21 replies
Can someone tell me what Ubuntu is? Im thinking of purchasing a used computer that has been wiped clean and I need an operating system. I saw a post that talked about Ubuntu is an OS but I never heard of it or how it works. Please explain if you know what it is.
  • Profile picture of the author TomVa
    Google is your best friend brother, but its a UNIX type system depends on your taste, for me I like FreeBSD others may love the one you're talking about. Look around Google.

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  • Profile picture of the author Geek3000
    I haven't heard of free BSD but I will look into it.
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  • Ubuntu is a free operating system that is based on Linux.

    Linux is an operating system "kernel," meaning, the basic foundation of an operating system that allocates system resources and other essential functions like that.

    It is NOT, however, a complete standalone operating system in itself.

    Android (the Google smartphone OS), Debian, Mint, Fedora and Ubuntu are all "distributions" of Linux, meaning operating systems that run on top of the Linux Kernel. They all share basic functionality in common but there are key differences between them. Most desktop Linux distros use some combination of Linux, GNU-license apps, and stuff they developed in-house. They're all slightly different and yet there are many similarities between them. Almost all free Linux distros run the LibreOffice word processor, The GIMP image editor, etc.

    Ubuntu is by far the most popular Linux distro. It's generally considered fairly fast and easy to use by Linux standards.

    However, generally speaking, Linux completely sucks if you are not a hardcore technie. Here's a quick test: do you know what it means to "compile a program"? If you don't, then you most likely will not enjoy using Linux. Linux is famous for being a complete headache to install and having weird internet connection issues. It does not have any automatic troubleshooting features like windows; if you're having a problem with something on Ubuntu you'll need to look up the answer on the Ubuntu Linux forum, because Ubuntu doesn't come with automatic step by step troubleshooting like Windows does.

    On the plus side, Ubuntu is free, which means if you're broke and can't spring for Windows 7 it's very easy to obtain.

    But overall I'd say if you can afford $50, skip Ubuntu. For anybody who is not a programmer it really, really sucks.
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  • Profile picture of the author RogozRazvan
    To put it simply, Ubuntu is an operating system, just like Windows.

    I've been using it for a while. I don't agree that you need to be a hardcore technie. Unless you want to use Windows native applications and you need to install compatibility layers, Ubuntu is straightforward.

    It loads faster than Windows, it is more stable and since I'm using almost everything cloud-based (like Google Drive, Todoist, etc), it suits me perfectly.

    The MAIN problem you'll have with Ubuntu is when it needs to communicate with other devices. Good luck with that. Windows Phone OS is a no-go unless you install a lot of things. Most MP3 players work but it is a hit and miss. iPod, iPhone, no. You can't install iTunes.

    Bluetooth transfer again a hit and miss. Bluetooth 4.0 devices no.

    And no, I haven't encountered a single Internet issue with it. I've encountered a LOT on Windows 7, when it was unable to connect. That's why I installed Ubuntu in the first place, Windows 7 was unable to connect to some networks and to my 3G USB modem and Ubuntu worked out of the box.

    It all depends on your needs. If you want to run software like Adobe on it, you'll not find it very easy to use. If you can do your entire work from Chrome, install it today. Or you can simply test it from a live USB stick.

    As far as the cost go, I have received the OS with my computer so I can use Windows 7 whenever I like. But i like Linux. Is simple. It is like a modern minimalistic building. It contains only what you need, nothing more.

    Another thing is that 14.04 works good no matter if you have a 5 year computer or a new i7 one. This means that if you've invested $1500 in a new laptop, it is kind of overkill. There are almost no applications to use a lot of processing power in Ubuntu.
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  • Profile picture of the author Christian B
    To put it simply, Ubuntu is an operating system, just like Windows.
    I would say like Apple OS. They are similar in some points.

