Howto: Leave Ubuntu

I could swear that a couple of years ago (has it been that long already?), when I started visiting the Ubuntu Forums, dissatisfied rants against the general state of Linux were shuttled off to jail, never to be seen or heard from again.

For the past year or so, while I have been moderating (off and on, of course), hypercritical anti-Linux rants were glommed onto a giant megathread called The Linux Desktop Readiness Thread. It was — and still is — The Mother of All Anti-Linux Threads.

Now it seems the dissatisfied have a little room to vent, with their opinions taking up space in the Ubuntu Testimonials and Experiences forum. It’s a good rule: We have to take the good with the bad. So dissatisfaction is available alongside satisfaction. You are allowed to dislike.

But before you blabber endlessly about how badly Linux SUXXORz and then bolt, let me give you a little advice.

  1. Do not type in all capital letters. It makes people think you’re yelling, and no one will take your criticism seriously if they think you’re yelling. Yelling actually makes your complaints less credible, because if you can’t find the caps lock key, then it’s no surprise that you can’t handle Ubuntu. And for god’s sake, don’t type in 1337.
  2. Don’t tell us Ubuntu is ugly. If it was impossible change the colors or the wallpaper or the fonts or the theme or the window manager or the desktop environment, then your complaint would be valid. But saying it’s ugly is like complaining because your shirt is orange. If you don’t like orange, why in the heck didn’t you wear a different shirt?
  3. Don’t tell us it doesn’t work. If it didn’t work, no one would use it. It seems to work fine for about 29 million times as many people as you. And that goes for installing too. Don’t tell us it won’t install because by golly, it installs for me. And don’t bicker about a text-based installer. Guess what, genius: When you reinstall XP, it’s going to greet you with a text-based installer. You bonehead.
  4. Don’t tell us it’s not Windows. Of course it’s not Windows. If Linux were Windows, no one would need Linux. Better yet, if Windows was Linux, no one would need Windows.
  5. Don’t tell us you tried to install it for an hour and a half, and it didn’t work, so it’s no good. If you want to really tout your efforts installing Ubuntu, tell us you worked on something for a week. Or two weeks. People fight for months just to get their wireless working in Linux — and they succeed. So do that before you leave: Tell us you had no mouse for two weeks — that will impress us. Tell us you had to work without the left side of your keyboard for the better part of a year — we will worship you. But ranting about how Ubuntu doesn’t work because it wouldn’t install during your lunch hour is lame, lame, lame.

But most important of all, don’t commit the logical error of extrapolating your unfortunate experience into a generalization about the rest of the world. I know it’s tempting to believe it, but you are not the center of the universe (I am, actually). The entire Prime Material Plane does not revolve around you (it revolves around me, actually). Just because you couldn’t figure it out doesn’t mean the entire project is doomed to failure.

What that does mean is that you are doomed to failure. Linux did not fail you. You failed Linux. There is a direct relationship between the effort you expend in understanding Linux, and the degree of success you will achieve. And the unfortunate corollary is that you will only expend as much effort as you have interest. And without at least a smidgin of interest, the entire experiment is a waste of time — your time and ours.

So please. Pretty please. With sugar on top. Try Ubuntu, but don’t do it on a whim. Don’t do it because it sounds like fun. Don’t do it because all the cool kids are doing it.

Do it because you want to, and you want to very badly. Then see if you like it. If you don’t, tell us why. You’re free to join our community, and you’re free to leave. We will be here to help you when you come back.

And yes, you will be back. … :twisted:

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60 Responses to “Howto: Leave Ubuntu”


  1. 1 bapoumba 2007/08/21 at 12:10 AM

    Hello K.Mandla!
    Nice HowTo :)
    I’m keeping this link handy, unless you decide to make it sticky…

    Cheers.

  2. 2 Clair 2007/08/21 at 2:46 AM

    There are people who think that it’s difficult when installing it for an hour and a half? Installing Windows + whatever else probably takes a whole lot longer than that.

    Anyhow, this is an interesting way of putting things and probably something to give to people I know who have ‘given up’ on Linux.

  3. 3 deadcabbit 2007/08/21 at 2:56 AM

    I’m using Vista now (hell, it does suck), and no, I don’t hate Ubuntu, I don’t think it sucks, I used it for a year (came from Gentoo and Arch), but I do work with large psd files and do some other Adobe trash which is a pain in the butt through virtual machines. Actually there really is software for which no proper alternative exists in the Linux world – on a Mac yes, but not on Linux; and don’t kick me for this, I’m no newbie around.

  4. 4 David Field 2007/08/21 at 3:45 AM

    Ouch, i think i’ve probably been guilty of all of the above at some time in the last 7 years of Linux usage… However the best advice, and advice i always pass on to probable Linux users..

    “There is a direct relationship between the effort you expend in understanding Linux, and the degree of success you will achieve”

    I agree with all of the above, and lets face it, this argument that “I can only do it with adobe, or macromedia” I use both of them on Linux fine and dandy.. Software is just a tool, using the excuse “I’m only able to use this tool” says more about your lack of adaptability, than Linux software..

