Suggestions on Ubuntu...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by swamesp, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. swamesp macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2009
    Somewhere on Earth
    My bro in India bought an iMAC 27" yesterday and as you all expect there was that yellow tinge issue so had to return it back after using it for few hours.
    I had a plan to buy MBP13" in couple of days but due to budget issues I will be holding it till end of the month.

    Something curiously hit my mind today like why not try Ubuntu OS. I have seen people suggesting it here in these forums.

    How would you guys weigh up between OS x, Win 7 and Ubuntu?

    I'm a software techie (in Windows not in Linux yet) who can play with Linux if required. Is ubuntu a right direction to move in? Please share your thoughts.

    People might say, this is mac forum why ubuntu questions, since the question is at the opposite side the views will be unbiased.
    Appreciate any help on this and thanks for reading.
  2. AllieNeko macrumors 65816

    Sep 25, 2003
  3. Madmic23 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2004
    I've tinkered with it a bit on my netbook and think it's great. It boots fast, the interface is clean and much more streamlined than it was a few years ago.

    The Ubuntu Software Center is a great addition this time around. It's almost like the app store, but for Linux software. You know you're getting compatible software if it's coming from the software center, and it literally installs with one click. So much easier than before.

    But like the previous post said, it does depend on what your needs are. For gerneral computing, web browsing, photo organizing, music collection, e-mailing, You Tube, Facebook, it's great. If you have specific piece of software that your life depends on that is Mac or Windows only, look long and hard for an alternative first.
  4. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2009
    Somewhere on Earth
    Thanks markie and Madmic23.

    It would be my personal machine which I would use for listening to music, normal surfing, low level of photography editing (I've little knowledge on Pshop).

    I'm learning some musical instruments so could be some recording and mixing (hopefully not that much, If it is complex I may not do that too... ). Can be some word, excel and powerpoint related things.

    Is there any MS office for these Linux? Will I be open the docs that my colleagues send from their Win machine?
  5. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Ubuntu is a pretty good OS these days. The UI lacks the polish of OS X or Windows 7, but after a bit of tweaking can usually be made to look pretty good. I've never had trouble with stability, and of course the price tag makes it worth a look.

    One issue for me is applications. Yes, there are a TON of open source programs available through the package manager for free, but the inability to buy good commercial software often leaves you using an almost as good lookalike. Most open source solutions work very well, but - in my opinion - many times these programs can seem like using beta versions. Document compatibility between platforms - say a GIMP-produced PSD file being used by someone with Adobe Photoshop - can also be a bit unpredictable.

    Another issue is hardware. While Ubuntu's hardware support has come a long way, there are still isolated cases of difficulty getting some hardware, like wireless cards, working properly. In those cases, you'd better be comfortable searching discussion boards and using the Terminal. On the upside, Ubuntu has a very active and helpful user community.

    Yes I like Ubuntu and use it on a few of my machines. I can do anything I need to get done with the tools it provides. However, I would never foist Linux onto someone who's not pretty computer savvy. It just hasn't reached the "It Just Works" point yet. Regardless, I encourage anyone who's curious about it to download a Live CD and give it a go.

    EDIT As to your question about MS Office, the (usually preinstalled in Ubuntu) OpenOffice suite can handle just about any Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file you need with just a few cross-compatibility issues from time to time.
  6. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2009
    Somewhere on Earth
    Thanks Darth.Titan.

    Thank you for the insightful post. For the photography editing, is there any standard licensed software like photoshop or aperture that I could really trust on?

    Even though I'm not a geek I'm curious about Ubuntu as many are saying good things about it. That's the same reason why I planned to move from Win 2000->Win Xp -> vista(not using much but hate it to core). planning to migrate to OS X with a new MBP sometime soon.

    What kind of hardware is best suited for Ubuntu? Is ubuntu anywhere better than Win and OS X?
  7. 7thMac macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2010
    Ubuntu is wonderful. For photography, the GIMP is very powerful but I think it's no longer part of the standard install. If you don't absolutely need to use MS Office then Ubuntu is well worth considering. If you do need to use MS Office you could still look into the Crossover application. But this is not a topic for the mac boards.
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    No, there aren't. GIMP is great (and very easy to install), but PS is not available in a Linux native form. Photoshop for Windows can run on top of WINE (free) or Windows running in VMWare or Parallels, but the availability of commercial prosumer/consumer-type desktop apps in native-Linux form is pretty limited.

    It has a few strengths, besides being free... there are some fairly sophisticated filesystems available. For everyday use, probably the biggest problems are that (1) you will probably have to commit to mostly using open-source software in place of commercial apps (OpenOffice, Gimp, etc), and (2) Flash plugin performance is weaker once you leave Windows (which may or may not be an issue, depending on how fast the computer is, for things like watching web-based TV/movies). In that vein also, Silverlight is not available in Linux, so AFAIK if you use Netflix video on demand, that's going to be a nuisance.

    As far as hardware goes, there's nothing really magical about what works in Linux. Just try and see if your hardware has drivers before you buy it, rather than trying to figure out how to make it work after you've already bought it.
  9. dennis123123 macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2009
    *buntu is for noobs. get a real distro would be my advice.

    Linux based operating systems are worth learning though, yes.
  10. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2009
    Somewhere on Earth
    Thanks Guys, my friend gave me a system and I'm playing with Ubuntu now.. Seems to be pretty good.

    The system is too slow for my use and video card is not that great in it, which really annoys me with very big fonts and windows. But otherwise it looks good and pretty decent as well.

    GIMP, kinda OK but it was not that exciting when I worked with about few months ago (may be by disrespect to it) and I'm wondering how long will these open source folks keep working on their products. Seems to be non profit organizations. What will happen if they shut their shops suddenly?

    PS: There was no email notice to me for the new posts, hence could not reply.
  11. 7thMac macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2010
    Very funny. He is a new user. How does your advice help him? What would you suggest, Slackware?
  12. Madmic23 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2004
    One of the nice things about ubuntu is that the hardwRe requirements really Rent that bad. If you have some old junker kicking around, you can try it out. Though Damn Small Linux or Knoppix would be better suited for a machine with older specs.

    The only thing is, you won't be able to use all of Ubuntus flashy visual effects with hardware that is 3 years old.

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