back to article Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx stalks PC and Mac converts

Canonical says that with the latest release schedule this Thursday, it will win your love for Ubuntu. If not immediately, give it a year - but Canonical will get you. And by 'you', Canonical means Mac and Windows users. Chief operating officer and blogger Matt Asay told The Reg that changes in the consumer-oriented Ubuntu 10. …


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  1. Tom Maddox Silver badge
    Gates Halo

    I'll believe it when I see it

    How about a UI that doesn't look like it was designed by a furry-toothed geek? Will they have that? Will I be able to install arbitrary (non-repo) software without having to go to a shell prompt as root? Obviously, I won't be able to run any of my existing software, but I'm sure useless 2.0rhea crapola and an iTunes ripoff will make it all better.

    1. Gareth Pye


      Download package, double click it, click install, supply password = installed. Why do you need the console to do this?

      Have you used a Linux system in the last few years?


      1998 is calling.

      > Will I be able to install arbitrary (non-repo) software without having to go to a shell prompt as root?

      Like many things on a modern Linux: you do it the same way you would under Windows.

      It's funny how that works, how dragging and clicking on things with a mouse tends to work the same way whether or not it's Linux, Windows, MacOS or even GEM.

      That's kind of the whole point of Ubuntu. You don't have to treat it like a 15 year old copy of Slackware. Linux has moved on a bit since then.

      Although even "back in the day" there were shiny happy gui installers. Sure, marking them executable with the tool of your choice is an extra bit. However, it also helps keeps other shenangians to a minimum.

    3. Philip Storry

      I've had a completely different experience.

      Personally, I prefer the UI. I generally find it cleaner and less cluttered than the Windows UI, and often a lot more logical.

      Of course, I'm really talking about Gnome rather than Ubuntu. Even Kubuntu can't make me like KDE, which seems to be aping Windows a little too much, and clutters itself up accordingly.

      As for installing non-repo software... No idea what you're on about. I've never had trouble with non-repo software. Wanted Opera. Downloaded it and double-clicked it. Up pops a nice box saying what the software is. Click on the Install button, type in my password, and a few seconds later I'm done.

      Same story with Bibble 4 Pro and the upgrade to Bibble 5.

      Very easy.

      Extensive repositories mean I've not needed to install much software from outside them, but if there's a .deb file for it then it's incredibly easy.

      The only times it's not easy are when, like VMWare Professional, the software comes as a bundle file. Then I have to drop to the CLI, as you describe. This is not a failing of Ubuntu. Two much smaller companies got it right, VMWare haven't yet.

      As for not running existing software - I've found there's very little I need to run in Windows. Linux in general has usable equivalents for all of my needs. Not all of them are free - some I've bought. But they're out there, and seem to be increasing in number.

      These days on Windows it's games and that's it. And if Steam comes to Linux and brings Team Fortress 2 with it, then that'll remove 75% of my Windows needs...

      1. Neill Mitchell

        Two words for you...

        Crossover Games. Supports Team Fortress 2.

        Have I made your day? :)

    4. BigRedS


      Personally, I don't think the UI looks like it was designed by a furry-toothed geek. That's not to say I particularly like it, but even normal people have commented that it looks quite nice. It's certainly not brown any more.

      You've *long* been able to install non-repo software without dropping to a shell. Just double-click the .deb file. ;)

      That said, how often do people with fear of the command line want to install non-repo software? How to do it is not a common question in my experience. I don't think automating the building of software from source is a particularly safe thing to do - the PPAs are probably the best middleground.

      But, yes, however pretty it looks now it's still mostly geeky at heart.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      i think you'll find

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      Your opinions on linux are from about 10 years ago and are completely wrong. If you delve even deeper, you may find that much of the features of win7 that microsoft are crowing so hard about have actually been around in linux for years.

    6. Anonymous Coward

      Spot the spawn of Ballmer

      "How about a UI that doesn't look like it was designed by a furry-toothed geek?"

      If you mean something that was designed by the bozo's who "designed" Office2007 then I'll pass - current Linux UI's are actually pretty good - and responsive too (unlike Vista!). Although I will admit to being pretty impressed with Windows7.

      "Will I be able to install arbitrary (non-repo) software without having to go to a shell prompt as root?"

      Erm, this is Ubuntu we're talking about, so you'd actually have to go out of your way to get a root prompt - it's very much discouraged. On the other hand you _do_ what you're saying via temporary privilege escalation - which is pretty similar to the way that a "best practice" Windows7 system operates.

      But then again, Windows has umpteen different ways of installing software (msi, cab, exe, zip, InstallShield et al), each with it's own little "foibles". Still at least you didn't trot out the tired old chestnut about all Linux distro users having to recompile the kernel (personally I've _never_ had to do this on an Ubuntu system).

      "an iTunes ripoff will make it all better"

      Give me an iTunes "ripoff" any day over the bloated POS that is the "real" one! If I wasn't an iPod victim then that'd never be allowed near any of my kit.

    7. Greg J Preece

      This seems familiar

      Not really used Ubuntu, have you? Everything I install that doesn't come from the repositories comes as a *.deb file. Wow, that's difficult to install...

    8. Kurgan

      Being a little difficult to manage is an advantage.

      Linux is not as "easy" as windows or Mac, but this does not mean that it's not ready for desktop use. Only you need some sysadmin to maintain the machines for the users. Which is also a nice way to avoid having the users install every shitty crapplication loaded with spyware that they find on the Internet.

      When the proper apps are installed, Linux is as easy as Windows to *USE*. Not to *MANAGE*. But, again, this is an advantage, not a disadvantage.

      1. Stevie


        Yah, but the market Linux makers are desperate to tap into is the *home* computer market.

        Winning the battle for the corporate desktop has very little to do with the way the thing looks anyway, though I grant you it could be a two-cent deal maker if everything else was lined up right.

        What it has taken an age for the Linux distro designers to understand and cater to is that it never was about the look of the desktop GUI, but how it reacted when you did stuff on it. The 1998 period mentioned several times as a place not to be for your Linux-reference was littered with GUIs that "fixed" "problems" with windows but missed the point about the underlying behaviors being invoked.

        And to some extent there's still a raft of issues that needn't be a problem but still crop up (in Puppy Linux last week for those interested). Applications designed to emulate MSOffice components that under identical circumstances such as closing a document without saving produce subtly *different* modal confirmation boxes for example.

        And let's not get into the voyage of discovery every damned Java gui presents the user with as they have to learn to deal with that particular programmer's pet hates about windows.

        I think that if Dell, Gateway and the rest really get behind the idea of a solid line of Linux-powered products it will gently force the steady move towards de-facto standards in the minutia of the various GUI-fitted components that will finally make Linux an attractive choice for Mr and Mrs Mainstreet.

        Can't wait for someone to give MS a serious run for their money.

    9. Tim Parker

      Waaaa waaaa waaaa

      "How about a UI that doesn't look like it was designed by a furry-toothed geek? Will they have that?"

      That's your opinion - you're entitled to it. FWIW I disliked GNOME intensely when I first used a few years back.. since then it has improved immensely and, personally, I can really appreciate some of the results of the usability studies that were done (many by Sun).

      "Will I be able to install arbitrary (non-repo) software without having to go to a shell prompt as root?"

      You've been able to do that through the UI for years on Ubuntu if the software is packaged up as .deb or (with some caveats) as .rpm - that pretty much encompasses all packaged software for Linux. If the software is in another format, or as source code, then you will need to resort to other means - that's true - sorry if having a lot of choice sometimes inconveniences you.

      "Obviously, I won't be able to run any of my existing software"

      Why ? What software are you using ? Windows based ?... much of that will run to a greater or lesser degree under Linux (usually lesser) and where not there may be alternatives... there may not, or you may not like them, in which case why would you want to swap to Ubuntu ?

      ", but I'm sure useless 2.0rhea crapola and an iTunes ripoff will make it all better."

      Nah - probably not. It doesn't float my boat but it might make it more popular with some folk, and is increasingly being seen on devices such as phones, PDAs and MIDs - but that's for the user to decide whether it's useful or not.

      Why are you so bitter ? If you don't like, and don't need it, then fair enough - but i'm sorry to say that the reality of the situation is that it might actually be appealing to some other people, whether you like that or not. Get a grip.

    10. Neill Mitchell

      Re. I'll believe it when I see it

      Well try it and actually see it then. If you need iTunes just install VirtualBox in seamless mode (it's free). Same goes for Word, Excel etc.

      I run KDE. Now if I use Windows 7 on someone else's machine I find it very clunky compared to KDE.

    11. Craigness


      Tom, you're clearly not talking from experience. Why not check out some videos on youtube to see what the UI actually looks like? Don't forget, there's a choice of desktop environments, so make sure you see them all. You can even create a bootable usb stick and try the thing for yourself if you want, without needing to use a command line.

      You don't log in as root on Ubuntu, you don't even get to know the root password AFAIK.

  2. Robert Hill

    I have a Ubuntu partition on almost every machine...

    and that's four laptops, one netbook, one media server, and a large desktop.

    And you know what? I still can't give up Windows, because the programs that I've bought draw me to it. Programs like Lightroom, Absynth 5, Call of Duty, Visio, and more. I've played with their freeware alternatives, and frankly they lack the stability and features - or in the case of Linux games, really lack the production values.

    I so want to LOVE Ubuntu...but it's the apps that are holding me back, not the OS itself at this point...I give Shuttleworth and his team incredibly high marks for their persistence and grit, but they have to find a way to get more mainstream commercial apps on Linux, preferably on a dual-OS license (so I can use my program regardless of which OS I happen to have booted that day!).

    1. Mark 65

      In the same boat

      I'd like to be able to give up the others but I am limited by the software. I can't get lightroom on ubuntu - and no, I'm not switching to software X because I've a great deal of time, effort, adjustments and metadata invested in this. I also cannot find a decent suite to replace the functionality of iLife which comes with every Mac. It may not be the best in every class but has some good functionality and is well integrated for the beginners on the system. I think this is where Ubuntu falls down vs OSX.

