Trending February 2024 # Linux Leaders: Debian And Ubuntu Derivative Distros # Suggested March 2024 # Top 5 Popular

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By any standard, Debian is the most influential Linux distribution ever. Not everyone uses Debian, but, both alone and second hand through Ubuntu, it is the source of more derivative distributions than any other.

Or, to give a different metric, of the 323 currently active distributions listed on Distrowatch, 128 are based on Debian, and another 74 on Ubuntu. In other words, just under 63% of all distributions now being developed come ultimately from Debian. By comparison, 50 (15%) are based on Fedora or Red Hat, 28 (9%) on Slackware, and 12 (4%) on Gentoo.

Given these figures, it is not surprising that Debian should have its Derivatives Front Desk and Ubuntu its Derivatives page to track their relationships with other distributions. As incomplete as both these efforts at keeping track currently are, they are still additional proof (if any is needed) of Debian’s and Ubuntu’s far-reaching influences.

Start scanning the lists of derivatives, and you will find something for everybody, from general purpose deskstops, Live Media, alternative interfaces, netbooks and other platforms to compact installations, localizations, security and privacy, and multimedia.

Debian was the last of the major distributions to get a user-friendly installation. To fill this gap, many derivatives sprung up, including Libranet, Stormix, Progeny, Linspire and Corel, all of which became defunct long ago, due to major changes in the Debian Installer and to Ubuntu’s basic installer.

Another all-round distribution is gNewSense. Its main claim to fame is that it is a completely free distribution that carries no proprietary software whatsoever. In fact, of all the free distributions recognised by the Free Software Foundation, it is by far the most polished and usable.

One of the oldest derivatives is Knoppix, which is also a pioneer of Live Media — CDs or DVDs from which you can boot a computer without accessing the hard drive for secure computing or for demoing software. For many, Knoppix remains an essential tool, especially as a rescue disk.

In fact, Knoppix is so popular that it has evolved its own derivatives. These derivatives include kademar and KnoSciences, both of which have more extensive hardware support than Knoppix, the clearly named STD (Security Tools Distribution, and VMKnoppix, a sampler of virtualization alternatives. Like Knoppix itself, these third-generation derivatives can be used from an external drive or installed on a hard drive.

Debian has a long tradition of including alternative desktops and window managers in its repositories. Similarly, Ubuntu includes a class of what it calls “recognized derivatives” that it considers part of the project, and which includes Kubuntu (KDE) and Xubuntu (Xfce).

However, these are by no means the only interface alternatives. If you install Bodhi, you can work in Enlightenment, the window manager that borders on being a desktop. Alternatively, Damn Small Linux and the dormant Fluxbuntu both use Fluxbox as a window manager. If Fluxbox doesn’t fit your needs, then perhaps CrunchBang and Openbox might instead. Still another derivative that has received considerable attention in the past year is Lubuntu, which uses the lightweight LXDE desktop.

Although they have not been universally popular, developing a desktop for netbooks has been a main concern in free software for the last few years. Of course, Ubuntu itself is developing the GNOME-based Unity for its main interface, a project that was originally called Ubuntu Netbook Edition, but you can find no shortage of netbook-centered derivatives, either.

Most of the netbook-centered choices are based upon Ubuntu, and emphasize social media and cloud computing. They include Aurora (formerly Eeebuntu), Easy Peasy, and Jolicloud.

The history of Debian and Ubuntu is riddled with derivatives that briefly attempted ports to other hardware platforms before being discontinued. These include BlackRhino, which ran on Sony Playstation 2, and a number of derivatives designed to run on Openmoko’s Neo Freerunner.

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5 Of The Best Linux Distros For Developers And Programmers

Linux has always been a go-to choice for many programmers and developers. Its customizability, open source nature and stability are just a few of the many reasons. It also supports a wide collection of programming languages, including C, C++, Perl, Ruby, PHP and more. This guide will focus on some of the best Linux distros for developers and programmers and highlight the key features that make them ideal for programming/development purposes.

1. Manjaro

Manjaro is one of the most developer/programmer-centric Linux distros. It is used by the majority of developers for Web and app development as their “daily driver” due to its simplistic nature.,

Manjaro has tons of features that make it very friendly to programmers and developers. Some of its most outstanding ones include:

It’s one of the best and easiest-to-use Arch Linux-based distros. Other Arch-Linux distros are known to be complicated to install and customize, whereas Manjaro has one of the friendliest installation processes and GUI, making customizing it a breeze.

