Monday, October 26, 2009

F.A.Q. -- Ubuntu

What is Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is an Operating System. Like Windows or Mac OS. It's a program that allows you to use your computer. Without an Operating System a computer isn't good for very much. It's the OS that allows you to access the drives on your machine, to store, manipulate and delete files and to run all the other software you use each day.

How is Ubuntu different from Windows or Mac?

Ubuntu is based on Linux (see the advanced F.A.Q.), an open-source, community-developed OS that has a number of major advantages over it's proprietary counterparts; most notably, Ubuntu is more powerful, more secure, takes up less space on your hard drive and it's free.

Is Ubuntu Really that much better then Windows?

We confess, there are a few things that Windows does do better than Ubuntu, but only a very few. Those things are detailed in our Fair & Balanced section. For the largest part, though, Ubuntu is more than twice as fast and takes up a third as much space as Windows. It is virtually unhackable, almost entirely immune to viruses and it doesn't store or distribute your personal information. Did I mention that it's free?

Isn't Linux is Really Hard to Use?

In the past, yes, but not anymore. Ubuntu was designed to be easy to learn and easy to use, especially for people accustomed to Windows and Mac. It has the same click-n-drag interface and icons you're used to. While it does differ from Windows in some ways, you'll pick it up quickly and easily.

Where Do I get Ubuntu?

Look to your right and click on "Get Ubuntu NOW!" It will take you the official download page at Simply follow the instructions.

There's More Thank One Kind of Windows. Is There More Than One Kind of Ubuntu?

Yes, there's more than one version of Ubuntu. On this blog, unless we say otherwise, we're talking about what's called the "long term stable release" version designed for PC's. Currently, that is version 8.04 LTS and it's named "Hardy Heron." There are other versions that we will write about now and again like Ubuntu-Server, Edubuntu and Xubuntu but we'll specify.

You Talk About Windows a Lot; What About Mac?

Ubuntu is available for the Macintosh. We talk about Windows because it's the dominant player in that market. Also, Mac OS-10 is, like Ubuntu, a Linux derivative so the contrasts between Mac and Ubuntu aren't quite as stark. Despite this, we do advocate Ubuntu for Mac users.

What's the Catch?

We get this question more than any other. Most people assume that, because it's free, Ubuntu must be some sort of scam or that it can't be very good or that they'll be made to pay for it later. That's not the case at all. Ubuntu is an excellent product and it is entirely free. Moreover it will always be free. There is no catch, ever.

You are thusly enlightened.

Meet the Faithful -- Thomas

Thomas is a film and television production administrator originally from Shrewsbury, England. He grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Atlanta, Georgia. He studied film at Georgia State University and spent too many years tending bar before landing in his current career.

Thomas came to Ubuntu at Kitten's suggestion when his windows box kept crashing. He's since become a full-time Linux enthusiast. Lacking the skillset to develop software, he created Ubuntu Evangelist as a way to contribute to and expand the Ubuntu community.

When not working or exploring the wonders of free software he jumps out of airplanes.