      DVDFab HD would be an area it falls down for me against Windows, whereas EAC works well in WINE.

      It's getting there but seems to have the chicken vs egg problem of volume of users required on platform before software house develops for it. Didn't think twice about using it on a PVR/HTPC machine though.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up


        Give me Adobe and Ableton Live on Linux and I'll switch over from the Mac OS immediately... Really had enough of Apple's marketing bull, and only still use the Mac for the aforementioned software....

        Is there a commercial reason for Adobe NOT to make Linux versions of its products?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Down

          Other than it'd mean lazy Adobe doing some real work...


    2. Kelvari
      Thumb Up

      I agree completely

      Though the Ubuntu OS is a wonderful OS, it suffers from the same fatal flaw as any other Linux distribution: Lack of BIG NAME apps. Call of Duty on WINE? Probably not. Visio on WINE? I couldn't get it to work myself.

      Admittedly, I only have a few non-native apps that I run - WoW being the main one - but I've had to look up stuff for others before, and I have to admit that I'm disappointed in the lack of major corporate development for Linux apps.

      I'm not going to say that they have to be free for us to use them, or even at a reduced price. Go ahead and put them at the same price as the Windows version of it, if you have to make a separate version, or just put an installer program that'll fetch the required packages and such from the central server. There are options, there are possible solutions. It's just that nobody, it seems, is taking the time to implement them. Even Adobe's Flash for Linux doesn't work as well as the Windows version, from my experiences. This is really unacceptable, but it's not anything that the people on the Linux side can do - it's up to the developers to do the proper testing and such to make sure that it works properly for the intended OS.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Market inertia and a Catch 22.

      Many games and "big" apps aren't there for Linux because there isn't a big enough return for the developers because the target market isn't big enough. The market isn't big enough because people can't move off Windows to Linux because the games and apps they need aren't there.

      Maybe Canonical need to approach a couple of games / apps companies and pay for a full port (not using Wine) to Linux.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      I'll second this

      At the end of the day many of us have applications that just wont work on any linux distro. We are also not willing to compromise on their performance or stability by using wine and so have no option but to have at least a duel boot or stick with windows entirely. I personally run Ubuntu on my netbook as I use it only for viewing pictures, movies on the go, web browsing and a little bit of writting. It is perfect for me, my home PC has to have windows for many reasons.

      Having the choice is nice though. I'm sure we can all remember times when it was literally windows or nothing now we have 3 or 4 stable and polished operating systems which are capable of dealing with our different needs (Windows on my netbook? You must be mad, I value FPS when writting)

      The point about this latest Ubuntu release is that most people probably use only 5 or 6 applications in their entire computing lives. Word, excel, outlook, IE. This is changing slowely but it is true, now more than ever, that Ubuntu is capable of delivering to the majority of users. I would happily role this out to friends and family now and really expect to see it more frequently in office environments.

      I'm no linux fanboi. I like various iterations of the OS but think generally speaking it is not significantly better or worse than any other modern OS. What I am a big fan of is competition. Windows 7 is a direct result of emerging competition. MS realised it could not carry on being lazy so stepped up its game and brought out an OS of which there seem to be no diehard critics. Further competition just means further benefits for us. I hope this game gets alot more interesting over the next few years because a revolution in UIs has to be coming to the desktop soon.

    5. jackharrer


      What Ubuntu needs is a proper AppStore, kind of like Apple's one or the one on Android. Where people can easily buy (yes, BUY) applications and developers can actually make cash. With nice added option of donation for free apps. With current installed base of Ubuntu in millions, it can be a very viable place to make cash.

      It's not surprising that Monkey Boy tried so hard to scream "DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS". Even the best platform, without software is only this, a platform.

      1. spegru

        There is another word for App Store

        It's called a Repository. Think of/ search for the software you want and install it within moments.

        Far easier than going down the shops for a CD.

        You know what? I reckon that if Linuxes used the now-sexy term "App Store" instead of "Repository", they'd double the installed base in monthsa and they wouldn't have to change anything else!

        Whaddya mean they're all free....?

    6. SynnerCal
      Thumb Up

      Re: I have an Ubuntu partition

      Couldn't agree more with the sentiments in this post - to be accepted Linux definitely needs more closed source products (and yes I realise that in some quarters this is a very unpopular point-of-view). In fact, I'll go further - I'll believe that Linux-on-the-desktop is really here once Activision/EA/Ubisoft etc launch on it as a platform.

      My Windows box has been more or less replaced by a combination of Linux and a games console. In fact if it wasn't for needing iPod firmware upload (so need iTunes) and Photoshop Elements then I could just ignore Windows altogether. Certainly for the usual Web/media/office stuff Linux is very usable day-in, day-out. And the big pluses are that it's quick to boot-up and shtudown, very stable, plus easy to admin.

    7. The BigYin

      Agreed, to an extent

      There are certain niche (for relative values of "niche") products that aren't available for Linux (not just Ubuntu). You will not see Visio (or any MS product) run native on Linux. Although there is Crossover Office (or whatever it's called), and various "tricks" to getting MS Office to run under WINE (I've had no luck with them personally - OpenOffice does everything I need).

      Photoshop is another. Yeah, GIMP is good, but why learn a whole new program (which may or may not do the right things) simply to switch OS? AutoCAD is another one.

      Many games run under WINE (C.o.D may be one, I dunno, I am not a big gamer). Native Linux games are growing (Steam seems to be coming to Linux) but it will be a few years yet before Linux truly competes with Windows as a gaming platform.

      One option, if you like Linux enough but can't give up a few Windows apps, is to switch to Linux and then run WINE (for the that work under WINE) and host a virtual Windows box in VirtualBox. But if Windows is the only thing that scratches your itch completely, then use Windows; no shame in that.

      My main OS is still Windows XP. When that gets too long in the tooth (and that time is fast approaching) I will switch to Linux 100%. I doubt Windows 7 has support for my hardware and, quite frankly, I don't want to blow £200+ just to be able to watch TV (amongst other things). I'll just install Myth and go from there.

      I run Linux on all my laptops - it's awesome there. Way better (and more stable) than Windows ever was.

    8. sandman


      Yep, it's the apps not the OS that are the drawback. There still isn't a decent equivalent for most of the creative software and many business applications that I need to run. Commercial companies won't invest in Linux versions unless there's a market and the market doesn't exist because there are no Linux versions. Rock, meet hard place.

    9. James Hughes 1

      I have given up windows for Ubuntu

      But still miss some of the apps. I don't play games (well, some Linux ones are not bad), but Linux still needs a decent movie maker clone that doesn't crash all the time. They are there to use, but flakey. Of course, some of the Win apps I use do work under Wine which does soften the blow. But in general, I don;t miss Windows at all. Neither does my father, who uses Ubtuntu without problems.

      I wonder if Canonical can move resource to app improvement now that they think the OS itself is pretty good? Getting some paid engineers on certain of the must have apps would certainly help with uptake.

      And of course once Linux becomes more solid on the desktop (with this release? Who knows), companies will start to write more apps for it (e.g. commercial games), improving the production values and general code quality.

      Fingers crossed!

      1. Chemist

        Re : I have given up windows for Ubuntu

        Just for info have you tried kdenlive for video editing. I haven't used it a lot yet but recently finished a 20 min video of niece's wedding without any crashing. That involved a lot of cutting, editing, transitions, sound manipulation.

        I've also used the heavier-weight Cinelera but that seems to have a much bigger learning curve.

        This all on OpenSUSE 11.2/KDE not Ubuntu

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      We have 2 desktops at home, one of them runs Ubuntu and is used as a spare work machine downstairs, but the other one is my one which is pretty high-powered and is used for a few things, one of the main things being gaming.

      The problem I think that games companies have now is, if you're going to develop a game for a PC platform as well as a console platform, developing in DirectX for 360 and Windows is an incredibly attractive option, just because you get 2 markets for essentially very little effort, and the old days where companies were prepared to port things between several different systems (PC, Mega Drive, Master System + Game Gear for Sega based games?) are definitely gone. This is why MS going into the console business was a fantastic piece of initiative, and, I feel, why Linux is never going to really compete unless it has, at the very least, a set of libraries directed at game development in a similar vein to DirectX (you may not like the implementation of DirectX, personally I find it pretty straightforward, and far better than most of the Win32 API, but it's necessary for companies to think it's a worthwhile endeavour, and not going to need a huge training exercise). I mean, quite frankly, there's not a big enough target market to justify spending ridiculous amounts of time rewriting chunks of code to run on Linux.

      1. M Gale

        Re: Exactly

        "Linux is never going to really compete unless it has, at the very least, a set of libraries directed at game development in a similar vein to DirectX"

        Like OpenGL/Glut and OpenAL? Plus from what I'm aware, with the latest DirectX Microsoft have b0rked surround sound up something rotten, and a lot of games are using OpenAL anyway.

        DirectX: Works on Microsoft platforms. When it works at all.

        OpenGL/AL: Works on everything.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still far too brown

    by far

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      The latest one is a sort of pink colour. Ubuntu getting down with the "Pink Parade Party" and supporting those of us with alternative lifestyle choices!

    2. The Original Ash

      That's like saying you don't like Ford's because they're too red

      Some very nice ones:

      1. Anonymous Coward

        I love the brown theme

        That is all

  4. Dan Reeder

    with purple and orange...

    ...2010 is the year of linux on the desktop!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      2010 is the year of linux on the desktop

      Mmmm... wasn't that 1998? Or maybe 2000? No, it must have been 2002. Or maybe 2004...

      Linux has had it's chances, with Netbooks, with the move to 64Bit and the failure of Vista. It didn't manage it then and it won't do so now.

