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Hey Ubuntu, Stop Making Linux Look Bad

Ubuntu's new Karmic Koala 9.10 release has been highly anticipated as the greatest release ever. In truth, it falls flat on its face in a time when Linux really needed to shine.

It’s the same old story. A new Ubuntu release, a new series of pain and frustration.

Canonical releases a new version of Ubuntu every 6 months, come what may. Unfortunately what most often comes is a system full of bugs, pain, anguish, wailing and gnashing of teeth – as many “early” adopters of Karmic Koala have discovered.

The problem is, Ubuntu makes Linux look bad. As more and more people make the switch to free software this is not a good thing. Linux is meant to be stable, secure, reliable.

On the other hand, Ubuntu is obviously doing a lot right. People are indeed switching to Linux, and most of these users have come from an operating system far more torturous, but what they arrive to doesn’t have to be the way it is. Indeed, it shouldn’t be that way.

You see, “With great power comes great responsibility” and now that Ubuntu is very popular it really has a responsibility to create quality products.

As usual, some things which were broken in the previous release are now fixed, but things which were working are now broken. A friend of mine has two wireless USB devices. One works on 9.04 while the other one doesn’t, which is fair enough. With 9.10 however, the one which wasn’t working now works, but the one which was working now doesn’t. Come again? It’s not the first time either. Upgrading from 8.10 to 9.04 his TV tuner cards which used to work, then stopped.

There’s gotta be a better way to do this.

With each new release comes new features, newer software, yet somehow things go backwards. Free software is supposed to improve with each new release. Take OS X, which gets faster. Cleaner. Better. Sure, they have a much smaller hardware base to work on, but it can be done. Ubuntu with the potential for thousands of developers surely can do a better job? Or at least, surely it could at least move forward??

Perhaps Ubuntu’s success is also its curse. They came to fame by making the hard things easier and as such have done great things for the Linux desktop. When you introduce components like proprietary software however, things get more complicated. Sure, Jockey (the proprietary driver manager) warns that Ubuntu “cannot improve or fix these third party drivers,” but does the average user really know what that means? All they know is that their entire (supposedly stable) Linux box hard locks each time they log out or switch users.

Personally, upgrading a recent Jaunty install to Karmic entirely broke networking on the box. Meanwhile, a fresh Kubuntu 32bit install wouldn’t boot with a broken GRUB2 configuration and booting to the Live CD then hard locked the machine. On another machine, half-way through a fresh Ubuntu 64 bit install, the video card suddenly started to display artefacts on the screen. A power off and reboot and it’s still broken. Coincidence? Maybe.

Other people experience awesome features like broken graphics, crashing installer, misconfigured boot loader, USB drives not mounting, sound not working, broken wireless, the list goes on. Upgrading is so bad that a majority of the advice is to perform a fresh install. In fact, the entire term “early adopter” refers to the fact that most experienced Ubuntu users upgrading to the latest version will always wait at least a month before doing so, in order to ensure most major bugs are fixed. Is this seriously acceptable? Is this what you expect from a Linux system? Surely this is some kind of morbid, ironic joke.

Ubuntu is starting to make dents in the commercial arena and that’s great, but do we really need fancy new features like Ubuntu One when basic functionality (that quite frankly should be solved in the 21st century) doesn’t work as expected? Isn’t Ubuntu supposed to “Just Work”™?

Don’t believe me? Just take a look at the release notes for 9.10 and read the 40 odd bugs for this “stable” operating system:

  • Boot from degraded RAID array broken
  • File system corruption with so called “large files” over 512MB
  • Hibernation unavailable with automatic partitioning
  • Kubuntu package manager does not warn about installing from unsigned package repositories
  • No USB devices work on MSI Wind netbooks, plus flickering graphics
  • No Xv support for Intel graphics
  • Samba nmbd daemon not started during boot
  • System won’t boot with converted ext4 file system
  • Ubuntu Netbook Remix missing shutdown applet
  • Ubuntu One client corrupts data
  • Wireless kill switch segfaults kernel
  • X server crashes when using a Wacom tablet
  • ..and others (plus more discovered after release).

You must be joking.

A poll on the Ubuntu forums shows just 10% of people had a flawless install. Now that’s something to be proud of! Still not convinced? Try it yourself.

They say, “What goes around comes around.” If Ubuntu doesn’t get their act together then they will be eclipsed by other distros, and rightfully so. What’s worse about all this, is that Karmic Koala had been talked up so much. “It’s a Windows 7 killer” and all that, which of course we’ve heard before. Shuttleworth boasts that he is even “looking forward” to the battle with Microsoft. In the face of Microsoft’s latest effort, just when Linux needed a knight in shining armor and a prime example of how amazing free software is we get, ah, Ubuntu. Hurrah.

Many years ago Linux was very command line focused (and still can be, thank goodness). Back then, many Windows users tried Linux and were scared off, never to try Linux again having been so deeply scarred by that initial experience. It’s happening again, except that this time many of the things which are great about Linux that are touted by the community are being destroyed. Linux is stable, it doesn’t crash. Whoops, Ubuntu just hard locked my machine. Whoops, Firefox is no longer starting up for some reason, whoops this package is now broken. Gah!

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. Even so, one of Shuttleworth’s primary goals for Ubuntu is for it to be as good as OS X. With releases like Karmic Koala, they aren’t going to get there any time soon, especially when Apple is releasing excellent bug fix-only versions like Snow Leopard. Get your act together, because while Ubuntu might be gaining brave new users who have it worse on Windows, it just doesn’t cut it for experienced Linux users.

Of course these sort of issues are not limited to Ubuntu, but it certainly seems to have more than its fair share. Perhaps it’s the whole commercially driven “release on time” philosophy, or maybe there aren’t enough beta testers. Then again, Fedora has been pushing the limits more than Ubuntu recently and has introduced far more features, yet has had much more successful releases. Something is very wrong with Ubuntu’s release cycle.

Perhaps it’s just Karma, or perhaps the mascot too greatly epitomizes this release. Koalas are after all, very lazy beasts who sleep most of the time (and they don’t drink at all). Drop bears on the other hand..

Comments on "Hey Ubuntu, Stop Making Linux Look Bad"

torcaz99

I agree with this article.
18 month of support for Kubuntu 8.04 is very sort. I\’m tired os installing and updating operating systems. I\’ve spent hundres of hours to configure my machine and now… I have to migrate due to support.
One year for writing a manual of Kbuntu and now… again rewrite it? No please. I want to use the computer not to investigate.

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fungie55

I did the upgrade last weekend and it was flawless. I\’ve had a 100% success rate with upgrades and installations since I started using Ubuntu at 8.04.

It\’s important to remember that as adoption of Ubuntu increases, so does the challenge to provide support for the increasing number of hardware that gets added to the overall pool. Some of these hardware problems are being caused by the updated kernel, and that really has nothing to do with Ubuntu. The rest are with some of the proprietary drivers that have only now become available and are a necessary part of Linux mainstream adoption, like it or not.

Overall, this article is just plain silly. There\’s no attempt to separate kernel issues from Ubuntu issues. Regardless of any sporadic hardware issues, Ubuntu\’s still the Linux OS most likely to work out of the box. Ubuntu can\’t give Linux a bad name, because Ubuntu has given Linux the only real mainstream recognition it has ever gotten on the desktop. And since this 9.10 release is really about putting some new technology out there so that all the bugs will be worked out in time for the next LTS, this article gets a FAIL. It\’s amazing how you conveniently ignore the fact that Ubuntu has a stable LTS for those who actually want to avoid the frequent update cycle and use stable code. Good grief!

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eco2geek

Wow, what a bunch of crap. And I\’m not talking about Ubuntu.

\”Free software is supposed to improve with each new release. Take OS X…\” I\’m sorry, when did OS X become free software?

\”Sure, they have a much smaller hardware base to work on…\” Yes, Chris, that\’s because Apple manufactures the only freaking hardware that OS X runs on. I\’d bet Ubuntu would run quite well if Canonical locked you into running it only on computers they produced for the purpose, like Apple does.

\”A friend of mine…\” \”Personally…\” OK, that\’s two anecdotes to go on. Couldn\’t you come up with anything even approaching a statistically valid sample? Oh yeah, this is, uh, commentary. Never mind.

\”A poll on the Ubuntu forums shows just 10% of people had a flawless install.\” Actually, the poll numbers (which all add up to 100%) include both upgraders and installers, and indicate that 17.83% of users had a flawless upgrade and 14.69% had a flawless install (out of 2131 votes as of this writing).

\”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.\” The source of your keen insight, please? And what are they going to do with their slice? Sell support and proprietary add-ons, like that other, evil, for-profit purveyor of Linux, Red Hat, does? The horror!

\”With releases like Karmic Koala, they aren’t going to [be as good as OS X] any time soon, especially when Apple is releasing excellent bug fix-only versions like Snow Leopard.\” Yeah, take that, you…you company with $30 million in revenue, that has yet to be profitable, and has approximately 200 employees! Your scummy open-source OS – that you give away for free – isn\’t even half as good as a proprietary one made by a company with $32.48 billion in revenue, $4.83 billion in net income, and approximately 35.000 employees! You\’d better get with it! (Source: Wikipedia)

One could go on. As you say: Is this seriously acceptable? Is this what you expect from a Linux commentary? Surely this is some kind of morbid, ironic joke.

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slashgnu

I wish if you have guts to shout again the hardware manufactures too. I updated from jaunty to karmic and except wireless driver others are work great. Its because of lack of open hardware we face problems.

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bhupi

I have Ubuntu gnome karmic on my pc and Kubuntu in my virtual box. I have had no problems with the installs. I did change the wall papers on both. My walkman was not working with jaunty. It works now. Great! I have had problems with SuSe and Fedora but not with Ubuntu.

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jimber

After upgrading to 9.10 on my personal laptop my system refuses to boot, spewing all sorts of errors, but for the most part \”waiting on the harddrives to respond\” ? deadlock. Lame, get a grip Ubuntu! Now Im frustrated and have to work hard on salvaging my files.

Even upgrading to 9.10 on my work computer I ran into issuses, such as audio in slowmotion, freezing, etc etc.

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nausser

I\’ve been a loyal Ubuntu user since Hardy. I have a technology business that deals primarily in computer support. I\’ve switch more users from other OSs to Ubuntu than I could have imagined. They all fall in love! These are the most basic users out there.

Yesterday, I upgraded two computers from 9.04 to 9.10. There were a few annoying bugs with 9.04 on both machines. Now with 9.10 installed, I can\’t find anything that doesn\’t work.
My laptop is an Acer TravelMate2480. For starters, in all previous Ubuntu releases, the sound would always need tweaking to work with all programs, the suspend worked but hibernate did not. OpenGL was okay but not flawless.
Now with 9.10, both hibernate and standby work faster than ever, Skype automatically worked with zero tweaking of the audio settings and my Cairo-Dock works with the OpenGL version.

The other laptop I upgraded is a Compaq Presario CQ50. It had an annoyingly loud beep every time it was shut down in the past releases of Ubuntu. My customer still loves Ubuntu over Windows even in spite of the minor issues. Now he\’ll be even happier now that the machine is flawless as well. The Compaq\’s suspend did not work in past releases and the hibernate was extremely slow. With 9.10, both features work perfectly now, and much faster.

So I can only speak from my own experience. I\’m sitting at 100% here in Florida on different hardware. My desktop is next in line. I will start it after this writing.

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perlzilla

I\’m sure experiences vary greatly with respect to Ubuntu upgrades, but I have been upgrading my old IBM ThinkPad every single time a new alpha/beta/rc/whatever is available and I have not once had any problems occur that I would say make Linux look bad. Ubuntu 9.10 actually has been the first upgrade yet that has allowed my ThinkPad to properly hibernate when I close the laptop (before it would just engage the screensaver). More importantly, it correctly comes out of hibernation when I open the laptop and quickly gets me up and running again (including very quickly re-activating my wireless connection). Contrary to this article\’s title, I think Ubuntu makes Linux look better than it sometimes is with other distributions (Red Hat comes to mind for me), and I have been surprised with how much better Ubuntu has gotten for me with each successive release. The upgrade experience has always been (relatively) quick and simple for me to go from one release to the next. The one negative I have with Ubuntu (which in reality is a major positive for Linux) is that I no longer get to hack around in the OS to make things like wireless or even simpler things like USB automount work properly. It all has just worked with Ubuntu for a long time now and my productivity has increased because of it.

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gnicko

While I question some of the \”stats\” quoted in the article, I agree, in principle, with what it says. The 9.10 release seems to be one of the \”worst\” in a long time. Each subsequent release was clearly an improvement on the one before, but this one at best breaks even.

I think Ubuntu would benefit by going to a less frequent release schedule and developers spending more time on getting the details right rather than coming up with gadgets like Ubuntu One.

It seems strangely like Canonical\’s taking a page from an old copy of Microsoft\’s marketing manual. This release was really hyped up to be \”the one\” to take on Windows 7 and instead seems to be the equivalent of Windows ME.

Incidentally, I upgraded one of my home computers to 9.10 from 9.04 the other day and the process went as smoothly as ever. The computer is a \”generation or two\” older than what a lot of users may be using, so I didn\’t have any driver issues or anything, but I had some stability issues at first (which I think come from Gnome–not Ubuntu) and overcame them with a couple of simple tweaks. There are a couple of things that don\’t work as they should (like the Number Lock key ??) but overall I don\’t really see any real benefits from the upgrade.

The only other criticism I have is, why did they make the login and splashscreens, etc. so damn ugly??

