Thursday, November 20, 2008

The most evil distro in the world?

I love Ubuntu. There I have said it. So excuse me while I put on a flame-retardant suit...ok...bring it on!!!

It puzzles me that there is so much hate and disgust towards arguably the most popular and visible Linux distro of the last few years. Dell in the US and Europe has started to bundle Ubuntu into selected ranges of desktops and portable and the Inspiron Mini 9 will be preloaded with Ubuntu as well. So isn't that great? Linux has finally gotten the recognition it deserves from "mainstream" vendors.

Alas, there are those who seem to be less than enthusiastic about this. Adam Williamson of Mandriva in his piece on why he hates Canonical accuses Canonical of dive-bombing the Linux industry and insinuating that Ubuntu seems to be nothing more than a rich man's whim; interestingly he refers to Red Hat rather than Mandriva when making a point of a "real" Linux company. Jono Bacon, The Ubuntu Community Manager offers his take on this.

Yes, Ubuntu is not perfect. Then again which distro is? Fedora is a great platform for testers, developers and those who like living on the edge. OpenSUSE is just simply, smooth and slick and strikes a good balance between bleeding edge and stability. Mandriva is a great distro too; I started with Mandrake and even joined their Club so it will always be special.

Each distro has it pluses and minuses, one that is "perfect" for Joe 31337 might be toxic to a noob like Bob.

I happen to like Ubuntu so what? It's not like if you don't use Distro X you are a total nutjob or something.

I often hear other Linux users calling Ubuntu developers merely a bunch of packager and the forums are just full of "normal" users, sponsored by a billionaire who has too much money to spare. Yeah guess what? This bunch of packagers and "normal" users kicked the butt of the more established distros for the past few years. So, one man's US$10 million contribution somehow makes it a super popular? How much did Novell or Red Hat made last year?

You think Windows got to where it is now because of its technical merit? It's because Microsoft made it easy for people to use and manage their systems and that's empowering and made people feel good about themselves. Ubuntu makes it simple for users. Suddenly people find a usable alternative to Windows. "Hey this Linux thing isn't so bad!" Of course, giving free CDs away won't hurt its popularity as well!

So the next time someone says Ubuntu users and devels are just lame cause they package stuff from other projects. Well, remind them that their distro developers do not write every single package. So every distro essentially packages stuff from other distros and projects. Doesn't ppen source allows the using of other open source stuff with proper credits due and fulfilment of certain licensing criteria?

Get over it. If you think your distro is so leet and package A, B, C is developed by your project should not be used by other distros or other distros are just lame coz they took them and integrate those, perhaps you should consider a career with Microsoft.

1 comment:

DIE said...

Ubuntu has taken several good ideas and polished them into perfection.

I like the community effort. They have a wide open forum. I also like the ideas website they have. People can vote on change.

When you put your mind into your art people will support you.