Why I Use Ubuntu Linux

I mentioned in a recent post to the Mid-Hudson Valley Linux User Group mail list that I used Ubuntu. A fellow member replied by mentioning that they favored Fedora and asked why I used Ubuntu.

Here is my reply:

I *only* use Ubuntu for one reason. Not because it is the “best” technically — though I do favor it because it is based on Debian — but because it has the largest community behind it, and so is the best candidate to make Linux a real contender.

For Linux to succeed its market share must overtake that of Apple. Doing that will really push Linux into the mainstream. Until that day comes Linux will remain on the fringe.

I believe it is only a matter of time, but that time will come sooner if we rally around Ubuntu. Yes, it is fun — and an important educational experience — for try various distros and compare them , but the plethora of current distributions is creating a “Linux war” that I fear is too close to the “Unix wars” of the 80’s that almost destroyed Unix.

Thank goodness Linux came along to keep Unix going. Otherwise we might all be running commercial operating systems today.

But technical merit is not the sole criterion. Were that the case we would all be runing Linux. We need to unite and not keep shooting ourselves in the foot. This, for example, is why I cringe every time I hear the phrase “GNU/Linux” …


  1. Posted August 4, 2009 at 11:30 | Permalink | Reply

    If only Ubuntu was more like Debian and not some bloated, unstable piece of crap

  2. Bob Agel
    Posted August 4, 2009 at 13:38 | Permalink | Reply

    The core questions remains: “Why would we want to overtake Apple and/or Microsoft?”. In many ways, our lack of malware is due to the low percentage of users. Any OS can be broken, however it’s not financially profitable for the mob to attack individual linux users right now.

    Also, the larger the base of users, the more resources and money must be devoted to maintaining the distro. Ubuntu and Fedora are fortunate in this area, however if the userbase expanded dramatically, it may become quite expensive and “free” (as in beer) may no longer apply.

    Just my two cents, which is more than I’m currently paying for all the benefits I’m receiving.

    • LinuxLover
      Posted August 4, 2009 at 22:50 | Permalink | Reply

      Personally, I only want Linux to get enough marketshare to get more funding, more OEM hardware support, and more development to take some of the rough edges off some of the apps. Other than that, let Microslop take the brunt of the attacks. They can have it. I just want the fat cats to enjoy much slimmer profit margins in the meantime.

  3. LinuxLover
    Posted August 4, 2009 at 15:17 | Permalink | Reply

    Your reason could, at different times in Linux’s history, have applied to Mandrake and Red Hat. But where are they now? Linux has a history of having a dominant player, such as Ubuntu, and eventually they lose their way and another dominant player comes along and claims the crown.

    I refuse to rally around Ubuntu because I think that it’s not an ongoing concern. Sure, Canonical was put in place to sponsor Ubuntu and create a profitable business out of it, but it has yet to make a single dollar of profit, or break even for that matter. It’s a matter of time before Shuttleworth decides that it’s no longer viable for him to sink millions behind what is, essentially, a broken distribution model. I also don’t believe its even close to being one of the best distros out there.

    FWIW, I wholly believe in the comments Adam Williamson has made about Ubuntu and it’s business model. It’s neither a top tier Linux developer on the same level as Slackware, Debian, Mandriva, Fedora, or OpenSuse, nor is even a good citizen to the Linux community. To read more about Adam Williamson’s POV on Ubuntu, see here:


    I’ve said it before: If my choice in distros was limited to Ubuntu, I’d probably be using a Mac.

  4. Posted August 4, 2009 at 15:52 | Permalink | Reply

    > We need to unite and not keep shooting ourselves in the
    > foot. This, for example, is why I cringe every time I
    > hear the phrase “GNU/Linux”

    Funny, by excluding the GNU part, you’re further dividing the Free Software community by not showing respect to the founders of the movement and the huge, important took chain that exists within FLOSS systems.

    http://tinyurl.com/no-ubuntu << Just my opinion on the matter.

    • LinuxLover
      Posted August 4, 2009 at 22:52 | Permalink | Reply

      The only problem with GNU/Linux is that it’s too much of a mouthful. “Linux” just rolls off the tongue easy. Besides, no one is riding BSD too hard about excluding GNU in the name, and it’s just as loaded with GNU stuff.

  5. Carl Snyder
    Posted August 4, 2009 at 18:04 | Permalink | Reply

    On my eMachines T5212 Dual-Core Pentium D805 2G RAM 200G HD system with an nVidia GeForce 6200 video card, Fedora and Centos have never installed or run. Mandriva/PCLinuxOS, Puppy Linux, Slitaz, SystemRescue and Debian Lenny/DSL/Ubuntu/Mint/Knoppix are the distribution series which I have so far been able to install outside of a virtual machine. I have tried several BSD flavors, OpenSUSE, Fedora, Centos, Slackware, Sabayon, Slax, FreeSpire and GeexBox unsuccessfully. On those which offer Live CD versions, kernel panic ensued when I tried to install from the second list, since November 2007. I bought my system ‘refurbished’ in 2007 with Windows XP Media Center 2005 installed. I would just like to note that the majority of the systems which I have been successful in installing are ‘starter’ distributions which at least attempt to recognize some of the less standard hardware without freezing.

    • LinuxLover
      Posted August 4, 2009 at 23:08 | Permalink | Reply

      This is a huge issue with me. I just bought new hardware, X58 chipset/Core i7 920, and a Windows XP disk from when XP was originally release, will boot and install Windows on it just fine. Get any distro with a kernel not new enough and you’re screwed. Why can’t Linus do something about this?

      I love Linux, but it CAN be improved…

  6. sandmannc40
    Posted December 28, 2009 at 20:47 | Permalink | Reply

    I feel that Linux is doing great! I have 3 versions that I love. Fedora, OpenSuSE and Ubuntu. There are features in each distro that I love. If we could bring it all together we could have a distro that could drop Apple to third place and take a huge bite out of Microsoft’s share. I am fairly new to linux and the only problem I am having is getting codexs, java, and flash player. If I could get those installed correctly it just might be the better OS out there.

  7. Posted April 30, 2010 at 19:01 | Permalink | Reply

    I ended up here from Ohloh. So um… 3 years ago, you wrote a very favorable review for Ubuntu but left the star rating at 0, which then counts against it for the average stars, I think… See: https://www.ohloh.net/p/ubuntu/reviews?query=&sort=highest_rated

  8. Posted June 19, 2012 at 13:41 | Permalink | Reply

    Not to my knowledge.

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  1. […] Why I Use Ubuntu Linux Thank goodness Linux came along to keep Unix going. Otherwise we might all be running commercial operating systems today. […]

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