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Ubuntu: Just how popular is it?

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Ubuntu

There is no doubt that Ubuntu’s popularity has grown dramatically over the past few years, but just how popular is Ubuntu? How many people have ever heard of Ubuntu? How many people visit the Ubuntu site each month? How many people have tried Ubuntu, and more importantly, how many people are actually using it?

According to Canonical’s official press release for Gutsy Gibbon, Ubuntu has a “strong and growing user base of over 6 million people.” Where Canonical got this number is not clear, and they have provided no evidence to back up this claim. Nobody really knows how many people are using Ubuntu, but we found some interesting statistics online that show Ubuntu’s popularity is growing. From these statistics, it looks like Ubuntu has become far more popular than any other Linux distribution.

So, where can we look online to judge Ubuntu’s popularity?




And then there's the backlash

I don't like Ubuntu. I don't want to get carried away with that, and I don't want to complain about what works for other people, but Ubuntu takes my favorite distro (Debian) and gives it a lot of crazy left turns that I find confusing and frustrating, and it seems to make choices for me in a way that recalls you-know-who. I've installed it several times. Each time, I started to like it, and then I wound up wiping it in a fit of pique. I'm not the only one who is annoyed with the who Ubuntu juggernaut. Check out certain hardcore debian forums and you'll see lots of complaining about Ubuntu

As near as I can figure, Ubuntu's popularity seems to suggest that the very things that make it so annoying to some experienced users make it accessible to beginners, and maybe some experienced users too.

Ubuntu is not a fad, and it's popularity is based on real advantages for some people, but those of us who are not fans are not merely "jealous" In the end, we're going to have to live with Ubuntu's popularity, and maybe that fact that is the definition of Linux in the mind of much of the public.

re: backlash

I don't care for Ubuntu either. First off, I don't like GNOME. This goes way back and few distributions make it likeable. openSUSE does a good job and Linux Mint is also tolerable, but for the most part - I just don't like GNOME. I prefer qt application appearance to gtk as well.

Second of all, I'm one of those humans that gets a dislike for anything that's wildly popular. It's a human psychological phenomena and I admit that's part of it.

Thirdly, the vocal newly-converted act like Linux is a new thing and that Ubuntu is Linux. Perhaps they have just now heard of an alternative to Microsoft and perhaps this is the first distro they could install. I speculate that if this is the first distro they could install, then they never tried any Linux before or in many many years. So all their evangelism is so annoying. Linux is not new. It's been easy to install since the turn of the century.

Forth, Ubuntu takes Debian, sticks on an uglier version (if that's possible) of GNOME, very little else, pays for advertisement and press, and ships cds for free. Word gets around about Ubuntu. It's a case of buying the election.

Fifth, it'd be different if Ubuntu really was something special or even as good as many others - but dang, it all boils down to a mediocre product being heralded as the best thing since sliced bread. It's very ... annoying.

Well.

Ubuntu really is different in some fundamental ways. Don't look for KDE in the repositories, it's "Kubuntu Desktop". This pissed me off to no end when I spent a whole afternoon trying to figure it out, but I can see why a newcomer would actually find this easier to understand. There's no /etc/inittab file. I assume that there's some reason for doing this, some advantage, but when i couldn't find the inittab file, I was annoyed.

It's not just Debian with an uglier desktop. If it were, I wouldn't have a problem with that. They really have reengineered it, in a way that seems to punish experienced users. But it really does seem to work for some people.

Ubuntu criticism backlash

srlinuxx wrote:
Second of all, I'm one of those humans that gets a dislike for anything that's wildly popular. It's a human psychological phenomena and I admit that's part of it.
Susan, I hear you--I'm an inveterate rooter against the overly popular, and a patron of the forgotton, the underdog, and the unfavored. It's just part of my psyche.

srlinuxx wrote:
The vocal newly-converted act like Linux is a new thing and that Ubuntu is Linux.
The gushing, sycophantic attitude of the Linux inexperienced who have just switched to Ubuntu is particularly grating.

srlinuxx wrote:
Forth, Ubuntu takes Debian, sticks on an uglier version (if that's possible) of GNOME, very little else, pays for advertisement and press, and ships cds for free. Word gets around about Ubuntu. It's a case of buying the election.
Well said.

Quote:
Fifth, it'd be different if Ubuntu really was something special or even as good as many others - but dang, it all boils down to a mediocre product being heralded as the best thing since sliced bread. It's very ... annoying.
Again, well said.

I just tried Kubuntu Gutsy, and while it's better than Kubuntu Dapper and Feisty (see my blog), it's not outstanding in any way.

Popular vs Everything Else

Sheeple (aka the unwashed hordes) will never learn, and like raving sports fans, car freaks, actor/actress stalkers, garner some type of mis-applied social belonging by attaching themselves to anything and everything that has some cache of popularity (like a horny chihuahua at a crowded diner party).

It's a endless "sisyphus-esque" like task, pointing out the flaws in their fanboy logic, so it's probably best just to ignore them and hope that natural selection will work it's magic on them sooner then later.