    In my day to day life as an IT Consultant, i can say Opensource has saved my bacon on many occasion, and that there is more quality opensource software out there, than commercial software.. and if you invest some time, and work with the communities, maybe that “killer feature” your Windows only app has, will be added to the OSS very quickly..

  5. 5 jared 2007/08/21 at 5:51 AM

    Thank you saying what I was thinking.

  6. 6 Luke 2007/08/21 at 11:40 AM

    Amen, brother! Well said. I usually go with the much shorter: “STFU n00b, GTFO!”

    But this is much more eloquent :)

  7. 7 PartisanEntity 2007/08/21 at 4:55 PM

    I could not agree with your more K.Mandla. I don’t mind people voicing their opinions about Ubuntu even if they think it “sucks”, but I, like you and many others, do mind when people think it sucks after having spent only a minimal effort trying to get it to work.

    Back in my total beginner days I remember being very frustrated with wifi on my laptop. I spent about a week trying out all kinds of tutorials, and reinstalling the OS at least twice. Finally it worked, and today I could not be happier.

  8. 8 taroogs 2007/08/21 at 7:30 PM

    Oh wow! That’s the best pro-Ubuntu rant i’ve ever heard! I’ve been using ubuntu for several months now (the only person in my office to use it) after reaching the limit of my patience with windows’ blue-screens-of-death. I am learning to tweak it — skins, programs, etc — little by little and have been successful most of the time.

    The only problem i’m having still is opening Corel and Publisher documents and installing my favorite games… but i’m gonna learn how to do so soon enough :-)

  9. 9 roygbiv7 2007/08/21 at 7:31 PM

    No, No, No, No, No!!! I can’t buy this argument – at least I can’t buy some of it. I don’t want to become an expert at Linux. I don’t want to fight my computer for months. I use my computer to do my work. What I want to have is a program that will enable me to do that. The less I have to know about it the better. Just like my car. I don’t want to have to raise the bonnet of my car every time I use it, or have it operating on two cylinders for a few months while I grapple with learning how it works. That is why I will not migrate to Linux, just like I would not have a car that was going to cost me hours, days or weeks of labour just to get it so that I can use it. When I hear that Linux is user friendly, that is when I will migrate to it. While I hear that somehow I am to blame for wanting a program that works as smoothly as other operating systems, I will stick to those other operating system – well, I mean, THAT operating system – you know the one – the one that dare not speak its name. I know some people get a kick out of battling with software, just like some people like mucking around with cars. That’s cool. No problems. But it’s not for me, and, I suspect, it’s not for the majority of computer users either.

  10. 10 roygbiv7 2007/08/21 at 8:49 PM

    I mean, exactly, why would I want a car if the attitude of the manufacturer is ‘STFU n00b, GTFO!’ if I have problem. If I don’t want a car from someone like that, why on earth would I want software, by which I make my living, with that attitude accompanying it.

  11. 11 dada58 2007/08/21 at 10:12 PM

    Two years ago I gave Ubuntu a try because I was getting tired of the Mac OS X cult … never regretted that step :-)

  12. 12 K.Mandla 2007/08/21 at 10:44 PM

    @roygbiv7: Thanks for the comments, but I think you may have misunderstood me. No one is demanding that you become a geek in order to use Linux, and at no point would I ever shout STFU at anyone. What I’m asking is that detractors bow out gracefully, rather than blaming the operating system for their own shortcomings, for their nitpicking or for their lack of effort.

    More and more Linux is becoming exactly what you describe — a car that works, without an exhaustive understanding of what’s going on under the bonnet. Unfortunately that’s not always the case, and it’s no one’s fault (in particular, anyway).

    But to use your analogy, is it appropriate for someone to experience car trouble, abandon the vehicle alongside the road, and shout obscenities at other drivers as they pass by?

    Can that person stuff his hands in his pockets and complain about how cars don’t work, and anyone who uses one must be a mechanical genius?

    Or complain that cars will never become popular because they’re too difficult to drive? Or insist that they’ll never drive again, because they don’t like the color of the car? Or predict that everyone will stop using cars, because their car didn’t work?

    I hope you can see the point I’m trying to make now.

  13. 13 ikaruga 2007/08/22 at 1:01 AM

    Bow out gracely? With all due respect—I think you’ve misunderstood what Ubuntu is all about. It’s trying to be the so-easy-even-a-dummy-can-use-it distro. So when it’s NOT easy to use, people have a RIGHT to complain. I don’t mind using the command-line, mind you. But Ubuntu is all about NOT using the command-line—that’s the user base it’s aiming for…If you don’t know that, please wake up to the reality! Ubuntu is not aimed at experts but at “Grandma” and “Dad.”

    Oh and btw, your blog (or at least this post) doesn’t seem to render properly in Konqueror.

