May 07 2009

Ubuntu or Kubuntu – The Verdict

Category: LinuxTeknovis @ 8:28 pm

I recently wrote that I intend to start using either Ubuntu or Kubuntu as my desktop operating system in Ubuntu or Kubuntu. Since then I have downloaded the 9.04 version of both operating systems. I installed both of them simultaneously on my main computer as guest operating systems using VMware. I also installed each of them as the main operating system on a spare computer that I have. Both operating systems install very easily with very little user interaction, and they both correctly identified all of my hardware. That impressed me, because I often hear horror stories about Linux and hardware!

After using both operating systems for the last few days I have come to the conclusion that they are both excellent. However, I need to choose only one of them! So ultimately I am going to choose… (drum roll) … Ubuntu!

My reasons for choosing Ubuntu are mainly:

  • It seems to have much more official support.
  • It seems to have a greater user-base, and therefore there is more information about it online.
  • I felt that the applications that came with Ubuntu were more complete. I generally prefer applications that have very limited, but specific, functionality.

The greatest appeal of Kubuntu was the lovely KDE interface. I thought that the default GNOME interface was very bland, but luckily it is very configurable. I will blog about the changes that I made to it.

I found solutions to all of my initial problems online. The Internet really is great for these things! However, there are some deployment type issues that I do not know how best to deal with them.

  • On my Windows installations I like to create three logical drives: The C drive is used for the operating system; the D drive is used for the applications; and the E drive is used for the data. Ideally the C drive is on its own dedicated physical disk for performance reasons, and all other logical drives can be on a single physical disk. The use of these logical drives makes upgrading very easy. I do not yet know the best way of configuring an Ubuntu installation with multiple physical and logical hard disks.
  • On my Windows installations I store all my data in a single logical drive. Therefore, there are two locations that are associated with my user account: my settings and my data. My current understanding is that my user settings and my user data are all stored in the same location in an Ubuntu installation. This seems a bit messy to me!
  • I currently use the roaming profiles features of Windows so that I can log into any computer on my network and I will have my most recent settings. I do not know how to implement this on an Ubuntu installation.

My current intention is to keep using Ubuntu as a guest operating system until I feel confident enough to wipe my hard disk and use it as my host operating system! I will keep blogging about my progress here!

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