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Ubuntu: Desktop Linux's Success Story 68

Johhny writes "What is it about Ubuntu that has enabled it to grow so much? This distribution has clearly built on Debian's success but it has more than a few other things going for it. Ubuntu has become one of the most popular versions of desktop Linux despite its many differences from some of the other popular versions out there, including its scheduled releases and its counterpart, Kubuntu. The article takes a look at this distribution and tries to find out how Ubuntu defied the odds. This article generated a really informative comments page at OSnews."
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Ubuntu: Desktop Linux's Success Story

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  • by Dr. Photo ( 640363 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @03:47AM (#14270447) Journal
    ... two hunters meet to discuss their predicament:

    Ubuntu: Did you hear that? They took my name and made a Linux distro out of it! It's time to sue!

    Jumanji: Hell yeah! That's what I've been saying all along!
  • Ease Of Use (Score:3, Informative)

    by zaguar ( 881743 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @03:51AM (#14270454)
    You want to know why Ubuntu succeeded. It's been said before, but I will say it again: ease of use.

    The major barriers affecting linux adoption on the desktop is hardware compatibility. Ubuntu is constantly pushing these barriers. Consider the example of wireless cards - often a problem are for linux. For both of these cards (DWL-G650 PCMCIA and DL-520 PCI) (both Atheros chipsets) were automatically detected in installation. And to configure them, it was a simple application (network-admin). While there are still areas for improvement (WPA with wpa_supplicant) Ubuntu is still a great desktop OS.

    And this is all without mentioning apt-get, the Ubuntu package tool. While using windows I constantly wish for the ease of use of apt-get. A simple apt-get update && apt-get upgrade is enough to update. I wish I could say the same for XP.

    • Re:Ease Of Use (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Erik Hensema ( 12898 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @06:57AM (#14270775) Homepage

      Well, Ubuntu certainly is not the first user friendly distro. IMHO it's not even the most user friendly distro. Suse has far better (and easier) systems management with Yast and Mandriva has been known for its friendly interface for years. In hardware support Ununtu doesn't seem to be the top of the crop either.

      It must be something else.

      I think the reason for Ubuntu's popularity is Debian. Debian always has been a distro with a large userbase, but it was never aimed at anybody except nerds. Dispite that Debian was used by a large number of 'normal users'. They al seem to have converted to Ubuntu now.

      Lots of ubuntu users I know are in fact ex-debian users. They're al very happy they found a polished debian distro (and rightfully so, Debian is rough round the edges).

      Also, I think Debian users are traditionally quite vocal. I think it's likely this has skewed the statistics in favour of Ubuntu (and Debian). Fact is: measuring market share of linux distributions is a very hard thing to do. I don't believe any stats unless random people on the streets are polled. Polls on the internet are always skewed since the people polled are people wanting to be polled. It's a consious decision to go and vote for your favorite distro.

      • Re:Ease Of Use (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Lussarn ( 105276 )
        I think you are wrong. The Gnome developers hard work is shining very bright through Ubuntu. It's very easy to use and the new Gnome mantra "less is more" is starting to bear fruit. Yast may be good but compared to the Ubuntu/Gnome control panels it's still very complex. I'm not saying they are not good or powerfull, just more complex than Gnome.

        I'm usually a commandline guy, have been on Gentoo for years and too complex GUI programs just scares me away, just as it would scare away new users without compute
      • I used SUSE until I found Ubuntu and you are right. System administration is easier in many respects in SUSE. Package management on the other hand is easier with Ubuntu using synaptic. Yast is easy enough but there simply are not enough packages, even with 3rd party repositories.

        What you are forgetting is that package management is virtually the only aspect of system administration that affects a desktop distribution. SUSE is plagued with the same bloated menu's that make most linux distros difficult to nav
    • My Ubuntu experience has actually worked with everything _but_ my Atheros 5212 card (Netgear WG311T), but that might be a result of the stupid 128 bit password generated WEP. Great, clean distro though, pity you can't get Kubuntu CDs from shipit. I even got my Mac-Nazi CLI-phobe friend to use Kubuntu.
    • You want to know why Ubuntu succeeded. It's been said before, but I will say it again: ease of use.

      It was also the first major distro effort to come along since large numbers of people started to sour on RedHat/Fedora. Ever wonder what happened to the Fedora rah-rah-sis-boombah crowd? They went to Ubuntu.

