Top Linux Distros: Ubuntu
Desktop Training - Desktop Reviews

Lesson 2 / Lesson 4

The Ubuntu Linux distribution is based on the successful Debian GNU/Linux. The word "ubuntu" come from the Zulu language and translates as "humanity to others". This describes the close knit Ubuntu community that values member togetherness and participation. Ubuntu aims at providing an up-to-date operating system that is stable and easy to use. My estimate is that Ubuntu currently makes well up over 30% of all Linux desktop installations. Ubuntu includes a unique naming proactive that includes the month and year of the release and a unique nickname for each release. Here are a few releases and their nicknames.

Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala
Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope.
Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex
Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron
Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

The first Ubuntu release came in October, 2004. Ubuntu was forked from the Debian project initially to provide a release every six months, more often than Debian.  Traditionally new releases of Ubuntu fall one month after the Gnome releases. Ubuntu is endorsed, sponsored and provided by Canonical, a company owned by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth. On July 8, 2005, Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical unveiled the Ubuntu foundation which main goal is to provide support and development for future versions of the Ubuntu distribution. Shuttleworth provided the initial funding for the foundation of $10 Million describing the foundation as an "emergency fund". Ubuntu has maintained the same logo and general color scheme since its first release. The original font, created by Andy Fitzsimon, is called Ubuntu-Title and is distributed under the LGPL.

Ubuntu is in the general category because it is a stable, effective, easy-to-use Linux distribution that you can use daily. Ubuntu has also provided us with several flavors that may appear in other categories. Variants of the popular Ubuntu distribution include Ubuntu Server Edition, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Xubuntu, Gobuntu, Mythbuntu, Ubuntu JeOS, Ubuntu Studio, and more all the time. They are all based on Ubuntu which is your best bet for a general purpose distribution.

Desktop Screenshot
Ubuntu typically changes the background images with each new release, often playing off of the releases nickname while retaining the caramel, brown and orange color arrangement. Because Ubuntu and Gnome release at similar times, Ubuntu usually contains the freshest release of the Gnome desktop environment. Along with this come new features and improvements that come along with each release. The Ubuntu desktop theme is set to "Human" and changes very little.

Help Resources
One of the best parts about using the Ubuntu Linux distribution is the quantity of help available for free and otherwise. What started as a little content available on-line has moved right into a bookstore, magazine rack, or computer store near you. On-line e-books, forums, and tutorials are popping up everywhere. Getting helps still comes down to time though. Do you have the time to scoure the internet to solve one small problem after another or would you rather pay $20 for a book or training CD that has all of the content you need in one place. Fortunately with Ubuntu, finding books, movies and other helpful content is very easy. Here are a few resources that are ideal for getting Ubuntu-related help:
Ubuntu Training CD

The bottom line is that Ubuntu is a well organized, popular distribution which translates into extra community support and resources. This is a powerful asset to have if you're new to Linux, making the windows jump, or getting started as a computer user. This distribution has a plan and a bright future in the computer world. It is easy to mold Ubuntu into the exact purpose you need to use a computer. This versatility makes it a great choice for beginners and advanced users just the same.

My Feeling
As a user that has migrated from Windows, I use quite a bit of creative software which Ubuntu has a good selection of. Ubuntu includes GIMP, Inkscape, and others plus has a huge selection of packages that can be added. If I have a problem, as I have many times, I usually check out the forum for a few minutes and get an answer. This is something that would be impossible with many other distros because they simply don't have the following of Ubuntu. Because Ubuntu's stability, if I was starting over again I would choose Ubuntu as my first Linux desktop because it plain and simple has fewer problems.

The Ubuntu installation process seems to get better and better. The process gets shorter and easier with each new release of the Ubuntu Linux distribution. The first option I was prompted to select during my recent installation of Ubuntu was to select a language. In a column to the left I could see a list of languages where I selected "English". I read the brief welcome message and clicked Forward at the bottom.

Install Ubutu

The Next window is a colorful timezone map to choose your location on. You may choose Region and City at the bottom manually. I selected my location and clicked the Forward button.

Select your location

On the Keyboard layout window I selected the suggested keyboard option and clicked Forward again at the bottom.

Keyobard layout on Ubuntu

The next window is for preparing the disk space for installation. I chose to use the entire disk and pressed Forward.

disk partitioning on Ubuntu

On the Who Are You window information is needed including name, username, password, and computer name. Press Forward when you're finished.

Personal info on Ubuntu

Now we see a summary of our installation. After reviewing the summary press the Install button at the bottom.

 Ready to Install Ubuntu

After a short time of watching the progress bar we see this message stating that out installation has been completed and we now need to restart our computer. Click Restart now.

Here is the freshly installed Ubuntu desktop.

 You will be hard pressed to find another Linux distribution that is as easy to install as Ubuntu. The Ubuntu installer is quick, easy and dependable. Installation on Ubuntu seems to mimic the rest of the Ubuntu process, just another reason why Ubuntu is so popular among the Linux community. You can Buy Ubuntu Linux Here or buy the Ubuntu Six Pack which features the top six Ubuntu flavors.