I’ve been using Ubuntu as my distribution of choice for VM’s and server instances, and on a lark I took a swag at installing Ubuntu desktop onto a VM yesterday. I’ve got to say, it’s a pretty usable setup.
I still completely prefer the Mac, but the installation was relatively painless, the browser setup pretty good – and installing all the tidbits that I wanted to fiddle with for development was very easy.
I don’t even really know what I’ll use it for – other than something to experiment with and try out. I don’t really need another VM with a desktop interface, but I thought it would be interesting to see where it’d gone.
I recall Mark Shuttleworth (for whom I’ve a great deal of respect) making a comment earlier this year about “this is when Linux takes the desktop”. He might be right no. I recall at the time thinking, “Dude – Apple’s doing this iPad thing and you’ve better change your sights!”. Well, based on what I see in his blog with the “Unity” interface, they’re taking a pretty interesting stab at it. One of the things that I think Apple really has going for it in the tablet space is the multi-touch programming interfaces. They cooked them for several years with the iPhone, and now they’re solid and beautiful to work from a programmer’s and designer’s point of view. I don’t know what Ubuntu or any of the linux distros are doing with the interface space there, but I hope they’re paying close attention to the programming paradigms – that’s what is making the platform so damn powerful.
Now that I spent an afternoon installing it, I think I’ll probably nuke it and get back that 20GB of space, but it was fun to play with…