Last time I was comparing operating systems, namely RedHat vs. Windows. So what about free Unix? Is it still available and how useful is it? The answer is Ubuntu . Essentually Ubuntu is the latest and greatest free incantation of Unix and in short, it rocks.
It has a large, active user community and public developers, so it is vibrant and strong. Installing software on Ubuntu is easy via the aptget utility. To install the latest and greatest python use: “aptget install python pep8 pylint.” Nice and easy.
Ubuntu does a great job of keeping the system up to date via reasonable and easy to use admin messages. And finding what code is available is simply done through a web interface. I noticed that Ubuntu graphics are better that RedHat Linux.
Ubuntu Running on RedHat Server
I like Ubuntu so much that I decided to install it on my RedHat Linux server. The Ubuntu home page (http://www.ubuntu.com/) has simple instructions on how to burn a installation CD. I then saved of my Linux home directory by using tar and email (which ends up in the cloud). To install a new operating system from a CD, just power cycle the server and interrupt the reboot when the BIOS menu is displayed. Make sure and choose “Boot From CD” not “Boot From Disk”. Now kick back and let the CD do its work. This will take 30 minutes or so. When the install is complete and the system comes back up, then create a new user and login. I then downloaded my saved home directory via email and installed it with tar. So I now do my Unix based research on a Ubuntu system as apposed to RedHat Linux. I am very happy with the change.
Displacing Windows At Home
My wife, Evelyn, and I celebrated our 18th wedding aniversay this year. Wow, has time flown by. She has been using the Windows server for her email, pictures, and web surfing. When she has problems she likes to bug me about it. I am not thrilled with this since I cannot stand Windows. We purchased the Windows server from Dell, and the Dell Support is not great. It is much better than Windows support, but not world class.
So I got smart this year and bought a Evelyn an Mac Pro Laptop. I drove her to the Apple Store and the store personnel did a wonderful job of helping her pick out the right model. They even unboxed her laptop, helped her set it up and personnalize it. Anytime she has a problem or question, I just refer her to the Apple Store and its a wonderful school. She is very happy with it and she is completely in love with me for it. I do not blame her. What a stroke of genius on my part. I got my wife off of that stupid Windows server, she is using a laptop that is based on Unix, and Apple gives here all the support that she needs.
So to finish up my home computer upgrade, I will install Ubuntu on the Windows server and thus purge Windows from my domicile. This will force the rest of my family to man up and step into the wonderful world of Unix. I am also going to purchase my own Mac Pro Laptop.
The moral of the story? Unix has restored peace and sanity to my household.