Thursday, April 17, 2014

Happiness is a New Version of Linux OS

Today I'm happy, because SolydX laid its golden egg for April the 15th, and I made pudding with it, updating two of my computers to the latest and greatest that Linux has to offer.

I don't know whether Windows users can grasp the happiness I feel. A new version of the SolydX OS is like a new version of Windows, except I don't have to reinstall or reconfigure anything. Imagine going from Windows XP to Windows 7, while keeping all of your configuration. Nice, eh? Now imagine you do it for free and legally. Get the picture? Linux is nice. Just--nice.

My other favorite operating system, Xubuntu, is due to lay a new golden egg today. I'm watching that hen with eagle eyes, waiting for the egg to pop out, so I can crack it open and make omelettes on two of my computers.

Come on, chicken. I just checked DistroWatch--no dice. Come onnnn! Lay that egg!

What's nice about Xubuntu's upcoming release is that it will be an LTS, a Long-Term Support release, good for many years to come. That makes it even more special than usual. Anyone who is curious about Linux should definitely choose this moment to make a leap of faith into the wonderful world of free operating systems. The payoff will be even greater than usual.

If you're a Linux neophyte, then begin your journey with Xubuntu. I like Xubuntu's "keep it simple, stupid" philosophy. Through their relationship with Canonical, they access timely security updates that make the paranoid less so. Also, Xubuntu holds hands during installation and updates, and even though I know a thing or two in my advanced wizardry, I do appreciate the hand-holding, because it saves me time and bother. The only downside to Xubuntu is the unfortunate choice of the two-panel approach, which SolydX avoids. I don't really grasp the need for a panel at the top and a panel at the bottom of the desktop, but this can be tweaked away. Canonical's feverish innovations in their Software Manager have also caused new bugs, but there is always Synaptic Package Manager to fall back on if the Software Manager misbehaves.

If you're a computer wiz, give SolydX or SolydK a spin. Try SolydX if you have old hardware or SolydK if you have newer hardware. My rule of thumb is that if you have 4 gigs of RAM, give SolydK a try, because you might like it and certainly you have more than enough memory. If you have less than 4 gigs of RAM, go with SolydX. You may prefer its agility and solidity. I chose SolydX mainly because I prefer a conservative, solid desktop with few issues. KDE tends to be more cutting-edge and enterprising, aggressive in developing new features.

04/18/2014 Update:

My Xubuntu upgrade from version 13.10 to version 14.04 functioned flawlessly and with minimal user interaction, making for a stress-free, calm and relaxing evening! In-place upgrade of an existing version is an awesome feature that makes the Ubuntu family more competitive against other Linux distributions. Never before have I seen as effortless an upgrade as tonight--certainly not in the Windows world, but not in the Linux world either.

On my second Xubuntu computer, I left the updater running overnight. When I checked on it the next morning, xscreensaver had frozen on a particular picture, and the computer was unresponsive. I powered the machine off, rebooted, and ran the updater again, and it picked up just where it had left off. Impressive! That shows that a significant amount of testing and refinement has gone into the installation and update process and reaffirms my confidence in Xubuntu.

I recommend Xubuntu to users fleeing the realm of Windows. Xubuntu is easy to use--no degree in computer science required! As a matter of fact, I maintain that Xubuntu is easier to use than Windows, because there is far, far less probability of picking up a malware infection in Xubuntu, for a lot of different reasons. Avoid the trojan-infested pirated copies of Windows and install a free, legal and open-source Linux distro instead.


Anonymous said...

hello igor!
I am trying to install xubuntu in my old netbook, an acer 2gb, intel 4, celeron cpu 743, win 7 starter, but the pc won't boot the iso. I mounted the cd in a virtual drive with alcohol 120%,but the only thing i can see is the files inside the iso, and the installation panel wont appear.... Can you give me a tip about this? thanks :)

igor said...

I do not know much about virtual drives or alcohol 120%.

In your scenario where you wish to keep Win7, I recommend setting up a multi-boot scenario where you may choose the operating system at boot-time. This is what I do for clients. Running a virtual Xubuntu within Windows 7 on a 2 GB system may be stretching system resources just a bit. I don't really understand why you would want to do that.

Anonymous said...

i am a linux noob, so i just want to try a live cd of xubuntu and if i like, i would install and replace win 7. but like i said, it isn't booting the panel. I think i will be stuck with win 7 in this machine for a while.

igor said...

I installed on a farmer's machine who was totally new to Linux and not experienced with computers. He has a menu at boot-time. The default is to boot Xubuntu, but if he presses the down arrow, he can choose Windows 7. He usually chooses Xubuntu and is happy with it for internet browsing and LibreOffice.

You can set up multi-boot during the installation process. Xubuntu can resize your Windows partition and grab some free space from it for its needs. I recommend taking at least 16 gigabytes at a minimum for Xubuntu's needs, but more is better. Leave some free space also for your Windows partition. It seems likely that you will find Xubuntu works better on your older hardware, because it does not require as much of your machine's limited system resources as Windows 7 does. It is also likely to boot faster on your machine for the same reasons.

Using a virtual operating system is possible, but it seems like an added layer of complexity that I would rather avoid if at all possible. I have never had good experiences with alcohol 120% and decided a long time ago not to use it.

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