99% of all computer viruses target Microsoft products. Linux-based Ubuntu is the most trouble-free computing one can get for surfing the web and doing online business. Here's a quick 10.x summary (I call it "Gunsight Rock" after the desktop background I install for users):
- Network printing worked first try. Detects scanner and scans. Detects web camera. Video Skype works perfectly.
- Banshee connects and plays iPod - easy to browse vast video/audio libraries and preview/watch. (Make sure Rhythm Box or F-spot don't try to auto connect to your ipod. If they get a chance to initiate a sync it will delete your music on the ipod)
- EtherApe is a great real-time graphic network analyzer.
- Rosegarden multi-track audio runs perfectly (requires JACK).
- Dropbox works perfectly (be careful if you use this to share files as there are no admin rights and users will delete your files accidentally).
- NX server/client allows remote access flawlessly.
- Opera, Chrome, Firefox all run perfectly.
- Kmail client, KaddressBook, entire Open Office suite, GIMP, Osmo, Picassa run perfectly.
- Pitivi video edit works.
- Windff for converting video formats works great.
For those who want to wear a belt with their Linux security suspenders. KlamAV anti-virus is freely available, as is Firestarter, a software-based desktop firewall for Ubuntu.Note: When running setup, make sure to click the box that asks to install mp3 codecs ("Install this 3rd party software. fluendo MP3 Plugin"). If you do not, CD burning is broken as the bundled ffmpeg version is out of date. Updating ffmpeg post-install can be difficult even for the experienced Linux user.
This operating system breathes new life into 3-5 year old laptops and computers. If the hardware holds out (power supplies, hard drives, etc.), you can enjoy your investment for another 3-5 years. My primary computer now is Ubuntu 10.x and from it I can RDC into all of my instances of Microsoft and Apple. Kudos to the authors (there are thousands).Final note: If after reading this blog post you think to yourself: "Great I'm going to install Ubuntu and stream Netflix" think again. Netflix won't support Linux for unknown reasons. Suspect: DRM. But for everything else this is a fabulous operating system. If you need a cheap Netflix solution buy a Roku, they are $100 bucks and work great.
From Slashdot Feb. 2011: "The German government has confirmed that the German Foreign Office is to switch back to Windows desktop systems. The cost of adapting and extending Linux, for example in writing printer and scanner drivers, and of training, have
proved greater than anticipated. "
My response" You will not find Linux drivers for every device on Ubuntu, this is true. And with older versions of Ubuntu device detection did not work well.
If you are developmentally disabled you might not be able to find driver support for your speech to text device. In banking, your PIN machine or check scanner might not have Linux drivers available. This can be problematic. You also won't have all the hooks from Open Office into MOSS that you once had before with the MS Office stack of software.
However, with Ubuntu 10.x most of the average consumer device driver (printer, scanner) problems have been satisfactorily solved enough for me to recommend this operating system for the average home user. With this operating system you can securely surf the web, write your stories, watch You Tube videos and rock out. I use Ubuntu and Rhythmbox at my local theater to run sound for live shows. It works great.
Linux powers the Outer Space Ultra Light Rocking Chair (OSULRC-1)
used in the original movie "Elliot's War"