  14. 14 DanF 2007/08/22 at 7:20 AM

    I’ve had my share of problems installing Linux – Ubuntu, Mepis, OpenSUSE, Mint, Zenwalk, etc. So I understand why people complain. They expect it to be painless.

    On the other hand, I reinstalled XP last night. Aarg! It wouldn’t recognize the on-board ethernet port. On top of that, the login screen was tastefully rendered in a resolution that my nice new widescreen flat panel monitor didn’t support.

    Regardless of the operating system, sometimes the best solution for a computer is a hammer – or a little patience.

    I’m off to buy a bigger hammer now.

  15. 15 gnulinux 2007/08/22 at 7:26 AM

    ikaruga you are so wrong on all points. Just because easy, to you means clickity, click. All the powertools are there in Ubuntu for beginner or pros. Yet the less informed can still have a clickity, click experience.

  16. 16 Penguin Pete 2007/08/22 at 8:04 AM

    Well, dear blogger, as must as I lo-o-ove this post and will probably link to it, I have to wonder if it has occurred to you that some anti-Linux flamers just might be *paid* to do that?

    Now, before everybody jumps up and says: “conspiracy theory!”, I work in freelance design online. And every week I see jobs posted on job bid boards for forum commenters – for all kinds of bogus spammy type jobs, paying something like a penny per five posts. People in third-world countries take them. For about $25, you can make 1000 posters appear out of thin air (all played by one person) and advocate for/against whoever or whatever you choose. It’s not impossible. In fact, it goes by the names of “viral marketing” if you think it’s moral or “asstroturfing” if you don’t. The exact same flames you complain about here are on every forum on the Internet, every single place where Google can find a hit for the word “Linux”.

    Legit complaints are legit. But when I see the same copy-and-paste paragraph of FUD over and over (copyscape.com is your friend), particularly citing some complaint that was only true of Linux 10 years ago, I’d just have to be too stupid to think it wasn’t a pay job.

  17. 17 justAnother_linuxUser 2007/08/22 at 8:29 AM

    Sighhh. I just start getting into Linux. I’m quite happy with any Linux distribution. Tried SUSE, a little embarrass to admit that I used it, but it was nice and fun and … clickadi click. Tried Fedora Core, which was very nice with some challenge. Trying out Ubuntu … for something new.

    As for Linux in general, clickadi click interface is very nice to have to do non-development stuffs … but the oh GOD (thou !shall speak his name), after scripting and cross-compiling kernels, file-system building for embedded BSP, I think I would go nut with the clickadi-click interface because I have no command prompt.

    @ikaruga: Honestly, I would abandon Linux if it ever decides to drop the command-line interface … just how I abandoned WINDOWS when it decided that command-prompt should not be in Start->Programs after Windows 95 or something (correct me if I’m wrong), NOT that Windows command prompt does any good either.

    NOTHING is more annoying than “Are you sure? yes | or” message after clicking the closed button of a opened window. But I don’t want to check “Do not ask this again” box because of that 1% I will close the windows by accident and never saved the data …

  18. 18 scrooge_74 2007/08/22 at 8:41 AM

    Great rambling, I sometimes feel the need to tell people to go back to windows when they start to whine about simple things that they don’t want to research.

  19. 19 rbmorse 2007/08/22 at 8:55 AM

    Except for GRUB.

    GRUB really, really does suck. There has got to be a better way.

  20. 20 Sum Yung Gai 2007/08/22 at 9:17 AM

    Ease of use? Please! I’ve tried Kubuntu Feisty and Windows Vista side by side. Kubuntu is so far and away easier to use than Vista, it’s amazing. Vista gets in my way. Kubuntu does not.

    I’m currently running Kubuntu Feisty on a brand-new Core 2 Duo box (it’s terrific, everything works perfectly) as well as my Latitude C600. Everything Just Works. By contrast, I had to locate/download/install video drivers in my desktop for Vista in order to get the full resolution. It’s even worse for wireless! Kubuntu Feisty saw the embedded wireless card in my laptop. Vista not only didn’t see the wireless card, but neither did it see the embedded 3Com *wired* network card! That’s right, Vista did not see a 3Com network card. That made it pretty difficult to download a wireless network driver for Vista, since I couldn’t even hook up via a wired connection!

    Digital video has problems under Vista, too. Vista will not output Hi-Def video via my video card’s digital output (I have an ATI card) due to the Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) built into Vista. Ubuntu Linux, by contrast, has ZERO problem with it. It’s a little hard to call Windows “easy to use” when it doesn’t even work with (yes, quite standard) hardware available at virtually any CompUSA, Micro Center, or Fry’s.

    Oh, and those window decorations on Vista? They were stolen^H^H^H^H^H^Hinnovated from Ubuntu’s window decorations. Matter of fact, they look a lot like those in Ubuntu Hoary (5.04).

    So, for usability, this American will stick with Kubuntu Linux. It actually works.

