So, I have this thing for playing with new operating systems. I’ve built bunches of Linux boxes over the years, which I never really use for much, especially now that I have two Macs running OS X. I even tried Linux From Scratch once.

With the recent release of version 5.04 of Ubuntu Linux, I decided to play around. I was pleased to see they offer a Live CD (bootable Linux Desktop on a CD, no install needed) for PowerPC (Mac) as well as Intel x86 (PC) machines. I decided to try booting it up on my 15″ Ti Powerbook. It worked… I’m posting this from Firefox under Ubuntu.

Ubuntu Screenshot

I haven’t exactly stretched its limits, but it seems to work very nicely. Firefox is present, as is Evolution for mail (haven’t tried it, but folks seem to like it), Gaim for Instant Messaging, The Gimp for image editing, and OpenOffice for office-style applications. It feels a little slow, but it is running from the CD and ramdisk (memory). Slowdowns seem to coincide with CD access, so I’m guessing a full install would be snappier.

I’m not contemplating switching away from OS X, but it’s nice to see I have a viable option for my existing hardware if I did want to. Also, Sherri’s Windows XP laptop is getting slower and slower, and desparately needs a wipe and fresh XP install. However, I don’t have XP install media, since the laptop only came with a restore disk (lost at the moment), and besides, the default install wasn’t very clean. Instead of spending $129 for XP, I may have her give Ubuntu a try for a few days. I’m sure an actual installation would fly compared to her XP install.

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One Response to “UbuntuBook”

  1. chornbe Says:

    Is that the regular Linux menu up there or is that install trying to mimic OS/X with the persistent menu bar up top?

    I’m still amazed when I see Linux run on almost anything like that. I still think the X11 world and the whole Linux movement has a long way to go before they’re viable on the average user’s desktop, but it sure is cool to see stuff running like that.