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Three Top Ubuntu Alternatives

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Over the past few years, I've come to the conclusion that cutting-edge software availability is the leading indicator of which Linux distribution I'm going to end up with. Perhaps this is why I've found myself flailing into the arms of Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distributions recently? More often than not, I can find the software I want with a deb package or PPA ready to go.

It's time savers like the one mentioned above that has made non-Ubuntu centric distributions not worth spending much time with. It's not a lack of ability on my end, rather it's a lack of wanting to spend a weekend setting up a new installation just to meet my needs. My time is valuable, so any distribution I select to meet my needs will be reflective of this.

In this article, I will be looking at distributions based on Ubuntu and/or Debian (only), then exploring what makes each spin-off unique.

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I did not do any other testing, no extensive tweaking, no customization. I felt no need or desire to do so. Now, do remember Zorin OS 12 is still in beta, so we can excuse some of the problems we see here. But others are purely Ubuntu, and have been ported over from the parent distro without any discrimination or any improvements and fixes introduced in the last six months. The big offenders include: multimedia and smartphone support, poor software management, and then the somewhat heavy utilization and slow performance. Zorin is quite pretty but weary on the eyes, it tries perhaps too hard to be more than it is, and overall, the value it brings is negatively offset by the myriad papercuts of its design and the implementation of its unique style, plus the failings of the Ubuntu family. It's an okay choice, if you will, but there's nothing too special about it anymore. It's not as fun as it used to be. Gone is the character, gone is the glamor. This aligns well with the overall despair in the Linux desktop world. Maybe the official release will be better, but I doubt it. Why would suddenly one distro excel where 50 others of the same crop had failed with the exact same problems? Final grade, 5/10. Test if you like the looks, other than that, there's no incentive in really using Zorin. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Read more

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