Home > Ubuntu > Ubuntu – A New Approach to Desktop Linux Ubuntu – A New Approach to Desktop Linux Eugenia Loli 2005-06-21 Ubuntu 73 Comments Greg Taylor reviews Ubuntu Linux and gives it a 10 out of 10 in his 4-page review. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 73 Comments 2005-06-21 7:25 am I have used Ubuntu a few times and find it to be a perfect example of what the linux community can do together when they want to. Altho i no longer use it, mainly because i spent 2 days trying to get xmms to support wma with xmms-wma, recompliling xmms from source and compileing xmms-wma from source too. In the end i gave up and went back to Debian. Anyways a fantastic distro no the less. 2005-06-21 7:40 am I have used many distros in the past, and this distro is just so nice and precise to use. I am not surprised that it has been rated highly. 2005-06-21 8:01 am I just posted a comment on that article and gave it 2/5, but it’s not added to comments list. I was not trolling, being profane or anything. Why can’t I see my comment? 2005-06-21 8:10 am Though i’m not saying Ubuntu is *not* great (never used it, but Debian is sweet, so Ubuntu can’t be that bad )… Should we trust a review by someone who characterizes himself as a `Ubuntu Activist/Aspiring Member’ (https://www.ubuntulinux.org/wiki/GregTaylor)? Interesting article nonetheless, of course. 2005-06-21 8:53 am Cheers for the link mate, that was the first place i started. For some odd reason there is not a way, i can think of to get wma support. I tried that link first, even resorted to deb packeges. then compiling source. It just did not work, All it would do, when it got to a wma files was kill xmms and not play it! 2005-06-21 8:57 am No, what this means is that i was unable to find a solution to a problem i had, not a fault of linux, more my knowlege of the issue at hand! Once i installed Debian, My OS of choice over any bloated MSware wma support was fine. I am just unfamilier with the inner workings of the ubuntu setup at this point to find a solution. 2005-06-21 9:01 am Ivan, you need to get plugins for the mac too to play files and songs not supported out of the box by the OS. I find the console to be much faster when executing a program, instead of sifting through menus to start firefox, all i need to do is type firefox & Then its loaded. How many plugins are needed to watch a wma file on mac, a few i think including a new media player since QT does not support WMA. Some people need this support because of all the wma files out there. 2005-06-21 9:02 am Yep, u were correct. I used a mac for years, and nothing ever works out of the box for every user out there, thats impossible 2005-06-21 9:07 am 404 error on that one mate 2005-06-21 9:13 am I agree ubuntu is a good distro but it’s not 10/10 material. It is visible from his profile he’s a ubuntu fanboy so his review is clearly a skewed. 2005-06-21 9:14 am Linux is the kernel that recognizes most modern hardware. That’s an important point for a desktop. Second, what is nice with linux(well, unix in fact), is that evey piece of the desktop is customizable. You have YOUR desktop and not one imagined by Apple or $soft. Of course, Apple’s one is really nice, usable and beautiful, but you cannot customize it that much. 2005-06-21 9:44 am I use just linux in all my systems for the past 7 years … but giving linux 10 out of 10 for the desktop approach?? Please! After reading his report then you can tell his rating is completly about the positive progress the ubuntu dev are doing … not about technical specs and that’s ok, can you just make it clear on the summary. ————— from his conclusion… “As a result of being easy to use, well supported, and a very positive boost to the Linux desktop, I give Ubuntu a rating of 10 out of 10 and would recommend it to anyone (including SpyWare-infected Grandparents)” 2005-06-21 9:46 am Its pretty damn close. I am a gentoo user and have been for a while, last normal distro I used was redhat something or other years ago. This is the first distro of its kind (ubuntu, novell, fedora, mandrake type distro) that really blew me away. I threw it on an old 800mhz machine and was really surpised at its speed, ease of use and non-pissing me off taking control. I usually need 100% control when I install linux, why I use gentoo, but this distro might have changed my mind. I am def. going to use ubuntu on my ibook and maybe one day on my desktop. It is also far better than lindows. My friend bought a lindows machine at Fry’s (which we are going to put ubuntu on) and it was the slowest and ugliest peice of crap I’ve ever used. My 800mhz with ubuntu was blazingly faster than this machine and it was over 1.5ghz maybe in the 2s even. Lindows may be the worst thing to happen to linux ever! Ubuntu is easier to use, less bloated and by far prettier! And why has no one tried to do a distro mimicking the look of OSX? with engage and gnome? or E17 once its done I guess. Lindows tries to mimick windows which is horrible in itself. I usually use xfce but liked the fresh feel and setup of the gnome interface under ubuntu. Oh almost forgot, it was a 1000 times easier to install and get to a useable point (where I can watch divx movies, use bittorrent, program, etc…) than windowsxp is and probably longhorn will be. 2005-06-21 10:34 am I started with Linux about the same time as Red Hat 5.1 and have tried all major distributions but I