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Saturday, November 12, 2011

There is an Ubuntu for Everyone.

In my previous post, I named a few advantages of Linux and the very first one was: Linux is versatile.
Ubuntu epitomizes this fact and there is a variant of it for everyone(we will only consider Ubuntu and its derivatives recognized by Canonical for this post)[1].

Let us list the variants of Ubuntu that we will be exploring today
  • Ubuntu- This is where it all began, Ubuntu uses the Gnome desktop environment but from the 11.04 release, instead of using the gnome-shell it uses Unity. 
  • Kubuntu- Ubuntu with the K Desktop environment 
  • Xubuntu- Ubuntu with the XFCE desktop environment 
  • Lubuntu- Ubuntu that uses LXDE 
  • Edubuntu- Ubuntu for education
Desktop environment in simple terms means the face of your computer or any electronic device on which you are reading my blog, the thing that you are using to interact with your device, get stuff done in a graphical way. The thing is, Linux doesn't comes with only one "face". Linux is versatile and so are the Desktop environments. The four of the most popular desktop environment in Linux are Gnome,KDE,Xfce and Lxde. 
Chrales has explained different desktop environments beautifully and you can check it here.

We shall know move onto examining each of the variants in brief.
Ubuntu: As mentioned above Ubuntu has always used the Gnome desktop environment since its inception and the current release Ubuntu 11.10 'Oneiric Ocelot' sports Gnome 3 with Unity-shell. So what is Unity you ask?
"Founded in 2010, the Unity project started by Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical has gone on to deliver a consistent user experience for desktop and netbook users alike. Putting great design at the heart of the project, Unity and its technologies such as Application indicators, System indicators, and Notify OSD, have strived to solve common problems in the Free Software desktop while optimizing the experience for touch, consistency and collaboration".[2]
The Unity in 11.10 release cycle is a great achievement, kudos to Mark and his team for that. With Unity one gets a coherent desktop experience. Everything is simple,splendid,sleek yet highly productive.
I have already posted in detail about Ubuntu in my previous post which you can check here
The recommended minimum requirements to run Ubuntu in the default Unity desktop are:
1 GHz x86 processor
1 GB of system memory (RAM)
15 GB of disk space
Graphics card capable of 1024x768 resolution(no problem if you don't have one as you will be running Unity2d instead of Unity3d and both work identically)[7]

Kubuntu: "Kubuntu is a community developed and supported project. Since its launch in October 2004, Kubuntu has become one of the most highly regarded Linux distributions with millions of users around the world".[3]
Kubuntu 11.10
Regarded as the most beautiful of the Ubuntu family of distros, with Kubuntu 11.10 you get the latest KDE 4.7(current version 4.7.3), the libreoffice office suite, Amarok as the default music player, Rekonq as its web browser, Kmail2 as its mail client, Kopete for your instant messaging  and other applications that a normal user may require while computing. Also there is the Muon Software Center through which you can install from the thousands of apps available. 
You can check its features here and download it from here.
The minimum system requirements for Kubuntu are:
1 GHz x86 processor
615 MB of system memory (RAM)
4.4 GB of disk space[7]

Xubuntu: "Xubuntu is a community developed operating system that is well-suited for laptops and desktops. Whether you use it at home, at school or at work Xubuntu contains all the applications you'll ever need, from word processing and email applications, to web server software and programming tools".[4]
Xubuntu 11.10
Xubuntu uses the Xfce desktop environment and is targeted at older computers with less system resource. Xubuntu 11.10 offers the latest Xfce 4.8, Firefox for web browsing, Thunderbird as your mail client, Abiword for all your word-processing needs, Gnumeric for the creation and manipulation of spreadsheets, gmusicbrowser to manage music, GIMP to create and edit images and lots more softwares. Also you have the Ubuntu Software Center to take care of any apps installations that you may need. 
You can check its features here and download it from here.
The minimum system requirements for Xubuntu are:
300 MHz x86 processor
256 MB of system memory (RAM)
4.4 GB of disk space[7]

Lubuntu"The objective of the Lubuntu project is to create a variant of Ubuntu that is lighter, less resource hungry and more energy-efficient by using lightweight applications andLXDE, The Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment, as its default GUI. Lubuntu is targeted at "normal" PC and laptop users running on low-spec hardware. Members of the team take care of LXDE and other packages that are part of the Lubuntu install. Lubuntu received official recognition as a formal member of the Ubuntu family, commencing with Lubuntu 11.10".[5]
Lubuntu 11.10
Lubuntu offers a minimal yet elegant desktop experience with core philosophy of keeping the system lightweight yet in no way compromising on functionality.  
With Lubuntu 11.10 you get the Chromium as your default web browser, Pidgin as your instant messaging client, Sylpheed as your mail client, Transmission for your torrent downloading, Abiword as your word processor, Gnumeric for your spreadsheets, Audacious as your music player and lots more softwares. Now Lubuntu doesn't has a Software Center in the likes that I have mentioned above instead Synaptic Package Manager takes care of your application installations. But as we are on Linux, you can always have what you didn't get.
You can install the Lubuntu Software Center by checking these Five Handy Lubuntu Tips.
The minimum system requirements for Lubuntu are:
266 MHz Pentium processor
128 MB of system memory (RAM)
4.4 GB of disk space[7]

Edubuntu 11.10
Edubuntu: "Edubuntu is a grassroots movement, we aim to get Ubuntu into schools, homes and communities and make it easy for users to install and maintain their systems.
We are students, teachers, parents and hackers who believe that learning and knowledge should be available to everyone who wants to improve themselves and the world around them" [6]
Now Edubuntu as you could see from the screenshot looks pretty similar to Ubuntu which in fact it is. The goal of this distro is to put together a system that contains all the best free software available in education and make it easy to install and maintain. 
Check this video to have a better understanding of what Edubuntu has to offer:
Most of the software available on Edubunutu can be easily downloaded in any Ubuntu distribution. 
You can also try Edubuntu online without needing to download or install anything through WebLive.
You can download it from here.
note: The educational institutions, parents and kids across the globe are realizing the potential of Linux and choosing it instead of living in morbid fear of Microsoft by running a prohibited copy(a.k.a pirated copy) or shelling out great bucks to get something which basically offers nothing, then having to purchase an office suite to make it productive(and all of this can be used only on a single machine) and I didn't even mention the Antivirus.

So which one is your favorite?

If you have any comments/questions/suggestions please feel free to contact me via the comments section, Google+ or twitter. Also if you like what you have read, do share it with others.


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