      It's a niche OS for techies. Always was and always will be

  5. Glen Turner 666

    Missed the boat

    Ubuntu missed the netbook boat. The initial machines came out with Linux, Microsoft did an all-court press to "encourage" vendors to use Windows Xp. The Linux distributors took no countervailing marketing effort. Windows is as now as entrenched on netbooks as it is on notebooks.

    Ubuntu's only hope is that the netbook will be people's second PC, and they'll take the risk of trying something different. But I don't see any marketing to consumers along those lines.

    I run Ubuntu Netbook Remix on my EeePc 901 and it is the bee's knees. Which is't to say I given Ubuntu much hope of increasing its market share beyond geekdom.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Missed the boat

      "Windows is as now as entrenched on netbooks as it is on notebooks."

      Well that's one take. My take is that MS leant on the manufacturers and so no-one actually sells netbooks anymore. (There are, of course, some fearsomely underpowered laptops on the market, some using some of the netbook brands, but that's another matter. Hint: if it costs more than £200 then it isn't a netbook.)

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Integrated social media = potential privacy leak (?)

    What if someone uses multiple social media identities? Perhaps in an attempt to "firewall" different areas of life. Will this OS integration get in the way of keeping things separate?

    Imagine how annoyed someone is going to be when they try to post something using one of their carefully anonymized social indentities, and the OS helpfully links it back to their mainstream real-life identity. One mouse click away from revealing far too much info.

    (And this sort of privacy isn't necessarily anything nasty. It might be private or anonymous online activities that are pure good on the macro scale.)

    I suppose one could have multiple accounts on the Ubuntu login screen, but then other PC users would see all the accounts.

    1. A J Stiles

      Easily done

      Have separate accounts with different passwords for all your various multiple personas.

      1. Ian Stephenson


        It's really hard to sockpuppet an argument if you have to log in and out of the O/S and reload the browser each time you want to switch IDs to support yourself.

        1. Gary Turner


          And, that's a good thing, right? :D

        2. Frumious Bandersnatch

          not really

          You could install use fast-user-switch-applet, but it only seems to allow you to have two concurrent logins. Alternatively, just add the "log out" applet to a panel or menu. When you click it, you'll have the option of either logging out entirely or switching to a new user. Switching users keeps any current session open, so you can switch between active logins by going through a pseudo-login screen (actually it's a screensaver lock, but it also manages setting up new virtual screens for each session and flipping between them).

          As an added bonus, even if you're running a dozen different instances of the browser, IM apps, etc., the invariant parts don't take up any more space than running one instance. Of course browsers (in particular) use a lot of working memory, which can't be shared, so you'll still need a good bit of RAM to make this run smoothly for you. If not, it's Languid Lemur time.

  7. cexcells

    I will never switch back

    Ever since my Vista Business Edition went tits-up on my laptop while I was abroad in 2008 I put Ubuntu on I have had nothing but a brilliant, reliable, user experience which only gets better and better. I am using the (Lucid) 10.04 64bit RC right now and it is working sweet as. While people I know running windows systems constantly complain about this that and the other virus, worm, trojan, hijack, malware, ransomware, slowing down system, all I can do is shrug and say that I don't have those issues. As for the over priced, over hyped and over the top restrictive control freakishness of Cuppertino. I will not use any application or hardware product from them and even if it was given to me I would just sell it off to a smug fanboise shmuck!

  8. mafoo

    But why?

    As a user of linux, who then discovered MacOS X... i don't see the point in user friendly unix beyond cheap licences for large installations.

    Mac OS X is linux with out the pain. (yes i know its a micro kernel, and i know is based on a mixture of BSD not linux and i know it doesn't use GNU licensed software)

    For any linux devotee who doubts me, find a friendly mac, choose logout from the apple menu then type ">console" into the username field and log in.

    Remember, this is in the context of personal computers, not blade servers :P

    1. Freddie

      I don't understand...

      Are you saying canonical shouldn't bother as there's already a competitor which is much more expensive and doesn't contribute to the pool of code that all linux's share?

    2. NB


      Macs are expensive, it's a fact. Ubuntu/GNU Linux has many selling points, not least of all it's cost. 'Free' is pretty hard to beat on price. Also there's the flexibility of the system. Linux gives its users so much more than apple ever could. That and the fact that the OS X interface is possibly the most unintuitive sack of shit I've ever had the misfortune to encounter. Seriously when you could use linux for free and customise your desktop to the point of raging UIgasm, have total control of your system and not have to bow down to the DRM-mongers, why would you want to use that godawful abortion of a desktop that Mac inflicts upon its users?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Back under your bridge trolly!

        Yeah but some of us have a life and don't spend all day having a "UI gasm"! If all you can find to moan about OSX is the lack of ability change the colour of the buttons, then I suggest you put the mouse down, take your other hand of your "UIgasm stick" and go outside and meet some real people!

        I use both Ubuntu and OSX and quite frankly life is too short to spend all day UIgasm'ing!

    3. SynnerCal

      It's about freedom dummy

      MacOS GUI is nice - I'm pretty sure most people will agree. The problem is that to use MacOS _legally_ then you can't just go out an buy a Dell, HP, Acer "beige box" and install it. You _can_ do this with Windows and Ubuntu.

      So if you really believe that "i don't see the point in user friendly unix beyond cheap licences for large installations." then you've missed the point.

      I got a cheap Dell D620 laptop off of eBay with WindowXP, got a copy of Ubuntu8.04 and installed that instead. Then later I bought an Acer netbook with Linpus, again that got zapped in favour of Ubuntu UNR.

      Could I do that legally with MacOS? Nope! And before any Mac fanbois start flaming, I'll quite happily admit to being envious of the Mac front end. Heck if I could do it legally then I'd probably be quite happy to pony up to buy a copy.

      (A second plus of not using MacOS is that I don't have to deal with anyone in Apple - which has always been an exercise in hair-tearing frustration in the past)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      I can absolutely anything I want with Ubuntu on cheap hardware.

      I agree that Mac's are beautiful machines and it's a great OS, but it comes at a price.

      I guess it comes down to whether you want to be Steve Job's bitch and be forced to play by his increasingly bizarre rules. If you have a Mac you're going to use iTunes and bang goes all your freedom then. Your content is locked in for life with no guarantees you won't have stuff you have paid for pulled on a whim.

      Plus the cost of ownership is so damned high. These guys are getting away with fleecing you with a 42% mark up (according to Apple's own published financials). Nobody else gets away with such a high margin and nobody else manages to spin such fleecing into a positive. They actually boasted about the high margin when they announced their latest results. Man, that is just sticking it to you.

    5. Louis 4
      Thumb Up


      Awesome tip about ">console" as the username!! Big fan of the Mac<->Unix link, but never knew that one. Any other tips? :)

      1. Dan 10
        Thumb Up

        Louis is psychic

        Took the words right out of my brain...

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Awesome Ubuntu Features!

    The ones I'm looking forward to most are:

    OMG! Ability to press the enter key without getting logged out! WOW!

    OMG! Connecting to a wireless network with SSID broadcast turned off! ( this not working in Vista is what initially prompted me to try Ubuntu ) WOW!

    1. NB

      nice try

      nice try troll boy, pre-release software contains bugs... umm... news at 11?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well, it kept him off the streets for a bit.

        Must've spent hours trawling through the bug tracker to find those to snort about.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      9.10 is not pre-release

      Both of these bugs exist on my 9.10 Ubuntu. They weren't there when I installed 8.10. They've been introduced with successive updates.

      The reason I know the bug urls is because I've spent a fair bit of time searching for solutions.

      I like Ubuntu, but I'm not going to be impressed by new features when previously working ones are broken.

  10. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Down

    I'll switch...

    ...when I don't have to edit some kind of script file to get something simple working, like changing the OS boot menu order or installing a TV tuner.

    Ubuntu is fine (even fun) for people who want to fiddle, but those days are past me - I just want an OS that works and lets me get on with my job or leisure activities. So I'll stick with OSX, even if it means I'm shelling out a fortune on propietry hardware.

    The only thing I'll consider Ubuntu for is a netbook with everything pre-installed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Well, I spent £230 on a new Acer desktop with a dodgy lInux on it, installed Ubuntu, and it does EVERYTHING I need. Same with aged parent - Acer Aspire One plus Ubuntu - overthing he needs. £250.

      Hope you enjoyed paying for overpriced HW......(and sw)

    2. M Gale

      Re: I'll switch...

      "...when I don't have to edit some kind of script file to get something simple working, like changing the OS boot menu order or installing a TV tuner."

      Not sure about the TV tuner, but I'm pretty sure there are graphical GRUB managers out there. Look in synaptic for "startupmanager" or "kgrubeditor". Okay, maybe one or both of these should come pre-installed but still, compared with doing the same thing in Windows it's hardly rocket science.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    A good step forward.

    The various Linux desktops have long since passed Windows in utility and usability; they are actually catching up on MacOS and have surpassed it in places. I have been using Linux as my platform of choice for over a decade now, have managed to avoid Windows (which is just another desktop environment and _not_ an operating system, as which it is marketed -- the OS it runs on is called NT, which isn't all that bad).

    But I still have one niggle with all current desktop environments. Which is that there was a desktop on the market in 1996 the handling properties of which makes all current contenders look old. It's called the Workplace Shell (WPS). It runs on OS/2. It may take a few moments to get used to, but it's logical. You don't have to click the "Start" button to stop your computer. When you put files in the Shredder, they'll get shredded (and not get stored for future misuse). When you click on a process in the process viewer, you can rename it right there, and it'll stick, right back down to the file system -- object orientation at the highest level. And so on, ad infinitum. When will anyone finally get their thing together to build something that can match the WPS? I have been waiting for more than 14 years by now...

  12. Robert E A Harvey

    Innovation good

    We've had WIMP interfaces since the 1980s. Where is the next big paradigm shift?

    Where is my talking computer? When will I be able to thought-link to it? Why can't I log in by holding a power ring up to the green lantern? or by blinking at the camera in morse code?

