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I’ve finally got Ubuntu (7.10) up and running. I tried, and failed, to get it running under Paralles a while back and finally took the time to try again. This time on a Windows machine that had some extra space.

Overall the install was great, but once up and running there are a lot of items that are just to complicated. I understand that Ubuntu is a great alternative, but until it becomes more user friendly in some aspects, it’s going to be a hard sell.

First off, the install was simple. Easy and straight forward. Before to long, Ubuntu was up and running. Not as fun as installing OSX, but way better than installing XP.

The interface is clean and is a mixture of the Mac menubar and Windows task bar. It’s not overly complicated to get use to, but it does have it’s own way of doing things.

If you turn on the fancy window effects, the animations and Jello like windows are quite fun. It’s makes for some nice eye candy. 😉

Ubuntu has all the basic applications like Firefox, Pidgen (IM), Evolution (Email) and OpenOffice (Word & Excel). It installs all the necessary applications to get most users up and running.

However, installing additional applications is to difficult. I wanted to install Firefox 3 and Prism, but once downloaded, it just showed the package contents. No application. Even when I tried to update Firefox 2 and that wasn’t an option in the browser itself.

It seems Ubuntu controls everything via an applications area and you either install or upgrade what they recommend or you have to go to the terminal and figure it out. This applications area is great for any applications in list, but if you want something that’s not in the list, you better know how to install it via the Terminal. And the terminal is uber geeky. I just gave up on installing additional apps.

I also wanted to install the Flash plugin in Firefox. Unfortunately it didn’t install through Firefox and I had to do it manually. After lots of Googling and trying to understand tutorials I finally got it installed via terminal commands and frustration. It’s actually quite simple, but no one tells you that.

How to Install Flash in Ubuntu the Easy way.

Go to Adobe.com and download the tar.gz choice. When the Ubuntu opens the tar.gz file drag the install folder to your desktop. Double click on flashplayer-install and choose run in terminal. Follow instructions.

That’s it! Now, everyone else’s way seems much more complex. But that’s my main issue with Ubuntu; it’s to geeky.

Now, I’m a geek and I’ll admit that. But having to do most everything via Terminal isn’t my thing. I will follow simple instructions, but I’d rather run an installer or copy and program to my applications folder.

I did have a lot of terminal fun though trying to get wireless internet via TrendNet’s USB adapter to work. It’s not officially supported, but through a handful of terminal commends, a lot of Googling and some swearing, it’s possible. This tutorial helped a lot to. Not as simple as it states, but maybe I screwed it up a time or two before getting it right.

Overall, Ubuntu is pretty nice. It’ll be interesting to see where they go with it and I’m just happy to try it out. It won’t be my main OS, but it’s fun to play with. Hopefully some day it’ll be a bit more user friendly for those that aren’t fond of the Terminal.

These are just my personal experiences and thoughts. This is not a professional, in depth, well tested review. Just my first thoughts. If I’m missing some importing things, do share in the comments below.

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