Adam Fields (weblog)

This blog is largely deprecated, but is being preserved here for historical interest. Check out my index page at for more up to date info. My main trade is technology strategy, process/project management, and performance optimization consulting, with a focus on enterprise and open source CMS and related technologies. More information. I write periodic long pieces here, shorter stuff goes on twitter or


Ubuntu desktop linux

Filed under: — adam @ 4:34 pm

I’ve recently installed a machine with ubuntu linux, and I must say, I’m pretty impressed with the desktop setup they’ve come up with.

The installer is a BREEZE. You basically supply just an initial username and password, and your timezone, and everything else is done for you. (There may have been one or two other pieces of information, but it went by so quickly, I didn’t really notice.) You have the option of partitioning your disks manually, which I did, but you don’t have to. Even that is really simple – their interface is nicer than any of the others I’ve used. But that’s it. Everything else is automatic. It bootstraps you with a sane set of packages (gnome, firefox, evolution, gaim, openoffice, gimp, and some other desktop apps), and the package manager is graphical and VERY straighforward if you don’t like their selection.

It’s based on debian, with a 6-month release cycle plus security updates. It’s preconfigured for auto updates, and the root account is disabled by default. It automatically maxed out the resolution on my video card.

This is literally the most effortless linux install I’ve ever done, and for a machine that’s used for basic writing, email, web browsing, and IM, where you don’t want to put too much thought into maintaining the OS, it seems perfect.

They also have a “live CD” version which you can use to boot a machine that has another OS, so you can try it out, and even some Windows versions of open source programs bundled with the distribution. I haven’t tried this out yet.

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