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dthompso

I finally gave up on 9.10 and went back to 9.04. The video locks up and could not be fixed. System crashes with power down required.
9.04 worked great.

I don\’t have hours and days to search down each fix. 9.10 is not a Windows 7 killer

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vf

My experience with Karmic Koala is definitely positive.
I upgraded my netbook, a Dell Inspiron Mini 10, from the bundled
old Dell customized 8.04 Ubuntu to 9.04 and then to 9.10, when Karmic
was still in beta, using the lpia-specific packets and the Ubuntu Network Remix.
Well, everything works like a charm and it is fast as lightning.

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jsilve1

I was hoping this article was going to be tongue-in-cheek but it is missing any sort of humorous tone. Instead, it comes across as whiny, \”Wah wah Ubuntu won\’t install for *me* or *my one friend here*\”.

@torcaz99: Ubuntu 8.04 is an LTS release. As such, it has support for 3 years on the desktop and 5 years on the server, not 18 months.

Okay, now the points:

– This article starts from the apples to oranges comparison that I always rail against — that of intallation and setup. Unfortunately, the primary way to get Ubuntu onto a computer is to intall it yourself. But that is far and away NOT the primary way one would get Windows onto a computer — computers *come with* Windows installed and configured! I wish articles comparing Ubuntu to Windows would start *after* the installation and configuration phase.

– Ditto on everything about Apple in the comment by eco2geek. I mean, c\’mon! More apples and oranges, no pun intended.

The only thing good about Linux-Mag is Jeremy Zawodny\’s articles. Am I alone in this view?

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wytcld

Isn\’t the solution simple: Wait a month to upgrade if you\’re not willing to be something of a beta tester? The hardware base is simply too broad to spot everything the might glitch before release, without actually getting it out to run on all that various hardware. But what do you lose if you wait a month? Not much, right?

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jed

I can\’t recall ever making a negative comment on a post but I guess this article just rubbed me the wrong way. It might have something to do with the fact I just renewed for a 2 year subscription, digital rights and all.

I think an earlier comment by eco2geek covered the majority of my issues but I wanted to add a few things.

Citing stats from the forums is bogus. I don\’t know where the poll is because I\’ve been so happy with 9.10 that I haven\’t taken the time to visit any Ubuntu forum. In fact, the only time I really do (sadly I should contribute more) is when I have a problem.

I\’ve been running 9.10 alphas,betas, and RCs ever since I discovered the reason for poor video performance on my netbook. Now, I consider those decisions within 9.04 with the handling of the Intel video issues questionable but honestly, if it weren\’t for Ubuntu, I wouldn\’t know as many switchers as I do.

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phil_fl

I have 4 computers/Laptop i386 i686 amd64, all with odd hardwares,
nvidia, ati, intel, wifi card badly supported and so on…

I don\’t have a single problem with Ubutun 9.10 it is working flawless,
upgrade ? it was a walk in the park.

Did you ever tried to upgrade or install a new Operating System like let say a Windows ? Drivers missing, buggy kernel, hardware not supported …
How can Ubuntu makes Linux looks bad ? It\’s one of the most friendly Linux distribution, tons of support.

Have you tried Ubuntu 9.10 ?

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textnotspeech

I was about to abandon my Ubuntu 9.04 media server due to bluetooth woes. 9.10 was a totally seemless upgrade and it works like a dream. Besides, you\’re telling us that Linux should just work. Who are you kidding? Don\’t get me wrong, I love Linux but it has ALWAYS needed tinkering and configuration and compiling, etc. Let\’s be honest that\’s what we Linux nerds love doing with our machines. You sound like a Windows user complaining about your first install.

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dragonwisard

I think it\’s fair to discuss the installation process and problems that occur there. In the past couple of weeks I\’ve seen an equal number of people upgrading or installing Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10. From what I\’ve heard, all the Windows 7 installs/upgrades when smoothly but a couple of the Ubuntu 9.10 installs hit some glitches.

While the stats are questionable, I agree with the basic premise that Ubuntu needs to spend more time testing and polishing their releases. This is not the first time there have been complaints about an upgrade. In fact, it does seem to be a frequently recurring issue. Perhaps the aggressive tone of this article is necessary to get people\’s attention on the issue.

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zakhurlifesbane

Well, I have been there.

We had a distro which was immensely popular and three workers and 70 volunteers to help with the testing, and intense pressure to distribute.

The result was bankruptcy. But the exit was a fire-breather. It ate two other distros and today is one of the most polished, at least in the PowerPack which is issued currently twice a year.

I refer to Mandrake/Mandriva.

If Ubuntu survives at all thwey will become better in the user experience, but some other front-runner will take over for them, just as happened with Mandriva.

I buy my Mandriva distros because I am a developer and want to spend my time working the system instead of working on it.. THere are still many broken things, like games that plaintively seek Python 2.4 (one line change but it is a contrib).

THere will always be broken things with 10,000 plus packages near at hand, but it is possible to make a polished distro which never locks up the machine.

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ajl44

It\’s irresponsible articles like this one that give Linux a bad name. Thanks for the in depth analysis and countless hours of testing you must have done to reach these conclusions.

\”A friend of mine\” and \”Other people\” – wow you really went all out. Thanks for wasting my time, there\’s 10 minutes of my life I\’ll never get back.

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bobgjunga

I upgraded 4 computers to Karmic, 3 from Jaunty and 1 intrepid->juanty->karmic without problems. I am loving Ubuntu.

The Poll is skewed. I would think that people go to the forums just after upgrading when they have a problem to solve so the poll is skewed toward underreporting successful installs.

LTS works well. I have left my work desktop at hardy until now, but given my success with karmic, and the new features, I think I will go ahead and upgrade before the next LTS. The LTS system works well for me and I like that the LTS versions are in the same path as the others. With RH / Fedora, you need to reinstall to jump on and off the conservative version.

Upgrading Rocks. I have not yet felt the need to reinstall Ubuntu on a computer. Upgrading is fast, easy and reliable. Coming from windows and for a short time CentOS, it took me a while to trust the upgrades but now it has earned my trust.

Cool Stability. I have one minor problem running karmic. The chat client crashes occasionally (so far only when I am not chatting), but the system handles it well and it has not stopped me from using the app. I think this is what stability is all about. In the face of a small error, I am still able to use the computer as intended with out much inconvenience and nothing else is affected.

Launchpad rocks. The whole apt repository thing works. I love the fact that if I want some new feature in an app that is not in the Ubuntu release that I am using, there is a good chance that someone has created a PPA that delivers that version of the app to me conveniently. And if I spend the time making a app work well in Ubuntu, there is a clear way that I can sharing that with the community by making a PPA myself.

Even Lawyers are doing it. A non-techie friend recently told me he installed Ubuntu on his new netbook. It came with windows and was slow. He was able to create a usb boot disk using unetbootin from windows, tried it and ended up switching. He says its much faster now. I find that the killer app for Windows and Mac users is the \”Ubunbtu Software Center\”. All those apps just moments away, free for the trying. No more researching to making sure you buy the right app only to find that you only use it a few times or that you really liked a competing app better.

Things get better. I started with hardy on my new kitchen TV/computer. There were some annoyances — slow video, mouse weirdness, I could not configure my dual head display the way I wanted. I knew I could probably fix it by delving into xorg.conf manually and trying the several flavors of free/proprietary drivers, but I did not get around to it. When I upgraded to Juanty, all those problems went away. Procrastination paid off this time because the open source community fixed my problem.

A similar thing happened with my thinkpad track point. Originally in hardy I had to manually tweak xorg.conf to make it work. The upgrade to Jaunty broke it! But it turns out that all I had to do was remove my previous hack because in Jaunty and beyond, the mouse config panel just works.

I have not used Fedora as a desktop in a long time, but I suspect that it too has improved much and is probably a great computing environment, but I am hooked on Ubuntu now and have no reason to consider changing.

–BobG

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ebozzz

Wow! The article is REALLY negative and I\’m not sure that it\’s justified. Others have already touched on this but comparing Ubuntu to OSX is not fair. As for me, fresh installs were completed on all of my machines without any major problems. I did have the \”Num Lock\” problem that gnicko commented on but it was easily resolved using the following information that I easily found in the documentation section of the Ubuntu site.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/NumLock

I\’m happy! It\’s not perfect and I don\’t think that it ever will be. But, neither is OSX Snow Leopard….

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somerandomguy

@Christopher Smart

In addition to misreading (and thus misquoting) the stats from the poll, you also handily neglected to mention (or perhaps read?) the disclaimer at the top of the poll thread which states:

\” *** Disclaimer for those willing to analyze this poll ***
Most of users voting here are users with issues.
Users with painless experience are not likely to come here. \”

It would seem that this point alone would have been enough to consider this resource biased and inaccurate.

Checking your sources for truthfulness is usually a vital part of the writing process, no? And with no fault-checking behind what you write, doesn\’t it somewhat strip your endeavour of any merit?

Just a thought…

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ebozzz

@somerandomguy

Bravo!

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onemixdj

Sorry Chris, but I expected a more objective column than this.

If you\’re going to be critical, you should at least give constructive criticism; which to me is what Linux from an overall perspective is really all about.

Your comparison with OS X was way off, because OS X doesn\’t face the hardware challenges anywhere near Linux; or even MS at that.

With the known fact that OS X lives in such a protected bubble, I\’m surprised that even you spent that much energy on such a moot point.

I have a IBM \”STinkpad\” T22 with a 20GB HD and maxxed out at 512MB RAM that\’s been working great with Ubuntu.

I don\’t know what you\’re doing wrong, all I know is that \”Stinky\” and the other 5 machines I have here are all working…WELL…

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timnelson

As someone who has also recently done Windows 7 and Snow Leopard upgrades, I think this article is letting the proprietary OSs off pretty easily. There\’s nothing about paying for them, waiting for them to ship, the constant, niggling driver problems with Windows, the insatiable need for upgraded hardware, or the bugs that roll out even with OSX. (Like the \’hide login items\’ feature that worked in Leopard and is broken in Snow Leopard.) Any OS could benefit from better upgrades, but I don\’t think UKK deserves singling out for its upgrade path. (My two server upgrades actually went flawlessly, by the way.)

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meor

Dear Christopher Smart,

Don\’t be shy. Tells us how much M$ is paying you to write this article?
see, I have upgraded all the notebooks (Macpro, HP Presario B1200, Hitachi tablet, Vaio) in my department without a glich. How come all the bad review?

Karmic rock

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eddiewilson

Who are you trying to be popular with? I\’ve read some of your articles before and they were pretty good. You fell flat on your face with this one. No research at all. Just haltered. That\’s why I\’ve always said that reviews cannot be trusted. Even with that yours is one of the very few bad reviews of Ubuntu 9.10 I\’ve seen. Maybe the criticism of you I\’ve seen in the DistroWatch comments section is warranted after all. Its so sad.

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rcaro

I find articles like this very, very (intentionally) skewed if ECONOMICS are not included as a factor for conclusions.
I stopped upgrading (paying up) at the \’Windows 2000 Professional\’ mark. Dapper Ubuntu 5.04, I think, has evolved to a be a super cool Linux distro with Karmic.

Linux / Ubuntu problems are mostly due to lack of drivers from hardware manufacturers released on time for next Ubuntu upgrade.

Another point that is not largely noticeable to the public: networking and connectivity problems among ALL Windows versions / \’flavors\’, only a few reporters with experience in the field can report on this subject. Ubuntu has had ONLY 2: Server and Desktop.

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sgsax

Wow, second negative Ubuntu story I\’ve read on the web in the last two days. Are we going for page hits or is there some astroturfing going around? Did we happen to notice at the top of the thread on the Ubuntu forms the big red disclaimer:

*** Disclaimer for those willing to analyse this poll ***
Most of users voting here are users with issues.
Users with painless experience are not likely to come here.

And they also provide links to similar polls for the last five releases. If you look at all of them, the results for the latest release are pretty similar to previous releases. And if you look closely at them, there are more satisfied users this time around.

Oh well, I guess we\’ll just chalk it up to sensationalist journalism.

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borgward

I have always been unhappy w/Ubuntu. My biggest complaint is that it is sooooo slow. It is slow on my Desktop, 1.8 gig AMD Atlon and ASUS mobo 1 GB RAM and on my ancient Dell Latitude CPi 400 MHz PII. In fact, XP service pack II boots half again as fast as Ubuntu (Xubuntu in this case) on it. That\’s pretty bad. I am no fan of MS.

I personally prefer Linux, but do not recommend any flavor of linux to anyone not technically minded because I do not want to see them get a bad impression of Linux. That puts me in the awkward position of recommending XP to those folks. No way Vista or 7.

I have a technical background, but not in computers, and I found it hard to become somewhat proficient in Linux. Perhaps what is needed is an open source form of Linux education for the masses. I do not see any other way to get a significant number of people to use Linux.

I know there are a lot of Linux tutorials on line. I found about 95% of them to not be very good, and conflicting with each other. I found a few that were very good. Lots of Linux books also, but not much for the rank amateur. What is needed is an open source structured approach that will get the masses on board. Maybe a Linux distro that is designed to teach Linux.

Man pages? good reference material, but for the average Joe, that is like me telling someone they could build their own car, just look at Machinery\’s Handbook. All the info is there.

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owensmk

I looked on Launchpad to see if you have an account registered, and I think I
found it:

https://launchpad.net/~christopher-smart

I thought that given the effort you expended to complain about Ubuntu, surely you had at least contributed something to the project. But alas, if this is indeed your account, it appears you\’ve contributed nothing:

0 Bugs opened
0 Questions asked
0 Questions answered
0 Comments
0 Karma

Amazing. Basically it seems that your contribution to Ubuntu is complaining about it.

