The Only Feature Ubuntu 10.04 Needs

I bet you’re looking at that title with a “wtf” expression smeared across your face.  Why am I talking about Ubuntu 10.04 when the 9.04 release (Jaunty Jackalope) is less than a month away and 9.10 (Karmic Koala) is still on the distant horizon?

I’ve picked 10.04 because there’s still time for us, as the Ubuntu community, to have some say on what happens to it.  9.04 is just about frozen (and the Alpha 6 review from Softpedia is excellent, btw) and the feature set for 9.10 has already been mostly laid out (see Mark’s comments here), but 10.04 is still an open slate.

And I think two significant things need to happen between 9.10 and 10.04 if Ubuntu wants to stay relevant.

1) No New Ubuntu-Specific Features in 10.04

I say Ubuntu-specific because it’s fine for Canonical to include any kernel updates, Gnome updates, etc – but I hope to see ZERO new Ubuntu-specific features in 10.4.  Why?  Because of reason #2:

2) Make Ubuntu 10.04 a Fix-Only Release

Here’s my point.

Ubuntu is an excellent distribution, possibly the best general-purpose distribution of them all.  More than any other distro in recent memory, Ubuntu has the opportunity – and the financial backing – to carve out a real place for the Linux Desktop.

But there is one major, significant barrier standing in its path.  No, I’m not talking about the brown interface (which should improve in 9.10, see link above) – I’m talking about the perception that Linux doesn’t “just work.”

Yes, us lxers we know that it’s remarkably close to “just working.”  We know that if something doesn’t work there are a hundred different sites we can go to for help.  We know that driver issues are rarely Ubuntu’s fault – they’re the fault of lazy hardware vendors.

But everyday users don’t know this, and they arguably don’t care.  For them there are no excuses, only “it all works” or “it doesn’t work.”

And the sad fact of the matter is that it only takes one piece of hardware or one peripheral that DOESN’T work for the average user to throw Linux out the window.

But here’s the thing – it doesn’t have to be this way.  The reason the Ubuntu forums are so useful is because there are known solutions to 95+% of hardware and peripheral problems.  Sometimes these solutions are simple, sometimes they are not, but there are known ways to fix almost any hardware incompatibility in Ubuntu.

So why does Canonical ignore these known fixes?  What keeps them from integrating every one of these solutions into Ubuntu itself?

I imagine there are many reasons, but ultimately it comes down to a lack of personnel and a lack of time.  A 6-month release schedule is brutal, and since Canonical is constantly looking to pack a couple slam-bang features into each release, there just isn’t time to comb the forums in search of  user-generated solutions.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

I’m typing this entry from my Ubuntu 8.10 desktop, and I can tell you this – 8.10 is a fine operating system.  9.04 looks even better, but if I had to stick with 8.10 for another year it would be fine by me.

8.10 does everything I need and more, and it’s light-years ahead of the current market leader (XP).  Most traditional consumers will probably be using XP in April 2010, so it’s not like Canonical is disappointing anybody by NOT adding a host of new features.  And, new features in the kernel, Gnome, and other components will still provide a bunch of new toys for existing users.

But imagine if in those 6 months between 9.10 and 10.04, Canonical could work a couple thousand user-generated fixes into Ubuntu itself.  Imagine if they doubled the amount of modern hardware that works “out of the box.”  Imagine if half of the Ubuntu forum entries became useless because all those random tweaks and fixes were suddenly built directly into Ubuntu.

Canonical and the Ubuntu user base have absolutely nothing to lose with a “featureless release” – but there is a tremendous amount to gain.

Netbook vendors will be thrilled by a release like this.  Think Linux netbooks are a threat to MS now?  Wait until a 10.04 like this happens.  Imagine setting up a Linux and Win7 netbook side-by-side inside Best Buy, then inviting customers to bring over any peripheral – an iPod, a webcam, a USB device – and see which netbook plays it flawlessly.  Imagine the additional leverage us lxers would have over those damn MS fanboys.

Makes me smile just thinking about it.

My Conclusion

Obviously, 6 months isn’t enough to fix every problem (or maybe even a majority of problems).  But it would go a long way toward making Ubuntu a viable desktop OS – much further than a couple new features or a shiny new wallpaper.

What do you think?  Should we start a petition?  As a dedicated Ubuntu user, I am very interested in having this proposal taken seriously.

Drop a comment or two.  I’d love to hear what others have to say.

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120 thoughts on “The Only Feature Ubuntu 10.04 Needs”

  1. ubuntu should have longer release cycle.may be 8-10 month release cycle.For an average user who uses desktop for audio video , email ,browsing etc ,stability of os is most important.Stable os is much better than crappy feature rich os.A geek can fix some problem from googling the problem but not an average user.
    I suggest a longer release cycle for ubuntu and more focused on the stability and out -of-box working…

    1. Personally I like the 6 month cycle. It’s annoying to build a piece of software or add a ton of ppas to get what I want. A good example is VLC. 9.04 uses v.9. That versions sucks compared to v1.0+ releases. Why should I have to wait a year to get a decent video player in the repositories? Of course, they could just make more software updates available in the repos, but I think that violates some kind of stability issue. So, I want a new release ASAP.

      1. You’ve got a point but it would be cool if they had regular releases with a 6 month time period and a major release (every 2 or 3 releases)
        which is 9 months or even 12 so they can blow us away with new features and fixes every now and then
        because if you look at 2 releases the newer one usually looks and preforms faster than the last (9.04-9.10) imagine that doubled it would look fantastic and “just work”.

    2. If you want a longer release cycle with more stable releases, just use the LTS releases. I installed 6.06LTS on my friend’s desktop shortly after it came out. My friend has average-or-below computer abilities and no prior Linux experience; the machine had been running XP…slowly, with lots of crapware. He has loved Ubuntu precisely because it has “just worked,” and hasn’t seen a reason to upgrade this whole time. Since 6.06 is getting close to EOL, I’ll be putting 10.04 on it for him pretty soon…

      1. I agree that LTS is the right way to go.

        I installed 9.10 on my kids PCs (left mine alone, natch!) and had weeks of troubles with booting and other issues, seeking upgrades almost daily to stay ahead. Things have eventually stabilized (although have to report that low-memory machines are having issues with releases newer than 8.04 from my experience), but I haven’t got the time to devote to doing this all the time. As a reault, if 10.04 works as advertised, that will go on all the machines and I can go back to weekly updates when I have time for them.

    3. You should do your research before commenting. Like LTS said they have long term support releases. nobody is forcing you to update every 6 months but if users want they can. i personally do it as i find that each release comes with more support out of the box for my graphics and wireless cards.

    4. It’s called the LTS (Long Term Support) release schedule. If you want super-face-melting stability, you use the LTS release. TBH, I don’t even know what you mean by instabilities, regular ubuntu is 100% stable for me, not a single crash since 8.10. Buy decent hardware with decent linux support (intel/nvidia chipsets have always worked fine for me) and you shouldn’t have any issues.

      1. I think stability also means that many common software should work fine. In the recent release of 9.10, the ipod support in banshee no longer works because ubuntu changes its related component. There are also issues with the full screen model of Flash player that seem never to get fixed.
        I would rather have that kinds of stuff fixed instead seeing new features in ubuntu.

    5. Hi, This article made me think how unfair it is for people that can’t use linux. I’m sitting accross from a meeting of a hot chick and an old fat fart telling her to spend 700 hundred dollars on a windows 7 blue ray new computer. The hot chick is smart, i’m at a college by the way, she said she doesn’t want to illegally copy adobe photoshop becuase she doesn’t want to get in trouble. i’m new to ubuntu, and i love it, i acsedentaly upgraded to 10.04 developer edition. Anyways How much money does windows make on deals like these… By the way my computer is a hp slimline upgraded to ubuntu

    6. I agree – too many releases without fixing problems. Cannot use 9.10 because of bugs, and happy to stay with 9.04 – wish it could have a longer supported life.

  2. I think that stability is very important, but new features won’t prohibit stability. New features help distinguish a distro from the pack. Ubuntu IS the best distro IMHO, and it’s stability and community support are a major factor in why I favor it. The real problem that I see holding us linux users back is that, the giant M$ has proprietary software all over the internet that there are no linux equivalents for. Just for example, in entertainment – you can’t watch streaming Netflix. Remote control software – You can’t control a linux PC with LogMeIn, or support others with LogMeIn Rescue. You can’t get people in the medical profession (as one example) to switch to all-linux PCs because their remote server software, EMRs & EHRs are built on Win32 platforms. Wine can accomplish running some (very few) but performance is flaky at best. Developers need to take on a new multi-platform mindset. If software was not devoted to a single win32 platform, there would be more cross compatibility making the benefits of a secure and stable linux OS more appealing (though those of us that are devoted to linux have no big complaints). The recent release of 2D Boy’s World Of Goo on the linux platform is a phenomenal step in the right direction. It shows that people are starting to notice lxers, and they’re dipping their toes in to test the waters. Any linux user, whether you enjoy games or not, should go and purchase a copy to support this effort. This could be huge for us. Anyway, what we need is accessibility to web applications (as well as desktop apps) that the micro$ and apple users have access to. Helping to bridge that gap will have the biggest impact.
    My 2 cents.

    1. this ain’t possible in linux. unless they have a better installation and off-line distribution system in linux. like platform independent EXE binary and WINDOWS INSTALLER. repos ain’t the real solution, more like a work-around.

      1. I find .deb’s much better than windows .msi rubbish

        The power-user can look inside the deb to see what it’s doing, what files are in there etc. Linux can handle the updates automatically etc.

      2. Well, someone’s not happy with linux.

        (cuddley voice)
        Aww, did it tell you your Windows installation is a hog? Uses far too much of your precious resources? I’m sorry, honey, but let’s just face the facts.

        (real voice) Stability issues? Not for me, but for stupid OpenOffice.org I ended up with kOffice, Abiword, and Gnumeric as candidates once I realized that the problem was not Ubuntu, but my dreaded office suite. Sun, why can’t you pull it together and make a single .deb download?

  3. I think you are absolutely correct in your assessment of what needs to happen to make Ubuntu more mainstream, I just think you are planning it for the wrong version. An LTS release needs to add some features that give enterprise users a reason to give it a try, after all, the LTS releases are aimed at them. I think the 6 months after that, to 10.1, should be used to incorporate all the little fixes that have accumulated over time.

  4. I think you got the point. Ubuntu must find way to put all the tweaks into next LTS distro. However new users always have difficulties to adopt new OS, lets make that step easier don’t push them to console just to make simple step of regular resolution or refresh rate correct.
    I support your idea.

    Greetings from Serbia Ubuntu community

    1. And don’t implement the Gnome sidebar/dashboard/whatever-the-heck-it-is. It looks too difficult for the average user, and minimizes and maximizes the desktop too much for my tastes.

