Windows Free – Update 1

After about 4 hours of using Ubuntu Linux, I ditched it and installed Fedora Core 4. The main reason was that Ubuntu does not have a root user. This may seem odd to experienced Linux folks, but the intentions behind it are good. Unless you know what you are doing, you can completely hose a Linux operating system as the root user. So, in order to become as user-friendly as possible for Linux newbies, they require you to use ‘sudo’ for everything in Ubuntu.

To me, this was a slowdown. I decided to go with what I am most familiar with, and that is the RedHat-based Fedora Core 4.

More on my venture to discard Windows from my life will soon follow.

About Will Chatham

Will Chatham is a Cyber Security Analyst, Ethical Hacker, and Penetration Tester at a federal data center in Asheville, NC. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. His varied background, from developer to search engine optimizer to security professional, has helped him build a wide range of skills that help those with whom he works and teaches.
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6 Comments

  1. Good luck with that Will. What are you planning on using @ work? I can get you a calculator and a coloring book to replace that XP box I guess. Hahahaha!

  2. Hey Will, have you check out Knoppix. It is RAD!
    http://www.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/packages.txt)

  3. Chris: I use XP dutifully at work πŸ˜€

    AG: I have used Knoppix in the past – works great as a ‘live cd’ to boot from. Only thing I didn’t like was that the developers are German, and when you find yourself needing to read man pages or config files, they are often in German.

  4. I would have expected an experienced Linux user to be able to read documentation πŸ™

    All you have to do is type “sudo passwd”. This will change the password of the root user, which creates a separate root account. Doing this allows you to log in as root and creates the root user’s files in /root/.

  5. Derrick,
    Yes, you got me with the old RTFM there πŸ˜‰

    Since this article was written over a year ago, I have since given Ubuntu another shot, and am impressed with all of the progress it has made. Still, I recently upgraded from Windows XP to Fedora 6 on my home PC and am loving how much stuff I *didn’t* have to do any special configuring of.

    For example, in Ubuntu, my nVidia card was pushing out a measly 1024×768 resolution by default. Attempts at remedying this situation proved to be futile when I followed instructions on installing the correct drivers.

    Conversely, when I installed Fedora 6, it defaulted to a nice 1280×1024 and all of my other hardware was configured correctly.

    Sure, this is a unique instance of one man and one PC, but it still comes back to me being most familiar with RedHat, since thats what I work with every day, and being pleased by having things ‘just work’, which should be the goal of any Linux distro.

    In short, you shouldn’t *have* to read the documentation πŸ™‚

  6. Not trying to be a jerk πŸ™‚ It’s just one of the things I hear people say about Ubuntu a lot.

    I think, given Ubuntu is targeted at people who don’t know how Linux works already, disabling root by default is a good thing. Most people will be using Add/Remove Programs or Synaptic, which prompt you for your own password with gksu as a security measure.

    It’s a great idea for desktop users, and to be honest, in this Feisty install I’ve found no reason to actually create root. But the possibility is there for anyone who needs it, and in the end, that’s what it’s allegedly about: choice.

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