Since 2002 when I first started running a server in my house, I’ve gone through Red Hat, then Fedora (2004). The machine I was running this on was really beginning to creak, and it didn’t like having new bits and pieces added to it. When I moved house, the server was powered down and has remained that way until now.
Due to the craziness of OS licencing, it was cheaper for my boss to purchase a new computer with a Windows licence than to directly buy one. Thanks to a synergistic and complimentary deal, I relieved him of the box sans Windows licence so I now have a shiny Dell 5150 with dual core processor, a stack of memory and even … an optical drive, something I was missing on my old machine.
Ubuntu was something I’d heard a lot of about over the years, and seeing as it looked so nice I thought I should give it a whirl. After booting the box into Windows, I used the fantasic UNetbootin tool to grab the file to get my Ubuntu installation going. After a quick reboot, all Windows files were gone and an automatic download over the Web was underway. I didn’t measure exactly how long it took, but somewhere in the region of 30 minutes later and after entering a few passwords, my new box was up and running having found all the hardware without problems. Maybe that’s to be expected seeing as Ubuntu is the Linux variant that Dell offer directly.
Using Ubuntu is just a fantastic experience, and it’s so nice to see all the improvements since I last played with Fedora. The Synaptic package manager, which lets you select upgrades to both OS and applications in one neat window, works fantastically. Web browsing, document editing, email … all just feel great and work intuitively. Check this quick summary. If you want to try it out, download the CD and you can run it on your <insert other OS> computer without affecting any files, thanks to some Live CD magic.