This review is more of a Windows XP vs Lubuntu argument but it functions perfectly well as a review.
OK, you think that Windows XP is an old, boring, outdated OS because Microsoft keep telling you to get Windows 7 and you can’t upgrade because your PC is too bad. Don’t fall into the commercial trap. You don’t NEED to upgrade at all! Don’t buy a new PC, don’t buy Windows 7. There are alternatives. One alternative is to install a Linux distribution called Lubuntu. It is like Windows XP (and it can run on your bad PC) except it is so, so much better. See below for why.
– It looks nicer than XP.
– It’s more customisable.
– It has a unified notification system.
– It has a screened repository (the repository has all that you would ever want for home or work use and the programs are completely free and virus-free (the code is scanned for viruses beforehand)).
– It doesn’t need antivirus (no-one targets Linux; too unpopular).
– If you want antivirus, you can get ClamAV which you can use to scan stuff.
– You can type directly into the kernal.
– Problems can be satisfying to fix.
– Steam has switched to it in a Windows 8 boycott move.
– You can run most Windows programs on it through the use of WINE, a Windows compatibility layer (which is also free).
– You can dual-boot/’wubi’/boot off USB/boot of LiveCD with Windows.
You can get native, open-source (free) programs for most commercial programs (you can on Windows as well but Linux repositories are pretty much open-source exclusive, they’re very easy to find and download):
Sibelius – MuseScore
MS Office – LibreOffice
Photoshop – GIMP
As well as various variants to programs bundled with Windows (these are bundled with Lubuntu):
Notepad – Leafpad
Calculator – Galculator
Character Map – Character Map
Solitaire – Penguin Solitaire
Minesweeper – Penguin Minesweeper
Spider Solitaire – Penguin Spider
Command Prompt – LXTerminal
Google Talk, Facebook Chat etc… – Bundled into one program, Pidgin (but an Empathy download would be better, less dodgy and easier to setup although it is still quite buggy)
Windows Live Mail/MS Outlook – Sylpheed (but Mozilla Thunderbird is better in my opinion (which has the best logo ever!))
Internet Explorer – Mozilla Firefox
– And there are millions of varients of the above so you can get exactly what you want.
– It is very easy to use.
– If you can’t find an open-source app that you want, make your own or make your own derivative (to save you trouble) from another open-source app.
– If you want to help make an open-source app, you can help make it (unlike closed-source apps such as MS Office.
– And I think it runs on PCs, Macs, all smartphones, all tablets because it is based on Unix and runs on my PC and its very flexible because it is open-source.
– You would have to have a PC with less than 256MB of RAM not to be able to run Lubuntu.
– Lubuntu is way, way faster than current Windows OSes (not including Win8 Release Preview)
– It makes you feel incredibly clever and geeky when you fix your PC yourself. I did when I searched a problem in Google and downloaded a load of stuff in Terminal.
– With Firefox, its probably competitive to the time to boot in Chrome OS…except you can do stuff when you have no Internet, you have a hard drive.
USB Stick: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/help/create-a-usb-stick-on-windows (or choose a method on the right depending on your operating system) but select Lubuntu 13.10 on the drop-down list (if it is there, if it isn’t, select Lubuntu 12.04.2 LTS or 10.04.4 LTS) instead of normal Ubuntu.
CD: Go here: http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/lubuntu/releases/13.10/release/ and select the first link to download Lubuntu and then do all the steps in the following link: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/help/burn-a-dvd-on-windows (or choose a method on the right depending on your operating system). If this doesn’t work, try http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/lubuntu/releases/12.04/release/ instead to get your disk image (.iso).
As for the review side of things:
Usability: 8/10 (It is just like Windows XP and runs just like Windows XP, somethings take longer but some things take a shorter amount of time. If you are a hard core gamer or a hard core commercial fanboy you might have some trouble with stuff but WINE or CodeWeavers should help you with this.)
Size: 10/10 (It isn’t SliTaz, or Slax, or Damn Small Linux, or Puppy Linux, or Tiny Core Linux but it is smaller than Xubuntu and most other distributions it is pretty small at 693MB and should be fine for all your old PCs.)
Performance: 9/10 (Rarely has problems with speed. My old PC had been going a little slower before I got my desktop but Sam has assured me it is an odd occurrence. Don’t worry about it. It is way way faster than Windows XP and that is really all that matters.)
Overall: 9/10 (A truly remarkable OS, not perfect, but it won’t be until all developers support Linux.)
Written by Adam. Edit this review here (not live): https://github.com/Ads20000/fossreviews/wiki/Lubuntu-%28LXDE-with-Ubuntu-LTS%29/_edit