  13. Anonymous Coward


    I admire your optimism and while I sit in front my Ubuntu work desktop all day and I can't wait for the upgrade, at home I paid a bucket load for Lord Jobs overpriced, locked-down kit, including a license to use OSX, so until it goes *poof* in a cloud of electrical smoke, I am sorry, but I am not shifting!

    1. James Hughes 1

      Ah, but when it goes *poof*

      What will you move to?

      (and I agree -why would you change unless you needed to?)

  14. Martin 47
    Thumb Up

    step change?

    I have been running it on my main home PC for nearly a week, it is better, can even play flash games when the fancy takes me, but it is not as good as I hoped it would be (yet)

    but I have deleted the windows OS .....................

  15. capi

    The problem simply is, it not Microsoft Windows

    Back in the mid 90s, some german IT discounter like ESCOM or VOBIS sold PCs with IBM OS/2 Warp3 preinstalled. Almost all customers returned the PCs, simply because these did not boot Windows.

    The customers did not even performed a log in. They just did not see Windows starting up and returned their machines. The customers where happy to hear Windows could be installed for a premium.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Dual boot choice?

      I'm pretty sure the ESCOM systems gave you a choice on the first boot between Win and Warp (a work colleague bought one circa 1994) - although this may have been introduced after initial complaints about Warp-only systems.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Windows 7 FTW

    I'm very happy with my beautiful Windows 7 Ultimate and Office 2010. I won't touch the fugly Ubuntu with a ten-foot-pole. Ubuntu is pathetic and unusable compared to Windows 7, though it's slightly better than Mac.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      "The sun rose early and Troll lumbered out bed, dragged his knuckles across the floor. He took one peek round the corner of his bridge and went back to bed, safe in the knowledge he was right and everyone else is complete prat for trying something else other than the brain-washing Troll was used to!"

      Goodnight children everywhere.

      ( Written from Firefox on Ubuntu 10.04 beta! )

  17. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    The 'knockers' are up early today

  18. Ian Entwistle


    Yes, just double click the .deb and ity opens a GUI installer, click install, enter password, job done.

    BTW its been doing this for a couple of years now.....

    If you are talking about compiling from source then no, you need a CLI for that but I'd love to see a non geek complile a windows app to put up the comparison.

    TBH you are better off using repos stuff as all updates will be managed automatically, if you install manually then you can't expect it to know about new releases. "with power comes responsibility"

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Ubuntu won (for me)

    In 2006 I dual-booted my work laptop, desktop and home laptop with Ubuntu and Windows (I'm a manager in a large organisation liberal enough to let us take responsibility for our own working environment so long as we do our jobs). Since 2008 I have removed Windows simply because I rarely found cause to boot into it (and as a result each instance became increasingly unpatched). There are two corporate applications that still require Windows and for those I now have a VM that I use about once a week. I now have Ubuntu throughout the office and home. One huge advantage, which I daresay is possible on Windows too, is that I don't have to carry work home on the laptop -- I can wake-on-lan my office desktop and effectively use fuse to seamlessly access my work files. I guess I have simple requirements though at home I also run MythTV on the home desktop, connected to a WD box by the telly; my daughter edits video with Cinelerra. So, I'm looking forward to the next Ubuntu release. And my point? That Ubuntu is a viable solution for both home and office -- you don't need to be a techie but you do perhaps need a reasonably progressive workplace and a willingness to take an active interest in something many are already probably using for at least 5-8 hours of their working (and relaxing) day.

  20. Dazed and Confused

    Re: Robert Hill

    Sadly Robert is right.

    I use Linux a lot, I have a Linux (Ubuntu) only netbook, which I love and use quite a bit. When I want to read email and surf the web then Linux will almost always do what I want and OpenOffice reads most M$Office docs.

    There are even apps that I use regularly that are only on Linux or primarily on Linux.

    But too many things I need to use just aren't and like the rest of the world I continue to suffer Windows.

    1. Neill Mitchell

      Install VirtualBox for free

      Stick it in seamless mode and off you go. Windows apps on your Linux desktop. The only thing is a performance hit on heavy weights such as Photoshop CS4, but Office and iTunes type apps run very well. If you buy VMware then even Photoshop is pretty good.

      If only Adobe would port to Linux. They have Mac OSX versions, so they're a good way there.

      1. g e

        PS CS4

        ... works under Wine for me, pretty quick, too.

      2. ThomH

        They're not that near

        Adobe, to having a Linux port ready, that is.

        OS X is an operating system with a POSIX layer. The system libraries are primarily Objective-C, with those that need to operate at a lower level or are imported standards (eg, OpenGL) being in C. The full POSIX stuff is in there, but it's not the only way through to things and most of the time it's not even the 'real' way to things that the other stuff sits on top of.

        Key point: Creative Suite was a Carbon application. So lots of Apple proprietary C stuff. Apple have deprecated Carbon and declined to port it to 64bit, so now Creative Suite is a Cocoa application. Which means lots of Apple proprietary Objective-C stuff.

        Either way, they're nowhere near having a Linux version.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Shuttleworth appears to be missing the point

    Clearly users of Windows and Macs (I'm assuming the fanbois simply haven't had chance to post the objections to this article yet) aren't that interested in stability, security and features. They can't see past the colour of the desktop.

    Perhaps some stronger marketing around the idea of being able to change the desktop colour/background would help.

    Then again, people like Tom Maddox obviously aren't prepared to even look at the system to find out just how wrong they are.

    What can you do?


    1. ThomH

      I think he's missing the point

      But not in the sense that people don't care about OS stability, security and features because they've a vested interest in a particular OS, more because they don't care much about the OS, they care more about the applications on top. And the various Linux applications either don't exist or are functionally worthless (such as for video editing, desktop publishing) or are stuck behind 90s-style user interfaces (OpenOffice, GIMP). Plus, you never get any decent fonts in a Linux distribution, so the typography everywhere always looks horrid.

      I'm expecting the following: (i) the usual Linux diehards to shout that I'm wrong on a subjective level; and (ii) in a year, still nobody from wider society to want Linux on their desktop.

  22. Ian Stephenson

    Don't get me wrong....

    I like Ubuntu, I use a live cd for my online banking. My son has ubuntu on his computer (it runs flash as used by cbeebies and playhouse disney websites).

    However I won't be overwriting my windows xp install until I can get games I want with linux installers!

    I know I can use wine and cedega but they both have rather a large performance hit.

    Having itunes itelf would help given I have an ipod too.

    So come on, get the games industry on board!

  23. Defiant

    Here we go again

    "But Asay sees a brighter future. "The LTS release is a significantly better operating system than Windows," "

    They say that rubbish with every release of Binux

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Don't Microsoft? Remember Vista compared to XP?

  24. Greg J Preece

    Lucid Lynx is NOT ready

    They're going to shoot themselves in the foot with this release. Plymouth is buggered on half the machines I've seen it on, which isn't a nice first impression. Graphics drivers (think ATI) don't support this version of X properly yet, etc, etc. I had to mess with Grub2, fglrx-installer, amdcccle and so on before I could even get KDM onscreen.

    Once I actually got in, it was bloody lovely (though ATI have been lying through their teeth about Eyefinity support). Initial installation, however, was the worst I've seen on Ubuntu since 7.10.

  25. Dave Bell


    So some people have bought Ubuntu-running machines and been shocked when they realised it was a different OS?

    What a surprise. Maybe the salesmen didn't know what they were talking about.

    As for the hassle for a software producer to properly set up their product to install on Ubuntu, there's a lot of frantic, out-of-sight, work in running a Windows installer.

    We're used to the hassles of Windows. We've forgotten the costs.

  26. Hedley Phillips

    I'm trying Ubuntu just now - mixed feelings

    I wiped Win 7 last week and installed the Netbook Remix on My N110 and while the UI is looking a lot better since I last used Linux (think it was Red Hat and a good 15 years ago), and it has all the drivers for the function keys, webcam, audio etc etc.. It still isn't as easy to use as Windows.

    I am finding it difficult to connect to my HP printer installed on the XP machine and have to now go off and download the HPLip package then use the command line to install. That is ok for me but I can't recommend this to friends and family as they want things to just work and shouldn't have to be mucking around on the command line to install a pretty common HP printer.

    Also the built in Email client closes every time I click to view an email so I need to sort that out as well.

    I'm trying to love it and will continue to use it but I was really hoping for an out of the box working system my friends and family would be happy to use and sadly, it isn't Ubuntu.

    1. Subban

      Try this..

      Just to setup, plug the HP printer into your Ubuntu machine.

      When I installed 10.04 Lucid here a few days ago it spotted the HP printer plugged in and just told me which command to type I think it is "hp-plugin-ubuntu" .. It will then install it all automagically, I don't recall it asking anything else.

      Sure it would have been nice if it ran itself, but it was still a ton simpler than windows generally is, where you have to identify your device, then go and get the driver yourself, and finally install it.

      Good luck.

    2. Magnus_Pym

      HP Printers Pah!

      My old Dad now loves Ubuntu because his HP multifunction now works properly. On his old Vista install it keeps adding a new printer to the system every time it boots up or its USB is plugged in.

      1. Mark McNeill

        Ho yuss

        WIndows never detected all the functions of my HP multifunction printer, but Linux picked it up perfectly, and it's worked flawlessly for the last couple of years.

        This *proves* that Windows will never be ready for the desktop. Or something.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Did you...

          Actually install the multifunction printer driver, or just let windows get it's Generic HP, 'at least it will print if nothing else' driver.

          Windows isn't designed to have a driver for everything built into it, it has a pluggable driver model, it detects your specific hardware and only installs the drivers for it. It has a library of common drivers to look through, but will use a generic one to get it working at a basic level if it doesn't have the specific one it's looking for.

          Manufacturers are responsible for drivers within windows, if your device doesn't have a driver, it isn't microsoft's fault the manufacturer didn't write one.

          Similarly with Linux, it is really the manufacturers responsibility to provide them, but as they don't, and as the model for updating drivers isn't exactly user friendly, your average punter will make do with whatever is preloaded.

