Review: Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon takes on Mac OS X Leopard for the OS of the Year Part 2

Yah. The second and final part of this series on Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon takes on Mac OS X Leopard for the OS of the Year.

 System configuration.

Everyone has to configure the OS at some time. Ubuntu wants you to scroll through a bunch of icons on the System dropdown menu, which is so old-school that it’s almost laughable. Good luck finding the right applet. Kubuntu has gotten away from the overly-complex but complete KDE Control Center in favor of the simplified and very Mac-like System Settings. Both solutions unify the control panels into one interface, with System Settings providing a user-friendly search function that definitely takes its inspiration from Leopard’s System Preferences. The main problem with System Settings is that not every control panel applet is designed to fit inside the container’s window, leading to scrolling and confusion when the user needs to authenticate into Administrator mode.

Wel I believe that when you need to become admin to install something that it is better to have a pop up dialog box to go and be able to be an admin. it works out great for me at least.

Apple’s System Preferences contains the control panel applets in a unified window, with a super-smart search box that highlights the preferences that best match the function you want to perform. The main window expands and contracts as needed to fit the functions, and those applets that were problematic in earlier versions of OS X (Network, for instance, was needlessly complex) have been fixed. With a little more work, though, KDE’s System Settings could match or even exceed Apple’s System Preferences.

Well since I have never actually owned a Macintosh I would believe that it works fine if they were to put those in the final release.

Web browser.

Ubuntu ships with Firefox as the default browser, Kubuntu uses Konqueror, and Leopard has Safari. Of course, you can download and install Firefox on both Kubuntu and Leopard, which is a good thing. Konqueror and Safari are both decent browsers (and they share the same code base), and the most recent releases are very good indeed, but Firefox still offers more in the way of customizability and extensions. And its cross-platform nature means that users only need to learn one Web browser to use on Linux, Mac OS, and even Windows. My informal testing shows, though, that Safari truly is faster at rendering pages than Firefox and Konqueror, so I tend to use it quite a bit on my Mac.

Well Safari isn’t a web browser that I use very often but I do use Firefox on every OS that I can get my hands on. 😀

I cannot review the Email and PIM because i just use a web browser email.


Kubuntu provides the full-featured and powerful Konsole, while Ubuntu has the anemic Terminal. Apple’s contender is also named Terminal, and it sucked in Tiger. In Leopard, it’s finally gotten good, with movable tabs, transparency, and window grouping. Since I always have a terminal open, I can now say that as long as it’s Konsole or Leopard’s Terminal, I’m quite satisfied.

Its good that the terminal in Leopard works better….

 Text editor. KDE goes overboard with the text editors (yes, I know they each serve a different audience, but still) and gives users three to choose from, while GNOME proudly provides Gedit. If you want limited options and stripped down features, then Gedit will probably fit your bill; if you want features and power, then try out KDE’s Kate. Leopard’s TextEdit is a bit of an odd beast to a Linux user. It’s basically an RTF editor that will also work with ASCII, and in a complete shocker from Apple, it will also read and write Word 2007’s so-called OpenXML format as well as OpenDocument text files. Whoa! So while Gedit and Kate are true text editors, TextEdit is a stripped down word processor that can be used for ASCII editing. However, real* nix users open Vim when they want to edit text, and since Vim runs on Ubuntu and Leopard, we’re covered.

Ok so the guy is ranting on how bad gedit is though I got to say that its not as good as openoffice.

Instant Messaging.

This one’s easy– if your main goal is connecting to as many different IM networks as possible, then Pidgin for GNOME or Kopete for KDE, is your ticket. If you want extremely cool effects and excellent sound and video as well as text, and you don’t mind being limited to AOL, Google, and Jabber for your IM networks, then Leopard’s iChat will do the trick. Besides, you can always install Pidgin on Leopard, or better yet, Skype runs on Leopard and Ubuntu if you need secure IM and VoIP.

yes that does work ….

Music Players.

GNOME’s Rhythmbox is just an Amarok wannabe at this point in time, so in that match-up, it’s no contest. Amarok vs. iTunes? Hmmmm. iTunes has some nice features, and it’s undoubtedly the better choice for working with iPods and iPhones (sorry, but it is), but it still makes OGG a second-class citizen for no good reason, and its inherent desire to rename and move your MP3s into new folders really annoys me. I have to give this one to Amarok. It’s the program I trust to manage my 55,000 song music collection, and that should tell you something right there.

