The Many Faces Of Ubuntu

Ubuntu may just be one of the most popular distributions that the Linux community has developed over the past five years. What has made this distribution so popular is not only that it’s available for free download but you can also get a free CD mailed to you. This makes it easy for those who do not or don’t know how to burn a CD image of an .iso file. Overall the folks at Ubuntu have made it easy to try their product. It can be run as a live CD and also installed on a hard disk.

But there is more to the Ubuntu community than just free CDs. It also has some of the best Linux forums on the Internet. Since most people who are using Ubuntu are new users, help is available at many of the forums that the Ubuntu community supports. Also there is something else that makes Ubuntu different. The user has a choice of different versions of the Ubuntu product.

Ubuntu – By far the most popular of all of the variants, the classic Ubuntu comes with the Gnome interface. You can take a look here at what it looks like. Ubuntu comes in two flavors: Desktop and Server editions. Ubuntu is also the release that Dell has chosen to use on its Linux boxes.

Kubuntu – My personal favorite that uses the KDE interface. IMO this is the closet lookalike to Windows. You can view available screen shots of what this version looks like from here.

Edubuntu – Designed for younger users and helps them learn basic computer skills. It is a tool designed with the educator in mind. Screen shots here.

Xubuntu – Designed for the older system with limited resources that may have trouble running the Gnome of KDE interface. Screen shots available here.

And then there is the Ubuntu promise:

The Ubuntu Promise

  • Ubuntu will always be free of charge, including enterprise releases and security updates.
  • Ubuntu comes with full commercial support from Canonical and hundreds of companies around the world.
  • Ubuntu includes the very best translations and accessibility infrastructure that the free software community has to offer.
  • Ubuntu CDs contain only free software applications; we encourage you to use free and open source software, improve it and pass it on.

The Ubunutu founder has also stated that it will not be cutting a deal with Microsoft now or anytime in the future. This will only add to Ubuntu’s popularity now and down the road.

Comments welcome.

[tags]ubuntu, kubuntu,edubuntu,xubuntu, versions, popularity, linux,microsoft, [/tags]

Article Written by

I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • thatgrrl

    Windows Vista rejects Ubuntu each time I try to install it with the dual boot. I am going to wait till the CD comes in the mail and then try again. I looked at Wubi, but they don’t have a version for Vista yet. Have you seen it, Wubi, before?

  • Ron Schenone

    Hi thatgirl,
    I haven’t seen Wubi but I’ll go and take a look. Thanks for stopping by and good luck on the dual boot.

    PS I found this that might help:

  • Kent Smith

    I just started using Ubuntu on Tuesday, 3 days ago, after being a Windows user since version 3.0 long, long ago. I was more-or-less forced into the change, as my current Windows XP machine crashed big-time and took years of data with it. This current borrowed laptop is loaded with Linux.

    So far it looks pretty sweet. Surprisingly easy to use, though a few conventions will take getting used to. At this point the overriding impression is that this thing is solid, in a way that Windows never seems to be. The lack of Photoshop will be a huge issue, as “Gimp” appears to be a really poor substitute. If one sticks with a Linux system, it may make sense to have a cheap Windows machine that’s dedicated to Photoshop, offline (!) but networked to the Linux box.

    Otherwise, Ubuntu is a big, big surprise.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hi Kent,
    I agree. The Gimp doesn’t hold a candle to what PhotoShop can do. I’m glad you are enjoying Ubuntu. Another thought? Dual boot Windows/Ubuntu. Quite a few do just that to take advantage of the best of both worlds. Using Linux for net surfing and email is a lot safer since the hackers usually leave Linux alone. :-)

    All the best and thanks for the comments and sharing your experience.

  • http://ComingSoon-ish Russ LeRogue

    You’re right about the dual boot thing, Ron … I’ve used Ubuntu and XP for the past few years with great success but only did that ‘cuz some of the programs I HAD to use in my line of work are only available as Windoze versions. But … since I no longer have need for those programs, I have switched 100% to Ubuntu and haven’t looked back.

    As more and more companies see fit to support Linux this program incompatibility issue is becoming less of a big deal. Yes, the Gimp doesn’t compare to PhotoShop, but there are others. Of course there are work-arounds such as Wine plus NTFS access that allow the usage of unsupported programs and access to outside file sources such as your Windoze file system for data, etc in Ubuntu.

    In any case, welcome to the Ubuntu world to all who choose to come … there is plenty of support from the Ubuntu community via the multitude of forums …

  • Ron Schenone

    Hi Russ,
    That is one of the beauty parts about Ubuntu is that support is limitless. This adds to the popularity of Ubuntu and I believe Ubuntu with set the standard for all other distro’s to follow, if they can.

    If and when Ubuntu is able to use CNR from Linspire, Ubuntu will take off like a rocket in popularity. I’m just hoping that the Linspire-Microsoft deal doesn’t deter Linspire and Ubuntu from working together. We will see.

