Diary of my switch to kubuntu…

Here some facts about my switch to kubuntu… I’m not a beginner with linux, I have already have a try on this in 2001. It was very interesting but it takes me times. Days are so short so I gave up.

0. Leaving windows…

Windows XP is not so bad, but my laptop began to be so slow after 3 years. So I decide to reinstall it.

The decision to switch to Kubuntu is in fact a switch in my mind to face my laziness to fight against my bad old habits. So, after facing this fact, I decided to switch my laptop from Windows XP to Kubuntu… this small article will describe my way to my escape of windows.

1. The installation… everything went right.

It is very amazing the progress that the setup of linux has done… it was very easy to install the kubuntu on my 3 years old Dell Inspirion laptop. I was very exciting to have one big try of kubuntu… I was happy to give some fresh air to my old hardware with a true operating system.

2. The DVD support.

First surprise : let’s go to finish the tuning of my machine with a little DVD playing in the background… just launch the multi-media player… and damne, facing the first surprise. It didn’t run… I search the Internet to find some magic commands to make it run. It wasn’t a serious issue, but first disapointment.

Here the links : were I found the “hack” to make my DVD running


2. I was very exciting to make run Eclipse on Kubuntu… In fact after installing all the java stuff, Eclipse didn’t want to start, it put an ugly java error. Very disapointing.

3. The network, it ran like a charm, just plug the wire in the network interface… but what about the wireless… I began to install NDISWrapper, tried to put my windows driver to make it run without success. It didn’t matter, I would do it later.

4. Surfing under linux. I tried to surf with firefox. Firefox is not rendering like under windows. The fonts aren’t very precise on the screen. The nightmare continues everytime I face a pluggin installation… command line and so one… very stressful.

4. After one week on Kubuntu here my conclusion :

The interface (KDE 3.5) is cool. The display is cool.

The boot is very fast.

The rest is very difficult for a profane. You should have some knowledges to manage your system and you should have time to understand the underlaying concepts of this new OS. For me it wasn’t possible to deal with that… no time for administring my laptop for hours. It took me one sunday to try to have a one for one equivalent under linux, without success. I understand that Linux isn’t ready for the retail market… too complex. The good news is that kubuntu is much better than the suse linux I tried some years ago… but it isn’t mature for day to day work.

After one week-end of installation and one week under linux, I resigned. I took my windows XP setup and bring back my laptop to its old configuration. First surprise it took me only 30 minutes to finish the installation with the installation of my favorite applications and pluggins in firefox. Windows XP is not so bad… I’m still a linux believer, but not now… it should improve a lot before it will be possible to make it run in the hand of Mr Smith.

Tell me more about your tries with Linux…

Greetings !


About pierrekoerber
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12 Responses to Diary of my switch to kubuntu…

  1. iPC says:

    Why don’t you run Kubuntu of a CD?

  2. Thank for your reply,

    I have done it before switching, but running Kubuntu from a CD is so slow… I wanted to have a smart and quick os… but I’m not saying that Kubuntu is bad, I really looking for the release of KDE4.0…

    See you…

  3. Hi Pierre,

    For point 2. you can’t run DVD because I think you have tested with an encrypted DVD. For some politic reasons, that will not be enabled by default. It needs the libdvdcss available from Synaptic (or with KDE packages manager) from the Universe Repository.

    For second point 2. With Java you can choose between Sun library and GNU libraries.. sun-java6-jre is what you must use with Eclipse.. I think.. (I’ve not tested, no interrest for Eclipse)

    For point 3.. ndiswrapper is a really great project.. but a lot of native drivers exist now in the kernel.. But first, a problem with wireless is the firmwares.. you must download and load the right firmware for that the driver can be used.. Same with ndiswrapper.. Firmwares are close-source and not available by default.. Not all wireless card need that, but it’s the case for a lot.. I’m sure, your card works..

    For point 4.. The text render is not managed by Firefox.. but by KDE.. With a LCD you can configure in the panel, how manage the pixel for the aliasing.. Second thing is the fonts.. a lot of people use Verdana for example.. and this font is not open.. Then a package “msttcorefonts” available with Synaptic can be install some Windows font and in this case all websites will work like a charm..

    I think that will be more interesting for you Ubuntu instead of Kubuntu.. Why? Just because Ubuntu is more intuitive and light.. And some configuration of GNOME are more efficient for a begginer.. Management, wifi, etc, are simplified.. Just essential things in the dialogs instead of KDE.