I\’ve used Ubuntu on desktops and servers for years. I know nothing is
perfect. But I am careful to first be thankful for what others have worked valiantly and selflessly to create for me to use for free. And even with its faults, Ubuntu is infinitely more stable and manageable than most other systems I\’ve used.

Until you roll up your sleeves and actually contribute something, I suggest that you stop complaining, because you have no grounds to. How much did you pay for Ubuntu? You have to pay for Windows. You have to pay for OS X. Ubuntu is free. Yet you hold it to even higher standards.

Are you really worried about the image of free software and Linux? Then start volunteering your time to improve what you don\’t like rather than complaining about it. How do you think free software gets created? I can tell you that it\’s not by complainers.

Ubuntu doesn\’t make Linux look bad. Complainers do.

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stevotower1

This is slashdot style flamebait. Not what I\’m used to from Linux Mag.

I\’ve been doing in-place upgrades of Ubuntu on several machines for 3+ years now without any significant problems. Sure, Ubuntu has issues here and there and room for improvement, but compared to other linux dists (i.e. redhat wrt hardware compatibility and Fedora wrt bugs) and Windows it\’s pretty amazing. Especially for free.

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jwendel

Don\’t use Ubuntu, but my latest try at installing Fedora 12 beta resulted in 2 failures out of 3 installs. So, every one looks to be having a rough time.

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nausser

See previous post for laptop installations.

Just finished my upgrade on my desktop to 9.10 also with zero problems. I even have an ATI dual screen setup. I voted to replace all the conf files it asked me.

Still sitting at 100% here in Florida! Great job Ubuntu team!

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juancalinux

I enjoy using linux, whatever the flavor. I test every new version , I like Ubuntu 9.10. I\’m using 9.04 at this time. I\’ll be using 9.10 tomorrow. If every person around the world have a bug inside, why a linux flavor can not have bugs ?

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nink

Just be cautious with your upgrades. If you have a production server or vital workstation then keep it a version (or two) behind the most current. That would be the normal thing to do in any production environment. Let your test boxes(or virtual systems) do the testing for you.

Brand new users will be the ones to suffer most. But hey, like OS-X or Windows does any better. Anyone remember Vista? Those two systems, in particular windows far surpass Linux in nasty bugs and you have to PAY for them.

Most people, if they get something free, understand that some things may not be perfect, however most Linux adopters know one thing for sure, Linux is far more stable and hardly ever compromised unlike Windows. Come on get a reality check when whining about Linux distros. Just go start up your XP/Vista/W7 install after leaving it alone a couple of months and you will be upgrading and updating the system and your $65/year anti-virus for at least 2 hours, then you can use it again. At least that is my experience.

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slingshotsuicide

I have to agree. This is not the quality that I\’m used to reading from LM. The last time I did a complete reinstall was only to use ext4 without wondering if any problems I had were from the fs, or trying to upgrade it. I use a dv9030us, and the only problems encountered were with hw drivers (can anyone say ricoh fails miserably with webcam support?), and Adobe\’s \’pretty good\’ flash for \’nix. I can\’t blame any of my problems on \’buntu. I\’d like better docs for PA too, but once again, not \’buntu\’s fault. I\’ve tried SLED, paid for Mandriva spring 08, and fedora. None of them have been as brain-optional as \’buntu. As for comparing ease of use/install/upgrade, MS had everyone writing their sw to tailor to them, and still has more issues than I\’ve had with Karmic (witch I\’ve been running for 2mo or so.) In the M$ world, if you want it to work, run XP or 2K, and \’buntu gives you LTS if you don\’t want to beta test. If you have a brain, you can make the correlation that if you\’re not sure how to fix things, or don\’t want to bother, run LTS.

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znmeb

Well … let me weigh in here:

1. Graphics, wireless and multimedia are going to be rough spots in any Linux desktop! Why? Because of license conflicts, lawyers, accountants, software patents, hardware patents, intellectual property, digital rights management, etc. It\’s a fact of life – desktop Linux has to exist in a *competitive* capitalist world, with a 90 percent market share to Windows and a 9 percent market share to MacOS X. What does that leave Linux? *One* lousy percent! It\’s a miracle there even *is* a Linux desktop. But there are *three* major ones – Ubuntu, openSUSE and Fedora!

2. I don\’t personally use Ubuntu – I\’ve tried it over the years, but my preferred distro is openSUSE (see http://clicky.me/bestlinux for why.) I\’ve been testing the upcoming 11.2 release for a few months. I only have three computers, plus a fourth that I installed it on for a friend, but so far I haven\’t seen the kind of glaring usability issues that are being reported with Ubuntu. Now that may be for a variety of reasons.

a. The openSUSE project took 11 months to put this release together, and has switched to an 8 month release cycle. Perhaps Ubuntu\’s six month cycle just isn\’t long enough, given that a community desktop distro like Ubuntu or openSUSE is partly a volunteer effort out of financial (and *legal*) necessity.

b. Novell may be giving more infrastructure support to openSUSE than Canonical is giving to Ubuntu.

c. openSUSE really is better tested under more use cases than Ubuntu is. That would make sense, given the time difference, all other things being equal.

But most likely it\’s simply due to the fact that I\’ve been working with Linux for almost ten years and with openSUSE for 1.5 years! I\’m sure there are people out there with equal experience with Ubuntu, or Fedora, or Debian, or CentOS, or Gentoo, etc.

We\’ll see in six days how the openSUSE 11.2 release works out, and in 12 days how the Fedora 12 release works out. But I\’m guessing that both will have issues with the rough spots – graphics, wireless and multimedia. And I\’m guessing that devoted openSUSE fans (like me) and Fedora fans will be ready to help out. That\’s the way community distros work.

In summary, please don\’t pick on Ubuntu for \”making Linux look bad\”. Pick on Microsoft or Apple and the hardware vendors, or, as President Obama has said, \”Grab a mop!\”

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kgish

My biggest headache is the boot time which now takes forever, not to mention a general slowness of performance. However, that could be because it\’s my second major upgrade on the same laptop. Perhaps if I just do a complete re-install things will perform better. Will keep my fingers crossed.

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viklahan

“It’s the same old story. A new Ubuntu release, a new series of pain and frustration.”

Now you want it free and want it easy. You can\’t have the cake and eat it too! My friend!

“The problem is, Ubuntu makes Linux look bad. As more and more people make the switch to free software this is not a good thing. Linux is meant to be stable, secure, reliable.”

It is stable, secure and reliable for me.
Linux is far more stable, secure and reliable than Windows I should say.

You see, “With great power comes great responsibility” and now that Ubuntu is very popular it really has a responsibility to create quality products.

Help Ubuntu then. Make good applications for them.
Instead of sitting on yr desk and crying that the world is not changing, rather go out and change it. Either accept it the way it is or change it.

Free software is supposed to improve with each new release. Take OS X, which gets faster. Cleaner. Better. Sure, they have a much smaller hardware base to work on, but it can be done. Ubuntu with the potential for thousands of developers surely can do a better job? Or at least, surely it could at least move forward??

Correct. You end up paying an entire chunk of your pay check on costly hardware for MAC. Those guys better get it straight and give what you want isn\’t it, Since you paid for it.
Mac OS X, whose \”X\” represents the Roman numeral for \”10\” and is a prominent part of its brand identity, is a Unix-based operating system [Wikipedia]. Based on free OS\’s these guys make billions and trillions of money and you cribbing about an operating system which is free.

Many years ago Linux was very command line focused (and still can be, thank goodness). Back then, many Windows users tried Linux and were scared off, never to try Linux again having been so deeply scarred by that initial experience.

If you want everyone spoon-fed and make no efforts of them learning, then Linux is not for them. Usually windows users face this thing.
Linux for me is “you are responsible for your operating system and canonical is there to help and support for free”

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. Even so, one of Shuttleworth’s primary goals for Ubuntu is for it to be as good as OS X.

I feel its better than OS X since its free and there is lot to learn, I don\’t have to pay for expensive hardware, don\’t have to pay for upgrading the Operating system itself to the next version. If there are problems I have the ability to Google around, talk to friends and get things done.

– The best things in life are free, learn to value them.

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purefan

Very bad article, really not what I am used from linux-mag.com.

My feedback to the author:
- Be constructive in your critics, if you didnt like the distro thats ok, but if you compare it with other OS at least do it in its own range, it is nice that you compare a freebie with a charged thing, but in all seriousness, Mac? completely unfair comparison, Apple is a world in its own. And Windows 7, you know Microsoft has deals with the major component manufacturers, so a new Windows = new drivers, in our case a new Ubuntu means a lot of people trying to crack the way to get a device working, not the company who made it but people out of their own time. Not a fair comparison either.

If you are going for unfair comparisons at least give credit where due.

If you are basing your results in a friend\’s experience or your own experience, try looking at the bigger picture, there are more than 2 people in the world and for the most part Ubuntu has worked fine, otherwise it wouldnt be here, simply if it doesnt work nobody is going to use it, its free, nobody lost money by trying it out.

—————————
My feedback to the editors:
Do your work!, I know controversy sells, and your site must have gotten a lot of hits from this article, but if you care to keep a good reputation you should pay more attention to what your writers are publishing, you may get more hits today but you could also lose loyal readers if you keep this careless attitude.

Everyone else has already stated why this article is low quality, thank you very much! It is great great feedback to unveil a lousy work.

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hollow

The only thing making Linux look bad is this article and it\’s author. Shock n Awe baby! You consider Snow Leopard to be an excellent bug fix update? Have you used it or tried to perform an upgrade to it? Let me explain a few things, I\’m a 3rd Line I.T. engineer, which means I deal with everything, Linux, Windows, Apple, BSD etc, I\’m also a developer but that\’s irrelevant here. My current day job is running an ENTIRELY Mac network, with OS X servers, my boss is a Mac Zealot, I am far from it.

The Snow Leopard client upgrades broke all sorts of things from sleep, to Remote Desktop to plugging in an external monitor/projector (Yes that\’s right, with Snow Leopard you actually have to go and BUY a brand new adapter dongle for your laptop to plug in an external visual display device, not because the fittings are different, because the older ones make the Mac Book Pro crash!). The server upgrade was just on another level, it broke mail, somehow it managed to lose ALL user accounts AND their settings if the account began with a C or a D, it suddenly refused to let Windows Clients on the network send mail through smtp, file sharing is broken, the list is endless, we upgraded a month ago and are still triaging the system.

I\’ve been running Karmic on 5 different machines here since the Beta, the only failed upgrades I\’ve had were on my Dell Inspiron laptop (Upgrade was over wireless, which is what I\’m blaming for the failure) and on an Amazon EC2 Jaunty instance that I tried to upgrade just to see what would happen, everything else, flawless, including 3 DIFFERENT AM2+ Processors, all with different Mobos, Graphics cards and RAM, plus an HP Laptop and a flawless fresh install on the Dell I mentioned previously.

Something very interesting happened yesterday, in the last few weeks I\’ve been installing Windows Virtual Machines (On my Kubuntu 9.10 Karmic box) to test them out and test theories and applications I\’m developing etc. I\’ve installed Windows 7, Vista and XP. As expected not one of them found my Network Device in virtual box during the setup process, but yesterday I found my old Windows 2000 installation disk and thought it would be a laugh to install it, the sad thing is, it DID find the networking device on install, this 10 year old OS just found my network card, and immediately after setup, I was up and running on the tinterweb, when NOTHING Microsoft has offered since could, a problem I personally have never had with ANY Linux distro (Packaged ones designed to work out of the box that is) that I\’ve installed.

On a point that someone made earlier with regard to not having to install Windows, when you do it\’s the biggest pain in the arse imaginable on some machines, the HP Laptop I just mentioned, installing XP requires external floppies and takes about 5 hours to get up and running, installing Linux takes 30 minutes and when you reboot EVERYTHING works, then you start \”apt-get\”ing and you\’re happy as could be.

Nothing is perfect, but Karmic Koala is about as close as Canonical have come, graphics are improved, stability is improved, reliability, boot times, everything is just plain BETTER. I\’ll end with one final point, I would qualify for 4 perfect upgrade votes and 2 perfect fresh install votes on that poll you mention, but because I\’m a busy person and don\’t feel the need to bitch about the one failed upgrade over wireless I haven\’t posted in that poll at all, results biased perhaps? I think much.

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vansteen

What a crap article!

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jobst

People should stop upgrading everytime something new comes out if their computer is working … there is no point to do so. ONLY upgrade if something is not working … and I agree with a lot of the people saying \”what a crap article\”. LINUXMAGAZINE stop jumping on a bandwagon that only makes you look stupid.

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silverwave

* Hey Christopher Smart, Stop Making linux-mag Look Bad

This is usually such a good site…
…informative, considered, interesting.

Then this…

I expect stuff like this from theregister and when they do it its just business.

I don\’t expect FUD from this site,

BTW clean install from the Karmic RC no real issues, and Karmic is rock solid.

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justwally

Thanks for the article, however, I do not see Ubuntu making Linux \”look bad\” in all of this. In the recent Ubuntu 9.10 and Windows 7 upgrades I have been first party to the joys of the errors encountered with both. No one is perfect, but holding either Ubuntu or Microsoft up to the MacOSX candle is hardly an apples for apples comparison (as others have already noted).

Ubuntu 8.04 continues to be the version of Ubuntu that I install for people who need their computer to work reliably for them…Friends, family and professionals, all of them.