  21. 21 Chris 2007/08/22 at 10:09 AM

    Amen, and Thank You!

  22. 22 Greg 2007/08/22 at 10:09 AM

    roygbiv and the author are both right. Mr. STFU n00b GTFO…seems to be the “stereotypical linux user.” The thing is with Ubuntu is it’s getting easier and easier to tweak settings for this and that,and that’s what linux developers think we users want. Most of the linux user I know tout how easy is is to do stuff in linux…and they are right…I can spend delightful days changing desktops and settings and watching beryl do it’s magic…yet in those day I have not accomplished one iota of actual work. If your job is tweaking computers then hell yeah, linux is ready for you!! If you job is banking or lawyering or teaching kiddos how to count to 10 on a computer…then linux is a complete waste of time at this moment.

    All that said have watched with amazement over the last 6 years as ALL of the distros get better and better…I believe that Fedora 9 and Ubuntu Irritating Iguana or whatever they plan to call it will be the desktop OS that will finally make me just as productive as a Windows box. Until then…it’s just a geek’s toy.

  23. 23 Greg 2007/08/22 at 10:50 AM

    Well, this Greg is very happy with Linux, though I admit I don’t use Ubuntu.
    Windows in its many versions just is a recurring source of irritation.
    I think that perhaps some people new to Linux spend too much time fiddling with their desktops and other features that really don’t matter that they don’t have the time to focus on the important stuff.
    There is a certain obsolescence built into Windows. Even though your hardware is perfectly OK, the OS becomes so gummed up you think you need to upgrade to a newer version of the OS or buy a new computer, so for Microsoft it’s a good business model — for me it’s not.

  24. 24 Bob 2007/08/22 at 11:30 AM

    It is people like you who give the Linux community a bad name. If it were the Gentoo forum you were discussing, I could handle it, but you are talking about Ubuntu, a Linux flavour that is all but designed for newbies. You need to realise that not everyone wants to spend a month without a wireless card and doesn’t care whether it’s free/open/closed, just as long as it works. I personally use Debian at home and am quite good at fixing the problems. However, I am in the 10% (maybe less) of computer users that understand how their computer works.
    Why can’t an OS install in an hour and have everything working? I know that Ubuntu does an excellent job, but theres things that don’t work. End users don’t care that hardware manufacturers don’t release open source drivers. They care that their hardware doesn’t work now. If you want to feel elite, use a more hardcore operating system. Stop whining about people whining about an operating system for newbies. Linux is great, but if the community expects it to lead the market, they have to learn to deal with these people and make them happy. If you don’t want to do that, then stop complaining about a lack of market share.

  25. 25 jayfisher 2007/08/22 at 12:09 PM

    Your remarks about difficulties getting Ubuntu to work are well taken. People do tend to have problems and then dismiss the whole project on that basis, rather than acknowledge what Ubuntu and other distros have accomplished and how impressive it is that it’s all free. (Just for the record, I’m a Feisty user.)

    However, I do think that the knee jerk complaints, to some extent, have an underlying justification and point to a difficulty that Ubuntu or any Linux distro has to surmount.

    An extremely fundamental difference between Windows and any Linux distro is that Windows ships on the computer most people buy. It has been preinstalled and a whole team of technical experts have spent a great deal of time (usually) making sure that Windows works well on that specific machine. Often special applications have even been written to make the machine work better with Windows.

    What this means is that all the suffering and struggling that people go through to get Ubuntu or another Linux distro to work has already been done by someone else for Windows on the machine they bought. Even the mere fact that Ubuntu or other Linux distros must be installed after the fact (of purchasing a computer) differentiates Linux from Windows in a basic way. Altogether this creates the illusion that Windows “just works” on its own, where Linux does not. Of course, practically speaking, Windows does in a sense “just work” for the average user, where Linux doesn’t. All they have to do is buy the computer and turn it on.

    I would guess that if computers did not not ship with Windows and it was just another operating system that had to try to get people to install it themselves, it would have all the problems that Linux has (perhaps more).

    Still, this is currently the reality and a hurdle Linux has to overcome. In a sense, it has to be better than Windows at installing and easier to use, in order to catch up on the labor that users get anyway when a machine ships with Windows. After all, it is legitimate for people to want a system that does not require any configuration on their part. And Ubuntu, with it’s ideal of being a system one’s grandmother could use, seems to be trying to win over such people. If that’s the case, then it’s legitimate for those users to complain about configuration difficulties, even if Windows has an unfair advantage.

    It will, of course, be interesting to see how Ubuntu fares with Dell users who opt to purchase a system with Ubuntu preinstalled. Will Ubuntu is this format overcome the preception of having problems? There will certainly still be a lot more software available for Windows, so that is another similar hurdle Ubuntu and other Linux distros have to overcome. But if more computer manufacturers start shipping Linux distros this way, perhaps it could really narrow the gap with Windows and change the mainstream perceptions of Linux.

