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On Wubi and installing Linux

Well, here is the post that most of my friends would have tired hearing me repeat. However, there really are no good OSs out there that can truly satisfy my requirements.

So, a course that I am currently completing discusses the POSIX API, and the UNIX system. For trying out any of the concepts in the course, I would need to have at least a Linux installation. But which one should I choose?

I require my Linux installation to be friendly, so GNOME is a must. Moreover, it must have support for easily installing non-free software, like Adobe Reader, EAGLE, flash, MP3 plugins etc. It should be stable and functional, and should be fast, efficient, and better than Windows :) in terms of speed and power management. Naturally, there are three contenders. Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE.

Ubuntu

Debian based, Ubuntu seems to be the distro of choice for many who are switching from Windows to Linux. It has many features that facilitate an easy migration, especially ability to shrink Windows partitions, to automatically migrate documents and settings from Windows and support for non-free software. Synaptic package manager is really cool, and recently, they have added an extra Ubuntu software centre that is even better. Amongst the features Ubuntu offers is WUBI, a method to install Ubuntu inside Windows, like any other program, without the need for a separate partition. Needless to say, this installation comes with a handy uninstall button.

Fedora

An offshoot of RedHat Enterprise, Fedora is accused by many as being a sort of Beta testing centre for RedHat. It features the latest of all software, and hence, can be very buggy. However, most of the bugs are fixed in a few days after the release. However, one of the most irritating aspects of Fedora is its emphasis on free (as in freedom) software. Needless to say, it can take a lot of effort to even get a simple MP3 song playing.

OpenSUSE

OpenSUSE comes from Novell. I have only tried it briefly, I installed the OS once on my computer, and it did not boot after the very first update. The same behaviour was observed twice over, and I decided to not install it again.



Given the above options, I had to choose Ubuntu. I decided to install it.

So this is what happened when I tried installing:

  1. Shrink Windows partition to make space for Ubuntu: Failed as it showed only 5GB of shrink space available. 170GB available space on C:\.
  2. Use GParted to shrink windows partition: Failed and showed 0 bytes used space on /dev/sda1. All my data appears to be lost.
  3. Use checkdisk on my Windows partition: No errors found. My data appears to be safe.
  4. Install Ubuntu using Wubi: Failed because I was not connected to the net.
  5. iGiveUp!

Finally, I managed to install Ubuntu (Maverick) using WUBI. Now, I cannot install software because of proxy authentication problems. Apparently, I need to now use Synaptic Package manager only, and I cannot use the command line apt-get. This is because Ubuntu is trying to become better and more user-friendly and is trying to lure Windows users.

So, all in all, no good OS left for me.


PS: Feel free to suggest any good OS that you may have in mind.

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