Perhaps the intelligent few that see thru the BS of false social belongings are the losers in the long run, since it seems to be a truism that "Ignorance IS Bliss". At least for me, I'm willing to chance it and stick to facts/logic/reality.

[b]Sheeple (aka the unwashed

[b]Sheeple (aka the unwashed hordes) will never learn, and like raving sports fans, car freaks, actor/actress stalkers, garner some type of mis-applied social belonging by attaching themselves to anything and everything that has some cache of popularity (like a horny chihuahua at a crowded diner party).

It's a endless "sisyphus-esque" like task, pointing out the flaws in their fanboy logic, so it's probably best just to ignore them and hope that natural selection will work it's magic on them sooner then later.

Perhaps the intelligent few that see thru the BS of false social belongings are the losers in the long run, since it seems to be a truism that "Ignorance IS Bliss". At least for me, I'm willing to chance it and stick to facts/logic/reality.[/b]

Uh... this is about Ubuntu, right?

re: Sheeple

blackbelt_jones wrote:

Uh... this is about Ubuntu, right?

I think it's more about the Ubuntu evangelists.

Hey, where's your ubuntu (humanity toward others)?

Jesus Horatio Christ, what epic snobbery!

If they stay, many of them will discover the wider Linux world, but frankly, I think some of them are more likely to stay if they can avoid confronting the whole wide world of distros for a while.

Hell, I hate Ubuntu as much as everybody. I once started a thread in my favorite Linux forum about how much I hate Ubuntu... but that was about the software. For years I've been reading geeks in forums talking about how someone needs to really aggressive and intelligently market Linux. Well now, someone has. And no, it isn't exactly Slackware. Are you surprised?

It works for a lot of people. I think that's great, and if you don't think that's great... well, why the hell don't you think that's great?

If you liked Linux because it wasn't popular, there's always BSD.

"There's always BSD"

blackbelt_jones wrote:
...there's always BSD.

Funny, that's the exact same thing I thought after he said he thought RMS would make a good shill for Microsoft. WTF?

Verily, WTF?

eco2geek wrote:
blackbelt_jones wrote:
...there's always BSD.

Funny, that's the exact same thing I thought after he said he thought RMS would make a [url=http://www.tuxmachines.org/node/21007]good shill for Microsoft[/url]. WTF?

Now, that's just ignorant. If not for Stallman, Microsoft would be so far up our butts right now, we'd be tasting Ballmer's cologne.

Ubuntu user--with tongue in cheek.

Hey, lookie here, I was this windows user b4, and my windows system got slower and slower--I don't really know why, but someone mentioned something about a router on my high speed internet connection (what's a router?). But then a friend mentioned Ubuntu, and said it was Linux, and it was free and you don't get viruses and stuff. So, one day he brought over a CD and helped me install it on my computer.

It was great! Except it didn't play my dvd movies like Microsoft Windows did. So my friend launched Firefox, and googled "play dvd on Ubuntu". And bam! up popped up some websites that told you exactly what to do to get dvds playing on Ubuntu.

I had to learn how to open a terminal and type in this sudo apt-get install stuff a bunch of times. I didn't know what it all meant (and I still don't) but I must be getting really good at Linux because, by golly, it worked--and I can play my DVDs now! And, I did the same thing with Flashplayer. Call me an expert!

I hear that there are other types of Linux, but this Ubuntu must be the greatest, because it sure works for me, and I hear that everyone is using it. I'm going to get on the 'net and go to a lot of sites and post and post about my new knowledge. Those people using other versions of Linux just don't know what they're missing!

ubuntuguide.org has all you

ubuntuguide.org has all you need. Wink
(Well, the majority of the stuff for the desktop).

Back when I started using Linux (2005), Ubuntu was half baked. I saw what it was trying to do, but it couldn't get there. I was coming from a long line of Windows versions, from Ver 2.0 to XP. Before that, I had plenty of DOS experience, so command line interfaces didn't scare me one bit.

I ended up using Fedora Core 3 at the time...Later on, I went to Slackware, Gentoo, and OpenSUSE just to get a rough idea of the landscape. But eventually, I settled for Arch Linux and Debian myself, while Ubuntu goes on a spare PC. (Used to help troubleshoot for others).

For me, some distros do this, while others do that. There isn't a single distro for EVERYONE.

If you're the type that has no love for Windows or anything that reminds you of Windows, then you're more likely better off not using Ubuntu. (Those who prefer direct control of all components and dislike things being hidden from them.)

On the other hand, if you're looking to dip your toe into the ocean of Linux, consider Ubuntu as one of many options to consider. (Not necessarily THE choice).

I consider these "easy to use" distros as a stepping stone to a bigger world. And how far you want to take it is entirely up to you. The door is open, you just have to step through it. You don't have to, the choice is there if you like to.

BTW, please learn the meaning of what you're typing! It helps you further your knowledge and improves your competence in Linux!

re: ubuntuguide.org

Quote:

ubuntuguide.org has all you need. Eye-wink

BTW, please learn the meaning of what you're typing! It helps you further your knowledge and improves your competence in Linux!

