Ubuntu Raring Ringtail: What is it?
Ubuntu Raring Ringtail is the latest release of Ubuntu Linux. Though Ubuntu is nothing new, let’s assume that you are new to linux and the world of Ubuntu and free software. Ubuntu is an operating system (OS), like Windows and Apple OSX, but with quite a number of differences.
Developed from the Debian linux distro, it is the worlds most popular linux distro.
Before, a Linux OS meant a wall of matrix-like text or ugly desktops, but that is not the case. Ubuntu is pretty, powerful and best of all, free.
How do I get it
Let’s start with that last bit. Ubuntu, like most Linux distributions (we call them distros), is free. Just download the disk image and there you are. Its yours now, to install as many times as you like and share with your friends who now think you are cool and awesome because you use Linux.
How do I install it?
Installation of the OS is incredibly straight forward. Either put the disk into your computer (Windows PC or OSX) and follow the on screen instructions. You can also boot from the disk, how to do so depends on your computer but google is your friend there.
But I dont have a disk drive..
Who does anymore? Cavemen is who. You’re not out of luck. The iso can be put on a USB drive and installed just like the dvd version. Sound complicated? Not really. As simple as the installation is, here is a guide..
Ok, now what?
Well assuming all went according to plan, you now have a brand spanking new Ubuntu Raring Ringtail desktop. Well done, your medal is in the post. Most software you will need day to day is included in the OS, like a free alternative to Office, LibreOffice, FireFox browser, Banshee music player and a great video player. A lot of the software you are used to can also be downloaded from the Software Center, which is like the AppStore or PlayStore on android and iOS. Heres a great guide to help you get started.
So I can have the apps I used on Windows/OSX?
Well no. Not all of them. Programs from windows or OSX do not work on Ubuntu. There are alternatives however, and for windows programs there are ways of making it work. Mostly though, you will be using free alternatives.
What about games?
Steam is now on Ubuntu. There are some great games there like Portal and Serious Sam. Software Center has a good number too, but Ubuntu is not going to give you the same gaming experience as Windows.
What about viruses?
Do not worry about them. Being linux, windows viruses and OSX viruses do not effect Ubuntu. There are very, very few viruses out there that effect linux, and the ones that are haunting the interwebs are taken care of by anti-viruses found in the Software Center.