Top Ten Reasons to use Ubuntu

Top Ten Reasons to use Ubuntu: Now that I am officially “switched”, I will outline the reasons why Ubuntu rises to the top of other Linux variants available.

  1. Hardware Recognition: I would have to say that Ubuntu is by far the best Linux variant available today for hardware recognition. I have installed Dapper Drake (the latest Ubuntu release) on almost 10 different PC’s with completely different hardware configurations and I cannot remember any hardware that was not recognized. I have also installed Ubuntu in a few virtual environments without any problems.
  2. Synaptic Package Manager: This tool makes switching from a Windows environment a breeze. Windows users will feel right at home with this indispensable graphical interface for package management and software installation.
  3. Fast Release Cycle: Ubuntu is set on a six month release cycle so you have a new version out every six months that is usually a pretty big change with a lot of new features. Similar to the yearly OS X release. Upgrading to the new versions is also a snap as they come packaged in the software update tool.
  4. Easy Switch from Windows: I have been a Windows user ever since I started using a computer. Occasionally I would try a Linux variant to see what all the hype was about, but I never was able to take the plunge until Ubuntu. Ubuntu allowed me to switch over with ease and the amount of support on the Internet was huge for a Linux newbie like myself.
  5. Root Account Disabled by Default: This may not seem like a big deal but it is a huge deal when it comes to security. Ubuntu functions so that the user created during installation is part of the sudo users group and can do root user tasks once authenticated. This means that any Ubuntu computer effectively has a different root user name and since root is the most attacked account on a Linux box, the Ubuntu computer becomes very secure for not having this account enabled by default.
  6. Internet Support: The on-line support for Ubuntu is amazing. This distribution is rather new compared to other Linux variants, but the amount of documentation out there already is nothing to shake a stick at. UbuntuForums.org is a daily necessity for tips and tricks and general support. Also most Linux software comes with an Ubuntu version already. Simply amazing.
  7. Free: ‘Cash is King’. Since this operating system is completely free, it ups the ante against Microsoft and Apple big time. Who doesn’t like something for free?
  8. Wireless Card Configuration: The built in wireless configuration tool makes it a snap to connect to WiFi points across the land. I recently traveled with my Ubuntu laptop and had zero problems connecting to an available WiFi point during my trip. I wish I could say the same for the Windows world. I really think wireless in Ubuntu is as easy as the wireless in Apple OS X, it just works.
  9. Easy to Dual Boot: If you’ve got an extra partition you are in luck. Setting up a Linux/Windows dual boot is always a scary proposition, but with Ubuntu it is easy as pie. I have created between 5 and 10 dual boot machines and have not had one problem. (I always install Windows first) In fact my laptop is triple booted with Windows, Ubuntu, and Red Hat and Ubuntu manages the boot sequence via grub. I have even successfully re-sized a Windows partition to add Ubuntu as a dual boot, but make sure you have a backup first in case something goes wrong.
  10. Integrated Software Update Tool: This tool compares to Windows Update and runs in the background. Not only does it update system stuff but installed applications as well (as long as they are in the repositories). Everything from the kernel to the browser, this tool is a must have to keep your machine up to date.
  11. EasyUbuntu: (Bonus!!) EasyUbuntu is the best free tool for Ubuntu users. This program is a must have when you set up a new Ubuntu box. It installs everything from video drivers to flash browser plug-ins and so simple your grandma could use it.
  12. It Just Works: (Bonus #2!!) From thumb drives to hardware configuration changes, Ubuntu handles it with ease. No blue screens of death or crashing system errors. Congratulations to the team responsible for bringing us this great OS!
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29 responses to “Top Ten Reasons to use Ubuntu

  1. This is a very nice list of reasons. I would only add that it is not only free in terms of money. What is probably even more important it that it is free as in freedom. I think this is basis of all other benefits.

  2. Pingback: Alberto Milone’s Blog » Blog Archive » Top Ten Reasons to use Ubuntu

  3. Easy Ubuntu [like Automatix] is not a part of Ubuntu, rather an external, add-on tool someone had to make because all those items [audio/video] didn’t/don’t/won’t work “out of the box” without a additional work by the user.

