Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Installing Ubuntu was easy!

I just got myself a new computer and started running Ubuntu on it, I'm astonished at how easy the whole process of installation was. Over the years I've installed Windows countless times, always a painful process, though I haven't installed Vista so maybe they finally figured it out.

So, I built the computer, burnt an Ubuntu live CD, put it in and the first suprise was that I hadn't stuffed anything up putting the machine together. The live CD is really functional, and I was able to start up Pidgin, browse the web and most usefully, remote desktop into my old PC.

I only have one keyboard/mouse and monitor and two machines, both of which I want to continue to use for a while as I'm expecting that transitioning from my old system to the new one will take some time as the machine is used for development, as a full media center as well as web browsing etc. and I don't know how long it will take to learn how to do all that under Linux. Being able to remote desktop back to the old machine solves the problem nicely.

After playing with Ubuntu a bit and chatting with friends for a while I clicked "Install". A bit of deliberation was required to determine the partition layout I want, as in the future I expect I will install XP and dual boot. Finding an article on installing XP after Linux set my mind at ease so I figured I'd be able to repartition as necessary later. So I chose all the default install options and that plugged away in the background for a little while.

The truly impressive bit was that while this was happening, I was able to continue chatting with friends to get advice on installation options, search the web for answers and so on. It only required a quick restart and I was all done, and I didn't really stop "working" the whole time.

I did hit two small snags:

  • During the restart I realized I'd "boxed" in the CD drive so had to hastily hit the power switch, pull of the front bezel and open a slot so it could eject... my bad :)
  • Installing Opera didn't go very smoothly, I tried using Add/Remove programs but it failed mysteriously with the following error:
    Downloading the .deb file from the Opera website failed the first time too, but when I ran it again it worked, so there may be something broken with the way the dependencies went on and once they'd be put on by previous attempts it succeeded.

I guess I probably won't have to reinstall Ubuntu as often as I did Windows, but at least I won't dread the process.