Linked by Christian Paratschek on Tue 2nd Nov 2004 16:46 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu By all means, Ubuntu Linux and Canonical Ltd. have made a spectacular arrival on the Linux scene lately. The combination is like a dream come true for many, many Linux aficionados: tightly selected bleeding edge packages to focus the distribution on a single CD, corporate backing, 18 month support, that all sounds like a formidable package.
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Ubuntu hype
by JeffS on Tue 2nd Nov 2004 20:54 UTC

Ubuntu looks like it's a fine, easy, lightweight, Gnome and Debian based distro. I've ordered the free CD, and look forward to giving it a spin.

However, the seemingly unending Ubuntu hype is getting tiresome. Ubuntu is simply Debian with Gnome, and very few packages (only "best of breed"), a good installer and good hardware detection.

While I'm looking forward to trying Ubuntu (mostly to see what Gnome 2.8 is like), it won't get a permanent install on any of my machines, due to the following show-stoppers:

1. According to reviews and message board posts, Ubuntu is a "rude" install, in that it does not recognized other OS's on other Partitonions. It just takes over the MBR and ignores the rest. This is unacceptable as I like to dual boot with Windows or other Linux distros. And the other distros dual boot as a no-brainer.

2. I like Gnome and use it once in a while. But I prefer KDE (and I won't get into the reasons or start a stupid flame war). While you can apt-get KDE with Ubuntu, it's a hassle to do so, and with mixed results.

3. While Ubuntu apparently has very good hardware detection, other distros have it as well, like Mandrake and Mepis. And the hardware detection is more mature and complete with those distros.

4. Single CD distro with very few packages. Sure you can apt-get anything on the internet (from the repositories), but that takes a lot of time, especially if you're on dial-up. I strongly prefer the convenience of tons of apps on distro CDs.

I'm against the latest trend of having "stripped down" or "lightweight" or "only best of breed packages" oriented distros. Everyone talks about the "extra cruft" or "I don't want that extra crap on my hard drive".

But, for me, all that extra "cruft" or "crap on my hard drive" is part of what makes Linux so great, so useful, and so much fun. I love being able to jump between KDE and Gnome, Koffice and OpenOffice, Konqueror and Mozilla and Epiphany and Firefox, Glade and QT Designer (and KDevelop), Kate and gEdit, and have immediate access to tons of games. And I like all that stuff to be on CD, because it's easier and faster to install from CD.

But people argue that all that extra stuff makes Linux harder and more confusing for newbies. Perhaps. But the distros that do include that stuff jump through hoops to make it easy.

Mandrake, for instance, has simple installation defaults. Unless you explicitly select the extra packages or package groups, Mandrake will install KDE, Mozilla, and OpenOffice, with a smatering of games and multimedia. In it's installer, you have to explicity select the extra stuff. Plus, Mandrake labels the packages in the menus to make it brain-dead easy for the uninitiated (like "Browser", "CD player", "Wordprocessors", etc.).

So you get the best of both worlds - easy, intuitive, non-overwhelming defaults, with super easy access to all the extra stuff if you want it. Ubuntu, by contrast, dictates what you install by default (deciding for you what's "best of breed"), then makes you take the time of downloading to get the other stuff you might want.