Monday, June 27, 2005

Trying out Ubuntu

For the first time in years I have installed a 'desktop linux' distribution and I must say the results are quite shocking. I have been so used to running with Debian Stable that I really was in for a shock when I switched to Ubuntu.

To give you an idea of what I do, much of my day is spent at the computer programming and as such I have spent the time to customize my physical environment to suit my needs exactly. I have an office I constructed that houses my workstation in just the right arrangement for maximum productivity. To wit, there are four displays, three 21" Sonys and one Apple HD cinema display. All of this is driven by four video boards, the Sonys are attached to PCI based NVidias and the apple is connected via DVI to an AGP ATI board. Previously the machine sans NVidias was my gaming rig while another machine (A PII 400) was my 'work' computer driving all but the Apple Cinema display.

Desk and monitors

I decided that Debian Unstable wasn't what I wanted, especially with such good things being said about Ubuntu, which is heavily based on Debian. The one thing that Debian has had going for it is its package management system, but I'll leave that argument to others. Fact of the matter is that in 10 years of doing software development and consulting using Linux, Debian is the distribution I've clung to after trying all the others.

My first impression was WOW. I'm usually a TWM kinda guy. The first time I ran XINE under E17 and was able to playback WMV files smoother than on my Apple laptop, I was sold. My years of work with Debian made the installation and ongoing management of Ubuntu quite easy, and I don't foresee changing my distribution again in the near future.

The only problem now is that I have to reboot in order to play video games, but that's a good problem when you don't want goofing off to be too easy to achieve. The only problem I have now is fighting the desire to spell Ubuntu as Unbuntu. I soon plan to post some notes on how easy it was to get Xinerama and accelerated OpenGL running.

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