      1. Yeah, that’s kinda stupid. “Hey, instead of bringing up a menu over the desktop, let’s Shrink the desktop over and out of the way of the menu! And then we can let the user open up multiple desktops with a plus button and not give them a clear way to close them!” The desktop is getting long in the tooth, but Gnome-shell ain’t the answer.

  5. I support your suggestion fully! And I agree that a longer release cycle for Ubuntu would be beneficial. How many other operating systems are significantly updated every six months? Stability is more important than the latest feature that only a few will ever use.

    Personally I think dropping one of the two/year releases would be perfect. That way Ubuntu would still be on a 6 month (now 12) cycle to pick up all the benefits of the other releases, it would stay in sync.

    Ubuntu has been the only distro (or a Ubuntu derivative) that I’ve used that generally works on most of my computers without a hassle and as a Windows user I’m not about to spend hours looking for a fix for this and that. If the distro doesn’t work out of the box it’s dumped and I’m certain there are more like me. Linux has to remember that Windows comes preinstalled and few do a clean install of Windows thus it seems to work out of the box though we all know differently. The fact is that Linux distros have a much higher mountain to climb. They must work out of the box as a clean install because they aren’t being shipped preinstalled. . . that’s just the current reality.

  6. What I see happening, if it is really possible, is someone creating a program that incorporates all of the user-generated “fixes” and hacks to get things working, and (maybe) being merged into Ubuntu or having an adaptation merged, but only if the project takes off and everyone demands it. Even then, a good number of the “fixes” require non-free and non-supported methods, and thus will never be included.

    If nobody beats me to it, I’m going do it in a few years. Also, the need is becoming smaller. For example, I have a custom built non-standard workstation that didn’t work with the sound OR graphics card in Ubuntu < 8.10. Now, in Ubuntu 8.10, I have 2D acceleration and my USB sound card works out-of-the-box. I have had many other similar experiences.

    That’s my opinion.

  7. So uh, what we sort of all agreed on at UDS is that for 9.10 we’re going to throw all the new awesome bleeding-edge stuff we can into the mix, that way we get a full year to stabilize it for 10.04. This means things like GRUB2, ext4-by-default, hibernating to swapfiles instead of a swap partition, fast boot stuff, kernel mode-setting…all of it’s going into 9.10 so that it’ll be well-tested by the time it reaches 10.04.

    By the way, check out http://women.ubuntu.com or join us in #ubuntu-women on IRC :)

  8. Also:
    The trouble with the hardware stuff is often that it is impossible to find a suitable fix. For example, with sound bugs, we’ll find that a certain quirk fixes a certain model of laptop using a certain sound card using a certain revision of a certain codec…and then that there are actually 2 distinctly different pieces of hardware that have the same laptop model, sound card, codec, and codec revision number…but that are actually different.

  9. Thanks for the comments, Mackenzie. It sounds like the UDS compromise (focus on features for 9.10 and stability for 10.04) is a great hybrid of what’s discussed here.

    And while I agree that many hardware fixes are specific to hardware combinations that may or may not be predictably gauged, I think the main issue most of us have is with generic fixes that are easily identified and handled. For example, I have an Epson printer whose model number is CX8400. Selecting that model number from the printer driver dialog results in a non-functional printer. A simple online search reveals that selecting CX7800 for CX8400 printers solves the problem – and that fix has got to be trivial at best.

    Certainly there will always be some hardware issues that are impossible to predict or handle (every Windows user has experienced that!), but I think that great strides can still be made in addressing simple hardware fixes that simply haven’t been integrated yet.

    Thanks again for the comments.

  10. The biggest gap that has been bridged for me was the bringing in of Kdelive Video editing software.

    the fact the OS is able to read VOB files with out all the crap ware is a big plus. why on earth is it that every time we need to get a new device it has to have special this or special that?

    We all already know the answer to that >_< were not paying much in the way of the device, but its the damn software taht has to be licensed to get the full benefits and then on top of which it is already out dated.

    I just bought a JVC GZ-MG330HU (Evereo) camcorder and the damn thing had to have the soft ware for windows as if I don't have enough in windows. and then they give you enough to get the camera to view the VOB Files and some editing features (very few)..

    It really irks me to no end that Ihave to have all this crap where to get one camera to function.

    So I decided to give ubuntu 9.04 a try …Eh…. N/C I reverted back to 8.10 .

    But still when i show people that all I do is pop One solitary disk and a few mintues later it found everything out of the box, Mom Said, why in hell can't Windows be that easy? then I pooped it in to her Acer,and then in her Toshiba, and her really old PC and she even gave me a more puzzled look.

    One disk, ran on all 3 of her systems.
    granted a driver was needed, it was the printer driver LOL.

    The thing being is..Consumers want something that will load and run and do what they need to do.

    for the longest time the only one reason why I didn't run Linux was there was no video editing solution . Now that leaky hole is being plugged. and I am willing to support something like that.My estimated cost that if I had similar software would be in the thousands of dollars.

    1. Consumers also want an OS that will mount blank DVD-Rs.
      I’ve just installed Ubuntu 10.04 and it won’t mount blank DVD-Rs. Many others seem to have the same problem but no one has a solution so far. Looks like I’m back to Ubuntu 9.10. This isn’t some little bug or a Canon printer without the Ubuntu driver it’s a big deal. No ability to burn DVDs then it’s goodbye Ubuntu.

  11. Applause. I agree with your sound reasoning. You actually address that point which is most crucial to any company – including Canonical – namely market share.

    To win over people you don’t need to dance and perform and come up with a new magic act every six months. All you need is to provide an easy-to-use, everything-works-out-the-box solution.

    The focus right now should be on stability and reliability. It would be nice if we as a community could get Canonical to hear this.

    1. That’s the problem with the community project aspect. None of them want to do that type of work, as making new things is more exciting and glorifying to the average person.

  12. I also wanted to say that I thought your comment that XP will still be the most prevalent desktop OS at the time 10.04 is released just puts the whole thing into perspective: Ubuntu not chasing a ghost, so there is no need to try and dazzle users with something new every release. Just focus on doing a certain set of things and doing them well.

  13. What I wanted to say about this is focusing on stability would be a great thing to do at the moment. For one Mac OSX 10.6 was released last week and they focused not on adding new features but taking them and saying how do we make this faster, smaller and more stable. Same thing with MS Windows 7 (with being a linux user most of my life I have to say I am impressed with) they said what made XP so good, and how do we apply that to Vista while at the same time increasing speed. And now we have Windows 7 just around the corner. So at this point in Desktop OS development it would seem like a sound choice to do the same to Ubuntu. You wont hear many people complaining about them taking the time to make the next LTS (10.04) more stable, they did so with 6.06 (and increased the time it took to release by 2 months) and I still know people who run 6.06. To me and those who use the LTS for work or other uses for a server will agree that stability is out number one concern not new features. I would more readily fork out money for a secure server OS, than nothing for a free feature rich OS that is prone to crashing.

    Another thing is they try to do much in just 6 months, instead of adding a heap of feature only add a few and make sure they run flawlessly. Plus instead of including the fixes they could package them in a DEB format and put it on the repositories and make them available for download. Will keep the size of the ISO down and allow you to download only the ones you need.

    Just my two cents,
    Steve

  14. I like this idea,
    Just take a step back and look what we got.
    Improving it,
    making it faster,
    making it more efficient,
    supporting more hardware,
    making it all more thigh together,
    perhaps some more artwork refining after 9.10.
    Instead of constantly adding new features without really looking back. Of course its great that its going so fast, but sometimes we just need to take a step backwards. We will own Microsoft anyway.

  15. Uh, that is *exactly* what 10.04 will be. 10.04 is an LTS release, just like 8.04 was. The LTS releases are the GOOD, STABLE releases. You’re asking for something which was planned by Canonical several years ago ;)

    LTS releases come every two years. That’s why I’ve stuck with 8.04: it’s much more stable being an LTS release, and Ubuntu provides updates to it for 3 years after release, giving you a full year to switch to the newer LTS release.

  16. Managing the future.

    On the last years, we have seen the infamous M$ learning a lot from Linux. However it seems that GNU-Linux seems to have more dificuties to do the same.

    I talking about reformulating strategies. Excelent code is usualy a stimulus to keep going. But like sabatic years are a way to get the feet on the groud and re-evaluate ones perspective, the need to do so is a dificult one when so many people is involved.

    Ubuntu really maked a diference, but it riscs to be lost soon if re-evaluation is not taken in consideration, And Ubuntu is in the best position to lead the way.

    Why is that needed when everything seems to go just fine? Well… that’s when people become satisfied enough to let itself to dive in problems. When none is expected. A pleasant is a warning signal, paradoxical as it may seem.

    What may be the problem? We all know it really: Increased Complexity that will, sooner or later, limit options of development. Not so? We do see that coming in the excessive dependencies build up. Clean structure are, little by little, being lost in favour of of expansion of code. This were reformulation and simplification, like a sabatic year, would be a needed step.

    This is not advocating a stop. Just a reminder for consideration. The next GTK seems to be have recognised a problem. And there is one building up everywere, We just need to be conscious of it and not fall in a winning M$ like perspective. We remember where that lead the infamous M$. Heaviness!

    What can be done?:
    The basic aproach is, as always the KISS rule. One task is the modularization of systems and the standardization of it’s connections.
    What does this mean?
    Simply that libraries should be interchanged accordingly with the target computers, or it’s users.

    In other words, factoring the elements in play, the basic philosophy of small tools interconected must be revived in libraries usage.

    And if someone used this our that environment, this should not mean a dependency of huge library tools. They should be designed, and built, to be shared and of easy replacement. The goal being have lesser code and keep the traditional efficiency of GNU-Linux.

    Adaptability not achieved by having lots of (growing) specialised code to choose but by clean designs allowing code to be small. (Like the Enligthment environment? Not sure. It seems so).

    When things get too big, it is time to look back and understand how that was allowed to happen. It is not to stop the present, go back to the past, but to prepare the future.

    Unifying is not mixing everything to be able to do eveything… is getting the commons well oiled so the particular blocks may have a good foundation to work. Be it a limited block for a small machine or a more expended one for a big machine. The rationale is a common and efficient foundation for what will be used above.

    That involves sharing essencials, not particulars. We already see that problem in the dependies tree.
    It’s spring cleanning time.

  17. you are right on target. though i have yet to be disappointed by ubuntu, i realize it is not the same for everyone. windows may be easier to use sometimes,but what is wrong with learning how to do things. we live in a world where job markets are created out the laziness of others. and that is all it is when it comes to the windows/linux debate, user laziness. in this day and age you should care about what your system is doing when your not looking, you should have complete control, and you should learn how to fix some things on your own. on that note when running windows your only options for diy fixes is phone support or hours of googling with no avail. 95% of the issues someone might have with ubu are on the forum pages the other 4%can be found somewhere else and the 1% should follow shortly. cheers

  18. It’s all about the drivers. I had buy a new scanner when I got a computer with Vista. Then when I got my netbook my new scanner didn’t have a linux driver and according to the forums the manufacturer didn’t release the specs so it couldn’t be reverse-engineered. I don’t know if a fix could be made to sane to fix this. Whatever is done, unless there are enough linux machines to make the peripheral manufacturers interested Linux won’t take off. The netbooks almost made this happen until Dr Evil Ballmer practically gave XP away to kill Linux.

