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.
Programmer by day, geek by night, The Geek, also known as Lowell Heddings, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 04/15/08