Love it or hate it, the new look of Windows has obviously received massive attention lately.
Windows 10 has compelled a few users to look elsewhere. And an upgraded Ubuntu might be their destination. Or the Linux OS might simply be a safer way to browse the Web for those sticking with their Windows machines.
Keeping your operating-system options open
Yes, this is still the Windows Secrets newsletter. Personally, I’m mostly happy with both the look of Win10 and its new features. But I also like looking at alternative systems; so I keep a copy of Ubuntu as one of my virtual machines. (And, yes, I also have nonvirtual OS X systems.)
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (donationware; site) is an attractive Windows alternative because of its relatively small size and modest hardware requirements — it runs nicely on a virtual machine or older hardware. The download ISO is under 1.5GB; Win10 is about 2.3GB. The recommended hardware for Ubuntu is 2GB of RAM, a 2GHz dual-core processor, and 25GB of free drive space.
Version 16.04, released April 21, is the first Long Term Support (LTS) upgrade in a couple of years. (Think of LTS editions as versions of Windows such as Vista, XP, Win7, and so forth.) Release 16.04 has numerous user-interface refinements that make the OS suitable for nearly any computer user.
Installing 16.04 takes about an hour or two. Most of that time is downloading and installing software and driver packages. Installing Ubuntu in VirtualBox is easy, once you download the operating system’s ISO — though, the first time I went through the process, the installer hung up at the location screen. The second try was faultless. You’ll be stepped through about a dozen setup screens — none of which asks whether the operating system can send your data up into the cloud. The following screen shots give a quick tour of the setup process.