really can’t run Linux as my everyday desktop. As I get older, I want things to just work and with Linux they seldom do, there’s always configuring, a lot of bugs, missing stuff, hunting for experimental patches on mailing lists and so on. Other than that I can’t live with the performance, it’s quite a bit worse than XP. Sure, server throughput is probably good but certainly not the graphical performance. Sluggish and bad response times. An easy test application is Firefox. Scroll a page with some tables, images, flash and stuff and compare a Windows build with a Linux build. The Linux build performs much worse. And that goes for about all desktop applications (I use Gnome mostly). And that annoying mouse cursor stuttering. Heavy CPU or IO loads affects the mouse cursor, a problem I almost never see on Windows, not even when I ran Windows 95 on my P200. On Linux it happens on my Athlon 2000+. I can’t live with that. But I know I’ll install the next Ubuntu and Fedora Core on release day. I’ll hope some day the Linux desktop will become usable for me. 2005-06-21 10:47 am I agree that Linux needs work on some usability issues and the desktop is as fancy or fast as OSX, but better then winxp in my opinion. But I find it hard to believe what you say about the mouse stuttering. Maybe my memory is getting bad but my memories of windows were times when the mouse would stop moving at all for seconds (a very long time if you think about it) sometimes even 10s of seconds. I have never had a problem that bad in Linux. The kernel developers themselves are even helping out, the kernel gives interrupts from input devices and the such higher precedence over other running tasks. Linux is smart about knowing when to do processes and how long to offput tasks, a lot better than win95. Maybe itll stutter at times but only because you are doing something very intense, win95 would probably freeze for a while (not stutter) and then let you continue on your way Hopefully the future is bright — glitz, cairo, xorg and the such. Playing around with e17 and luminocity I know that even on my 1.7ghz celeron with a geforce3 amazing things can be done. 2005-06-21 10:51 am I motivated myself twice to install ubuntu, once when it was just released. Back then it would just boot without the keyboard working. LAst weekend I tried it again this time 5.04. The funny aspect after the initial boot it froze, I rebooted and it resumed working and then froze again. After not responfding for 4 reboots I had the working ubuntu. I tried recompiling the kernel to remove pre-empt etc, but it froze mid compilation too. Which was the last straw before I moved to trying Slamd64. Ubuntu according to me is all HYPE and no stability. 2005-06-21 10:56 am ummmmm…I was suggesting a distro which mimicks the desktop environment of OSX — most try to be a windows mimick with a menu button in the bottom left followed by the tasklist and clock. This is 100% possible to mimick the desktop look of OSX, lots of people do it. Sorry that you thought that meant i wanted a distro to come with CAD and PowerDVD And I run OSX but the reason I don’t use it for much is because of…well this is odd…the limitations. Oh and linux is great for media, it runs my mock-tivo just fine — would you do that with osx? and linux is slowly gaining exceptance from people like adobe and will take the rest of the media world from sgi, apple and the little that uses windows. 3 posts so quickly, 6am and a few beers causes me to do wierd things, haha. 2005-06-21 11:08 am Funnily, Ubuntu is my desktop and I love it and use it without the pain of the others. I got two monitors which means I run more applications than most of users. Right now I have: – 2 Firefox – one on each monitors/desktop. – 1 aMule – 1 XMMS – 4 Virtual desktops on one monitor, all with apps. – 1 xchat – some nautilus windows – 1 xpdf – 1 evince – 1 toten – 1 terminal Those are more application windows than I usually have on WinXP, mind you. Forgive me, but I don’t know what you are talking about when you complain about performance or any such. To me, Ubuntu just works and I trust Linux and Ubuntu. On the other hand, I don’t trust Windows because it’s too easy to infect it or break it. Any kid can cause havoc in a Windows system. 2005-06-21 11:28 am I didn’t mean that a distro has to come with CAD, Pinacle or any other Application. All i wish is for a distro to make it easy to install such S/W in an easy way. I do not have hours to waste trying to download and install Apllications and then being confronted to solve dependencies. I don’t want to spend 160 bucks for SUSE 9.3 and discover that it doesn’t have sound after installation. C’mon, mate, they claim to support multi media and expect their customers to muck around yast because the bloomin machine has no sound. Want to watch a DVD movie? Forget it, it is not legally supported. Whish to listen to MP3’s? …. visit site x and install program y with codecs z using apt get “install dev/x in dev/etc … #inputoutput.h, %d, main void.c, return print(codec, %d) scanf(& “it will hopefully work”)…” have fun 2005-06-21 11:37 am So just becuse Ubuntu has a menu in the lower left part of the screen it is a windows look alike? I have tryed A few other Distros and Ubuntu/Kubuntu are the only ones that detect all my hard ware and are easy to use. 2005-06-21 11:40 am I have two computers, I’ve installed Ubuntu Hoary on both. One is a 