I\’ve got 9.04 Netbook remix on my AcerOne, and the wireless is borked and the USB is borked. 9.04 on several other laptops introduced interminably screen \”dimming\” nightmares (even when I disabled that nonsense), borked the wireless, borked several things working on the PCI bus (including SD Card readers), and a small host of other things.

I\’ll wait to see where the chips fall before I make my next move. One would think that (at the very minimum) Ubuntu would want to surpass its previous offering (8.04). I haven\’t seen that that is the case with 9.10 at present. I am patient, I will wait. Well, I\’m prolly moving back to POD (Plain Ol\’ Debian). Life was simpler then.

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billmoss

I upgraded a machine from 9.04 (Gnome) to 9.10.
The good:

Gnome now actually remembers my gdm screens. My two other Linux machines run Kde, one is still 9.04 and the other Opensuse 11.1.

most of the applications I use work somewhat better

the modifications to my grub menu.lst were less obnoxious but the installation script still messes with things better left alone

logon screen is better

The Bad:

named is broken

autofs was broken, I fixed it

nis fundamentally does not work (did not work properly in 9.04)

upgrade took a ridiculous amount of time

booting is slower

reboot as a ordinary user will lock up gdm

Since this is a play machine, I will probably leave it as 9.10 but my other Unbuntu machine will stay 9.04. I use these machines on a hard wired 100/1000 ethernet with the laptop sometimes coming in on 802.11g. None of the work stations (the two Ubuntu machines) is fully functional without NFS (and I prefer NIS since automount is more transparent). I expect difficulty when upgrading Opensuse and other public Linux distributions that are the test base for a commercial product, but Ubuntu professes to be a commercial product and this upgrade was more reminiscent of MS Windows than my Mac.

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scottburkey

This we need – another whining session from a Microsoft hack. Who paid you for this piece of crap? I\’ve been using Linux since Caldera 1.3, and Ubuntu is the first and ONLY distro that hasn\’t given me convulsions during install or left me without some key piece of hardware (like a monitor or a NIC – thanks, Fedora!)

I\’ve personally used Ubuntu since v.7.1, and only once had a driver issue with an off-breed sound card. Replaced the s.c. with one from a reputable manufacturer and it worked perfectly – which is what needed to happen anyway, the off-breed was garbage.

Commentary or not, you need to be able to back up your statements with verifiable evidence or at least referenced material from a reliable and verifiable source. \”A friend\” and \”other people\” marks you as nothing but a sensationalist hack, and your writing as the same caliber as the cat-box liners awaiting the ignorant at the checkout counter.

Linux Magazine, you should be ashamed of yourself for publishing this piece of tripe.

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gerlos

Hey! Although to most people the most obvious thing to do is to install the newest distro release as soon as possible, who said that it\’s a good idea?

I think that the problem is that a lot of early adopters are unexperienced users, while they should be experienced users, that know how to trubleshoot problems and are keen to post bug reports or to do some debugging.

Maybe we just need to give this koan to every new linux user: \”wait a couple of months after the release before installing it\” (I actually give this suggestion to anyone).
Or maybe we just need some more public and advertised release candidates, so more people would test the future release, and we got less bugs in the final one.

Since gnu/linux is not a \”product\” you pay for, but something that belongs to all of us, and need our care, I expect that something really new doesn\’t work as it should, since it need my care like yours.

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sktg8r

I had great luck upgrading to KK on my Acer Aspire One and as far as the complaints about upgrade/config issues I never used to update windows for at least 6 months because of all the \’fixes\’ that were put out for every upgrade.

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gerlos

… Forgot to say: I use Mandriva, Debian, Ubuntu and Xubuntu on 3 PCs and an iMac, and usually upgrade 2-3 months after each official/stable release, and in the last 4 years I didn\’t experienced any real problem.
Just smaller ones.
A couple of times the automatic configuration of grub was wrong, but who is so stupid to reboot without looking at it before?

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buellie

bought a HP 1030NR with windows xp…loaded with crapware…to do a fresh install would take 4 hours of updates, so started playing with linux…hp\’s version of linux is crippleware..functional but crippled…played with every distribution out there..either no sound or no wifi and sometimes both….finally got to ubuntu 8.04..everything works…wow….tried 9.04UNR..no sound…tried 9.10 no wifi and no ethernet, and they replaced pidgin with something else…how do you change your privacy settings (block everyone) in that program, i couldnt figure it out…but no matters anyway..no wifi…tried to get it working everytime i tried, i would actually lock up ubuntu which i understand is very hard to do in linux unlike windows….so its 8.04 for me for awhile

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linuxcanuck

People who follow the six month cycle do not crave stability. The people who want stability use the LTS releases. So you are making false assumptions, but then again you are a repeat offender. Using a help forum to guage people\’s happiness or success is about as lame as it gets. People go to help forums for help. They have problems. People without problems don\’t go there.

Stop giving journalism a bad name. Quit writing.

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justwally

Ok, so the Rampant Ugliness of Ubuntu 9.10 article made me decide to push a few buttons on my AspireOne (just so I could have something, ANYTHING (other than my current case of H1N1 flu) to properly complain about! The download took forty five minutes. The install took an hour and fifteen minutes (without the corrections for the metric system), and here is what was borked (so, you be the judge)…

- I had to use the mouse, the MOUSE to log in. Crikey, that sucks!

- The time/date kicker applet had to be added back to the panel. Ok, who the heck is in charge at Ubuntu!

- There was NO little heart icon! That just about tore it right there. Sheesh!

- My trashcan was NOT deleted (oh, this is a good thing, nevermind)

- It totally TRASHED my seriously-custom wireless network shenanigans, yet it found my wireless network on the first (albeit slightly slower) boot. Figh on them Ubuntus I say! I shall not be sullied so!

::meh::

So, my anecdotally-obtained first-hand experience points the hairy hand of Hercules at an author who might oughta think about a re-do on this article.

It looks like my desktop system finished the download in twenty minutes and will be finished with the install in about thirty five minutes. News at 11…

In fact…

I think that everyone should post their positive Ubuntu 9.10 Horror Stories of Making Linux Look Bad right here… that would be the most potent message about the sorry state of this article.

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dc0de

While I see some of the points that the author is trying to make, I find them very jaded.

For those users who want the rock solid stability of the Ubuntu Systems, they should use Ubuntu 8.04 LTS. The purpose of LTS (LONG TERM SUPPORT) is that they will have a solid platform, with solid solutions, and solid performance.

As well, all three of my systems, (Lenovo T61p, eeePC 1000HE, Custom AMD Shuttle) upgraded to 9.10 flawlessly. I can see the upsides of the new 9.10, and find the interface much quicker.

I\’m a big fan of the articles on Linux.com, and sadly, I think this one missed the mark by a wide margin.

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dee_tewari

Hey, It worked great for me out of the box. As for all these features … did anyone who complains about this broken … that broken try it out in the alpha/beta and tell canonical about the issue?

How many of us who complain really take the pain to try it out before hand and tell canonical that this is broken or not working. The permutations and combinations of different hardware and libraries is so vast that a lot of things simply can\’t be tested before hand.

It has never happened to me that I\’ve tried out an alpha/beta reported something and that hasn\’t been fixed!

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wayne.zhang

I agree with this article said.

I like old versions of Ubuntu, but I don\’t like 9.10. My IBM Thinkpad R51 laptop doesn\’t work well when I upgraded from 9.04 to 9.10. I have used Ubuntu since 7.10, and I have done lots of upgrade and didn\’t found any issue like this time.

When upgrade to 9.10, suspend/hibernate/resume doesn\’t work at all. Computer is locked when suspend, you have to power it off. It\’s not usable.

When I submit the bug report, I found that I am not alone. Lots of IBM ThinkPad suspend/resume issues for 9.10/9.04 reported:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bugs

Type \”ibm suspend/resume failure\” you will found lots of this kind of bugs.

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jhyslop

Glass half full or half empty? Sure, it would have been nice if this release was a clear improvement on 9.04, and personally I favour a bigger gap between releases with longer-term support.

But on the other hand … it\’s free! Since I started using Ubuntu with Edgy, I\’ve accepted that fixing the bugs would take time with every install, and that some installs would just not get out of the staring blocks. C\’est la vie.

Of course, if I sort a fix first I can help other people by posting on the community forums. Maybe that\’s where the Karma comes in …

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orionds

QUESTIONABLE PROBLEMS …

The validity of the stats from Ubuntuforums.org are questionable. For one, I and other users I know did not have the upgrade and install problems shown there. I did 2 PC clean installs, one upgrade from 9.04 and one notebook clean install with no problems.

As other posters have noted, those who have no problems will, generally, won\’t even bother to enter forums or bug-reporting sites. So, I\’m pretty sure, like myself, never thought about having to join some survey.

We also have to question the validity of some of the posters in these forums as we have already seen that MS has tried to rub dirt into Linux with their release of Win 7 because they know Ubuntu is coming and Ubuntu is their main rival from the Linux world on the desktop.

Can we confirm the majority, if not all, of the problems reported in these forums? Some of those reported are extremely serious, considering that Karmic went through pre-release testing with none of these machine-killing problems reported.

In war, sabotage is common as well as undermining propaganda. American soldiers were constantly bombarded by broadcasts from Japan during WWII. This is definitely a major crossroad in the war of OSes with the continuing decline of an OS empire, like the Roman Empire, or a final Battle of the OS Bulge.

We will know cause lies cannot survive and truth will prevail to prove it one way or the other.

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fri13

@fungie55 \”There\’s no attempt to separate kernel issues from Ubuntu issues.\”

The linux operating system (the kernel is the OS) has biggest hardware support what any OS has on the markets. Linux works just fines on almost all hardware. But it depends from distributor how it gets configured. If they throw away drivers what would be needed, it is not fault of Linux but distributor. The Distributor is Canonical and their distribution is Ubuntu and few versions of it. It is Ubuntu\’s fault anyway, was the issue caused from Gnome or from Linux or any other software between HW and User because they are all packaged to Ubuntu by Canonical. Hardware what fails on Ubuntu, works usually on other distiributions as well as other hardware because other distributors do not always drop drivers off same way. Linux OS (remember, we are talking the monolithic kernel here!) can not have fault for that if the problem does not exist in the upstream. It is about distributors about their actions or hardware manufacturers if they do not write drivers for Linux.

@fungie55 \”Ubuntu can\’t give Linux a bad name, because Ubuntu has given Linux the only real mainstream recognition it has ever gotten on the desktop.\”

Ubuntu has already gaven a bad name for Linux. If you check google trends, you can notice that Ubuntu brand is going over Linux brand. Linux is the OS in the Ubuntu. People have heard that Ubuntu is great OS. They do not even understand that it is Linux what they use. But later they do and they get old negative ideas and they feel people have lied to them because it was Linux and not Ubuntu. And Ubuntu has not gained real mainstream recognition what would never be before. On 90\’s Linux was on mainstream media many years. It was pushed for normal, non-tech users trough Fox, BBC, NBC and many other daily morning news etc. It was media fight between Linux and Microsoft. I dont know why you can not remember it but even ladies magazines wrote about Linux then and everything. The media is today much smaller even by Ubuntu.

@fungie55 \”It\’s amazing how you conveniently ignore the fact that Ubuntu has a stable LTS for those who actually want to avoid the frequent update cycle and use stable code\”

LTS is stable for 3-5 years. Normal release has stable code from upstream same way as LTS has. Only difference is that Canonical does not try to push stable configurations for every release (not even for LTS!) but they hassle everything because they do follow strict deadline. Canonical has many times proofen that they do not care about quality over release schedule. Upstream warns even weeks before Ubuntu release that they need few days more to get time to fix big problems, but Canonical does not listen. Other distributions does and they push the release forward because they care about quality, not deadline. And Canonical is trying to push every upstream project and distributor to follow their schedule. Almost once a year or on every Ubuntu release, Mark Shuttleworth or someone from Canonical express their opinion how things does not work if every coder and project is not following same schedule and have same deadlines.

@eco2geek \”I\’m sorry, when did OS X become free software?\”

Mac OSX is mostly free software. Even Mac OSX\’s operating system is 100% open source. Mac OSX base technologies are closed source and many application programs. But OS X itself when though as one box, is not open source (or libre software) because there is some closed source software among others. It is like FSF is saying on many distributions they are not free because they include nvidia drivers or closed source firmwares. But that does not change the fact that Mac OSX\’s operating system XNU is open source.

@ajl44 \”It\’s irresponsible articles like this one that give Linux a bad name. Thanks for the in depth analysis and countless hours of testing you must have done to reach these conclusions.\”

Sorry, but haven\’t you read the Ubuntu forums? Haven\’t you read the polls?
Ubuntu fans are there having ribbon over their eyes because they can not admit that there was a big problems on this release.

Lets take a example from slashdot:

http://linux.slashdot.org/story/09/11/03/2211231/Some-Early-Adopters-Stung-By-Ubuntus-Karmic-Koala

There are comments like this:

\”I upgraded from 9.04 to 9.10, and everything went smoothly except for the following: 1. My sound hardware is no longer recognized for some reason. I have a Dell Dimension computer with integrated audio, and it had worked fine after installing 9.04, but stopped working when I upgraded. It now claims I have no sound hardware installed, and I\’m not entirely sure how to correct it. 2. After rebooting, the screen now goes blank (video card stops outputting) when X should start and bring up the login screen. I\’m also not sure what caused this. I dropped down to a console, tried to kill the running X process, and then things seemed to miraculously work. I actually had to get something done, so I just went with it, but I\’m not sure exactly what happened (or what I did to fix it). Maybe this is related to the proprietary Nvidia drivers I\’m using? Everything else seemed to work just fine as far as I can tell. When I have a few hours to dig through forums, I\’ll try to fix the sound and the screen blanking thing.\”

and reply for that:

\”Wait, did you say everything went smoothly except you didn\’t have sound or video ?

