I tried to install Kubuntu yesterday but the partitioning program failed and I decided to try out Ubuntu today because I knew they were using different tools for that purpose.
I downloaded the Ubuntu iso image and burned it to a CD. I then changed the boot sequence in the bios to boot Ubuntu from CD.
The distribution that I downloaded is a live CD and installation CD at the same time which means it will boot the complete operating system from CD first and give you the choice to install it or simply use the live CD version.
This is great for testing the operating system before you commit to it. You can test it without making changes to the underlying system.
The first thing that caught my attention was that all my NTFS (Windows file system) hard drives were accessible which is really great. I had an entry on my list of things that I wanted Ubuntu to do and this was one of them. I tried the installation and it worked fine. After selecting a username and password and some general settings like country I had the choice to automatically resize the partitions for Ubuntu or do it manually.
I decided to use the manual approach because I already created the partitions yesterday using the Kubuntu partitioner. I was able to select my Linux partition (ext3) with 30 gigabytes and my Linux swap partition with 1 gigabyte. The installation began automatically and did not take long. After rebooting the system and changing the boot sequence again I was able to boot into Linux, Vista or XP using Grub the bootmanager.
My internet connection worked right out of the box, no installation was required. This was great because I needed to take a look at the Ubuntu documentation.
The first thing that I noticed was that many programs were already installed on my new Linux system. Some of them, like Firefox and Open Office, were applications that I use on my Windows operating systems as well. The only thing that was really missing (at first glance) was support for mp3 files and other restricted formats.
Installing additional packages is slightly more complicated than in Windows. You may use the command line to install software or use a package manager that offers a selection of available software. I decided to use the package manager and took a quick look at software that I wanted to install.
I found Thunderbird, the same e-mail client that I was using in Windows and decided to install it hoping that it was possible to use the Windows profile in Linux as well. Thankfully the software is categorized and you can also use the good search to find something that you are looking for.
I decided to take a look at the Ubuntu documentation to find out what I needed to install to be able to play mp3 and other files such as divx movies.
Please note that you need to add the universe and multiverse repositories under settings, repositories before you may install some of the above codecs.
Installing and using Ubuntu was quite easy. The only difficulties inexperienced users may encounter are the partitioning process and the installation of additional programs and tools.
Most programs that I use on a daily basis are already preinstalled, if you use your computer mainly for office you are set to go without installing additional packages.
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