700Mhz G3 iBook, the other is a Mini-ITX. So one is a common architecture, but rare chipset, the other is a rare architecture, but common instance of that architecture. On the iBook, after a standard install, replacing all else on the harddrive: It will sleep, but not wake up, The screen goes only to 640×480 resolution, no more, The sound comes out whispy, faint and distorted. On the Mini-ITX, after a standard install replacing all else on the harddrive, the only problems were, Windows networking didn’t work and 3D accelleration for my chipset was not supported (S3 CastleRock Unichrome). The screen resolution and sound problems on the iBook were easy to fix — for an experienced user — but the not waking up has resisted all attempts to fix, even after trying the many suggestions offered on ubuntuforums. As for the 3D acceleration, that would require some source code surgery, or at least custom compiles of the Unichrome DRI against the Ubuntu kernel source and xorg trees, which takes time I’d rather not spend. What’s disheartening is that Ubuntu is, in my opionion, the best distro out there. However, some of these problems would have been easy to fix in the distro but weren’t fixed. And others are so hairy that they would require some more siginifican’t changes. None of them were intuitively obvious to someone who doesn’t know Linux fairly well. If I use a strict measurement, but one that I consdier reasonable from the perspective of a common user, it’s this: “As soon as you have to load a terminal to fix something, it flunks”. And by that measurement, no distro measures up. But Ubuntu comes closer than any other I’ve tried. Erik 2005-06-21 12:13 pm I agree with Jerem in that the likes of Window Managers/X/Linux are highly customizable. I’ve been finding this out for myself during the course of the last few months by switching my attention from running Linux on a server to it running on the desktop. I took a look at Ubuntu and whilst I judged it wasn’t for me and that I preferred “pure” Debian, I did think it was one of, if not the most highly polished out-of-the-box distro’s around. 2005-06-21 12:22 pm http://www.murrayc.com/blog/tech/2005-06-21-15-40 Exciting. 2005-06-21 12:25 pm The author does nothing to support the title “A new approach to desktop linux” in the article. The fact is that while Ubuntu is a wonderful distribution, it isn’t a new approach. One can argue that it is more stable than distro-y or more polished than distro-x, but there is no new approach. It installs itself from a CD and, well, is a Gnome desktop almost exactly like other Gnome distributions. While one can say that Ubuntu is an evolutionary step forward, there is nothing revolutionary in it and no new approach to the desktop. 2005-06-21 12:30 pm “Other than that I can’t live with the performance, it’s quite a bit worse than XP. Sure, server throughput is probably good but certainly not the graphical performance. Sluggish and bad response times. An easy test application is Firefox. Scroll a page with some tables, images, flash and stuff and compare a Windows build with a Linux build. The Linux build performs much worse. And that goes for about all desktop applications (I use Gnome mostly). And that annoying mouse cursor stuttering. Heavy CPU or IO loads affects the mouse cursor, a problem I almost never see on Windows, not even when I ran Windows 95 on my P200. On Linux it happens on my Athlon 2000+. I can’t live with that. ” -FUD …. The engineers (all 250 of them) and me and my gaming friends all disagree with you. The issues you are having are prone to you and your hardware as my Linux box easily gets better framerates and can do TRUE multitasking over the heavily bloated/slow/filled-with-security-holes Windows. And before you jump on me for being a Linux Zealot …. I WAS running Windows for many years and was just as animate that Windows was king as Bill Gates. So save the flames … they won’t effect me. The issues you mentioned were the fault of either a bad kernel compile (if you did one … if not then your kernel was still running on a “i386” processor model) and wasn’t set up/configured properly. 2005-06-21 12:36 pm Sorry, I don’t get all the Ubuntu hype. I have tried both Ubuntu and Kubuntu, and they’re both nice. In the end however Ubuntu seems like a slight repackaging of Debian. Debian used to have a reputation of being hard to install but that’s pretty much over. So why not just use Debian? Am I missing something here? 2005-06-21 12:38 pm For many newbies it will now be a tough choice between Fedora and Ubuntu, which both default to the Gnome desktop. Ubuntu was pretty much up-to-date when it was released but now Fedora appears to offer the “latest and the greatest” and all newbies are suckers for new features. Of course, you could upgrade Ubuntu to “Breezy Badger” but it is not stable (although there will always be some idiot who says “I’ve run it from day 1 and never had a problem”). I think there’s room in the GNU/Linux world for both Fedora and Ubuntu to prosper but I will nevertheless follow their popularity contest with keen interest. 2005-06-21 12:48 pm I’m a Hoary user, and experience a major responsiveness slowdown when burning CD/DVDs with Gnome Baker. The mouse becomes really sluggish. I’ve put it down to me using a Small Form Factor PC, and hence the DVD+-R being on the same IDE channel as the primary disk. It does however sometimes cause my music (being played from a SATA drive) to skip. Apart from that one issue (hey – I rarely burn CD/DVDs anyway!) I <3 Ubuntu! 