That right there is why Linux hasn\’t gone mainstream.\”

The Ubuntu 9.10 has lots of problems, mainly for configurations. I can not find such problems what would be about code quality itself. But that is not excuse to say. Example many do not like PulseAudio at all because it has not worked years on Ubuntu. But Ubuntu was one of the worsts distribution to use it. Canonical did not follow PulseAudio FAQ how to configure it correctly to be working. Other distributions did and PA was working as it was designed. People blamed PA, while they should be blaming Canonical because their actions. Too many unneeded bug reports about wrong configs. Blaming upstream than the real reason, Ubuntu, the distribution.

And many here tries to make the Ubuntu forums polls and other peoples reports as lies and false information. But what they do same time, is \”I did not have problems\” or \”My friend did not have problems\”. And same time they say \”Yeah, you or your friend got problems but it is not a proof that Ubuntu 9.10 gives bad name for Linux!\”

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fri13

And to continue the typical attitude of Ubuntu users what I see on web a lot:

One (of many similar) comments on slashdot:

\”Blank and flickering screens: No
Failure to recognize hard drives: No
Defaulting to the old 2.6.28 Linux kernel: No
Failure to get encryption running:
Sorta, but only because my computer took a dive in the middle of the live upgrade. I had to remount / read-write from an emergency console and run apt-get again. Or actually it told me to run \”dpkg –configure -a\” to correct it. That installed most things, but I had to reboot into the normal recovery console and run last updates. Rebooted and…

Working flawlessly with full disk encryption and everything. No problems with anything so far, that\’s my anecdotal evidence at least.\”

and reply for that:

\”That\’s what you call working flawlessly? When it kicks you into an emergency console in which you had to remount your hard disks manually in read-write mode and run the package reconfigure command?

Clearly 2009 is not yet the year of Linux on the desktop.\”

Ubuntu users does not seem to understand that for normal user, there should be 0 hardware problems or installation problems. Ubuntu fails on that because it can not promise such as other mainstream distributions. Reason is again the Canonicals deadline following and not the quality demand.

Reply
pinnacom1964

Reading over the past comments, I need to say somethings to the article author and those leaving comments.

First, No one told you that you had to upgrade, you came to that decision all by yourself. After all are the individual users really worried about \”being supported\”? If the OS works, then just leave it the hell alone, just upgrade or install packages as you needed. It seems that most of those who are complaining were smart enough to discover workarounds for thier issues that they had.

Second, did those complaing even bother to read the release notes before upgrading to see if anything of note was broken or not working as expected? Didn\’t anyone note that ext4 had boot issues (among other issues) – so quit complaining.

Third, I agree that Ubuntu is not harming Linux, it is furthing it. I have tried other disros, and was a tried and true Mandrake desktop fan for a while, RH, Fedora Core, Suse, Mandrake, and the like.
Ubuntu (5.10) was the only OS that I tried that would run on almost any laptop without tweaking in order to reconise the touchpad control, and that was using the Live-CD!. I\’ve been an Ubuntu fan ever since and even started a Linux user group in my community to further Ubuntu.

Fourth, lastly, I did not have any problems upgrading. Again, I checked the supported hardware list to see if there might be an issue. I run an nVidia MB /W AMD Quadcore, 6G Ram, 256M Nvidia 8600 Video, SB Awe64 Soundcard, and HP 3210 Multifunction Printer. I think those who are having issues are using \”fringe\” third party hardware, instead of hardware from tried and true Linux Supporters.

Reply
icetnet

I did have some issues following my upgrade. They were much easier to fix than the issues I had with my wife\’s computer following the upgrade to XP (and Vista). Software compatibility with the system is much better than the experiences with Windows upgrades.
That said, the hype about \”Windows Killer\” was a bit overrated in the visual end user category. BUT that is because those who were hyping it were talking about the OS from the backend. Removing portions of the inflated kernel and making them modular and pluggable is so key to becoming the \”professional\” OS that the remarks are valid. When these types of foundational changes are made that only result in relatively few issues (which are application based), it is a testament to the work involved by this non-commercial entity that is making my life easier.
Yes, we all knew that Linux is still behind Windows when it comes to \’ease of use\’ for those who do not wish to \”learn\” or \”know\” the system. Personally, I like this fact. It is much easier for those who have taken a bit of time, with a single application, to understand the nature of most applications. And it makes the system more extensible, if you are into that kind of thing. Yet, it is still nice, more often than not, to have a system that \”just works\”. Still more to do here. The modularity and efficiencies that are being created in the kernel world will make development, administration, and deployment that much easier in the future.
No, it\’s not perfect from the keyboard view. It is the processor view that makes the system have the potential of \”Windows killer\”. Context is essential in understanding Linux hype as compared to the other OSs. You can put a house over a hole in the ground, but it does not mean it has a foundation. Linux is hyping on the foundation, but still building the house.
Happy computing to all, and to all a good night!

Reply
meanasspenguin

Are you kidding? Are you forgetting that you pay absolutely nothing for Ubuntu? Ubuntu (as with most Linux distros) is community driven. If you\’re not helping to make it better then you certainly don\’t have space to shout about how awful it is (for you). If you find a problem then post a bug – don\’t instead be an ass. If you just want to shout at somebody about how bad their product is, then go purchase an OS off the shelf and then lay into their support team – they are at least paid to listen to your drivel.

Reply
justwally

Ahhh, so if you didn\’t pay for it you cannot complain about it… Air

If you didn\’t plan accordingly you have no right to complain… The weather

If you weren\’t a part of the pre-release testing then you have no room to complain… As IF the Linux community is not comprised entirely of USERS at the end of the day…or did I take that \”community\” thing the wrong way again? Are we using the fascist model at present?

How many of you know ALL of your neighbors?

Reply
ericfluger

first, thanx for the article. your observations and discussion they kicked off are all worthwhile.

i think there are a couple of things to bear in mind that i haven\’t seen mentioned yet, one regarding free software in general, the other about ubuntu in particular.

1. one of the very nice things about open source operating systems is that it\’s very easy to switch. as many popular applications are available on a wide variety of operating systems if you become dissatisfied with the OS you\’re evaluating or using you can switch to a different one, install the same apps and take your data with you with a minimum of fuss.

the hidden drawback to this is that people who are unhappy needn\’t hang around and complain. they can silently move on. so it\’s easy to get a self-selecting group of users who have not had many serious problems and consider their experience typical.

it\’s true that people tend to visit forums when they\’re having problems so may not be representative, but at least they\’re committed enough to try to solve the problems instead of switching to something else.

i\’m not sure if there is currently a great way to gauge what a typical user experience is like. just because you haven\’t had problems doesn\’t mean nobody else has, and just because you have had problems doesn\’t mean everybody else will have the same problems. in other words, there are limits to how much we can each generalize from our own experience. however, i don\’t find the kill-the-messenger attitude liberally demonstrated in these comments especially constructive.

2. canonical has done an outstanding job of developing a product line and name recognition and they\’ve done a good job of providing an entirely free operating system that lets ordinary end users convenientlyuse proprietary drivers when needed. IMHO they\’ve also created some problems for themselves.

ubuntu has been promoted as being extremely user friendly to the degree that it\’s supposedly competitive with commercial desktop operating systems. that sets very high expectations and i suspect that some folks who are unhappy with ubuntu are unhappy, not because their experience has been all that bad, but because their expectations have not been met. in other words, the product does not always live up to the hype.

ubuntu has a very comprehensive product line, but whether each product is best in class is debatable. one could make a case for centos as a better server os, mepis as a better desktop os for just plain folks, etc. so the disillusioned ubuntu user does have alternatives to try.

the fixed period release cycle is an attractive concept, but is also very tough to pull off well. this problem is exacerbated by the encouragement to upgrade provided by the update manager.

[ some previous comments have suggested that as upgrading to the latest version is voluntary that any problems a user has with an upgrade are the users own fault. however, naive end users may not appreciate the risks involved in upgrading to a new release and if the update manager suggests doing it why wouldn\'t they go along? ]

i suspect that the quality of user experience is likely to depend on the hardware you\’re running on, the apps you need, and your configuration. if you\’re needs are pretty straightforward, or you\’re a developer, you\’re likely to have smooth sailing, or at least few problems you can\’t manage.

if you are a non-technical user who needs specialized software or who has a slightly off-beat configureation (twin head dispaly, multiple LAN connections, multiple desktop environments, etc.) your mileage may vary.

it seems to me that many ubuntu boosters have trouble identifying with the actual experience of naive end users and tend to dismiss real problems as wimpy or as unfair comparisons.

you can\’t have it both ways. how can you promote ubuntu as a viable alternative to commercial operating systems and then say that end user having problems \”sounds like a windows user complaining about his first install\”.

yes, it may be very unfair that some hardware vendors do not facilitate open source drivers, or that so many open source operating system installs must be done by the user rather than an OEM, but until those things change they will be real aspects of real user experiences, fair or not.

final thoughts:

1. as desktop operating systems provide more convenience features, automated configuration management, etc, they get more complex and there\’s more to go wrong. this affects commercial operating systems too. the early success of unix and work-alikes was at least partly due to their spartan elegance. developers of current unix like operating system may do well to seek simple solutions wherever possible.

2. some of the problems with open source desktops may be more apparent than real and may yield to simple solutions. the biggest single problem with most of the desktop environments i\’ve found lacking has been lack of appropriate feedback to the end user. there are times when the desktop can seem to be hung when it\’s not because the system is busy, but not providing the user with any indication of that. a three finger salute with get a user out of a hung desktop but the user isn\’t told that. a simple message on the login screen would remedy that. etc, etc, etc.

3. in some cases, it may be better to leave a feature out than to implement it poorly. in some cases it won\’t be missed if absent, but will detract from the user experience if broken.

gotta go.

Reply
justinlawrence

i\’ve been on Karmic since beta and am loving it.

Granted, there are things we need to bed down though. I think the tone of the article just seemed to strike the wrong chord with many of us, but emotion aside, there\’s still an overriding melody to be heard.

Let\’s step back for a moment:

A few years ago, Linux was not really a \”hey try this Gran\” kind of OS. It was reserved for us geeks.

Now (*)buntu is up there; it\’s not uncommon to hear it compared with the other large OSs and it\’s name is on the mouths of every-day users. That\’s a good thing.

We\’ve heard the \”why don\’t you do something angle\” – the standard response of us geeks to those who complain, but that\’s not gonna fly with ordinary users. These complaints in themselves are acknowledgement that Linux is on their minds. Let\’s receive these complaints with open minds and as great opportunities for innovation. Time to move from the mind to the heart!

Karmic looks to be closest match to the rugged, sleek, smooth landscape of Hardy.

I\’d agree that it\’s time to iron out all the bugs. That doesn\’t need to wait 6 months. I\’d like to see the updates coming through steadily each day.

With a few bug fixes we\’ll hoist the free-thought, open-source flag yet again!

Great job to all who have invested so much time and energy!

Justin

-=-=-

http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/19668/ — how might the desktop help get things done..

Reply
webprog

One thing to notice: Ubuntu is just an \”improved\” Debian. Ubuntu sucks == Debian sucks. We all know it\’s not true statement. So pleas calm down and don\’t panic like linux kernel. Donate a driver for yours unsupported hardware and make Ubuntu (Linux) better.

Reply
geeksmith

This article could have been named:
Hey, {Windows 95, ME, Vista, …)–Stop Making Microsoft Look Bad

…and everything would still look about the same. Did these people who had problems try a beta? Or even a live CD before upgrading? In open-source land, we have the opportunity to try any version of the software and report a bug. If these people didn\’t, then they missed their chance to help make the software better.

I had 1 flawless install, 1 pretty smooth upgrade, and 1 tough upgrade with Karmic. All were done during the beta phase, and most of the issues were worked out quickly. I was glad to be part of the development process, helping to make the end product better.

BTW, Ubuntu isn\’t the only distro out there, and it\’s definitely not the only one to have issues. Fedora and Mandriva are popular on the desktop. Redhat and Suse are pretty popular in enterprise. But there is a reason that Ubuntu gets all the attention…it\’s by far the easiest for beginners.

Reply
mangg

This article is hogwash! It would be more aptly titled, \”Christopher Smart whines about being confused on how to install Ubuntu.\” I could accept these criticisms in part if they were based on anything legitimate but most of them are conjecture and unsited gibberish.

What is this malarkey!?

\”Other people experience awesome features like broken graphics, crashing installer, misconfigured boot loader, USB drives not mounting, sound not working, broken wireless, the list goes on. Upgrading is so bad that a majority of the advice is to perform a fresh install. In fact, the entire term “early adopter” refers to the fact that most experienced Ubuntu users upgrading to the latest version will always wait at least a month before doing so, in order to ensure most major bugs are fixed. Is this seriously acceptable? Is this what you expect from a Linux system? Surely this is some kind of morbid, ironic joke.\”

Poppycock! Only someone new to FOSS/Linux and the software world in general would assume that software will work on ANY hardware you put it on. Additionally Chris can show me a Distro, Operating System or application that is bug free and I will buy him a Linux beginners book.