  26. 26 Danny 2007/08/22 at 1:03 PM

    What I don’t get is the struggle people have installing any of the ‘buntu’s. I’ve done almost 50 installs now, and most things went very smooth. Xubuntu installed much easier on the Sun Ultra 80 system than Solaris did! There’s no way I can be THAT lucky (I just had to use the caps). There’s no way I’m that good with Linux. While I understand the command line is extremely powerful, I try to use it as little as possible since most of my Free Geek Central Florida FreeBox recipients will never use it. The only installation problems I run into have to do with wireless. Other than an iMac upgrade, I haven’t had to tackle the foreboding x.org config yet. Maybe I put off some sort of mystical positive digital vibes, or something.

    The main thing I don’t get with any Ubuntu problem, or any other Linux problem, is how people won’t use the “search” function in the forums. Usually I’m only 3-4 clicks away from an answer to problem -usually a problem I caused on my own. I haven’t looked at the manuals unless they’re linked to in the forums.

    Maybe I do have some sort of mystical Ubuntu luck.

  27. 27 CostaRica 2007/08/22 at 1:09 PM

    I think that the best thing Shuttleworth did was to get Dell into selling machines with Ubuntu, because that is the reason few people leave Windows, because they bought the computer with windows installed, and of course…it works.

    Imagine people buying computers with Ubuntu, where EVERYTHING worked, and with all the programs they would ever need. That is where we should head our efforts.

    Please! Install your brother’s laptop so it works perfectly, your mother’s, your mother-in-law (not to good to that one), to everyone…

    Let’s help people do the switch!

  28. 28 veatnik 2007/08/22 at 2:18 PM

    Ha, you’ve got me rolling on the floor. I’ve been using Linux since Feb 1992 when the only distro was 5 floppies from HJ Lu and that gave you the GNU compiler and a few utilities. You had to download and build anything that you wanted to run. Guess what … it worked better for what I had to do back then than Win 3.1 did. I could print 100page documents (on a line printer while editing code and compiling large systems (24 hours to compile). This was impossible with Win 3.1. I did have a beta of Win NT at the same time.

    Anyway, I have used Windows and Macintosh and Unix and linux from (about) the time each came out. And I can tell you that every system has some things that are dead easy, some that are hard, and in some cases (Window and Macintosh) there are some things that just seem to be impossible. Yes, I’ve had systems that I gave up trying to get Linux to use Wireless networking. I’ve also has some that worked without any effort on my part. As a contrast I’ve also occasionally had (or helped frieds with) simlar problems on Windows. ie. We could not get something to work that on other hardware just worked.

    All I can say is that when you buy HW and SW no matter what the vendor promised you may find some things that you are left holding the bag and that you have to figure out and fix yourself. The buck stops with you.

    Given the long list of things that I’ve used computers for over the years I find that Linux has (mostly) worked great. I can not say this about any other OS.

    Anyway, the blog is spot on! If you’ve ever been caught in one of the messes fixing Window, (I know a few of you seem to have avoided this – more power to you) then a couple hours getting wireless to work on Linux (or buying a compatable wireless card) seems like a pleasent walk in the park. If you can’t handle that then probably no OS is going to be good for you. Become a luddite and let the rest of us get on with fixing our stupid computers already!

  29. 29 Gary Thornock 2007/08/22 at 2:56 PM

    While I must admit that Ubuntu isn’t my thing (I prefer BSD, and if I can’t get that, Mepis is my next choice, and the choices that follow after that are mostly KDE-based too), I get really tired of hearing about how “Linux is crap, it’s too hard to use, because I couldn’t set it up and know all about it in a lunch hour”.

    You won’t set up Windows and know all about it in a lunch hour, either. Mac OS X you might set up in that amount of time, but still, expect to spend weeks or months learning the ins and outs of the system. So why should Linux be any different?

    But people don’t get that, do they…

  30. 30 bro 2007/08/22 at 5:29 PM

    installing for an hour? A very good reason to leave. I use linux. pclos right now after Ubuntu for over a year. The only reason I started to use linux (and sticked to it) is because there was a distro that installed And worked. It was ubuntu 6.06. Several others just didn’t install. I mean I could probably install them in a whim now, but not then. Ubuntu 7.04 doesn’t install (x1400 ati-card – i know how to fix it). If that was my first encounter, I would leave. I wouldn’t rant on it, I wouldn’t bother, I would just leave. And rightly so. Maybe even leave all of linux, as Ubuntu is so big in the picture, if even that doesn’t install…
    I have to add to this however: winXP does NOT install from an installation cd on my laptop. It asks for a floppy with Sata drivers. I don’t have a floppy-drive. With usb-floppy-drive it still won’t work (it crashes after formatting the hd!)

  31. 31 Dmitri 2007/08/22 at 7:08 PM

    I tried Ubuntu and no, it didn’t work for me. Apparently my monitor is not supported. Can’t imagine having such a problem with Windows… :-|

  32. 32 jay 2007/08/22 at 8:17 PM

    I do hope this article was ironic.