  19. great article. I always thinking the same thing too. What I love about opensource community is that they don’t care about the competition, they just determined to make great products.

    The similar thing happen within Blender. They have 6 months release cycle aswell, and on each release they added some neat features.

    What differs blender from commercial packages, so far, I liked the compactness and simplicity. I do think there’s something that should be fix within blender = performance.

    Major 3D software packages still perform smoothly even with all texture loaded within their viewports, while blender started to crawl. I think fixing this part is much more important than adding new features. Yeah it’s neat to see blender have advanced features that is not available in the major packages such as fluids. But still, how many people use it?

    But that’s an entirely different story, with similar case as ubuntu. I love ubuntu, since this is by far the only linux distro that’s “just work”.

    I couldn’t agree more ubuntu should be a “generic” distro, since the user number is topped compared to other distros. Even on distrowatch ubuntu got the throne #1 on HPD ranking, and stable throughout years.

    And any linux enthusiast should stop making any derivative distros and focus on contributing to ubuntu. One major problem with linux is that, well, the freedom and ability to choose is great, but when you have like hundreds of things to choose, you’ll surely lost.

    This is what happened to me back then when I first got my hands on linux. Started with redhat, to mandrake, to suse, to this and to that, etc, and finally to ubuntu.

    It couldn’t be truer. I don’t neat nifty features. I don’t need compiz or bells and whistles. I want an operating systems that works. Included softwares, well I want to choose them by myself.

  20. I disagree. To keep everyone happy, there should be equality in the features. Bug fixes and new features is what they’re doing now, and I don’t see that changing – nor do I want it to.

  21. With all the comments being fairly similar, going to present the other side as I see it.

    Linux exists in a particular environment where INDIVIDUALS selfishly develop what THEY need for their own purposes. A person who needs a piece of software for their own purposes and successfully develops what they need has not only had their needs met, but also created intellectual wealth. The sharing of that wealth even by a single individual is positive.

    The volume of wealth is so great, and the foundation so solid, that anyone with a computer and Internet access can take from the pool, ATTEMPT to improve on it, share their insight (whatever the form) and you get a positive sum of wealth.

    This model, unlike any other, is INFINITELY scalable.

    One problem may be approached by n people. The more people looking at the problem, the greater the chance of producing the ideal solution. Relatively no individual has the ability to STOP independent competitive solutions by any means than rationally demonstrating the superiority of their ideas.

    There are “problems” with this model, but in my opinion, the nasty and poisonous perception of this model is that progress is zero-sum. I don’t know if I could list in my lifetime how many ways anyone with that belief could be wrong, so let me make it very simple and clear.

    WHAT I DO IN MY FREE TIME FOR MY OWN PURPOSE IS NONE OF YOUR F***ING BUSINESS any further than your freedom to do with and improve upon in your own way as you see fit what I choose to return to the community by either choice, or expected by the terms of the Gnu GPL.

    You can not CONSCRIPT me into producing what YOU want, you can only enable me or discourage me to continue to contribute as I choose.

    One of the articles criticisms, which seems to be a recurring themes of articles that like to tell people how they should be spending their time, is that of the number of distributions out there. Think about this: Why do people create distributions?

    Is it because there are not enough of them? … no

    Is it because other distributions are going the wrong direction? … maybe?

    Is it because other distributions don’t meet their needs? … seems to be their perception at least

    Is it because they feel like it?

    BINGO!

    Creating, maintaining, and promoting a particular distribution is a LOT of work (in my observation and from talking to people that have done it) But if you could make them not do what they want to do with their time, you really think they are going to magically do what you want instead?

    What is amazing is that people left to their own devices (no pun intended) to do as they please, their minds begin to open to “what is possible in the spirit of playful cleverness”.

    Getting people to not do what you do not need doesn’t make more for you. If you need more, there are three basic solutions: 1) wait and hope someone with with more initiative, motive, skill, etc 2) read a book and develop it yourself, or 3) Provide an incentive such as money to encourage someone with the skill to do it for you.

    This is not an argument against team work, but just the same this article isn’t an encouragement of team work either. Encouragement of teamwork involves 1) identifying a specific problem 2) defining the scope in which you wish to address that problem 3) outline a solution and develop a functional prototype that demonstrates why not only you have a good solution, but that your solution is better than other solutions (or non solutions) 4) Use your product from step 3 and actually demonstrate to people why they should expend their time and energy working on YOUR project, and technically 5) pick from those people you wish to bring onto the core of your team.

    Final point: Teams and Communities do not exist for their own sake; they exist because it serves the voluntarily consenting members of them. If you want a centrally controlled, managed, and developed system that democratically considers the needs of everyone equally, such a project already exists. It is called Windows.

    Cannonical / Mark Shuttlesworth provides something very specific: A platform and location for people to freely collaborate and exchange ideas while providing a face, in a sense, to a very distributed community. Thankfully, Mark has the wisdom to understand his role and learned the lessons of many other FlOSS projects come and gone and never abused his position of a role model to dictate how Linux should inspire anyone.

    All projects stand on their merit alone, and as one hobby / amateur programmer, I hope I am not alone in hope that this state of anarchy never changes.

  22. He’s wrong. Have you ever tried to install windows on a machine that it didn’t come installed on? It’s way harder to get shit to work than Linux. For example: I recently tried to install Windows XP on a random HP laptop that I had lying around. Guess what? Not only did it not recognize the wireless network hardware, it didn’t even know what to do with the wired NIC.

    What Linux needs is OEM support. If the OS comes on the computer with support from the OEM (Dell, HP, Lunexa, etc) then people don’t have to worry about it which is exactly the advantage that Windows enjoys today.

  23. I love the 6 month release cycle. I don’t think that it causes the problems everyone is suggesting. Rather than dropping to a 12 month cycle, they should simply have major/minor releases. Make the April release major for the new year, and make October the minor release month (cleanup everything added in April).

  24. I think ubuntu should concentrate on a hardware whose drivers are open and make linux work perfectly on those hardware. The community should use hardware that can go hand in hand with the open source community. Like the Mac OS which is tailored to its defined hardware. Ubuntu linux should concentrate to work 100% out of the box on certain hardware. These hardwares need to be displayed on the homepage of ubuntu linux website. So people can buy those hardware without spending time fixing new hardware. Of course the new hardware will be fixed by others in the community. This is indeed a sacrifice a user can make to make tommorows computing open.

    I believe canonical is currently moving in the same direction.

  25. Yes I agree with you Tanner it is much better and much easier for the normal users and it will be more popular with the community too because there are a lot of common known bugs plus the the fixes varies too so if the Canonical can fix those it will be an ease for the users. and on the other hand what ever the component or what ever the hardware working with older releases should work with new ones too for an example some broadband dongles are not working with 9.10 but as the user community is so powerful its easy to find at least a temporary fix but why does a user has to browse through the forums to find a better solution if Canonical it self provides it. The dongle problem was the only minus mark for ubuntu when comparing all the other plus marks but this can be improved and fixed. So I’m suggesting Tanners idea too ubuntu should focus more on those known little fixes than big fancy stuff.

  26. Sorry, but Canonical activities strongly depends on the people, who are employed under this organization.

    Canonical can fix many bugs, especially in GNOME, but cannot fixes device drivers.

  27. I like 6-months release cycle. And I am also convinced that every 4-th cycle should be polished one mainly focused on bug fixing. So those guys that are seeking stability will upgrade once in 2 years which sounds considerable. Those who are excited with new stuff – will have a pleasure to upgrade once in 6 months. So the current Ubuntu release concept seems to me OK.

  28. 6 months is ok for me,
    but for an average user, ubuntu is probably ready to use after 6 months, meaning that some tweaks do take some time to figure them out yourself or to find the right solution online
    i share your opignion to make the 10.04 an out-of-the-box working os
    let’s all just ask Canonical to do that :)

  29. Greetings , i hope u read this ,

    Ubuntu 10.04 what about KDE release :D did u forget about the others?

    im a windows user i dont have anything against operating systems , ive tested apple and kubuntu and gnome ubuntu , all seems the same because if i want to install something in windows like in the days of Windows 98second edition i had to get a file from the net to execute it , so later on windows fulffilled these tasks by abiding contracts around the world without even signing for it :) , ubuntu would be possible if they figure out the key of windows while keeping quite and implementing it in a stronger atmosphere then a WINE project ,
    #2 , linux in that hand shouldnt be free :D but cheap and interface is flexible to the extent of Gnome can be OFFICE environment , KDE can be windows look or mac look , apps and the life of the internet world is all the same , its just the environment ,.. from time to time people get bored on riding the same car , we need to change it like to a BMW or from germans they like to test the Ford … or Lexus .. life changes the question is we like the fastest , as for me in my working Tablet notebook i use a Gnome Ubuntu , i work with 2 desktops interfaced in ubuntu , on the right is my Evoloution email with my IM on and on the left is my Browsing and my Office work , i switch easily i find my tasks quicker , it does apple gloxxy flexible picking look for stress free and hassle free headaches in focusing somewehre… it does my changing from desktop to desktop quickly and picking my tasks to push themn somwhere else , the envinronmen is slick for my work ..

    but i like to think of KDE as the one who brought me in Gnome :) , i hope KDE goes strong , we as humans like to have everythuing i wish i can use kde but i dont want to dismiss my jetski days or my friends meeting times for kde tickling and humoring me as if an operating system could become somehow a new family or a wife ,. what a life.

  30. I have just started using UBUNTU and I am being patient. I haven’t had time to play on the settup or configuration of my wirless and all that yet. The file layout is different but understand. What I have been able to do at this point is good. I installed it on my old sony vaio. So far so good.

  31. Absolute good point in getting things working out of the box.

    My work laptop runs 8.04 again. I spend nearly a whole day in setting up dual screens in 9.10 with the propriatary nvida drivers, and tried to get my various vpn connections working. In the end I booted it from my network and fired up clonezilla and put the 8.04 image back.
    And all of that just to be able to use evolution to talk to an exchange 2007 server. And even that was as stable as a house made by a deck of cards. That was my reason to try 9.10.

    I did love the way I got the dual screen working in the end, kinda like windows to be able to drag from screen to screen, but without proper vpn support my laptop is useless to me.

