Well the Linux desktop is certainly here and I can prove it because as of today I'm officially an Ubuntu user and even though things aren't perfect, I feel like I've finally escaped from jail. Those of you contemplating the move from Windows, however, had better be prepared to make some compromises and even a few sacrifices.
Jes Hall (canllaith), a KDE developer, has taken Kubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) through its paces and finds much to like. Amongst other changes in 7.10 she discusses, Jes admits that she enjoys the six month development cycle, saying:
One big helper for surfing comfort and speed is provided through an add-on called Adblock Plus. As the name suggests, it eliminates ad banners. During installation, the user can subscribe to filter lists that are then automatically updated to recognize and block new domain addresses used to transport ads. The add-on also appends a "Block" tab onto Java and Flash animations and surfaces. One click and that particular object will never appear again.
I have been using Ubuntu for quite a while now, but one thing I really dislike is that all the themes are huge space wasters compared to Windows XP. This finally got me angry enough to create a customized version of the Clearlooks theme that tries to be very compact but still maintain its beautiful look. I like the result quite a lot, I have been using this theme for more than two weeks now and it works great. It is especially nice for intense applications like Eclipse.
After several weeks of anguish I've finally recreated my Windows XP file backup regime under Gutsy Gibbon, overcoming my fear of the Linux command line in the process.
In July I wrote a post which has been quite popular called: Turning Ubuntu's Brown Eyes Blue. This post was about changing themes in Ubuntu, getting away from the orange and brown colours and using mostly blue. Things have changed quite a bit since July and changing themes in the new Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) is a little bit different, therefore I thought I would offer some fresh advice.
The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #64 for the week for the week October 28th - November 3rd, 2007 is now available. In this issue we cover the Ubuntu Developer Summit for Hardy Heron, FOSSCamp, the release of Mythbuntu 7.10, Ubuntu-Illinois codesprint, and, as always, much much more!
While Windows advocates may smirk and say here we go again, as 2007 draws to a close I get the strong feeling that we may look back upon this year and recognize it with hindsight as the year that the Linux desktop finally arrived. There are a number of events that point to 2007 as being the turning point for Linux and it all started in January with the release of Windows Vista.
My first impression of gOS is “Gee, I thought I liked Google." To put this into perspective, on the back of my car there is a license plate frame with the words “I’m Feeling Lucky.”
This week, WalMart has begun selling a new computer called the gPC for the price of $199. Instead of using Microsoft Windows, this incredibly inexpensive Linux-based computer runs an operating system which is fittingly called “gOS”.
Ubuntu 7.10 actually comes with some pretty good security practices already set up for you. For example, the root account is locked and no network services are enabled by default. If you’re planning on making your Ubuntu system publicly accessible, here are some things to consider before you forward a port or public IP address.
Have a CD collection sitting around waiting to find its place in your new Ubuntu lifestyle? Maybe you have existing non-DRM protected MP3s on Ubuntu and are looking for way to listen to them on Ubuntu without resorting to using MP3 considering its gray area of use.
I've set-up a new Google Custom Search Engine for Ubuntu. So far it provides results from a list of 169 separate Ubuntu related domains. The usual suspects are included in the list i.e. www.ubuntu.com, wiki.ubuntu.com, help.ubuntu.com, ubuntuforums.org etc. The list also includes blogs listed on planet.ubuntu.com and various other Ubuntu related sites.
I’m home from the Ubuntu Developer Summit (Boston 2007) and wanted to get a few of my thoughts out on virtual paper while they are still fresh. We have gone over so much information this week that I feel a bit of information overload, but it has been well worth it and a *lot* has been done. Just a few of the things that I’ve been able to accomplish while I’ve been here:
Google is ready to unveil a suite of software for mobile phones based on open-source technology, backed by some of the largest wireless industry companies in the world.
Artists and developers participated in a desktop theming specification meeting at the Ubuntu Developer Summit earlier this week. During the meeting, participants made plans for the visual refresh of Hardy Heron, the next major release of the Ubuntu Linux distribution. The meeting was led by Ubuntu art director Kenneth Wimer, who explained that the goal for Hardy is to "radically change the artwork and the theming behind the entire desktop from boot all the way through to logout."
There is no doubt that Ubuntu’s popularity has grown dramatically over the past few years, but just how popular is Ubuntu? How many people have ever heard of Ubuntu? How many people visit the Ubuntu site each month? How many people have tried Ubuntu, and more importantly, how many people are actually using it?
Today was the last day of the Developer Summit and as such, it was a much lighter schedule.
After the spec sessions ended, Matt Zimmerman and Jono Bacon led a wrapup. However, a light schedule does not mean nothing was discussed:
Even the best technology needs a sugar daddy. Seven years ago, Linux got just that when IBM said it would put $1 billion on the then-nascent open-source operating system, pushing the software into the corporate mainstream. Now the same could be about to happen for Linux with the mobile phone, with Google set to give Linux a major endorsement this November.
As far as the desktop side of things are concerned, the next Ubuntu update, code named Hardy Huron, will forgo major functionality additions and instead focus on boosting what’s already in the operating system.
Here is my first batch of Ubuntu advocacy banners. I've got more in various formats/stages of production and I'll post them as and when I complete the sets.
I enjoyed making these — playing with GIMP provides a nice break from coding. Anyhow, this first batch contains two sets of standard 468x60px banners. Each image is supposed to encourage the viewer to explore the possibilities of Ubuntu by advertising one of Ubuntu's default applications.
I'd love to know what you think of these so please feel free to leave a comment with ideas for improvements etc.