I’ve been using Ubuntu version 13.04 for a week now. I installed it on an old HP laptop that was running Windows XP. With Windows installed, the laptop was incredibly slow so upgrading to Windows 8 wasn’t an option.
How easy is it to install Ubuntu?
There are various choices when installing Ubuntu on a Windows PC. The most common are to use the PC to run both Windows and Ubuntu (dual-boot) or to only use Ubuntu (i.e. goodbye Windows). Be aware that any applications you have installed and data you have under Windows will be lost if choosing to only use Ubuntu.
I really battled initially to install Ubuntu. The download relies on being able to boot from USB or DVD (note that even though Ubuntu refers to a bootable CD this isn’t possible due to size of the various files needed for the bootable DVD). I initially tried to install on a very old Dell XPS laptop but no amount of coercion allowed for booting from USB or DVD. Once I gave up trying to install on the old Dell then it was really simple to install on the HP.
Here are the instructions to install Ubuntu on a computer running Windows:
- Download Ubuntu Desktop.
- Extract the various files from the downloaded ISO file.
- Burn the extracted files to a DVD (or a USB stick if you prefer).
- Power up your computer in Windows, insert the DVD and run wubi.exe.
- Follow the prompts and instructions.
That is really how simple it is to have your awesome new version of Linux running.
How easy is it to use Ubuntu Linux?
I have been astounded how simple it is to transition from Windows to Ubuntu. It’s very obvious that Connonical (the developers of Ubuntu) have spent alot of effort in making the transition to Ubuntu as painless as possible.
A few things are different from the Windows GUI such as the task-bar being to the left of the screen, the windows close icons being to the top left of the open windows and so on but the changes are simple to adjust to. The Ubuntu GUI too isn’t quite as slick as the Windows GUI but it’s functional and looks great.
As for using software on Ubuntu, I haven’t experienced any problems at all. For Email I use Gmail so just use Google Chrome in Ubuntu for this, I’ve used Google Docs for awhile but hear that Microsoft Office works fine on Ubuntu. Other apps I use most often include Filezilla and Notepad++ (a Windows app that works seamlessly on Ubuntu). Two bits of software that I use often but still need to try are Adobe Photoshop and 1Password.
Should you upgrade to Windows 8 or install Ubuntu?
Windows 8 is a terrible Operating System. I’ve always been a big Microsoft fan but Windows 8 shows just how complacent Microsoft have become. There are of course some great things about Windows 8 but, for the average user, the poor performance and massive learning curve needed to use Windows 8 make it a total dud software product.
Ubuntu is exactly what Windows should be; reliable, cheap, easy to use and really fast. For most people Ubuntu will be a far better choice than Windows.
Make the move to Ubuntu. You really are crazy if you don’t.