    Im thinking of purchasing a used computer that has been wiped clean and I need an operating system.
    If your computer is old, you can use Xubuntu or Lubuntu: They are light operating system.
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  • Profile picture of the author JosephC
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  • Profile picture of the author Darrell Hagan
    As Linux distros go, Ubuntu is probably the best supported of them. I tried several Linux versions on several machines, and never really felt that they were ready for prime time. Main reason for me was application incompatibilities between distros - i.e. an application which works on, say, Ubuntu, may or may not work on other distros of the Linux operating system. Same with device drivers, etc......Linux is an open-source system, which is not always a good thing because sometimes it breeds too many fingers in the pie which in turn can breed incompatibilities and other weird code popping up all over the place
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  • Profile picture of the author pizzatherapy
    I've used Ubuntu.

    I am no techie but think I know my way around computers. Or so I thought...

    With Ubuntu, I felt like a complete idiot.

    I found it difficult to navigate, difficult to use and not worth the trouble.

    That is my personal opinion.
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    • Profile picture of the author wmrwl
      The question of "what is Ubuntu" has been sufficiently answered, but I'd like to throw in my two cents and say that as a Debian user myself (very similar to Ubuntu) that I couldn't be happier.

      In fact, I have a dual boot partition where I have Debian Linux and Windows 7 with a huge shared drive between the two where I store files, etc. that can be accessed via both operating systems. It worked out great until Windows, the bloated beast that it is ended up filling up its partition and I had to format and give it a much bigger partition to allow for updates.

      When updating Linux and applying patches you sometimes SAVE disk space

      Windows is bloated and I'm a huge open source advocate so I guess I'm a bit biased, but think about it...would you prefer a product that is closed source and only a few thousand paid developers contribute to the code or millions of people who VOLUNTEER their time and effort to find and fix bugs, and improve software?

      Everyone will have a different opinion, but I only have my Windows partition to run programs that are proprietary and haven't been developed for Linux.

      But in all honesty, although I use my Debian Linux about 99% of the time, there is that 1% of the time where I NEED Windows. So I guess it all depends on what you're going to be using the machine for.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nice Sabino
    I tried Ubuntu and I can say it's good.

    It's FREE, much more secure than Windows operating system), UI is neat (not that complicated) and fast!

    However, most apps will not run on Linux - most of my favorite software is not available on the Linux platform.
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  • Ubantu is an operating system based on Linux that is used as other operating systems just like windows 7 , windows xp on computers, laptops. It includes a variety of applications including those for word processing, e-mail applications, Web server software and also programming tools. Ubuntu is free of charge, including enterprise releases and security updates. It also comes with full commercial support from Canonical.
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  • Profile picture of the author mariann
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Lenney
    Good question, I don't know what it is either, so I googled " What is Ubuntu?" and got this:
    Ubuntu is an open source software platform that runs everywhere from the smartphone, the tablet and the PC to the server and the cloud.
    The leading OS for PC, tablet, phone and cloud | Ubuntu
    If you need me to google anything else for you, i'm here to help!

    Too lazy to write something clever here, so check out my marketing blog and learn from a REAL Super Affiliate at JeffLenney.com

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    • Profile picture of the author JosephC
      Originally Posted by Jeff Lenney View Post

      Good question, I don't know what it is either, so I googled " What is Ubuntu?" and got this:
      Ubuntu is an open source software platform that runs everywhere from the smartphone, the tablet and the PC to the server and the cloud.
      The leading OS for PC, tablet, phone and cloud | Ubuntu
      If you need me to google anything else for you, i'm here to help!
      If your so good at googling, you should have seen this thread is over 7 months old.


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  • Profile picture of the author gaytorbayt
    As has already been pointed out, Ubuntu is a Linux operating system and to disagree with an earlier post, it is a stand alone operating system.

    I have been strictly a Linux or BSD user for about the last 15 years so do have some creds to speak on the subject.

    I personally do not like Ubuntu because even though their system is "free" to use, they are still a for profit system via Canonical.

    Linux is by far the easier alternative system to master compared to the BSD's and yes, they are both Unix-like.

    No you do not have to be a code master to run either of them. The free systems all have support forum that are free to access no differently than this forum is where you can get all the help you need.

    Debian, Red Hat, Slackware, Arch and Gentoo are you "base" systems. All of the other distro's are built on top of them.

