Ubuntu review by a complete idiot !

Posted on July 18, 2006. Filed under: Teen life |

There are millions of Ubuntu reviews swarming the net , so what makes this one different ? Well , it’s written by a complete idiot , who’s worked on Windows most of his life…thats’ ME. My friend had ordered a 5 PC pack of Ubuntu cds from Shipit during May , so no wonder he got it earlier than I did. My request was accepted in June…so I won’t be expecting Ubuntu anytime soon , anyways he gave me a CD and I installed Ubuntu. Before installing , I had done a lot of intensive reading and had built a base on my system for the forthcoming Ubuntu installation. I won’t go into the details of the installation because I’ll be posting that later , right now it’s Ubuntu only.

When Ubuntu boots up for the first time after the installation , it’s a bit slow.(Hell! it’s the first run). But later on the speed catches up. In this post I am going to review stuff that an ordinary user might use. Stuff like Open Office , Rythmbox , Totem and of course Nautilius and browsers.


Ubuntu presents a cute desktop at startup , but the blank screen might fumble the user for a minute. But then there is the ultra easy Gnome taskbar which takes you to Places. Just click on Places and select where you want to go. If you want those shortcuts on your desktop , just drag and drop !


The file manager in Ubuntu is Nautilus. It has a plethora of features , but it still needs improvement. It has two modes , the browser mode and the simple mode. The simple mode is stripped down and is probably the fastest file manager in Linux. Only the Thunar file manager can give it some competition. But the simple mode isn’t advisable for someone who is extremely familiar with windows. My mom didn’t like the default theme, so I tweaked it a bit and added a dash of blue…

I know , it’s cool. When compared to Konquerer , the file manager in KDE , Nautilus has some great features. The sidebar isn’t limited to showing the folder tree only. It can be used to show information about the folder , selected places and emblems.


Nautilius showing my Computer

Nautilius still has some speed issues to resolve.


Rythmbox is the default music player for Ubuntu.It is an amazing player to look at , but it lacks an equalizer. It has library capabilities minus an IDv1 or V2 Tag editor. Of course it is beta at version no. 0.9 . We can expect better in the future…


Rythmbox playing Dani California by Red Hot Chilli Peppers.


Installing stuff in Linux is a nightmare for a Windows user. There is no .msi , no .exe so on and so forth. But Synaptic helps to a certain , by letting us choose the software we want, downloading it and installing it. But , what if I don’t have a fat broadband connection ? How do I install apps from CDs ? How do I install tarballs( archives tar.gz) ?

Synaptic has a system which can scan CDs for packages and installs them , but tarballs are still a problem . And what with all those other packages ( .rpm , .deb )? How do I do those ?

There is a tool called Gdebi , for these packages. But I don’t know how to install tarballs. I’d really appreciate some help…


Synaptic’s Add / Remove.


There is nothing much to write about Open Office , it’s just like MS Office 2002. There are many added advantages too , like the built in Export to pdf tool. Open Office is slick and versatile , but it still needs to resolve some speed issues. After I completed my software updates , Open Office became a bit faster , may be it’ll become faster with future releases. Best of luck… Sorry no screenshots for this one , it’s uneccesarry.


The default browser is Firefox , but it’s heavy on memory and clogs up the system. So my advice would be to download other Gnome browsers like Galeon or Ephiany. There are based on the mozilla core , execute faster and are just as safe, You could also try Opera , even Flock is better than Firefox , when it comes to memory issues.


This is all for now , I’ll post later about partitioning and other stuff. Till then check out these cool Ubuntu wallapers I made…

Ubuntu Red.jpgUbuntu Red

Ubuntu Green.jpgUbuntu Green

<!– @page { size: 21cm 29.7cm; margin: 2cm } P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm } –>

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30 Responses to “Ubuntu review by a complete idiot !”

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Tarballs have an install.sh script in them, run ./install in terminal after extracting, this is usually. Some may differ… And some zips etc can be just extracted and run directly.

The flock tarball is different. Extract and run.

Unless you’re a developer, you shouldn’t be installing from source tarballs. Learning how to do that involves learning how to be a developer. Which you might want to do, of course, and with Linux you can. Otherwise, bug Ubuntu for packages.

Don’t install tarballs. It’s better to stick to packages made for ubuntu. Enable some of the other repos like universe if what you are looking for is not on the list in synaptic.

