Linux Mint 13 vs Ubuntu 12.04

August 12, 2012

What a fantastic finisher at the Olympic games by Usain Bolt in 200m. It is hard to believe that China this time is at the top.
With the increasing release of various Linux Distro’s like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, OpenSUSE, Fedora, Mandriva and Redhat it can be tricky or hard to choose which is the right distro for you. In this article I will compare Linux Mint 13 Vs Ubuntu 12.04.

Linux Mint is a distribution based on Ubuntu which was first released in 2006. Some say Mint is an enhanced version of Ubuntu because it rides on Ubuntu resp. In my opinion I agree to that however Mint is not completely based on based Ubuntu because it has it own unique enhancements such as Unique themes specially made for Mint only.

The main difference between them is just the user interface. Mint is developed by mixing Gnome 2 and 3 features. Fans of 2 appreciated the developers for this. Fedora, OpenSUSE use Gnome 3 to its full capacity and likewise Ubuntu has it own interface i.e. They moved from Gnome 3 to using their own interface called Unity which offers quick access to apps. Its just that Mint took over Unity’s interface and replaced it with MATE and Cinamon

Mint has inbuilt codecs, browser plugins, JAVA configurations and supports DVD playback.

Here is a quick glance at other basic features of Linux Mint

1) Good collection of tools which are developed in house and are very user friendly.

2) Software package manager – APT using DEB packages (This is also compatible with Ubuntu)

3) Versions: Mint has 3 main versions i.e. Gnome(Original Linux Mint is based on this) and KDE

Mint 13 – MAYA has:

1) MATE 1.2
2) Cinamon 1.4
3) MDM
4) Search engines

On the other hand Ubuntu 12.04 has:

1)Unity 3D interface 5.10
2)Unity 2D interface 5.10
3)GNOME 3.4.1
4)Linux kernel 3.2.12
5)Python 2.7.3 and Python 3.2.3

Ubuntu is one of the greatest distros and one of the greatest advantages of Unity interface is that it can run on old machines which run on low hardware specs while Gnome tends to “fallback” on machines with old hardware.
Ubuntu has one of the easiest in built search engines i.e. HUD which is one of the reasons which I really love Ubuntu 12.04
Other reasons are it has a wide support community, has hundreds of technical articles written by experts and some by users. A solution to every kind of software or hardware problem can be found on the Ubuntu community.

In conclusion both Mint and Ubuntu are almost identical and are written on the same kind of code. Given a choice between various distros out there I would go for Ubuntu 12.04


Advantages and Disadvantages of Ubuntu Linux

June 21, 2012

A cold chilly morning here in Kenya during the months of June and July. As the world continues to embrace newer technology in the Information Age people are still in the era of Industrial Age. SOme of this people are reluctant to move ahead. According to them they feel better off living in the ‘Industrial age’ than the information age. I am talkig about people using Windows and Linux. In this case I will be referring to Ubuntu Linux (11.10) and Windows XP, Vista and 7. Lets consider why one would use Ubuntu.

The advantages

1) What I like about Ubuntu is its relatively secure compared to Windows and OS X. There are hundreds of thousands of viruses, worms and trojans targeting windows users. Other users who have ill knowledge of viruses become their victims and some have their information compromised as not all kinds of viruses can be detected by anti viruses.

2) Creativity: Ubuntu is open source. Before Precise Pangolin was relased (12.04LTS) every 6 months a new version of Ubuntu used to be released. The new versions come with better or improved apps, additional system features/softwares, fonts, backgrounds, themes and more. Consider Windows XP, its been in the market for more than a decade now. Till todays date there are millions of computers out there which run on windows XP. With Mircosoft it takes them nearly a decade to relase a new version of their product. Clearly it can be implied Ubuntu is evolving at a much faster rate than Windows.
Despite Microsoft having released Windows Vista, or 7, I do not see any big difference between them when comparing it with windows XP. The idea behind Windows Vista and 7 is still the same. Same types of files .dll,.sys,.NetFramework, NTFS,start buttons are common in all windows distros (execpt windows 8) since evolution of Windows 95. The only change between them is the visual appearance. However there are small improvements made to Windows 7 that makes comparison next impossible with XP

3) Compatilbility- For users who are used to Windows, they can run their windows apps on Ubuntu as well with sotwares such as WINE, Crossover and more. Therefore they wil get a similar experience as running the application on a Windows computer.