    The responses to those complaints are so stereotypically funny!

    Oh, and wrong.

    Why wrong? Cos whether you acknowledge it or not the complaints are real.

  33. 33 heathenx 2007/08/22 at 8:41 PM

    Brilliant, dude.

  34. 34 ERM 2007/08/22 at 10:45 PM

    While I think the third to last (you failed) paragraph was a little harsh, I agree with this stuff – especially after reading your clarification in the comments. It’s basically railing against the same generalization that makes me angry when people say them. For example, “Linux isn’t useful for the day to day” that one of the Greg’s said. Oh yeah? Guess what? I often go for an entire week without turning on my Windows computer. I pretty much only turn it on for civ4 and photoshop. Everything else I do on my computer – from internet to chatting to creating computer animations in Blender to keeping track of my time off at work is done exclusively on Linux.

    Also, at work we exclusively program in Linux – so it’s entirely possible for Linux to be useful for day to day things. It all depends on what you’re trying to do.

  35. 35 Mheartwood 2007/08/23 at 12:09 AM

    I liked this article.

    I especially liked item 2. In my first experience with Ubuntu (5 something) I found it was ugly. Worse, it came with no decent wall papers, nothing bluish, no flowers or nature scenes, nothing worth looking at. And even if I changed the background color, I couldn’t figure out how to change the window frames (themes) to something more to my liking. (Orange title bars on a blue background were just too painful to look at.) Also, and most importantly, Gnome was slow, slow, slow and painfully so. My solution? After a Live-CD test drive, I installed Xubuntu instead.

    So I’d like to make a suggestion. If you don’t like the look and feel of Ubuntu, get a live CD of Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Fluxbuntu, Mint, Mepis, Slax, or any of the others and give them a test drive. And don’t worry about shutting your computer down with the power button; You can’t corrupt a Live-CD.

  36. 36 ikaruga 2007/08/23 at 1:53 AM

    Amen Greg!

    Although I wouldn’t go so far to say that Linux is not good for productivity.

    The point is that the *average* person doesn’t want to spend time getting stuff to work that should (like Scanners, Audio Cards, Wifi, etc.). The key is “average person”— an IT pro *should* learn the innards of his OS, but the average person shouldn’t have to….

    It’s not about comparing Ubuntu to Windows—it’s about making Ubuntu better…

  37. 37 oleg 2007/08/23 at 7:13 AM

    What is the point of this discussion? No one forces anyone to install and use would it be any Linux or Windows. People make their choices themselves. If after that they cry out that the thing did not work and they are not trying to find a solution — what was the reason to try? If they were happy with the previous system, why change, just because someone waived a candy and said it was sweet? If not, why whine? Anyway, this is a childish behavior of people with low to no intelligence. Be capable of making a decision upon what you want and finding the ways to acomplish what you have chosen.

    Another point: I am a happy Linux user for years (no matter what the distributions have been) and I was a Windows user before. If you ask me would I go back, no never. However, I do not care if some Joe around the corner will ever use Linux, I do not care if he says it sucks, I do not care if he uses Windows either — I just don’t care about that Joe and I do not care what he is thinking (if at all) or talking or writing about.

  38. 38 ed 2007/08/23 at 7:19 AM

    I don’t understand the people who say they don’t have time to get this or that working with Linux. Really all you have to do is ask and there’s an army of geek volunteers ready with an answer! Yes, when you’re new to Linux and don’t quite get the Unix™ way of doing things, Linux might be frustrating. But all you have to do is ask for help. Almost 100% guaranteed, someone else will have had the same problem, they know how to fix it, and they’ll glady share their knowlegde and experience.

  39. 39 spurius 2007/08/23 at 7:45 AM

    I’ve been using GNU/Linux for just over a year and I don’t think that I’ll be going back to Microsoft’s Windows universe ever again. I still have a XP partition on on of my computers but I haven’t had to use it in months.
    I am a computer nerd, and not ashamed of being one, when my friends or family have computer problems they come to me for answers. I have convinced several people to change to (K)Ubuntu and made sure that everything worked for them and helped them out the first few weeks, now they don’t ask me questions anymore everything works for them. On the other hand if I don’t field at least 5 questions a day about Windows it is a good day.
    I think from now on I’ll stop helping Windows users completely, let them get their advise elsewhere and then they’ll see that Windows is not that easy to operate when you don’t know what you are doing.

    The Ubuntu community is there to help new users. From my experience they do everything they can to help out. If you are new to Ubuntu go there for help and the community will take care of you.

  40. 40 kevin 2007/08/23 at 9:10 AM

    I love Linux, but stop your ranting.

  41. 41 Pierre 2007/08/23 at 9:21 PM

    Great post! I fully agree, except for one point: despite what you wrote here, I AM currently the center of the world. Period.

