Review of Ubuntu Linux 5.10

Neil Grogan

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Where to start? Well you are probably reading this from a windows based machine, so I will elaborate on Ubuntu. Ubuntu is backed by Canonical, a company set up by Mark Shuttleworth, a South-African born multi-millionaire, as he started Thawte, the internet security certificates company. Linux is based off of Unix, which was the first widespread operating system (OS) and has it roots in the 1970's.

Fuelled by its backers, Ubuntu has topped the Linux distribution lists overnight. Ubuntus slogan is “Linux for Human Beings" which gives the essence of what the project is trying to achieve: to get normal people to use Linux. This is no easy task with Microsoft dominating the computer OS market for well over twenty years.

Ubuntu is fighting its corner though, with its easy to use interface from Gnome and it's file system from Nautilus (both open-source projects, like Ubuntu). Ubuntu has everything built in from the ground up, making it attractive for buisness', local governments and the average user.

Did you like Firefox Web Browser? If you did you are one of the over 100 million people who do. Firefox is built straight in to Ubuntu, along with Evolution Mail (Like Outlook Express). In fact Ubuntu has a lot of what the everyday user needs: it can burn dvds, cds, play all your media and more. It is these built in features from one compact disc that make Ubuntu special.

Will it replace Windows? The direct answer is no. If you like me have a lot of commercial(pay-for) software then Ubuntu cannot use them. The exception to this is some Games like Doom and Quake which people have re-engineered to be run in Ubuntu. In most cases this should not matter as Ubuntus piles of software does the job for you.

It is worth a try though, even if you do not have a cd-burner, Canonical (The company behind Ubuntu) will ship it to you without cost, you pay nothing! It is also cheaper to ship more than one cd, so you get copies to distribute.

The Future of Open-Source Who knows? The future looks bright with Ubuntu knocking down inhibitions people have about Linux. Linux has always been popular in Universitys, where all good ideas start! As to whether Linux will overcome Microsoft? I doubt it in the near future as Windows has exclusive distribution deals with every large pc manufacturer, making Windows the default choice. Not every monopoly lasts though, and Firefox is an indication of the future.

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