Ubuntu 10.04 (Desktop)

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…

3 thoughts on “Ubuntu 10.04 (Desktop)

  1. Although MacPorts comes close, I feel Linux is a much better setup for Web development than OS X. Through Synaptic, I can install/uninstall nearly everything I need without having to fix broken installations or oddities caused by OS X’s file structure. I’ve yet to be able to compile python-mysql on 10.6.x

    Ubuntu also comes with a complete Python stack pre-installed, further jumpstarting Django development. Add virtualenv/wirtualenvwrapper and you’re all set. I can literally be up and running in 30 minutes or less.

    However, running Ubuntu only makes debugging for Mac browsers slightly more complicated. So, my preferred setup is OS X as the “base” system, with Ubuntu and Windows in VMs through Fusion. This way I can do my development in Linux, and have seamless debugging on OS X and multiple versions of Windows. Bliss.

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  2. About multitouch interfaces, if hardware vendors should started releasing specifications or created a standard I am sure Xorg and all Linux will be taking advantage of this new way of interacting. Cheers.

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  3. Ubuntu is by far my preferred environment for web development, data analysis and programming in general. The apt system is awesome. Yet if you try anything else ranging from presentations to advanced photography Linux is just not there yet. Last week I tried preparing a presentation in open office and went back to Office 2007 out of sheer frustration. Photoshop, even v8, on either mac or windows is a far more relaxed work environment that The Gimp. Needles to say I don’t prefer any of the OS’s. I’ve installed Ubuntu and W7 in a vm under OSX giving me best of both worlds.
    Unfortunately Apple hardware is not always compatible with beamers around the world, so for giving presentations I still have a small win7 system as backup, sigh.

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