Andrew commented that he used Kubuntu but originally was set on Fedora because that’s what his campus computers used. Unfortunately when he downloaded and booted from a Live CD he just had no display. By contrast, Kubuntu fired up and worked perfectly with just the wireless adapter failing to run out-of-the-box. Andrew also referred to the available support, suggesting Ubuntu’s success is due to Canonical’s involvement – “a company behind the development, pushing out releases every 6 months.” He adds, “That, plus the community ... if something messes up, turn to the community, and you’re 99% certain to get a useful answer.”
The regular release cycle of Ubuntu is definitely a factor to consider. Each six months there is a major upgrade, taking advantage of what happens to be new in the open source world as well as driving towards a centrally defined roadmap of where Ubuntu wish to head.
However, is support really a factor in Ubuntu’s favour? If we talk about “the community” helping out, doesn’t that mean the Linux community in general? Actually, no, according to aegis042404 who says Ubuntu has “the largest and most friendly user base ... Ubuntu users never say ‘RTFM’. They are very friendly to users new to Linux. This isn’t an accident. It started with Canonical. They deserve the praise they are getting.”
Quagmire offers an alternate view. He or she writes, “I think that Ubuntu is such a darling because it has done so many things right so many users. It is the perfect distro for people just switching from MS [Microsoft]. Compiz allows for unsurpassed workstation organization. Word processing? Check. Image manipulation? Check. Audio editing? Check. Podcasting? Check. CD/DVD burning? Check. Web browsing? Check. Got a problem?” The thought that Ubuntu is the most friendly to switchers from other operating systems is certainly interesting. A reader titled “Linux Convert in the Making” agrees, commenting “Ubuntu is near perfect for the transitionist in anyone. It’s relatively hands off, or at least inasmuch as Windows XP and far more than Windows Vista, easy to load, easy to start. It breathed new life into some old hardware (Dell 8100) that slogged and trudged under Windows XP.”