I worked in IT for more than 20 years and I can unequivocally say that all software $ux and it\’s simply a matter of degrees. Ubuntu for all it\’s flaws has been wonderful for the FOSS world and for the prospect of a Linux desktop. Personally I like Ubuntu and I do support it among many other Distros I use (Debian, FreeBSD, Fedora.)

What is this!?

\”Perhaps Ubuntu’s success is also its curse. They came to fame by making the hard things easier and as such have done great things for the Linux desktop. When you introduce components like proprietary software however, things get more complicated. Sure, Jockey (the proprietary driver manager) warns that Ubuntu “cannot improve or fix these third party drivers,” but does the average user really know what that means? All they know is that their entire (supposedly stable) Linux box hard locks each time they log out or switch users.\”

Well why don\’t you go solve that whole IP (Intellectual Property) issue with your magic wand. Perhaps you could learn more about why this is true because it effects ALL Distros and FOSS in general.

And this is just W..A..Y off!

\”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. Even so, one of Shuttleworth’s primary goals for Ubuntu is for it to be as good as OS X. With releases like Karmic Koala, they aren’t going to get there any time soon, especially when Apple is releasing excellent bug fix-only versions like Snow Leopard. Get your act together, because while Ubuntu might be gaining brave new users who have it worse on Windows, it just doesn’t cut it for experienced Linux users.

First off, Open Source != Free Software! Canonical is the company that financial sponsors the Ubuntu project but it\’s not alone in that. The Ubuntu community also has a huge stake in the development and evolution of Ubuntu. How can you claim they are NOT Open Source? Do they violate the GPL? Are they close source Ubuntu? Oh and how HORRIBLE it would be that someone would profit from Ubuntu. FOSS has thrived since it\’s inception BECAUSE of the involvement of companies. Ever hear of Redhat?

And so in closing I say – Chris stop making yourself look bad by publishing rubbish like this!

Reply
borgward

>owensmk said:

>I looked on Launchpad to see if you have an account registered, and I think I
>found it:

>https://launchpad.net/~christopher-smart

I thought that given the effort you expended to complain about Ubuntu, surely you had at least contributed something to the project. But alas, if this is indeed your account, it appears you\’ve contributed nothing:

0 Bugs opened
0 Questions asked
0 Questions answered
0 Comments
0 Karma

Hmm Are you sure that Karma is listed on Launchpad?

As for questions asked, answered, and comments, I believe Launchpad is not accurate. Of course I asked questions, etc back during the 5.10 era. I was not happy w/how slow Ubuntu was then and moved onto something that worked for me. I forget what. I am now using Debian Lenny.

I feel like I have a right to express my opinions about Ubuntu, especially to people in the Linux family. You might have a point if I was running around yelling \”Ubuntu sucks\” to the general public.

As for contributing to Ubuntu, that is above my capabilities. If I could, I would.

Instead of viewing my comments as complaining, please think of them as constructive criticism.

Reply
macke

I agree with the writer. It\’s not the first time Ubuntu is incompatible with Ubuntu itself – I mean there have been problems for users when the try to upgrade. I you don\’t like to upgrade or reinstall stick with Debian for stability. Otherwise try Fedora, seems much more polished.

Reply
turbobugster

Hmm. I\’ve now upgraded my Dell Vostro notebook from 8.04 (install) to 9.04 and now 9.10. With no problems.

I usually do a fresh install, but have been upgrading to see how it goes. So far, flawlessly.

And I\’m usually one of the unlucky ones where an upgrade craters the machine.

Reply
bendib

THis post literally made me cry, because it\’s all true. Even my old faithful Fedora is becoming less stable, Fedora 11 won\’t even let me use my floppy drive, Fedora 10 could do that, and man, pulseaudio is a pain in the @$$. I cannot reboot without it starting at a very low volume. My screen now flickers three times before the login screen loads, and I have to mount my CD-ROM drive from the terminal as root. CentOS is a good distro I have recently gotten to know, it feels like Fedora (but I know it is made of RHEL) and acts like fedora, the desktop is the same as in my favorite version fedora 7, but the drivers are as up to date as Fedora 11! I love CentOS, and, my advice, stay away from bleeding edge distros.

Reply
johnnyhayre

Just spent several nights going back to 9.04 from 9.10.

9.10 had at least these problems:

1) no sound (again) but this time I couldn\’t fix it and it seems like they took away some of the few tools that 9.04 had to fix sound.

2) Firefox – approximately 1/2 the speed it was in 9.04

3) video goofing up

4) whole system locked up

I would recommend 9.10 to my enemies only – or to people that really want to learn all about
a) partition tables (mine got hosed on one of my disks),
b) GRUB – (a very important yet unintuitive tool which has got to be completely perfect)
c) xorg.conf which again has got to be absolutely perfect.

To the Windows haters out there all I can say is that in 10 years of windows I haven\’t had 1/2 the number of problems of 2 years with UBUNTU.

Reply
owensmk

>> owensmk said:
>>
>> I looked on Launchpad to see if you have an account registered, and I think I
>> found it:
>>
>> https://launchpad.net/~christopher-smart
>>
>> I thought that given the effort you expended to complain about
>> Ubuntu, surely you had at least contributed something to the
>> project. But alas, if this is indeed your account, it appears
>> you\’ve contributed nothing:
>>
>> 0 Bugs opened
>> 0 Questions asked
>> 0 Questions answered
>> 0 Comments
>> 0 Karma

borgward (Chris Smart?) said:

> Hmm Are you sure that Karma is listed on Launchpad?

Sure is. If you had actually done something on LP you might have
noticed.

> As for questions asked, answered, and comments, I believe
> Launchpad is not accurate. Of course I asked questions, etc
> back during the 5.10 era. I was not happy w/how slow Ubuntu was
> then and moved onto something that worked for me. I forget
> what. I am now using Debian Lenny.

LP might not be accuruate for activity that took place 4+ years ago.

> I feel like I have a right to express my opinions about Ubuntu,
> especially to people in the Linux family. You might have a
> point if I was running around yelling \”Ubuntu sucks\” to the
> general public.

That pretty much sums up your article, but you were also good to
dish it out equally on Canonical and Mark Shuttleworth. Do you think
Linux Magazine is not the general public? Where do you think people
go who take an interest in Linux?

> As for contributing to Ubuntu, that is above my
> capabilities. If I could, I would.
>
> Instead of viewing my comments as complaining, please think of
> them as constructive criticism.

This says it all. From the title down, your article was anything
but constructive. It was abrasive, equivocal armchair
quarterbacking, seemingly written in a rage — unbalanced and
utterly insulting to thousands of people in the community that
dedicate their time, energy, and talent to making Ubuntu
possible. I write this from a Dell Mini that came pre-installed
with Ubuntu. Why? Because of the effort and that Canonical
and the community have put into Ubuntu to make this happen.

It amazes me that you are so shortsighted as to compare Ubuntu
with Windows and OS X. Both of these have literally billions of
dollars and a workforce of tens of thousands of paid employees
who are TOLD what to do. They have complete control over their
source code and the direction of development, as well as close
relationships with hardware vendors.

Ubuntu is by comparison a tiny company, working with thousands of
VOLUNTEERS who do WHATEVER they want to do, come and go as they
please. They have little to no control over the vast majority of
the source code involved or direction of development. They do the
best they can to integrate hundreds or thousands of independent projects
into a working whole. Do you have any idea how difficult it is
to put together a working X.org distribution? Did you not hear
Theo De Raadt talk about the enormous challenges of packaging this
subsystem alone? They have a guy who used to be a lead developer
of X and he spends ALL of his time just trying to wrangle the
components together into a working whole. And he knows what he\’s
doing!

I packaged some very simple packages this year for MOTU just to
get an idea of what Ubuntu development is like and I was
humbled. It\’s amazing what these people do.

And so, having some idea of how wonderful it is to have an actual
company with the passion to throw money and resources to create a
great open source operating system and distribute CDs around the
world, it quite frankly annoys me to hear someone who doesn\’t
have the first clue about what\’s involved come along and
publicly disparage it because his install didn\’t work to his
liking — and then call his petulant diatribe \”constructive criticism\”
to boot.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how
the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done
them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly;
who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort
without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the
deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends
himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph
of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he
fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those
cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

Reply
rkarim1981

I did the installation of Ubuntu 9.10 without any problem. I am happy with this new version than 9.04; I am using Ubuntu since version 8.04.

This article is not justified enough.

Reply
lcanacheu

Hey, Ubuntu is free to use. If you\’re not satisfied, just pop some money out of your pocket and get merry buying Windows.
Yeah, right :))
We all know how happy and satisfied Windows users are.
And I almost forgot, I\’m using Linux since 1990\’s, and whenever I needed support I\’ve got it just got by searching with Google or RTF. Tried to do the same with Vista and I ended up (as in Idiocracy) \”experimenting some technical differences\”.
L

Reply
davarino

The author\’s complaint is one that I have voiced many times on the Ubuntu forums. However, to be more realistic in the criticism (and to develop a solution) we must remember a few facts that are easy to overlook.

Ubuntu is free (beer-style). The Ubuntu world is operating at a very small outlay of money: development is generally voluntary without funding.

You may say that beer-freeness is a wonderful part of the Open Source/Free Software world… but it does cripple things.

For example: how many people are knowledgeable enough and can afford the time to modify documentation for the Twi, Kazakh, or Xhosa languages for free? (Each of these languages has more speakers than Norwegian, Afrikaans, or Finnish.) Development for \”fringe markets\” (a euphemisim for groups of poor, different, or disadvantaged users) is always lagging for OSFS: it\’s a natural consequence of OSFS allocation of resources. [Sidenote: \"Democratic\" organisation almost always favors the majority\'s perceived needs at the expense of the minority; plutocratic organisation favors the wealthy at the expense of the needs of the poorer. Allocation of resources is usually competitive and rarely altruistic... because resources are generally considered limited.]

(On the other hand, say that Micro$oft wants to develop the best word processor in the world for Xhosa: M$ can do it with almost no overall cost at all to M$ resources. Yes, it is still a question of whether M$ \”would\” do such a thing, but there would be no internal organisational problem in doing it.)

So, as long as funding of development is haphazard and there is no over-arching control of strategy and resource allocation… development will by the nature of things be uneven and patchy.

For example, hardware compatibility will be an issue because there is no easy way to test the overall system against the many hardware configurations possible… and of course there\’s no money to do R&D, so the community as a whole gets the opportunity to do the quality checks.

It\’s like having a kitchen under control of the cooks and preppers, with no one minding the timing (a chef): with even the best practices and workers, food will not be delivered to the tables on time and the quality will be uneven. Planning and ability to respond to systemic emergent problems is required to succeed. (A great general once said, \”Always have a plan and always be aware that it will be useless.\”)

OSFS has no grand design, really. It is a patchwork of results of hopefully congruent aspirations that the better planners in the community try to nudge into a mulligatawny of functionality.

Such a \”strategy\” in any endeavor generally leads to an overall mediocre result with occasional flashes of brilliance and awe-inspiring lapses. (A low-to-medium mean with a high standard deviation.) Ubuntu has (1) extraordinary word processing power for the investment and (2) utterly crap video editing capabilities… and this will probably not change greatly within the near future because most of the community NEEDS #1 and only a handful needs #2 to be fixed.

Is Ubuntu in any of its incarnations truly \”great\”? No. [It is the fruit of great imagination, it was groundbreaking, and it is free: but it is not a well designed and immensely practical system for getting lots of normal tasks done well.] And the reason for that is that Ubuntu has no grand architecture. Is it of abysmally poor quality? Again, no: there is constant work being done to improve things.

Ubuntu (and OSFS) is very much like a workshop of apprentices and new journeymen without a master workman. (Or a McDonald\’s without a boss, just grunts and \”team leaders\”.) It does the job, but not predictably well.

Articles like this are based on an unrealistic premise: that quality is the result of non-engineered action. Even engineered (deeply planned) action requires response, but non-engineered action has much higher variability. (Admittedly for good as well as bad: but who wants a really fast car that can explode; or a really safe car that moves as slow as an old man with a walker?)

Ubuntu has historically been a one-on one-off development: if the version ends in .10 you\’re possibly in for much more trouble than you will have with a .04. (It\’s \”present it, and then we\’ll fix it\”.)

That\’s the nature of development even for M$. They\’ll dump their best effort [Vista] on the market and a year or two later deliver Windows 7 as the result of fixing it up.

So maybe the problem is not really Ubuntu as Ubuntu. Maybe the problem is (among many other problems) that too many of us expect things to improve when there is really no real, deep planning going on. That will not change… so let\’s just get used to it.

Reply
mkp

I\’ve upgraded three of my systems to 9.10 so far: a Dell laptop, an EPIA-based box, and an AMD64 box. The laptop and AMD64 were network upgrades, and the EPIA was a fresh installation from CD. I had no problems at all with any of them.

Reply
sandman652001

5 installs so far on different hardware all were flawless! I have a feeling that you should have done a bit more research! The only thing looking bad at this point is your article

Upgrade – worked or had few things to fix, but nothing serious 37,88%
Install – worked or had few things to fix, nothing serious 28.75%
that is a 66.63 success rate have somebody give you a calculator for Christmas you really need one

Reply
davarino

The way I read the comment of sandman652001, it seems to imply that a 2/3 zero- or minimal-defect ratio is quite good. Frankly, if I were dealing with that kind of success rate in an enterprise situation I would be having a fit. I\’d also be looking for a different OS. [I suspect that the true success ratio is better, though. Satisfaction surveys often seem to attract the disaffected and to understate the ratio of reasonably happy people. Be that as it may...]