    Thanks for the comments.

  • bayoujim

    100% of my friends have switched to ubuntu. I have a dual boot to make the change to unbuntu gradual. Large corporations and their greed are running our country and ruining our country. vote.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello bayoujim,
    Thanks for your comments.

  • Alex

    Kent Smith

    I’m running Photoshop 7.0 with Wine in Ubuntu quite successfully. I hear, CS version work too.

  • Ron Schenone

    Thanks for the info as well.

  • Kiko

    always been a mac biggot, my father swears by Ubuntu and keeps saying to give it a go, so I may…

    What’s the advantage of using Kubuntu over the standard release?

    Is KDE superior to Gnome? A few years ago, wasn’t the gnome desktop project supposed to create the Linux GUI to rule them all?

  • P J Thomas

    I’ve been playing with 64 bit 7.10 Ubuntu, seems really fast, but I’m having driver problems. Guess I’ll have to do some Vid card swapping. Unless someones know about 64bit ATI drivers…

  • Ron Schenone

    Hi Kikko,
    Ubuntu uses Gnome whereas Kubuntu uses KDE. Basic difference is user preference. I prefer KDE while others Gnome. Apples and oranges. :-)
    I was surprised to read that Linus Torvalds recommends that KDE should be the GUI for all linux versions and Gnome should be scrapped.

    PJ Thomas,
    Good luck finding the correct driver. Have you tried the ATI site?

    Thanks to you both for your comments,

  • LarryC

    I got my wife a new laptop for Christmas. So I took her 7 year old Sony laptop with the tiny hard drive and installed Ubuntu on it. Since it is an older slower machine, I started with Xubuntu. I have also run the Gnome interface and although the Xfce desktop seems to load a little faster, once they are booted I can’t see any difference in performance. Either is faster than XP was on this laptop.

    Networking is the only hang up I’ve experienced so far. The Linksys wireless adaptor that worked fine with XP does not seem to work with Ubuntu. The forum entries seem to agree that wireless networking is a touchy point with Ubuntu.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello LarryC,
    Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  • Matt

    Ubuntu Studio/Printer Issues/Beryl
    Another distro, called Ubuntu Studio, is loaded with multimedia apps, from recording, to converting, to creating audio, and video. Unfortunately, I had to install the whole package into my existing Ubuntu (Feisty Fox), since the Studio project is very recent.
    The only issue I have with Ubuntu, is the lack of printer support. I have a Lexmark all-in-one, that is a paperweight, in Ubuntu, but works flawlessly in XP.
    Beryl is a theme (desktop environment) for Ubuntu, and it rocks! There are all kinds of cool effects, rain, the “cyclone” effect, and way many more.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Matt,
    Thanks for the information.

  • Kiko

    Thanks Ron,
    I do find gnome looks a lot cleaner, Kde has this cheap feeling to it.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Kiko,
    You are most welcome. Enjoy.

  • yman

    it’s Feisty Fawn, not Feisty Fox.
    Beryl is a window manager, not a theme or desktop environment.

    how can vista reject Ubuntu? when you put in the CD and restart the machine it should load from the CD, not the hard drive, therefor vista should never come into play, because it wouldn’t be loaded. is it a problem that occurs during or after the installation process? or does the computer start widows vista instead of loading Ubuntu from CD?

    @P J Thomas
    are you sure you mean 7.10? because thats still in alpha stage, you know.

    “Is KDE superior to Gnome? A few years ago, wasn’t the gnome desktop project supposed to create the Linux GUI to rule them all?”
    I don’t think it’s superior or inferior, it’s just different.
    the Gnome desktop wasn’t “supposed to be” the standard desktop. no one but themselves nominated them for it, and I doubt they set that as a goal.

  • Khairi

    Hello guys,

    I’m here just to share some of my personal interesting experiences. I’ve been using ubuntu since edgy eft, and now I’m on feisty. And you know what? If you counted the months since edgy eft came out, THAT is the period that I am truly exposed with LINUX. Seriously. I’ve never before this dare to make a box entirely as a primary OS before as I thought LINUX is too difficult for me to understand. But now, I can look back and smile while waving to Microsoft goodbye as I now have Parallels running on my Ubuntu laptop with eyecandy stuff like beryl to WOW me everytime I have a second thought of trying Vista. To be honest, I bought this laptop “preinstalled” with Vista and was having a great of hard and painfull time with it. Now, vista will only be a testbed for my web designs. Nothing more. Thanks to Microsoft for showing how much Vista sucks, and thank you, thank you, thank you Canonical, for bringing Ubuntu to the world. Thank you.
    By the way, I’m from Malaysia. Cheers! :)

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Khairi,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience with us. Sounds like you are enjoying the Ubuntu experience as are many others.
    Regards, Ron

  • Harry Monmouth

    I can’t believe I could have done that all this time.