    I surely hope 10.04 is going to be a release with all the basic things working, and if not I’ll stick to 8.04 :)

  32. I agree that the concept of “Just work” would be something to aim for – well, not only for Ubuntu/Canonical, but for all the Linux distros.
    In order to do that, I believe one path to follow would be to say: Distro XXX is optimized for YYY, let’s say Dell. This way Canonical can work closely with Dell and their partners in order to have a distro that has the right drivers for the hardware.
    This is sort of the same path as Apple, as they have only one hardware to code against, which means a stable OS.

    Just my thoughts.

  33. Just work is right. Im not a computer geek. I just use the computer to get my day to day work done. I switched to ubuntu and find it working for my needs. However I do find myself going to forums to fix the printer, scanner, dual monitor, etc… I would really like to see this stuff work right from the start.

  34. Hi I feel everything here is important but i feel the biggest hurdle is people giving up native windows apps. I know you can fire up a new os in virtual box but that is not an answer. I have tried several apps in wine and they have not worked or have not worked right. if there was a windows (application) emulator?? that could quickly, flawlessly and intuitively run all windows app…I think microsoft would be in real real trouble on the desktop. till that day linux will be something neat that your rank and file computer user will not consider, no matter how easy or good of a gui it has.

  35. I totally agree with this article, I have been using 8.04 now for a couple of years and it has 99% of most of the features I need. There is no doubt Ubuntu is great, but those little problems that could be ironed out take away from the user experience and to be honest productivity.

    It would be great there were a survey to ask the question to the user base, that way Canonical could see what the user base though was important – features/stability+hardware integration

  36. i think ubuntu is the best, and the probelems being faced by its users is not its fault at all, i mean its losing only because the software’s available in the market traditionaly prefer windows or mac, its rare that they focus more on linux based os. And them comes the shity software by the hardware manufactures’ i think they try to make the most useless and windows oriented drivers they can make

  37. The biggest problem with Ubuntu is lacking drivers and this is the fault of hardware manufacturers, as everybody knows. This problem will stay without a solution as long as the usage of Linux stays at 5% roughly. Therefore it is very necessary if all of us try to increase the usage of Ubuntu. There is really no excuse to not upgrade to Ubuntu because there are plenty of open source programs running under Linux for every application, with a very small exceptions. And, to run these exceptions under Ubuntu –> Virtualbox is very very easy. The new-comers to Ubuntu may pay a rather small money for Ubuntu competible hardware only one time, instead of paying a lot of money for other OS and software, almost continuously.

  38. For me stability and reliable working is much more imporant than new features.

    Hoping that LTS-versions would receive more attention on reliability and correctness. The Mid-versions could and new features and some of them could be backported (unsopported) to LTS.

  39. Hi. I use winXP at home, ubuntu 9.04 at work. I installed Xubuntu 9.10 at home (I like xfce, really fast) and I agree with this post, I think recognizing more hardware would be GREAT. But not only that, I think we need more software, i.e. winamp in winXP.. in ubuntu you have too many choices. Soft like video-editing, autocad, etc… I think we have to wait for more software in linux

  40. I think that the focus Canonical has is correct:
    – New Features on normal releases because yes, we need them. Because Ubuntu is almost never pre-installed, you need to convince the users that Ubuntu does the same than Windows or MacOS, and much more
    – NO new features on LTS releases, because stability is the purpose. It should integrate all the stable/highly-tested features of the previous normal releases

  41. Yes, I agree that 10.04 should be (mainly) a bug fix release. 9.10 wasn’t a big success from scratch: there were some sharp edges that were discovered only after the official release. That’s a shame! Just try to imagine someone seriously wanting to use Linux instead of Windows and trying the latest (officially promoted by Ubuntu.com website) version and instantly running into troubles.

    10.04 should be all about stability.

    On the other hand what is still missing in Ubuntu is a clear concept. What does a desktop operating system need to be?

    Sure, email, internetbrowser, word processor and spreadsheet are the most important things. But guess how many users out there have a video camera and/or a photo camera. What kind of software does Ubuntu deliver out of the box for these tasks? Nothing (serious) at all! What is needed is a digital video-editor and a photo program that helps to make photo slide shows on DVD (like ManDVD).

    This could really make a difference for all folks out there trying Ubuntu for the first time. Wouldn’t it be nice they instantly get a complete (multimedia) desktop experience?

    This said: 10.04 should be about bug fixes. On the other hand I strongly suggest that Ubuntu/Cannonical rethinks what the needs are of 99 percent of computer desktop users.

  42. I would agree if they included all the hardware fixes much more people would install/use/andstick with the os. My hardware was fine besides the fact that my touch screen had some issues i just looked on the forums and found some people were unable to find a solution some did but most of the comments said it didnt work for them so hoped on ubuntu and made my own fixes. —- computer(shuttle x50—)I would have to agree alot of people would use it if it had increased hardware support 10.04 for sure increased the amout of hardware supported but we need 100% full support 0 issues is whats needed also a 1 click app like apple has would be good so installing is easy just goes into the applications folder.

  43. I totally agree that at some point Canonical should stop for one release and just integrate the hundreds of user-generated tweaks and fixes that have accumulated over the years. It would not be enough time to fix them all, naturally, but like you said, if the amount of things that “just worked” out of the box doubled, Microsoft, whose one strong point right now is having everything supposedly “just work”, will be completely obsolete. It would be great.

    It is probably far too late for 10.04 to do that, but here’s hoping 11.04 does!

  44. i think one of the biggest problems that people fail to discuss about linux is the problematic freeware that is often packaged in. sure, driver support is a big deal, but it’s always going to be an issue in every OS–including OS-X, MS, and whatever linux has to offer at any given time, so to discuss it at any length is almost pointless. after all, my floppy drive hasn’t worked since at least two releases ago. floppy drive you ask? who uses floppy drives anymore? try burning a bootable utility like western digitals datalifeguard utility using a SATA burner and see what happens. your disk is likely to fail. rather than chase down an IDE burner, why not use the floppy drive? that’s a great idea, if it only worked. i had to boot up XP to make this stupid little floppy, but it worked. this tells me that hardware support is a concern for the linux community, but some things i guess they just don’t care about anymore. i’ve posted on several forums, because this is not just a problem with ubuntu or downstream distros. it’s all over the place. but driver issues aside–what kills me is the multiplicity of media players that the opensource community puts out that just don’t work consistently. i suppose it’s nice to have a choice, so that if one crashes you have another to try, and in many cases something will work. but one person says vlc is the best, another says mplayer is the best. both have crashed miserably for me, depending on what i ask either of them to do. but windows media player just works. quicktime just works. and with the upgrades that eventually make there way out, more media formats are playable with those players. this is just one example of the crap that seems to get compiled into various distributions. pclinuxOS has a more reasonable approach with the rolling release idea, but they are plagued with freeware gremlins just the same. pclinuxOS works extremely well out of the box, but again, you have a boat-load of little utilities, and other software choices that in theory, all should work. but you may have to run the gambit to find one that works for a particular format. don’t get me wrong. i thoroughly enjoy what the linux community has to offer, and each release improves in some way, but they aren’t even close to stepping on the shoe laces of MS, let alone crushing them. it boils down to a personal choice. are you willing to give bill gates more money to have an OS that takes several hours to install, but works? and if it doesn’t work immediately, it’s easy enough for a caveman to fix? or are you satisfied with great out of the box performance that many linux distros give you for free, but still require some work by the end user? their are people who get tired of hearing that because linux is free, it is going to have issues. i was one of those people, but i’ve resolved myself to that truth. yes, canonical may have plent of financial resources, but there is more to the OS than then the kernel. all the other software that’s need to making computing fun needs to work consistently, and as the linux community relies on every tom, dick and harry to provide freeware for the things we need to do, it’s always going to be a hodgepodge of things compiled into the latest releases. some crap, some gold. that’s the way it is. i mentioned pclinuxOS earlier in this dissertation. there is no such thing as a distro-hopper stopper in my book. draklive installer stinks IMO. you can really screw something up bad if your not careful. ubiquity works just fine for me.

  45. Good Evening .. I See You

    Avatar has been out for a month. We all feel refreshed and empowered once again. As I watched the movie I felt so positive and good.

    Ubuntu Gold CS ..

    Everyone is thinking .. ????

    There is no need for a six month release cycle. It is a miracle that Ubuntu is as damn good as it is ..

    Is everyone sitting down. Try this on for size. Just before Christmas, Canonical releases a
    truly sleek and smooth version of Ubuntu (the Droid of distros).

    Ubuntu Gold CS

    Rather than release 10.04 in April, Mark and the team decide to slow down. An RPC is sent out to the Linux Community ..

    How can we make the next release of Ubuntu the very best that it can be. The CS is Client/Server. Both sides of Ubuntu on one DVD.

    She must be elegant and easy to use. Ask the users. What must we do? The next release should take the user’s breath away. It should let us fly and soar. Something new and exciting.

    See what Avatar has done for me ..

    Ubuntu Gold CS .. I See You

  46. I pretty much agree that canonical has to work on solutions and improvements in stead of bringing on a new release every six months.
    I’m using Ubuntu for almost three years now and think it’s a much better distro than Windows. The only annoying thing I come accross is when installing an upgrade every time I run into new problems. Because I’m not a newbie, I will always find a solution. But don’t get me wrong, if people are leaving windows for ubuntu, they’re really not waiting for things not to work and sort it out. If canonical works on this issue, they will have the best distro you can get out there.
    I really want to put a statement with this comment because I think Ubuntu can be the best distro worldwide.

  47. Good article.

    You may be right (who knows?). But let me expose my point-of-view (If my english is good enough).

    I’ve been using Ubuntu for three years, and I tell you, since 9.04 it became enough stable for us, and through the years all of our almost-old-pcs hardwares we have in our small business just started to work when new Ubuntu versions came out.

    So, in my humble opinion the new features are not a barrier for bug-fixes and hardware-drivers improvements. Our Ubuntu experience told us that.

    Anyway, it’s probably that a fix-only release will be able to acelerate Ubuntu’s stability, but there’s a cost for that. Ubuntu have drawn many and many users because of its ability to offer a periodic new friendly features with a good stability.

    This formula is just working.

    But, I may be wrong (who knows?).

  48. Im with you :),im just normal user who don’t know what is Linux and what is GNU-Linux, i use gnu-UbuntoSaurus who is very stable and who is like mirror every new system or release, he work fine so
    why change and change change we consummate energy,time for nothing
    Ubuntu 4.10 = 10.04 i don’t understand this
    it is mirror or what ;) please vorrei una risposta :) some reponse. On imaggine la terre (hardware international “free”)
    imagginiamo che want do some mais
    and we have everything for cultivate the korn e allora coltiviamo questo mais dodje sam
    Korn (software) its example multilanguage :) melange if in one os we mescoliamo pomijesamo jezik linguaggio langues (6 languages)zajedno, IF Z=la,A=ng,J=u,E=a,D=g,N=e,O=s THEN linguaggio don’t exist OR .
    someone can think we are crazy but
    mind is weard etrange.
    have a nice day and we are with you.

