The Ubuntu ShipIt Program. If you’re not familiar with it, you’ve probably never typed in “free Ubuntu CD” on Google or any other search engine. ShipIt is the Ubuntu service that gives away free Ubuntu installation CDs in an effort to make sure people have few restrictions obtaining Ubuntu. ShipIt has been a huge success shipping millions of free Ubuntu CDs over the past few years. The CDs are not free for Canonical, the company backing Ubuntu and the ShipIt program. This has caused Ubuntu to deploy some interesting techniques designed to cut the cost or need or the Free Ubuntu installation CDs.
Limiting Free Ubuntu CDs for people who:
-Can upgrade to the new release without a CD
-Can download their own CD for free
Ubuntu users can also:
-Download the CD wallet artwork
-Become an Ubuntu member by contributing to Ubuntu, making them eligible for more CDs
More on this at Jono Bacon’s blog
Requesting a free CD from the Ubuntu ShipIt program will take at least 4-6 weeks. For a more dependable solution order Ubuntu on CD or USB US Priority Mail now. Ubuntu training is available in video and course form.
I’ve posted a short video walk-through of the new Ubuntu 9.10 Software Center. The Software Center will replace Add/Remove applications in the final release of Ubuntu 9.10.
Inside the Ubuntu Software Center users will see Get Free Software and Installed Software options. If Get Free Software is selected users can choose from packages broken down into categories or departments for ease of use. A filter field is also available in the top right corner. After packages are selected details about the package and expandable screenshots for each package is shown. This is in my opinion on of the biggest advantages of the Software Center over Add/Remove applications setup. If Installed Software is selected from the column on the left users will see an alphabetical list of software packages installed. Selecting a package wil result in details, screenshot and a button to remove the package.
After packages have been either added or removed the In Progress selection appears along with Get Free Software and Installed Software options on the left. With In Progress selected on the left users can see the current status of packages whether they are downloading, being installed or removed. I was skeptical of the Software Center at first but it does have some bright spots that, I think, make it worth the change. What do you think? Ubuntu Software Center or Add/Remove Applications.
The first question I hear Linux newbies ask is what is the best distribution to use? I think right now plenty of linux desktop options exist for newbies however a few things set Ubuntu ahead of the pack in my opinion.
Although exact figures are nearly impossible to gather, Ubuntu has been estimated to have over 10 million users and is by far the most popular Linux distribution. This makes getting help easier because places like the UbuntuForums and IRC-client are full of people that can answer any question a newbie throws at them. In addition to free support an increasing number of Ubuntu book, training CD, and training course options can be seen everywhere.
Ubuntu has a great team of people on board that have sacrificed a lot to get it to where it is now. Ubuntu has been built in an organized manner with a planned release every six months. Scheduled releases bring routine enhancements and new features to the operating system. In most cases I’ve found Ubuntu versions can be upgraded from within without any re-installation.
What other distribution do you know that has been developed in multiple flavors the way Ubuntu has? Having Kubuntu, as good as it is, around is excellent as many people use Kubuntu that would never use Ubuntu. Having Xubuntu and Ubuntu Studio release at the same time and all carry their own distinct assets just increases the user base of Ubuntu that much more.
I’ve listed only a few of the advantages to using Ubuntu. What are your personal reasons for using Ubuntu over the next guy?
Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala now includes an installer slideshow. I’ve always liked the idea of rotating slides of information about the OS while it’s installing to give the users something to do. No matter what you put on the slides this is going to be more entertaining for users than staring at the progress bar. While installing Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 5 you may have noticed a similar feature has been added to Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala. After entering information into the installer and clicking the Install button, users will see a slideshow of highlights, tips, and featured applications one after another. The one thing that sets that Ubuntu installer slideshow apart from others I’ve seen is it only plays through once. I found this to be a nice touch and I also anticipate many more slides by the final release.
Here’s a look at some of the slides I captured while installing Ubuntu 9.10.
What do you think? Is The Ubuntu installer slideshow useful for new users so they know what to expect or just a waste of time and space?
The Ubuntu-based netbook distro Easy Peasy was formely known as Ubuntu Eee. Easy Peasy uses the Ubuntu Netbook Remix graphical user interface and provides a mix of popular open-source and proprietary software. If you’re trying to stay away from proprietary software completely (not a bad idea) this ones not for you. I found it interesting that so many have commented on Easy Peasy working out of the box. Along with my questions about compatibility I was curious about the features, new appearance and day-to-day usefulness of Easy Peasy 1.5. Could the Ubuntu-based Easy Peasy be anything more than a toy?
Easy Peasy is easy to install onto a USB pen drive and now with Easy Peasy 1.5 you can install it to USB even easier. Easy Peasy 1.5 comes with a hybrid image offering .img and .iso at the same time making the process of moving your image to the USB stick with UNetBootin pretty easy. Of course you can also install Easy Peasy to the hard drive which is what I did hoping it would be my permanent OS.
After installing Easy Peasy i was pleasantly surprised by the login screen. It included shades of green and dark grey, a good mixture. I found it appealing, clear and easy to follow.
The desktop was equally stunning but I was less surprised as I had seen this running the live version. The desktop consists of a top bar, two outside columns that server as menus and a wider center column that displays results based on what is selected. The desktop is more of a graphical interface with a unique style that few other distros can be compared to as you can see in the screenshot below.
The menu includes common categories as seen on Ubuntu but includes a few applications you won’t find on Ubuntu. Applications that I found useful were Skype, Banshee, OpenOffice 3.1, Picasa, Evolution, Firefox, and Pidgin.
After adjusting my microphone settings I tested Skype and it worked first try. The interface is a little different if you’re a Windows user switching over but all the options appear to be there and it took me very little time to find everything.
I also tested Flash content at Youtube, MP3s with Banshee, and photos with Picasa, all of which came turned out excellent. I didn’t see applications that I use on Ubuntu like GIMP and a few others however these can be added immediately by going to Administration — Synaptic Package Manager.
I had a very good experience using Easy Peasy and I plan on making it into something I use everyday. I hope you enjoy the screenshots and be sure to look at our Linux PDFs and manuals.
- Bug fixes
- Software update
- UXA by default
- New green visual appearance
- Linux kernel (2.6.30) optimized for netbooks with faster startup
- More supported netbooks
- Hybrid image file .iso/.img
- Smaller harddrive footprint
- ext4 filesystem as default