Favored Freeware: Ubuntu

Ubuntu offers you a complete Linux-based operating system, including all the major applications you need to play and work. With a strong focus on a desktop that “Just Works”, Ubuntu is a great choice for home or the office. The base system and all included software is free, and support is available from the community or by professional support providers.

Pros: Ubuntu is a powerful and free operating system. The default installation process is incredibly user-friendly and includes almost every application that you would ever need to get started in the world of Linux, an easy-to-use installer for additional applications, and an easy-to-use software update engine. Ubuntu is a cross-platform operating system for PowerPC Macs, Intel x86 PCs, and AMD64 PCs.

Cons: Ubuntu does not support AirPort Extreme cards at this time. The blame for this lies entirely with Broadcom, as they have refused to provide native Linux drivers and specifications for the chipset that powers the AirPort Extreme cards.

Note: The default desktop environment for Ubuntu is GNOME. If you prefer KDE over GNOME, try Kubuntu.

2 responses

  1. wireless internet acces is a must before I play around with a Linux OS

  2. If you’re lucky enough to have a Powerbook or a PC notebook with a PCI card slot or a spare USB port, there are plenty of PCI and USB wireless cards available for use with Ubuntu.

    And, if you don’t mind hacking around the command line, there is a rather involved tutorial for activating AirPort Extreme cards under Ubuntu.