By Andrew Gould 7 February 2009


Ubuntu has been around for a few years now and is fast becoming the foremost Linux distribution out there. If you’re not familiar with Ubuntu, it was started by none other than our very own Mark Shuttleworth, with the money he got from selling Thawte to Verisign in 1999.

Well actually he runs a company called Canonical that runs support for Ubuntu, especially the server editions. Canonical also sponsors all the development of the open source Ubuntu.

Unlike Microsoft’s Windows, Ubuntu is updated once every six months, and every time there’s an update you get an alliterative name to go with it. The ­latest release is 8.10, codenamed ­Intrepid Ibex. Ibex is not a million miles apart from its predecessor, Hardy Heron, but then again Ubuntu is a ­matured product now and with any well established software, the improvements will be small, but this is a good thing as there isn’t an awful lot wrong with the software.

Usually installing Linux is a tricky task for a beginner, but Ubuntu is a very simple piece of software to install. You can either download it from the Ubuntu website, or order a free CD from them. You then just insert the CD and choose an installation option. You can even run it live from the CD to try it out.

One of the problems with Ubuntu distributions, even a year ago, was that they had limited support for wireless devices, like wireless USB connectors and 3G modems. This was a real problem, as the people using Ubuntu often wanted to access the Internet ­wirelessly and the only way to do that would be to have advanced knowledge in using the Linux text editor. But thankfully Intrepid Ibex fully supports wireless, ­including 3G.

If you haven’t used Ubuntu yet, go to, download it and you’ll probably be hooked.

It now offers wireless support.
The private folders option is really tricky to use.

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