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Ubuntu – the best software operating system in the world - some say...

Updated on May 3, 2015
TessSchlesinger profile image

Tessa joined Olivetti in 1975 as a WP Installation Clerk. She learnt to write machine code & continued to learn geek stuff ever after.

A free operating system

Most people have never heard of Ubuntu, and only some 20 million people use this Linux based operating system. Unlike other operating systems, one doesn’t have to buy any extra software when one has downloaded it. It comes with a Microsoft compatible Office suite, email, a browser (Firefox) and media apps which are pre-installed. There are also innumerable games and other applications available, most of them free, and some of them to be paid for.

Microsoft Office is replaced by LibreOffice, Excel by Calc, and Powerpoint by Impress.

History of Ubuntu - South African Mark Shuttleworth

Mark Shuttleworth, a South African entrepreneur and owner of Canonical Ltd, London, designed and ‘markets’ the operating system. The actual operating system is free to anyone but technical support is charged for. The company promotes an environment of free / open-source software and collaboration between free software developers. To quote from Cononical’s website, “It is our mission to make open source software available to people everywhere. We believe the best way to fuel innovation is to give the innovators the technology they need.”

The word ‘Ubuntu’ is the name of an African philosophy which advocates a humane attitude towards all people and believes that there is an underlying bond uniting all human beings. In line with this, the ethos of the company is that they encourage all people to use free software as well as improve it and/or provide feedback to those who are working on further developing it. In that way, over a period of time, humanity, working collectively, develop outstanding products for everybody to use – free.

The products - open source software

Ubuntu has written highly effective software for servers, desktops, tablets, TV, and has even got a smartphone with the open-source operating system. The BQ Aquaris E4.5 SmartPhone retails for about €170 and enables you to change the sim card so that you can sign up with any service. The software is free. All you have to do is download it.

The device - smartphone with computer operating system

According to a BBC news flash in 2013, the OS can be installed on the Galaxy Nexus phone if one is not in love with Android (I’m not). This would give your smartphone the fully fledged power of a laptop or desktop computer.

Mark Shuttleworth believes that phones and laptops will eventually have the same software and function as one device. So, if my understanding is correct, phones will increase in size while laptops will decrease even further in size. Personally, I prefer two different devices, but according to the technology gurus, this is where high tech is headed.

The tutorials

My daughter’s laptop gave up the ghost (Windows) after some three years. She downloaded Ubuntu and continued to use the laptop for another four years. It was user friendly, intuitive, and during the last year or so kept telling her that her hard drive was nearing death. In other words, it gave warning of impending disaster, something no other operating system did.

There are many free Ubuntu tutorials on the web, as well as a free manual on the web.

When your operating system is ancient...

It’s worth a try to download Ubuntu is you are running an operating system that is no longer compatible with the latest technology and you can’t afford to pay for a new operating system. The nice thing about Ubuntu is that it is a pretty robust piece of software and will show up any issues on your hardware. So you are not stuck with taking it to someone to ask them what the problem is. Ubuntu will tell you! In a situation like that, knowledge is power. Another advantage is that trolls don’t write viruses for Ubuntu so there is little chance that your laptop or desktop will attract malware.

Would you consider using a little known operating system?

See results
Ubuntu For Absolute Beginners
Ubuntu For Absolute Beginners

You can't go wrong for $1.81 on this one! The nice thing about looking at any manual is that you can get an idea of how the software works and not purchase the software and then find you don't like it! :)


The scandal...

Yes. The operating system tracks your movements on the web and if you buy something from Amazon, apparently, Ubuntu get an affiliate payment. Or say says Richard Stallman, the president of the Free Software Foundation, and the founder of the free software ethos. Mark Shuttleworth defended the move saying that the company only earns a small amount of some products.

I’m not sure that I like this aspect of the operating system. This, however, was written some two or three years ago, and he may well have had it removed by now. Nothing like public outrage to encourage a change of direction.

© 2015 Tessa Schlesinger


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    • TessSchlesinger profile image

      Tessa Schlesinger 2 years ago from South Africa

      Glad you like it Harald.

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 2 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      Like you, I had an ancient laptop running Windows 93. I decided to give Ubuntu a chance and that laptop is now my secure computer where I conduct banking, shop, etc. I keep it current to the latest Ubuntu version. So far, my only pet peeve is, after downloading and installing updates about three times, I have to use the command line to manually clear out old backups-- definitely not something the average user would know how to do. But it's free, with plenty of familiar tools and very secure.