Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Ubuntu: the good and the bad

Filed under
Linux

Last Sunday, at a friend's party, someone started a discussion on the impending release of Windows 7. Most of us being from IT, it was a "hot" topic to discuss.

Before I could mention that I use Linux for 99.9% of my tasks at home and at work, a non-IT guy, said he used Ubuntu on his Sony VAIO. Predictably I was pleasantly surprised as Linux is something my friends and aquaintances know the merits of, but do not wish to (yet) deploy on their PCs or laptops.

As the conversation progressed, it was apparent that the non-IT guy had a Macbook, on which he ended up pouring his precious favourite spirit. So, he switched to Ubuntu rather than go back to Windows.

So, here is my personal analysis of what is good and not-so-good about Ubuntu:

The Good

Its great to see that almost a joe-average user decided to install Ubuntu Jaunty rather than revert to the "comfort" of Windows. This clearly implies that the user migration to Linux has started trickling. Full marks to Ubuntu for making the system easy enough.

The Bad

When I asked the guy why he chose Ubuntu, the answer was that he was used to MacOS X interface and Ubuntu provided a much similar look and feel. I couldn't help wondering if this is the cause of few Windows users migrating to Ubuntu. Take, for example, Kubuntu. It comes with KDE and (as numerous reports and rants on the internet say) provides a Windows-like look and feel.

Would the statistics for migration to Linux look any different if Canonical had gone with KDE/4 and provided a Windows-lookalike desktop? We have had 10 iterations of admittedly the most popular Linux distributions out there. Maybe its time to switch the strategy and target users who want the familiar look of Windows without its legendary ills. If that's too radical now, why not provide an option to choose the look-and-feel during installation (and during Live-CD startup) by showing the user screenshots of KDE and GNOME (looking similar to Windows and MacOS X respectively)?

Disclaimer: This is not a rant against any particular desktop, although I do prefer KDE over GNOME. Its simply offering users what they seem to want.

More in Tux Machines

Linux Mint 4 "Debian Edition"

Linux Mint is a popular desktop distribution which features two main branches. The first branch is based on Ubuntu long-term support (LTS) releases and is available in three editions: Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce. The second branch uses Debian Stable releases as its foundation and is available in one edition: Cinnamon. The project's latest release is Linux Mint 4 "Debian Edition", also sometimes written LMDE 4. Much of the work which has gone into LMDE 4 focuses on bringing the Debian branch of Linux Mint up to date with the Ubuntu branch, which seems to get the bulk of the developers' focus. The latest improvements include better VirtualBox support, access to the System Reports tool, and APT's recommended packages being enabled by default... Read more

OSS Leftovers

  • How open source ad blockers could save you 2 hours a week

    More importantly, the results show how you can get that time back. The study estimates that the average Internet user would save over 100 hours a year by using uBlock Origin, a free and open source ad blocker. “uBlock Origin was the most effective ad blocker tested, but all ad blockers save time, energy and money”, explained Joshua Pearce, a Professor of Engineering at Michigan Technological University.

  • Open Source Software to realize Conversational AI – COTOBA Agent OSS

    Tokyo based Conversational AI Product Startup, releases their core technologies as Open Source Software (OSS), entitled “COTOBA Agent OSS.” This allows you to: (a) Embrace industrial conversational AI as a white box: It can utilize sensor information from IoT with external APIs; (b) Utilize its secured and scaling-out capabilities: More than 5,000 tests are conducted for large-scale commercial use; (c) Commercialize the OSS with MIT license: There is no limitation to copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute and sublicense.

  • Magnolia 6.2 Released, Two TYPO3 Releases Available, and More Open Source News

    Magnolia 6.2 — a long-term service release — is has become available. This version includes a number of exciting new features that include the following.

  • Cameron Kaiser: TenFourFox FPR21 available

    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 21 final is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). Since the beta looks like it's working well, this release simply completes the upgrade with updates to the ATSUI font blacklist and all outstanding security patches, including backported fixes from the recent Mozilla security chemspill for CVE-2020-6819 and CVE-2020-6820. Note that while we are indeed vulnerable to those security issues and they are fixed in FPR21, they would require a PowerPC-specific attack to be successful. Assuming no issues, this will go live Monday evening Pacific time as usual.

The Academy Software Foundation and the Advantages of Open Source Software

The initial investigation included an industry-wide survey, a series of one-on-one interviews with key stakeholders, and three Academy Open Source Summits held at the Academy headquarters, according to Andy Maltz, Managing Director, Science and Technology Council, AMPAS, and ASWF Board Member. Comments Bredow, “They identified the key common challenges they were seeing with open source software. The first was making it easier for engineers to contribute to OSS with a modern software build environment hosted for free in the cloud. The second was supporting users of open source software by helping to reduce the existing version conflicts between various open source software packages. And the third was providing a common legal framework to support open source software. “The mission of the Academy Software Foundation,” Bredow elaborates, “is to increase the quality and quantity of contributions to the content creation industry’s open source software base; to provide a neutral forum to coordinate cross-project efforts; to provide a common build and test infrastructure; and to provide individuals and organizations a clear path to participation in advancing our open source ecosystem.” Read more

Audiocasts/Shows: Linux Action News, Open Source Security Podcast, GNU World Order and Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo

  • Linux Action News 152

    WireGuard officially lands in Linux. We cover a bunch of new features in Linux 5.6 and discuss the recent challenges facing LineageOS. Plus the PinePhone UBports edition goes up for pre-order, and our reaction to Huawei joining the Open Invention Network.

  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 190 - Building a talent "ecosystem"

    Josh and Kurt talk about building a talent ecosystem. What starts out as an attempt by Kurt to talk about Canada evolves into a discussion about how talent can evolve, or be purposely grown. Canada's entertainment industry and Unit 8200 are good examples of this.

  • gnuWorldOrder_348

    Musing about the **Common Unix Printing System (CUPS)**. Next episode will be about the **CUPS** and **lpr** command set.

  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E02 – Walking under ladders

    This week we’ve been live streaming Ubuntu development and replacing VirtualBox with Bash. We discuss Mark’s new Linux Steam PC set-up, bring you some musical command-line love and go over all your feedback! It’s Season 13 Episode 02 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.