Ubuntu Out, Debian Distros In

Got Ubuntu? Perish the thought! For the first time in Canonical’s history, Ubuntu 9.10 is going to be the distro that will live in infamy. No offense for Ubuntu fans but you have to hate things that really are. Linux Magazine got a litany of woes,  O’Reilly mentioned poor printing support, and Ubuntu earned the ire of one  Eeebuntu developer who dubbed Karmic Koala as “garbage salad“. And consider this: sound is working out of the box with Jaunty Jackalope but not with Ubuntu 9.10.

Ok, Canonical deserves the credit for putting Debian front and center among the Linux community. But like Microsoft’s much-maligned Windows Vista, Ubuntu 9.10 suffers the same treatment due in part to Canonical’s business of juggling its corporate agenda and its 6-month release cycle. It’s as if Canonical is in a rush of developing half-baked code while sacrificing sufficient testing from the community.

Christopher Smart is right in saying that

Canonical is not an open source company, they are just using free software to try and get a slice of the huge operating system market.

So what to do now? Windows 7 is great, Mac OS X is expensive. For those who don’t like to shell out some bucks, you’ve got a great distro like Linux Mint. This is what Ubuntu should have been. Or maybe, we should give Canonical the benefit of the doubt, one more chance. Until then, Linux still has a loooooooooong way to go as far as usability is concerned. The ordinary end-user wants a distro that simply works out of the box. Period.


One thought on “Ubuntu Out, Debian Distros In

  1. Agreed! One of the best-kept secrets in the Ubuntu community, though, is Xubuntu (the Xfce version). It is developed independently and has managed to avoid almost all of the buggy chaos that the Gnome (default) Ubuntu suffered. Xubuntu is Canonical’s “step child.” You can see it when you visit their ShipIt service and find that free CDs are available for Ubuntu and Kubuntu (the KDE version), but NOT Xubuntu! They had to make separate arrangements with another vendor (On-Disk.com). This “ugly step child” of Canonical has been superb for me, without the Gnome cruft that it used to have. Independent and far less buggy.

    +1 for Linux Mint, too. They repair and stabilize Ubuntu so it avoids many of the pitfalls as well.

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