Something that is often overlooked about Ubuntu is that anything after 8.04 (until 10.4) is not a Long Term Support release… which essentially means that you install it as a somewhat-better-than-beta version (a gamma? a delta?).

As a general rule, I have told my customers that they are well advised just to put up with their LTS versions until a couple months after the next LTS comes out. Y\’see, an upgrade from an LTS to the next LTS is designed to be done in one step. (And they have usually worked out just fine, in my experience.) However, to upgrade from an intermediate release (e.g., 8.10) you have to upgrade through *each* successive intermediate release. A true pain. Especially if there\’s a 30% chance of bolloxing it at each successive upgrade.

My own take on the intermediate releases, derived from many installs and more than just a few broken hopes, is to avoid them. They are best for hobbyists and for the people who really want to get under the hood/bonnet. Ubuntu 8.04 LTS is a perfectly fine OS for most users. When 10.04 comes out and has a couple months of after-tweaking done to it, I suppose the same will be true.

Seriously though, an apparent one-in-three chance of seriously screwing up your install/upgrade should be a big red flag not to install/upgrade unless you really are either quite knowledgeable, quite lucky, or incurably masochistic.

Reply
sandman652001

No actually I\’m not saying it is a good ratio, what I\’m saying is that he cannot count! If you consider that people that visit the Ubuntu forum are usually people that are having a problem, it stands to reason to think that the success rate is much higher.
For a living I am (unforunately)a Windows system administrator, please if you have time go to the Microsoft support forums and tell me how many success stories you can find!
P.S. I tell my Windows customers to put up with the old version of windows until service pack 1 is out…..usually 1 year later, that is if they are luky, because if a Vista comes out it is 8 years later!

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justwally

The biggest reason that many of us never have any Linux problems is because we absolutely refuse to purchase incompatible hardware…separate components or entire systems/laptops.

The other reason, the more geek-learning part is that we can fix most any problems on our installs, upgrades or systems in general. So, if we do an install and we have any problems that we know we\’ll get fixed when we next get some time, the install is considered a sucess.

I don\’t say any of this to make people feel badly or deamean folks, only to point out that managing one\’s Linux computer experience _does_ require more time and effort on the part of the user. MacOSX and Windows are specifi cally polished in the areas of hardware support on the broadest range of PC hardware…money changes hands to ENSURE this is so in the Mac/Windows ecosystems. This is worth understanding before you choose your OS or your Linux distro, and ESPECIALLY before you settle on a specific release version for your Linux distro.

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sandman652001

In part I agree with you, my two desktops are as compatible as possible, but the same cannot be said about my laptop on which Ubuntu still installed perfectly. In any case we should not be complaining about the various Linux distributors for unsupported hardware, we should be complaining with the hardware manufacturers for that. The excuse that it is not economical for them to support Linux is a load of bull….,they kept on supporting apple products even when they virtually had no market. I think we should thank Canonical for pushing toward a standard core Linux with timed releases and all the distros like Fedora that jumped on board, that will make it harder and harder for manufacturers to blame the excessive fragmentation of Linux for the fact that they do not support it.

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jsilve1

WOW! Holy Frijoles! This article has really touched a nerve, if forum posts to it are any measure. 86+ posts! The next most I could find was 27 or so.

What does that say? hmmm…

– People are zealously defensive of their beloved Ubuntu?
– C Smart has posted a Dumb article?
– Linux Mag is going for click-thrus and not quality?

I\’m sure the answers lie in between the outer edges of the posts and the article itself. I wish Chris Smart would jump on here and defend some of his points a little, though. Or maybe post another, better, article, to defend those points. Or put some more humor into the article or *something*. I mean, really, the only thing I see in this post is \”trolling for website pageviews\”.

Does anyone else see that?

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doricman

My own experience of Ubuntu goes back as 6.04 which was the reason for me leaving Windows for Linux. I also try other Linux distributions on one of my spare PCs, courtesy if Linux Magazine DVDs.

Much of the comments and problems illustrated above are reflected in Ubuntu Forums. So why am I so free of upgrade problems, with several years of Ubuntu use? The answer, I believe, is that my hardware is pretty old. An AMD 3200 64bit Athlon, NVida 6600 Graphics 128bit memory, not the Golden Sample, and DDR400 memory, on an ECS NForceE4-939 Motherboard. I can use Wireless but prefer using Wired Ethernet for its no nonsense connect.

I agree with the need to do away with 6 monthly updates, and wish for updates that help with specific hardware issues or improved security, and which I see a benefit in applying.

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cram2linuxmag

I have had ubuntu since 8.04 in toshiba\’s notebooks and it has had worked fine. Currently I have a Toshiba Tecra A9, with Ubuntu 9.10 and everything works.

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ruckuus

Hello,

For _me_ and _my_friends_ Ubuntu brought \”Linux Desktop\” cake on our table, we love it, and we enjoy it. In case we don\’t like cherry on it, simply replace it with mango, grape, or whatever _we_ want! and Ubuntu offers this feature very well.

Since, this article takes too much *personal* references, I also personally recommend Ubuntu. It doesn\’t make Linux look bad!

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chrismou

Oh dear god, will all the defensive Ubuntu fanboys just STFU?

Picking on a few points of the article and discrediting them doesn\’t make it any less true. I\’ve just wasted 2 minutes reading an entire comment geared around the OSX comparrison – seriously, who gives a damn? OK, it was a poor analogy, get over it.

The fact is that whether he says \”personally\” or \”a friend told me\” the fact remains – a twitter search will show you a great number of people have experienced problems after upgrading, myself included, and the commenters that feel the need to point out that their installation went fine and therefore anyone who disagrees is wrong need to have a sit down a think about what they\’re saying.

Simple fact, in my case, was that I now have a work PC that throws me out of Gnome to the command line every so often – seemingly randomly, a laptop that now takes and extra 3 minutes to boot (2 year old dual core Pentium, 3mb ram, 1.8Ghz) and a desktop PC less than 3 weeks old that throws up a \”sorry this program has crashed\” notification every 5 minutes, with no real consistency in the programs that are crashing.

Does that sound like a stable OS to you? Does that sound like a problem free installation? No didn\’t think so. And I\’m not stupid enough to think that its affecting everyone, but its affecting me and a lot of people that never had these problems before. So therefore, there *is* a problem.

I love Ubuntu and I\’ll continue using it regardless, but the fact remains – this release screwed a lot of people over. And its no slight on Linux – I also use Debian on my web server and I\’ve *never* had any problems. Linux is as great as it ever was, but Karmic, in my opinion, is a release I wish I\’d avoided (Oh my god, did I say \”my opinion\”?? Quick! Start the flaming!)

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jonjermey

Nobody yet seems to have suggested the obvious comparison: per cent of users with problems after installing Ubuntu 9.10 versus per cent of users with problems after installing some alternative system — Windows XP, Vista or 7, Ubuntu 9.04, Fedora 11 or whatever; take your pick, and don\’t forget to control for hardware differences and the relative skill levels of the users.

In fact we simply don\’t know yet what a \’normal\’ problem rate for a modern operating system is (anecdotes != evidence), and until we do articles like this are meaningless. What they do indicate, however, is that a hell of a lot of people are trying Ubuntu, and this has got to be a good sign. No operating system is perfect; all we can reasonably ask for is that it is better than the alternatives.

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phil_fl

@chrismou

It\’s ok to have problems, please seek help, from irc to forums, mailings lists, user groups, people are willing to help you.
Linux is one of the most easy and friendly community to join, do so.

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gustavod

Christopher,
Tell us the truth:
1) How much did Microsoft and Apple pay you for this article?
2) What is free software? (hint: visit http://www.fsf.org/)

Don\’t pass me by again. Share my comment.

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redfoxkt

Christopher,
your an idiot, really. think about it, what OS/Software/Game/Hardware worked FLAWLESSLY on its release…non. every thing that is first released ALWAYS has a bug and that\’s why we have a nifty thing called updates and patches, for you to attack a just released OS expecting bugs is just plain stupid and ignorant and im sure most people here that know a little about computers will say the same. And since when has Ubuntu ever gave linux a bad name ? ubuntu is one of the first OS other than redhat you hear about when talking about linux.

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sswam

Articles like this don\’t really hurt Ubuntu, they don\’t really hurt Linux. They hurt the reputation of Linux Magazine and the author.

I wrote to Linux Magazine\’s complaining about this article.

It is completely disrespectful, presented offensively, and I will no longer read this magazine.

It isn\’t that I love Ubuntu so much, or that I don\’t handle criticism.

This article is not just critical, it is rude and offensive. The points could have be made in a friendly, respectful, constructive way instead of a rude, arrogant and offensive way.

Why is Linux Magazine highlighting this article? Why does it have a big ugly picture of Chris Smart pulling a face like an idiot and giving Ubuntu the thumbs down on the front page of the website?

Apparently Linux Magazine is becoming a piece of trash. Good-bye, Linux Magazine.

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jonesca

I don\’t think apple have escaped problems with snow leopard either.
Just take a look at http://www.apple.com.au and the comments about the upgrade.

As they say. \’It\’s not a bug it\’s a feature\’.

And I would\’nt gripe to much for something that is free and supported
by people who contribute to linux distros in the spare time that they have.

And if you have decided to jump to the next upgrade without waiting first to see how people have gone thats your problem. You have to remember that if you are using any linux,bsd distro you are also a volunteer developer bug tester. And I don\’t mind as long as I\’m not expected to pay for the bugger!like with microsoft and osx.

\”It comes in part and partial\”. I think thats right

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sargenthp

I look at the bright side… Now I get to try out openSUSE and Fedora again. Ubuntu 9.10 is VERY bad! For me it was unusable without hours of tweaking to get things to work that worked \”out of the box\” with 9.04. I guess we will see how 10.04 is. If anybody is on the fence to try 9.10… I would NOT recommend it, unless they fix things and release a respin.

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gruntydatsun

LOL! I repeat LOL!

The word of an handful of unbuntu-fanboys who subscribe to Linux Magazine website saying \”I had no trouble installing\” is hardly representative of the average user\’s experience.

Intermediate users such as yourselves are not the ones having the problem. Its Ma & Pa with their BRAND NEW pc hardware having the trouble and this is the market at which the Ubuntu desktop is targetted. These are facts, not affected myopic rambling.

How you handle criticism is a good measure of your character and I see some serious character deficiencies in some of these postings.

Please exuse some of my rudeness above, I do enjoy mocking the zealous.

EDIT ADDED HERE

I just saw something that amused me greatly.

Jonesca posted: \”It comes in part and partial\”.

More accurately: \”It comes in parts and partially works\”

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lambdas

Its hard to not agree with some of authors arguments. From some time version update means trouble for Linux beginners (target group of distro !).

I persuaded some of my friends to try Ubuntu as first non-commercial system.
I would not do that again. Simply because every version update means problems. Updating just security patches is some solution but many new users prefers to have some new features from time to time. In my opinion distro isn`t tested enough (to short release circle ?) before release.

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silverwave

I have done some checking and there are some hard numbers in this article:
\”TuxRadar by the numbers 2.0: the rise of Karmic\”
http://www.tuxradar.com/content/tuxradar-numbers-20-rise-karmic

The bottom line is that the vast majority of Ubuntu users upgrade almost straightaway.

55% of their Linux users use Ubuntu and of that 65% have upgraded to Karmic already.
If this is broadly followed by most users then approximately 6.5 million users have successfully upgraded.
Hopefully this helps to put things in context.

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nigel2

Ubuntu 9.10 is the first Linux OS tn make me consider wiping windows of my hard drive
NIGEL2

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csmart

@silverwave, thanks for the link, those are some very interesting patterns.

Less than 5% are using LTS and most users do appear to upgrade straight away. Even so, that doesn\’t mean they didn\’t have any number of issues doing so!

-c

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getkaizer

This is a great article and some points are very pertinent.
I especially like the line about power and responsibility.

Nicely written. No mincing words.

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bromines

Having a Linux Distro ran by a huge company is not the best thing you can do because Canonical is not thinking about the user there thinking about how much money is in there pocket. There for Ubuntu will never live up to the hype because it becomes bloated and blown out of proportion just like Windows releases.

This brings up a hole new bag of worms as well with Google, but thats another day; and also thats another poison.

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ruilapa

I use Linux for 12 years now… and let me say! Its power is increasing everyday, both in personal and enterprise desktops.

One of the main factors of its growth his the total hours spent by every user, developer and company. As time goes by, this factor is increase because the \”major annoyances\” will turn into \”lack of features\”, and the logaritmic evolution will continue.

Ubuntu has made a lot to the desktop. All distros have. I personally prefer Fedora, but I use Ubuntu on enterprise desktops. I must say I like debian based distros due to its \”application easy deployment\” and its \”wide application range\”, but Ubuntu 9.10 has some \”stability\” issues that I\’m not gonna focus because ALMOST all distros have some.

What is important is not the minor issues but the idea. The idea that gathers million of people around an OS… the idea that we are important, that our choices matter. We use the born gift of freedom and help make a better future.

We choose our desktop system, window manager, file manager, almost everything to our liking and we have an misunderstood joy in using it, sharing it and improving it and giving it to others.

For me Linux is not the OS… its the idea… and that idea does not disappear!

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john.dixon.jr

I think what Ubuntu has fallen prey to is to change for change sake. I don\’t want to sit and relish how wonderful the idea of my OS is if it would only work. I want it to work and improve on iterations. Ubuntu 9.10 definitely did NOT improve on 9.04. If it were my first experience with Linux I would go back to OS/2. OK, maybe that\’s harsh. My first experience with debian was much, much worse. And here I am still more than a decade later. Let those other jokers change so they have something to talk about. Apple has it about right and they\’re only releasing bug fixes.

