Ubuntu Gains Opera, High Profile Converts

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Ubuntu 6.06 LTS, the “Dapper Drake” release, will be able to run Opera 9; this means a pair of technology notables who have switched from Mac to Ubuntu will be a simple ‘apt-get’ away from having Opera on their systems.

Ubuntu’s supporting organization Canonical Ltd announced availability of the Opera web browser for the latest version of the popular Linux distribution. Users who prefer the Add/Remove Programs feature in Ubuntu over apt-get on the command line can pick up Opera in a few clicks.

“We’ve had a Linux browser for a long time,” said Hkon Wium Lie, CTO, Opera Software and long-time Ubuntu user. “But Opera 9 includes new optimizations specifically for the platform.”

As on other platforms, Opera offers built-in BitTorrent support, content blocking, tabbed browsing, and integrated mail and IRC clients, all in the browser.

Ubuntu has soared in popularity since its release. It has mostly stuck to its update cycle of a fresh release every six months, and each release has security update support for 18 months.

Its appeal has become so great, Ubuntu has led a number of people to convert from their operating system of choice. While many of those converts probably came from Windows, or other Linux distributions, a couple of power users of note have made the switch from the vaunted Mac OS.

“Dive Into Python” and “Greasemonkey Hacks” author Mark Pilgrim changed over from Mac to Ubuntu without difficulty, he noted on his site.

Following suggestions that he update a list of essential software maintained on his site, Pilgrim did so. His list includes programs intended to replace their Mac counterparts. Aside from missing iMovie and Quicksilver on the Mac side, Pilgrim has found suitable Ubuntu-friendly software for everything else.

Noteworthy Boing Boing blogger Cory Doctorow has been a Mac users for decades. When it came to a choice between a MacBook Pro and an equivalent notebook from Lenovo, China won out over Cupertino:

I realized that I could get a lot more bang for my buck with a Lenovo ThinkPad T60p. If I’m not going to run the MacOS, why spend extra money for Apple hardware?

Doctorow plans to place Ubuntu on the ThinkPad as well as a spare PowerBook. Think different, indeed, especially from someone with a Mac tattoo on his arm.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Ubuntu Gains Opera, High Profile Converts
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