Ubuntu 6.06 LTS and Automatix - Making Linux Work
Ubuntu is an enigma. How can an upstart Linux project go directly to the top in little over 2 years? In a recent survey (that we linked to on our site here as well) on Desktop Linux News, they found that nearly 30% of respondents showed they were on board with this South African (they claim world wide, but behind them is Canonical Ltd, which according to Wikipedia is a private company owned and funded by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth. The name itself is an Zulu word for "humanity towards others", and there is a lot of graphics on the boot up screens with smiling people holding hands and the colors reflect a more earthy feel. Even the logo itself is three people hugging in a circle.
So what really makes this distro stand out from other community projects like openSuse, Freespire, Debian? Well, I think what pulls many is the simplicity to the tool, how they kept true to Linux ideals by making a software that wasn't like windows in every aspect, yet was easiest enough to function for newbies. It was also technically capable enough to keep the enthusiasts happy, free of most proprietary aspects to keep the FSF happy, and just plain fun. I can say that for nearly a year, this was the only Linux distro on my laptop and I was extremely pleased with its function and performance. Plus, since it took nearly a month to get the distro up and running completely (I am a persistent man if anything) I wasn't about to just bail for something else.
What took me so long was researching every little nook and cranny for how to get my MP3's to play, movies, wireless, Wine to work, and pretty much all the goodies I have come to know and love about my laptop. Well, after I had gotten my system pretty much up to par with my needs, a product called Automatix comes along and takes all that knowledge and flushes it. As stated on their website, Automatix is a graphical interface for automating the installation of the most commonly requested applications in Debian based Linux operating systems. It currently supports Ubuntu and Mepis, which since Mepis is really Kubuntu done proprietary style it just makes sense that it is supported as well, and although takes a bit to install, really makes Ubuntu a rock solid platform.