I’ve been using Ubuntu for several months now to run a PC that’s connected to my HDTV. In a nutshell, I’m impressed. After several months, I can report that all of the audio-video tools are stable and work great and it makes a fine platform for streaming/serving/web-surfing.
The interface is pretty — it’s more Mac-like than PC-like — and it’s easy to use. All the software on the computer — not just the operating system, but everything else that is installed — updates automatically via the Net. There’s none of that ridiculous manual compiling, tarball-using or even apt-get commanding that used to be a part of Linux. I haven’t used the terminal in more than a month now.
For me, Ubuntu really could serve as my new OS. It’s incredibly stable, much more efficient than Windows, makes much better use of disc space and so on. I probably do half my Web surfing on my Ubuntu system now and if I got off my butt and set up a print server, I’d do even more. Now that I’ve gotten older and rarely play computer games, the big advantage of a Windows machine is pretty much gone and all the advantages of NOT using Windows are clearly on display.
If you have just a little bit of tech savvy, Ubuntu is well worth playing with. Note that you can try it out by running it from a bootable CD, so you don’t have to change anything on your computer at all and your Windows installation is completely safe.