pay pretty much for every damn feature you use, which cuts into my productivity, freedom and last but not least my profit margin. Ever wondered why Google is running their huge search machine on Linux servers? They know why, you just get more bang for your buck, efficieny and money wise.

    You sound like you have never really used and learned Linux (like you have done with Windows), since some of the stuff you say is just plain simple misinformation. It is very dangerous to talk about what you don’t know.

    I would for example never say that Linux is better (or as good) for gaming as Windows. It surely is not.

    But if I don’t know something, I wouldn’t talk about it as surely as you do, since you might meet somebody that knows (deactivating services is totally pointless. Go try it and see how much time you safe, it will be totally defunct, BUT not even much faster. The monolith still needs to start up.

    What is the fastest boot time I ever saw on a netbook? 22 secons, with the Xandros Linux that Asus instals on the EEE PC (I had it on mine before I installed Ubuntu and timed it, 22 from pushing the button to full readyness)
    No Windows can best that, it is just too big. If you don’t believe it, go time an XP, you will see that you end up well beyond 1 minute.
    And with readyness I mean: READY, no more trashing of the HD, all stuff loaded and ready for the user.

    Comment by Markus — July 25, 2009 @ 3:14 am

  23. Windows versus Linux

    Even if Linux had the same market share as Windows it still would be more secure than Windows. This because a Linux user does not have, by default, total rights to the system as a Windows user has. This means that even if Linux viruses would plentifully exist under such circumstances with such a market share, the viruses would still not be able to crash the OS. The viruses would therefore not have the rights to attack and destroy the kernel. This is the truth. Windows is not constructed to work in a network like the internet. Microsoft can not do much about this in a new version of Windows because they would need to rebuild a totally new OS from scratch and old Windows software would therefore not work in such a OS.

    Despite this fact or because of it, I do not think that Linux will in the future out compete Windows for the desktop. Because no Windows software works in Linux and if Windows users did not care about this Microsoft would have the option, as I have mentioned, to build a new OS. The reality is that Windows users do care as companies and individuals have invested enormous amounts of effort, time and money in Windows systems and are therefore stuck with the system.

    The only way to make a Window system acceptable is by better information and awareness about security risks, patches, better anti-virus software or anti-malware software, better firewalls, building more secure operating systems (but not from scratch, though) and browsers etc. A free anti-malware software should be be a part of the Windows OS. This is not possible because of the antitrust authorities. This is really sad because the internet would be a lot better place if all people had a anti-malware software installed. Microsoft is, though, soon offering a free anti-virus named Morro. This is a very good thing but a lot of people will not use it because they do not care and will not bother to download it! This makes the internet a more dangerous place. I use Avast and it doesn’t cost anything and it is probably much better than Morro ever will be as Morro will only offer basic protection. But it is still a good thing that Microsoft offers this software for free as some people can not even think of installing a security software from a exotic company like Alwil (the vendor which makes Avast) which they do not know anything about. Alwil is a very serious software company but they do not know it, Microsoft, though, is naturally very famous.

    As many people do not even bother to download and install a free anti-malware software proves by itself that they will not bother either to do a much more radical step and install Linux.

    Even with the best information and awareness about security risks, better Windows operating systems, better anti-malware software, better firewalls, better browsers etc, the Windows OS will not ever be as secure as Linux (or Mac) but it will be “good enough”. That is my point.

    I have for the last four years used Windows and I have not had any security problem whatsoever. I only use the Windows firewall, Firefox, Avast and McAfee Siteadvisor (freeware). This is good enough.

    Increased security has already happened. The most devastating viruses in above article are quite old. It has gone five years now since the latest and there are more Windows viruses than ever (it has reached about a million by now!) but not any devastating. Despite this fact of more malware than ever, the actual protection and security in the average desktop has actually increased.

    The truth is also that Linux does not, by default, offer the same experience as Windows. Even Windows XP has, by default, a much nicer and professional interface than for example Ubuntu has by default.

    Linux does not either offer as much software as Windows does. Linux offers actually a lot and is good enough for day to day computing, but if you are going to do something extra you are usually stuck.

    Björn Lundahl
    Gothenburg, Sweden

    Comment by Björn Lundahl — July 31, 2009 @ 9:47 am

  24. I have been a Microsoft guy since before Windows (Dos 2.0 days). That operating system has grown more bloated with every release to the point where people never even buy upgrade packages because it is easier and more cost-effective to just buy a new PC every 2 or 3 years. Try putting Vista on a PC that is 5 years old!

