In my last post, I mentioned wanting to try out Linux, specifically Ubuntu. After much consideration and with the help of the Ghacks readers, I decided to try the Ubuntu LiveCD before actually installing it. However, I first had to bump up my laptop's RAM, which took a while. It's tough to get compatible DDR RAM these days.
Once my laptop was ready, it was time to try out the LiveCD. I'd contemplated waiting for Jaunty to be released just so I could have the latest release but then decided to go with Intrepid. After all, if things go well, I can always upgrade later.
I downloaded the .iso image from the official image, burned it and popped it into the laptop's CD-ROM drive after changing the boot configuration so it would boot from the CD. In my first attempt, the CD failed to boot. At this point I'm not sure what the problem is so I put in an old version of the dyne:bolic LiveCD that I'd burned over a year ago.
This time the laptop booted from the CD so I figured that my Ubuntu CD wasn't burned properly. Since I had already booted dyne:bolic, I decided to play around with it. Everything worked fine for five minutes and then my machine hung. Nothing I did would fix it so I just let the battery drain out. Note to self? Find 'ctrl+alt+delete' equivalent in Linux.
By this time, I re-burn my Ubuntu CD but I insert it into the CD-ROM with some trepidation. The CD takes a while to boot and for a few moments I think it's hung again but then I get the welcome screen and I calm down. I select the 'try Ubuntu without installing' and wait for the CD to finish booting.
The first thing that greets me is the brown-toned screen that I've seen in most Ubuntu screenshots. Not that I have anything against it but I don't think I could look at it day in and day out and not be able to change it. I fire up Rhythmbox and to my Winamp-accustomed eyes, it does not look like a great media player. However, I'm not complaining and I try to play a few songs through my attached pen-drive. Yes, I know mp3s are not supported out of the box but it was a bit of a rude awakening.
I decide to shut down my laptop and work on it later, But first, I need to disconnect the pen drive. In Windows, I'm used to the 'Safely remove hardware' option but I don't see something similar here. So I right-click the drive and select 'unmount'. It disappears from my screen but the drive light is still on. I do a quick search on the net and find that everything's okay. Unmount is the right option and with some drives, the light stays on after that.
All in all, I'm pretty satisfied with my first Ubuntu run. It wasn't perfect but it wasn't a disaster either. I'm planning to experiment some more with the LiveCD over the weekend and see what else Ubuntu has to offer. Any tips for me?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.