Reverting Back to Linux

Some time ago, probably two or three years now, I used a Linux based operating system exclusively. I tried many over several years and settled with Suse as I felt comfortable with it and it did what I wanted it to do. Then, for a reason I honestly can’t remember, I returned to Windows (actually it might have been when I bought the laptop).

I’ve used Vista for about 18 months to two years. Many people don’t like it, but I never had any issues with it. As a Windows operating system it suited me just fine. However, over recent months I’ve found myself wanting to shift back to Linux. The only thing holding me back was my extensive family tree. The program I use is not available in Linux and as I know the workings of that program inside out, I’ve been reluctant to move away from it.

Yet the urge to revert back to Linux was too great and on Friday evening I set about installing Kubuntu 10.04 inside Windows to see if the makers of the OS have worked out all the bugs (it was quite unstable when I tried it once before). Installing it inside Windows was easy to do. And what I really liked about it was that if I didn’t like it, I could easily uninstall it like I would any other piece of software which took away the fear that I’d corrupt my entire computer and be left with a huge mess to try and fix. It installed quickly and I liked the crisp look, but sound was a non-event. A quick Google search took me to the answers I needed, but implementing the suggestions wasn’t as quick…or easy…and didn’t necessarily work. I’m the type of person who loves the quiet but not when I don’t have a choice. The fact that the sound wasn’t working irritated me no end.

G, on the other hand, also decided to revert back to Linux and he installed Ubuntu inside Windows. G loves the Gnome experience whereas I have always been partial to KDE. Hence the reason we chose different versions (Ubuntu is built on Gnome, Kubuntu is built on KDE).

Whilst I was getting frustrated with the no sound issue, G was showing off and playing his music loud to ensure I knew his computer was running smoothly. Don’t you hate show offs? I do! I wouldn’t admit he made the wiser choice so I persevered and tried to make things right. Then, on Saturday, my computer seized up. Total melt down. I was so cranky, frustrated and upset. This was something I didn’t expect to happen and here I was with a complete mess on my hands. G felt sorry for me and tried to assist but it was no use. After many hours and much torment, we got the computer – and the sound – working, but I’d lost confidence in it.

Late on Saturday afternoon, G suggested I get rid of Kubuntu and install Ubuntu. I’m so stubborn. I still didn’t want to admit my mistake, so I reluctantly went through the motions. Grumbling as I installed Ubuntu. Mumbling as I installed Chromium (Firefox’s latest browser). Icily installing the sound pack. And I fiddled around on it for the rest of the evening without a single issue. My music worked, I could watch my videos, I could go to YouTube and watch the videos there and when logged in to Facebook I had sound. None of these things worked on Kubuntu.

This morning I booted up the computer and explored a bit further and, finally, I admitted to myself – and more importantly, to G – that Ubuntu is the better operating system. Of course, his chest expanded and he gave me that all knowing smile, but on this occasion I had to let him have his moment…as he was right. The two platforms are created by the same people, yet Ubuntu is their first born which makes it more stable. Kubuntu has some catching up to do, in my opinion.

I will use Ubuntu inside Windows for a few weeks and see how it goes. From what I’ve seen and experienced so far, I expect it to go very well. Then I will partition the hard drive and install Ubuntu properly (which will make it a touch faster). I will have a dual boot system so that I can return to Windows and carry on with my family tree when I wish to. However, I will download Gramps for Linux and see what I think of it. You never know, I might convert totally to Linux and then Windows can take a running jump! 🙂

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