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What it's Like to Switch to Ubuntu

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Ubuntu

When Dell first announced that it would offer Ubuntu--a free open-source, Linux-based operating system--on select notebooks, millions of tech-heads unleashed victory cries. Linux, the longtime OS of choice for the hardcore techie, was poised to go mainstream. Finally, a larger worldwide audience would experience Linux and the "it just works" nature of Ubuntu, but we at LAPTOP had to ask: Is Ubuntu ready for the world?

To find out, we installed Ubuntu on a Fujitsu LifeBook E8410 running Vista Business, all while keeping a couple key goals in mind. We wanted to find out if Ubuntu is a worthy alternative to Microsoft Windows Vista or Mac OS X. We also wanted to know if we would have trouble getting our most-used accessories and peripherals to work. Intrigued, I ventured to Ubuntu's Web site (www.ubuntu.com). Here's what happened.

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