Ubuntu: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
September 23, 2012 2 Comments
After the Amazon search results in the Dash debacle it was a good time to re-evaluate my support for Ubuntu. Do I want to continue to use Ubuntu on my desktop and server and to recommend to friends? The answer, after much deliberation, is still yes. Although the following are my observations/feelings/etc., they do indicate more advantages to using Ubuntu than disadvantages. I also feel that for a Linux distribution to succeed it has to offer soft benefits in addition to great technology, something Ubuntu does better than a lot of other distributions.
- Six-month releases with newer technology
- Long term support (LTS) releases every two years
- Server and desktop offerings on par with any other good distribution
- Free of cost for individuals and enterprises
- Very good focus on desktop integration and user experience
- Out of the box hardware support is much better than some other distributions. No other distribution has worked on my Gen 1 MacBook as well as Ubuntu has.
- Based on the great work of the Debian project
- Unity DE (to me) is the best Linux currently has to offer. Its integration, simplicity, and keyboard shortcuts make it a joy to use.
- Very simple licensing and support options unlike Red Hat and SuSE (they confuse me to no end)
- “Moving up” from development/test environment to production does not require re-configuring, re-installing or re-licensing (but you can buy support if needed) unlike RHEL (CentOS to RHEL) and SLES (OpenSUSE to SLES)
- As soon as the latest LTS is released most package versions are fairly new but on a new RHEL release packages are mostly a year or more older from the get go. (Please correct me if I’m wrong). This means that you get to deploy newer technology with Ubuntu LTS and have it supported for five years.
- It’s increasing market share for Linux, especially with Steam coming soon to Ubuntu
- A very visible Not Invented Here (NIH) syndrome
- Not much collaboration with other distributions on reaching consensus over shared/common technology (see: systemd, AppArmor)
- More focus on desktop and not as much attention to server
- Decisions that sometimes polarize the community more than any other distribution
- Keeping Landscape server closed source
- May need to run
sudo aptitude remove unity-lens-shoppingstarting in 12.10
- Ubuntu is either a community project or a Canonical project with community contributions. It can’t pretend to be a community project and continue to give Canonical almost all decision-making power.
- It doesn’t have a functionality like
zypper psby default, although it’s not really needed because
aptitudeusually restarts the services after upgrade anyways. One has to install
sudo install debian-goodiesand then use the
checkrestartapplication to get functionality similar to
zypper ps. Thanks to Equivalent of openSuse “zypper ps” on other distros? for this tip.
- Honestly, I haven’t seen anything ugly so far