I gave my mother and brother-in-law Ubuntu recently…yes, I do like them. It’s just XP sucks on old hardware. Linux is the only viable option, and Ubuntu is the closest thing to Windows in the Linux space.
Yesterday, I helped a colleague out, by installing Ubuntu 9.10 Netbook Remix on his aging eeePC 701, which previously ran Xandros (and which I had managed to damage by playing with the config).
Not only did it boot off a USB memory stick, as a Live operating system (ie I didn’t need to install it on the eeePC’s hard disk), installation was just a single click.
There’s plenty of help via Google on making a bootable 2 GB USB memory stick and copying over the Linux files (you can do this from a Windows machine if you run software like Virtual Clone Drive that can read .iso CD images and Canonical’s USB-Creator tool).
The really big problem – if you can call it that – was getting access to our Citrix Metaframe server. A good starting point is the Ubuntu Forums which has an excellent step-by-step guide to downloading and installing the Citrix ICA client. You will need to use a Terminal window and the version numbers have changed since this posting, but if you make the relevant changes to reflect the version of Citrix you’ve downloaded, the ICA client should install without probs (it’s actually called Citrix Receiver).
The only issue I faced was a certificate error, which occured after I logged nito our Metaframe server. Again Googling around came up with a rahter neat solution: simply copy the certificates from Firefox to where the ICA client is stored:
sudo cp /usr/share/ca-certificates/mozilla/* /usr/lib/ICAClient/keystore/cacerts/
This seems to work.