      I don't use either distro; I'm pleased as punch with Xandros which had robust hardware support (incl the first autofig for USB devices), usable PDC access, and common-sense printer support all in the GUI be
    • I would think (having installed it) that it's a mixture of good hardware support, easy install, and compactness. One CD to boot, and then it grabs the rest from the net. From a psychology standpoint, that's much better than alternatives such as SuSE (which I used for years and actually prefer), which require you to stand there and swap disks.

      Undoubtedly, the power-to-the-people ethos, and an easily pronouncible, yet abstract to most users, name, helps as well. Branding matters; think of Xerox, Kodak,
    • >The major barriers affecting linux adoption on the desktop is hardware compatibility.

      hell yes!

      >apt-get, the Ubuntu package tool

      well, that's there thanks to Debian, not ubuntu...

      >A simple apt-get update && apt-get upgrade is enough to update. I wish I could say the same for XP

      you don't have to do anything in XP to update... it will do it by itself if you enable it from the security center.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This article generated a really informative comments page at OSnews.

    I mean, c'mon, user-friendly Debian variants are all over the place, but that hasn't happened before!
  • by Mr.Progressive ( 812475 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @03:56AM (#14270471)
    I think the real success story here is the presence of an informative comments page at OSnews
  • by foszae ( 655528 ) <jules @ a l u m n i . s f> on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:15AM (#14270514) Homepage Journal
    One of the things that i think might have been a key to Ubuntu's success is the very fact that they didn't ship with the various multimedia libraries necessary. Yes it's all true that it installs easily on almost any hardware, and yes the chocolate coloured theme is quite pleasant. But i think there was a real magic trick to leaving out mp3's and avi's.

    let me put it this way: you get a fresh clean install and there's nothing at all to configure or fuss with. seems great but you can't play mp3's. hunh? it's a small thing, you can figure it out. so you go and do a little search at Ubuntu [] and they explain that it's not free. you're a newbie to linux and you don't understand how it's different here than on your windows box. so you drift over to GNU [] and do a little reading. maybe you learn about free-as-in-beer vs free-as-in-speech.

    then you go back to the friendly forums and find a nice step by step on how to add in extra repositories. wow, all this stuff is free, and hey look how much there is in the Universe, and then in the Multiverse. yoiks! this linux thing is amazing. and it's not so tough.

    and i think that might be the whole point. someone waltzing into a full distro with everything in the world (even a program that will time how long your tea steeps) is a lot more intimidating than most of us really think. and of course the exact same goes for a distro that you're compiling from scratch. if there is any single thing i think Ubuntu has going for it, it is that it gives you everything a complete OS really needs to have (office, web, photos) but somehow sneaks in just a small lesson here and there about what the linux world is really about. if your parents can read a help menu (and the Breezy Badger help is one of the best i've ever read) they can figure out those little things that will eventually convert them to being true penguin lovers for life
    • I never thought of that, but now that you put it like that, I agree.

      I'm a n00b to Linux (I've had Breezy for a month and a half), and that was indeed the first thing I ran into. Was it a pain in the ass that first time I had to figure out how apt-get works, and what a sources.list was? Sure it was.

      But only for half an hour or so, and I walked away from it, Immortal Technique blasting from my speakers, thinking "Hey, that wasn't so hard, and damn, but there's a lot of stuff in that Universe thingy!"
  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:21AM (#14270521) Journal
    If I look at the survey results it looks like a successfull distro must be free of charge (Suse and redhat free versions score slightly higher then their pay versions), binary and have a good package system?

    Debian scores higher then I expected and since debian is hardly cutting edge it must be because its package system is considered so good. I can only think that this is also the reason that gentoo actually is visible despite the fact that it is a beast (I use it myself so I know what I am talking about).

    It seems that the choice of software is less important. ubuntu is gnome by default (as far as I know) if you want kde it is called kubuntu and since in general KDE seems to be more popular (/me runs from an angry mob of Gnome fans + assorted fans from the gazzilion other desktops out there) it is odd to see a gnome distro score so high.

    Oh well good luck to them but lets not be too optimistic about this shall we? The survey was after all only asking wich linux distro people had installed with no option for NONE. Ubuntu having x more installs then suse means very little when you realize both are fighting over the table scraps left by MS.