  49. To ignore the LT view and goal of Ubuntu will leave you asking the very question you asked today. Your major oversight is that Ubuntu is looking at itself in 5-years or 10-years, and not 6-months from now.

    The 6-month release cycle causes my head to spin. But, my first experience with Ubuntu was 8.10 and I hated it with a passion. Not much worked on my system at all. I gave up, but was still interested in Linux. I researched and found openSUSE and I was in love. The problem was that the releases were unpredictable, and the forums were toxic. I didn’t have any idea when there would be a new release, or what that would entail. My friend was unaware of the 9.04 release, so I told him to upgrade so I could see what had happened with Ubuntu since I had months prior “dumped” it off my system. I was really surprised at how elegant it was and how seemingly stable it was. I decided to give it another try, and I was more in love with Ubuntu 9.04 than openSUSE 11.1.

    I was very excited to think how much more could be done in 9.10, but have been disappointed in it tremendously. There are some great new security features, but to my mind it suffered some regressions. I was not too happy with the less featured Empathy IM client versus Pidgin. Granted Empathy is GNOME default, but why the sudden change? For the “vaunted” telepathy framework? For libpurple? I realized then that Ubuntu is moving toward a larger vision. 94% of the market is Microsoft, almost 6% of the market is Mac, and the remaining bits are Linux, BSD, and probably some things of which I’ve never heard.

    The idea then is not to create the world’s greatest distro every 6-months, but to work toward a truly great one that people can’t help but smile at in 5 or 10-years. The vision is more LT than you’re giving it credit for. I do find it annoying that software like Firefox winds up being “pinned” to a target 6-months ago (which yes, there are workarounds–but none as easy as the repos or backports; and sometimes those don’t get the job done). On the other hand, I don’t want core regressions just to get the latest applications. It’s a bit of a catch-22.

    What I’ve personally done, is to move to the use of LTS releases (which necessitated a drop-back to 8.04 which I’m mostly very happy with) and the addition of backports and some PPAs to get the software I want. It’s a workable solution. I can see where you’re coming from in this article, but your missing the larger picture. Ubuntu will be ready for prime time when things like Flash Player, and media players work seemlessly. Most people out there just want to click a button and go to the web. There are plenty of people who couldn’t tell you what OS they use, they might tell you Windows and not have a clue what version. There are others who will say they’re not sure, but they think it’s Internet Explorer. And, frankly, we have a long way to go to reach anybody on that level anywhere. Even your average geek may still struggle a lot with Linux. I think it’s easy, but there’s a learning curve to it. Let’s keep our eyes on the LT goal, most people have never even heard of Linux which means we have time to make it a truly viable desktop OS as well as the Server OS of choice. The quality and security will eventually win some people over. Or maybe not being hassled by some convoluded issue with Microsoft because you needed to format your Hard Drive and do a reinstall, like myself?

  50. I am using Linux for several years. At work I see enough Win Workstations with enough trouble to get all hardware to run propper. Sometimes there is no solution from the hardware vendors. Probably some things on Ubuntu will not work but there is a central place to get help. MS says ask your vendor and the vendor says erverything is allright but nothing works.
    verybody has the right to choose if he wants to get help with his problems or sensless BlaBlaBla from MS.

  51. Ubuntu LTS was a real problem for me.
    My printer, my video card, my webcam didn’t work.(no one could get them working) Ubuntu 910, wow everything works now like a dream, and so much faster.
    It seems in the new releases they don’t just mess with your email ect but also tweek things for the better. heck if 8.1 is better then 9.10 then 3.1 is probably 10 times better. “Get over it, life goes on.”

  52. Here’s how I see a problem or two solved. No one seems to have patience anymore. (no offense meant. Just observations from an old man). Most folks want an “all or nothing package” (again—). How about a new version every 9mos. with update packages flashed to users for download to the OS. Yes, this would certainly mean at least some KDE, but we’re using it now for driver downloads, especially from ALSA. This would keep things up-to-date, maybe even ahead of the curve. Software makers in other places do this. Why not Ubuntu? New hardware and software gets released all the time and they tend to favor MS and Apple. But if Intel is hip to the situation as much as some of the office equipment makers (Canon, Epson, HP), it should not be a neck breaker to for the Ubuntu community to keep up.
    I’d like to add something else. As much as I adore Richard Stallman and FSF, I agree with Mark Adreesen that this is a commercial thing, regardless of what Steve “Ballmers!” of MS says Linux being “communist” and “evil”.
    Ubuntu is the server king right now, but the community should give a little bit- of more than its love. Sure, our brothers and sisters who are garbage picking poor should get this distro gratis, but I just think its fair we do something. do you know a charity called “Ubuntu for All” or something like that. I don’t. I’m on Social Security and I can buy from Canonical. I hope some of you do, too. Hey, want to start a software foundation? I’m there. Thanks for letting me chatter.

  53. That’s realyy an interesting idea! and i’d love to see that implemented in 10.04, but as u know, most of the laptop manufacturers use diferent hwares( grafic cards, sound cards, modems etc.) and so all these HW drivers should be available there for users..

    there is also another major problem with ubuntu, whenever u install the drivers for ATI or NVIDIA graphics card, it crashes on the next restart, so i’d love to see any solution, if u have that!

  54. (i didn’t read all the comments, probably this had been said already)

    i tried to install Windows 7 on my hp pavilion laptop. it all went well, only i had to intall some drivers myself. (amd drivers, quicklaunch buttons and many things that i found on the hp website. some drivers were not officially tested for windows 7)
    I think everything is working now, but it wasn’t that easy; certainly not easier then installing ubuntu. i wouldn’t advice my mum to install both ubuntu or windows 7 herself, ’cause she just can’t.
    i guess all we need is more companies selling laptops with ubuntu pre-installed, working out of the box.

  55. YES YES YES! HOLY man, you read my mind! In my opinion that is the only reason Ubuntu is still behind Apple and MS. I use to use it, but fixing little things got annoying and I’m using Windows 7 now. Perfect operating system and I bet it has something to do with the free RC version which got millions of people to test it out and find almost every single problem. Ubuntu has had this opportunity for a long long time yet its still behind. This thing u suggest should be done ASAP! Ubuntu has an army of people just waiting to report problems, why not fix them and let the users enjoy the experience?

  56. Great article, exactly right.
    8.04 is rock solid, 9.04 another rock solid.
    9.10 NO FLOPPY no internal floppy support and over time the CD might stop working, no media detected
    I hear 10.04 has the same problem, NO FLOPPY.
    The key to make it for Ubuntu is simple keep doing what worked in 8.04 and 9.04 and maybe make wifi just downright simple and you got it.

  57. I enjoyed this article but if you were to build these solutions, for each piece of hardware you’d end up with a very bulky operating system. One of the appeals that Linux has is that it can run much quicker and that if I’m ambitious enough, I can make it small enough only to handle my hardware. Unfortunately, 99% of users do not want to even at the least google there problem, let alone fix it by themselves! I get the feeling, a year after this article, that Ubuntu has done a great job integrating many of those fixes into the current release.

  58. Ubuntu has the best SECURITY, DESKTOP DECORATOR, FASTEST BOOTING.BUT what it lacks in ubuntu is the video and voice chat. If u are new to ubuntu, it would like take days for you to use it. Because it takes a lot of bleeding in order to works in ur own laptop. I don’t know why ubuntu doesn’t give an eye on it. They are ULTIMATE SERVER for CAMFROG CHAT, but CAMFROG doesn’t work with ubuntu.How unlikely is that? PIDGIN, EMPHATY and GYACHE they all sucks. If they could just fix that, surely i would totally switch to ubuntu and remove my Vmachine. Lastly, please don’t make compiz and aircrack works with windows.

  59. I know this article is 1 year old, but I am curious. I was always told by a couple of my friends (one of which is a computer engineer and the other a computer programmer) that Linux is more stable, faster etc etc. So I attempted to switch. I grabbed the most common, most stable, most “if it doesn’t work on this thing it doesn’t work” IBM NetVista pc. P4 2.4 gig with 256 ram. Not by any means a loaded machine but supposedly enough to run Ubuntu 9.10.
    It’s as slow as hell! Boots in what seems to be microseconds compared to any Windows machine, but after 5 minutes of surfing (using Opera or Firefox) it takes 60-90 seconds of hard drive crunching and grinding before the next command is carried out! Painfully slow.
    Just what kind of machine do I need to run 9.10 or 10.04??

  60. O.K. been using Unix since college early 80’s, Red Hat Linux late 90’s.
    (That stuff is irrelavent). Almost 2 years ago I purchased a dual-core box from DELL with Ubuntu 7.10 and it was very nifty. However, upgrading to Ubuntu 8.04 FAILED, nope, just a screen full of script. Dell’s Ubuntu support said “Sorry, it’s Ubuntu. I was pissed off! So it was 7.10 with Samba, SSH, DNSmasque, swappieness=5, etc., the nifty little dodads for Linux. Then 9.04 and that worked, it loaded, whoppee! Configured dual boot 7.10/9.04, hmmm. 9.10 released, upgraded the 9.04 with clean install. Even better and still looking good. No problems! Looking forward but no hurry to LTS 10.04. I LOVE LINUX…

  61. The six monthlies are proven to work and as ‘Bill’ (2nd reply) says ‘why should I wait?’
    The answer I’m trying to give is the official version too:-
    LTS/long term support.
    Yes these are for server-users but also they are for anyone who wants to stick with a release supported for 3 years.
    Regardless of this: you don’t have to upgrade until there is something you specifically need. eg ext4
    Developers need something to aim for. I always upgrade but I only upgrade my family’s PC’s/laptops when necessary.
    It is safer to wait until a few months after a release so any problems are ironed out.
    This way works well for everyone!

  62. i love ubuntu, but i have to agree. canonical needs to give some attention to the little bugs.sometimes even i find them a littly annoying, though by no means do i see myself abandoning it in any way. we must also remember that a lot of people’s way of approaching computers is brainwashed by windows and a few bugs on a new OS would practically intimidate and push people away. what a seasoned linux user finds ‘average’ or ‘stable’ is not the same as that of a real average user. just because we lxers may easily find our way around a problem doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a problem.
    the truth is, though ubuntu has these little imperfections, it has a lot more advantages over M$ or others which seem to be clouded by these inconveniences. if there’s a way for me to be a part of this movement or whatever pls tell me how i could get involved and count me in.

    p.s. i’m writing this comment with 15 days to go before 10.04 is released. i do recommend that we wait and see how it fares before judging it.

  63. Let me give you an outsider’s perspective. I’ve always been Windows user, but I love the concept of Linux and just installed Ubuntu 9.10.

    My ipod won’t sync. My network won’t connect. I can’t get printers to work. Installing some programs is ridiculously complicated (tar.gz, then…..what?).