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maxricketts

I know this article has been out for a month now and not many people will read what I have to say, but I\’m a longtime Windows user who recently decided to install Ubuntu 9.10. I have minimal Linux experience – I did a tiny amount of fooling around with Slackware and Red Hat growing up but honestly never got much further with it than successfully installing the OS, if I even made it that far. Problems always came up that I did not have the motivation to deal with: video problems, network problems, etc. As a teenager who was and now a 26 year old who is as close at it gets to being an expert at keeping Windows stable and fast, the amount of problems with Linux I ran into was highly discouraging. After all I\’d heard about Linux being more stable and having less errors than Windows, not being able to get my desktop sized correctly or my internet working after hours of trying ended up keeping me away from giving the OS an honest shot.

But recently my interest in programming became revived (it\’s always been a minor hobby) and I was overcome with a desire to program in a Linux environment. First I tried to install Debian because a friend had recommended it and because my perception of Ubuntu was incorrect (I had thought it to be a kind of Linux Lite for Windows users). The install seemed to work fine, until I rebooted my computer. GRUB Error 17. This probably would have been enough to scare any non-technical Windows user away from Linux for the rest of his/her life, but I\’d seen it before and knew how to recover my MBR. Nevertheless, my faith in Debian was gone, and I decided to go with Ubuntu for AMD64 after reading about it and discovering the error of my judgement.

I\’m happy to say that Ubuntu 9.10 AMD64 installed without a hitch and has been running great! I have not had any reason to log back into Windows and I\’ve been pleasantly surprised with how \”at home\” I feel in the GUI. For me, going from Windows to Ubuntu is a much more comfortable transition than it was switching between Windows and OS X, which I\’ve personally never liked much. The only trouble I had was getting a native resolution of 1366×768 to display properly on my 720P Vizio LCD TV (which I use for a monitor), but after doing some digging on my model and working with xorg.conf, to my surprise I had it looking great in no time! I mounted my storage drive and opened a downloaded TV episode in the movie player, and every codec I needed was installed. Every video file I\’ve tried plays great. I have Flash Player working fine. I think the Ubuntu Software Center is pretty awesome.

All in all, I agree with most of those who have commented here and think that this article is pretty misguided. My girlfriend sat down at my computer when I wasn\’t home to check her Yahoo! mail and browse the web, and she didn\’t even realize she wasn\’t in Windows. An early poster pointed out that most Windows users never go through the install/setup process themselves, and I personally think that those who don\’t have a certain level of computer proficiency simply shouldn\’t be installing or upgrading any OS, no matter which one. I\’ve seen problems during upgrades and installs of every single operating system I\’ve ever used that would have thrown an \”average user\” for a loop. But my Ubuntu 9.10 install was 100% perfect and was as easy as any commercial OS install out there. With all the minor obstacles I\’ve faced in the past trying to get other distros working seamlessly, I find Ubuntu to be most impressive.

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jeff_dickey

For nearly three years, Ubuntu was what I demoed to clients and friends who were receptive to the idea of ditching Windows, but wanted to keep their existing hardware setup. I would explain some of the basic principles of how things were put together, pointing out some of the numerous other distros that had been built on top of Ubuntu, and how each was targeted at a more specific user or usage profile.

No more. The demos I\’ve been giving for the last month or two have been OpenSUSE and Fedora; they\’re each far, far more stable and predictable on the systems I and my clients run, and both make a good \”let me show you what it looks like to install and maintain Linux\” demo installing into a VMWare Fusion VM.

Ubuntu is getting to where GNU has been for so long; more a declaration of one\’s political and social views than an organization that reliably ships great software. We had the best chance we\’re ever going to have for the fabled \”Year of the Linux Desktop\” in 2008 and 2009 and Ubuntu, at least as much as anybody, not only dropped the ball but shot it with an Uzi once it was on the ground.

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mbourque

I too have been recommending Ubuntu for the newly minted Linux user but this last 9.10 version is making me rethink things. I had to futz for several hours to get sound and video playback to work among other things, then I had to futz with the sound every reboot till I fixed that. I\’m a sys admin so I like a challenge but if Linux is to gain share the sound and video playback problems (all distros included) need to be worked out. I\’ll still recommend Ubuntu for nubes but with caveats.

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greendude

Honestly?
All you\’re doing in your article is complaining. It is VERY easy to complain, about anything in the world, but considering that Ubuntu is open source, and the most successful Linux distro on personal computers, do you not think you\’re being overdramatic?

Comparing Ubuntu to OS X is such a silly thing to do…of course they are very different, and you may say that OS X has its positives in being perfectly pre-built, but by being open to so much more hardware, Ubuntu will naturally have more difficulty. If you go through it, and do what Apple does on their computers, ie configure hardware to suit the software, you\’ll get a perfect Ubuntu distro…but since YOU are not doing that….it is totally illogical for you to complain.

If you think then that Apple\’s products are better, go for it…they\’re also much more expensive (as opposed to free of course), and come with many more restrictions. But like some others pointed out, you are comparing apples to oranges. It\’s just plainly illogical.

Just a general tip, if you really do support open source…you should be more supportive. Constructive criticism is ALWAYS welcome…but crying like this without any objective points and totally skewed stats is just plain frustrating for the rest of us. I think this was essentially an article to gather hits…and I guess it\’s been successful like that…but as for the rest of it, it is sickening.

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adamspade

Let me get my violin…

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haroldmodesto

Haven\’t anyone figured it out already? Non-LTS releases are betas. So if you don\’t want to test stay with the LTS – granted they\’re not bug-free but what software is?

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csmart

@haroldmodesto

Umm, no they are NOT. Non-LTS are still considered stable releases by Canonical.

You call them \”betas\” because they are often not really very stable, which sort of proves my point..

-c

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k3mist

Ubuntu is the best thing to happen to GNU/Linux, it finally put the desktop in the mainstream. If you even want to call it that? As of Jan 2010, according to the wikipedia, it only has 1.04% share on the desktop. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems

I\’m sure its actually more than 1.04 based off how they generate those statistics, but my point is, it would be less without Ubuntu making a desktop that has experienced users 60 year old parents running it these days.

Overall, the distribution is pretty solid and they have improved many different pieces of open source software. They give a ton back to the community and are doing a lot to improve the GNU/Linux desktop experience, regardless if their motives are for financial gain. Look how much Red Hat as done for example.

Attitudes like yours and articles like this are what discourage people and un-motivate them. I would like to add, most of what you listed has nothing to do with Ubuntu at all, but it is sad those issues made it in to the official release. For example, the kernel version that was chosen causing file corruption on fresh ext4 file systems. But such is life and they didn\’t try to hide it. It\’s always important to read release notes when upgrading a distribution, they are there for a reason.

Anyway, this was a prettying disappointing article to find.

You should consider writing something that is constructive and encourage people to help test, report and fix bugs so things like this are less frequent. Not condemn an entire distribution which has done a lot of good for this community.

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haroldmodesto

@csmart

That was a tongue-in-cheek remark. :)

@k3mist

I see the article as a challenge to the powers that be. The author may be a bit inaccurate and his writing style may not suit everyone but I think we should instead try to focus on what could be done. I tend to agree with him that the release cycle may have something to do with Ubuntu\’s upgrade travails. This I see is the gist of his article. I also don\’t see him forsaking linux anytime soon.

Few will argue when I say that Ubuntu is the biggest contributor to putting linux on the desktop. They may not be earning now or ever at all but they still have to market their OS, and as everyone knows this is more often than not a counteracting force against product quality. So its business as usual. ;)

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grandmasterflash82

When I converted to linux 8 years ago, I started with Fedora Core 2. It was great and got the job done until they added the selinux stuff which noticeable slowed things down.

When I got tired of updating and disabling that every time, I switched to Ubuntu about a year and a half ago. My first major upgrade to Ubuntu was to 9.10 and I must say it went a heck of a lot better than I though it would. I had trouble with the video drivers once I upgraded. Yet the problem was caused by the installer not upgrading grub\’s menu.lst file properly and had nothing to do with the drivers.

Once I ran uname and found out that my system was still running the old kernel, I manually changed it and everything worked fine.

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ramses

I support ~100 Linux PC\’s and servers at my company — a mix of Debian, Fedora, and Ubuntu. After testing Karmic on several desktops and laptops I made the decision to not upgrade to Karmic across the board. Unfortunately for Ubuntu, there were several deal breakers — a broken GRUB2 config, broken audio drivers, broken video drivers, and a broken network manager.
Several of those are not horrible by themselves (and most most been fixed), but in aggregate, they were unacceptable. The obvious comparison to an early release of Windows seems to be true — but it did not use to be this way! Hardy just worked, as did Jaunty (with the exception of a network manager bug exposed in our configuration).
I am hoping that the next LTS release is primarily a bugfix release, but it does not seem to be in the cards…

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There are bugs in every OS, the ones in Linux are simply more visible. If you install the LTS release you will be supported for 5 years on the desktop. By which time your hard.
remember when XP was released and there was the SAME gnashing of teeth with compatibility with software and hardware as well as BLASTER which crippled millions?
This is a short-sighted rant at best. If you don’t like the OS, don’t use it but don’t waste anyone’s time (or even your own) typing out pointless crap like this, it achieves nothing whatsoever

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“Great, thank you for sharing this particular post.Many thanks. Really Cool.”

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This is a good article and highlights a very important problem.
I started 12 months ago with 11.04 which was very good, then with the upgrade to 11.10 the printer stopped and months of attempted fixes failed to cure it. However I still remained a loyal Ubuntu advocate.
This week with the upgrade to 12.04, the graphics and desktop failed and I just got a command prompt. It even screwed up the previous versions offered in grub, so last night I re-formatted the drive partition that once held Ubuntu and have now returned to using only Windows XP, which I have found is far more reliable and robust.
There must be many others who have ditched Ubuntu for good because of these retrograde updates.

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I’ll bet a lot more distros woulf get attention if they used WICD instead of Gnome Network Manager. I’m behind a wep encrypted router and only three distros have the digital internal to handle it: Arch, Fedora, and Ubuntu.

Arch and Fedora are out for insufficient number of packages.

Ubuntu is the only one of the few who seem to realizew that, like a mouse and a keyboard, the Internet is a tool needed FOR configuring a computer since the data is online.

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I heartily disagree with *everyone* who says Ubuntu makes Linux look bad! I actually really like *buntu; it’s an *excellent* distro that’s great for both beginners to *nix and seasoned developers like me. While I use prefer Slackware, Gentoo and even FreeBSD for my ethical Hacking (as if there’s any other kind hehe xD) Ubuntu if PERFECT for my small software business and gaming, as well as just messing around. I just can’t fathom how you people think there’s anything wrong with it. Common sense and years of experience with both (K)Ubuntu and several other distros have proven to me that it’s no less effective, powerful or secure than any other distro, and the *HUGE* user base and community of *buntu/Mint/etc. stand testament that I’m not alone. For anyone who feels differently, you’re free to believe what you want, but don’t blame Ubuntu because your tastes differ; Ubuntu has done *nothing* but HELP the Linux community grow, and that is simply a fact, supported by statistical proof.

P.S. For those of you who seem to be experiencing problems: You’ll have similar problems with *any* distro that has a strict release schedule and uses the most cutting-edge (and therefore, IMO, best) releases of software. And if you still have problems you probably just lack the competency needed to work with *nix in the first place. I mean no offense, but am simply trying to help you by informing you that *nix isn’t some canned OS like Windo$e or Crack OS X–it’s an evolving and strong FOSS technology base; the problems Ubuntu *does* have right after release are always fixed promptly, in my 6 years experience with the distro. Please stop whining; you’re making the FOSS community look like immature children

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I heartily disagree with *everyone* who says Ubuntu makes Linux look bad! I actually really like *buntu; it’s an *excellent* distro that’s great for both beginners to *nix and seasoned developers like me. While I use prefer Slackware, Gentoo and even FreeBSD for my ethical Hacking (as if there’s any other kind hehe xD) Ubuntu if PERFECT for my small software business and gaming, as well as just messing around. I just can’t fathom how you people think there’s anything wrong with it. Common sense and years of experience with both (K)Ubuntu and several other distros have proven to me that it’s no less effective, powerful or secure than any other distro, and the *HUGE* user base and community of *buntu/Mint/etc. stand testament that I’m not alone. For anyone who feels differently, you’re free to believe what you want, but don’t blame Ubuntu because your tastes differ; Ubuntu has done *nothing* but HELP the Linux community grow, and that is simply a fact, supported by statistical proof.

P.S. For those of you who seem to be experiencing problems: You’ll have similar problems with *any* distro that has a strict release schedule and uses the most cutting-edge (and therefore, IMO, best) releases of software. And if you still have problems you probably just lack the competency needed to work with *nix in the first place. I mean no offense, but am simply trying to help you by informing you that *nix isn’t some canned OS like Windo$e or Crack OS X–it’s an evolving and strong FOSS technology base; the problems Ubuntu *does* have right after release are always fixed promptly, in my 6 years experience with the distro. Please stop whining; you’re making the FOSS community look like immature children

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P.S. Please forgive the double post. It was most unintentional, I assure you. See, I’m just as imperfect as you! =) No hard feelings, I sincerely hope, as I hold none for those of you who’ve insulted my second favorite distro, a slight I take seriously!

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