James Selvakumar’s Blog

December 9, 2008

Ubuntu@Work, finally…!

Filed under: ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 4:18 pm
Tags: ,

I cannot forget this day in my life. I’ve been granted permission by my company to use Ubuntu Linux for my work from today. It was like a dream come true for me. I’ve been using Windows for any serious kind of development work till yesterday. Today I felt extremely happy when I booted into linux at my work place for the first time ever to do development. Hurrah! Ubuntu@Work, finally…!

But it was not a bed of rose for me. I first came across the linux world almost 2 years back, when one of my colleagues passed me a Ubuntu 6.x Live CD. I never bothered about it (to be frank, I was scared to use it πŸ™‚ ) for quite some time. Then I luckily noticed a information in the Live CD that I can try it without ever installing it on my machine. That sounded great to me. I quickly booted into the Live CD and entered into the wonderful world called linux for the first time ever. It was really a pleasant experience.

Not until the fall of 2007, I had the guts to install Ubuntu in any form. Things started to change when I bought a new Dell notebook. It had plenty of hard disk in it and it was quite new which prompted me to try linux in some kind of installed form. So I quickly searched through the web about setting up a dual boot machine along with the Windows XP that was pre-installed in my new notebook. Though I had initial success  in installing Ubuntu, that did not last long. Some issues like improper screen resolution drove me away from Ubuntu for a while.

I played more with “MS Virtual PC” later. It might be my personal view, but I didn’t have a fruitful relationship with Virtual PC, blame it on the bad reputation of Microsoft (atleast with me). I was convinced (in my personal view) that Virtual PC might not be the best thing in the world to try linux. So I started looking for alternatives and came across a wonderful tool called VirtualBox.

That’s really an amazing piece of software and my love grew further when Sun Microsystems acquired VirtualBox. With VirtualBox in my toolbox, I started exploring the linux world. VirtualBox helped me to try Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuse, PCLinuxOS and OpenSolaris from within my Windows XP. It was so convenient that I started installing/uninstalling full fledged linux distros as though they are some firefox add-ons πŸ™‚ . Some articles I wrote about VirtualBox went ahead to become the most read articles in my blog.

That was really a fantastic time and I was imbibed in VirtualBox and forgot about a full linux installation completely. Things started to change when I got married and my new notebook was taken over by my sweet heart 😦 . After using a system with lots of harddisk and ram space, I was left with my old office notebook with not so great specs. With a system which had 1 GB ram and 60 GB harddisk, VirtualBox was not even an option for me now. That prompted me to write some really boring stuff.

But having tasted the mouth watering linux food for a reasonable amount of time, Windows looked like a rotten banana for me. Imagine yourself driving a bullock cart after driving a nice sedan. I was exactly feeling like that. I was itching my hands to find new ways to try linux even in my old notebook. That was the time when I encountered a wonderful little gem called Wubi.

Wubi was great in the sense that it allowed me to install Ubuntu inside my existing “ntfs” partition. To be precise, Wubi installed Ubuntu in my “C” drive where Windows XP has been the sole monarch for a long long time. I was excited and started using Ubuntu regularly at home.

Of late, when I felt comfortable enough with Ubuntu, I thought of going for a “full installation” of Ubuntu and did that just a couple of days ago.

At the other end, my frustration with Windows was growing bigger and bigger. Though Windows XP is a decent operating system (especially when compared to a monster called Vista) it started showing it’s age. Patches were not going to help it. The “Service Pack 3” for Windows XP made my system to hang and forced me to go back to “Service Pack 2”. But still you need to defragment often and format once in a while to help this old operating system which was released many years back (is it 2001?) keep going. Compare this to the *nix world! You get new releases of Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSolaris, etc for almost every 6 months.In my notebook which ran Windows XP Service Pack 2, Firefox startup took nearly 2 minutes, NetBeans startup took almost the same time and these are the apps I use most frequently.