2005-06-21 12:50 pm “Sorry, I don’t get all the Ubuntu hype. I have tried both Ubuntu and Kubuntu, and they’re both nice. In the end however Ubuntu seems like a slight repackaging of Debian. Debian used to have a reputation of being hard to install but that’s pretty much over. So why not just use Debian? Am I missing something here?” I like you am a uber fan of Debian and thought the same thing, problem with Debian is that it really is “designed” to be a server OS (nearly 2 million of them worldwide). What Ubuntu gives us is Debian goodness (I agree this seems like a repackaged Debian) on a “desktop” type of platform. Seems like there is a little less bloat as comapred to Debian and just a bit zippier (Debian folks, remeber your prelinking and i686 libs ). If you have Debian already there is no need to reload this if your distro is working. But what I did is I waited until I needed to reload my machine and put this on there and it’s pretty nice. 10 outta 10 is strong (NOTHING is perfect) 2005-06-21 12:52 pm To me, Ubuntu is slightly better because: – the default installation is up-to-date. Just run apt-get update and dist-upgrade after the installation and you get the updated packages. – the development of Ubuntu is based on short releases so we don’t need to handle stable, testing, unstable and whatnot. We can upgrade from Warty to Hoary to Breezy. It’s much easier to stay up-to-date this way. – the Ubuntu guys have control over the repositories so they can trigger the update of several packages at once so you won’t get a package that’s out of sync which can break your installation momentarily. – Debian’s stable and testing are usually behind the available packages for Ubuntu, and the Debian guys hardly will advise you to run unstable. – Ubuntu takes great care of its distribution so they do the extra-mile work to get a default working systems as effortless as possible to the end user, while Debian is too big and does not support Gnome as well as Ubuntu does, for instance. I consider Debian the king and Ubuntu the prince, though. But Ubuntu is a legitimate heir. 2005-06-21 12:53 pm I couldn’t keep ubuntu cause I can’t use anything beyond kernel 2.6.6 (chipset bug only worked around in 2.6.12). But graphically it’s a very good distro, well organised and easy to install. In perticular I like the philosophy of using native Gnome or KDE tools for system administration rather than resorting to things like Mandrake Control Center and Yast. It’s the way forward that benefits linux as a whole rather that a couple of distros. 2 major flaws imho : partitionning is really subpar. It is intimidating and it’s hard to see why qtparted was not used in this instance. Sound configuration is a mess : On my box, it was configured to use OSS through ESD. Lots of crackling sound and latency…. I had to manually enable ALSA and configure applications to use straight ALSA to get good results. Why do any differently when the card detected is extremely well supported by ALSA ? 2005-06-21 12:55 pm “Debian is king” Coincidence with what I said in my previous post. 2005-06-21 12:59 pm Is the fact that the distro is KEPT up-to-date going forward. New versions of packages are made available in the updates repository. The only other way I know to keep an up-to-date distro is tracking unstable, which is what I do currently, but has a few drawbacks, like the odd incursion in experimental for kde3.4, no formal security updates, and the fact that packages consistency might break (very) occasionally. 2005-06-21 1:35 pm I am amazed at how someone can give 10/10. I will leave it on the author personal preference, he is free even to give 20/10. The main thing is I tried it and it is not so great. 2005-06-21 2:10 pm Slow down during DVD burning sounds like DMA isn’t enable on your drives. Try: hdparm -vi /dev/hd? to see if you drives are using DMA 2005-06-21 2:35 pm Ubuntu is good. Open source is good. But please don’t fake 10/10 ratings. MacOS X maybe gets a 10/10. Pay-versions of Linspire, Mandriva and SuSE might get a 7/10 if you are lucky, the gods are with you and your wLan card is supported. But never Ubuntu. “a bit kludgey for newer linux users” “the partitioner generally works fine” “boot process is still a bit crude and un-polished” “basic GRUB boot screen appears” “asks you what kernel you want to use” “the lack of color or decoration often spooks some users” “be prepared to spend some time finding your Windows drivers” “copying them to your drive, and using them with ndiswrapper” “despite a few rough edges” “rarely locks up” 2005-06-21 2:45 pm I 100% agree with Erik: If I use a strict measurement, but one that I consdier reasonable from the perspective of a common user, it’s this: “As soon as you have to load a terminal to fix something, it flunks”. And by that measurement, no distro measures up. But Ubuntu comes closer than any other I’ve tried. I have my wife’s computer using Ubuntu. It is nice. But the amount mucking and hacking I had to do just to get the display resolution to be something other than 640×480, make it play mp3’s, make Java work in the browser, etc, etc is still just too much. I am a CS grad who works on HP-UX machines all day at work. I am not afraid of the command line, or compiling code. But, I like going to the command