          1. Mark McNeill


            I followed the installation instructions to the letter; when the scanner wasn't detected I tried the latest drivers, with no success.

    3. M Gale

      Not sure about 10.04 but...

      ...if the newer editions of Ubuntu need you to type in a command to install an HP printer, they've taken a step backward.

      Last time I went to try an HP, there was no CLI involved at all. Plug printer in. "Hi. The HP Linux Imaging and Printing System has detected a printer. Would you like me to download and install the drivers? (Y/N)"

      Step 2? There was no step 2. Not even a reboot.

  27. Nux Vomica
    Thumb Up

    Works for me...

    Been running 9.04 on an Aspire One, having tried, Win7 Mini, OSX as well as the nasty Linuix build it ships with, and it beats the pants off of all of them.

    Easiest install of all, ALL drivers included and devices detected on both the Acer and a Dell mini.

    Mainstream OS? Well no, but it's not aimed at Reg readers who probably are IT professionals or enthusiastic amateurs. It's aimed at folks who just want to do the online basics, and it does that very very well and the difference is amplified when running on a low power platform like a netbook. It can do more, and yes the "more" is still easier on Windows than on Linux, so Windows isn't going away for those who need more. But most people don't, so I think Ubuntu has a good chance of making inroads into the home user and netbook market.

    Oh and too brown? Either the irony is too subtle for me or you need a little assistance with the basics there chief.

  28. Joey

    Different planet...

    The fact that this guy talks of 'winning over' Mac and Windows users shows that he is totally deluded. No matter how wonderful it is, compared to other versions of Ubuntu. No matter how 'free as beer' it is, it still suffers from the same 'rose-coloured spectacled view' that these people exhibit. It's the 'user experience' that counts and by user, I mean my Aunt Elsa, not some guy with a propellor beanie.

    1. James Hughes 1

      My Aunt Elsa Equivilent

      Is using Ubuntu without any problems at all. Needed some help with the transition, but seems to be getting along fine. Since he only needs email, webbrowsing, photo managment, Office equivilents (and he used OO anyway on his previous Windows system), he is well supported by the standard install. The machine is faster than his old one, more secure and more robust, and being an Acer Aspire One bolts to the back of his monitor.

    2. Subban


      If its installed and checked its working properly, your Aunt Elsa with have far less trouble with Ubuntu than windows. She is actually a perfect type of person to run linux. Someone with fairly simple needs, web browsing, email, facebook but importantly no photoshop needs, no requirement to run games.

      Its people with specific software requirements that are problematic, unless they don'tmind relearning another package. Like The Gimp to replace photoshop... And yes it can replace photoshop, you know that super new content aware fill CS5 just got, The Gimp had a plugin called resynthesizer doing that for the last 3years.

    3. Chemist

      Re : My Aunt Elsa Equivilent

      87 -year old mother-in-law in my case ( not Ubuntu but OpenSUSE but it's the principle) . Never a moments problem. Uses FF, KMail, OpenOffice. Does all her banking on-line - I certainly wouldn't trust Windows for that esp. for an inexperienced user

    4. DrJaymansLoveCookie

      "Aunt Elsa"

      My mom at 62 had never used a computer in her life. After showing her how to do stuff she's surfing the web an writing e-mail. On *fedora* no less!

    5. M Gale

      Every time I get annoyed by something a Linux distro does...

      ...I reboot into a Windows partition. It helps to remind me of why I switched.

      Boot up times? Go get a cup of tea while it switches on why don't you?

      Simple? Hah. It's only simpler to people who can't equate a cartoon fox to a blue "e".

      No CLI involved? Please, feel free to ask your Auntie Elsa to do a bit of registry hacking next time a "free" application makes her computer run slowly. You'll wish for an eternity of BASH over that.

      Rose tinted spectacles? I'd suggest you take yours off.

  29. Cameron Colley

    No games, no sale.

    Until Linux can appeal to the gamers who, after all, are the second most likely group of people to actually perform OS and driver installs and tweaks then it will never get a decent market share.

    Macs get away with weaker games support than Windows because they look trendy and "just work" -- which appears to be what Ubuntu is going for -- trouble is that without dedicated cool-looking hardware and products like the iPhone to plug into it Linux falls short of the ease of use and "trendiness".

    OK, people do buy computers to do things other than games but outside the corporate market most people either want to be able to do what Linux has been able to do for ages, but lack the motivation to install it, or they want to be able to play at least a couple of off the shelf games.

    Plus, if the teenage homebuild games fanatics start using Linux then they'll be a lot more likely to get mum, dad and granny to use it -- especially if they're also IT support for their family.

    So, please, rather than integrating FaceBoSpaceWitter type shit that half the people using it will uninstall or not use -- work on games support for Linux.

    (I should declare my interests here and point out I only use Linux on my own machines and I'd love to be able to play a few games)

    1. Sooty

      that should change soon

      As has been mentioned, Steam is coming to the mac, and with it the source engine (whether any non valve games will switch to this version is another matter), it shouldn't be a stretch to do the dosbox emulated games too, plus unreal, etc. This shoudl massively expand the availability of well known and popular games.

      Although not officially announced for linux, things are moving to webkit & opengl so it shouldn't be a big step from mac to linux. I'd imagine it will be running with a bit of fiddling in no time, and officially before too long.

      I may try again with Lucid on my netbook, as i've been trying to like linux enough to switch to it for years, it's just a few annoyances that have put me off, and lack of games.

    2. g e

      Games? On a computer?

      I've not played games on a computer in years (other than solitaire or minesweeper type stuff).

      The XBOX and Playstation do all that malarkey perfectly well and I don't have to 'sit at' the computer to do it - just sofa and 42" TV with wireless controller.

      Console games are perfectly cheap secondhand from eBay or your local game shop.

  30. Giles Jones Gold badge


    It still uses Gnome, I never liked Gnome. Even Linus has been critical of Gnome in the past.

    KDE was always my preferred Linux desktop.

    No amount of slick GUI and desktop software will hide the fact that behind the scenes is a monolithic kernel. If your hardware isn't supported then you can forget downloading a driver and installing it, it's time for a new kernel or hope there's a compiled module for your exact version of the kernel.

    Years ago rolling your own kernel was pretty easy, these days there are just way too many options in the configuration screen. Menus and options for everything from embedded devices, to phones to washing machines (I'm joking, but if the Linux kernel team accepts it then it'll be there as an option).

    1. James Hughes 1

      Heard of KUbuntu?

      I havent had to roll my own kernel for years. (and the last time was for an embedded device). Are you a bit behind the times?

      Most stuff just works. (and by most I mean 99.99% of hw stuff)

    2. Subban

      Hang on... Monolithic ?

      Its 7.5MB... Monolithic seems a little bit of an exaggeration doesn't it.

      As for the driver misinformation, IF you have to download a driver (like you would on windows anyway), most would take care of installing or compiling the modules they need themselves.. For example VirtualBox builds its own module, so does the nvidia driver, a degree is not needed for these things.

      What is needed is just the intelligence to know that Linux is not Windows that you are used to, and you do things differently... Then google how to achieve it and carry on. Why hold windows up to be the model of perfection.

      I am absolutely confident that my wife could if given a CD with Ubuntu and a computer, install it and have a working PC.. Given a Windows CD though, I do not imagine it would be installed and be anywhere near working properly, she is far from able to go finding the right drivers for the hardware. Most people would be the same.

      1. Oninoshiko

        Yes, it really is monolithic.

        yes, it is still a monolithic kernel. Maybe you should google what that means, before putting your foot in your mouth. Here let me quote you the wackypedia article on the topic:

        "A monolithic kernel is a kernel architecture where the entire operating system is working in the kernel space and alone as supervisor mode. The monolithic kernel differs from other architectures [1] in that it defines alone a high-level virtual interface over computer hardware, with a set of primitives or system calls to implement all operating system services such as process management, concurrency, and memory management itself and one or more device drivers as modules."

        The distinct problem with drivers in Linux is that there is no defined ABI, so if you do need a new module you have to build it spacificly for the kernel you are using. This differs from (at least) Solaris where I have taken binary drivers from Sol 8 (SunOS 5.8) and ran them on OSol (SunOS 5.11), not to say this always works, but they make a strong effort to not break compatibility unless absolutely nessicary. Talk to me when Linus figures out how to do this.

    3. Neill Mitchell


      Either install Kubuntu or simply install select KDE in Ubuntu's package manager.

      I agree that there needs to be better manufacturer buy in on the driver side. Still too many big names ignoring Linux.

      You don't need to thrash around building entire kernels. You just need to build the modules and DKMS does a pretty good job of automating that.

  31. Matt Bucknall

    Look and feel

    There seem to be some conflicting messages regarding the new GUI look and feel. Some bloggers claim the new theme will be similar to Windows's Aero, citing Gnome 3 (which is no where near release yet) and RGBA enhancements, this article suggests it will be 'more agreeably blue and Windows and Mac like'. Yet, as far as I can tell Lucid will ship with Gnome 2 and the default Gnome/GTK+ theme is going to be some sort of dull gray monstrosity. What am I missing here?

    1. Steven Raith

      Missing something you are

      It won't ship with the default Gnome settings - it's a highly customised Gnome setup. You know, it even has it's own backgrounds and shit.

      I've been using it for a while [since Alpha 3] - no drab greys to be seen.

      Steven R

  32. Richard Sloan


    I am running the beta at the moment. The new default theme is sweet and i'm glad to see the back of the old orange one. I've tested the "ubuntu software centre" and it is a good start , and a great idea but needs a bit more work. I used it to install MuSE but it doesn't work for example.

    I have ubuntu running in vmware on my desktop machine, as I need windows to run EVE at a decent rate, plus that installing EVE on linux is a pain in the neck. I did used to play TF2 on linux fine though so I know WINE can cut the mustard for some games, plus that there is the possibility of native steam on linux from what that leaked steam bootloader suggests.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Will it run (insert app here)?

