Linked by Howard Fosdick on Fri 30th Mar 2012 20:33 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Two years ago, Linux guru Caitlyn Martin argued that "Ubuntu is a Poor Standard Bearer for Linux" due to reliability issues. She said that "Other distributions have problematic releases but other major distributions do not have significant problems in nearly every release. Ubuntu does." In her follow-up piece "How Canonical Can Do Ubuntu Right: It Isn't a Technical Problem," she explained how "...the problem I am describing is probably rooted in policy or business decisions that have been made..." and she offered specific ideas on how Canoncial could address the situation. Are these criticisms valid today? Does Ubuntu offer good reliability? Does it deserve its mindshare as the representative of PC Linux?
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RE: Guru Schmuru
by AdamW on Sun 1st Apr 2012 07:12 UTC in reply to "Guru Schmuru"
Member since:

"No she didn't. Other than vague things like "improve QA" and "promote LTS more" this article fails miserable in this department. It's basically "Ubuntu does some...stuff...wrong and they should so some...other...stuff...differently" without ever specifying what that stuff is. Zero solutions are provided. "

This. This, a hundred times.

It's kind of sad how many articles of exactly this type seem to get churned out on a daily basis by the tech press. It seems like every day some journalist wakes up, finds a bug, and decides to parlay it into a spectacularly poorly-argued article along the lines of 'Firefox crashed on me, so I conclude that Mark Shuttleworth is evil and the solution is for everyone to run Google Windows! Also, desktop Linux needs more applications!' The sad part is, I'm barely even exaggerating...

I used to read almost every article in my RSS feed (OS News, Linux Today, Slashdot, The Reg, Tuxmachines). These days I barely get through the headlines of most of them before they hit the garbage pile.

I think the old saying needs updating - those who can, do. Those who can't, write articles complaining about those who can...

For years, Ubuntu was the darling of the tech press and could do no wrong. These days it seems like they can't feed a starving orphan without fifty articles being written about how it's really just part of Dark Lord Shuttleworth's nefarious plans for humanity. Did Ubuntu change that much or is the change more on the other side?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Guru Schmuru
by lucas_maximus on Sun 1st Apr 2012 11:58 in reply to "RE: Guru Schmuru"
lucas_maximus Member since:

Maybe it is to do with the marketing?

To me they sell themselves as the Apple of the Linux world ... their GUI interface (unity) resembles it very much so (at least in looks alone).

from ubuntu's home page

Fast, secure and stylishly simple, the Ubuntu operating system is used by 20 million people worldwide every day.

Some might argue that if they are claiming so much, then they should should be judged more critically.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Guru Schmuru
by bassbeast on Sun 1st Apr 2012 18:43 in reply to "RE: Guru Schmuru"
bassbeast Member since:

So if we all don't get master's degrees and write our own OSes we should take broken messes, is this correct? old Joe Rogan joke "If I give you a sandwich that is 95% sh*t, and 5% ham, would you call it a ham sandwich?"

Want specifics on what needs fixed? As a retailer i'll be happy to give one of them to you 1.-Here is a list of hardware that must not ever break, if it does, no excuses as we do NOT want to hear them, then you have failed: Realtek sound, SiS NIC, Sigmatel Sound, Via HD Audio, all AMD/Nvidia/Intel chips that are over a year old. This is the list of hardware that is in over 90% of PCs out there so if it breaks you have broken more machines than you can even imagine. as a retailer I can tell you just ONE broken driver can cost me more than a copy of Windows Home, so having any of this bog standard hardware break? inexcusable.

I could list a good half a dozen more that makes Linux look like amateur hour to retailers but then this post would be the size of War & Peace, but its bog standard stuff getting broken that right off the bat makes Linux look like a hobbyist geeker toy and not a serious OS. We don't care about the excuses, don't care that if we would waste our time Googling fixes that we might get it to work after a couple of hours, heck you can't even roll back drivers or have a simple app to find drivers when none are present, its sloppy and looks bad. Just because you give something for free is NO excuse. i can get "free' broken chairs all day long from the local dumpster, does that make them valuable?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Guru Schmuru
by Alfman on Mon 2nd Apr 2012 03:01 in reply to "RE[2]: Guru Schmuru"
Alfman Member since:


"As a retailer... Here is a list of hardware that must not ever break, if it does, no excuses as we do NOT want to hear them, then you have failed: Realtek sound, SiS NIC, Sigmatel Sound, Via HD Audio, all AMD/Nvidia/Intel chips that are over a year old. This is the list of hardware that is in over 90% of PCs out there so if it breaks you have broken more machines than you can even imagine."

You pick up hardware from your suppliers without any commercial linux support, then go download a consumer distro ISO freely from the web with no warranty or support, and then turn around and resell the system to your customers, and after all that you're not willing to support them yourself when something stops working?

Couple things to say here: as a retailer, if your not purchasing linux support from elsewhere, then the onus is technically on *you* to make the assurances that the hardware you sell is compatible with the OS you bundle. If you are not technically able to support the OS/hardware yourself, then you really should be purchasing corporate support from a vendor who can, like red hat.

Maybe you'd rather not purchase support and at the same time you'd rather not provide support yourself? Well in that case maybe you need to tell your users that you will sell linux systems like they want, but won't provide support for it.

Even MS avoids making the kinds of guaranties your asking of Linux distros. I'm not going to make excuses for poor Q/A practices, but if you want guaranties about linux support, you need to be pressuring your hardware vendors to provide it. If they won't then you need to look for alternatives who will. If enough resellers like you start to demand official linux support, eventually they'll all agree to provide it and linux devs will no longer have to reverse engineer windows drivers to achieve compatibility, which would be a win for everyone.

Edited 2012-04-02 03:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Guru Schmuru
by Orionds on Wed 4th Apr 2012 17:29 in reply to "RE[2]: Guru Schmuru"
Orionds Member since:

You make it sound as if Linux breaks using the hardware you listed. Now, this is truly puzzling because I have covered most of the stuff you listed installing Ubuntu and ... zilch problems.

I even had XP "identify" and install a sound driver that did not work. Booting up with the Ubuntu live CD produced sound.

However, the owner of the PC insisted on an install of XP, so the Ubuntu live CD came to the rescue once again. Installing (installing!) sysinfo after booting up with the live CD showed the correct sound driver which I downloaded while still in the live CD environment, rebooted into XP, removed the XP-suggested driver, installed the new one and ... presto, sound!

A year later, this said user once again called for help re:XP and this time he said:"Remove it and install Linux Mint for me." That was two years ago. No calls for help till now.

On what empirical evidence do you base your implied claim of Linux drivers that break on your list of hardware on "over 90% of PCs out there"?

Claim what you like. The fact is - for me, at least - Ubuntu has been more reliable, more stable and more compatible. I have installed, and still using, Ubuntu on computing devices that include 3 different brands of netbooks, several notebooks (belonging to friends), PCs with single-core Athlons, Celerons, Pentiums, several quad-core PCs with different display cards, with different chipsets, with NO problems to this day.

These users have had XP die on them two or three times without Ubuntu once failing. One by one, they have abandoned booting into XP except to play Windows games. For one user, he finally got so fed up with XP, he also gave up playing Windows games.

Reply Parent Score: 1