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Ubuntu 12 Review

What Can I say about Ubuntu that hasn’t been said many times already? If you are familiar with Linux you already know the story of Ubuntu, if you’re new I’ll give you the brief synopsis. Ubuntu was once arguably the best distribution, but then a few years ago Ubuntu decided to create a new unique user interface called “unity”. The purpose of the unity interface was to give the desktop a sleeker, modern look and feel; however, most users didn’t like this new interface and many left Ubuntu for another distributions such as Mint. But with recent releases Ubuntu has refined the Unity interface to make it much more functional, especially when used on a laptop with a mouse-pad.

So now we have Ubuntu 12, and in my opinion it is a sign of Ubuntu beginning its ascent to its former glory. Ubuntu 12 includes most of the other functions that are common to other distros, so you just need to get used to the unity interface and you will fell right at home. Aside from the typical pre-installed software you will find a few of Ubuntu’s proprietary applications such as Ubuntu One, which is a application that syncs your documents and files between other computers over the internet. This is a nice thing to have, but can be easily replaced by the more useful Drop Box. Overall Ubuntu is a typical Linux environment dressed up in a unique and stylish way.

Overall Rating: 8/10

My Favorite Distribution: Arch

As the title so simply states, Arch linux is my all time favorite linux distribution. To understand why that is the case you have to understand the philosophy behind Arch, which is simplicity. A quote from the arch linux website (, is “Arch Linux defines simplicity as without unnecessary additions, modifications, or complications, and provides a lightweight UNIX-like base structure that allows an individual user to shape the system according to their own needs. In short: an elegant, minimalist approach.” This means that Arch is everything that you want it to be and nothing that you don’t. This is an extremely unique idea for a product, let the user make it what they want. Most other ditros and operating systems come with many different programs pre-installed in order to make the system as useful as possible for the widest range of people right out of the box. This is where Arch says screw the masses, let each individual user choose what programs and desktop environment they want to install to make the best system for them. This among other things is what makes Arch an amazing operating system.

The base system that is installed with Arch contains only the bare minimum to actually being able to call itself an operating system. But among the included programs is a powerful and easy to use package manager that makes it easy for users to build their system from the minimalist environment they are initially greeted with to a environment that can rival both Mac OS and Windows. There is also a performance advantage to having the no unnecessary programs installed, simply put Arch is very fast. Being able to build by ideal operating system easily makes Arch Linux my favorite Linux distribution.

Overall Rating: 10/10

To my readers who have used Linux before what is your favorite distribution? Feel free to post your answer in the comment section to compare your choice with everyone else.

Fedora 18 Review

Fedora is a popular distribution based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but it promises a more up-to-date, cutting edge environment as opposed to its professional counterpart. Unlike Red Hat, Fedora is completely free to use containing many free applications with the base install and has thousands more in its official repositories. Fedora is basically the community testing process for Red Hat, which has a advantages and disadvantages. An advantage being that it is up to date on current technology and can more easily support them, but the disadvantage being that users have to deal with any bugs related to this bleeding edge technology.

In my opinion Fedora seems to be very similar to most other Linux distributions in terms of function, speed and included software. It is relatively easy to fro  a new user to become familiar with it, but due to its extreme up to dateness I would recommend it more for advanced users who have more experience setting up an operating system and troubleshooting problems that they encounter.

Overall I think Fedora is a very solid platform that is very visually appealing. If you like operating systems that have innovative user interfaces you may be right at home here. But for me I would rather have a more stable system than have access to cutting edge software and technology, so I would probably go another route. However that is just me and you may like to have the newest things as soon as possible, if so give Fedora a test.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Linux Mint 13 Review

Alright for my first review I’ll start out with one of the most popular distros, which is Linux Mint. For my installation I am using the Mint 13 Maya, which is the most recent long-term release.

If you are not familiar with Mint it is based on Ubuntu and promises a complete out-of-the-box system that is very user-friendly. And it fulfills its promise. Out of the distros that I have experience with I found that Mint has the most pleasant experience of a fresh install and is most capable from scratch. Mint includes most typical software with it including Libre Office and Firefox, which for most people is enough all they need.

Mint was one of the first distros that I used, so i can verify that it is indeed very beginner-friendly. I was coming over from Windows 7 and I was able to jump right in without any trouble and didn’t have to look at many tutorials. The MATE desktop is organized very similar to the Windows desktop, so Windows’ users shout be right at home like I was.

While it is a beginner distro, it still features everything that a Linux Expert would need in a distribution. It features the APT package manager, which is easy to use and quite capable. Overall Mint is a wonderful, fast, full-featured distro which is good for both beginners and seasoned users, and I would recommend it to anyone who is planning on trying Linux for the first time or is just looking for a new distro to use.

Final Rating: 9.5/10

A Brief Introduction

Hello Readers,

My name is Dan and I am a Computer Science major at West Chester University. For one of my classes this semester I have to create a blog about something that interests me, and I chose the wonderful world of Linux. I have been interested in Linux for years and have tried many different distros. I would like to become a better Linux user, and this seems to be a good way to do it.

The plan for this blog – as the title may suggest – is a review of different distributions of Linux. I plan on installing a new distro on my computer every week, using it and then posting a review of my overall thoughts on the experience during each weekend. My reviews will consist of various components about the distro such as ease of use, features, speed, and overall feel. I am not an expert in anyway, so my reviews may not cover every technical aspect of each distro, but I will try my best.