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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!