Switching a friend to Ubuntu

Alain Muls alain.muls at telenet.be
Wed Jan 20 14:46:08 UTC 2010

On 20/01/10 13:43, Bas Roufs wrote:
> Hello Alain and Everybody
>>> Please any positive advice on what *buntu would be best for my friend?
> Late 2007 I switched from Windows to Kubuntu. Probably I was a bit
> more computer-literate compared to your friend, but for the rest I
> recognise a lot in the profile in the profile you gave about him:-).
> In my case, I knew already about 1 year before the actual transit that
> I would switch to Linux. In that year I started using at Windows XP
> multi platform software for daily use purposes: Open Office, Firefox,
> VLC (a multi media player) and Thunderbird, an e-mail client.. So, I
> was already quite experienced in that software when I started using it
> at Kubuntu. This had made the transit considerably easier. Already
> within three months, I managed to solve about 95% of the problems my
> self and 3% via one or more of the user forums, like this one and 1%
> by falling back on the Windows partition in case of need. For less
> than 1% of the problems I need advise sometimes from Linux experts in
> my surroundings - by example from the friend who fulfilled a role
> similar to yours :-) The main thing you need to get between the  ears
> of your friend is that a Linux computer does not bite him :-)
> However it may be, I would advise you to take about 2 weeks time to
> prepare your friend for Linux. As he is already using Firefox and
> OpenOffice, he only needs to do one thing more before starting at
> Linux: installing the Thunderbird mail client at his Windows
> Partition. More info:
> http://www.mozillamessaging.com/  Thunderbird has a lot of rough
> edges, which is why I am transferring right now to Kontact, which
> feels more stable. But Thunderbird has one advantage which is
> essential in the situation of your friend: it can easily import the
> emails, settings and contact persons from Outlook or the present day
> default email client at Windows. The next step will be the
> installation of Thunderbird at the Linux partition in whichever *buntu
> distro you friend will choose. Than, you can export the mails,
> settings and contact from the Windows to the Linux partition.
>> If he is only using such a limited subset of apps it really makes
>> little difference which *buntu you use.  You could download live CDs
>> for Ubuntu and Kubuntu and let him see what they look like and he can
>> make the choice.
> In principle Colin is right about this. However, I would advise your
> friend to start his Linux experience with a distro with some KDE based
> interface: either Kubuntu 9.10 or the latest stable KDE version of
> "Mint" or e.g. "OpenSuse". With "Mint" and "OpenSuse", I have no
> experience myself. But according to someone else I know who is using
> "Mint", that distro is quite user friendly and working 'out of the
> box'.  However it may be, Mint has gnome, kde and xfe versions which
> are all based on Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Xubuntu respectively.
> http://www.kubuntu.org/
> http://www.linuxmint.com/
> Perhaps the best thing to do is to help your friend with a distro you
> feel yourself comfortable with.

Hi Bas,

Tx for the advice.

I myself was a KDE user. I used the KDE2, than KDE3 and even wen on with 
KDE4 up until v4.3. I was forgiving KDE its difficult transition and I 
find myself (considering my +12 years Linux KDE) an experienced user. 
But I cannot fully grasp the current KDE with the odd thing in the upper 
right corner which does not fit me at all. If I perform operation on 
that thing, than I find myself with a background only a quarter of the 
screen and I cannot manage to get it full screen again. I do like the 
principles behind the KDE4 versions (eg Akonadi integration of all 
contacts), but I cannot work with that odd thing!

So I switched to LinuxMint, first KDE than gnome. It is well done, but I 
had some hardware problems (mostly sound and sometimes WIFI). I switched 
back to Ubuntu with gnome which I am starting to like.

So putting a KDE based distro is not something I would like to do 
because I cannot explain some of the KDE behaviour.

Oh, Tx for the tip for the mail!


>> Changing his email client may well be the most traumatic aspect of
>> this from his point of view so it may well be worth deciding which of
>> the available clients is most like his current one.
> I think "Thunderbird".  My transit from Outlook to Thunderbird was quite easy.
> See above for the details.
> Respectfully yours,
> Bas.
>> Colin
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Alain Muls                                   alain.muls at rma.ac.be
Royal Military Academy                              +32.2.7426340
Department CISS                                 srt +32.2.7426476
Renaissance Avenue 30, B1000 Brussels

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