I had two options infront of me. The first option was to format my entire system and re-install Windows XP to get a marginally better performance. The second option was to install a linux distro like Ubuntu and start using it for work. I have tried the first option for ages and this time obviously, I chose the second option and went for it. But I still have Windows XP quietly sitting with frustration in a corner, only to watch me using Ubuntu Linux more and more. I now see a shivering Windows XP (still occupying a precious amount of space) counting it’s day in my system.


  1. You hit it, Dead On. Nice article!!!

    GNU/Linux is humans enabled, and moving forward, with technology.

    Freedom is the GNU/Linux Universal Operating System!!!

    Checkout my new Dellbuntu GNU/Linux Inspiron 530n with 3d graphics at:

    Linux GNUniversal Operating System – the new standard platform for computer gaming:

    Bust through the barriers and use GNU/Linux at work:

    Comment by Shannon VanWagner — December 9, 2008 @ 6:17 pm | Reply

  2. great!!!

    I use Ubuntu from 6 months and it’s fantastic with eclipse, netbeans, firefox, filezilla and all apps!!
    WinXp under Ubuntu , virtualized with virtualbox, it’s faster than normal installation (I need to use it for internet explorer… I know that exist ies4linux but it sucks)

    Why not intrepid?

    Comment by markux — December 9, 2008 @ 9:56 pm | Reply

  3. I, too, know this joy. I have enjoyed everyday since and haven’t looked back once.

    Comment by mwalsh — December 9, 2008 @ 11:19 pm | Reply

  4. Hi Mark,
    I’m using Intrepid only. And I didn’t know that filezilla will work on linux. Many thanks!

    Comment by James — December 10, 2008 @ 1:16 am | Reply

  5. While filezilla does work on Linux, you can use Gnome/KDE to access sftp/ftp servers using their respective file managers πŸ™‚

    Comment by Michael Lok — December 10, 2008 @ 8:03 am | Reply

  6. I have Ubuntu Intrepid on my work laptop, a Dell Latitude D510 with 512MB of RAM

    I just booted with XP only for a week in August, then my manager allowed me to use Linux.
    With Evolution I can connect to our Exchange server, OpenOffice3 is a great Office replacement and with wine I can run Internet Explorer to fill the company reporting tool (use ActiveX)


    Comment by Giovanni Mellini — December 10, 2008 @ 11:49 am | Reply

  7. I installed wubi 2 months ago just in the interest of trying something new and overcome the everyday manotiny of windows. I downloaded all of the bells and whistles in software downloader application in ubuntu and tried them all out. I have to say from a business performance stand point, I can’t find one reason to use linux in a business setting. Yes I understand the passions of open source and the resentment of giants like microsoft that leave the perception of controlling the IT industry, but the bottom line is production. Companies are in business for one reason, to make a profit which is contingent on our production. Let’s take the owner of Canonical Mark Shuttleworth. He is a very wealthy man and has great ideas and aspirations on how software and the industry in general should be run. His company which owns ubuntu hasn’t made a profit since its inception in 2005 which is commonplace for all start-ups to take some time for ROI to work itself out, but the numbers there aren’t moving in that direction and probably never will. So in closing, I’ve always had an affinity towards linux going all the way back to 2001. It’s unfortunate that linux or any other open source platform will never penetrate the business world without a business model in place which focuses on revenue, ebit and profit.

    Comment by ryan — December 10, 2008 @ 3:56 pm | Reply

  8. ubuntu each one of the best
    Tutos Linux

    Comment by tutos Linux — December 20, 2008 @ 6:43 pm | Reply

  9. […] Ubuntu 8.10 at my workplace as well. Till then, I have been using Ubuntu only at home. For me, Ubuntu@Work was very different from Ubuntu@Home. I mostly surf, blog, listen to music and play some games at […]

    Pingback by Ubuntu 8.10 – A Productive Java Development Environment | SolitaryGeek — July 28, 2009 @ 4:26 pm | Reply

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