    I like Ubuntu and Edubuntu, but they both take forever to initially boot up, even when loaded into RAM. DSL, Puppy, boot so much faster; PCLinuxOS, DreamLinux, Dyne-Bolic and Video Linux, look so much better, and the user has less to set up-yes, sacrilege, I know, but there’s only so much time in the day.

  4. I agree with most of your points on ubuntu… it is the best linux distro I’ve used, but I think Automatix is a superior alternative to EasyUbuntu. Also, the simplicity of setting up ubuntu as a LAMP server or perfect development environment makes it perfect for me.

  5. Dan: Sorry about that, I should have clarified that EasyUbuntu is not part of the distribution but rather third party software.

  6. 1. If you have right wifi there may be no problems, but i had to use ndiswrapper, and still I couldn’t resolve problem.

    2. It is not always free, I bought new wireless card, just to try internet (i use wifi to access internet).

    3. Clean install got some strange anomalies – i couldn’t have resolution other than 640×480@60Hz – luckily someone on forum helped me – i had to go outside window x system, and configure it trough some painful wizard.

    4. After I bought new card, I found resolution to problem with old wifi (and i googled net a LOT) – someone by strange coincidence hat just the same problem – there was some nonworking driver, which was interfering with ndiswrapper, and i had to manually delete that file somewhere deep in file system.

    5. Just like with any other linux – you have to learn terminal (to use windows you’ll never have to learn any such command (except you use win95 :P)). I mean seriously, i used it 50% of time for various tasks, and many tools even don’t have UI.

    6. Root Account Disabled by Default – You’ll have to learn ‘sudo’ command in terminal to get privileged rights :D

    7. EasyUbuntu – Ubuntu after you installed it has absolutely no media support. I couldn’t play mp3, play videos, see flash animations… And who said I’ll be able to get EasyUbuntu. Luckily i saw page on digg.com, that informed me about Automatix (any that was the only reason that I chose this distribution – otherwise I couldn’t get tons of codecs – that come with winxp by default)

    8. Some growl about windows service packs and holes – i wonder why there was new linux kernel just a week after I installed ubuntu (and i got 6.06 dvd 2 days after it officially came out) – are there so many new holes to fix or what. But they don’t call them patches; they are new kernels with new features! And after I updated new shiny kernel my audio player stop working.

    9. Audio player somehow after few reboots started playing – don’t know how… Anyway it was crappy (and all audio players that come with ubuntu are the same) – nobody reaches wmp (especially new 11) – i just enjoy bass boosting (SRS WOW effects) – and I couldn’t find similar easy solution in linux.

    10. Some applications have some quality – like firefox and openoffice – but other are just ugly (xmms) – they just don’t have the same professional look like ms apps. Ms apps might sometimes have bugs – but they always look perfect. And I don’t like to use ugly UIs (sometimes they even don’t have it)

    11. Easy to Dual Boot – I expect that from serious OS… Try formatting linux partition – GRUB will return error, and you’ll not be able to go to windows partition. Then comes windows setup cd – and you’ll have to use repair console with fixmbr and fixboot commands – just NICE…

    12. Synaptic Package Manager – I just don’t like it – I am used to get install programs. SPM is too much OS centralistic – when comes deb packages you’ll have to recompile them in terminal… And still I don’t know how to install packages to other drives (I even don’t know if that is possible with that stupid file system idea).

    13. File systems. They are pain in the ass (linux issue). I couldn’t persuade ubuntu to write to ntfs (i am not leaving windows for sure). I also hate the idea of dividing file system into 20 pieces (sys, usr, obj…) – plain stupid for me (they should just use sys and stuff everything connected with system into it)

    14. At the beginning I liked brown theme – but after a while it is more like… well… brown-wooden-shit-like-color theme. You can change theme, but ubuntu will still have the same taste. (Anyway if you like it it’s ok :P)

  7. You are plain wrong in some points. First of all you state that Ubuntu is the first distro you ever managed to use – so how can you compare to other (and which exactly) options? I think Ubuntu is rather nice and user-friendly distro. I understand your satisfaction that you’ve got Linux finally running for you and that is good really. :)

    > 1. Hardware Recognition: I would have to say
    > that Ubuntu is by far the best Linux variant
    > available today for hardware recognition.

    Oh come on… :) It does not even include graphical tool for changing display (color depth, resolution) settings. Put a newbie against text config file and you are screwed.

