The last couple of years or so has seen a revolution in the
Linux market. It has been quietly rumbling around for the best
part of this time and possibly even longer than that. I first
discovered it at Altparty 2004, thanks to Pahartik & Q-Funk
showing it to me when my laptop, which was running Windoze at
the time, was refusing to connect up to the party network at
all. The installation was originally run from a live CD, which
meant that all I had to do was to boot from it at first,
altering the boot sequence in the Bios of my laptop. All done
tickety-boo and I was soon back online, running Ubuntu Linux for
the first time, in it's guise under the release title of 'Hoary
Now those of you may recall that I dabbled with Linux for a bit
in an earlier timescale, which is true to an extent, as I had
got to grips by using Mandrake Linux. I didn't find that too
comfortable and gave up soon afterwards, particularly as a lot
of software did not want to work or do a similar job to that on
Windoze at that time. Ubuntu, however, although it is still as
stable as Mandrake was, offers much more, with packages that
actually work and also do a job, unlike a lot of others.
As Windoze itself wasn't working on my laptop too well, in quite
a short time after the end of Altparty 2004, I wiped it
completely and installed Ubuntu from scratch. It took quite a
while to install, bearing in mind that it had a lot of system-
related code to run, but soon we got there and it took us to the
now-familiar Gnome desktop. Gnome was new to me as I had
previously used KDE with Mandrake Linux, now, after having used
the two, I guess you can definitely say that I'm a convert to
the world of Gnome !
Gnome has, in my opinion, a more stable and standard desktop
than any version of Windoze that I have used in the last few
years. It is very functional too and ideal if you are starting
out to use Linux for the first time. There are options included
to get peripherals such as wireless networking in operation,
along with standard ethernet fixed networking as and when.
Ubuntu itself is based on the popular Debian distribution of
Linux, which in itself is one of the grand-daddies of the
operating system. While Ubuntu itself is more refined and is
therefore suitable for beginners, Debian itself cannot be
sneezed at either, although it would be more advisable to try
that out once you have more experience.
Quite a few games work with Ubuntu, such as the ever-popular
Doom and Quake. Some commercially-available games also now
provide Linux loaders, enabling them to be played on non-M$
systems. This has to be applauded, even if a strong factor
against this is that that part of the software doesn't earn the
Interestingly enough, the demoscene is also beginning to show
some fruit, with releases in Linux at most major parties in the
last 2-3 years. These demos normally work on Ubuntu without too
many problems and are worth looking at.
There have been various versions of Ubuntu over the last couple
of years, the intermediate distribution being codenamed 'Breezy
Badger' and the most recent release in a matter of a few days
ago at the time of writing, the all-new 'Dapper Drake'
distribution. I have had a preview of this distrib- ution
running on my laptop for a fair while and I must say I am
Ubuntu itself can be downloaded from www.ubuntu.com.
Felice for Alive, 2006-07-30