Linux is in a constant state of development and improvement by professional and semi-professional developers who donate their time and skills to the various projects. In addition, the majority of the system and available applications are Open source, so if you wish and you had the ability, you could add any feature you needed. Linux also has the ability to expand the life of many systems as it’s reduced overhead and need for system resources means that it will run great on older machines.
As hard as it is to accept, you can easily get support when you do run into difficulties. In addition to the plethora of online forums, both independent and those provided by the distro supplier, there are also more and more 3rd party service providers that offer service contracts for Linux systems. Good to have in a corporate/business environment. There is also support offered by more and more traditional Technology names such as Dell, IBM, Novell, Sun and others. And finally, for support a little closer to home, most major cities have Linux User Groups that can and do offer help and advice. Help and Support IS available and does not usually mean spending hours on hold to speak to someone in a call center on the other side of the planet.
Who is using Ubuntu?
Check out who and why is using Ubuntu Linux. Read the stories below.
Rahul oza, Web Designer
I remember the days of using Dreamweaver and Fireworks to do web development - you were constrained by expensive software and Windows.
Recently, I switched to open-source and started using Ubuntu. After a few hours of digging around I came across Aptana Studio which is the best web development platform I have EVER seen. Combine that with the GIMP and you've got all the tools you'll ever need.
And http://www.seanabhraigh.co.uk happened - all designed, developed and tested using open-source! Ubuntu rocks! And so does everything that comes with it.
shrikant, Woking As A TeamLead On Vb project
I am professional working on windows platform since last 2 yrs but but at home i was using red hat linux or sometimes mandrake since when i got ubuntu i didnt switch to XP or Any other linux as i am getting all necessary things done by this.
Marcus , Science Teacher
I have been teaching Science for a while now. When I was an angry young man I had issues about the amount of money being spent on software from my departmental budget for operating system licences, word processor licences, spread sheet licences and database licences leaving little left for the kind of software I wanted to use in class, let alone things like equipment, text books and exercise books.
As a teacher in the U.K who entered the profession quite late in life I perceived a situation in our schools that I still consider nothing short of ludicrous and something that has become an institutionalised form of insanity. In a nutshell it is this;
Why as a British tax payer, with a budget responsibility for obtaining the best value for money in a British school, teaching British children, was I compelled by my employers to purchase the expensive products of an American company, Microsoft, that would on a whim change its proprietary file structures every couple of years in â€œupgradesâ€ further compelling me to allow the aforementioned American company to metaphorically suck the blood out of my small science department year on year? No one in the school could ever give me a satisfactory answer. Usually phrases like â€œindustry standardâ€ and â€œcompatibilityâ€ and â€œwhole school policyâ€ would be bandied about by my â€œsuperiorsâ€ who all had difficulty with mouse control and considered â€œthe command lineâ€ as some sort of Voodoo! Most if not all of these standard responses are spurious as anyone who has tried to work with MS word attachments in emails will attest to.
As a struggling newly wed and newly qualified teacher, I was compelled to purchase a copy of Miscosoft Office of use at home because of these so called standards. More than once I have been stuffed by Microsoft, and other companies when â€œupgradingâ€ proprietary backup software, only to find that my precious work has not been readable on a new system. This happened every couple of years because I was â€œlocked inâ€ at school and at home.
My job put me in a position to review a lot of software for the purpose of education. Too much of what I have seen had restrictive licences that meant I could not alter any of the software if I needed to. Too much of the software available for windows also had proprietary data formats and there was still the problems of â€œLock inâ€ and companies deliberately making their older software obsolete.
Now I went into Education on the back of some very deep seated notions about nurturing â€œthe future of our raceâ€ and noble intentions of passing on philanthropic values to the next generation and beyond. All this milking money out of school budgets is something that I consider thoroughly distasteful an immoral. Sure I'll pay a reasonable price for good software, but I need the right to change it to my needs, share it with colleagues and friends and I also need open data standards so that the swelling archive of work I do does not get marginalised. Also as a teacher I have ethical objections to further indoctrinating other peoples children into the use of the products of one profit making company, or any company with closed source software for that matter.
Then in 1996 I discovered Redhat Linux 5.0 and the concept of open source. It was an epiphany. Here I had, potentially at least, the tools to do my job better than I have ever been able to do it before. Unfortunately few of my colleagues at the time shared my enthusiasm and the decision makers still muttered the same old stock phrases. I had no choice to remain a Closet Linux Nerd until the rest of the world caught up. I played a bit with Suse 5.2, Slakware and Debian 1.0. Since then I have used a wide range of Linux â€œdistrosâ€ at home. Linux in the 21st century has grown up beyond recognition. In 2007 I came across Ubuntu Linux â€œHardy Heronâ€. Ubuntu Linux has so far been the easiest to install and configure. It sees my windows machine on the home network easily and I can interchange files with the same ease. It connects my ancient Toshiba laptop wirelessly to the internet, and my three year old delights in safely surfing the Cbeebies website playing â€œAunty Mabelâ€.
Everything I need for basic productivity is there in Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex, including Open Office for word processing, spread sheets and databases. It even has support for presentations. I now run a main system with â€œIntrepid Ibexâ€ (8.10) and I am testing out some of the educational software available. The help forums are full of information from people who have had problems and solved them. There is a friendly community of folk from across the globe so if you get problems then there will be someone there to help you.
In my latest job I have responsibility for steering ICT use in my school. This includes all subjects, not just science. I have discovered a wealth of really good software such as Rosegarden, a music mixer and midi manipulator, blender, a 3d design program, GIMP a photo manipulation tool and too many others to mention. All free. All supported. Unfortunately I am faced with the same old nonsense where the key decision makers are still Microsoft junkies and I am prohibited from making the change to a Linux environment.
The British government, rightly or wrongly, has dictated that ICT become a larger part of the school experience. Unfortunately, by failing to consider open source and offer guidelines on it, the UK Govenment has also played a major part in creating a framework to further line the pockets of software houses while causing the state schools to haemorrhage money on mismatched systems, software and the ecologically disastrous practice of upgrading for upgrades sake. Working in education, with computers over the last couple of decades has done nothing to quell the anger from my earlier years. However, seeing the rise of Ubuntu Linux and its ease of use, ease of installation, adoption of free (as in â€œlibreâ€ as well as in â€œbeerâ€) software and open standards I at last see a glimmer of hope that some form of rational thought will enter the minds of head teachers and governors as an increasing number of them begin to use Ubuntu at home.
At home, where I have control of my environment, Ubuntu is taking root, and will eventually serve all my needs.
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