    Pierre

  42. 42 FastGame 2007/08/25 at 4:46 AM

    [quote]Don’t tell us Ubuntu is ugly. If it was impossible change the colors or the wallpaper or the fonts or the theme or the window manager or the desktop environment, then your complaint would be valid. But saying it’s ugly is like complaining because your shirt is orange. If you don’t like orange, why in the heck didn’t you wear a different shirt?[/quote]

    HaHa thats real funny…hmm if it wasn’t true you wouldn’t be hearing that Ubuntu is ugly.

    now

    Even though its easy to change the looks why does it need to start out ugly ?

    Why can’t it start out pretty and let the ugly lovers change it to ugly ?

    I think I know the answer….you’d get tired of everyone saying Ubuntu is pretty…lol

  43. 43 ubuntucat 2007/08/26 at 2:43 AM

    Very bluntly put (some would say almost rudely put), but you’re spot on about every point. Too bad the intended audience is not likely to actually read your insightful post.

  44. 44 ezsit 2007/09/05 at 2:53 PM

    “The point is that the *average* person doesn’t want to spend time getting stuff to work that should (like Scanners, Audio Cards, Wifi, etc.).”

    – You don’t get it. The average Ubuntu user doesn’t have to spend time getting these things to work because these things JUST WORK under Ubuntu. If the average user had to spend tortuous hours or days getting these things to work Ubuntu would not be soooo popular among Linux users.

    “The key is “average person”— an IT pro *should* learn the innards of his OS, but the average person shouldn’t have to….”

    – The average person doesn’t realize that an IT pro was required to get Windows working on his/her computer before the average person took possession of the computer. The hard work was already done for the average person by an IT pro. If the IT pro had installed Ubuntu on the computer and then delivered a working system to the average person, the average person could continue in their blissful ignorance.

    “It’s not about comparing Ubuntu to Windows—it’s about making Ubuntu better…”

    – Ubuntu is already better than Windows for a majority of the Ubuntu users out there.

    Just because Ubuntu.com claims that their Linux distro is for everybody, they are wrong. Most people are idiots, lazy, stupid, idiots. Most idiots will not use a computer at all. Some idiots will use computers and they will only use what they buy at the Mall (these idiots buy pre-builts and never really change anything about the computer setup, ever). There are a small number of idiots with curiosity and a desire to learn something new, and these are the idiots that Ubuntu may appeal to. Ubuntu, like any Linux system will always and only appeal to the geeky idiots. The rest of the world finds right-clicking too hard.

  45. 45 joost_op 2007/10/06 at 3:17 AM

    _0_

    Regards from sabayon core-beta tester.

  46. 46 Ben 2007/10/07 at 9:17 AM

    I’ll admit I didn’t read through all of the comments, but one did catch my eye.

    To rebut the claim that Linux users cannot be productive, I think it’s the little things that count.
    I think one of the biggest time savers for me has been the ability to have highlighted text copied via the middle click. It’s so small, you’d not even call it a feature, just the way the system behaves, but it’s awesome. I use it all the time.
    For those who need to be switching back and forth between windows a lot, it can get in the way when the focused window is raised. I can easily set the window manager to focus a window without raising it. I can then read instructions from my web browser and type them into a terminal without having to fiddle with the window positions nearly as much.
    On another productivity note, although the software is not stable, the ability to use Compiz to increase a window’s transparency is just awesome. I don’t need to reposition my windows at all to read text from another one: just roll my mouse wheel down, and I can see straight through it.
    The ability to organise your work on separate workspaces is also a major advantage. You won’t be distracted from your report by that flashing advertisement in Firefox anymore, and it does help focus your thought process.

    The obstacle for productiveness in Linux is not the fault of any part of Linux. Linux, and every part of it, was built for those who need to get work done, generally working from multiple locations (even without opening a GUI, you have six consoles available to you). It’s better suited to fast, snappy work, flipping back and forth (and don’t get me started on our friend, the pipe).
    No, the obstacle for productiveness on Linux is lack of integration with the rest of the world. Getting sent information in formats that we can’t read. For some power users, there is no solution to this problem. All we can really hope for is wider adoption of supported formats.

  47. 47 One who will go back to his RH9 install 2008/01/01 at 8:17 PM

    Ubuntu is brain dead, much like Windows it wants to replace. It does not install telnet/ssh by default and it asks for user password for everything that su is supposed to do. It does not name complete if you have ‘sudo’ on the command line, WTF? I can list all the folders by doing sudo ls, which a moment before that I did, I know it is there, you just listed it, why are you trying to hide it? Well because ubuntu is brain dead. I have spent hours trying to get to functionality that I had with my RH9 install. But still not there yet. I give up. It is great to just type sudo apt-get… (when it works)P but I cannot stand brain dead OS. So I’ll stick with my RH9.

