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.

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