    I’ve spent hours on forums, and yes, there are fixes, apparently, but none of them have worked for me so far. And I’m the computer guy all my friends come to, so it’s not an aptitude problem.

    I’ve already fallen for Ubuntu, and I will persevere. But when I read that Ubuntu spent the last 6 months moving the window controls from right to left and making Ubuntu more social, I wonder if they will ever reach their goal of replacing Windows.

    Now that we are this close to 10.04 release, your article certainly has proven to be prophetic. I hope someone listens to what you had to say.

  64. I appreciate the work everyone involved is doing, but seriously… Ubuntu keeps getting more and more buggy. Guys, if you ever want to fix bug #1 and get relevant marketshare, this is unacceptable.

    I’m starting to think that Canonical, despite their best intentions, does not have resources and manpower needed to pull it off. Why not get input from the community and work together on how we can fix that if that is the case? Cause after Windows 7 was released, I really can’t suggest Ubuntu to anybody and keep a straight face.

  65. On the ubuntu forum you can find the rant I gave when trying ubuntu 9.10 and, regretting it to say, the message written above and clearly referenced to from all over the internet, just acknowledges that I’m not alone in the world feeling this way.

    In the linked thread you can also read what the ubuntu forum community feels about this kind of comments (even tough not worded very friendly from my side).

    The reason why I ended up here is because I wanted to upgrade my ubuntu installation (10.04 isn’t in alpha anymore), at this moment I have a dual boot with windows 7, and (surprise) upgrading to 10.04 broke grub.
    (booting brought me to a grub rescue shell that didn’t do much more then displaying ‘unknown command’ for even ‘help’ or ‘quit’ or ‘exit’ or ‘halt’ (I don’t know or want to know how to shut down grub-rescue))

    Not being able to boot, at all, kinda pissed me off, primarily because I couldn’t boot into my windows system anymore, and, more importantly, because ‘human beeings’ don’t need to be able to fix a grub problem, ever!!!

    I followed instructions on an official ubuntu page updated 3 days ago with a 9.10 cd and relying on the output I guess my (configured) 9.10 has been replaced by a clean install of 9.10 but, hey, Windows boots and delivers every need I have, even being in the Linux world for a long, long time windows doesn’t seem to have much dificulty in doing so.

    (I recently encountered a .ps file, and I couldn’t get windows to read it properly, but am I willing to give up my 2 music programs just to read a document?
    -> NO!!!
    )

    Ubuntu is lucky that I have lots of space on this machine, the sole reason for it not being kicked off off my disk is because I don’t care enough to remove it.
    (just this rant and laying some links on the internet and I can go on with my life…)

    Of course I use quite some software of the open source community,
    and for some tasks I use the ubuntu I installed inside a virtual machine because for some administrator stuff I want to do on the Internet this stays a good system,
    but that doesn’t mean that I can rely solely on Ubuntu as full fleshed desktop system,
    there is a lot of great open source software for the windows platform,
    and the ‘complete’ open source solution Ubuntu offers just has holes that aren’t covered sufficiently to be such a full fleshed desktop system.

    When I want to set up a web server or ssh or scp some stuff around, I fire up the virtual machine, relax, enjoy the music free programs play on my stable windows 7 system and some time later I have the combination of the advantages of windows 7 and the few things that I still prefer to do in Linux.

    The reverse case, like I did on my Gentoo period: running windows inside linux doesn’t even come close.

    My opinion is that the ubuntu desktop days are over,
    Linux is a server oriented system and trying to do something that it is not intended to do, by all means, give up and walk away with your head up high in stead of try and try and ultimately fail miserably.

    Ubuntu (desktop) tried to measure up with windows 7 desktop and windows 7 won.
    Period.

    I don’t have a founded opinion on ubuntu server and windows server,
    when I want to run an instance on Amazon I choose lenny because I know how to set up a web server in 2 minutes with that system,
    I don’t have much experience in the server field and don’t intend to have much in the future but my guess is that ubuntu desktop is still nice for human beings interested in running apache but not human beings wanting to enjoy their music collection or like to play farmville (I confess :) like me.

    This is the place where ubuntu belongs: inside a system that does knows how to boot and is a platform that is as stable and secure as a desktop system needs to be.

    Not wanting to attract hackers to my system, people who still believe that a Linux system is not hackable might want to catch up with a few years of recent computer history…

    I’m aware that my system is not secure,
    but wanting to have a system that is not hackable is a choice in life,
    and although lot in my life revolves around computers (I have a masters degree in Informatics and work in ICT) having a unhackeable system is not what I live for…
    I want to use my computer,
    and not administer it any bit more then I strictly need to…

    Like a human being…
    I like to have the feeling that I control the computer,
    not that the computer controls me or my computing experience…

    Speaking of a (yet again) broken grub:

    6 months ago,
    I did more or less what I did now: relying on the automated ubuntu system to install and expect it to give a bootable system,
    getting disappointed I ranted,
    ultimately I solved the problem myself.

    what were my issues?
    -> ubuntu, beta so not stable but not alpha anymore, so tested to some extend, I suppose, leaves my system, after reboot, unbootable
    -> when trying to file a _extremely blocking_, in my opinion, bug, stumble upon the wall of the new bug tracking system
    -> rant about it, getting no understanding
    -> finally having to rely on my 10 years of Linux experience to solve an issue in a sytem ‘for human beings’

    Yesterday:

    what were my issues?
    -> ubuntu, beta so not stable but not alpha anymore, so tested to some extend, I suppose, leaves my system, after reboot, unbootable
    -> when trying to file a _extremely blocking_, in my opinion, bug, stumble upon the wall of the new bug tracking system
    (yes, I copy pasted these)
    -> not wanting to go to the same process previously, in stead posting this, where it belongs.

    Writing this post, and linking to this page from within the ubuntu forums will give a much stronger signal then trying to get into the impenetrable bug tracking system canonical set up from 9.10 onwards.

    They don’t seem to care anyways…

    Speaking of windows 7,
    in the old days the big issue was that windows tended to freeze from time to time.
    Linux being a system that didn’t crash was a real releave, but now having a system that doesn’t even want to boot is quite a bit more a pain in the ass.

    But, alas,
    people braging about how good Linux is, well,
    they really didn’t _try_ 7
    they don’t know what a good operating system _is_
    they
    live
    in
    the
    PAST!!!

    From systems like Gentoo you expected this kind of behavior,
    but just the fact that when I saw the ubuntu installation deleting kernels and installing grub gave me a chilly feeling,
    doesn’t say much about I trust I put in the upgrade from alpha to beta about the issue…

    In the Gentoo period the question was: how can I do everything I want to do without windows, in Linux
    now the question has become: How can I do everything I want to do without needing to boot into Linux…

    And, surprisely, this doesn’t seem to be all that hard at all…

    And, just like the message said, if they had the will to solve problems in stead of adding features this wouldn’t have happened and I wouldn’t have the following state of mind:

    Grub is fixed now, so I can boot my windows, there is an installation of ubuntu, 9.10, it overwrote my previous (configured) system but it is highly doubtfull it will ever be booted.
    Does my new ubuntu work?
    Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a darn.

    Well, heck, when I feel like it I’ll fire it up (‘for the first time’) and try to upgrade to 10.04, when it is officially released,
    _when I don’t have anything better to do_…
    period
    period
    period

    I paid for a windows 7 licence and now, 6 months and a new release of ubuntu later, I’m still happy for every buck I put down for it,
    this is more then can be said for _any_ operating system I ever ran, and I used more or less the double amount of distributions/windows versions then I have had girlfriends.
    I can safely brag about them here, because I doubt Maya, Imme, (what was her name), Laura, Barbara, Ann and Ellen will ever read this post :)

    Windows 7 is a fullier featured operating system then ubuntu 9.10,
    I don’t know about 10.04, but I’m not willing to do more any more administration task there,
    the time that I was happy configuring a new system has lost it’s appeal,
    certainly because you can do much more interesting things with a computer then setting your language or keyboard layout (again)
    because some nitwit wrote something in an official channel without caring enough to try it out first with the latest (stable) release.

    I like the windows approach: install once, boot everytime.

    When windows was in ‘beta’ (release candidate) I tried it, when it came out, I bought it,

    1 week and 1 day before the ’04’ in ‘Ubuntu 10.04’ totaly looses his meaning I upgrade and the darn thing doesn’t even boot,

    an issue I addressed 6 months ago and which quite some people in the ubuntu community noticed (I posted it on their darn forum and got plenty of reactions and votes on a poll, so I doubt they do that without _reading_ the post),

    but no one seems to care enough to communicate this problem to cannonical…

    I tried myself but didn’t got very far in their bright new shiny bug tracking system,

    what good is a bug tracking system if you can’t even _file_ a _blocking_ issue?

    their lose…

    It might sound strange, but looking back at the ad for windows when 7 came out:
    “I said … about Windows Vista and they changed it in Windows 7, I guess I really matter”.
    this, translated into the current situation, gives:
    “I said (it didn’t boot) about Ubuntu 9.10 and they didn’t change it in 10.04, I guess I don’t matter at all.”

    Ok, enough pessimism for one night, great post, I hope canonical isn’t deaf enough to not hear it…

    Ubuntu desktop is dead, long live windows 7.
    Ubuntu server is dead, long live Debian.

    S.

  66. Guys, Its almost time, Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx is almost upon us! well it is! but its three more days…
    I want to know the author’s updated views and opinions and
    Gotta say…I love everything about linux. The passionate community, the awesome minds and the incredibly intellectual debates and conversations just keeps me in awe of what a world we live in.

    Tanner! give us your thoughts and ideas…and Well…all u guys as well..Loved the article.

  67. I upgraded to the beta version (or is it alpha 2) of Ubuntu 10.04 the other day, seamless and without any hickups. I’m looking forward to using it after the official release. Will you update the article after having a look at it yourself?

  68. I am always quite tempted in installing the newest Ubuntu and then take it off for another distro (in general Fedora). My favourite Ubuntu was Hardy Heron and in due case was always looking forwards to the next LTS release. I installed 10.04 beta recently and it is beautiful however, to me the most complete desktop operation system must be Opensuse.

  69. @XANDER TWEETAERT
    I’ve got to say – that’s one of the longest, most convoluted, circuitous and pointless posts I’ve ever read. You could have just said “I’m not a beta user, but installed the beta and it broke my machine!”

    If you’re not capable of dealing with issues like this, you shouldn’t be installing Alphas or Betas – wait for the release or even the LTS. Besides the grub issue was documented; perhaps some research may have helped?

    If you don’t like Ubuntu, then that’s fine, personally I don’t care if you do or not.

    Like most people reading this, I love Linux. I started on Ubuntu, moved to Debian, Fedora and eventually back to Ubuntu on 9.10.