    Although, IF the PS3 + HD addon does indeed have the capacity to run user choosen linux apps (IBM's own site reports that they ported it succesfully and it can run most PPC (mac) linux apps without modification) then we might see a huge potential market for linux being opened up. MS will probably not allow windows to run on the PS3 (although a sony spokesman did suggest that the cell should be able to run any OS) so that leaves the field right open (Apple has already declined to use the cell in its new computers) for linux.

    Can you imagine millions of living room desktop machines? Supercomputer linux. Droool. Oh and no driver problems since you will know EXACTLY what hardware is inside a PS3. The biggest handicap of linux (no drivers for every piece of crap hardware outthere) solved in a flash.

    Worth considering I think for any distro that wants to be handed a few million virgin computers with NO ms inside and a hardware maker that would love to shaft MS like it has never been shafted before.

    • by JanneM ( 7445 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:41AM (#14270565) Homepage
      It seems that the choice of software is less important. ubuntu is gnome by default (as far as I know) if you want kde it is called kubuntu and since in general KDE seems to be more popular (/me runs from an angry mob of Gnome fans + assorted fans from the gazzilion other desktops out there) it is odd to see a gnome distro score so high.

      Well, usually both Ubuntu and Redhat are very high on any use list; on distrowatch, Gnome-based distros have frequently been at the top. The vocal people - the ones that are very visible and audible - are a fairly small group, and not representative for the large group of users. You have to be both passionate and fairly knowledgeable to bother to vote or fill in survey results about such arcane things as the choice of desktop. Most people just don't care that strongly either way.

      And I think that is exactly what Ubuntu is getting right. Yes, apt is nice, the distro has a lot of spit and polish applied, and it has a wide and current selection of packages to choose from. But most important, Ubuntu is inclusive. People on the mailing lists and forums really _don't_care_ if you're running Gnome or KDE; or if you prefer Vi or EMACs, or ... People are all focused on making a nice system for you no matter what you happen to prefer. It's the idea that things should work well together, be cooperating, not competing.

      Since that attitude is fairly pervasive on everything from mailing lists to Wiki docs, people feel welcome, they feel appreciated. It's easy to get help because it's easy to _ask_ for help; you can feel nobody is going to call you an idiot for asking a dumb question. I think that is really what sets it apart and what makes it so popular.
      • by civilizedINTENSITY ( 45686 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @05:38AM (#14270658)
        I agree, and I think this is important and is often overlooked. Ubuntu people I've chatted with on IRC are among the most friendly and helpful people I've experienced online or off. This really matters, and it matters at least as much as, (and to a newbie, especially, quite a bit more than,) the technical merits behind differences between distros or desktops. I've always respected Debian, but I can't say I'll be going back to their IRC channels.
      • It's worth mentioning that I don't think the choice of apt is really what is behind Ubuntu's success. I suspect that including Synaptic alongside it was what tipped package management over the edge.

        The comfortable and painless transition from superuser to regular user is also essential. By requiring a regular user but making typical daily tasks involve a transparent trasition to super privs some of the greatest benefits of the working user and security model on linux come to life without the hassles or conf
    • Worth considering I think for any distro that wants to be handed a few million virgin computers with NO ms inside and a hardware maker that would love to shaft MS like it has never been shafted before.

      Sadly, Sony have blown it with the rootkit saga... I am now refusing to buy new Sony items, I will however buy secondhand... so will have to wait for some time before used PS3's come onto the market... :(

  • by scool ( 845419 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @05:56AM (#14270678) Homepage
    I've only been using linux for about two years and I recently switched over to Ubuntu (I used Fedora and Suse previously). At first the warm tones of the human theme and the gnome desktop threw me off, but now I quite like them, and even if I hadn't it's not hard to get around them. There are two reasons I prefer ubuntu:

    1.It is well thought out. Not only did I find ubuntu easy to setup the way I wanted it, but it had a lot of nice added touches like sound effects. The ubuntu website makes it pretty easy to get any information you need.

    2. What really appealed to me about linux in the first place was the idea of people freely helping and empowering one another, without being reliant, or not as directly reliant on corporate interests. Ubuntu seems to capture that spirit very nicely. I like the idea of a distro striving to be equally accessible to people of different regions and with differing physical abilities.

    That said, if they shot the three happy hugging people in the togetherness logos I wouldn't get upset.
  • Is it a success? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ninjeratu ( 794457 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @05:59AM (#14270682)
    Not trying to troll here, but is it really such a success? Compared to what? And based on what?
    Is it successful because of the number of downloads or ordered CDs? We all know that is not a very reliable measure of success. The number of searches on Google? The number of positive articles submitted on the web? Doesn't say anything about actual usage, as we all know.