line, complining code, etc, to solve *interesting* problems, not to make my OS do *basic* things that OS’es have been doing for years, such as changing the resolution of the display. I realize that some issues Linux has are due to liscensing, copyrights, etc, and are not “Linux’s fault.” But I don’t have any felt loalty to Linux, or any other OS, for that matter. I want the best OS, that “just works.” I don’t care if it’s free, or if it costs a reasonable amount of money. Furthermore, Linux is only free in monitary terms. It costs you time, and the time investment can be considerable if you want your desktop to have all the latest multimedia capabilities, etc. I spent a lot of time setting up Ubuntu. I personally prefer my iBook running OS X 10.3 over Linux’s latest and greatest, hands down. Everything just works. But to temper that statement and not sound too trollish, I do think that the progress Linux distributions have been making lately is fantastic, and what one can get “for free” these days is pretty impressive, all things considered. 2005-06-21 2:49 pm And here’s a tip for all of you gentoo guys: Humble yourselves. Compiling software is trivial. Real hackers are laughing at you. Wow, that’s a nice generalization. I didn’t realize so many people were laughing at me. Here I am, thinking I’m using a distro because I find it fits my tastes the best (since I’m a BSD on server kind of guy) but the whole time I’m a joke. Who would have thunk it. Here a tip: grow up, use the ditro you like. Maybe you don’t understand why someone would use gentoo (hint, we all don’t think we’re cool because we compile our code). 2005-06-21 2:51 pm Oh, and thank you captain obvious for pointing out that typing “emerge -uDpv world” is trivial. 2005-06-21 3:05 pm I totally agree. I think its called “no-nonsense”. Had to do just a little hacking with Ubuntu but if more people are going to use Linux the basics should just work. 2005-06-21 3:14 pm If I had known a hastily banged out review last morning would cause this much trouble, I’d have never posted it I’ll quickly address a few things to clear up some of the crap being slung around right now: 1) I didn’t clarify my rating of 10/10 and I probably deserve the comments I’ve got about giving out a “perfect” rating. I think it’s important to show things in comparison to the norms and standards other distros have set and therefore my rating scale is as such: 1 is equivalent to the absolute worse Linux distro currently, 10 is equivalent to the best/one of the best [current] Linux distros. Thus, I find Ubuntu to be the best/one of the best for _Desktop_ usage _despite_ its flaws (which every single distro has). While the default grub/boot sequence is ugly, I was able to remedy this quickly/easily. The installer is ugly but you only see it once. Wireless is funky but then again it is also this way with every single other distro due to hardware manufacturers not releasing Linux drivers. These are my opinions, you may agree, but your opinion means no more than mine. 2) I’m not a “Ubuntu/Debian Fanboy.” I will be writing some other reviews for the handful of distros we run at work and home. Amongst possible targets: SuSe (Professional and Enterprise), Redhat Enterprise, Yoper, Debian, Xandros, Fedora, etc. I’ve ran a wide variety and have to deal with a wide variety on a day-to-day basis and my opinions are based on my experience doing so in a workplace environment. Additionally, my opinions are based on the hardware I’ve had at my disposal. Yours may differ depending on what you’re running. I personally have had absolutely minimal problems running Ubuntu on the hardware at my disposal (Mainly Dell/IBM Laptops and a smattering of Dell/Custom workstations). 3) Don’t even bother tromping around on a Linux review website if you don’t realize that you will never agree 100% with any review. You may not agree with my 10/10 rating, but that’s your own opinion and you can’t expect me to agree. Wah. Have a good day, I won’t be replying or reading this thread on here after this so flame away. 2005-06-21 3:28 pm Last night i wrote a post…but i think moderators are getting a bit itchy on this website or may be their servers can’t handle 250 posts everyday…lol anyways my concerns were genuine.. When i think of Linux…first question comes to mind is what to install: Redhat, Linspire, Suse, Debian, Slackware, Fedora, Gentoo, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Cent OS, Whitebox linux, mandrake etc etc The whole linux distribution market is a confused mess. And it seems that so called linux fanboys have more fun trying various distros than doing something productive. Don’t you think, you guys need a better timepass than trying different distro every week? 2005-06-21 3:37 pm I spend most of my discretionary computer time on a Mac than anything else these days, but I still use Linux every day. And I’ve been a paying SUSE guy since 7.0 or so. While a 10 of 10 rating seems a bit gushing, Ubuntu is really damn good. Tied it on PPC this past weekend. Quite elegant — and a great community. I’m sold. It’s Ubuntu from here out. I’m even gonna buy a new X86-64 box to give it a new home at the workdesk. 2005-06-21 3:44 pm I am a Mepis user. How does it compare? Ease of use upgrade etc, I know that Mepis uses KDE and Ubantu uses Gnome so no need to go there. 2005-06-21 3:45 pm I just modded the author, He writes a lousy review and then expects people to say nice things. 