Ubuntu Linux for Hams

If you have wanted to upgrade your PC to a new operating system, but haven’t wanted to pay the high cost for some commercial packages, then you might want to consider the world of open source software. Contrary to popular belief, there are several options available for PC operating systems.

After a string of never ending system bugs and finally a hard drive crash, I was finally prompted to look for an alternative operating system for my PC. The hard drive was easily replaced, but I wanted an operating system (OS) that wasn’t going to cost me hundreds of dollars, that would be more robust and would support my ham radio operation.

A suggestion from a friend and a little time spent surfing the Web quickly led me to the Ubuntu Web site. It looked like a good option, but the most important question in my mind was whether it would support any ham radio applications.

What is Ubuntu?

Simply put, Ubuntu is a full-fledged operating system based on Linux (the PC version of UNIX) that has a similar look and feel to other popular OSs, such as Microsoft Windows. The Ubuntu OS supports all of the usual PC functions but with software that is all open sourced. This means that the operating system and all of the programs that it includes are totally free. Over the last few years, Ubuntu has gained in popularity to the point where some PC vendors are now offering it as an option with some of their new products.

In case you might be wondering about the name Ubuntu, it is a concept that comes from several South African languages. It’s one of those terms that does not translate well into English, but according to The Official Ubuntu Book it can be roughly translated as meaning “humanity toward others,” or “I am because we are.”

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