Because it’s Arch-Linux-based, Manjaro is also very customizable, making it very friendly to programmers and developers who want to create a customized development environment.

Manjaro has a well-thought-out package manager, making it easy to install all the development tools you may need to get up and running in no time.

It comes in various editions or flavors, including XFCE, GNOME, KDE, minimal NET Edition, a Webdev edition (Manjaro Spin solely dedicated to programmers and developers), and a host of other community editions.

Thanks to the Arch User Repository, Manjaro offers a host of programming tools and software, stellar hardware support, a robust community of dedicated contributors, and rolling updates.

2. Ubuntu Desktop

Ubuntu is one of the most versatile Linux distros, which explains why it’s one of the most used by Linux enthusiasts, including beginner and professional programmers.

Ubuntu has a host of standing-ovation-worthy features. The key features that make it one of the best Linux distros for developers and programmers are listed below:

The Ubuntu community is one of its most outstanding features because it translates into unequaled support – think tutorials, scripts, FAQ, etc. The community consistently contributes to the Ubuntu repository, making it easier to find programming resources, software, and libraries for your workflow. Moreover, thanks to community-driven PPAs, you can extend your software experience.

Thanks to its comprehensive library, back and frontend developers and programmers go “ga-ga” for Ubuntu because of its unrivaled support for emerging technologies, including machine, deep learning and artificial intelligence.

A consistent experience is one of the other core features that make Ubuntu one of the best programming distros. The consistent OS experience means that whether you’re working on IoT devices, the cloud, server, or desktop, you will have the same UI experience and access to software packages.

Ubuntu also has one of the friendliest and most comprehensive package handlers: apt.

Ubuntu has unparalleled hardware and software support and is one of the most stable development environments, thanks to the involved testing done by the very dedicated team of developers at Canonical.

3. Fedora

Fedora is another development-programming-centered Linux distro – it even says on its website that it “creates an innovative, free, and open-source platform for hardware, clouds, and containers that enables software developers.”

Some of the key features that make it very development- or programming-friendly:

Fedora’s Anaconda Installer is very feature-worthy. This installer makes customizing the Fedora installation process very intuitive, especially because you can preinstall – and, conversely, uninstall – various software and options before first boot. This feature gives developers a lot of customizability, making it possible to create an à la carte programming environment.

The Fedora Developer Portal is another feature that helps this Red Hat-sponsored distro win the hearts of many developers. The Portal is home to tons of helpful information, including how to get started with development tools like Docker, Vagrant, and Eclipse, start projects like web and command-line applications and uses the Fedora-supported programming Languages and databases.

Thanks to its community-driven nature, this cutting-edge OS supports programming languages like .NET, chúng tôi PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, etc., and databases like MariaDB, PostgresSQL, MongoDB, and many others.

Lastly, while it’s not a rolling release, you can expect a new version of Fedora every six months, each with 13 months of support. Because upgrading Fedora is super simple, developers can easily update to access the latest tools and repositories.

4. Arch Linux

Although Arch Linux does not have the easiest installation process, it’s a developer’s dream. That’s because just about every interaction with it – installing packages, software, repositories, etc. – is a chance to work in the terminal. And as we know, developers and programmers love working in the terminal because it’s the surest way to be productive.

Besides, Arch Linux is one of the friendliest Linux distros for development and programming. Listed below are the reasons it’s one of the best.

Developers and programmers love customizing their working environments, something Arch Linux leans into – hard. This distro has a very DIY approach that allows you to customize which components, tools, software, services, and whatever else you want to install, or not, including your preferred desktop environment. This customizability is one of the things developers love about this distro because it makes it easier to build as nimble a development workflow as you want from the ground up.

Since it’s a DIY-centered distro, Arch Linux does not have any bloatware or unwanted software, which is one of the core reasons why die-hard Linux developers prefer it over other Linux distros.

Arch Linux is a rolling release distro, which developers love because it means keeping the system up to date is easy with just a few commands, thanks to the Pacman manager.

5. Debian

If Linux were a tree, Debian would be a ring on the outer edge of the tree, since it is one of the oldest Linux distros around.

Besides being one of the oldest Linux distros, Debian also has the development/programming-friendly features listed below:

Debian has unparalleled stability, thanks partly to its age. Additionally, the Debian Free Software Guidelines are very particular about which programs, tools, and packages make it to the stable version. This “strictness” means unstable packages rarely make their way into Debian, which annihilates system instability, making Debian one of the most stable programming distros – every developer/programmer knows that very few things are worse than a system crash mid-work.

Debian also has two other key things going for it. First, it has one of the most comprehensive lists of development tools, like editors, VIM, emacs, nano, IDEs, Eclipse, Netbeans, CodeLite, etc. Secondly, the Debian community is one of the most “gung-ho” you will find anywhere. The Debian Wiki and website is buzzing with manuals and tutorials for just about any programming question or issue you may have. Moreover, Debian has an easy-to-use bug-tracking system that makes it easy to report issues and get help from other developers and the community.

Frequently Asked Questions 1. Which distro should I install?

Despite the outline listed above, you may still find it challenging to navigate the sea of Linux distros and find the right one for developers. To avoid problems with your base system when developing, choose a distribution with high stability, customization and popularity. This will help you customize and get support if needed. Popular choices in this category are Manjaro and Ubuntu.

2. How secure are Linux Systems?

Most Linux distributions rely heavily on the base Linux kernel, making them very secure, if not the most secure. This, however, does not mean there are no vulnerabilities for Linux systems, but compared to other systems, such as Windows, you will never have to worry about antivirus.

3. Which development software should I get? Wrapping Up

The best Linux distro for programming is the one that meets your needs. That is the main criteria you should have in mind when deciding which Linux distro to use. If you are new to Linux, check out some of the best Linux distro for beginners.

John Wachira

John is a technical writer at MTE, when is not busy writing tech tutorials, he is staring at the screen trying to debug code.

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Linux Mint Vs. Ubuntu: The Best Option?

For the last few years, there has been something of a popularity contest between two well-known Linux distros: Linux Mint and Ubuntu. Both of these distributions share the same code base, as Ubuntu is based on Debian and Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu.

In both instances, the distributions took the foundation that Debian built, then added their own flavor to make it more user friendly. The similarities between the two distributions go even further, in that Ubuntu packages work flawlessly on Linux Mint, just as Ubuntu PPAs work well on Linux Mint.

When Linux Mint was first being developed, the degree of separation from Ubuntu was very minimal. The first few releases of Linux Mint were considered to be a “re-branded” version of Ubuntu using a slightly different desktop theme. Today however, Linux Mint has less in common with Ubuntu than most people realize.

For this article, I’ll tap into my own experiences with both distributions over the years. I’ll compare how Linux Mint and Ubuntu differ, and talk about which of the two options are best for the casual Linux enthusiast.

Easy isn’t a dirty word

All too often, I hear the word “easy” being tossed around as if it’s a bad word when describing Linux distributions. It’s unfortunate that in some circles, an easy-to-use Linux distribution is looked down upon. Thankfully with both Linux Mint and Ubuntu, this isn’t the case. The communities for both distributions are both very focused on a new user experience. I happen to see this as a positive thing.

Despite the mutual goal of offering an easy to use Linux desktop, I’ve noticed that Ubuntu and Linux Mint have different approaches as to how they appeal to their users.

In recent years, I’ve actually found the two distributions shift further apart than ever before. This change isn’t a negative thing, rather a positive highlight that allows both distributions to differentiate themselves better. The shift began with different approaches to tools and software. Later, the differences between the distros evolved to include the desktops as well.

Today, Ubuntu firmly embraces Unity while Linux Mint holds tightly to their own re-imagining of the Gnome Shell. In both examples, the goal is to provide the most seamless experience to new users as possible. Interestingly enough, the approach taken with each distribution couldn’t be more different when it comes to the desktop environment.

Unity wasn’t that unifying at first

Ubuntu has made tremendous strides with Unity. Despite what amounts to a mess with previous releases of Unity, Ubuntu has managed to turn Unity into a solid desktop option for newcomers and veterans alike.

No matter how you slice it, Unity under Ubuntu looks light-years better than Gnome 2 ever did. Even if you don’t like it, you must admit that it presents a nice, polished look.

The idea behind Unity was to bring everything that the Linux desktop to the end user with minimal hunting for applications and settings. This translates into less dancing through menus, and more enjoying the installed software or discovering new titles via the software center. It was a bold idea that clearly is beginning to win new users over. Add in the available installable Unity lenses, and suddenly the idea of using Unity isn’t so bad.

In the beginning, my own experiences with Unity were far from pleasant. The Early releases of Unity left me frustrated and seeking an alternative desktop environment almost immediately. I found that the lack of system indicator applets that I once enjoyed was nearly impossible for me to overlook. It amounted to a complete redo on how I used my desktop, and I simply wasn’t a good match for earlier revision of the Unity desktop.

Flash forward to now, Unity in Ubuntu 12.04 is well thought out and responsive. I’m also thrilled that they’re replacing previously missing system indicators and improving dual-monitor control.

Unity has come a long way, despite the fact that I’ve had to retrain my brain in how to interact with the desktop. Yes, Unity has finally come into its own. But to be clear, it’s very different from what we experienced when using the Gnome 2 desktop in earlier Ubuntu releases.

Cinnamon sweetens the Gnome desktop

In contrast, Linux Mint opted early on to not emulate Ubuntu’s desktop choices. Today, Linux Mint comes with a number of desktop environments. Unlike Ubuntu, Linux Mint 12 offers its users the Gnome 3 and MATE desktop experiences out of the box. Gnome 3 is basically just the next evolution of Gnome. And MATE is essentially a fork off of Gnome 2, for those who prefer the legacy interface.

Top 10 Best Linux Apps For Ubuntu Users

Did you recently move from a Windows operating system (OS) and its native applications to Ubuntu and its applications? Are you wondering how to benefit from the best Linux apps on offer and still get the same functionality you had with your Windows apps?

There is no need to worry. Linux continues to become more user-friendly with its open-source platform and the contributions of the developer community. 

Table of Contents

Below are several Linux applications and utility programs that you can install to improve your Ubuntu user experience. 

Music Players

We listen to music on our computers to pass the time, help us concentrate, and increase our motivation. Below are a few of the most popular Ubuntu music players.

Clementine is a multi-platform modern music player and a library organizer to search for and play your favorite music quickly and easily.

Create playlists

Customize the interface

Stream music from various sources such as online distribution serves and radio stations

Upload music files to various Cloud storage platforms 

Organize and search your saved music library, play CDs, download missing album art from chúng tôi and Amazon, and use an Android phone as a remote control device. The Clementine Music Player improves and enhances your listening experience.

Other popular music players for Ubuntu include:

Rhythmbox, the default music player for Ubuntu 

CMUS, a small, fast, and powerful console music player

Audacious, a lightweight and low resource audio player

Image Tools

Many people think they need to use Mac or Windows to have access to the best image editing tools. However, Linux has plenty of options. 

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a Linux alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It is free and can be used to edit, resize, retouch, and apply other special effects to images.

GIMP is an open-source app that has many of the same features as Photoshop. There are even some Photoshop plugins you can use.

Besides being the most popular image editing app for Ubuntu, GIMP has another significant benefit. By default, GIMP takes up less than 100MB on your system and is especially helpful if you are running out of disk space.

There are several other free and open-source image tools for Ubuntu, including:

Browsers Document Handling

There are several management and storage tools for Linux used to increase workspace productivity.

LogicalDOC is a document management tool for Linux. It offers four different options depending upon your needs.

The free and open-source version is called the Community Edition. It doesn’t provide all the features of the paid versions, but it does offer:

Advanced search

Access control

Integration extensions for WordPress and Joomla

Web-based user interface

If you want additional functionality, look at the comparison chart for this version, Business, Enterprise, and Cloud editions. You will need to provide a MySQL database for the application to store the data. If you don’t have MySQL, you must install it.

Other document management tools for Linux include:

Alfresco, a java-based document management program with open source and Enterprise editions

Bitrix24, a document management solution that tracks activity, enables chat, and manages projects and tasks

OpenKM (JAVA-based) offers a web UI, records management, integration with other services, and task automation

Maintenance & Disk Utilities

To keep your machine in tip-top shape, you should perform system maintenance such as deleting cookies, removing logs, and shredding temporary files.

Delete unnecessary files from the system with BleachBit to protect privacy, free valuable disk space, and remove junk.

The software removes cookies, broken shortcuts, Internet history, cache, and temporary files. Other maintenance and disk utility Linux apps are:

Ubuntu Cleaner, easy to configure, removes private information, and frees up disk space

Stacer, a monitoring tool and a system optimizer that also cleans application logs, crash and application caches, and empties trash.

GtkOrphan, a graphical tool that will find and remove orphaned libraries

Cloud Storage & Syncing

Although there are many available options on the market to store your valuable data on cloud storage, some of these programs have restrictions regarding privacy and user control over files. 

Linux offers several cloud storage solutions to enable you to store your data securely.

One of the most popular and largest open-source community-driven cloud storage software is OwnCloud. It is a Linux replacement for Dropbox and a self-hosted share and sync server with access to unlimited storage space.

Other Ubuntu cloud storage and syncing programs include:

Nextcloud where you can share multiple folders and files and sync them with your Nextcloud server

GlusterFS, a scalable network-attached file storage system

Seafile, a free and open-source file hosting and collaboration platform that enables online document editing, and keeps versions of files and snapshots of folders to restore to a previous version

Best Video Linux Apps

There are a variety of video apps available to Linux users.

VLC is a portable multimedia player that supports various video and audio formats, VCDs, DVDs, and different streaming protocols without needing additional codecs.

VLC has many other features, including a responsive and clean UI, multiple audio streams, and extensive theme options.

Other video utility programs include:

Shotcut, a cross-platform video editor that supports a wide range of video formats

Peek, a lightweight screen recording app that turns your videos into GIF animations

OpenShot, a video software app that supports all media formats and offers cutting, trimming, cropping, and snapping functionality

Messaging

Messaging has become a part of our daily lives, both personally and professionally. There is no shortage of Linux app options.  

If you are looking for an open-source messaging application for Linux that is similar to WhatsApp, Telegram is very popular.

Telegram works seamlessly and looks good on the Linux desktop.

Other message apps include:

Signal, a native Linux desktop client with a focus on security and privacy

Wickr, a popular, secure texting app that is free for up to ten team members (premium options available) 

Wire, an open-source alternative to Slack

Security

Keeping your Linux system secure is necessary to protect your data. Basic system security includes using passwords that are difficult to guess, regular backups, and removing services you don’t use or need.

Archery is a robust vulnerability assessment and security management tool.

With Archery, you can manage:

Vulnerability from multiple scanners

All static scans and detects risks

Risk management and compliance

Web scan results show the data visually on a dashboard to help web application risk assessment.

Several other essential security Linux apps include:

Gaming

If you like to play games, there are tons you can install for free on Linux as Snap apps from the official Snapcraft store.

SuperTuxKart is a free kart racing game with great graphics, a diverse set of tracks, and a collection of karts and characters from which to choose.

Some other fun games include: 

Live for Speed, a racing simulator game and the nearest thing to sitting in the driver’s seat of an actual car

Fill up a few minutes of time or let your kids play Oh My Giraffe where you are a giraffe who likes to eat fruit while outrunning some sleepy lions

M.A.R.S., a 2D space shooter with cool visual effects

Many users who switch operating systems (OS) after using a different one for a long time, often find it challenging to find the best alternative in the new OS.

How To Use The Zfs Filesystem On Ubuntu Linux

Why ZFS

Now, if you’re considering ZFS for your ultra-fast NVMe SSD, it might not be the best option. It’s slower than others. That’s okay, though. It was designed to store huge amounts of data and keep it safe.

ZFS eliminates the need to set up traditional RAID arrays. Instead, you can create ZFS pools, and even add drives to those pools at any time. ZFS pools behave almost exactly like RAID, but the functionality is built right into the filesystem.

ZFS also acts like a replacement for LVM, allowing you to partition and manage partitions on the fly without the need to handle things at a lower level and worry about the associated risks.

It’s also a CoW filesystem. Without getting too technical, that means that ZFS protects your data from gradual corruption over time. ZFS creates checksums of files and lets you roll back those files to a previous working version.

Installing ZFS

Installing ZFS on Ubuntu is very easy, though the process is slightly different for Ubuntu LTS and the latest releases.

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

sudo

apt

install

zfs

Ubuntu 17.04 and Later

sudo

apt

install

zfsutils

After you have the utilities installed, you can create ZFS drives and partitions using the tools provided by ZFS.

Creating Pools

Pools are the rough equivalent of RAID in ZFS. They are flexible and can easily be manipulated.

RAID0

RAID0 just pools your drives into what behaves like one giant drive. It can increase your drive speeds, but if one of your drives fails, you’re probably going to be out of luck.

To achieve RAID0 with ZFS, just create a plain pool.

sudo

zpool create your-pool

/

dev

/

sdc

/

dev

/

sdd RAID1/MIRROR

You can achieve RAID1 functionality with the mirror keyword in ZFS. Raid1 creates a 1-to-1 copy of your drive. This means that your data is constantly backed up. It also increases performance. Of course, you use half of your storage to the duplication.

sudo

zpool create your-pool mirror

/

dev

/

sdc

/

dev

/

sdd RAID5/RAIDZ1

ZFS implements RAID5 functionality as RAIDZ1. RAID5 requires drives in multiples of three and allows you to keep 2/3 of your storage space by writing backup parity data to 1/3 of the drive space. If one drive fails, the array will remain online, but the failed drive should be replaced ASAP.

sudo

zpool create your-pool raidz1

/

dev

/

sdc

/

dev

/

sdd

/

dev

/

sde RAID6/RAIDZ2

RAID6 is almost exactly like RAID5, but it works in multiples of four instead of multiples of three. It doubles the parity data to allow up to two drives to fail without bringing the array down.

sudo

zpool create your-pool raidz2

/

dev

/

sdc

/

dev

/

sdd

/

dev

/

sde

/

dev

/

sdf RAID10/Striped Mirror

RAID10 aims to be the best of both worlds by providing both a speed increase and data redundancy with striping. You need drives in multiples of four and will only have access to half of the space. You can create a pool in RAID10 by creating two mirrors in the same pool command.

sudo

zpool create your-pool mirror

/

dev

/

sdc

/

dev

/

sdd mirror

/

dev

/

sde

/

dev

/

sdf Working With Pools

There are also some management tools that you have to work with your pools once you’ve created them. First, check the status of your pools.

sudo

zpool status Updates

When you update ZFS you’ll need to update your pools, too. Your pools will notify you of any updates when you check their status. To update a pool, run the following command.

sudo

zpool upgrade your-pool

You can also upgrade them all.

sudo

zpool upgrade

-a

Adding Drives

You can also add drives to your pools at any time. Tell zpool the name of the pool and the location of the drive, and it’ll take care of everything.

sudo

zpool add your-pool

/

dev

/

sdx Other Thoughts

ZFS creates a directory in the root filesystem for your pools.  You can browse to them by name using your GUI file manager or the CLI.

Regardless of how stable and robust ZFS is, it’s always best to back up your data when you implement something new on your hard drives.

Nick Congleton

Nick is a freelance tech. journalist, Linux enthusiast, and a long time PC gamer.

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Ubuntu Virtual Machine: Guest And Host

If you’d like to run an Ubuntu virtual machine on your PC, you’ll need to weigh a series of considerations. To be sure, the use of virtualization is commonplace in the IT industry these days. Still, before you decide to run an Ubuntu virtual machine, you must consider whether you fully understand the benefits of setting one up in the first place.

In this article, I’ll explore virtual machine hosts and guests on Ubuntu, why virtualization is a better bet than relying on WINE and how to ensure that you are selecting the best virtual machine solution for your Ubuntu desktop.

Generally speaking, it makes very little sense to run a virtual machine of Ubuntu under Windows. If you’re relying on Windows and looking to run Ubuntu also, it would make much more sense to look into a dual-boot environment or consider using the Windows installer for Ubuntu. An alternative to using the Ubuntu Windows installer would be to use a bootable USB drive loaded with Ubuntu already. This is useful in that it would provide you with a dynamic Ubuntu experience without ever needing to touch your existing operating system’s installation.

For most people, Ubuntu makes for a great host operating system, and running Windows as a guest provides the best value overall. An example of this would be if you needed a legacy Windows application, but would rather use Ubuntu as your default operating system. Using an Ubuntu PC with ample CPU power and RAM, you could run an instance of Windows and access the legacy program under Ubuntu quite easily. Depending on the virtual machine software you decide to use, you could even run your guest desktop in a “seamless” mode where the guest OS’s software visually appears to be running natively on Ubuntu.

In order to setup an Ubuntu host with Windows running as a guest operating system, I recommend the following:

Use a PC with ample resources. I recommend using a computer with as much RAM and CPU power as possible. Ideally, I prefer to give a guest operating system like Windows 2 GBs of dedicated RAM to work with, with at least another 2 GBs of RAM for the host operating system.

Consider whether running a virtual machine is the best approach to using multiple platforms. If you’re looking to play video games in a Windows guest on an Ubuntu-host PC, you’re going to be very disappointed. When it comes to running video editors, video games and CAD programs, you really need to consider a native operating system environment. Trying any of the above with a virtual machine isn’t going to work well at all.

Consider whether using an open source software title be a better alternative. In many instances, using an open source software application will provide the same results as using a proprietary Windows application. While some users will disagree with this, it has been my experience that in many cases open source alternatives can offer most if not all of the functionality found in proprietary software. After doing some initial testing, you may discover that you could be using a natively supported open source application. This would mean that you could avoid relying on a virtual machine altogether.

When it comes to choosing the right virtual machine software for your Ubuntu installation, you must first decide which factors matter the most to you.

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