Ask Ubuntu – 12.04 release day update

As many of you already know, Ubuntu 12.04 has just been released to the masses. Unsurprisingly, Ask Ubuntu has seen a large swirl of activity just before and after the release of 12.04, bringing in a large influx of users looking into getting their favourite OS into perfect shape. And, most of our awesome contributors are helping the excited users with their various issues and problems.

As part of our site’s plan to make it easy for everyone upgrading to 12.04 from either 10.04 or 11.10. we have documented the various steps that are necessary. And, of course, we have tried our best to ensure that the instructions are “precise” and up-to-date.

In the unfortunate circumstance that you find your upgrade process crawling like a snail, you can also automatically use a mirror that is close to you which will definitely help boost the downloading speed. Andrew Mitchell provides important guidelines on how exactly that is to be done.

Alternatively, if you find your mirror being severely hammered, you can also upgrade to 12.04 using the S3 mirrors.

If in case, your upgrading process is being bogged down by “404 Not found” errors, fear not. We have got it covered as well. All you need to do is just follow the instructions provided and you will be good to go in no time.

If any one of you have any other issues with your upgrading or you would like to help us help the users, you know where to find us. 😉

Why do I use Ubuntu?

Far too many people have queried me why I use Ubuntu at all. And I am pretty tired of explaining to each and every one of them again and again and again. Hence, I decided to collect and organize my thoughts here so that I can refer them to this blog post to quell all of their doubts. While I have briefly covered this topic covered this topic earlier, I think it really does deserve an extended post.

(I also have a little history to share about what made me try out Ubuntu. So, do check it out when you have some time.)

Here’s the awesome Ubuntu logo for those who like that tingling Ubuntu orange colour.

Ubuntu logo

Now, let’s get to listing down the various reasons.

Note: They are compared against Windows, which was what I was using before switching to Ubuntu. These points may or may not be relevant to people using Mac OS X.

It’s free!

No money spent to try and use Ubuntu. Not a penny! When I first wanted to try something different from Windows, Mac OS X was the first thing that came to my mind. Unfortunately, it was far too expensive and I cannot afford it right away. The next option that was suggested to me was Ubuntu. I was told that Ubuntu is not only free but also comes with useful technical support from the community, which also comes free of charge. That was enough of a reason for me to get started.

Customization options are aplenty

I prefer tweaking my system to my wish. While Windows does allow you to customize a bit, it still took way too long to boot and it was full of bloat. Me being a computer inquisitor always wanted to see how changing the settings modified my workflow and Windows didn’t really have too much of choices. And, the level of customization possible in Ubuntu is much more than that what is possible in Windows. Moreover Ubuntu is open source and that means I can also see how different things were put together. To summarize, we got along way too quickly than I would have possibly expected myself to and that was all for a good cause.

It is secure

When I first looked at the Ubuntu website, it was being advertised as virus-free and I think it holds true even now. Whether or not it achieves security by obscurity is a different point though. When Mac users’ claim that their system is safe from malware gets invalidated by the flashback botnet, I can continue to profess that Ubuntu does not require an anti-virus software for it to be used for daily purpose. However, we should be safe than sorry so I do think I should have an AV installed. I will get to that, eventually.

Awesome community

Ubuntu has a really awesome community, of varying technical abilities. I haven’t seen so many people passionate about a piece of software, who are willing to spend their spare time working on making it better. I really liked the collaborative nature of the community and I felt I should do something to make the lives of millions better. The community basically made me to not only use Ubuntu but to contribute to it as well.

Software-center

Software center

The software-center we currently have in Ubuntu allows the users to quickly look for software that he needs to use. While I can conveniently look up on Google for relevant software on Windows, I also made my system open to exploitations and it was pretty easy to get viruses that way. Luckily, Ubuntu has such a smart system to prevent all of that mess and makes it very safe and secure for users trying to install non-default applications. Who wouldn’t want that level of convenience?

Upgrading is easy

Something that caught me by surprise is the fact that you can update to the next version of Ubuntu within Ubuntu. You don’t have to burn a new CD or create a partition. With the least amount of hassles, you can happily zip past from one version to another.

Notifications

Twitter, in your desktop

Being able to get the notifications of the social networks right into your desktop is just plain brilliant. Oh, you can even make your Google Chrome or Firefox notifications to look consistent with the system notifications.

Workspaces

Multiple workspaces

The multiple workspaces that Ubuntu offers is a killer feature. It lets me multi-task without much of a hassle. I can jump from one task to another rather effortlessly with just three keyboard buttons. Windows users never really understood the need for workspaces. They probably never will. Workspaces are necessary if you want to keep track of multiple things at the same time without being distracted by them. That’s my take at the workspaces, anyway.

Consistency among the various windows

Consistency among the various windows

Compared to how every application has its own look in Windows, Ubuntu has a more consistent look between how the various applications look like. While I accept that Ubuntu still has a long way to go before reaching Mac’s level of consistency, it is not tough to see that it is still miles ahead of Windows in this area.

Appreciation of contributions

Who wouldn’t like it when your contributions are appreciated and encouraged? I doubt we have that level of community building and bonding for any other OS. The option to apply for Ubuntu membership was one of the motivators for me to continue to stick with Ubuntu, being aware that you will be recognized for your efforts and contributions.

Of course, I would have missed million other things that puts Ubuntu above Windows. If you have anything specific in mind, do mention them in the comments below.