do you ubuntu?

Check me out, I made a little video with me in it and I’m putting it here.

I installed Ubuntu on two of the donated PCs at my library yesterday. It took less than an hour. In fact, if I hadn’t been making the little movie at the same time [with my laptop and my little Canon digital Elph; I don’t have a video camera] it would have taken me even less time. Ubuntu comes bundled with a lot of the popular Open Source software titles like OpenOffice, Gimp and Firefox. The Calef Library has two Windows PCs already so if people need specific software that doesn’t run on Ubuntu, they can use those. I’d like to get them a Mac as well and then they can be the only library (to my knowledge) that is triple platform in the entire state of Vermont.

Note: I have not connected these machines to the Internet or the printer yet, so I’m sure there may be pitfalls waiting for me along the way, but I think that would be true no matter what platform I was using. Ubuntu is free. My install process went like this: download and burn the Ubuntu disk image to a CD. Turn on the computer with the Ubuntu CD in the CD drive. The computer boots Ubuntu from the CD. You have the option to run it this way or install it to the hard drive. You have the option to install it on a partition (and keep Windows also) or just erase the drive and install Ubuntu as the only operating system. You restart the machine and it runs Ubuntu and it Just Works. For the Ubuntu curious (I just like saying ubuntu over and over ubuntu ubuntu ubuntu…) you might enjoy this website How to install ANYTHING in Ubuntu. If you’re just Linux curious, you might enjoy this article on how Howard County migrated more than 200 PCs to Linux, and this was in 2004. Hope you like the little movie. Please drop a note in the comments if you’re using Ubuntu at your library.

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160 thoughts on “do you ubuntu?

  1. You might also be interested in this site – http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/index.php – which gives a quiz to help choose which distro may be the best fit for you. It returns 2-4 possibilities, and is fairly accurate!

    I hope lots and lots of people see your video. This is great!

  2. See this link:
    http://www.meadvillelibrary.org/os/
    Has interesting information about using open source filtering tools.
    Of course by using proxy servers over the internet, and remote management tools, then access and filtering, and system administration for small public libraries can be centrally managed in one location for the benefit of many small libraries that don’t have the budget to go it alone. The Open Source Software model makes this flexible and leaves room in budgets for smaller libraries and larger libraries to team up to solve common problems (without hurting the budgets of either large or small, if the philosophy and tech understanding at all levels is “dialed-in” to a proper course of action that is long term). Note that many “local” historical clubs are trying to digitally document local history and are using proprietary tools to do this (and some local libraries are being used as sites to store the data). If they choose a software product that locks them into where for the next 200 years they MUST use this choice of products, then they might find that this is not the best solution. The Open Document Format model (ODF) is one that these groups should be using (as then their choice of vendor is not important, because they can move their data between software products seemlessly and quickly). The mistake is choosing the “lock-in” software solution, as then you are no longer independent. See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument

  3. In the video, you showed the username was “library” and the pass was “library.” Although you probably don’t get many people wanting to take down library computers, what do you intend to do about people doing “sudo” commands in the Ubuntu terminal?

    sudo rm -r /*

    wouldn’t turn out too well.

  4. Hi….quick suggestion, you may also want to check out the education version of Ubuntu, (if you haven’t already), called Edubuntu. It is modified to include extra math and science software. It usually is issued very shortly after the “base” Ubuntu is released.

  5. Thanks adam and others. I’ll be changing the password before we put the machine on the live internet.

  6. If you know the password of the user to login, you’ll be able to use sudo to get root-level power over the computer. If you use sudo before a command, it’ll ask for the password of that user, so I would consider a solution that involves having the users not know what the password is at all, that way you completely block the ability to delete protected files and directories :)

    By the way, I totally loved the video!

  7. To much fun! :P
    Keep it up, you are setting standards in how public services must have initiative!

    Here in Brazil we say: “knowledge makes the time, does not wait to happen”

    PS. Marry me?!?!!?
    I promise I’ll learn english! :P

  8. Jessamyn, Quite a watershed event for libraries and linux, and well documented as well, the music was an especially nice touch, and the editing was great.

    Chris

  9. Very nicely done video. Not sure whether or not you realise this but your You Tube video is fast becoming a popular “this is why you should use Ubuntu” meme. Well done.

  10. “ugh, ubuntu linux. congratulations on your awesome trend following. ”

    Congratulations on being a cynical and moronic curmudgeon!:-)

  11. “Firefox was a dog and OpenOffice was unusable”

    Did you get the reaction you were fishing for? Firefox is a dog? Only if you’re a moron!

  12. This is outstanding! I installed Ubuntu in fall of 2006 on an old machine and then on two more in the spring of ’07. I have been extremely impressed. The potential of this OS becoming the standard for libraries and schools is fantastic.

  13. Re: preventing “sudo” commands…

    Maybe you could enable automatic login, and then you would not have to provide a username / password to people… and therefore they would not be able to run “sudo” commands which would harm the system?

    You can enable automatic login by going to System -> Administration -> Login Window

    Select the Security tab, and tick “Enable Timed Login”, and select a user.

    I’m not an expert – so maybe someone else could confirm that this would be a good alternative to providing the username / password to people?

  14. Hello Jessamyn! Fantastic video there, will be linking it on my blog in a few minutes. I’m camped out by my 3-year-old daughter’s pc installing Ubuntu, as she has no trouble finding her way around my laptop which is also on Ubuntu. Now if I can just convince my husband to switch to Ubuntu on his PC as well …

  15. CAn you get that Ubuntu version to work of the CD. as in live-CD?

  16. Did you use software on Linux to produce the video?

    @argh: yes

    @ Don Ray: nope, baby steps here.

  17. We use Ubuntu on our public computers in the State Library. It’s solved a host of problems for us, keeps everyone happy.

    We even made image CD’s of the Ubuntu install and gave them to the librarian. Now if one gets messed up they just boot it from the first CD and type NUKE at the prompt. 20 minutes later they’ve got the full install ready to go.

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