I reinstalled Linux on my primary home computer last night. I switched to Ubuntu from Fedora.

Overall, I’m fairly pleased.

With Fedora, I got tired of getting stuck in rpm dependency hell when I wanted to install something outside the norm. In order to get all the multimedia packages and some other software I wanted onto Fedora, I ended up defining some yum repositories that weren’t compatible with each other, and I totally hosed the ability to update packages. And Yumex was slow and ate up a lot of memory. (My system is getting a little long in the tooth.)

So I tried Ubuntu. All the Debian guys are always raving about apt-get this and apt-get that, so I thought I’d give it a try. The thing that pushed me into the decision was Automatix – an app to install and run after you install the Ubuntu OS. Automatix goes a step further and installs a ton of other stuff that you know you’re going to need: The latest java, neato firefox plugins, a bunch of multimedia stuff, a larger set of fonts, and various other goodies. When installing Fedora Core 4, that was a pretty irritating ordeal.

With Ubuntu, it’s clicky-clicky-clicky and your done. I was watching apple.com trailers just a couple hours after booting from the install CD. All my hardware was detected without issue. It even got my screen resolution right the first time, which Fedora didn’t.

It’s all Gnome-based, so after a small bit of tweaking, my normal activities are unchanged. A smooth transition, and hopefully I’ll never see an rpm again.

One minus: I still can’t watch Daily Show clips on ComedyCentral.com. Damn those propriety codecs!

One plus: Before I imported all my browser bookmarks, I decided to try once again to find a way to share (and remotely store) my bookmarks. This is kind of important to me because I work pretty heavily on two separate computers (one work, one home) and would find it convenient to have a common set of bookmarks between the two. I looked into del.icio.us again, but I never grokked it before, and I still don’t grok it. There’s an FTP bookmark synchronizer extension that I’ve tried, and I almost went with that again.

Luckily, I found AbstractMouse.com.

Abstract Mouse is a web site (and service) with a corresponding FireFox extension that integrates very nicely with the browser’s bookmark system. It’s almost transparent, but you can share folders with yourself (across multiple machines), with a defined set of friends, or globally. Very nice implementation.