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Does Ubuntu Make Linux Look Bad?

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On one of the computer forums I visit, someone has suggested that Ubuntu Linux “makes Linux look bad.”

In the light of some of the big issues that popped up when 9.10 (Karmic Koala) was first issued, I guess he has a point, but I find the main premise not only mistaken, but snobbish.

Windows is successful on the desktop because it is a “one size fits all” operating system. Mac’s OS is the same way. Ubuntu’s efforts to be “all things to all users” is an attempt at the same “one size fits all” appeal for Linux.

One may argue that Linux is not supposed to be “one size fits all.” It was never meant to be an all-in-one solution. Linux is not Windows!

rest here

Ubuntu is just average, it's users make it look bad

If you listen to the wild claims made by it's fanboys, it exceeds Linux as a whole, when in fact, ubuntu is just an average distro with a decent installer.

Aside from the technical problems Ubuntu has, what does Windows and Apple offer in their 'one size fits all' user experience that ubuntu doesn't offer?

A one place for everything Configuration Center.

Ubuntu user forums are positively littered with redundant questions by 'average' users on how to configure some of the most basic things. Over and over again.

How easy would it be to give users an easy to use config center?

Suse has YAST, in my opinion an excellent Control center, although there are those who will disagree with me, and that's fine.

There is also Mandriva, which offers arguably the best Control Center in all of Linux.

Most of the apps and tools buntu offers, package management, update system, etc.. are offered similarly across the board pretty much in Linux distros now.

Ubuntu's only claim to fame lies in that has made an easy installer.

Wow. That is so much a reason to proclaim Ubuntu as a top tier Linux distro...NOT.

Ubuntu is a Gnome based distro and Gnome offers a generalized control panel with it. Does ubuntu offer default use of the Gnome Control panel? No, it doesn't. It chooses time and again to leave it's users in the dark.

It's not snobbery to expect a Linux distro that makes loud proclamations to live up to it's words.

Ubuntu just fails at living up to it's talk.

Ubuntu is a decent, usable, somewhat average and easy to install distro.

it can't claim being ahead of the curve, fedora likely has the claim to that.

It can' claim to superior stability, debian owns that.

It can't claim top tier support, RedHat has planted it's flag there.

It's average. nothing wrong with average. it doesn't suck, it isn't over the top.

it's simply a decent home user oriented distro that needs to get it's technical stuff in order so updates quit wreaking havoc EVERY time there is a distro upgrade.

Don't take it wrong when folks don't call ubuntu a 'super' distro' that's just the truth.

Big Bear

Sour grapes

When people talk bad about Ubuntu, I think most of it comes down to this:

In an August 2007 survey of 38,500 visitors on, Ubuntu was the most popular distribution with 30.3% of respondents claiming to use it.

In January 2009, the New York Times reported that Ubuntu had over ten million users and in June 2009 ZDNet reported, "Worldwide, there are 13 million active Ubuntu users with use growing faster than any other distribution."

Ubuntu was awarded the Reader Award for best Linux distribution at the 2005 LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in London, has been favorably reviewed in online and print publications, and has won InfoWorld's 2007 Bossie Award for Best Open Source Client OS.


Ubuntu has also received negative assessments. In early 2008 PC World criticized the lack of an integrated desktop effects manager, although this did not prevent them from naming Ubuntu the "best all-around Linux distribution available today".

And the people who can't understand why their obviously superior distribution, with its obviously superior user base, hasn't grabbed the same market share as Ubuntu, which has only been around since 2004, now have something to bitch about.

As to the Bear's specific criticism:
a. Why do you care if people ask a lot of the same questions over and over in the Ubuntu forums? Do you help them?
b. Everything in the "gnome-control-panel" is on the System menu. In other words, that big slab of buttons you're talking about is just a substitute for what's already there in the System menu.
c. I've dist-upgraded Ubuntu twice now with hardly any problems on two laptops. This is, however, the first year openSUSE allowed me to do the equivalent of a dist-upgrade, because its installer wasn't robust enough until now. All of which undermines your point.

first of all

1) I don't care who ask what questions at ubuntu personally. However, ubuntu apologists like yourself make public claims about it's 'superior' user experience which is not evidenced by the number of users who have trouble using it. It's called 'relative' look it up sometime.