    For most companies support is important. You can't afford to have a desktop no one can fix if something goes wrong. Which is why Xandros could be attractive to companies, or maybe Fedora/Red Hat/SuSE. Ubunto might be solid as a rock and work out-of-the-box, but I doubt companies would use it unless you have people that can support in in-house, or from a company (that you've actually heard of before). Which is basically why people use Windows. It "works" and you can easily get support if something goes wrong. And you've got Office. (Again something most people think is exclusive to Windows).

    As for users .. For most users "Linux" is just like "Windows", just more isoteric (read: difficult) .. but free. (Free is not always a good thing, remember that. Free means crappy and unsupported to some.) The distro names have no meaning to them, just like the difference between "Windows XP" and "Windows 2000" might be lost to them (except that they might know XP is newer than 2000, and newer means better .. right?). What is important to most is that they can read their mail, surf the web, write documents and play an occational game (raise your hand if you've heard of someone that don't like Linux because "games don't work").

    What it all boils down to is .. this "success story" seem an awful lot like preaching to the already converted. It's "successful" to a limited community. Just like Gentoo was "successful" a while back (and still is, except that no one's talking about it anymore). Next year something else will be "successful". And people will still use Windows .. :\

    (K)Ubunto is a nice distro. No need to hype it.

    • by Dan Ost ( 415913 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @10:35AM (#14271431)
      Just like Gentoo was "successful" a while back (and still is, except that no one's talking about it anymore)

      My theory on that is that there is a group of linux users that swarm to whatever is new and different and are very vocal about it. Gentoo was new and different for a while, now it's not and those users have left, leaving users who use Gentoo because it fits their need better than the alternatives. These users tend to be less vocal and so it appears that Gentoo has largely disappeared from slashdot/fark/whatever even though the gentoo community continues to grow (at least according to forum statistics, netcraft surveys, etc).

      It will be interesting to see if all the buzz surrounding Ubuntu lasts once it is no longer a novelty and the swarming users have moved on.
      • By the time the bloom has worn off of Breezy, Dapper will be in open beta. You'll see lots of articles about it. Then it will be released and you'll see more articles about it.

        And so on.

        It's the 6 month cycle that feeds the journalists' need for new material.
    • Re:Is it a success? (Score:3, Informative)

      by gi-tux ( 309771 )
      There is support. You can go to their website [] and click on the "Support" tab and then "Support Options" and then "Paid Technical Support" and see that you can purchase "commercial support" for ubuntu linux for Desktop or Server and two levels each. No this does not include on-site support but you really should have someone available to lay hands on the machine before you use any computer/OS combination.

      I can say that as a Linux user since 1993, that I like (K)Ubuntu. I find it a joy to use and I don't
    • You can't afford to have a desktop no one can fix if something goes wrong.

      I *can* afford to have a desktop "no one" can fix because I *can* fix it myself. That's what I love about Linux. And the effort to *fix* a problem with Ubuntu is minimal as far as I'm concerned so I have taken the stance that if a family member or friend takes my advice and installs Ubuntu then I will gladly help them with it when they have problems. But I don't have time to visit Mom every two or three weeks and remove spyware from W
    • The first rule of Gentoo is you don't talk about Gentoo...
      The second rule of Gentoo is you don't talk about Gentoo...

      I see a lot of new faces here tonight, which means a lot of you have been breaking the first two rules of Gentoo...
    • Which is basically why people use Windows. It "works" and you can easily get support if something goes wrong.

      Except that most companies changed over to windows long before their was widespread corporate support for it, when in fact it was one of the OSes with the least support. Dos/Windows became popular because it allowed employees freedom (freedom to install their own apps without going through IS) unlike the Mini/Mainframe systems.
  • I second to that (Score:3, Interesting)

    by owlman17 ( 871857 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @06:33AM (#14270737)
    Well, I second to everything for that matter. Ubuntu doesn't try to be too lean, or too optimized. (I've done LFS, btw.) Doesn't try to put every single app in the galaxy into 3-4 DVDs. It's just right, and it just works. I don't mean to be a flamebait (and I'd suppose this has been hovering at the backs of the minds of more than just a couple or people) but I guess it has captured that "Windows formula" and then some.