    I've tried Ubuntu more than once, and been impressed with both the install process and the driver support. However, it just showed me that the free alternatives to mainstream Windows apps are simply not good enough.

    OpenOffice does not (sadly) come close to MS Office, and totally borks DOCX and PPTX formatting.

    And comparing Gimp+Inkscape to CS3 or CS4 is (again, sadly) like comparing a meccano set to the Eiffel Tower.

    Linux - brilliant for servers (especially web servers) - not ready for desktops.

    1. M Gale

      Re: Will it run (insert app here)?

      GIMP vs CS4, fair point. Though, you should really look at the price difference and feature set of CS4, GIMP, and let's say Microsoft Paint.


      "OpenOffice does not (sadly) come close to MS Office, and totally borks DOCX and PPTX formatting."

      Wrong, wrong, wrong. When Microsoft can stick to their own bloody standards, you'll see the OOXML formats being supported properly. While they deliberately futz with things and include various undocumented features, you'll see Microsoft Office being the only program that can open Microsoft Office files. Of course, that's just how Microsoft wants it.

      By the way, how does Microsoft Office support the (genuinely open) ODF format? Answer: poorly, and only grudgingly. This is a format with all of the references and source code available.

      A pox on Microsoft, and everything they do.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        @M Gale

        You arguement is flawed.

        Wether or not MS are using a propriety format or not, make little difference. If you cannot open a file 90% of businesses use, it will completely f**k you up,if you rely on these files.

        The fact that ODF is not MS happy does not matter in the real world and that's what counts.

        Ideal World vs Real world are two completely different things....

        1. Neill Mitchell


          As been pointed out in loads of posts already, install VirtualBox for free and install Office. Switch to seamless mode and your problem goes away. Or buy Crossover Office for £25 if you want it even simpler. The money spent is well worth the lack of stress that running a stable OS affords you.

          1. zanto

            wine works just fine thank you

            and it's free. i use it for word and exel. i do have virtualbox also installed just in case.

  34. The First Dave


    "logging in and posting is seamless and combined, and you don't need to fire up yet another application."

    No, No, No!

    That is going completely the wrong way - the majority of users don't care about the OS itself - just give them a good browser and leave it at that. Probably the silliest thing you can do is take a web app and package it as a desktop download that is obsolete before you have even finished.

    Google's ChromeOS is probably too far ahead of its time, but it isn't an intrinsically bad idea.

  35. Christian Berger

    It's not the quality of software that counts

    If what gets pre-installed.

  36. Bill Gould
    Gates Halo

    Nope. Like Mac's it's non-functional for me

    I game. Thus, I use Windows 7. Microsoft is the only supporter in town and honestly, they do it damn well. Don't throw an emulator or WINE into the mix, they suck, plain and simple.

    Office looks good and integrates all the products with each other neatly and conveniently. It's better than pretty much any other 'office' suite I've tried.

    I have Ubuntu 9.10 running in a VM on my laptop just for kicks, but I don't actually DO anything with it other than browse the web.

    1. g e


      Sounds like you should have spent £100 on an XBOX or a PS3 instead of whatever you did spend on a PC

      1. Ian Stephenson

        Of course...

        Now which console runs Eve, WoW and/or Guildwars?

      2. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

        Errr... no...

        "Sounds like you should have spent £100 on an XBOX or a PS3 instead of whatever you did spend on a PC"

        You buy a platform to game on depending on what game you wish to play, basically.

        My guess is that the OP probably has more that one gaming platform.

        I know I do.

    2. M Gale

      I game...

      ...thus, I have a DS.

      Okay, some PC games are lovely. However if I wanted the amount of DRM that many PC games come with, I'd have Windows 7 already.

      Steam coming to Linux? God, why the hell would I want that? The only times I've played with the Orange Box was either on an Xbox 360 or via someone's pirated version, so that tells you how well that bunch of malware posing as a service works.

      People told MP3 vendors to bugger off when they tried to roll DRM into their service. Why are they so compliant with games? Or, indeed, with the Windows Genuine "Advantage"?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What's wrong with Steam?

        I like it.

        No install media to scratch and lose, downloads are fast as you like, once the download has completed there is no "install" time to speak of. (Gone are the days of waiting 5 hours for a game to install and having to listen to the horrible 30 second music loop over and over with no way to shut it the hell up.) You can install the games on as many PCs as you damn well please (presumably only one PC can remain logged in to play of course). It's genuinely the best way to get games by far. And this is coming from someone who gave up on PC games because of the DRM.

        Does Steam work offline? I genuinely don't know, but it evidently has never been a problem for me. I don't use a laptop for gaming. If I am going to travel somewhere, it is because I intend to spend my time at that location doing something a damn sight more interesting/important than playing games. Otherwise I stay home. Pretty simple solution, huh?

        1. M Gale

          Re: What's wrong with Steam?

          Out of the few PC games I still play, two of them run on Linux. The rest have either official or "unofficial" no-DRM patches applied. if I want to play them on another PC, I copy them to another PC. It takes far less than five hours - far less than five minutes in fact - to install them. I don't get nagged. I don't need to remember a password to log in to some nannying bit of malware. I don't need to depend on someone else's servers working properly in order to play with a toy. I don't need a CD. I don't need anybody's permission.

          Oh, and I paid for every single one.

          Can you do that with Steam, Starforce, or whatever EA or Ubisoft are shafting people with this week?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @ M Gale

            "if I want to play them on another PC, I copy them to another PC"

            Except that, D'OH, that doesn't work because of the registry.

            "It takes[...] far less than five minutes [...] to install them."

            Tetris doesn't count. Pick up any new PC title from the shops today and install it in 5 minutes, I DARE you. Try and play it at all within half an hour of getting the disc (or finishing the pirate download, in your case) and you will find yourself sadly disappointed.

            "I don't need to remember a password "

            Neither do I. Steam remembers it for you. Maybe you should try using it before dissing it, eh?

            "to log in to some nannying bit of malware"

            You anti-Steam trolls always refer to it as malware but never under any circumstance do you list a single reason why you believe that. Other than 'because I don't like paying for games'.

            "Oh, and I paid for every single one.", "I don't need a CD."

            Your argument is self defeating.

            If you imagine that the titles on Steam have more DRM than when purchased off Steam, you have another thing coming.

            Maybe if you had listed these magic no-DRM, no-install-time, no-CD titles you are playing, your comment would have had some level of credibility higher than "none".

            Now to quote my friend Willy, "You lose, you get nothing, good day to you sir"

            1. M Gale

              @ Anonymous Coward 11:50GMT

              "Except that, D'OH, that doesn't work because of the registry."

              Funny, my copies of Battlezone 2, X2 and Master of Orion 2 don't have any problems whatsoever with the registry. Copy, create shortcut, play. Oh, with MoO2 you copy the CD files over too, and point a config file at the destination directory. Not exactly deep magic.

              Doom 3 and Unreal Tournament 2004 aren't entirely DRM-less, but they are much more agreeable than Steam. And.. please don't try to tell me that the registry will be a problem, considering both of these titles are running natively, and quite happily, on Toy Unix.

              "Tetris doesn't count. Pick up any new PC title from the shops today and install it in 5 minutes, I DARE you. Try and play it at all within half an hour of getting the disc (or finishing the pirate download, in your case) and you will find yourself sadly disappointed."

              A lot of that is due to shitty DRM wanting to install special drivers and whatnot. I believe I already mentioned giving up on PC games because of DRM.

              "You anti-Steam trolls always refer to it as malware but never under any circumstance do you list a single reason why you believe that. Other than 'because I don't like paying for games'."

              Because I don't want it, and yet it's required in order to play, for no reason other than "We think you're a criminal". I resent that accusation, and Steam is malware. Maybe I should take a photograph of the various genuine titles I've bought? Or maybe I'd just get accused of wrapping photocopies around DVD covers?

              Bloody DRM trolls, eh? They never give me a single good reason to just bend over and take it.

              "Neither do I. Steam remembers it for you. Maybe you should try using it before dissing it, eh?"

              What, really? Even when you do a new installation?

              By the way, how long does it take to install a game from disk, versus over some shitty BT-based "broadband" miles from the exchange like, well, anyone near me?

              "Maybe if you had listed these magic no-DRM, no-install-time, no-CD titles you are playing, your comment would have had some level of credibility higher than "none"."


              "Now to quote my friend Willy, "You lose, you get nothing, good day to you sir""

              Quite. Now I'll be getting back to my X2 empire. Been building up an armada of M2s and M6s for the final quest mission over the last few months. It's nice to do that and not have to worry about what happens if the hard drive throws a wobbler and deletes all of my nicely copied data.

              It's amusing that you can buy X2 on Steam.. and yet the disk version has a DRM-removal patch available from Egosoft's forums.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looking forward to installing this on my SSD.

    I think they're selling themselves short by claiming it boots from an SSD in 17 seconds, my current 9.10 install boots from a 7200rpm hard drive in that time, so I'll be very disappointed if 10.04 on an SSD isn't an improvement. I was playing around with SUSE on it the other day and it spends less time booting than my mobo takes to POST so there's an idea of what I'm expecting. Then again I'm not Dell so I actually put good components in my PC.

    Now to address the web2.0 stuff. Yes it's gimmicky, no I probably won't use it but I am glad it's there because the average user likes that sort of crap. If we can get them using social networks from the moment they boot into Linux they will be reluctant to restart into windows because they're talking to their friends. We all know how hard it is to drag someone away from the screen mid-conversation.

    So while they're essentially "stranded" in Linux, they might use their noggins for a change and figure out how to actually use it and maybe, just maybe they'll say "hey this isn't half bad" and boot into it again next time.

    Then before you know it they're surfing away, virus-free. Which means they're no longer sending out spam or emailing worms to everyone in their address book or suffering from any of the other annoying windows problems that effect all of us.