2) I just downloaded buntu, again, and guess what, where on this 'incredibly easy to use' distro is the control panel given any prime real estate to make itself known? Don't you think if it were obvious, less people would have to ask about config controls and change? Again, as evidence from the people having to ask about these things in the user forum.

3)Ok, lucky you, so you are calling the very large number of people who have posted in the ubuntu forums and on numerous related Linux websites liars when they say they have indeed experienced trouble? Way to 'sell' your 'great user experience.

The biggest problem with buntu apologists, such as yourself, is that you love to brag about the user forums as such a great source of information, but, when it is pointed out about the topics and frequency related to the usability of ubuntu people post there, why then the forum isn't so important anymore, even though it's a direct indicator of what the users themselves are actually dealing with in their use of ubuntu.

All I said was, there are specific things, all of which are backed up, anyone can follow up and see for themselves what I am referring to, that show that ubuntu is not a "super wonder terrific" top tier distro as it is religiously proclaimed to be by a bunch of people who have a major case of inferiority complex.

Nothing I said was untrue. Why are you whining here except to prove that it is the users, not the distro, that are the problem with ubuntu?

Big Bear

RE: first of all

Wow, I didn't know I was a problem for using an OS, I do wish you to never experience what a problem actually is.

Anyway at the moment there are 1,259,848 threads over at the ubuntuforums, pick those you prefer to prove any point you please. Those forums are used also by developers to gather informations for their projects, but you can choose to ignore those threads and highlight others, of course.

I for one I'm an old Linux and Unix (since 1995 at work) user, and I use Ubuntu. I'm not ashamed to say that I enjoy the new status Ubuntu has brought Linux to, and have no nostalgia for any supposed good old times.

Thanks for demonstrating

that inferiority complex for us.

If you want to take it to assume I refer to ALL ubuntu users, I think it is rather brash and childish, but hey, you're free to make any assumptions you like.

I didn't say, at any time, that the 'special users' were a problem to me, personally. If in fact you read the original article at all, you would know that the reference is whether ubuntu is hurting GNU/Linux, not other users.

Again, feel free to keep wearing that chip on your shoulder though.

Tell you what though, I vow, from this day forward, to never use the word 'fanboy' again. It doesn't go far enough to describe those 'special' users who seem to hold ubuntu as something more than just a version of a computer operating system.

Big Bear

RE: thanks for demonstrating

The second and third lines of your post may have something to do with my points; the rest is way over the top, which is enough to satisfy me and solve my inferiority complex.


so, your point is what? to be vague?

what part of

1) "ubuntu is an ok, average distro"

2) there are users who go too far over the top who present it as more than it is

is not correct?

You special bunutu users never can accept that not everyone finds ubuntu to be as great as you do and to show your disdain, you accuse everyone else of bashing ubuntu when it's merely a difference of opinion.

Big Bear

You are 100% right

bigbearomaha wrote:
so, your point is what? to be vague?

what part of

1) "ubuntu is an ok, average distro"

2) there are users who go too far over the top who present it as more than it is

is not correct?

You special bunutu users never can accept that not everyone finds ubuntu to be as great as you do and to show your disdain, you accuse everyone else of bashing ubuntu when it's merely a difference of opinion.

Big Bear

You are 100% right. I often wonder how popular Ubuntu would be without the 20 million dollar backing of Mark Shuttlworth.

re: first of all

bigbearomaha wrote:
ubuntu apologists like yourself make public claims about it's 'superior' user experience

I'm not an Ubuntu apologist. I am an Ubuntu user, enthusiast even, and like it for reasons I've publicly stated here before. Ubuntu certainly isn't the be-all, end-all of Linux distros. For a good review of it, go to Ars Technica.

bigbearomaha wrote:
Don't you think if it were obvious, less people would have to ask about config controls and change?

