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Thursday, April 4, 2013

A rant about Ubuntu, the OS that makes you appreciate Windows

There's a lot to love about Linux, but not so much to love about Ubuntu, at least not the more recent versions such as 12.10. One of the things to love about Linux is that it builds on its history. In other words, what you learned last year is still relevant this year. Perhaps my biggest complaint with Microsoft operating systems is that every few years, it seems you must toss out all you learned about, say Windows NT 4.0, and replace it with new information about, say Windows 2000 or Windows XP, or now Windows 8. The more I work with Ubuntu, the less it seems like Linux and the more it seems like Windows. Instead of embracing and working to improve the existing desktop environments of either Gnome or KDE, Ubuntu created Unity, a non-intuitive, non-functional weak excuse for a desktop environment. Not only that, but Ubuntu fights really hard to keep you from getting to a clean (no X) shell. Oh, it can be done, but it requires adventuring deep into Dante's inferno to get there. At least with Windows, when you update it, it doesn't usually break things beyond repair. I've spent the past 18 hours (minus 8 for sleeping) trying to fix a problem with the graphics drivers since I ran a routine upgrade to my new Ubuntu system. Just getting under the hood to a command prompt is a major undertaking in Ubuntu 12.10. I finally solved it after finding some obscure procedures on Igor Ljubuncic's blog ( (Igor, thank you so much!) Seriously? I'm now thinking about setting up my laptop with good, ol' CentOS 6 and Gnome or KDE. Arghhhhhh! Even Slackware is easier to administer than Ubuntu. (I'm resisting the urge to come up with smarmy sounding names for it!)

Ubuntu team, I wonder if anyone is giving any thought to simplicity and ease of use for sys admins or is it all about promoting the Unity desktop at any cost?


Asterix said...

I don't care for Unity--I actually miss the old Gnome2 shell.

I've installed the Lubuntu distro instead, which uses the LXDE environment. Much simpler and cleaner than Unity. There's also Xubuntu, which uses the XFCE environment, which I like slightly less than LXDE.

Asterix said...

I hated Unity as well (I miss gnome3!)

But not all is lost--I use the lubuntu distro, which uses LXDE. There's also xubuntu, which uses XFCE. Both are, in my opnion, better alternatives.

Simple is good.