I’ve dual-booted my laptop for the past few years between XP and Fedora Core Linux, although I had such a hard time setting up the wifi drivers and WPA-Supplicant support that I admit I rarely used Linux on my laptop, despite running my website(s) entirely on Fedora Core Linux.
I decided to download and give Ubuntu Linux a go, since of all the Linuxes I’ve read that this is the most user friendly and easy to setup.
From the 1 CD ISO image (compared to 4+ for Fedora Core), Ubuntu has an awesome approach – you can either boot from the ‘Live CD’ similar to the Knoppix approach and run just from the CD, or select the installation option once you’ve tried it out from the Live CD, and install to your hard drive.
The installation was quick and simple, and all my laptop devices were instantly supported (touchpad mouse etc). The only install issue I had was the ATI driver config for X Windows – it wouldn’t go into 1600×1200 mode without a lot of screen corruption. Following the instructions here solved these issues after following the first section.
There were a couple of quirks – apparently root access is not configured during installation, so you can configure the root password using these instructions.
Secondly, I couldn’t initially find a Java JDK download for Ubuntu, without jumping through hoops to modify a downloaded .rpm file. Fortunately, following on from the JDK license change annoucements at JavaOne2006 this year to make the license more Linux friendly, a Ubuntu-friendly Java5 download is available – instructions here.
Next up – download, install and configure Netbeans, JBoss, and Glassfish, plus Groovy and Grails. I’ll give an update on these later.