Again, assuming that you're talking about gnome-control-center, not really. Everything in the gnome-control-center's already on the System menu, with a tooltip explaining what each applet does. Then again, I can see how categorizing all the different options, the way gnome-control-center does, that are uncategorized in the System menu might help some people. If you feel that strongly about it, Ubuntu has a website where you can suggest a change.

bigbearomaha wrote:
All I said was, there are specific things, all of which are backed up, anyone can follow up and see for themselves what I am referring to, that show that ubuntu is not a "super wonder terrific" top tier distro as it is religiously proclaimed to be by a bunch of people who have a major case of inferiority complex.

Let's see if I can follow your reasoning. Because there are a lot of posts in the Ubuntu forums asking the same kind of questions. that belies the fact that Ubuntu is a top-tier distro, despite what its users say. Is that what you mean?

Any distro with the sheer number of users new to Linux that Ubuntu has is bound to draw a bunch of repeat questions. (Check out some Windows forums sometime.) The rest of your allegations about inferiority complexes and religious devotion are just nonsense. Maybe try looking in a mirror.

no need

you show us to a "T".

re: Sour Grapes

Wow, 13 MILLION Ubuntu users - out of 1.8 BILLION computer users - that is impressive (if you're a Ubuntu fanboy).

And Linux fanboys who just can't understand why people won't drop their overpriced and bug ridden Windows OS for that Linux crap that they can't give away (except to 13 Million users with lower expectations) now have something else to apologize for.

//Source: ZDNET 2005 1+ Bil, est 2010 1.8 Bil computer users worldwide//

No Matter What The Distro Is...

It wouldn't matter what distro was conceived as the most popular, there would be people jealous that their distro isn't the popular and so they tag the users as fanboys and zealots and hurl insults at them.

I use Ubuntu and have done since 5.10 and like eco2geek have always dist-upgraded to the next version without much hitches. Sure, Ubuntu isn't perfect, but which distro is? I have had issues with all the major big player distro's, especially OpenSUSE, but I don't trawl their community forums and insult the user base.

The trends of the bloggosphere and other Linux-centric websites states that ChromeOS will knock Ubuntu off the top spot, lets see how long it will be before we hear of ChromeOS fanboys and how deluded they are about how popular and good their distro is!

yet again

let go of the inferiority complex.

Not only is ubuntu heavily 'popularized' by users who make over the top claims about it, but when someone calls them out and shows that it is just a regular distro, they can't handle it. They whine about being picked on and everyone else is jealous.

No, personally, I don't care about ubuntu one way or the other. it's just another average distro, it has good points and it has not so good points. I only call out people who can't accept the truth that it is only an average distro and somehow feel the need to make un-true and incorrect claims to prop it up.

by the way, the response of " I did it and it worked fine, so you must be stupid.) is nothing but an example that shows your personal experience and your poor attitude toward others whose experience wasn't working like yours was.

It's just a freaking distro people, nothing more, nothing less.

Get over yourselves.

Big Bear

13 MILLION Ubuntu users is BS!

Prove it. I don't believe Ubuntu has 13 millions users. Show me the proof! This is just a number someone pulled out of their ass. Also the poll is not accurate and can be manipulated by poll bots. I watched one distro who was stuck in 8th place for over a week suddenly go to first place in less than 24 hours.

LOL ubuntu bashers

I have to laugh at all the ubuntu bashers. Some people just have to have something to bash. All the "super l33t" linux fanboys used to bash redhat, now it's ubuntu.

I've been a unix user since the 90s. I've had an SGI indy on my desk, as well as a sun box, I've run every major linux distro, in additon to freebsd and netbsd, and there are 3 macs in my house now, but ubuntu is my primary OS, for the desktop, the laptop, and server roles, although I do have a lot of SuSE iron out there too.

Ubuntu, while not perfect, is a good distro. Deal with it, ($your_distro_name_here) fanboys.

Ubuntu Grub 2

Also why do you think Ubuntu went with Grub 2? To make it difficult to dual boot with any other distro. Talk about trying to do vendor lock in.

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