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Thread: Is Ubuntu for me?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Beans
    6

    Question Is Ubuntu for me?

    Hello forum!

    Over the past month, I have been trying to determine if buying a new ThinkPad to run Ubuntu exclusively, is for me. I've never liked Windows and I don't like what OS X has become. I stopped updating it since Snow Leopard but stopped loving it after Tiger.

    I tested out the latest release of Ubuntu today on what was once a top of the line Vaio laptop (2004). The experience was orders of magnitude worse (slower) than XP. My research suggests that Unity (is that correct?) is too much for that little lappie. Is that a general consensus on running 12 on older machines?

    I am a solid OS X user, save for the more intricate Terminal commands. I do like out-of-box functionality but am willing (and excited) to customize Ubuntu to my liking but I am worried that I will lose some of the ThinkPad functionality with Ubuntu; mostly battery optimization. Is that a valid concern or just a newcomer worry?

    I'm concerned that I will be sitting in front of a new ThinkPad T or X series with Ubuntu and realize I'm not skilled or patient enough to research and correct bugs, addons, or serious problems. Are fixes straightforward or still truly the domain of longtime Linux users?

    I've read that IBM/Lenovo certifies some models for Ubuntu. Does that mean that under Linux, ThinkPad drivers will work 100%? I can feel myself start to ramble so I'll end with this: Is it worth buying a high end machine strictly for Ubuntu for someone like me? or should I stick with the rotting Apple? Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Scotland :)
    Beans
    85
    Distro
    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: Is Ubuntu for me?

    Well, I have an old-ish ThinkPad T61 and Ubuntu 12.04 runs flawlessly with unity 3D. I can't comment on battery optimization because my battery is old and degraded.
    Where are my eyes? ... Oh there they are.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Down Under
    Beans
    1,566
    Distro
    Xubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: Is Ubuntu for me?

    Try a Live CD or USB, it wont make any changes to your pc and you can test if all your hardware works, plus see if you like Ubuntu.

    There are also other Flavours of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu for the desktop.

    Rodney

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Beans
    52

    Re: Is Ubuntu for me?

    As long as you do not need 3d support for games you will be fine , Plymouth has Horrid support for nvidia and Amd and will Ruin your boot screen and shutdown . But if your ok with a web surfing email machine then yes this is for you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Beans
    6,895
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Is Ubuntu for me?

    Hi startac.

    Another option would be to buy an Ubuntu pre-installed laptop. For instance: system76 and Dell.

    There are several more options. Check a complete list here.

    Regards.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Beans
    382

    Re: Is Ubuntu for me?

    If you pick a Lenovo with the Intel integrated graphics rather than a separate GPU (I have an X220) then 12.04 works flawlessly - it even recognises all the keyboard special keys. I'm running it on W7 using WUBI at the moment until I get around to making a backup DVD of the recovery partition, then I can do a proper install.
    Registered Linux User #407403

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Western Hemisphere.
    Beans
    136
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Is Ubuntu for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by startac View Post
    My research suggests that Unity (is that correct?) is too much for that little lappie. Is that a general consensus on running 12 on older machines?
    Unity probably is a little resource intensive for an 8 year old laptop. You can install the latest Ubuntu though, and use the gnome classic session to avoid using Unity. Alternatively, there's a version of Ubuntu, Lubuntu, which is specifically geared towards older hardware.

    There's also Xubuntu, which uses another relatively light weight window manager.

    One of the beautiful things about Linux is that you don't need a super modern machine to make it run well.

    If you want to get a new computer anyway, I endorse Lenovo whole heartedly, though if you get one of the ideapad laptops, research compatibility. Generally it's fine, but sometimes they have problems with Ubuntu. I think the thinkpad line is generally safe.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Western Hemisphere.
    Beans
    136
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Is Ubuntu for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by startac View Post
    I'm concerned that I will be sitting in front of a new ThinkPad T or X series with Ubuntu and realize I'm not skilled or patient enough to research and correct bugs, addons, or serious problems. Are fixes straightforward or still truly the domain of longtime Linux users?
    Just noticed this question. As a long time user of Window and Ubuntu, Ubuntu is at least as user friendly as Windows, at least as easy to fix bugs on, and less prone to bugs. The time when Linux was a realm where only gurus and programmers could move with comfort is ancient history.

    OS X is honestly easier to use, and more stable than either Windows or Ubuntu, but if you're comfortable with computers, the transition won't be hard, and the support available online is dramatically better for Ubuntu than any other OS.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    New Meadows, Idaho
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    200
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Is Ubuntu for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by startac View Post
    I tested out the latest release of Ubuntu today on what was once a top of the line Vaio laptop (2004).
    Ok... I'm in the same boat as you I've also got a older Sony Vaio Laptop as well and I want to make use of it still so I got a copy of http://www.xubuntu.org/ and installed it on my Sony Vaio FX215 and its a bit slow and limited on memory but it still works. Just wanted the laptop for the RV so when I travel I can hit a hotspot and check over my web sites.

    But I will admit with the price of laptops going down at WalMart you should be able to pick up a fairly cheap laptop for about $500 bucks that would be excellent for running Ubuntu...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Independence, MO
    Beans
    132
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Is Ubuntu for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mopar1973Man View Post
    Ok... I'm in the same boat as you I've also got a older Sony Vaio Laptop as well and I want to make use of it still so I got a copy of http://www.xubuntu.org/ and installed it on my Sony Vaio FX215 and its a bit slow and limited on memory but it still works. Just wanted the laptop for the RV so when I travel I can hit a hotspot and check over my web sites.

    But I will admit with the price of laptops going down at WalMart you should be able to pick up a fairly cheap laptop for about $500 bucks that would be excellent for running Ubuntu...
    Problem is, the laptops of today won't last nearly as long as the laptops of 5 years ago. Quality is terrible, and it's a mad rush to dump the best "specs" in them, all while saddling it with a terrible screen and shoddy surroundings. Ultrabooks look promising, but it won't be long before those get half-baked for the sake of cheap, too.
    HP ProBook 4530s - 4GB RAM - 12.04 AMD64

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