    Make everything fit on a CD, plus the essential stuff that'll run your PC. Plus don't give out too archaic, or too dumbed-down error messages.Make adding and removing programs a snap.

    I just love the Synaptic Package Manager. To Windows users, its like Critical updates on steroids. Like I said, everything just works, and everything's, convenient. That's the word I was looking for.
  • by 1369IC ( 935113 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:56AM (#14270903)

    It's sad to see an opinion piece based on a news story about a survey that doesn't really tell you anything concrete about what the opinion piece claims to be about. If you look at the survey, you see that only 50 percent of the respondents claim they have already deployed Linux on the desktop. The question about distros asks which distro they're considering or currently running. So there's a good chance half the people are doing rectal extrapolations based on what they've been mulling over after reading something somewhere in the mainstream media about easy-to-use versions of desktop Linux.

    And the survey choices can be questioned. They list quite a few distros, but don't have three -- Mepis, Slackware and Damn Small -- that have been in the Distrowatch top 10 for a while now.

    Worse, the guy who wrote the opinion piece goes out of his way to lump Kubuntu in with Ubuntu (which seems fair, given the Kubuntu respondents would probably pick Ubuntu), but doesn't lump the two versions of Suse and Red Hat together. Maybe he was put off by the fact Suse would have ended up with 60 percent of some imaginary number (seeing as respondents could apparently choose as many distros as they wanted) and beat out Ubuntu. I can see why they would want paid-versus-free information on the survey, but if you're doing an opinion piece strictly about popularity, I think you should lump them together.

    But popularity is the point. And the little note about the survey getting more attention in some communities than others is, I think, the telling point. I use Slackware and Ubuntu, and as somebody who lurks in both communities, my take is that Slackers are busy keeping to themselves, solving their own problems and doing stuff, while those Ubuntu guys set aside some time in their days for evangelism. They're everywhere, and they're apparently writing and voting all the while. Reminds me of when I was a Mac user and certain sites would link to online surveys to make sure the Mac platform wasn't left out. You could watch the numbers change as the word spread in the Mac community, skewing the results.

    So the article is air, and not even hot air at that. That said, I use Ubuntu on my laptop after getting several distros (Gentoo, Slackware, FreeBSD...) almost there (damn suspend and CPU frequency scaling). I popped in Ubuntu and everything worked out of the box. It's not my main machine, so it's the path of least resistance. And we all know how appealing that is to most people.

  • I believe it's so popular because of "shipit". I have received about 75 CD sets totally free from Ubuntu. I don't know of any other distro that'll ship you their OS for free(free shipping as well). They will ship you as many as you need.
    I like Ubuntu(Kubuntu rather because the first thing I do when I install Ubuntu is usually: apt-get install kubuntu-desktop) but currently I use Arch. More people should try Arch in my opinion. I've tried just about every major distro and Arch owns them all.
    I beginning to
    • I've used archlinux 0.7, everything worked in the begining, got my sip-phone working and the free version of turboprint for my canon printer.

      But then they upgraded alsa, oups, alsamixer was broken...
      I fixed this by creating my own package, but just a few days later a new package arrived which had a working alsamixer, to bad the capture device option where missing.

      Also some upgrade fucked up whatever Linux calles their DEV-system (who follows?), so there wen't all usb devices away, no digital camera or print
      • I've never had those sort of issues with Arch and I know quite a few others who prefer it. Maybe its not for everyone. One thing it doesn't do is hold your hand. I does require a little bit more time. In the process though you learn more about Linux. It's not crap, and it's not broken. I've never had something break.
        Their repos do in fact have plenty of packages. Maybe they didn't when you tried it. I don't know. I've been using it for 3 months now and it's had everything I've looked for. You do have to e
        • Oh how suprised I'm over "One thing it doesn't do is hold your hand.", it's not that, it is that it did work and they broke it, it's unstable crap, I don't want an os which becomes broken every now and then.
          It is crap, and it is broken, wtf do i "learn" from adding urls to whatever pacman (or well, ark or what they called the source code version) package building framework file? What do I learn from broken udev or whatever it was? Why do you remove something before you've got something else which works?