    Personally, I love it. I’m not bashing anyone (including Microsoft), but I will say that it’s so easy to install software on Ubuntu (including repos with the PPA system), that I forget how annoying it can be on a Windows machine.

    Both my home machines and my work laptop all run a Linux distro, I don’t have stability issues (except my laptop which I use to install Alphas and Betas, but then that’s expected) and I love the regular new features.

    Linux is not a server-only operating system; it’s an excellent desktop OS, it’s just not suited to all users just yet.

    Anyway, apologies for the long post!

  70. Dude sometimes I just don’t get Ubuntu, because it is just crap with their marketing.

    I love Ubuntu, don’t get me wrong, but:

    1. Installing to USB the USB Creator doesn’t work and thrashes my USB, so now I have to go do Gparted and Unetbootin. Way to get those new users to use Ubuntu. It took me 2 hours just to get the thing on USB. So why put it on the first page use usb creator, when it so buggy. That is just plain stupid and losing customers.
    2. Empathy OMG WTF!?!?!? Can’t sign in to any of the given accounts, and this is what your advertising. I don’t care if it is Open Source. If you release a stable release and market this as one of its assets, AND IT DOESN”T WORK. What are you thinking then as Ubuntu!?!?

  71. Simple solution — LTS Releases upgrade button should say “Upgrade (for general public)” all other releases should say “geeks only”

    This comment is not to be taken too seriously ….

    I do agree with most replies here…Don’t upgrade right away. On the other hand, even my mom (the worlds dumbest computer user (formerly)) is starting to use the command line (following instructions on-line).

    If your too lazy to Google it then don’t upgrade…

    PS My mom just installed a network printer connected to an XP machine on 10.04.

  72. I’m for Darwinism: evolution, not Revolution. No more release karnevals. Give programmers time to fix their programs on their own speed and test them as beta releases. Move them to official repos when they are ready.
    Build a web tree for program documentation so that all the documentation and faq can be found following the version numbers.
    Open a Linux Documentation Project, which writes down easy-to-follow guidelines for documentation. Take care that all the programs in official repos have an officially accepted documentation. Use an official stamp system to tell the stage of the program to the users: beta, rc, ready.

  73. Ubuntu……thats all there is

    ive been on the IT industry for 20 years and spent half of it under the shadow of microsoft… then i was introduced to debian,fedora,suse and finally stumbled on ubuntu and been using ubuntu eversince… i really cant complain much for some inconsistency, which by the way are not impossible to solve … for those years i have been with microsoft.. i have spent alot(dont ask how much…) for softwares and stuff… eversince ive been with linux… i forgot how to reach into my pocket to pay for a software i need….. so everytime i see forums and post about someone.. complaining.. it just really doesnt get me at all… i mean its FREAK’N FREE for crying out loud… give the developers and break will ya…. shesshhhhh!

  74. I have found this too late. I just got the 10.04 and it is aggrivating and heart breaking to see how Ubuntu has taken a turn for the worse.

  75. I have been using Ubuntu for a couple of years. Just tried 10.04 and it’s one word: horrible. I immediately switched back to 9.04 — I did the same thing when I tried 9.10. Considering now trashing Ubuntu and turning to Scientific Linux.

  76. Well, hey, just as a counterpoint… I upgrade two systems (one 8.04, one 9.10) to 10.04, and they’re both running great. There’s not any huge difference I see vs. 9.10, but I still appreciate the updated versions of software, bug fixes, etc.

    I use Windows 7 as well, and I’d admit that, yeah, Windows 7 has a bit more polish and is often friendlier. I really don’t begrude Microsoft their licensing fees — for me, Windows 7 is worth the asking price and I can afford it, so I’ll keep running both for the foreseeable future. On the other hand, maybe people aren’t so lucky, and for them Ubuntu 10.04 and the entire free software movement is an incredible resource that I wouldn’t want to see wither up and die either.

  77. Couldn’t agree more,i’m trying to move away from windows so i thought i’d give the “best”? distro a try.
    After downloading and installing(10.04) i get to the boot screen to find something about “gconf-sanity-check-2 exited with status 256”.As a non computer geek(no offence) i am lost already.Now i have the problem of getting rid of the untidy boot option screen or at least setting windows as the default.Maybe i’ll try again in 6 months.Maybe….

  78. I know this is an old thread but thought I would add my opinion.
    The one area that I believe scares most people away from Ubuntu is the Wireless Nic support, or rather lack of support.

    with Verison 9.10 most of my Linksys wireless USB devices worked right from start up. This was the only version where i did not have to spend endless hours searching through forum after forum to find a solution that I could understand and apply myself.

    Wireless devices are on the climb, i would think that to win over more users, Ubuntu would need to focus on driver resolves, either plug-play or something simpler then needing a technology-geek translator to help ou understand things that most Linux geeks have committed to memory and thereby assume everyone has the insight and knowledge that they do.
    So when a novice reads a post on building a kernel specific driver for a wireless device, the sound of Charlie Brown’s teacher voice enters they brain.
    Woant-woant, woant-woant-woant!

    I work on computers all the time, mostly windows bases OS, but Have been trying really hard to understand Linux, especially Ubuntu. But can’t seem to get the understanding of how to update and build drivers.

    1. But can’t seem to get the understanding of how to update and build drivers.

      Here’s how:

      1. Point fingers at the hardware manufacturer for not supporting less than 1 percent of the user base.

      2. Belittle anyone who needs said driver, preferably calling them a moron for needing it, and suggest some obscure alternative which really doesn’t address the problem.

      3. If after spending countless thousands in manhours/dollars, go to store and buy Windows 7.

  79. I quitly share the line with blogger. I’m still using Jaunty, but going to move to Lucid within a few days. I skipped Karmic, because support for Nokia CS-15 netstick was removed. I was shocked. It wasn’t an improvment at all. Karmic seemed otherwise pretty good. Yes, it seemed. They could have put more effort putting in more bug fixes and hw-support plus keeping other hw still working.

    Ubuntu has always been my fav Linux distro, but there have been some bugs, which have irritated me, and it has seemed like they have never got fixed.

    Other issue, which bothers every Linux distro is the sound architecture. They really should do something about it. Canonical could lead the way. We don’t need Alsa, Pulseaudio, or any other broken systems anymore. We should look for one architecture, OSSv4 and make it universal. That is something which really would shock MS users, since that is one of the biggest issues which bothers and prevents professional users in Linux/using Linux.

  80. MS have a very bad habit of releasing their new os before it is actually finished, finished as in, that is actually does work flawlessly and that you are not restricted by what haredware and other software you can use on it. And still all for a fantastic rediculous and discriminating price.

    It appears that linux also follows this very odd and stupid rule of thumb! It does not cost you in money but it certainly does cost in time, (and sadley time is money) As business gurus will often tell new business people, “Dare to be different!” An ideal where being different and doing things differently thus making you produce better, can give you the edge over competition.

    linux used to be like this in the old days, but looks to be following the competition a little just so that it can keep up. there was a time the competition would rip off its ideas from linux, still does from time to time.

    Linux needs to remain the trend setter – it has done very well with its recent flavours ubuntu in particular. But it must not lose sight of its original vision.

    Yes it must continue to be user friendly and it needs to be properly finished and tested before release. so more time must be the answer. It also needs to be dinamicly different from MS & Mac (wouldn’t it be brilliant that linux could do somthing amazingly different and just what everyone would want and need that no other os could.) it is almost there with that one with its own fileing system.
    that fact that you dont get viruses and you dont need to defrage is such a blessing, but what else?

    How many of us would build and install and os that was like the computer from out of the film Iron man, Just an idea!
    but how cool would that be. if you want to crush windows, that would be a good place to start, AI and hologram graphics. And it was all still for free. your own personal jarvis ….. Jane, Brad, Susan -who ever, take your pick.
    And because of this free comunity and with this os – you never know, it could be the salvation of the world economy.
    If you give, you will recieve, you reap what you sow and all that.

    Ok, Perhaps to ahead of myself for some. But if linux is to have the edge, it must be dinamicly different and work on any peace of hardware in the most simpliest way.
    In general, every one knows they do not enjoy something that gets too technical even if it is not for some it will always be so for others, (this would be the main crunch point) These people would be the turning point for linx success over MS. If they were to have an os they know and are confident that they wont be able to cock it up.
    Anything that becomes over technical for anyone is a recipe for disaster, simplicity is alway best and its what every one wants, anything for an easy life. Linux deserves to be and should be the first and only to do this.

  81. When things are offered to you for free and access to all the repositories are free I tend to be happy with what I get. The main problem with Linux in general is that people don’t want to put the time in to learn a new operating system. In 2003 I decided I was done with Microsoft when they decided that I had to phone in to activate windows because I changed hardware too many times. Now I get so frustrated when I used windows because I get spoiled with Linux, Ubuntu in particlar, that I just don’t have patience with Windows anymore. Once you learn Ubuntu you can’t imagine using anything else, but it takes a few months to learn. I don’t even care about certain web plugins that don’t work 100% because the other stuff that ubuntu offers outways the fact that flash sometimes craps out. Besides that HTML 5 will be out so and flash and most other plugins will be history. My main point is that its free and it works better than the MS software, so who am I to make demands?

  82. .Net > 3.5 with GUI support. Gotta have a critical Clickonce app. Why run a vm just for one app. I’ll just run XP.

  83. Open Office

    I am completely agree with you that ubuntu is concentrating on GUI rather that its available hardware problems.

    But One point I also want to share with you is: Since third year of my B.E. I am using UBUNTU only, but only for MICROSOFT OFFICE I have installed windows xp on my laptop, I dont like to use wine or any other application which allows me to use any MS application. Open Office is good but not as simple and full features like MS-OFFICE.

    By this portal I would like to suggest UBUNTU or CANONICAL society to build their own OFFICE application like MS-OFFICE rather than using open office, and if they really like open office then they should make it as intelligent as MS-OFFICE, I guess this improvement will accelerate the use of LINUX instead windows.

    For me UBUNTU is the best operating system all over….

    Thank you.

  84. You are dead on. I have 4 computers. My main computer is XP only. The other 3 are dual boots with XP and Ubuntu. I have not gone to totally to Ubuntu, or Linux, for 2 reasons.

    One is that the hardware problems I had with Ubuntu 8.04 are still problems in 10.04. I have one computer with 8.04, one with 9.10, and 1 with 10.04.

    I realize that this is the hardware manufacturers fault. But I have problems with all 3 computers that run Ubuntu. The problems are bad enough to keep me running XP only on the main computer.

    I had hoped that 10.04 would solve some of my problems, but it only created more with Grub2.

    The 2nd reason is some of the software I run under XP will not run on Linux – and there is no equivalent. I will continue to use Linux for what I can, but I don’t know if that will mean Ubuntu or some other distribution.