That was a parody I'm pretty sure.

re:re: ubuntuguide.org

Yes, It was a parody. I was feeling a little goofy last night.

And I certainly would prefer that people use Ubuntu Linux over Microsoft Windows. (Or any of the other 100+ Linux Distributions, or BSD, or Haiku-OS, or any other relatively unencumbered operating system.)

It's all about freedom--that's number one. The lack of viruses and malware, the sense of community, and the lower cost are icing on the cake.

Forth, Ubuntu takes Debian,

Forth, Ubuntu takes Debian, sticks on an uglier version (if that's possible) of GNOME, very little else, pays for advertisement and press, and ships cds for free. Word gets around about Ubuntu. It's a case of buying the election.

It's a case of a company marketing its product very well.

There are a lot of differences between Debian and Ubuntu besides earth tones: some positive, and some which a true Debian fanboy such as myself is bound to find perplexing. For one thing, while the vast majority of live cd distros out there are Debian-based, to the best of my knowledge there is no "official" Debian live CD, so that's a big difference right there.

Ubuntu didn't invent the live installer CD, but the sure did make it look great. A slick-looking graphical installer doesn't necessarily make installing Ubuntu any easier than instlling Debian from the text installer that dates back to Sarge... but it does make a good impression. It conveys a message, that this isn't a cheap amateur OS, you're installing, Mr. or Ms. Linux Newbie. It's better looking than Windows XP's installer, and on a par with opensuse's graphical installer for good looks.

I think these things are important for someone getting their first look at linux. The form an early impression. One thing that really got me hooked on linux was my first look at xscreensaver, still the Godiva chocolate of eyecandy in my opinion.

Some people don't like the brown desktop, but I disagree. It's a bold departure. Of course, you can change the color scheme anytime or as often as you like.

So it's a great start, but I've always parted company with Ubuntu soon after this point, because of things like the dependance on sudo instead of su, the absence of an /etc/inittab file, the fact that ubuntu with kde is called kubuntu.

It all gets weird for me, though I occasionally get a glimpse of how it looks through the eyes of a newbie, and it actually seems kind of comprehensible. There was a time when I assumed that Mandrake looked different from Red Hat because they were different operating systems, not because one installed with KDE as a default, and the other one installed with gnome. I can't tell you how long it was before I figured this out. The ubuntu kubuntu xubuntu thing seems confusing to me now, but back then, i think it would have had exactly the opposite effect.

Anyway, love it or hate it, it's not just debian with an uglier version of gnome.

re: Ubuntu takes Debian

blackbelt_jones wrote:

Ubuntu didn't invent the live installer CD, but the sure did make it look great.

Better than Mandriva One's/PCLOS's? Better than Fedora's? Nope.

Quote:

Some people don't like the brown desktop, but I disagree. It's a bold departure. Of course, you can change the color scheme anytime or as often as you like.

So it's a great start, but I've always parted company with Ubuntu soon after this point, because of things like the dependance on sudo instead of su, the absence of an /etc/inittab file

Yeah, I complained about that sudo stuff for a while too, then I just started setting a root password the first time I open a console. I don't mess with disabling sudo and the only repercussion is having to issue the user password instead of root password when opening graphical apps that need root permissions. If I ran an ubuntu fulltime, I'd probably get rid of sudo altogether, but just for the short time I spend in any of them, this works well.

What does it use instead of an inittab? I never had to mess with changing the run level.

Quote:

Anyway, love it or hate it, it's not just debian with an uglier version of gnome.

Debian does some weird stuff too. I'm running it on my server and there were a few things in which I had to re-learn to do the Debian way. Despite the strange things, I still like Debian as a server OS a lot mainly due to the default memory handling, extreme stability, and APT.

Now here comes something that really pissed me off

I should mention that I just installed Ubuntu on my other machine. I really hope that when I finally reach GNU/Linux guruhood, my contribution to the community will be in the field of education, and that makes Ubuntu too important for me to ignore. For this reason, I'm trying to spend some time in the default gnome desktop usibng only sudo, rather than my usual immediate leap to fluxbox, and to enable the root account.

In Ubuntu, I keep being confronted with stuff that would make an inexperienced Linux user feel welcome but would make an experienced Linux user cringe. Example: I click on the icon for /etc/apt/sources.list, and a gui opens up instead of the expected text editor. Three years ago, this would have been a godsend, but now it's annoying. However, it's no big deal, I can get a text editor by right clicking on the icon.

But then, I want to install kubuntu-desktop-- not because I can't live without KDE, but because I can't live without Konqueror, and I deliberately recreated my last experience with this, just to check.

Sure enough, you can't find kubuntu-desktop by doing an apt-cache search for "kde"! To me, this is indicative of the whole problem with Ubuntu. Every thought is given to make things easy for the beginner, but it never occurs to them that someone is going to try to find KDE by searching for "kde"! I mean, WTF? Indeed, all sorts of things come up when you search for "kde"-- except for kde itself? If they want to give a goofy "buntu" name, cool, I'm on board for that. All it would take is a simple cross-reference.

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