Well I like rhythymbox better then amorok and Itunes.


F-Spot is OK in its early stages, but it’s still pretty rough and lacks features. And requiring users to click inside a dropdown menu to choose each tag repeatedly is just sheer torture. On the KDE side, digiKam is slightly better than F-Spot, but it repeats the same tagging trick, and while it offers up far more features than F-Spot, it’s still not as smooth as iPhoto. iPhoto is easy to use, with very good integrated editing tools, but it makes one huge blunder: in Tiger, your pix were stored in the file system, but in Leopard, they’re stored in a pseudo-file that is somewhat inaccessible to other programs and the file system itself, forcing you to rely on iPhoto to view any photos that you’ve imported in iPhoto. A pox on all their houses!

Well I believe that Iphoto is ok along with F-spot.


When it comes to viewing movies, I’ve found Totem Movie Player for GNOME to be buggy and problematic. Kaffeine for KDE is much better in terms of stability and capabilities, but both will play far more formats than the stock version of QuickTime Movie Player in Leopard. If you install a couple of codec packs, like Perian and Flip4Mac, you’ll suddenly find that you can play just about anything in QuickTime Media Player, which is a polished, smooth player. If you spring for QuickTime Pro, you can also grab QuickTime movies that are embedded in Web sites and even perform some simple edits on the movies you’re viewing. When it comes to DVDs, QuickTime will play’ em, but it prevents you from taking screenshots and fully supports the DRM the movie studios want to cram down our throats. In cases like that, go with Linux and support your freedoms.

As for editing movies… well, Leopard’s iMovie is excellent for the kinds of simple jobs most people want to perform. There’s really no equivalent in Ubuntu in terms of ease of use and quality.

Is this a destroy gnome article?

What’s missing in Ubuntu?

Leopard has a few features and programs that simply do not exist as built-in options in Ubuntu. Quick Look is a new feature, introduced in Leopard, that allows users to select a file and then press the spacebar for a yes, quick look, at a larger view of the file. It’s a great way to tell quickly if a file contains the text or pictures you need.

Front Row allows Mac users to view movies and photos, and listen to music, from across the room utilizing the included remote control that now comes with virtually every Mac. Think of Front Row as an easy to use media center that works smoothly (Yes, I know there’s MythTV, but it’s still a bear to set up, and it’s not included by default with Ubuntu). Finally, due to Apple’s control of both the hardware and software, things like the built-in wireless support and videocamera just work flawlessly. Generally, this is something beyond the control of Ubuntu, since Canonical doesn’t make hardware, but now that deals are starting to appear with the Dells of the world to include Ubuntu as a pre-installed option, we hope to see improvements in these areas.

Well I believe that Ubuntu is still a work in progress and it gets better every release.s

What’s missing in Leopard?

Every Linux distro today comes with built-in support for BitTorrent, but not Leopard. This is a major drag for those of us who rely on BitTorrent for a variety of needs. And why, oh why, doesn’t Leopard support SSH and SFTP support in Apple’s default GUI apps? I can use the Finder to access machines via AFP (Apple File Protocol) and FTP, but who the heck uses FTP any longer? SSH is available via the terminal in Leopard, so why in the name of all that is nerdy isn’t it available to me in the Finder and elsewhere? C’mon, Apple!

Well Things can be changed…. if you have the influence.

A Clear Winner?

So does Leopard eat up Ubuntu? Or does Ubuntu trounce Leopard? It depends on your needs. If you’re a student with no money, go for a decent cheap PC and put Ubuntu on it. If you value freedom above all else, then it’s obvious– Linux is the only way to go. If you’re heading into a future in multimedia, you’re gonna want a Mac. If your life revolves around your iPod and your iPhone, you need a Mac.

Ideally, though, you’ll have both, since each offers features the other lacks. I use both every day. If you have the money, I would recommend buying a Mac with at least 2 GB of RAM and then immediately installing a virtualization solution that will let you run Ubuntu (and Windows, for when you just have to run Windows), as well as any other Linux you desire. That way, you can run two of the world’s best operating systems at the same time, on the same machine, and bathe yourself in yummy UNIX-y goodness. And that, my friends, is just amazingly cool.

Of course there is not clear winner it depends on what you want to use.


The Ubuntu Counter Project - user number # 26323

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