We recently upgraded our media computer to 1 TB of storage and while we were at it got rid of Windows and went with Ubuntu Linux.
Open Source Makes it Easy
One thing that made the move easy was the fact we used open source programs already. VLC worked exactly as it did in windows and installing it was easy with Ubuntu’s add/remove programs. Open office documents still opened and displayed the same way. Our printer was easily found and added via menus.
Firefox took the cake however, with its easy transfer of settings across operating systems. It was as easy as copying the profile from one drive to another.
Some things were just delightful bonuses. Ubuntu by default comes with a large assortment of games which was missing from our Windows Installation. We are not much into games. But when we have time we like to play Wolfenstein which is also available for Linux.
I was a bit disappointed that some of the open source applications we loved didn’t seem to make the transition. Electric sheep is an open source screen saver with excellent visuals. There was a package available via the synaptic package manager but it seems to be broken downloading sheep. We also quite enjoy Stepmania but couldn’t get it to work out of the box so to speak.
Some things worked better then Windows by far. Setting up a network share was as easy as finding the folder I wanted to share, right clicking it and checking some boxes. The other machines on the network had no problem finding it. Upgrading was easily, automatically and unobtrusively done.
Overall it was a pleasant experience. I’m surprised it wasn’t harder. Back in the day Linux installed only with the help of fancy command line work and helper scripts. Now the full power of Linux is just a double click away.