Saturday, April 3, 2010

Back to Ubuntu - Thoughts on an OS

For my new job I had the choice of using Windows XP or Ubuntu 9.10 for my primary development environment.  It seemed that the developers were roughly 50/50, but the developers I was going to be working with primarily were using Ubuntu.  There is also the added benefit of being disconnected from the IT group when using Ubuntu, you install your own Software. Ubuntu it is.

I've used Ubuntu in the past, and liked it. It wasn't mainstream at all, It was a tinkerers OS, not something a non techie would normally use. After a couple of weeks with this new version I have a few thoughts.

Ubuntu has come along way.  The Installation experience, the interface, everything has been greatly improved.

I was really impressed with getting everything installed and running.  I didn't have to worry about compiling any special drivers or choosing a special distribution for the computer I'm using. This was almost like installing Windows.

It's a great solution for Software development.

The added control you have over the system and how things work is great. Nothing new about this.  Its great to have the ability to script and use the powerful tools a Unix operation system provides.

This ain't no OS X

Unix still get's in the way.  In OS X ( a unix based OS) you don't have to open the terminal or understand what a kernal is.  There are still complications when you want to install something non-standard. Download this script and this tar file. Modify this file in etc. Change the permissions on this file.  These are things that most people won't be able to figure out, or that they will mess up.

Don't et me wrong I think a locked down customized install of Ubuntu that can only browse the web and check email might be good for some average people, but I don't think I would suggest that anyone in my family should use this yet.  If your a tech savvy developer tho, go for it!