  48. 48 neko 2008/02/13 at 12:52 PM

    wow lol great post thar
    ive been on linux for several years now, and i was just such a guy that tried it and ZOMGTISBROKEITSCRAP then came back. >_<

  49. 49 Pepe 2008/02/24 at 6:38 PM

    Call me Pepe,

    but this site is worth it to blame me personally (Peter Fink) for all the curses I screamed out installing ubuntu.

    Go ahead! Make me loving ubuntu ;-)

    After 2 weeks no homebanking no corel no netobject, no many other things, finally I’m at 99%.

    And windows? It took me 20 years to accept … you guys know what I’m saying!

    And text editing to get the system doing what I wan’t?? I’m not showing pichtures to my kids when I want them doing things they use to forget during the days ! I’m telling them words.. again and again and I love them anyway….

    pepe

  50. 50 olczij 2008/03/29 at 9:37 PM

    i hope. abcbae5373 thanks

  51. 51 exc 2008/04/27 at 11:16 AM

    “If you want to really tout your efforts installing Ubuntu, tell us you worked on something for a week.”

    You gotta be kiddin’ me!!!

    If I work a week I can buy a pretty nice laptop loaded with whatever “working” OS I want.

  52. 52 snake1990 2008/09/21 at 10:27 AM

    “Do not type in all capital letters. It makes people think you’re yelling, and no one will take your criticism seriously if they think you’re yelling. Yelling actually makes your complaints less credible, because if you can’t find the caps lock key, then it’s no surprise that you can’t handle Ubuntu. And for god’s sake, don’t type in 1337. ”

    I agree to this point that it will seem like yelling and many users will probably get annoyed.

    “Don’t tell us Ubuntu is ugly. If it was impossible change the colors or the wallpaper or the fonts or the theme or the window manager or the desktop environment, then your complaint would be valid. But saying it’s ugly is like complaining because your shirt is orange. If you don’t like orange, why in the heck didn’t you wear a different shirt?”

    I don’t agree here u can customize Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows as well. Its very important for an OS to look good by default as that it what most people will keep cause most of the time the theme created by other users such as the ones on

    http://www.gnome-look.org

    r all ugly as well and do not look professional, in some cases do not integrate well, or r just copies of windows and os x.

    “Don’t tell us it doesn’t work. If it didn’t work, no one would use it. It seems to work fine for about 29 million times as many people as you. And that goes for installing too. Don’t tell us it won’t install because by golly, it installs for me. And don’t bicker about a text-based installer. Guess what, genius: When you reinstall XP, it’s going to greet you with a text-based installer. You bonehead.”

    I agree here to some degree, I agree about the installer thing and by the way Vista has a GUI installer ;)

    Now as far as it doesn’t work, it works if u r lucky to have very well supported hardware otherwise it doesn’t work at all and for that hardware it really doesn’t work. You r also forgetting some compromises linux users make for example some of them may ignore the fact there power management doesn’t work and just live with it. I know such ubuntu users and there r many of them to and for them it doesn’t work 100% either. Some people r so stupid they don’t even know what hardware of theirs isn’t working on linux.

    “Don’t tell us it’s not Windows. Of course it’s not Windows. If Linux were Windows, no one would need Linux. Better yet, if Windows was Linux, no one would need Windows.”

    I agree, anyone switching an OS thinking the new one will be like the old one is an idiot.

    “Don’t tell us you tried to install it for an hour and a half, and it didn’t work, so it’s no good.”

    Again I agree here as well that u may run in to some difficulties installing a new OS for the first time so give it a day or two on the installing part.

    “If you want to really tout your efforts installing Ubuntu, tell us you worked on something for a week. Or two weeks. People fight for months just to get their wireless working in Linux — and they succeed. So do that before you leave: Tell us you had no mouse for two weeks — that will impress us. Tell us you had to work without the left side of your keyboard for the better part of a year — we will worship you. But ranting about how Ubuntu doesn’t work because it wouldn’t install during your lunch hour is lame, lame, lame.”

    Now thats just stupid, why should someone go waste their time like that, most people have something called lives.

    You want people to suffer for a month? Why? This is just an OS, its not like their going on a war to fight for their country and enduring torture for a month is impressive, people have better things to do then waste configuring wireless connections.

    Here is what I suggest to those people, if u don’t want to go back to Windows then just get a Mac ;)


  1. 1 Top Posts « WordPress.com Trackback on 2007/08/21 at 9:01 AM
  2. 2 Como: Dejar Ubuntu « Ubuntu76 Trackback on 2007/08/22 at 11:17 PM
  3. 3 Out of fairness to Vista « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2007/08/25 at 7:14 AM
  4. 4 Como: Dejar Ubuntu « Trackback on 2007/08/25 at 9:46 AM
  5. 5 Dapper to Hardy fails me « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2008/04/26 at 4:56 PM
  6. 6 Handling Linux Trolls in Linux Help Forums Trackback on 2009/02/27 at 6:07 AM
  7. 7 What Linux needs « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2010/03/30 at 8:40 AM
  8. 8 Three recent thoughts « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2010/10/15 at 12:53 PM

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