First Steps on the Dark Side – Linux Strike One

I tried to install and run Ubuntu Linux on my new Intel Quad Core machine. Note that I said tried…

When it didn’t work, the first thing that I did was go to the Ubuntu Forums. And guess what – I’m not alone. It turns out that Ubuntu Linux is seriously broken when it comes to using ATI video cards. This is also discussed on the Software Review site (warning – slow site). Many people expressed many forms of VooDoo to get it to work: reconfigure X Server, force the use of an alternate ATI driver set, etc.. The reason that I chose Ubuntu is that it was supposed to be the easiest to use. The run attempt resulted in the startup sound playing, then a black screen. Hardly reassuring to anyone attempting to try Linux.

Windows XP SP2 booted right up with no problems – a totally different out of box experience.  I know, what can you expect for free ?

I’m seriously interested in trying Linux, and it’s probably going to be a necessary step for approaching Embedded uCLinux for some of our products. However it’s got to work first. And with Ubuntu Linux attempting to regale potential users with ease of use, and free CDs in magazines, about 25% (ATI’s estimated market share) of those potential users will be disappointed.

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