2005-06-21 3:55 pm Maybe Google’s new “Troll-detection” 😉 2005-06-21 4:20 pm “”I’ve found Ubuntu to support a staggering variety of hardware… “” I have tried a lot of distros… Id say about 20 or 30 distros… For me Ubuntu does not cut it when finding my simple hardware… Knoppix is a few million times better then Ubuntu… I have standard p3 test machine that has had pretty much everything chucked at it… same goes with my laptop… Just installed fedore core4 and everything works… garphics… mouse… sound…. so for me 2 our of 10… 2005-06-21 4:23 pm I will say that Ubuntu has been the most sticky linux desktop I have used in the sense that I usually blast a new distro on once a month and I havn’t done that with Ubuntu. It seems UBTU has found a permanent spot on my drive and I actually enjoy using it. Part of my love for Ubuntu is the ease of use Synaptic has added to the distro. (I know you can use Syn. on other distos too) Package mgt. is something that is critical for a business and I would love to see something like Synaptic for network/remote software mgt. for other workstations. If there is something like this in the works please inform me so I can help. 2005-06-21 4:26 pm one more comment… does anyone have any good ideas about Workstation image mgt.? 2005-06-21 4:39 pm Multi-user support with remote connection is a plus of Linux. It means that you could access any of your machines without disturbing a user that could be using one of them. It means that 1 machine could serve all the software that you needed. It means that backups, installation, maintenance, etc, could all be concentrated on one machine. Windows can’t do that easily. 2005-06-21 4:48 pm I need to use windows @ work, and many members of my family use windows. As an IT professional I am called on by all of them to help fix problems with their machines (all windows). The amount of calls I have about spyware and pop-ups alone is enough to make me prefer a platform other than Windows. I have used and tried SEVERAL different spyware, pop-up blockers, ad-ware, and anti-virus software solutions, and none of them can keep up. Of course my windows machine at work doesn’t suffer like the rest of my friends/family/workers, but that is because they are average users who don’t understand how their machines become infected. I don’t think it is the USERS fault and that they need to become better educated. I think their needs to be better products that prevent that crap, and Linux/BSD variants do a great job. (I hear the arguments that once a critical mass of users switch to another platform the problems will follow coming at me like a herd of wild buffalo!!!) The peace that I find using a distro like Ubuntu only begins with the lack of spy/ad/virus junk. The problem with comparing Windows vs. whatever is that people think Windows holds some kind of standard that must be lived up to. If Windows was suddenly non-existent what would we do??? A modern Linux/BSD desktop OS holds all the tools average users need. The fact is that Windows is a different product than Linus/BSD and they shouldn’t have identical offerings. To each their own…but wait…for that to work we must have choice…hmmm 2005-06-21 5:15 pm Ubuntu has changed things: * It’s 100% free * They will ship you a free CD if you ask * They provide 18 months of updates * A new release every 6 months * The distro fits on 1 CD * Live CD’s * Excellent community, forums, access to developers * Canonical supports several open source developers * Debian based, quality software * apt-get, synaptic, update system that works great Ubuntu is not perfect, but it is quite good, certainly good enough for a lot of users. Ubuntu is doing the right things. Ubuntu is growing rapidly and has momentum. For those people who had a bad experience with Ubuntu a few things come to mind. If so many people are raving about Ubuntu, perhaps something went wrong at your end. First, the install: Did you check the md5sum on the iso image, did you have good media, how did you burn the install CD, does your hardware have problems? Second: did you try out the Hoary LiveCD? Third: What did you do to try to get help, did you file a bug report? 2005-06-21 5:23 pm “I’ve used XP on 64MB machines, typically run my XP setup with 20 programs working at once” And then “The problem is that few get to see Linux’s benefits due to poor installation and usability factors.” Dude, you lost all credibility here as if people here aren’t going to know that is a crock. You must think you’re at Neo Win. I have news for you. This tendency of yours to exaggerate brands you as a zealot and does NOT make your point. 2005-06-21 5:25 pm “I am a Mepis user. How does it compare?” Mepis is way easier to install. Ubuntu’s installer is primitive. Mepis comes with a lot of apps, Ubuntu comes with the bare necessities. 2005-06-21 5:48 pm Has anyone tried this yet? http://www.debianpure.com 2005-06-21 6:02 pm Last week, I attempted to install Knoppix 3.8.1, SimplyMepis 3.? and KUnbuntu 5.04 from Live CDs. If Linux has made some good progresses, it is still to much complicate for me. Printer, soundcard, zip drive problems. Unable to configurate a KPPP connection (this is my nightmare). Despite all my efforts, installing applications like wxPython is too much. All these distros, repositories, I am really confused. Once more, I ended up with a fdisk and reinstall win98. Rating this distro with a 10 is as stupid as giving a 0 mark. Regards. 