    I have been using Firefox for a few years now, and OpenOffice for a couple of years, and since I don’t do any gaming other than simple little web games, I no longer need a Windows PC other than the 1 desktop I use for Photoshop. I had an old eMachines PC I was about to give away, when I suddenly got inspired and figured I would try to put Linux on it just to get a working browser for my 4 year old to play his games on Nick.com and Disney.com. After years of installing Windows (every version ever, thousands of installs) I can say the Ubuntu install was the easiest OS install from scratch I have EVER encountered. I think my 4 year old might be able to do it.

    Everything worked out of the box, and I was working on Firefox instantly via my home wifi. I was afraid I’d be on tech sites for a few days, but it was much easier getting up and running on Ubuntu than it ever was on a Windows install. That PC would NEVER be able to run Vista, in fact, I’d be afraid to try XP on it, but Ubuntu starts up in under a minute, and it runs faster than my new Dell running Vista (doing Openoffice and Firefox). Best of all, there was no real learning curve. I still don’t know Linux…don’t have to, just had to learn a new user interface that is even simpler than Vista.

    So I was able to take a scrap heap PC and turn it into a box that my son can play all his little net games on, and in a pinch I can use it for anything I need. I am suddenly inspired to go buy an old laptop for myself since those used $100 jobs suddenly look much better. And Microsoft needs to step up because a few years from now, all you will need is a browser and highspeed connection as most apps will be available online, and that takes away the OS dependency. If all you need is a browser to run all your apps on (like the upcoming Microsoft Office on-line version), then a free OS that can do it on cheaper PCs looks really good.

    Comment by Victor — August 1, 2009 @ 6:56 pm

  25. Windows versus Linux

    Hi again!

    I just want to add another thought and that is if Linux had a market share like Windows and if Linux viruses would plentifully exist and pc:s got infected everywhere, the viruses could still destroy all the software, documents, photos etc except for the kernel. Someone could argue that this is equally bad. A Windows machine would crash and a Linux desktop would loose all the valuable stuff but leave the OS intact.

    Björn Lundahl

    Comment by Björn Lundahl — August 2, 2009 @ 5:12 pm

  26. I am not that big of a windows fan. I am forced to work on Server 2008 and 03. The main problem I have with Windows is that every hotfix has to potential to break everything. Thankfully we switched to VMware so we can test it out and make sure everything works, rather than wake up to a phone call from people telling me they can’t connect to Exchange/sql/whatever else.

    I am actually quite happy with Windows 7. I am currently using it and I’m quite pleased with the results..

    Comment by Steve — September 6, 2009 @ 2:42 am

  27. Two months ago I ordered a Dell Mini 10v with Ubuntu. I should say I’ve used Windows (and before that DOS) for over 20 years and I was a Windows devotee. In fact I taught students to use Windows office program for those two decades. I was curious about Ubuntu, so I ordered it on the Dell netbook mainly just to give me something to play around with

    The Dell came with Ubuntu pre-installed. Whsen I switched it on the Ubuntu loaded/initiated in about 10 minutes. Ubuntu is incredible — all the best of Windows and no virus problems. The Firefox browser is perfect. Their own Evolution Mail is just like Outlook was in Offictalle 2000 (that is a GOOD thing). The Dell came with 20 (twenty) games pre-installed. No lockups. It’s fast. It’s the best operating system I’ve ever used. THE BEST.

    My two Windows laptops (one running Windows 7, one running Vista) now collect dust. Eventually I’ll switch them over to Ubuntu.

    AS for the Dell — I ordered it with the 6-cell battery and a 3-year warranty for $350. The screen is clear & crisp. The sound is so-so (little computer/tiny speakers). The mouse is like all mouses on notebooks — works fine, but had to get used to it.

    It was the best tech buy I’ve ever made.

    Comment by Dennis S from Alaska — September 27, 2009 @ 3:05 am

  28. My two cents are as thus:
    Linux is the absolute perfect platform for a netbook where you have limited system resources but are really not looking to do much anyway. It is small, fast and reliable. Everything you need on a netbook. It might all work better when there is more support for Linux in everyday applications. I have found that Linux is awesome to run when you aren’t doing anything out of the ordinary, but as soon as you take it somewhere new you have to search the forums until you find a solution. I used to have to have it dual-booted with XP so if i couldn’t connect to a proxy in Linux I could boot Windows and find the solution then go back to Linux and fix it.