4) Popularity: Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distro till today. The reason of its popularity is due to the creativity and the excellent support in the Ubuntu forums which I personally like. And its still being improved day by day.

5) Ubuntu comes with all the software pre-installed that one would ever need and use. This is one major advantage with all Linux distros. Unlike Windows which just comes with the recycle bin and other basics like calulator, wordpad and Windows Player.

Disadvantages of Ubuntu.

1) Compatibility: When manufactures make a computer, they have an assumption that the computer will run on windows. They therefore have to first provide support for the hardware in terms of availability of drivers and other issues. With Ubuntu there is less hardware support. Case in point: Dell does not support Ubuntu operating systems which I am currently using. I wanted to upgrade my graphics card but since my OS is not supported it makes it difficult for me to obtain support even if upgrade. Therefore windows has far better support than Linux.
Another case in point: With the newly released Ubuntu 12.04 it was difficult for me to configure my modem to work on it. On Ubuntu forums and other related sites have many questions on Internet problems on Ubuntu 12.04 however some of them are solved.

2)Gaming: This is the biggest advantage to Windows. It is not possible to play mordern games on Ubuntu. One thing for sure is the thousands of games released by various companies cannot run on Ubuntu unless you use an emulator. And WINE being popular is not an emulator. Even the game that runs on Ubuntu the graphics will not be similar to that of Windows computer. Windows users will agree with what I am saying.
Another thing is graphic support on Ubuntu is relatively poor when compared with Windows. Look at how many add-on’s are available to enhance graphic experience on Windows and because of this personally like Windows for purposes of gaming till today’s date

3)Availability of softwares- I will agree that Linux has thousands of free applications and sotwares available. However if I do not find an application then a substitute will be available. The substitute software may or may not be able to do specific functions that I want. Case in point: In Ubuntu I use WinFF as a video converter. WinFF is damn slow when converting large videos, it can only convert limited type of video files it will take forever for it to complete. Comparing that with AVC(Any Video Converter), the MAXIMUM time it will take is 1 hour. A large number of video formats are supported. People who have used this will understand what I am talking about Yes the substitute is available but its not very useful. It discourages me to use it. And beacuse of this Microsoft has a significant market share than Apple or Linux. Read more about this here

4) With Ubuntu (by default) cannot be able to play Mp3 files. Ubuntu will definitely have a bad impression to one who is new to Linux. In windows you do not need to install additional codecs or even if you need its not restricted unlike Ubuntu where by Mp3 formats are restricted. Ubuntu is therefore not as mature as Windows is.

5) Availability of support – I know I said this is one of my favorite advantages but what if I experience a new kind of a problem with Ubuntu that other users haven’t? If I post my problem on Ubuntu forums it will take nearly 2 months or more to get a solution. But with Microsoft they respond within weeks if not days. Also other Windows users will have experienced similar problems and posted a solution to it or if not, then an alternative to it.

In conclusion Windows beats Linux in market share because of its excellent hardware support, availability of software’s and its a good gaming platform. However I equally like Ubuntu.

Ubuntu for Android

April 27, 2012

Android is software ‘set’ for mobile devices. It is mainly an operating system based on Linux.

Recently Canonical announced plans on Ubuntu for Android.
Ubuntu on Android is not necessarily Ubuntu running on Android.
It is just Ubuntu running on the side with Android. They both have one thing in common, the Kernel. The phone will just run like a normal Android phone, but when it is connect to a PC, you will get a similar experience as using Ubuntu.