    And yes I KNOW you can trick Linux users into running malware just the same as on windows, PEBKAC. But what you WON'T be able to do is b0rk millions of PCs just by hiding scripts in websites. It's a start isn't it?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not A Computer !!!!

    But Asay sees a brighter future. "The LTS release is a significantly better operating system than Windows,"

    But Ohbundu does not even have a c:\ drive !! Go away ! Computers without C:\ drive are not real computers !

    1. Chemist

      Re : Not A Computer

      Well I guess most of us can recognize sarcasm - I was wondering who the poster was that couldn't

  39. mhenriday

    Is it absolutely necessary, Gavin,

    to perpetuate Andy Tung's (MSI's director of US sales) infamous canard about seeing a four times higher return rate for MSI Linux netbooks at a time when no Linux netbooks from MSI were being shipped ? Details on this little piece of tromp l'oeil can be found, for example, in Matthew McKenzie's InformationWeek SMB article ( ) from 8 April 2009....


  40. bexley

    my 6 year old niece uses ubuntu

    you people should be ashamed of yourselves, my 6 year old niece has been using it on her laptop for 6 months nowwith hardly any problems that she could not deal with herself

    1. Robert Hill

      Your niece...

      I doubt your niece uses wavelet synthesis software to compose music, or takes thousands of digital photos to organise and develop in Lightroom. I doubt she composes real-time animation. I even doubt she has a desire to play the most advanced games. I doubt her principal machine is a quad-core i7 laptop with 8 Gigs of RAM and a 16" screen. So...let's just say her needs are very, very simple, especially compared to your average El Reg reader.

      I highly recommend that you download and install Scratch for her, as it is available for Ubuntu and will greatly widen her computer horizons:

      1. M Gale

        Re: Your niece...

        Scratch requires Ubuntu 9.10-10.04 for the .deb download. I have 8.10. I'm now one day into a two and a half day distribution upgrade over my crappy dialup connection.

        You bastard.

      2. Chemist

        Re : Your niece...

        The counter argument is that the extremely large, complex and expensive programs used to predict & model protein structures are to be found mostly on Linux/Unix.

        1. Robert Hill

          Linux academic software...

          Is among the best...there is a REASON why I keep those Ubuntu partitions on my machines!!!

          I also have found very cool applications that I didn't even know I wanted or needed by browsing and trying, which is more difficult with Windows (in part because I worry about malware more with Windows).

  41. E 2

    Kill the M$ tax

    ... and Ubuntu would stand a good chance of succeeding. $X with Windows and $(X-licence_fee_for_Windows) with Ubuntu: I think the Ubuntu version would be about $100 cheaper, yes?

    People would like that.

    1. Chris Miller

      $100 cheaper, yes? No.

      Do you really think Dell, HP or any other large-scale OEM pay a Windows 'tax' based on the cost in your local Staples for a boxed edition? If so, I happen to own a large bridge over the East River that I'd be happy to sell to you at a very good price.

  42. montyburns56

    Linux Mint

    If you want a non-geek friendly version of Linux then try Mint. I was a Linux skeptic until I tried it and I have installed it on a 4 year old Toshiba laptop and an Athlon 3200 based desktop without any driver or setup problems. It runs DVDs,mp3s, CDs and video files out of the box without the user having to fiddle with configuration files.

  43. FreeTard

    What about fedora?

    Personally I'm waiting for Fedora13 due mid may, as I am a deadrat fan.

    The wife uses fedora12 on her thinkpad, and much prefers it over XP / vista or Win7.

    Even my Dad - a retired old git prefers linux on a laptop, as it is far more efficient and is really suited to portable computing. Open lid instant on, close lid, instant off. Just like a MAC!

    I say PORTABLE as I still use vista on my desktop PC.

    Where windows suffers is memory management, even win7 is rubbish for battery life, and this is what is important on a laptop, not games. No-one plays games on a laptop, at least not a portable one!

    These days I only play civ on a PC, everything else is on a PS3 as its just better in oh so many ways. I may give this ubuntu thing a go.

  44. Schultz


    It's unfair to stick Ubuntu with: "Linux netbooks had four times the rate of return on machines loaded with Windows". My netbook came with some crappy, annoying Linux Distro -- but became very pleasant when I threw Ubuntu at it.

  45. furlow

    Its all about be used to it, its no longer hard to do

    I've been using Ubuntu for nearly 4 years since the 6.10 release and then full forward since 7.04-7.10. Ubuntu has come along way from there, having to regularly input screen settings, wifi driver issues, laptop fn key problems, etc the list goes on. All I can say is ubuntu and linux in general has done more for their os in the past 4 years then since Microsoft released xp for windows. Ubuntu is no longer hard to use, it just works in a different way to windows, sure I still do things using terminal but thats because when installing software its quicker than loading up the ubuntu software centre and the same goes for other tasks. What it really is, is that people are used to windows and it does things in a different way and as soon as you have to do something slightly differently, that is interpreted as hard. Even quite a few windows programs will run in wine, alot of newer programs such as spotify and picasa are designed to be able to run with wine, so they can quickly make a program for both systems without the need to cross-platform. Ubuntu 10.04 is a winner.

    To the person commenting on a 6 year old using it, yes her needs are simple, but at the same time most peoples needs are simple, the don't need games or specific windows programs, with most things being internet based what he was trying to explain is that a 6year old can use it for the same tasks as say a 20-40 year old would be using it for.

  46. Anonymous Coward

    Windows Games Lies? Put it in your Black Hole

    Since when did people keep believing Windows users harping on about how another platform has no games? Have you looked at Windows games over the past 10 years? The industry has all but collapsed and nothing is generated for Windows computers anymore. The only thing Windows gets is the occasional sorry toss of a ported Gaming Console game. Windows gaming is dead, almost as dead as their attack-other-os because they don't have games arguments.

    Go to any Games store and look at all the Game Console titles available and frequency of releases... SO

    Wake up and smell the Windows User's lies!

  47. C 2

    How about Mint, or PCLINUXOS?

    Mint is a slightly fancier version of Ubuntu, great stuff.

    The latest release of PCLINUXOS (PCLOS) has blown me away! Not only that but this reviewer probably needs a towel...

    The between the two I had a tough time deciding!

    Then I found that PCLOS has a PAE kernel (yes it is an *easy* clickety-click install) that supports up to 64GB of RAM. I find the control center in PCLOS easier and more complete. It has more hardware information and options, cuz I like to meddle.

    Also its *much easier* to get all the software I want installed on Mint, or PCLOS, I don't have to manually hunt down a bunch of obscure updates and huge bloated service packs, I just go through the list, check what I want, and when I'm ready, I click "Apply" and go make a sandwich.

    Windows Se7en?! If that is the answer I DON'T want to know what the question was! Sure, Vista blows, but when they fixed the worst of its psychotic issues did they have to move *everything* around *AGAIN*, I call that FAIL! Worst of all they REMOVED many features that I used!

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Word Processor for Linux?

    Ubuntu is my preferred platform of choice, but OpenOffice does not quite cut it for serious document production. I say this reluctantly because I quite like OO and don't wish to use MS products.

    Can anyone recommend a Word Processor for Ubuntu that is up to MS Word 2007 standards?

    (PH would feel the same way no doubt).

    1. Bruno Girin

      Word Processor

      OpenOffice 3.2, which ships with Ubuntu 10.04, is a lot better than the previous version so you may want to try that. I use is all the time in environments where MS Word is the norm.

      Otherwise, it depends what you want to do. If you need to deal with MS document formats or you actually want an MS Word clone, I'm afraid OO.o is the best there is.

      Otherwise, there is also AbiWord, which is more lightweight but less good at dealing with MS formats.

      If you require document production and are mostly interested in the quality of the document rather than the ease of use, there is LaTeX but it's got quite a steep learning curve. Or you could use an IDE and write your documents using DocBook.

  49. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    Opinion on Ubuntu.

    A fair point someone mentioned is that ubuntu has probably done a lot to make linux more acceptable. For this and this alone it should be lauded.

    Personally, I don't like it. Actually, I hate it. The only good thing imho this thing has going for it is that it is based on Debian.

    One major criticism I have which is also probably the reason of its greatest success is that it has to cater to the most common denominator and hence is such completely BLOATED.

    I hate windows too, but I actually have to work on it, and game on it, so I have to run it.

    However, I don't have to run ubuntu because I can take anyone of the lighter distros out there and customize 'em to suit my needs. I trust Debian more than I trust Canonical, so yes my linuxes are all Debian, apart from one gentoo. Yes I could strip ubuntu, but why bother when there's debian? (Or CentOS etc)

    1. M Gale

      Re: Opinion on Ubuntu

      You do know that Ubuntu is an African word that means "I'm too stupid for Debian", right?

      And long may it continue!

  50. Anonymous Coward

    @Word Processor for Linux?

    My suggestion might offend you a little, but why don't you just look at LaTeX ? Takes some learning to do, but then you can use any text editor and create nice documents.

    Versioning and difference analysis can be nicely done with SVN, which you can't do with Word, AFAIK.

    That's the real Unix way of doing things. OO ist a bad copy of Office 2003, actually.

    1. Bruno Girin


      Good point about versioning. In fact OO can do versioning with SVN too, if you so wish. Not out of the box but there's an extension for it.

  51. Matthew 17

    I switched from Linux to OSX

    I like Linux, have used it for years, the machine I'm typing this on is running it. For normal desktop usage; email, web, chat, office, etc it's great.

    Where I ultimately got frustrated with it is the lack of production apps. I write / record music. Sure there's some nice open source apps now for that sort of thing JackDAW etc but compared to something like Ableton or Logic they're awful, it's possible to get some VST's to run under Linux with wrappers but it's just not worth the hassle and gets in the way of productivity.

    With OSX to me it was the best of both worlds, I still have my XTerm, all the open source stuff I enjoy with Linux + the ability to run commercial apps. I don't object to paying for software that does what I want. No problems with multimedia or compatibility either.