  85. I agree with the article.Ubuntu only needs a few tweaks to make it much better.i am in the it industry in South-Africa where most people and businesses are using Windows for small reasons.like no need to mount stuff in windows they just pick up and always the guys that keep on moaning that Linux is free and MS you have to pay for really its getting old.if Linux can maybe get a little more gaming friendly i think it will help a lot.I’m currently using ubuntu 10.04 and think it great.all im saying is look at why users still pay for windows when Ubuntu is free and use it against them.

  86. A hello to everybody who visits and visited this blog/site, whatever.

    I’ll make my point: YES, I agree. To the most of it that is. When and where is the petition? I just changed on my oldest machine (approx 4 years) to Ubuntu 10.04. On another newer and much better desktop I already worked with 9.04, upgraded from 8.04. I installed the 8.04 about 6 month’s ago, with a little help of my friends. Worked fine except for Nvdia, can’t we ban them? :(. But alright, it worked, I got curious and after that enthusiastic, especially, in first instance through the huge amount of add-ons, add-ins and plug-ins. But also, in the mean time I got to understand the idea behind the whole “freesource, freeware, free-everything”. I like the thought of that. AND I hate the privacy grabbing guys!! So I upgraded the first machine to ultimately 9.04, somewhere in February this year, with a bunch of problems, but ok “I’m a newby I thought”, don´t even know much about M$XP-iry, so why complain about a bit of work, probably self-instigated, I thought. So happy ever after…….. On my old machine I still worked with XP, but not really satisfactory, everybody seems to forget that, when you’re not a geek (nothing wrong with geeks, they are of great help) things can go wrong in windows too. The way I structure my life and day’s are a bit out of the ordinary, so it would be very convenient when all machines worked on the same OS, for a couple of years, linked and synced (not to mention the Palm’s). Not meaning that I wouldn’t update and play with add-ons etc. anymore, but no upgrading, at least not to 10.10. That I already had in mind!!
    And, how did I know. I said before, I ‘m not a computer-wizard, but I’m no, well I wasn’t, a loony or a fool. The lunatic I’m still not, but a fool I am! I never ever should’ve started with this operation, first on the newest machine, thought it worked, then on my older one and now on a notebook, could not stop now anymore. The idea was to link (VPN PPTP) and sync them all, including the agenda of my girlfriend which can come in handy. I wish I never started, I’m busy allmost 2 weeks now, and encountered all there’s in the book (internet that is). I’ll spare you the whole bunch, but I came across this site because I was looking for the sanity check 256 (.ICEauthority). It could not be more appropriate. I need to be checked on that indeed. The others problems had partly to do with old matters, I encountered before, as stated here in this blog as well, in the previous releases. I really know; it ‘s not long ago I installed those. The strange thing is, one can’t solve them in the same way anymore and they interact differently. I’ll mention nvdia again, upgrading is more of a hassle then a clean install, internet slowing down from 40GB up/50 GB down to 5 down and nothing up. Wireless gone. Installing apache2 inflicting with the generic part (while in a box). Twice working fine and then out of the sudden black screens. I’ll put my Live-CD in the save and even have a live version separate in a partition on WD Passport, that stopped communicating as well in 10.04 by the way. And more, much more…..
    And still I believe in it, but not for the money, you know what 2 weeks of my time cost, not to mention the sleep-deprivation. I believe in it because of the idea behind it all, but please Mr. Canonical, read some of the stuff on the Net, it’s there not just for fun, you may be proud of your community, but that only works when the base is solid. And it seems to me it’s moving towards directions nobody wants (Well Bill maybe, not to mention Google). When this here all works, then I’ve learned a lot, tanks for that, I’ll even read some more stuff, but for a next upgrade…… no thanks. Stability first please.

  87. I’ve used Ubuntu and I do like it. Right now I’m using Windows 7 and I like it too. You say “Why don’t you use Ubuntu?” OK, I’ll tell you. I don’t need all those apps that Ubuntu has and I don’t like all of them. I wish I had the option of choosing what I wanted the program to install and what not to install. I also have a bible study program that I’ve got over a grand tied up in. Linux doesn’t have anything that even comes close to it and I’m not giving it up. I’ve also got several other programs that won’t run on Linux and I absolutely hate that Wine crap. I could care less about Ubuntu making a box on the screen. I’m the type that likes everything to work. Oh I don’t mind doing a little tweaking but I don’t want to have to tweak everything. I also can’t stand that command line crap. Why can’t it have a simple but nice looking GUI that just works. I like the fact that it is impervious to viruses. If it wasn’t for these things I’d use Ubuntu. Thats my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

  88. This post is remarkably “after the fact” but I’ll put in my two kopecks.

    First of all, I will say that I heartily endorse the basic premise of this thread – that, ideally, Ubuntu (or any other distro for that matter), should work “out of the box” without a herculean effort to get things to work with it.

    My own basic premise about computers and the “mass market” is that they should become an “appliance” Like your toaster, microwave, or whatever; you should be able to turn them on, use them, and turn them off again without having to even think about the internals.

    The problem with this premise is that computers are, by definition, incredibly complex pieces of equipment. And, unfortunately, what people expect of their computers represents a very broad spectrum of possible uses. If your microwave was expected to meet such a disparate range of uses, it too would be as error-prone as computers are today.

    I divide computer users up into three very broad categories:
    Those that want computers to be an appliance.
    Those that use the computer as a tool.
    Those that use the computer as a “toy”.

    The appliance users want exactly that. You turn it on, click on a few icons, it does certain things, and you’re finished with it.

    The tool users understand that – as a tool – the computer will have it’s moments. Everyone who has used any tool more complicated than a hammer is used to having to change the bit or blade now and then to fit the task at hand, They understand that, sometimes, the bit or blade just breaks and that’s that. And, occasionally, they pick up a bit or blade that doesn’t fit the chuck or mandrel of their tool and they need to either adapt it some way, or get a different tool for that task.

    However, the tool users don’t care if the motor has brushes, is a synchronous AC motor, or is a variable speed DC motor using pulse-width, (duty cycling), as a way to control the motor’s speed. They want to be able to chuck-up the right bit and get to work. In essence they want it to be an appliance, but one that is more powerful and configurable in exchange for increased risk.

    The “toy” users are the ones who really want to “get under the hood” as it were – the 21st century equivalent to the ’60’s motor-heads who spent most of their time, and darn near all their pay, tinkering with their car to make it the baddest machine on the strip.

    These are the ones who want to experiment with different things, perhaps they do some coding or engage in test cycles. Or they get on blogs like this one and relate how things occurred to them.

    Windows – of whatever version – is primarily targeted to the first and second type of users. It’s like a ‘fridge. You can’t adapt it very much without using expensive tools that most people cannot afford or do not know how to use.

    Linux, on the other hand, is trying to embrace the entire spectrum of user models ranging from the appliance users to the users that like to tinker with it and get their hands dirty.

    And, I believe that this is a good thing. It’s kind-of like brainstorming, it appears chaotic but eventually becomes something really useful.

    IMHO, were I Canonical, I would strive to meet these ideals by doing certain things:
    1. Make the x.0 releases benchmark releases that focus on long-term stability at the expense of new whiz-bang features.
    These releases would be of primary use to those in the first two categories.

    2. Make the x.1 releases the more “experimental” releases where new features are introduced, (after, hopefully, enough beta time to make them reasonably usable).

    3. Periodically release a “stop-and-catch-our-breath” x.0 release – one which is not about new features at all, but about polishing up the stuff they already have.

    I would make similar suggestions about the repository organization. It is frightening to go into a “common” repository and see packages that have warnings that it can, and will, casually destroy your system unless you are used to Category-5 clean-room practices.

    For each of the broad categories of repositories, I would divide them up into three sections:
    1. Those packages that are virtually harmless – the standard utilities that people – even the appliance users – might need. Word processing, web browsing, e-mail, things like Skype (or an equivalent Open Source app), and so on. If you *REALLY* wanted to bork your box with one of these, you could, but you’d have to really work at it.

    2. The packages that are more specific to a particular task and might carry an increased risk of danger – like a buzz-saw carries an increased risk – but if intelligently used won’t hurt you. These would be the more “tool” like packages. Virtually all of the system-administration packages would fall into this category. With these there is a risk, and if the tool is used carelessly, it will hurt you, possibly badly. These tools can bork-up your box rather nastily if you are careless, but you’d have to be pretty damn careless to do it.

    3. The very specialized packages that are for a very particular need – or are possibly experimental releases carrying a vastly increased risk if not used very carefully – like a power-driver that uses .22 or .30 caliber loads to fire pins through solid steel or heavy concrete. These packages would be the kind that, if you really don’t know what you’re doing, you shouldn’t be here. These would be potentially powerful tools that, unless used *VERY CAREFULLY* and with a certain amount of forethought, will almost certainly bork your box.

    But by the same token, the “appliance” level user should have trouble even finding these. The tool and toy users would have, perhaps, a little less difficulty finding them. And anyone going into that section of the repository would be warned that – unless carefully used – these tools *will* cause harm.

    Right now, it is much too easy for an inexperienced user to – not knowing any better – download the .30-0-6 (magnum load) tool by mistake and end up with a box borked beyond any reasonable attempt at repair.

    The big issue with Linux, and why it generates so much controversy, is because of what it is, and the very broad spectrum of users that it tries to embrace without fault or favor. Windows can be sharply focused to a particular end. Linux, almost by definition, cannot be.

  89. I laughed my socks off at your last paragraph.

    Ubuntu 10.10 (netbook) recognises flash drives most but not all of the time. Remove a few files from the flash drive and it doesn’t recognise the extra space that should now be there till you plug it out and in a few times.

    Wireless drops out regularly – few mins after startup to an hour max. Computer has to be restarted before it will work again.

    Ubuntu recognises the partition in my hard drive (that exists because a failed ubuntu install left all but 3 gb of my hard drive stranded without an OS) but won’t let me transfer any files from one partition to the other. Delete files on the large section of the drive and it stubbornly reports 0 bytes free.

    Skype works ok-ish but amsn has inexplicably stopped providing webcam support, and it took me about two days to get it to work in the first place.

    Banshee won’t hold my music location in it’s memory and has to be told where to look for it on every restart. I assume this is something to do with all my music being stranded on the other side of my hard drive that ubuntu can’t manage.

    I’ve got a list of complaints like those that goes on for quite a while.

    My usb cd drive should arrive on monday and I can finally get this piece of shit excuse for an OS off my computer. I cannot wait. Never to have to look at that fucking terminal again. XP – all is forgiven……….

  90. What a refreshing article you are so correct
    If only one area could be improved is PRINTING — what a joke any printer will work on windows , but only old ones work on Linux
    When your old printer dies you cant just buy a new one you have to find one that has been around for six months to see if will work.
    I would be happy to pay a small amount to have printer drivers that actually work.The printing problem will make me go back to crappy windows….at least it generally works out of the box

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