          I us
          • I wasn't comparing vpenis size. I was just stating that I have tried most distros out. If you last used Arch 6 months ago you may want to try it out now instead of stating how "crappy" and "broken" it is. It has come a very long way in a short amount of time. You stated that you used Freebsd. Pacman is very simular to ports. You stated that you didn't like the compile time in Gentoo yet it's portage is modeled after Freebsd's ports system. Last I checked Freebsd's package management compiles in much the sam
            • I'm sure it will get better with time, but still I want it enough stable so that I can trust the machine to work. Regarding gentoo and freebsd I didn't thought gentoo had binary packages? But maybe it does, but yes, mostly I install them from ports in freebsd anyway. But it's not really that I choose freebsd over gentoo because I didn't had to, it's more like because I have to in gentoo anyway I can just aswell use freebsd. We'll see, I really wanted to learn Solaris but I don't think I'll use it as a works
          • aliquis said:
            "And to answer on your my e-penis are bigger than yours I've used Linux since 1995, sometimes thereabout (maybe 96) I installed RedHat on my home machine and a little while after that debian slink, I used debian until 98 when I installed FreeBSD on a machine with broken IDE controller, didn't got it working so I tried OpenBSD and got some help with turning off DMA or whatever was the issue and the system worked. Back then I ran OpenBSD at home, later replaced with NetBSD and when I got a new ma
    • I have no doubt Ubuntu is good for the regular users. But how well is this distro for the more corporate tasks like installing oracle 10 or the more heavy duty stuff.

    • Arch has been around much longer than Ubuntu. I doubt we'll see any "rise to fame" unless they make some big changes.
      • Though Ubuntu wasn't first released until 2004 and Arch was first release in 2002, Debian has been around since 1993. Debian was popular way before Ubuntu came out. Ubuntu has newer packages. Debian Sarge is a rock. Arch originally was a Linux from Scratch with influences from Crux. Never the less it was built from the ground up. In that perspective Ubuntu has about an 11 year head start on Arch.
  • by smash ( 1351 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @11:25AM (#14271734) Homepage Journal
    It doesn't turn DMA on, on hard drives by default.


    Not that any other distro does either, but it's something the average user would miss, and it makes a heap of difference to media performance...


    • What? In my experience, the Linux kernel turns DMA on by default, unless you tell it to do otherwise (can be useful on flaky hardware). If Ubuntu is slow it may be because you're running it from the CD.
      • Maybe that poster meant that Ubuntu doesn't turn on DMA, by default, on CD/DVD drives which would result in jerky playback of DVD's.
        • This is correct.

          It also doesn't turn DMA on by default on cdrom drives - or 32bit disk access on ANY drive.

          And it's not just flaky hardware... unless intel 865 chipset IDE controller on an intel board with a seagate drive is flaky - along with all the other hardware I've tested it on.

          Simple enough to fix, but yeah - exactly that reason, makes stuff jerky, and slows down the desktop as well, when you're pushing it.

          For reference, this is what I get by default:

          multcount = 0 (off)

  • by jdub! ( 24149 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @12:24PM (#14272189) Homepage
    Here's a topical answer for you: One of the major factors in Ubuntu's technical success has been the no-questions-asked, "Just Works" philosophy it shares with GNOME, and the application of that philosophy to the entire operating system stack. If you needed any proof that real users are begging for simplicity in their digital life, look no further than the spectacular rise of Ubuntu and the even more spectacular rise of Google.
    • How is Google any simpliar than Lycos, Webcrawler, Yahoo, altavista... the search engines that came before it? It seems to me Google was more accurate not easier to use.
      • The other search engines have all replicated, to a certain extent, the Google front page and search result designs. Google came in, focused on user goals, made life simple.

      • How is Google any simpliar than Lycos, Webcrawler, Yahoo, altavista... the search engines that came before it?

        How about no frigging "shock the monkey" ads for starters?
  • This is in honest question. I run a Debian box, I track 'testing' and upgrade about weekly. What would (K)Ubuntu offer me at this time? I think if I were building a new machine, I'd definitely try this "Ubuntu thing" out. Would there be any reason to switch though?

    • This is in honest question. I run a Debian box, I track 'testing' and upgrade about weekly. What would (K)Ubuntu offer me at this time? I think if I were building a new machine, I'd definitely try this "Ubuntu thing" out. Would there be any reason to switch though?

      Probably not. (K)Ubuntu's philosophy of being "Linux for the people" is what makes it so attractive because it serves as a buffer between developers and users.
  • Sorry for posting Offtopic.
    I wanted to thank Ubuntu guys for sending me the free CDs
  • is it so hard to understand? it recognizes most of the hardware out there... even those that don't work with any other distros...

    driver support is what counts in desktop linux...

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor