Testing the GNU/Linux waters
During these last couple of days before I head back to university, I will attempt to install Linux on my laptop to see if it is at all possible for me to learn Linux. This may well be a crude attempt seeing that my laptop will be my only working PC at school where getting papers done in time is more important than fixing an OS that I know little to nothing about! However, I decided to start small and simple, and hopefully, this should be a great learning opportunity.
I’ll be honest. Linux and me do not seem to get along very well. I guess it’s because I’ve been used to Windows for such a long time that I forget that I must begin as a rookie again on a completely different architecture. Lately, I have tried a few distributions after reading some information at DistroWatch.com and PolishLinux.org. I installed openSUSE 10.2, but it was way too slow; I then went on to install Ubuntu 6.10 LTS, but I couldn’t get the wifi features to work. A few months ago I had tried Fedora Core 6, but running updates left more things broken than fixed. I finally decided on Xubuntu, i.e. a Ubuntu base with a Xfce desktop environment instead of the usual GNOME or KDE. Because my laptop, a Toshiba Satellite 1800-S204, is not that powerful with only 512MB RAM, Celeron 1.0GHz CPU and 20GB hard disk space I chose to run a lighter (but yet stable) desktop environment that I hope will prove to be the correct choice. I was really hoping to experience the speed of Gentoo (and its forks such as Kororaa and Sabayon), but that area of Linux is more for the hardcore and experienced Linux user, something which will take me some time to achieve.
Right now Xubuntu is being installed on my system. It should take about an hour or so, then another hour to set it up and a few days to get things just the way I like them. I hope this all works out and that I can finally learn how to use the Linux OS. Unleash the power of open source…!
UPDATE: Linux must hate me! This is the hundredth time I’ve attempted to install a distribution and things either did not install or did not install completely. I thought the GNOME desktop environment would be more stable than KDE, but after running the installation I was missing icons and menus. Anyway, to make a long story short, I went back to good ol’ Windows XP Professional. At least things work for now.