Why we love Ubuntu Linux (or maybe we don't)
Others tout the ease of installation line. Jacob writes, “My favourite, as many, is the Ubuntu family. I believe it is the distro of the moment because ‘it just works.’ I experienced three separate outcomes installing Susie on a machine three different times. I have yet to install Ubuntu on a machine (6 different installations) and not have it work.”
Not every one’s a Ubuntu supporter. FST777 advises “I prefer and use openSUSE. I have found it to be as (or more) polished as Ubuntu ...” while Emin says “I prefer CentOS for work related projects and Pardus at home. CentOS because it’s built from RHEL [Red Hat Enterprise Linux] sources. Pardus because it comes with all the bells and whistles (codecs, flash, drivers ... etc.)”
Tracey_Anne provides a comparison saying, “I use Mandriva Linux, I also sell systems preinstalled with Mandriva, and replace existing Windows (XP and Vista) with Mandriva Linux. I’ve been using Mandriva since 2000, when it was Mandrake, and except for a short period around 2004-2005, Mandriva has never let me down. I’ve installed it on systems that Ubuntu chokes on. Mandrake is the original easy to use, easy to install Linux system and it’s still streets ahead of Ubuntu.”
KoenV says “I’ve always wondered why people think Ubuntu is so great. As an alternative for Windows, Ubuntu - with its Gnome desktop - is NOT as interesting as any KDE based distro - Kubuntu excluded, since Kubuntu to me is not as fully featured KDE based distro ... To me, as a windows replacement, Madriva with a KDE window manager, is far better than Ubuntu. But you know, someone - a Linux newbie - writes an article in a respected newspaper about ‘how good Ubuntu is’ (not knowing of any alternative) and others blindly follow.”
Ubuntu’s Debian heritage is seen as both a plus and a minus. HenryW says “Debian is a very fine distro, in fact I think the technical foundation of it is about the finest Linux distro available. But, for a desktop it’s not polished. Ubuntu IS Debian, with configuration tweaks and packages added on to make it highly polished. So it’s polished and easy to use, but when I want to dig into the guts, it’s the well-designed Debian foundation.”
Steve agrees, “If Ubuntu didn’t exist I’d use Debian ... The main problems with Debian are slow (glacial) release cycles and a lack of polish, Ubuntu fixes these problems.”
Others were less kind, “I’ll never use Ubuntu because it is theft from Debian. It may be allowed but it is theft in my book. What does Ubuntu even mean? ‘Stolen from Africa’ or something?” he said.
So, this is it in a nutshell. We love Ubuntu because it works out of the box on a wide range of hardware, because Canonical have been smart and push out regular updates on a reliable fixed schedule. The community support is considered a major draw card, being friendly and helpful. The fact it comes from Debian is a good sign.
Yet, we don’t love Ubuntu because it doesn’t work with all hardware, because it doesn’t default to the KDE window system and because it comes from Debian put is published under its own name.
What do you think?
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David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. Within two years, he returned to his alma mater, the University of Newcastle, as a UNIX systems manager. This was a crucial time for UNIX at the University with the advent of the World-Wide-Web and the decline of VMS. David moved on to a brief stint in consulting, before returning to the University as IT Manager in 1998. In 2001, he joined an international software company as Asia-Pacific troubleshooter, specialising in AIX, HP/UX, Solaris and database systems. Settling down in Newcastle, David then found niche roles delivering hard-core tech to the recruitment industry and presently is the Chief Information Officer for a national resources company where he particularly specialises in mergers and acquisitions and enterprise applications.