28 Apr 2008

Thank You Ubuntu

Well, I decided to take the plunge and migrate from Windows XP to Ubuntu. Now, technically, I have been wanting to do this for a while, but I was dependant on my windows to dial up to my internet (some problem with my ISP here). I tried to do it in Ubuntu a few months ago, but it was too complicated for me. However, it left me with a yearning to try again.
So, I waited for the new Ubuntu to come out and in parallel fixed my router.

The reason I thought it was a good idea to move to linux was mainly for self-improvement.

I recently read some blogs (couldn't find them now) that mentioned that with all the new web apps, there will be less and less emphasis on the OS. In 2011 (gartner says), this will hit a crucial point.
I was thinking, maybe more people will adopt free linux when everything important will be in "the cloud" and all you really need is a browser anyway. So I know how to use linux, I will be ready for that time and help people start adopting it.

Another 2 important reasons for me were:
1) That all servers use linux for their web apps and to be more comfortable in that environment will be a big plus.
2) To get myself more into the developing frame of mind. This maybe just me, but I noticed that the hardcore developers use linux or macs. Not that I am knocking windows, but I don't really feel that developers in windows are as serious as linux or mac for some reason (did you see some online presentation videos for a new technology. ALL the presenters use macs. Especially ones from Google. Am I missing something?)

I did some research, downloaded some pdfs and was all ready to go. I decided to make my current windows into a VMware image in case I needed something from it.
I downloaded Ubuntu and tried to figure it out. Bascially, you get 700mbs which you download of the net and anything else you want, you need to download. Fedora, comes with 4gbs and you need to download very little.

I had real problems understanding how to install things.. until I discovered DAM DAM DAM... repositories. Ok, so forgive me if you now are saying to yourself "Duh, I already knew that". I am new to it.

What I learned was, if you type "sudo apt-get install the-whole-universe-for-free-woohoo-I-love-it", you just magically get it. No need to download, configure (well, most dont) and all that trouble. You just use apt-get. You can even do it visually with the package manager.

This for me, is a huge advantage over other platforms. Its just so welcoming and encourages you to improve.
For example, I could download MySQL off the website, then install it manually. Or, I could just write 1 line and it will download, install itself, do some configuring and automatically upgrade (I think) when a new version goes into the repository. How cool is that?

The Tipping Point
So I was trying to install VMware and this was really difficult. Opening the bin/rpm file was difficult enough, but after succeeding in that, it gave me some error.
I almost gave up, until I found this article. It shows you that you can do everything with command lines and after playing around with linux, I am becoming more and more comfortable with them.
However, the important part is in the comments.
Someone posted the exact error I had.. and the guy told him how to solve the problem... by changing the ACTUAL CODE. Oh my god! change the actual code of the supplier? Unheard of in windows. If you have an error, you file a report somewhere and wait a week if your lucky.

Just the fact that I was allowed to look into someone else's code (and VMware is a big company) and learn and/or change it (I wont go into licenses), really makes me feel part of something.
I now really understand that open source doesn't mean free as in free beer, but free as in freedom of expression (sorry, that was a bit deep).

In conclusion.
I really like Ubuntu. Its not perfect and it needs some work, but this time, I feel that I can be part of it and help it improve.

A useful article to install Ubuntu <--


  1. nice article, and thanks for the link-back.

  2. Nice article.
    Open source is the future. It just feels right. Some helpful tips for you.
    Besides using apt-get through the terminal you can also use the Synaptic Package Manager found in the System-Administration tab.

    If you had used Synaptic you would have found the vmware server package which would have installed and configured the package to your system.

    You may also want to check out this site and add their repositories to your list;


    They have the add-ons to help you use proprietary files.

    Good luck on your journey to freedom.