I have played with various distributions of Linux for the past 5 years. I would dabble in Red Hat running a web server, install Mandriva (Mandrake at the time) in a dual boot with XP, and actually build a kiosk for a tech school in my area using Suse Linux. I have also ran various versions on Virtual Machines over Windows many times. I have always had a love / hate relationship with Linux. When I could get things working it was great! However, when I just needed something like my SoundCard to work, I would find that 2 hours of compiling a driver just wasn’t worth it.
I have never been able to do a complete switch to Linux as my main OS because of some of the issues that go along with it. Last week I decided to give it another go. No dual boot system this time either I thought. Anytime I have tried that in the past, I would always end up booting the Windows partition out of pure geek laziness. There are a plethora of Distro’s available now, but I decided to go with Ubuntu. I guess I went with Ubuntu because of the tremendous amount of online support available. Also, The Geek has a complete section of useful Ubuntu and Linux tips!
I went with the default gnome GUI at first. I was able to easily maneuver my way through Ubuntu pretty well. When it came to installing drivers for my Nvidia card, it was an easy and painless process. I also have a Creative X-Fi sound card … not so lucky with this. There is actually a beta driver for X-Fi cards from Creative Open Source, but the bad thing for my set up is it does not currently support 5.1 surround sound. I am sticking to my integrated sound for now and will let my X-Fi card sits and collects dust for now.
I was really enjoying gnome and my new Linux environment, when I decided I allow myself the experience of KDE. Installing KDE with the default gnome desktop environment is easy enough, just follow The Geek’s Guide. I have to admit that the KDE environment is a great choice if you are ditching Windows. KDE offers a lot of functionality right out of the box. With the release of KDE 4.0 it gets even better. With a beautiful interface, familiar start menu, and the ability to browse directories as Root with just a click and a lot more. I am now a Kubuntu fan … and now that I have decided this, I am going to do a clean install of the Kubuntu 64 system and keep going.