Hello, Ubuntu

The Linux distro wars are over. Ubuntu is the winner.

Okay, I admit, that’s a surprising announcement from a guy who, less than a week ago, couldn’t stand Ubuntu.
And when you learn that I tried Ubuntu a third time (installed Feisty at about 1AM on Tuesday) and actually liked it (as opposed to my first two encounters with Ubuntu), then my proclamation sounds more hypocritical than surprising.

So why do I say it? Well, there’s the obvious facts, that Ubuntu tops the leaderboard on DistroWatch consistently, and that Ubuntu is now being sold pre-installed on Dell. I think it’s clear from those two points alone that it’s at least winning. But since deciding that I actually like Feisty (mostly because it worked for me with no problems… I was able to install it at 1 AM and be back in bed with a working (and fully updated) system by 3 AM), I’ve begun looking for an Ubuntu community. It’s out there, and it seems, so far, to be pretty darned good.
One of my favorite things about Gentoo was always the community. From day one, before I even installed Gentoo, I was hooked on a lively community of friendly, intelligent, and helpful people. This community is harder to find in Ubuntu (I think their websites are laid out horribly compared to the Gentoo sites), but I think it’s every bit as good, and with Ubuntu having a lot more users, it’s larger. One thing Ubuntu is doing that I think is fantastic, is going LoCo. Local Communities, organized by state, that are focused on improving Ubuntu and also helping to spread it.
I laughed at first, thinking that we already have multiple Linux User Groups in Michigan, and that an Ubuntu LoCo would be a little redundant. Then I looked at the Detroit LoCo agenda, and I stopped laughing. This sounds like a seriously great idea, and I think it will help turn Ubuntu into *the* Linux distro. Oh, sorry… GNU/Linux distro.
Unfortunately, I’m not even sure the Detroit LoCo really exists, but the Michigan LoCo certainly does. Sign me up. And give me some of those spiffy case badges, too!

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  • Jeff  On August 17, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    I really couldn’t agree more with you. Having used several distros, I can honestly say I liked Ubuntu.

    That should really be an easy call, it’s a close relative of Debian which is like, the Virgin Mary of all distros. But even more and just like you, I was really impressed with the Ubuntu community.

    In the world of Linux we all run with some crowd or another, so it might as well be a good one. And my early impressions have been that the Ubuntu crowd is a good one indeed!

  • Johannes Eva  On August 17, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    Yeees, Ubuntu is ONE of the winners, let’s hope there will be other. (SUSE is a winning distro, too.)

  • speedygeo  On August 17, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    I use Ubuntu too, precisely Kubuntu.
    But I think that Debian is a great distro. Ubuntu is based on Debian.
    I used more than one Debian based distro, MEPIS, Knoppix, Dreamlinux, KUbuntu, Debian itself, that are all great distro!!!!
    And the .deb package system, shame on SUSE, Red Hat an so on.

  • wolfger  On August 18, 2007 at 2:08 am

    I don’t think there can be more than one winner. The nature of “best” is that there’s only one. Mepis is great, and Gentoo is still darned good (and will hopefully return to greatness, because I still love it), but these distros are so far behind Ubuntu in terms of “success” that I think I’m justified in saying, “it’s over”. I’ve heard nothing but love for Debian, and yet still it’s not that popular of a distro despite being much older. Ubuntu came and ate its lunch. Took the best bits and improved. SuSe? I think they had a real chance at winning when Novell took over, but then Novell alienated a lot of Linux enthusiasts. In fact, I nearly installed Suse instead of Ubuntu this past Tuesday, but I noticed Suse had the same aversion to proprietary software as Ubuntu, but without (to the best of my knowledge) an “Automatix” to cover that deficiency. If there is such a tool for Suse, then it comes back to the community. The Ubuntu community is large/active enough that I’d heard about Automatix long before I ever had a reason to care about it.

  • calvin meadows  On August 18, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    i have used several distros since 1996. am currently using mint “bianca” and pclinux 2007 on two laptops, and
    ubuntu 6.10 on me desktop. dispite all of the hype, ubuntu does not just “work”. i never was able establish
    consistant wpa wireless (using network manager) using ubuntu 6.10 or 7.04 with intel centrino. or on suse 10.2, mandriva 2007 or fedora 7 for that matter. network manager however works when using my atheros pci card.
    centrino (3945) works like a charm under pclinux 2007 which does not use network manager by default by the way.

    i also wish that they would incorporate yast into ubuntu at some point. system configuration is abismal with

    so for me, ubuntu has not “won the linux wars”. it is an eminently serviceable distro, but something better will
    come along.

  • wolfger  On August 18, 2007 at 2:58 pm

    I don’t use wireless on my desktop, but I don’t doubt at all your problems. Because I haven’t seen a distro yet where people don’t complain about their wireless not working, or being a pain to get working… I believe it’s an issue with the hardware vendors, not any particular distro (though I could be wrong).

    I’m curious what (aside from wifi) you have issues with in the Ubuntu system config.


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