Sunday, March 24, 2013

UBUNTU – I just may love you :-)

Ok, I feel a little guilty about slamming UBUNTU last time I tried it. It is one of the premiere Linux distributions and the issues just have to be (a) environmental, or (b) me.

So yesterday I decided to create a clean room in which to do my personal development projects. I need an environment that is indisputably personal because I want to push some of my little projects (e.g. multitail) to Github and some of them (e.g. application who shall not be named) to Google Play. We shall see … but the bottom line is that I work in software for a living and I need to separate these concerns unequivocally. I also need permission to sell anything outside of corporate work, and that comes a whole lot easier with scrupulous attention to this particular detail.

As you may remember in my last attempt at using UBUNTU, I had all sorts of trouble with the OS and user interface, which was nothing like the Gnome that I am used to from my VM containing SUSE Enterprise 11. And that particular VM is still running very nicely. Better than ever, actually, as my experience trying to create the perfect SUSE VM using taught me a great deal, despite failing miserably overall.

Back to yesterday … I spent several hours researching Microsoft’s built-in Hyper-V feature for my Windows 8. I thought this might be a nice adjunct to the VMs I already use for work, and obviously it would be completely separate since the Hypervisor is not even compatible with the other VMs.

I will make a long story very short:

  • Hyper-V installed my original UBUNTU ISO distribution (which I had thankfully saved)
  • That UBUNTU has constant errors and did not even try to update itself
  • It had great difficulty with the network, even after I deleted the broken bridge that took my own network down (thanks Microsoft)
  • It performed absolutely miserably … instead of being fast and smooth as advertised, it was jerky and unresponsive half the time
  • When I went to run a VMWare VM, it said that you can only have one hypervisor installed at a time, and for me there is no contest whatsoever, so bye-bye Hyper-V

So after punting Hyper-V, I created a new VM for personal work using VMWare Player (which is free for personal use, by the way.) This one installed that same UBUNTU perfectly, fully updating it after the fact. It is running so fast that it feels native.

I downloaded the Eclipse Juno for Java EE Developers at an average of 5MB/sec! This is as fast as any download I have ever had on my native machine, so I am extremely pleased with the performance of my VM images now. I turned on virtualization recently, and that might have something to do with the spike in performance. I really cannot see any performance difference now between native and VM.

And UBUNTU’s UI is just fine as far as I am concerned. I am getting used to the somewhat funky window manager and I’m sure that I can tailor it to do anything I want.

Quick fact: The word comes from the BANTU languages of southern Africa and has had many translations into English that speak to its profound understanding of the human condition, our interconnectedness to one another, 

My favorite of all the definitions I have seen:

I am who I am, because of who we all are.