Given the number of votes for Ubuntu already, and since the download was incredibly fast, I went ahead and booted up the DVD. Off the bat, very impressive, really slick. But then I immediately ran into issues. Well, one really: “RAID”.

My system uses an nForce 780i SLI motherboard and I have two 500Gb drives BIOS raided into one disk, split into several partitions:

1. Primary: Old Windows XP install (96Gb)
2. Extended:
2a. 96Gb of Vista
2b. 128Gb of free space
2c. 660Gb of shared NTFS drive

I managed to install Fedora into the 128Gb space and then deleted it. It coped with the raid stuff out of the box.

Ubuntu, however, doesn’t start with raid support and the instructions for adding it are out of date, inaccurate and a tad scary. I really don’t want to wind up losing my Vista partition or making it unbootable. I also have to confess to a momentary lapse — the LiveCD runs in a RamDisk so I felt real stupid when I asked it to reboot and realized in a few moments all my carefully gathered bookmarks would be gone :)

I’ve spent a little while toying around with Ubuntu and, RAID driver absence aside, it’s pretty damn impressive. Once it’s up and running, it appears uncluttered. It was also deliciously fast booting up.

I might see how it fares under Virtual PC 2007 so I can toy with it some more. Or… I’ll bring one of my (personal) drives back from work and install it on its own disk – that would obviate any raid issues.


Huh, you have doubled risk of disk failure. Hope you run backups often.

Desktop workstations rarely has so complicated setup that you have, therefore perhaps Ubuntu is not for you, use FC or Opensuse instead.

I switched to openSuse at the times when FC was not yet able to boot from mirrored boot partition. And been very happy with it ever since… Yast2 just rocks…Tried Ubuntu too and it did not work at all for me then…

Yeah, unfortunately I’d piled enough data on the “G” partition before I thought it through that now I don’t want to mess with it :) I’m contemplating getting a large external drive for backups but until then I really want to do everything I can to avoid having to reinstall Windows. I’m ok with Vista as long as I don’t have to break it in again.

I don’t know about virtual PC but last week we’ve been trying out VirtualBox at work (Made by Sun). It works great. Personally I’ve mostly been using linux (Ubuntu 8.04) host running virtual XP machines but there should be no problem using windows as host.

It really depends on what you want to do… if you just want to “try out” you should do a virtual machine but if you’re mosre serious about trying it you should run it on a dedicated machine.

I’ve been using ubuntu for several years now as my “primary” OS and I must say with Ubuntu 8 most annoying problems are gone. I’ve migrated most of my familys computers from windows to ubuntu over the past few years and oh man have that saved me lot of time on “support” calls. Everything just works and if I need to install some extra software I just SSH in. Instead of cleaning XP machines from viruses and trojans (some people will never learn what they should NOT click or open) now I just do some maintenance upgrades every two years or so. Like upgrading from Ubuntu 6 LTS to Ubuntu 8 LTS. Users who don’t ponder about the mechanics beneath the desktop, icons and folders have no problems moving from Windows to Linux.

I used FC before ubuntu but got tired of the short lifetimes of each version so I tried Ubuntu and like it a lot. With the ubuntu LTS versions you know you gonna get updates at least the next few years if you decide not to upgrade when a new version is out.

I must say I’m a little surprised that you run the BE servers on FC. I’ve always see FC as a playground and development platform for Redhat and not as a production platform. But considering the BE servers uptimes it seems it’s working just fine for you. :)

I would echo lure’s endorsement of VirtualBox. It’s no VMWare, but for small shop operations it works great.

We use it here to maintain “customer images” so that we have local copies of what their supported systems look like, without having to dedicate boxes to them.

What a pitty!, just for a week, you didn’t avoided the issue with your RAID natively…
This 30th of October, is the release of the next Ubuntu (8.10). (You can do a dist upgrade anyway).

It seems that a better bios RAID support is one of the new advantages, check this:


If your Ubuntu doesn’t satisfy you as simplified desktop, then consider his natural father: a Debian (of the testing branch), it’s less “easy” but it’s powerfull and flexible.

Actually, I’d noticed that … I’ll give Ubunutu another whorl next week (9 days on the count down).

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Ubuntu vs Fedora « kfsone’s pittanceFebruary 17, 2010 at 9:21 pm

[…] gave Ubuntu a shot back then and it didn’t go so well for […]

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