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Ubuntu Features that I Like

September 9th, 2009

Ubuntu is a free and open-source operating system based on Debian.  The reason I choose this over the other GNU/Linux variants like Fedora, Mint, openSUSE,Mandriva, Debian, and others, is because of the Ubuntu promise to make it free forever, including the enterprise editions and security updates.

I have been waiting for more than two years for Ubuntu to mature as a replacement to Windows XP.  To qualify, it must satisfy the following features:

  1. easily support dual monitors
  2. out-of-the-box support for my laptop’s Broadcom B43 wireless adapter
  3. support for my laptop’s infrared device

The rest of my productivity requirements can be satisfied easily because Ubuntu has a lot of replacements for Windows XP’s software in the following categories:

  • burning software for CD or DVD
  • web browsers
  • instant messaging (replacements for yahoo messenger)
  • e-mail client
  • rss readers
  • multimedia player – audio and video (replacements for winamp, windows media player, etc)
  • configurable panels for menus, shortcuts, status icons, system monitors

I experimented with the following Ubuntu versions:

  • Feisty Fawn 7.04
  • Gutsy Gibbon 7.10
  • Hardy Heron 8.04
  • Intrepid Ibex 8.10
  • Jaunty Jackalope 9.04

But only the latest Ubuntu release of Jaunty Jackalope 9.04 satisfied my three requirements.  The previous releases had a hard time with my dual-monitor requirement.

After having used Ubuntu for 5 months now, the following are the Ubuntu features that I like:

  1. Gnome Menu bar (equivalent to the Start button in Windows XP’s taskbar)
  2. Workspaces – where one workspace may be for browsing, document and e-mail reading, the other for coding, the other for multimedia players
  3. Terminal that supports multiple tabs (equivalent to the command prompt in Windows XP)
  4. Always on top window feature – you can set a window to remain on top of the current window (very useful when reading or monitoring).
  5. Clock that displays date, time, and weather forecasts
  6. USB storage support – just like Windows XP, everytime a USB storage device is connected (flash disks or portable hard drives) Ubuntu will mount it up for you automatically
  7. File Browser – multiple tabs with location shortcuts and integrated FTP / SFTP thru bookmarks (equivalent to Windows XP’s Windows Explorer)
  8. Administrative security confirmation – whenever you make something that would change a system setup, Ubuntu will ask you of your password to confirm that you really want to administer your system.
  9. Fast shutdown – my laptop shuts down within 10 seconds.
  10. Dvorak keyboard layout support – during setup I wanted my laptop to use Dvorak instead of the Qwerty keyboard layout.  And true enough, from login until shutdown, Ubuntu uses Dvorak.  Unlike Windows XP wherein I specify Dvorak during setup but it still uses Qwerty specially during administrative login.

These Ubuntu features only refer to inherent features of Ubuntu without having to install anything from Synaptic Package Manager.  Meaning, no third-party software is needed to implement these features because Ubuntu already have them.

Except for games, for me, Ubuntu beat Windows XP with the above features.

Author: Cyril Pauya Categories: Software Tags:
  1. September 10th, 2009 at 12:19 | #1

    It’s good you have tested well Ubuntu. I never had extensive usage of Ubuntu 8.04 but I have it installed on my VM and it’s really good. If only I’m not working more on Windows based application I would have installed Ubuntu on my PC.

  2. September 10th, 2009 at 20:43 | #2

    @ianemv
    I took time to wait until the right Ubuntu desktop version fits my requirements. You may try the new Ubuntu 9.04 version using the Ubuntu live CD or you may try to do a dual-boot with Windows if you are really interested. :)

  3. February 16th, 2015 at 04:54 | #3

    linux hasn’t been erased if you load linux and then wnoidws. The only thing wnoidws did was to overwrite your master boot record. This is easy to fix. You put in an ubuntu CD or USB and boot from that. Then you chroot the linux partition that on your hard drive. Then you re-run the grub installer. Viola, your linux is back. Only takes about 2 minutes if you know what you are doing.

  4. September 11th, 2015 at 16:44 | #4

    You’re a real deep thinker. Thanks for sharing.

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