    Also Ubuntu *does* *not* by default include closed source drivers for common hardware. Some distros do that. I mean that if some piece of hardware is supported by Linux natively it will work everywhere.

    > 2. Synaptic Package Manager: This tool makes
    > switching from a Windows environment a breeze.

    Am I the first to inform you that Synaptic works well (same as on Ubuntu) on various distros? Also for example Mandrake (now Mandriva) had URPMI (easy frontend for package management) for years (like 6 or so). You also have Smart GUI and so on. Relly nothing revolutionary on Ubuntu part – Synaptic is nice but it is nothing new.

    > 5. Root Account Disabled by Default: This may not
    > seem like a big deal but it is a huge deal when it
    > comes to security.

    First of all root account is *not* disabled in Ubuntu. In fact you cannot disable this account in UNIX – it is essential account under which the most important procesess run. Just do “ps -u root” in terminal to see how many processes are running under this account – since they are running under an account it is obvious that it is not disabled.

    The thing in Ubuntu is that you cannot directly login to root account.

    Not a big deal. In fact such approach is a *compromise* of security. In Ubuntu (OSX also) some users are given root privileges (by using sudo). This is plain wrong from security standpoint. The rule is privilege separation – so you exactly know “now I am logged in as a root – I do administration” or “now I am an user – now I work and do not have administrative rights”. Ubuntu’s approach is less secure (but more convinient) than classical one.

    One simple practical reason – if somebody compromises your *user* password it also means that he gains entire system. In classical approach (root is clearly separated and differently protected than user) this would not have took place.

    You are very wrong here – please understand basic security.

    > 6. Internet Support: The on-line support for
    > Ubuntu is amazing.

    This is relative – maybe it is amazing regarding easy stuff (OK – a bit FUD here) – it is easy to write 1000 HOWTOs on how to enable MP3 playback. But what about more serious problems?

    > This distribution is rather new compared to
    > other Linux variants, but the amount of
    > documentation out there already is nothing to
    > shake a stick at.

    1. You stated that you have not really used any other distro so how do you compare?
    2. Wikis, forums and so on are not documentation – documentation is something that is *certain* to work. Documentation is created by system vendors and the described methodologies, techniques must be proven to work. If you read something in Ubuntu Forum (or whatever similar) this is not documentation – it is some experience, it may not work for you. Also probably the ammount of documentation you are reffering to is like 1000 tutorials on how to enable GLX or MP3 playback. :) Please consider f.e. Slackware Book, Gentoo Handbook, Debian Documentation Project, Red Hat KB and docs (some of them need payment) and so on. Then compare.

    > 7. Free: ‘Cash is King’. Since this operating system
    > is completely free, it ups the ante against Microsoft
    > and Apple big time. Who doesn’t like something for
    > free?

    1. I don’t se Windows or Mac OSX as “Linux variants”.
    2. No – free as in beer is not an value – in fact nothing is exactly free. Even your Linux system costed you money (think beer) – the hardware costed, time spent on getting it to work costed etc. So free as in beer is not an argument – since it is relative.

    > 8. Wireless Card Configuration: The built in
    > wireless configuration tool makes it a snap to
    > connect to WiFi points across the land.

    Which tool was developed by Red Hat. :)

    > 9. Easy to Dual Boot

    Like literally any other distro out here.

    Ubuntu is nice in deed but please do not state that is somewhat better than other variants of Linux since most of your points were invalid.

    You have right on these:
    – Ubuntu tends to be user-friendly
    – So does Ubuntu community – but when really searching for answer to a problem you are searching for answer. Even a harsh answer but one that works.

  8. lol!! This Windoze fanboy mt above was funny.

  9. I installed Ubuntu yesterday and I find it very hard. I had to learn to mount my other hard drive, and even after all the work of editing files etc. I still can’t actually copy things to it.

    A lot more stuff should be available by the GUI, even if it’s just automatically generating the scripts.

  10. Pingback: Mike’s blog » Blog Archive » A cheerful second to Midspot’s Ubuntu post

  11. Qwerty Maniac

    mt – Like easy ways, use em, dont complain since you pay, having cash.

