Sunday, June 05, 2005

Adiós Gentoo... Hello Ubuntu!

Well, I my computers are now a gentoo free zone. I had an epiphany of sorts a week or two ago when I did an emerge sync and saw a million updates (amongst which was kde for about the billionth time in only a few weeks) and I found myself letting out a rather large sigh. I suddenly realised I was spending far longer on administrative tasks on my computer than I was actually using them! This could not go on, it was time for action and so I decided to try out a new distro with a binary update mechanism - no more compiling everything from source for me!

I looked at Novel Linux Desktop, and if it hadn't been for the 50USD price tag I would have tried it, but instead I decided to give Ubuntu a go. I thought I would try installing the new distro on my laptop first, as the laptop install is the acid test of any distro, and I didn't want to nuke my desktop (my primary machine) until I was really sure about my choice.

While trying to backup my gentoo install for my laptop I accidentally deleted /etc ...well no going back now! I stuck in the Ubuntu cd and in about 1/2 an hour I had a beautiful new ubuntu/gnome desktop. Within one evening of use I realised I had to make the upgrade to my desktop as soon as possible.

The upgrade to my desktop went pretty smoothly. I was trying to be too smart for my own good to start off with, fearing that because of my complicated software RAID setup the installer wouldn't cope, but after messing round for a couple of hours I finally gave up and in frustration just stuck the install cd in and the ubuntu installer sailed through, auto detecting all my RAID partitions correctly and the install was very straight forward.

I can't recommend Ubuntu enough. Everything just works, installing new software is a snap, and most ironically of all even when packages aren't available installing software from source seems to be less problematic than Gentoo!

Don't get me wrong now. I'm not bashing Gentoo here. I like that distro, and have learnt so much about linux in the last couple of years while using it, but now I am basking in the happy glow that my ubuntu is giving me and I won't be looking back!


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