2005-06-21 7:23 pm I tried Ubuntu and just like Red Hat, Mandrake, etc. I can’t stand it. They feel slow compared to my Gentoo install. funroll-loops for the win! 2005-06-21 8:43 pm hehe, where were you? I mean, 3 pages of comments without a “I just do emerge something” or “gentoo is so much faster” is just boring. 2005-06-21 9:21 pm That is too bad you had so many problems… As far as the comment about “all these distros, repositories…” I have to agree with the person above you who said the thing about choice in everything else we do…cars…stereos…home theater. I find it really hard to believe that you are that upset about choices…unless making that choice is just too much work. If you tell someone they have to pay $$$ to make a choice they will spend all kinds of time researching and whatever…but if you give it away free, well…you see what i mean. 2005-06-21 10:37 pm Mepis which I tried about 2 years ago, had a lot of nice gui tools to customize things that you won’t find in other distros. One of the mepis developers wrote these utils I guess similar to how mandrake has it’s own custom control center, harddrake gui etc. Why are the best of these apps not adopted by other distros I’ll never understand. And mepis is based on debian as well which is good. And yes it has a very polished gui for installing. Again why do not other people take this as their own, instead of waiting for someone to reinvent the wheel, which I believe ubuntu is doing waiting for debian to have the 1st version of their gui based installer. Other things I’ve read though is that ubuntu is going to make their own, maybe for breezy (but I think that’s even delayed now and won’t make it in time for breezy). But here’s my big negative on mepis: it’s mixed source debian. So it’s got various packages from stable, unstable, and I think experimental. When I tried to migrate it to sid, I brought the whole box down, well X anyways and I tried for a couple of days mucking around with apt to get it back up but gave up. I did the same thing with knoppix prior to trying mepis which is mixed as well. That’s why I ended up trying morphix at the time which was the only pure sid (well even that wasn’t pure, it had XFREE86 from experimental which didn’t make it into sid at the time, but eventually that was in sid as well and everything from then on was pure sid, but even that X switch gave me some deb dependancy headaches.) Anyways, ubuntu is a snapshot of just sid. Instead of the floating target that sid is, they take a snapshot and try to ensure everything works out of the box. The downside is you do not get any updates to programs for 6 months until the next release (which is called breezy badger). However there is now an official backports project which backports programs that are currently in breezy but then they compile them for hoary (the current version of ubuntu). I call this a downside because I like to check out the latest and greatest and feel like I’m being a nag always requesting the latest from breezy, but of course for a lot of people this is a benefit as they know their box has relatively uptodate software and they shouldn’t encounter any problems in the mean time and just when things are getting out of date there is the next big release every 6 months instead of 3 years like debian. So right now, I still have my deb sid box and ubuntu installed. I’ve pretty much been in ubuntu the last couple of months and it is good, just not ready to let go of sid quite yet. Just from past experiences I’m not trying a mixed source debian based distro again. I also don’t understand the reasoning behind it, what could mepis need that they couldn’t have gotten just from plain sid? Why need to dip into like 3 of the debian bases? 2005-06-22 12:29 am Looking at all the things being said, I think i will be with win98 & winxp for a while yet. (sigh…) 2005-06-22 1:02 am Because any OS that has issues with modern laptops doesn’t deserve a 10/10. 2005-06-22 1:45 am I think it is funny when users say things like “this is a good distro, but there is still some work to be done…” and then continue to list hardware issues they had with the particular distro. Um, yea… go! 2005-06-22 5:12 am “I would read the review, but the page isnt designed for my firefox webbrowser, with the left frame taking up my entire screen.” LOL. While you’re at it, Firefox also jumped out of my monitor, bit me and gave me rabies. Internet Exploiter, however, lit up the screen and cured me. Thus making me think once again that ubatu is not worth my time as it is another linux distro that is deluting the linux market once again. 2005-06-22 2:41 pm This is not a review. It does not compare Ubuntu to other distros or bring any new information. It’s just PR for Ubuntu, yet again. For a really innovative desktop people should look at SymphonyOS. 