The advantage of this is will be to people who used to carry both a smart phone and a laptop. They no longer need to do that. One device is enough for them.
Another benefit is if you connect your Android device to a TV via HDMI you don’t get the Ubuntu desktop: you get the Ubuntu TV interface. You can access online content just as you would with any Ubuntu TV.
Another benefit is that no need to duplicate contacts in your phone, or even when composing emails, no need to add email addresses separately. This is because both the programs are interrogating the same single address book.
Canonical is not exactly creating a mobile phone OS, the thing is it is easy to switch to desktop mode once you connect the phone to the PC. Android interface, from the base to the apps and all through, is designed to be used on touchscreen devices. This could explain though Windows had been on tablets before the iPad came around, it never garnered any traction in the market. Why? Because it was just a desktop OS being “forced” onto a new hardware. Canonical is not forcing a new OS on a hardware.
When using the mobile device, it will be using Android just like before, but when you connect the device to a PC is when you get the Ubuntu experience with the Unity interface. In this way, people will get unique experiences in each situation without needing to learn a new platform.
However the biggest problem that Canonical faces with Ubuntu for Android is the same same one that every Linux distro faces; ‘user adoption’. More than any other distros Ubuntu has a bigger and well established user base but that still doesn’t come to to a big number. Only about 20 million people using it world wide. Similarly Apple has had a tough time pulling users to Mac products, and has made a relatively small gain interms of market share because it is different from what users know and are familiar with. An Apple user could agree to this. I myself would like to push Ubuntu forward in the market and make it a real competitor to Windows and MAC.
Comments are highly welcome.
As for Canonical, they will take time to realease an ‘all Ubuntu phone.’


Linux Mint 12.0

April 2, 2012

This is for those who want to know what Linux Mint is about.

As the name itself suggests, this is another version of Linux. Mint has three different types of desktop environments.

2) Gnome
3) KDE

Lets look at this different types of environment in brief:

1) LXDE: – Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment. This is just a desktop environment just like Gnome or KDE. But it a lighter and faster type. It comes with the minimum packages that you need to get started. Things like a good interface, language support and additional features like tabbed file browsing. It consumes less CPU usage and RAM and can be installed on many Linux distributions including Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Fedora and Debian.

2) Gnome – GNU Network Object Model Environment. It is another type of desktop environment that runs on a computer OS. It is the most popular desktop environment used by millions of people around the world. It runs on top of the X windows system and is available on most Linux distributions.

3) KDE – K Desktop Environment. It is a graphical desktop environment. Use this if you are so used to Windows. It comes with Kword, kpresenter, Kcalc and Kontact.

Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) Review

April 1, 2012

Ubuntu 12.04(beta) is now available for download from ( ) There have been some slight changes in the features. The changes are as follows:

1) The default music player is Rhythmbox from Banshee media player.

2) The original browser is still there Firefox however in 12.04 its been upgraded to 11.0(beta version). The full version will be ready when Ubuntu 12.04 will be released.

3) Libre office has been updated to version 3.5

4) Ubuntu Software Center has a better appearance. A ‘Recommendation’is now available on it.

5) It comes with a new feature which allows you to Sync folder within the application

6) New features available in System settings.

7) HUD (Heads Up Display) – This feature allows you to items in the menu bar. It has really been improved in 12.04. However this application does not work with all the applications. For instance Libre office has no global menu in 12.04 which implies this feature cannot be used on Libre office.

There have been no other major changes. Though the boot up screen has a slight change because the User Interface on it has been changed from 3D to 2D for computer which cannot support 3D.

The fastest growing OS

March 24, 2012

Microsoft has indeed done a fantastic job throughout on Windows and demand for Microsoft products was sky rocketing. And I accept that Windows does have a better GUI (Graphical User Interface) which makes it popular than Linux.
However Linux is now over taking windows. A simple example: The sales for Android phones are booming right now in many countries. Android is based on a Linux platform.

According to statistics obtained from , Microsoft’s share fell from 15.1% to 13.2% in 2010. The reason for this is demand for smart phones increased. However Android is still behind RIM and Apple given the continued growth or demand for smart phones stay’s the same then I expect Android to become the dominant smart phone OS.

In my opinion, the new devices currently being developed will run on Android which is Linux. Therefore Windows will just remain nothing more than a simple OS. Show me a phone which runs on a Windows platform today?

Microsoft says goodbye to IE6

January 8, 2012

10 years ago a browser was born. Its name was Internet Explorer 6 (often known as IE6). Now that we are in 2012, in an era of modern web standards, its time to say goodbye to IE6.

IE6 was the most widely used web browser during its tenure and attained a total market share of nearly 90% during 2002-2003. It only slowly declined up to 2007, when it lost about half its market share to Windows Internet Explorer 7 and Mozilla Firefox between late 2006 to 2008.