    My setup is a laptop with Windows 7, a laptop with Vista and a powerful desktop with OSX for work.
    I would be running Linux across all of them except for software issues.
    -I can’t connect to the proxy wireless at uni because it doesn’t support Linux and there are no work arounds since it needs to install stuff on your computer to work. So I use W7 on my laptop.
    -I need a good design suite that all work together well like the Adobe CS4 does. Granted Gimp, Inkscape and the rest of the offerings are great and work really well, they just don’t integrate like you need them to when you are making something that uses Flash, Photoshop, AfterEffects, Illustrator and Final Cut to get to the final product. So I use OSX on my desktop (could use Windows too but Mac takes away most of the itch to modify everything. Too rigid for me to have any fun so I do more work)
    -I would install Ubuntu on my girlfriends laptop but the Acer is a piece of junk and keeps breaking and we have to warranty it often. So to keep them happy we have to leave Vista on there. (she loved Ubuntu when I had it by the way, and she cares not at all for computers, not super computer-literate)

    When/if Linux comes out with solutions to these small problems I will have an everyday machine that runs it. Until then I am stuck with the other choices.

    Comment by Dante — March 11, 2010 @ 2:58 am

  29. Don’t forget: You can set your desktop background for free. Windows 7 Starter (that came with my netbook) manages to protect the desktop background with DRM, forcing you to upgrade to a more expensive OS just for that simple customization that has been possible for 20 years on every OS ever seen. The idiot that thought of that should be hung, drawn and quartered. That, and the other things, finally convinced me to get rid of the Windows 7 and install Ubuntu over it :)

    Comment by Wladimir — May 17, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

  30. I bought an Asus netbook a couple of years ago. Great little machine. It came pre-installed with Windows 7.

    After years of experience with Vista, XP, Win98, Win95, and Windows for DOS, I pretty much decided that from now on, any new machine that I built or otherwise added to my fleet at home would be running Linux. And yet… Windows 7 *was* new, and who knows… I might need it for “something.” So, against my better judgement, I decided to set my netbook up as a dual-boot machine. That way, I reasoned, I could have the best of both worlds.

    Guess what? It took less than a week for me to realize that the machine booted faster, ran faster, and all in all, handled better running Mint Linux. (Batteries seemed to last longer, too–perhaps less swapping to disk?) Using the OpenOffice suite, I could read/write/compose Microsoft-compliant documents. I could read PDF’s. I could surf the web. I could Skype. I could even use LTSpice, my favorite Windows-based circuit-simulation program, under Wine. In short, I could do anything booted under Linux that I could do under Windows 7, and more. Windows doesn’t have Ubuntu’s repository of thousands FREE programs. So, after a few months went by, I realized that I had stopped booting into Windows altogether. Still, I left Windows on the drive, just-in-case.

    One day, my grandson, who has a similar netbook, was having problems with Skype. Since the Skype client for linux looks a little different than the windows version, and he was running Windows, I decided to boot back into Windows on my machine–just so I could compare settings in an apples-to-apples fashion. For no apparent reason, My Windows 7 crashed– HARD. It stopped booting all together.

    I was annoyed, but undeterred. “No problem,” I thought. “I’ll just boot back into Linux.” No dice. Guess what? Not only had Windows crashed itself, but it had DELETED the linux partition in the process. I was incredulous. I searched the internet and found out that it is not at all uncommon for windows to behave in that fashion. Windows does not play well with others.

    So, after I finished cursing Microsoft, I did what I should have done to begin with: I wiped the drive and installed Mint Linux as the native operating system. A couple of years have passed, now. I have not had a *single* problem since. I don’t mean “very few” problems…. I mean NO problems. ZERO.

    For the record, I have run linux on servers for the past ten years… first using Redhat linux, and since 2009, Ubuntu. These servers are on 24 hours, seven days a week. I have had occasional hardware problems, like power supplies dying, or CPU fans seizing up and CPUs overheating. But I can’t think of a *single* software problem that I’ve had.

    Now, I recognize the present deficiencies of Linux… primarily gaps in commercial hardware support and key pieces of large commercial software, like Autocad or Photoshop. However, for reliability, efficiency, and customizability (is that a word?) Linux is really tough to beat. I don’t think that Microsoft and its Windows products will ever go away entirely, but it is evident that there are cracks in what Microsoft still considers to be its impregnable dominance. That kind of arrogance, and the tendency for Microsoft to screw paying customers in order to make life difficult for open-source reverse-engineering, will eventually be its undoing.

    I am highly suspicious, by the way, of “Senior IT Consultants,” who make it a mission to advance the lie that linux “sucks.” Operating systems are tools, and what constitutes the “best” tool really depends upon what it is that you are trying to do. I am a big fan if linux, but I still run Windows XP machines because, for the moment, they fill a need that my linux boxes don’t…yet.

    I have to wonder if the vitriol from the pro-Microsoft camp really stems from fear and anxiety. Let’s face it. If Linux should penetrate the desktop market to the extent that it presently dominates internet servers, super-computing, and scientific computing, all of those Microsoft Certifications these people rely on for their fat paychecks won’t be worth quite as much.

    Comment by Never Mind — January 16, 2012 @ 6:28 am