Again. Don’t install tarballs. It will only make things worse. Wait till you are much better at linux before attempting something like that.

You should not need to anyway.

in ubuntu, to unpackage a tarball :

sudo tar -xvf package.tar.gz

sudo ./configure

sudo make
sudo make install

Should be something like that, usually works for me.

something else happened. After getting Ubuntu updated , all my partitions are still mounted at point / , /home, /windows( my windows root directory) and /home. I can access them and all , but they disappeared from the Computer folder. There is a Drive icon bearing the name ‘Filesystem’ and it contains the links to my other partitions , but how do I get my partitions back into the Computer folder ?

Like others said, try to avoid tarballs if possible and use real Ubuntu packages wherever you can. If you have to use a tarball, then metalsam’s advice is great, although I think you can replace the “make install” step with “checkinstall” (apt-get install it first) which is a nice little script that makes an Ubuntu package and installs it for you. “make install” will just slap a bunch of files on your system but “checkinstall” will keep a record so you can browse you installed packages, uninstall them, etc.

Nice review and cool wallpapers!🙂

I usually try to stick with Epiphany for a web browser because of the memory issues with Firefox.

Also, stick to packages for as long as you can, lol…

that’s a cool review…how did u manage to get those transparent menu bars…beats me.🙂

@saurabh.sauron: it’s easy. Just right click on a blank space on the taskbar , select properties. In the ‘Background’ tab , you can determine the color and opacity of the taskbar.

I’m an Ubuntu loyalist, too — and I bet I’m a bigger idiot than you are, but hey: thanks for speaking on our behalf. We are the silent, clueless majority!

What metalsam said: at some point you will start using tarballs, just because the package is not in the repositories, or you want the latest version, or simply because you want to. Hey, it is Linux, and you do what you want with it.
For example: Installing the sun Java version: you will need the tarball.

Do check the forums, http://www.ubuntuforums.org, for their excellent tips.

zOMG good review, looks good. But FF… difficult choice. I love all these skins and extensions. It’s the only reason why I’m not using Opera or the other ones you mentioned. I couldn’t live without colourful tabs or my FoxClocks or my net usage metre.

Just to add: the Flock looks good too. Opera’s just ugly.😛

Whats your RAM teen? If you have about 256 Fx shoulnt be much of a problem really. If it bloats its always due to extensions. Opera basically takes up 90~ on med-usage w/o widgets too.

I have 256 MB. But a Swap partiton of 2 GB.

whoa kewl hey come check me out sometime at http://dantheman123ya.wordpress.com

I have tried all different way to get tarballs working. I am trying to get turboprint drivers on my ubuntu but have had no luck with install files. Any help would be appreciated.

Glad if you can help, I was preparing to install 6 on my existing FC5 partitions. One was an ext3 15000 MB for / and 1300 for linux-swap. The / was SDA7 and in my FC5 time, swap was 8. But now when I proceed from the partitioner after formatting ext3 to reiserfs it shows SDA 8, 9, 10. And I dont know which one it has made the swap. I tried choosing all 3 in 3 tries, it says “no swap defined” (not full text) and asks me to either make one or continue. Damn the old one never gave me such problems, whats this?

Would it hurt if all your data were toast..? And you started with a fresh install ?

Yes it sure would, I got all my backups and archives man!

I mean the data on your Fedora Partitions.

Oh, thats all gone already, I was just reformatting it to reiserfs. Its the swap thats creating the problem, I dont know why, this is the first time.

Hey , Qwerty let’s do this over e-mail ok.

Lol no probs, I’ll see what I can do. I just tried once and got disappointed :]

you can add the cdrom in synaptic like this:
(in synaptic)
settings > repositories > add cdrom

nice initiative, and my advice as a fellow starter is use teh wikis/documentation and search google !🙂 we have to be patient learning a new operating system –

tarballs should unzip automatically by double clicking on the icon in nautilus (they do for me anyway).

Then open up a terminal and type :

sudo bash

which will keep you in root while the terminal is open.

you do ./configure and then make after, depending on the files you have (check the readme file).

you need to have the right compiler, some distros do not install all the
compilers automatically.

I don’t understand this “only use Ubuntu” garbage that people say – that’s
like saying buy Windows but don’t attempt to install or use anything on
your PC.

UBUNTU will stay in my heart forever😉

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