Ubuntu 10.04 brings Linux closer to the mainstream

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Ubuntu

No Windows viruses. Free. Any questions? Of course. Start with this one: How can an operating system with those virtues, the open-source Linux, remain confined to a tiny minority of desktop and laptop computers at home?

Linux may run TiVo video recorders and live inside Android phones, in addition to running much of the Internet's servers, but it still lags on home PCs.

Will that change anytime soon? A new version of a consumer-oriented edition of Linux, Ubuntu (http://ubuntu.com), offers hope for Linux optimists but leaves room for doubters, too.

Installing Ubuntu 10.04, shipped in late April, starts with a large download you either burn to a CD or DVD or, if you're installing it on computer without a disc drive, copy to a USB flash drive using extra software.

I installed 10.04 on a months-old Sony Vaio laptop running Windows 7