I made the switch to Ubuntu

by Ruchira on February 20, 2013

linux 2013



Managing servers and messing with Unix like environments is my day job. However I have been using Windows on my desktop since the Windows 98 era. I have got a free Ubuntu 4.10 (Warty Warthog) way back in 2006 but it wasn’t exciting to me on those times. Those were the days people were rocking dial up connections and couldn’t afford to download that extra codecs required to run MP3s and Video files. So first impression was negative with Ubuntu for me. Later on I have tried many Ubuntu versions on live CD’s etc but I never got convinced to make the switch to Ubuntu as my primary desktop operating system. And the availability of software’s are limited.

But Ubuntu grew rapidly over time and being connected to web, it become very easy to download the stuff  I require. And about 6 months ago I completely made the switch from Windows 7 to Ubuntu as my primary working environment.

What I’m I missing?

Well I might say almost none. Everything I used on Windows is available here, That doesn’t mean its the same thing, but I was able to find a workable solution for everything I used on Windows.

Microsoft Office? Well this is the only thing I have to fire up Windows 7 on Virtual Box to work on. My education requires to do some complex writings on Microsoft Word which I was never fan of and doing it on Libre Office isn’t solution at the time of writing because I don’t own a printer. Which might be silly but its not that, I cant afford a printer but I just don’t need to own one for taking occasional print outs.  So working complex drawings on Libre office and printing those on MS Word equipped PC’s makes the formatting break all over the place. This is the only reason I need to be on Windows platform. BTW I have a Macbook pro with MS office but I doesn’t feel comfortable to make documents on my laptop 🙂

Any other small programs I needed such as Notepad++ can be run with “wine” without a problem and i have even wrote a guide here

Lack of Photoshop was a problem initially because I did all my simple photo edits and cropping of images for blog posts and all that on Photoshop. But I got comfortable with GIMP for those small tasks and I started liking it.


I had high hopes for Windows 8 but it disappointed me because of increased steps to do simple tasks like shutting down. So Ubuntu become my OS of choice and I never hesitate about my decision. Availability of popular apps for linux is growing and I was surprised to find that  even Cisco Packet Tracer and GNS3 is also available for Linux. Well not quite surprising but i didn’t expected it 🙂 games for linux is growing too thanks to “Steam” making its client availability on Linux, So popular games will follow the path soon.





I'm Ruchira Sahan and all posts on this blog are completely my thoughts and writings. I love DIY and Technology. So feel free to contact me for anything about this blog and don't forget to add a comment if this blog helped you! Thanks
View all posts by Ruchira

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 roger February 20, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Welcome to the world of libre computing!

Just a tip: if your only problem with LibreOffice is being able to later print the stuff, just export to PDF and then take your PDF for printing .


2 Andrea February 20, 2013 at 9:57 AM

If printing is the only problem, you can print to pdf from LibreOffice and bring your easy-to-print pdf where you can use a printer so that nobody messes up with your layout.


3 Ryan February 20, 2013 at 9:59 AM

If you wish to be able to make a drawing in Libreoffice and print it from a windows machine, you can try exporting the drawing to PDF and bringing the PDF to the windows machine to print it.


4 Nelo February 20, 2013 at 10:07 AM

I made the switch also, and I was happy with Ubuntu BUT one day I needed some warez I realized that I couldn’t yet do without windows. Just like you I needed Photoshop, Illustrator, Notepad++. Once you are trained to use these tools it’s hard (and time consuming) to change your habit.
That’s why I decided to move back to windows (7) a while after but man, it was tough! It still is. All the time I have been using Ubuntu, I got unaccustomed to computer crashes, mandatory updates, anti-virus alerts and that felt just natural. That’s what using a computer should be like.


5 Saurabh Minni February 20, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Crashes ??


6 Ishan February 20, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Why don’t you save files as PDF from Libre Office and then get printouts? Will look exactly same. Though editing is an issue.

I’ve used LibreOffice almost exclusively for an year and never had problem this way. Though ga,SE are keeping me on Windows for now.


7 Orlando February 20, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Congrats on the switch, and a couple of tips.

You can use geany or other simple text editors that run on Linux, instead of notepad++; and you can export your libreoffice docs to pdf, and then print them from another computer, so no need for MS Office unless you have to send docs to other people who use it.


8 Michael Willis February 20, 2013 at 10:35 AM

LibreOffice can export PDFs, which should work for you if you just need reliable printing. On the other hand, it’s still a pain to use LibreOffice to collaborate with other people who insist on using Word.


9 Alex February 20, 2013 at 10:41 AM

I’ve been using Ubuntu for a couple of years.

Instead of Notepad++, try Sublime Text or if you don’t like it because you have to pay for it, Gedit is decent and has plugins.

On Microsoft Word, you can use LibreOffice and export your documents to PDF. Even if you work with MS Word, you might have problems when printing, as documents opened in different Word versions or printed with different printers or printer drivers may end up looking different and it happened to me multiple times. PDF was designed to be portable and optimized for printing.

On Photoshop, something tells me you don’t have a license for it or you got some kind of non-commercial deal on it (are you a student?), because otherwise people don’t give up so easily on such an expensive license. This to me is the biggest selling point for Gimp. Yes, Photoshop is better, but is the price justified? Well, for common use-cases, like amateur photo retouching, I don’t think that price has justification.

For people wanting to migrate to Ubuntu I would recommend buying a laptop with certified hardware (read: hardware for which the drivers are open-source). On my last laptop all the problems I ever had could be traced back to its Geforce graphics card. If you play games only ocationally, then buy a laptop with an Intel HD 4000 card, which is more than enough for most use-cases. As a brand recommendation, Thinkpads are known to be very compatible. It pays off to ask or do some research before buying a laptop if you want that “just works” experience that you get on Macs.


10 linuxuser February 20, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Some tips:

You can simply export your documents and drawings as PDF files from LibreOffice. These will print fine from any computer.

Linux has many very cool text editors. Notepad++ is certainly a good editor, but be prepared to meet alternatives like Vim and Emacs. These may appear to be strange at first sight but once you know how to use them, they are extremely powerful.


11 Miro Hrončok February 20, 2013 at 6:16 PM

If your only problem with LibreOffice Writer is the printing and format changes, I’d recommended the PDF export. Once exported to PDF, you can print it from any machine and keep the desired layout and format.


12 Ruchira February 21, 2013 at 7:57 AM

yeah but those files need to be edited sometimes on the go 🙁 so


13 M Asif Rahman February 21, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Ubuntu is a real optimistic choice.

In LibreOffice or even OpenOffice as others suggested use PDF exports. You could try out Google Docs, its really improving and files in the cloud is a real good choice.

In the recent version of Ubuntu, specially from 12.04, its started to look more like Windows 8 which I hate. I would prefer Ubuntu 09.10 type interface. And yes Ubuntu is very stable if you have basic hardware. Very recent and high-end Mobo and Graphics Card some time cause trouble.

And I know for server you are getting used to with Ubuntu for awhile, so that seems logical choice. Good to know you are loving it. I am thinking about installing Ubuntu in my Mac, let see how resource savvy it could be and how stable.


14 vastness February 22, 2013 at 7:07 AM

I don’t understand the rage for which Os to live with.A polygamous situation naturally appeals .You can run several os on one desktop environment and cuddle them in time on your moods


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: