Republished from Lifehacker. It may not be the most popular operating system around, but we still love Linux around these parts (and we know you do too). Here are some of our favourite Linux downloads and posts from the past year.
Linux hasn’t always had the best rep as far as ease of use, but us Linux fans at Lifehacker wanted to prove the naysayers wrong by including Linux in this year’s round of Lifehacker packs. We rounded up some of the best Linux apps for getting things done and making your desktop great.
The latest and greatest version of Ubuntu dropped this October, and brought with it some great improvements: easier installation, the Software centre, Ubuntu One and its streaming music, a new font and more. We took a tour of some of our favourite new features.
Sure, GNOME and KDE have their ups and downs when it comes to looks, but some people just can’t get enough of Mac OS X’s sleek interface. If you want to get that look on your Linux desktop, Macbuntu makes it easy with a simple installer.
It’s no longer the newest version of Ubuntu, but as a Long Term Support (LTS) release, it’s one that some people will be using for a long time, and one that brought in some big changes to the OS. We went through the best big improvements in this cycle of Ubuntu in our look at 10.04 Lucid Lynx.
The one downside of being a Linux user is that it’s pretty difficult to completely separate yourself from other operating systems — even with tools like WINE, you’ll need to do a bit of multi-booting. And, if you want Linux, OS X and Windows on the same machine, you’ll have to get a Mac and triple-boot it. Of course, you could always build a Hackintosh
and triple boot that too
, if you prefer.
If you’re not a fan of multi-booting your machine, you might instead opt to virtualise those other operating systems you need access to. With VirtualBox, you can easily run Windows, Mac and Linux simultaneously and side by side.
We briefly discussed the new Unity interface in our Ubuntu 10.10 screenshot tour
, but if you’re looking on the in-depth skinny on Ubuntu’s newest interface (now coming to Ubuntu Desktop as well) and the philosophy behind Ubuntu Light, look no further.
Whether you like it or not, the command line is a big part of Linux — moreso than any other OS. However, it doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, the command line is fairly easy to get used to, and extremely powerful. If you have little or no command line experience, here’s where you’ll want to start learning.
One of the things Linux is great for is setting up servers in your home. We went through how to set up your own web server by hacking a Pogoplug and using Linux.
We all love popular distros like Ubuntu, but if you’ve become comfortable with Linux and are looking for something powerful and super-customisable, Arch Linux is a great distro to try. Not only will you end up with an OS personally tailored to you, but you’ll learn a ton about how Linux works (and thus be more apt to solve any problem that comes your way) when you’re done.
Non-Linux filesystems are surprisingly compatible with Linux, but as soon as you boot into Windows or OS X, you won’t be able to access all that data you’ve stored on your Linux partition. We showed you how to make all your data readable and writable between operating systems.
If you want to give your Linux desktop a sleek look but don’t feel like emulating OS X or Windows 7, the Gaia theme for Linux is incredibly pretty, and was the focal point of one of 2010’s most popular featured desktops, courtesy of reader gabriela2400.
Thanks to some of Ubuntu’s great built-in tools, it’s remarkably easy to set up a wallpaper that cycles through a new image from an online source. Readers loved this fun post detailing how to set it up as a rotating image of the Earth from space.
One of our favourite neat utilities for Linux we featured this year was LIRC, a program that allowed you to control your computer from afar with an infrared remote. It’s not only great for our media centre obsession
, but can control nearly anything on your computer, like your music player or slideshow presentations.
There’s nothing wrong with using the GUI, but if you’re using Linux, you’re probably spending half your time in the Terminal anyway. Why not ditch some of the bloated apps and just use the command line to lighten the load? We show you the best ways to read email, listen to music, and even follow Twitter with nothing but the Terminal.
It wasn’t one of our original Linux posts, but our mention of Jeff Hoogland’s post on Linux Mint’s beginner-friendliness sure sparked some lively discussion in our comments. Check out our post to relive the controversy.
2010 was a great year for Linux at Lifehacker, and these are some of the most popular posts. For even more Linux goodness, be sure to check out our best posts from 2009 and 2008, as well. Also note that we opted to leave out a few popular, cross-platform app updates to the above list (in order to leave you with more room for Linux-only goodness).