  12. Dude point 13 => Microsoft sucks
Microsoft is tryin to get rid of os software…Tat is crap

  13. Pingback: mattbasta.be » Blog Archive » Top 10 Reasons to use Windows XP

  14. This was originally answer to kosmosik.net’s post, but then I read it more carefully and I find out that he’s not referring to me only – so I am just continuing

    First of all it is not my first distro. I had Red Had two times, Knoppix, and some local disto. However these distros didn’t last for a week (ubuntu lasted 3 weeks, then I needed more space on HD for sth else).
    I admit, ubuntu is by far the most user friendly linux I’ve ever saw. But there is problem – other distros don’t say so explicitly that they are targeted for home users – I mean the want them, but they are not like ubuntu who is labeled as ‘the most user friendly’, ‘linux for humans’, etc, etc..
    I don’t care for Red Hat and Slackwares user friendliness – they are used by hackers, and IT professionals. But ubuntu should be user friendly in every point of view.

    I am experienced windows user (hobby programmer) – but in linux for the beginning I wanted to be just ordinary user without uber-hax0r skills (like your mom) and from that point of view I judge ubuntu.

    1. For driver support – maybe this isn’t ubuntu’s fault – but considers that my wifi and video didn’t work fine. At least video should…
    Anyway – if they knew that there are about 90% of drivers written for windows – why didn’t they implement WDM? Too hard? They have IBM on their side…

    2. Config files – That’s what I am talking about – but first you’ll have to enter in terminal something like ‘sudo gedit {long file name}’ – then you’ll have to figure out the structure of document. Remember I said I wanted to be regular user… You don’t have to do this in windows :P

    3. Synaptic package manager – the only advantage here is that there is thousands of programs in it. But on the other side – it’s stupid to have 10 incompatible package managers (in 20 main distros)… (As a windows user I like better ‘setup program’ concept – you got more control over installation…)

    4. About sudo – I think it is nice concept, but it should be easily available in UI.

    5. Internet support – I know what you are talking about – to use help and browse internet for some bigger databases. But you get quickly confused, and I don’t like reading huge amounts of text just to fix some trivial problem. In winnows using and fixing it is intuitive, in linux (in my opinion) you use documentation (…to find ambiguous commands to enter into terminal :P).

  15. to madcap: and you are? linux lover, hax0r wannabe? hipi-like rebel? Peace dude…

  16. Id say Blag or Mandriva are alot easier for a newbie… I think in level of usability its quite comparable to openSuse which is another fine distro.

  17. Ubuntu may not be the absolute easiest distribution to install in all respects, but it has made tremendous strides, particularly in comparison to the Ubuntu 4.* and 5.* versions, even the previous 5.10. Ubuntu is now very close to trivial to install, and on commodity hardware that is generally well supported, it is as easy as some of the best distros in the business, and in my opinion, significantly easier to install than any version of Windows that I have ever installed (not that they are particularly difficult, but they take longer to install and ask more questions).

    Only the commercially available Xandros, which has absolutely outstanding interoperability with Windows, but has quite a few non free programs, can compete with Ubuntu as far as ease of installation. There are a few others that are also about on a par with Ubuntu. I like Kanotix, SimplyMEPIS and Xandros along with the Kubuntu variation and the Xubuntu variation of Ubuntu.

    Any of these is quite easy to install and useful for all of the routine desktop uses – Email, Web browsing, simple word processing or text editing. Beyond these basics, some distros do better than others. I do well over 90% of my activities in these basic functions, and I would maintain that any of the distros that I mention can readily do any of these tasks and cost ZERO to do them. You can buy the commercial versions of Xandros and get support for Ubuntu or MEPIS and pay money, but you can do the basics at no cost at all other than the cost of your network resources.

    You can’t do that with any commercial OS, period.

  18. In response to comments above:
    First off, I never said Ubuntu is the only Linux varient I’ve ever used, in fact quite the opposite. I have used Red Hat, Suse, Fedora, Mepis, PCLinux, DreamLinux, Mandrava, Gentoo, and many others. None have been as welcoming for new users as the Ubuntu crowd. I refuse to argue this point any farther as that has been my honest opinion.

    Second, this was not a Windows vs Linux rant. I may have took a stab or two, but I still use both OS’s everyday but Linux has become my main desktop machine and I explained why I picked the distro I did.