    It's just less hassle to live with and as such I don't mind paying for it, I put up with the hassle to an extent with Linux as it's free.

  52. Jeff 11

    You can't win over Windows and Mac users...

    ...when your OS can't run software that requires Windows or OSX. 'Use virtualization' isn't a solution, it's an admission of ineptitude! You still need either a Windows or OSX install to run Photoshop or Office. Until Wine can run them all perfectly any distro of Linux isn't a viable alternative to either for people who aren't prepared to switch from their commercial app software, and that's the majority of potential users.

  53. Leo Maxwell
    Thumb Up

    It is a good release

    The new Ubuntu is excellent from what I've seen, been testing for a couple of weeks now.

    The desktop is easier to configure than Win7 (which I am testing side by side).

    A lot of stuff is easier to do compared to windows,

    I support multiple MFDs on Networks, and the network printer install goes like this:

    Open printer dialogue

    click Search

    choose printer

    wait while the driver is downloaded and installed,

    tick any extra accessories


    No adding TCP/IP ports or any other faffing around, and no need for a driver disk.

    Oh, and by the way I don't play games, I hate the Office ribbon, and I use linux on all my home PCs

  54. MarkOne

    Dream on...

    " Lucid 10.04 is the first time where I feel we are beyond parity compared to Windows - anyone using Windows compared to this will say it's a big upgrade."

    Perhaps if he is referring to Windows95, but does someone want to tell him things have moved on...

    1. Neill Mitchell

      How about you?

      Have you actually run Lucid? Or are you going to trawl out the same old anti Linux arguments without backing it up?

  55. shade82000
    Thumb Up

    I'm in...

    I made the jump a few months ago and am *patently* waiting the arrival of Ubuntu 10.04 ( and Eeebuntu 4.0).

    My main PC at home is 4 years old. No real need to upgrade the hardware so I havent bothered. XP SP3 ran like a dog so I presumed my hardware was getting a little outdated. I installed Ubuntu 9.10 and immediately realised that Intel & MS must be backhanding each other to constantly keep us all on the brink of needing new hardware. Ubuntu runs sweet and needs no additional drivers on my 4 year old PC.

    When MS released Win 7 I got a copy and it failed to see my modem, wifi, NIC & sound hardware. 4 years old, Microsoft. You hear that? It's 4 years old! Where is your driver support man? The funny thing is I knew that apart from reinstalling XP, my Ubuntu 9.10 live CD was the only way I could get on the internet to find Windows 7 drivers. I couldn't find them so I gave up and installed Ubuntu instead.

    A bit daunting at first but Linux has come a long *long* -*LONG*- way since the late 90's.

    I am an IT pro. I use computers at work, I play with computers at home.

    I can manage Windows in the workplace because there has to be stuff to fix otherwise I would be out of a job.

    I want an OS that is simple to use and requires very little maintenance, for that I would only recommend Ubuntu. Simples.

    1. Martin Fowler
      Thumb Up

      re I'm in... (me too)

      Made the switch a fortnight ago, using a 3 possibly 4 yr old toshiba satelite. Got sick of the ridiculous boot times on windows so switched to 9.10. Cant quite work out why its taken me so long now. Was having hardware issues (wi fi dropping out, and the fan was on its way out cos it was being constantly used) now on 9.10 and its all hunky dory. Running like a dream, all hardware instantly recognised, and its also been a very good learning experience for a wannabe geek. Looking forward to switching to 10.04 tonight.

      1. shade82000

        Like it...

        Martin Fowler:

        ...Was having hardware issues (wi fi dropping out, and the fan was on its way out cos it was being constantly used) now on 9.10 and its all hunky dory...

        MS Windows: causing fan failures since 1985

  56. Al 14

    Not if those users are on a laptop!

    The window borders have always been too small on default Ubuntu to resize easily using a trackpad, I think they were 3 pixels in the previous release. Despite this being a known issue for years and having many many comments in the Ubuntu bug tracker they've decided to make it even worse for the new release and make the window borders 1 pixel (I still don't actually believe this - but I can't be bothered to try the new version).

    Joe Bloggs is not going to want to have to mess around getting a different theme just be able to resize a window easily. Luckily I managed to find a Vista style windows theme which has 7 pixel borders I think, despite a few hiccups I think I prefer it overall to Windows XP and Vista, but maybe Windows 7 is better than Ubuntu.

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch

      resizing windows

      Not sure what version of Ubuntu you're running, but the UNR version for netbooks has a hack that maximises most windows when they're opened. So no need for resizing windows there, for the most part.

      The other way of resizing, assuming you're not running UNR, is to hold down Alt, then middle click anywhere on the window to drag-resize it to the shape you want. Works a charm with a proper 3-button mouse, but I'll admit it's not so easy to do on a trackpad if you have to hold down both buttons to simulate the third button. At least not on those weird Acer trackpads with mouse buttons on either side of the pad rather than underneath.

      There's probably also some keystroke you can use to start resizing, but to be honest the alt-middle-click is just what I want., so I've never had to look up the key binding.

      It's actually things like this (as well as select/middle-click to copy and paste alt left-click and drag to move windows around) that I think makes Linux (well, X Windows probably) far superior for actually getting things done.

  57. mika7367

    Bring it on

    I managed to get Crysis and Trackmania Nations Forever running through wine (Karmic 9.10 x64) from Vista Ultimate x64.

    Hopefully they have more AMD support in the 10.04 version so I don't need to use Enigma once a month ;

  58. RanTalbott

    Why not LaTEX? Because it's LaTEX.

    And what nearly all users today want and need is a WYSIWYG system in which the computer manages the gory details of rendering, NOT a "printer programming language".

    LaTEX was a great achievement, and a significant advance, back in the days when most of us were stuck with inserting cryptic dot-commands to use the limited formatting capabilities of Wordstar (which was, itself, a major advance over the systems of the 1970s like ATS).

    But Linux isn't Unix, and the "LINUX way" is to give geeks the OPTION of tinkering in the guts of the system, while giving non-geeks the ability to EASILY use the power of modern PCs. And OO is falling short in that regard, when it comes to interchange with MS Office victims. That's not all (probably not even mostly) OO's fault. But if you're having problems with your lathe, the solution is usually NOT "go back to whittling".

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch

      wisywyg LaTeX?

      There's an app for that. Try LyX. It's been quite a while since I used it, but I was quite impressed with it. It's totally usable even for someone who doesn't know anything about the underlying LaTeX language.

      I'll grant you that LaTeX itself doesn't suit everyone (your "why not LaTeX? because it's LaTeX" comment), but for producing professional documents there really is no competition. But ultimately, I suppose, this is an apples and oranges comparison because LaTeX is a typesetting system and Word/OpenOffice are merely "word processors".

  59. Kenton Renee

    It's pretty simple...

    What makes this guy think that Linux will just suddenly "take off"? (And we've been hearing that trumpet for years).

    There are two fundamental flaws I see with Linux: 1) It's trying too much to be like the very thing it hates – Microsoft Windows (I'm going to get flamed for this) and 2) It's fighting a war that's long been won: the desktop war is over people. Microsoft won. Get over it.

    I'm sure Ubuntu has come a long way since the 90's but it's going to take more than a new release and pixie dust to get people to start dashing to desktop Linux (in any flavor).

    1. James Hughes 1

      Just because the war is lost

      Doesn't mean you cannot start a new one. (Ask the Romans Greeks, Trojans, Germans, Israelis etc)

      Microsoft have won the battle for the desktop. Until the next battle. Which they may or may not win. I'm not saying the battle is right now, but its certainly going to come sooner or later.

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      no reason to give up...

      they said the 'browser wars' was over, and whilst IE still has a huge market share, people can no longer ignore firefox

  60. JB

    I would like to use Ubuntu

    I've been using Ubuntu on and off for 3 years, but apart from web browsing and email it's just totally frustrating.

    I love the GUI, but my cheap and cheerful USB wireless dongle doesn't work; GIMP is great, but I can't print anything on my Canon printer; I try to install a small program and end up with tons and tons of other stuff called lib-something, loading down my system, and then totally lose track of what I have installed and what I don't. How come in Windows I never have to worry about .dll files?

    I'd really love to go to Ubuntu, but it's still not there. I've given it a go, and I still have it as a virtual machine that I can have a play on now and again, but I wouldn't get rid of Windows just yet.

    1. James Hughes 1


      Odd. My cheap and cheerful wireless dongle works fine and I can print from GIMP.

      As to the lib/dll thing. What exactly is the problem? You see some libraries being installed. They get installed. (You don't actually have to do anything special - it just works). The only difference is that windows doesn't tell you it's just installed a load of DLL's. You don't worry about DLL's in windows, so why worry about libraries in Linux? You dont 'keep' track of all the DLL's that get installed, do you?

      It's all automatic. Just like Windows.

  61. John F***ing Stepp

    I stuck Debian on my laptop

    Hard drive died and of course I have lost the XP install disk.

    So Debian it is.

    You know, LINUX is not that bad.

    I am still getting used to the small changes at the command prompt, but remembering ls -Fa is getting easier.

    And man is your friend.

    And for most people, they wouldn't even know the difference.

    It's a GUI and they are all pretty much the same.

    What is sad is that 20 some odd years ago I was a UNIX programmer.

    It will come back; I hope.

    In any case I have to use MS at work because that is just what we do.

    (except the web pages, whatever passes for notepad would do fine on them.)

    I like Debian LINUX.

    However the article is about Ubunto and that kinda sucks.

    Something is wrong with those people.

    (whooo flame bait.)

  62. Rob Moir

    And this is supposed to make me want it? *really*?

    "Ubuntu 10.04 LTS uses microblogging client Gwibber to combine streams from Twitter, Facebook, Digg, StatusNet, and such services through a Me Menu."

    Right. That's a great idea. I want to have twatter and the like integrated into my operating system about as much as I want a painful infected cyst integrated into my body.

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