Friday, September 19, 2008

Ubuntu, Synaptic and Wine

Ubuntu has been officially rated as the most popular linux distribution from the years 2004 to 2008. The word ubuntu basically means 'I am what I am because of who we all are'. True to its name, Ubuntu is a community developed operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers. It contains all the applications you'll ever need, from word processing and email applications, to web server software and programming tools. Ubuntu releases a new desktop and server release every six months. Ubuntu is especially designed with security in mind. Hence, security updates are also a regular feature one has free access to.

In order to install any software in Ubuntu the following code needs to be written in the terminal window :
sudo apt-get install name_of_package

Synaptic is an advanced package management application that can install and remove every package available to your system. Synaptic comes pre-installed in the latest Ubuntu release - 'Hardy Heron'. This essentially means that there is a comprehensive list of softwares that are popular and will efficiently work on Ubuntu and ofcourse more importantly are completely free to use and modify. So you type the name of the software you wish to use in the search bar; the packages that you'll need to install are displayed. Now all you have to do is select them. Synaptic will automatically download and install the software for you. Not only that, you can easily remove/uninstall an application/software using synaptic by by simply unchecking the block next to the software name.

If you simply must run your Windows programs, chances are you can make them work with Wine. The goal of the Wine project is to develop a "translation layer" for Linux that enables users to run native Microsoft Windows applications on it. The developers of Wine insist that it is not a windows emulator because an emulator would add an extra software layer on top of the native operating system, which would add memory and computation overhead and negatively affect performance. Instead Wine provides alternative DDLs (Dynamic Link Libraries) that are needed to run the applications. These are native software components that, depending on their implementation, can be just as efficient or more efficient than their Windows counterparts. That is why some MS Windows applications run faster on Linux than on Windows.

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