2005-06-22 2:47 pm At least half the anti-Ubuntu comments here are probably by Microsoft astroturfers. I use both XP and Ubuntu on a daily basis, both since their most recent release, and sometimes on identical hardware. I have no connection with either vendor other than as a user. Both distributions have good and bad points. Ubuntu has excellent package management with Synaptic, huge freeware software repositories and is polished. It is weak with multimedia, some hardware and the AMD64 build is flakey. You can’t beat the price. Support is good if you can use google and cope with online informal support channels. I found the lack of partition resizing a hassle but worked around it with a SuSE Linux installation disk. I thought read-only NTFS might be a problem but it turned out to be not a big deal, just used FAT file systems and the network to move data around. Evolution email is good but slow and the calendar doesn’t scale too well to large numbers of appointments. It is necessary to be very careful when installing packages from outside the standard Synaptic Ubuntu repositories. Firefox web browser extension management is currently partly broken making it a manual process to get flash and java going. You do need to use the command line sometimes for system management but if you can cope with a text editor like windows notepad it’s not a big deal. XP is more polished but it has bizarre bugs (this week it was error 0x80244021), package and patch management is poor and it’s a pain to maintain truly synchronised installations on multiple boxes. It handles multimedia well, though limited to Microsoft formats without some tweaking. Hardware support is better than Ubuntu but still mediocre (this week it was a properly installed USB webcam being visible in the device manager but not visible to applications). Price, the lack of interroperability, network registration and keyed installation cdrom’s are a hassle. Online support for core XP is good but poor for third party applications and it can be time consuming to debug problems. The GUI is clean but crowded. Very occasionally it is necessary to go to the command line or “Run…” to do system management. Like I said, comparable. 2005-06-22 3:12 pm I used Ubuntu for around 3 months (Hoary) after movinf away from Suse 9.1 pro, resolving dependancies wa driving me nuts with Suse, so I moved to ubuntu pretty much beacuse of Synaptic package manager (which really is great). But with Ubuntu there was always some little niggling thing like the DMA support for DVD drives. DMA is configured for DVD drives as a device but not enabled (1). The only way to resolve this permanently was to write to the boot script to enable DMA form boot time…this is after about 3 hours of searching. there is absolutely no way a normal computer user is going to know this or knwo how to resolve it. With DMA disabled on DVD, ,DVD’s cannot be watched data transfer is extremely slow… 2005-06-22 3:22 pm For me Linux, no matter what the flavour, always seems to be in a Beta state, it never really feels easy enough to use for every day desktop usage. Linux in general is only genuinely great as a server or as an os for embedded devices. 2005-06-22 5:51 pm “For me Linux, no matter what the flavour, always seems to be in a Beta state, it never really feels easy enough to use for every day desktop usage. ” click on the browser to browse the net click on the email package to email what else ya need….could you be a bit more specific 2005-06-22 6:07 pm Tried some flavor of Linux, didn’t feel like reading some documentation and got fed up that something didn’t work. People get so entrenched into what they’re used to (Windows) that they are blinded to anything that doesn’t resemble the way things “should be.” Remember back to when you were first learning Windows. You found a lot out by yourself but on some things you had to ask for help or resort to some form of documentation. The same thing holds true for Linux. While keeping in mind that many forms of Linux are non-commercial and developed in the spare times of thousands of people, the state of things are impressive as is. A rag-tag group of people from around the world have produced something that is now seeing growing usage. That’s an impressive feat and it shouldn’t be discounted. Granted that Linux isn’t quite ready for every average Joe, it’s getting closer with each day. So to all of you people who are so quick to dump on Linux, we’ll see how things are in another 5 years or so. 2005-06-22 6:14 pm and what if you purchased a computer that had linux pre-installed and everything setup… considering that is how 99% of people get windows I think it is only fair to compare it that way…. 2005-06-22 8:18 pm I am a linux advocate and promote it where and when I can as an alternative, but I don’t agree with Linux kernel being unsurpassed in supporting the latest hardware. I have a high-end toshiba laptop with all the trimmings and yet during installation, neither Fedora(any version) or Ubuntu(any version), detect my touchpad or wireless card. Furthermore, the ATI Radeon 9100 drivers are terrible for linux compared to Nvidia, and freeze the machine any time opengl is used. I by no means favor MS XP, but I don’t have these issues in XP and if Linux is going to progress in the desktop arena, it needs much better driver support from manufacturers like ATI, Sony, Tochiba, etc. As of now the only laptops that I have never had hardware issues with linux on is Dell Laptops. Just my two cents! 2005-06-24 12:23 pm I find very funny to read a review which gives 10/10 on a SW on which I had many problems: -I nuked the wrong partition in the install due to the poor installer which doesn’t help in anyway to distinguish Windows partition (installed base is 98% percent Windows, making a partition utility showing Windows drive letter would be *very* useful). -it didn’t start on my PC. There was Grub screen and nothing else.. I don’t know why.