    Third, I did not say that Ubuntu should be your one and only OS. I currently use FreeBSD, Fedora, Windows, Ubuntu, and others on a daily basis. I was just impressed with Ubuntu’s desktop user stance compared to the others.

    Fourth, when I talked about the root account being disabled, I meant as in being disabled from someone being able to directly login to the X window system. Also there is a sudo tool in the GUI, look under the system tools and “run as differnet user” (you may have to install it to the menu via “add/remove” in the menu.

    I really have enjoyed the comments and other points of view but please do not think I was trying to dis any other distro or platform. I just wanted to point out things I like about Ubuntu.

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  20. Interesting list of reasons – but what actually made you choose Ubuntu over other distros?

  21. Pingback: Asia Tech Weblog » Blog Archive » 12 Ten Reasons to use Ubuntu

  22. Those really should be 10 reasons why to use any Debian based distro. Most of the what you said applies for the other distros too. Eg.

    1. Yes hardware recognition works well in the Debian too.

    2. Synaptic is part of the Debian Sarge distribution too.

    3. Well i rather wait a bit longer and use well tested software rather than less tested bleeding edge software.

    5. It is possible to disable the root-account in the debian too. You can use sudo if you wish.

    6. There is huge amount of online sites and documentation for the Debian too.

    9. It’s even easier to dual boot in the Debian Sarge, because it has GNOME boot-manager, which is not currently available for the Ubuntu. So you don’t need to edit grub menu.lst by hand. resizing the partitions is also easy with gparted.

    10. In the Debian Sarge you can use simple GNOME applet called apt-watch which will inform you when upgrades are available for your computer. It is similar to Windows Update or the Red Hat Network applet.

    12. Yes all Linux distros work just fine.

  23. I’m agree with all your points..I love ubuntu!!:)

  24. Pingback: Ubuntu’s Sexier Side | Ubuntu Site

  25. Want better GUI Try Ubuntu Ultimate Edition
    Second if you still dont know how to login to Root ill show you.. im along time user of Windows been using Ubuntu as my first Linux Distro for about 3 months now and Wont Switch back to Windows for any reason although i may Dual boot XP for EQ reasons if i decided to return ..
    Im not claiming this post as all i had to do is Google it to find out cause i was curious :

    Owing to the increasing number of hate emails in this thread from people who know the problems of logging in as root and also those who don’t (the majority falls in this category) and have just been scared out of their pants by the wiser (??) lot, I have decided to let you know of the obvious problems of logging in as root.
    1) When u log in as root, u make ur system vulnerable to attacks from malicious intruders who have read, write and execute access to files which they ordinarily wouldnt have if u werent logged in as root.
    2) this can only happen when u are connected to the internet and are using softwares which access files and settings on ur desktop (like gdesklets for example which wudnt run if u were playing along as root). If ur computer gets hacked while u are logged in as root only God and the attacker’s pity can help u.
    3) Even if u are not connected to the internet therez a big chance that u might screw up some files unknowingly (by deleting or editing them)which u wouldnt be able to do otherwise if u are not logged in as root (well u actually can if u are on a suicide trail).
    Alright now that u have been warned and if u are just an experienced user who has run linux as root for a million years and doesnt know how to do it in Ubuntu here’s how to do it:

    HowTo: First Go to gnome start menu and go to system–>Administration–>User and Groups
    There search for the user “root”. U will find it. After choosing root, click on “properties” and change the password to something u want. there will be a system generated random root password which you have to erase and set a new one of your choice. once you are done come out of that and close all windows.
    THEN, again from start menu go to System –> Administration –> Login Screen Setup.
    There go to the “security” tab and CHECK “allow root to login with GDM”. Close all windows and log out of GNOME and on to GDM.
    type root, root’s password that u had set and log in as root!

  26. The first thing I always do after a fresh ubuntu install is: sudo passwd root

  27. don’t you mean top 12 reasons? I personally disagree with hardware being easy. My disk drive ejects discs 5 seconds after I put them in unless I close it really quickly with my hand. Also my laptop doesn’t seem to connect to the internet even though it tells me what wireless router I’m connected to. Trust me when I say my hardware isn’t broken.

  28. Pingback: Tried Intrepid Ibex ? « Open Source Maniac

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