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Hi to all. This is my first message on the forum. Just wanted to know if Linux Ubuntu distro is the "best" out of all the others ? I mean ...
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- 11-09-2013 #1
- Join Date
- Nov 2013
This is my first message on the forum.
Just wanted to know if Linux Ubuntu distro is the "best" out of all the others ? I mean in terms of speed, memory management, security, ease of use ?
Also, is it easy to set up an email client ?
I also want to know if I can run Ubuntu side by side with Windows 7 ?
I think I am going to download it now, because Windows 7 is causing hard drive to be fragmented.
I heard that Linux doesn't do that.
- 11-09-2013 #2
Best is definitely a subjective term and will always be clouded by opinion; that said, Ubuntu is no lightweight distro and in Linux terms isn't a speed demon. It is fairly straight forward to use if you like the interface. This month's Linux Format magazine has just done a round up of beginner friendly distros and their winner was Pinguy which is based on Ubuntu.
If you have set up an email client (such as Thunderbird) on Windows then you will find it almost identical. You can install Linux along side Windows and most distros should offer the option by default. This does involve messing with HD partitions and that always has an element of risk associated with it. The recommendation is to make sure you have a working backup of any data you couldn't live without before you begin.
Most distros, Ubuntu included, will run live which means that they run from the installation media giving you the opportunity to try them out, albeit rather slowly, before committing to a full install."I used to be with it, then they changed what it was.
Now what was it isn't it, and what is it is weird and scary to me.
It'll happen to you too."
The Fifth Continent
- 11-09-2013 #3
You can run any kind of Linux alongside Windows and most Linux users start out that way. The merits of Ubuntu are a more disputed topic. It has the reputation of being a particularly novice-friendly, but it is big and complex and certainly not fast. Many of us consider it bloated. It also has a very fast upgrade cycle with a new version every six months, which makes for a lot of bugs. As far as security is concerned, all Linux distros are more or less equal.
Setting up email is very simple in any Linux; all desktops include a graphical email client.
You're right about the fragmentation problem. Linux has much more intelligent filesystems, so you never need to defrag.
Other people will probably pile in and recommend you their favorite distros."I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
- 11-09-2013 #4
Ubuntu is focused on being user friendly especially for someone coming from Windows or Mac. Linux in general is going to be faster than Windows and can be configured for even more speed and smaller footprint, but that requires more experience with Linux to do leaner installs and to tune the configuration. I'd say if new that start with a user focused Linux (like ubuntu or one of its variations) and get familiar with it. I don't know what email you're using now, but might want to use a web-based email so you can read/mange you email from a browser on any OS.
- 11-09-2013 #5
the "best" out of all the others ?
- Join Date
- Sep 2007
- 11-10-2013 #6
Distrowatch.com has over 700 distro's available. To make that number manageable, they list the top 100 on the right hand side of the page, down below the ads. They also have a search function in which you can select beginner friendly, and any other criteria you want, and it will give you a list of distro's that fit. Keep in mind, if you like distro xyz, but don't like the desktop environment, you can easily change to another one. You can switch, for example from KDE to XFCE, and get a different feel. Personally, I like Ubuntu based releases with an LXDE desktop. In linux, you can choose what you like and modify the OS as much as you want.Registered Linux user #526930
- 11-14-2013 #7
Ubuntu might be the best Linux flavor to start with, if for no other reason than things tend to "just work". Besides, if something does prove problematic, there's a huge community of folk that can help. The only real downsides to Ubuntu are the Unity desktop environment (disliked by many, myself included) and the fact that it's rather slow. (it's not suitable for a slow machine)
- 11-14-2013 #8
- 11-14-2013 #9
- Join Date
- Jun 2013
"You can keep away from Unity by either installing another desktop like Xfce or use one other Ubuntu spinoffs like Xbuntu, Mint, or the others."
I have Ubuntu on a desktop with a 1.9GHz processor, 1GB ram, and a 500GB hard drive, and thats where I'm headed. Different desktop and a different window manager too, to start with.
Last edited by droidlizard; 11-14-2013 at 06:44 AM. Reason: put winking smiley in awkward place.
- 11-14-2013 #10
I really like ubuntu. But not the "out of the box" / "off the shelf version". I've been in to *nix for a couple of years now. I'm no guru. But I think I have a pretty good handle on the basics. In my personal opinion ubuntu is just the easiest to manage distro "under the hood".
What I mean by that is that is seems to me to have the widest cross section of both software and hardware compatability, the easiest to use GUI and CLI management software, the easiest to troubleshoot drivers, the widest available range of natively compatible software and the greatest range of software that you can *make* work with a few hacks.
This does not mean that it is without issues; especially the main-line "default" version. There are a lot of privacy concerns with the newer versions of ubuntu and I am *no fan* of unity at all. A few googles on "ubuntu spyware" and "unity issues" will give you tons and tons of info on this. There are also some ethical concerns over some of Canonical's recent dealings with the Chinese government and the possibilty that this may introduce even more spyware and possibly even security holes in to the ubuntu universe down the road. Ubuntu also has a rapid release cycle that lends itself to system instability. A lot of people argue that they release software too quickly without enough quality control. And I agree to an extent.
I always suggest staying away from the point releases and using the LTS versions. They are far more stable, have few issues overall and tend to be broken by just regular, everyday updates far less than the point releases.
The way that I explain the difference between doze and *nix to people is this: Doze is just one great big huge block. You either take it or leave it; while *nix is like Legos. It's a bunch of little pieces that "snap" together just about any way you want.
I do not like the way that the ubuntu devs have used their Lego set. I do not like what they have used it to build. But, IMHO, ubuntu has the absolute best Lego set of any *nix distro. So I used their Lego set to build my own "remix" of ubuntu. It took me about a year to do and I learned tons in the process.
My *nix adventures have been pretty typical of a lot of users. I started out with *nix in VMs on doze. Then I went to dual boot. Then I went just *nix with doze in the VM to cover a few holes. My machine had lots of hardware issues due to hybrid graphics.
In the process of fixing the graphics I dug so deep in to the guts of ubuntu that I decided to build exactly what *I* want.
I would recommend a similar path. Once you feel comfortable enough monkeying around under the hood then install an LTS version from the CLI minimal core install and start building from there. (Google is your friend.)
You'll get all the benefits of LTS support and system stability. You'll also know *exactly* what's in it because you put it there. You'll be able to fix most of what can go wrong with it because you built it. You'll be able to bypass most of the problems with most of the questionable decisions made by the ubuntu devs and not include any of the questionable crap if you don't want it.
Once you have your own remix built there are several options for backing it up; including some that will let you turn it in to an installable version that can be put on any compatable hardware. This is very handy should your hardware die or you just want to get a better computer.
Once you figure out how to use the underlying “Lego” set and can build from the CLI minimal install up the possibilities of ubuntu are pretty much endless.
Last edited by Steven_G; 11-14-2013 at 10:31 PM.