    Ubuntu is built on top of Debian. Ubuntu is generally more "up to date" than Debian is yet you can use a branch directly from Debian and be "up to date". You however are generally on your own when you do tat because your system is no longer "stable".

    Linux is only "hard to use" because the icons and names are diffferent. For instance in linux what windows calls a task bar, linux users call a panel.

    We have the ability to place our panel/task bar wherever the heck we want it. I run two. One at the bottom of the page that holds my start menu and most commonly used programs such as my browser and another at the top of the page that auto hides which holds the links to folders that others leave scattered on their desktop.

    Windows and Linux achieves the same goal in the end. They just go about it in different ways. A car and a motorcycle will get you from point A to point B just fine. They ust go about in in different ways but it's up to you to figure out how to master their operation.

    Most windows programs can be run on Linux via an add on program called wine. Others have been patched in to allow the running such as flash. No everything built for windows will run in Linux or the BSD's as of yet.

    Linux however is leaps and bounds more secure than windows and normally runs a heckuva lot faster, takes up less real estate on your hard drive, uses less ram and doesn't cost the first nickel to acquire beyond a blank cd/dvd and costs nothing to maintain or upgrade.

    It is an extremely rare occasion I have to resort to coding to work on or with my system. I haven't had to compile squat in about the last 7 - 8 years to install anything. Yes, on rare occasions I have to open my terminal and type in sudo pacman -Syu to do an upgrade followed by my password. [I run Manjaro which is spun entirely off of Arch]

    If you have the patience and willing to spend a few weeks to a month learning the differences between Linux and Windows, Linux is a more than viable alternative to Windows. I however cannot advise Ubuntu because the desktop is more than likely going to be the Unity desktop which is only going to be more confusing,,, not to mention in my humble opinion Ubuntu is extremely slow and bloated,,, and as already mentioned wants you to spend money to get certain packages/programs.

    I for one would advise for someone totally new to go with Linux Mint with the XFCE desktop which on the surface closely resembles the typical Windows desktop.

    Someone a little more advanced might consider running what I already stated I run which is Manjaro. It really isn't any "harder" to run. The difference between myself and someone totally new is I'm already acquainted with the lingo.

    You can get a list and pretty much every question answered about the hundreds of Linux operating systems as well as BSD operating systems out there at distrowatch.com

    To see firsthand on your pc how a system really works is to download the system to your pc,, learn to burn the image to a dvd and simply boot to the dvd. You have a slimmed down version of it then running from your ram without installing it to your hard drive.

    Btw, Apple is a BSD operating system built on top of Darwin.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Hunter
    Originally Posted by Geek3000 View Post

    Can someone tell me what Ubuntu is? Im thinking of purchasing a used computer that has been wiped clean and I need an operating system. I saw a post that talked about Ubuntu is an OS but I never heard of it or how it works. Please explain if you know what it is.
    I run few different versions of Linux off of USB/CD's, and if you are not computer expert you do NOT want Linux of any kind, you want Windows. Seriously. Linux community has to use ton of workarounds, there is quite a bit of manual typing involved, akin to old DOS computing, and its not at all self explanatory to a newbie.

    Every single time I suggested some flavor of Linux, including Ubuntu (which is far from optimal, except in how much its been hyped), to person whose primary concern in obtaining OS was financial, it ended with them complaining a lot, needing help to get rid of Linux and opting to use Windows in the end.

    Skip the hassle, stick to Windows, its designed for people who are not experienced in computer science.
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  • Profile picture of the author TeKn1qu3z
    Ubuntu is a operating system, that has good facilities comparing to Windows for some features. I got 20 CDs 2 years back for free and distributed them to my friends, relatives.
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  • Profile picture of the author a2hosting
    I would choose an operating system you're familiar with or comfortable with, especially if you're unfamiliar with Ubuntu. I would stick with Windows or Mac!
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  • Profile picture of the author salegurus
    I'm sorry but even after 20 or so people basically repeating what the previous person said i still don't know what Ubuntu is?
    Guess i'll just Google it...
    Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.

    ― George Carlin
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