    I thing that you are false with “it should improve a lot before it will be possible to make it run in the hand of Mr Smith.”. The problem of Mr SMith is only that know only Window$. A real begginer can use Ubuntu (GNOME) quickly.. Because the real beginner doesn’t use Window$ as a reference.

    I’ve some links to propose:
    For problem with any distribution you can going on http://www.swisslinux.org we are very active

    For Ubuntu, there is the really great website : http://www.ubuntu-fr.org
    The work on this site is impressive.. a lot of documentation for all domains, great forums,…

    Just a personnal note:

    I am completely switched to Linux a long time ago.. I have always a Windows installed on my Computer for some video games.. but even if I can use Linux for playing game through Wine, then I play under Linux. Currently I play to the old Diablo2 and TombRaider Anniversary under wine.. it’s works like a charm.
    The rest of the time I work under Linux.. A lot of programmation multi-platform, design, video, audio, imaging, photo, vectorial imaging,.. Some free projects, etc,… All things can be done under Linux and even more.. Just an example.. I’m maintener of an multi-platform application and I must cross-compile for Win32, Linux and Darwin.. and all only with this OS.. Some Windows programmer can’t understand how is possible for compile a Windows soft with Linux.. But I think, it’s just because Windows is as a fog.. With Window$ the eyes are just limited by Microsoft.. the computers are just badly exploited. A lot of the hardware is very limited by high level of library.. etc…
    Really it’s just simple.. no need for a visual studio to 3000$..

    A other example, Diablo2 framerate is ~20% more efficient with Wine that with Windows.. And this software is native Windows.. Just impressive as the work of Wine dev is great.

    I am disappointed that you are put back Windows. This way is a wrong way..

  4. I’ve installed and tested Eclipse just ATM.. no problem with my Ubuntu Gutsy. I use sun java packages.

  5. Hi Matts,

    Well, I should give it one more try…

  6. Well, thank you for your interest on my post…

    When reading your post, I remember my young age when I had a lot of time… at this time I’ve got less time and I should focus to my main goals. But you are right, I should wash my brain of my windows habits and take everything from the begining.

    It would be a great pleasure to investigate on Ubuntu but my focus is to have a system up and running for my daily use.

    But listen, I don’t give up, I will try back as soon as possible. Rome wasn’t build in a day.

    See you in real !

    PS I should take more time with Ubuntu than blogging on wordpress…

  7. A suggestion.. Perhaps that will be more productive to going from Windows world the the GNU/Linux world if you keep Windows in a dualboot. Just for a progressive approach..

    And in Romandie, sometimes there is an install party.. For example the GNU Generation:
    The GIs (Gentils Installeurs), help everbody interrested by Linux, to install the system on a laptop or on a dekstop computer. The last party was the 1 mars. That can be very interresting for you if the time is the problem.

  8. Zoro says:

    Ubuntu is very easy to use if you use only applications installed with the system. I even know people who find Ubuntu more easier to use than Windows (with Gnome Environment)!

    So don’t give up!

  9. Paul says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I have a couple of computers running Windows 2000 and I’m in the process of moving them to Linux. I agree that kubuntu looks great. I have a Thinkpad with WinXP Pro, but it’ll be a few years before I replace the OS. I imagine that WinXP will probably go down in history of one of the best OS’s ever, but I believe Linux installations will nevertheless eclipse Microsoft in the not too far distant future. I can even see Mac OS going the way of Amiga. That aside, my strategy is to install WinXP in a virtual machine if I ever need the MS functionality. Surely you can’t be afraid of the command line, when I can imagine you have no fear opening up regedit. Either way, both OS’s are great, but since you didn’t mention Vista, I know that, like me, you’ll eventually end up with a linux box.

    P.S. Luckily I have a TV and a DVD player so I don’t have to watch them on my Laptop.

  10. biq says:

    Just try one year later 🙂

  11. Coyote Gunnyon says:

    I love windows, but I like to try new things. I hooked up virtual box (by the way, kicks MS’s Virtual Pc ass). I installed Kubuntu on my virtual pc and its great. I think if your just a regular pc user stick to windows. But if you are going to be setting up webservers and networks, learn these tools. They will kick everyone elses ass.

  12. Pingback: Diary of my switch to ubuntu 8.10… « myLife2.0

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