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#1 GiantPaul   Members   -  Reputation: 104

Posted 13 January 2011 - 07:31 AM

I have not switched to Ubuntu yet. If you have it then why did you switch to Ubuntu?

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#2 Fiddler   Members   -  Reputation: 828

Posted 13 January 2011 - 08:45 AM

I have not switched to Ubuntu yet. If you have it then why did you switch to Ubuntu?

I switched to Ubuntu roughly three years ago. I spend most of my time there but occasionally dual boot to Windows for gaming and testing software.


Reasons for switching: it's free, fast and secure. It covers my needs (web, email, office, video, music, coding, recording). I like the window manager (scroll without window focus; alt-middle click to resize; alt-left click to move). I like the available software (gnome-do launcher; banshee media player; guake drop-down terminal; easystroke mouse gestures; empathy messenger; firefox; chrome; openoffice). I like its themeability and customization options. I like the fact that it uses familiar keyboard shortcuts (unlike Mac OS X or other Linux distros). I love the fact that it boots in 6 seconds flat (on my Intel SSD).

Reasons for not switching: you use your computer primarily for playing games. You absolutely require some piece of software that doesn't work on Linux. You prefer streamlining over customization (i.e. you wish to treat computers as an appliance).

My advice: try it out. Reserve ~16GB on your hard drive (run compmgmt.msc on windows and shrink one of your disks) and install Ubuntu there. Stick with it for a week, create a development environment, browse the web, see if it works for you. If it doesn't, no harm done: boot windows and wipe the partition. If it does, stick with it and add another tool to your belt. You never know when it will come in handy.

[OpenTK: C# OpenGL 4.4, OpenGL ES 3.0 and OpenAL 1.1. Now with Linux/KMS support!]


#3 valderman   Members   -  Reputation: 512

Posted 13 January 2011 - 09:09 AM

I've used it on and off the last few years, but I don't care much for it. It's slow and clunky, Ubuntu's packaging is generally quite poor compared to the original Debian packages (I don't know how they manage to screw up PulseAudio even worse than upstream) and the major focus of the distribution seems to be grabbing as many headlines as possible, which equates to using poorly tested, unfinished software just to be the first, ignoring bug reports in favor of pushing towards this release cycle's publicity goal and making things hell to configure manually for no apparent reason.

On the positive side, all of its attention whoring has really paid off which means that there's a lot of non-free software packaged for it and there's a large community around it (even though the official forums tend to give vague answers at best, and flat out incorrect, outright dangerous, answers at worst.)

#4 Way Walker   Members   -  Reputation: 744

Posted 13 January 2011 - 03:54 PM

I switched to Ubuntu from Fedora for KDE support and greater stability. With Fedora, the attitude toward KDE is that they are a Gnome distribution so you're lucky they provided the packages at all, let alone if the packages work. They aren't much better with supported packages and things breaking is almost a fact of life with Fedora. KDE support is a bit better with Kubuntu being an official derivative, but it's still a derivative so it's not supported to nearly the extent the Gnome desktop is. Also, Ubuntu's focus on usability means that I've had good luck even with backports enabled.

valderman pretty much covered why I moved away from Ubuntu and currently use openSUSE. The Ubuntu forums try to be helpful, no RTFM attitude, but often seem like the blind leading the blind. Also, manual configuration is very nice in openSUSE with Yast where Ubuntu makes you jump through hoops. For example, there's a PPA that gets recommended regularly to get the aoTuV updates to the ogg vorbis libraries, but to use it you'd have to uninstall the standard libraries (which means you'll have to do something about the dependencies) install the version from the PPA, and lock that version meaning you'll have to manually track updates to the libraries. Unfortunately, aoTuV isn't available in the OBS for openSUSE, but, if it were, you'd just select the version you want in Yast, which will change the vendor so it will track the version in that repository.



#5 BeanDog   Members   -  Reputation: 1063

Posted 13 January 2011 - 04:14 PM

I tried it, and even got my whole development toolchain set up on it. I abandoned it for Windows 7 for the following reasons:
  • It was really, really hard to resize windows. Like, the handle on the edge/corners of windows was typically 1px for resizing.
  • Font antialiasing worked very poorly in OpenOffice, especially for fonts I'd imported from my Windows partition.
  • OpenOffice generally just sucks compared to MS Office.
  • I missed the Win+left and Win+right shortcuts in Windows 7.
  • Half the stuff in my laptop didn't have great drivers in Ubuntu, such as my trackpad and media control area on the keyboard.
  • Printing to a printer shared from a Windows machine didn't work.
  • etc.
Basically, it was just rough around all the edges. Given that I already own Windows, why put up with that crap?

~BenDilts( void );

Lucidchart: Online Flow Chart Software; Lucidpress: Digital Publishing Software


#6 Nathan Handley   Members   -  Reputation: 792

Posted 13 January 2011 - 05:10 PM

I have not switched to Ubuntu yet. If you have it then why did you switch to Ubuntu?


I've used for a while, and stuck with it over the years because:
- It's very stable
- Generally don't need to worry about viruses and don't have to buy / spend the CPU&Memory on Virus Software
- Does what I need it to do (email / programming / play most games not made within the last 3 years)
- Free
- Highly customizable
- Feels absurdly faster than Windows. Had to install nVidia drivers, but it's simply way "snappier"
- Can change the code and I like to tinker
- It can look/feel any way I want. Sometimes I make it Windows-like, Mac O/S-like, or just generally custom depending on mood

I DO still keep a Windows 7 Install though for newer games and testing my code on Windows platforms.

#7 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1214

Posted 13 January 2011 - 05:19 PM

I have a Ubuntu setup at home and a Win7 setup on my work laptop. I use Ubuntu for pretty much everything, but do require access to Windows apps for work.

Ubuntu is capable of doing pretty much everything you need however it is, as stated above, rough around the edges. OpenOffice isn't as streamlined as Microsoft Offerings, but will work sufficiently well for most tasks. Window Resizing sucks, as mentioned. I do like the multiple desktops which turns Ctrl-(Up/Down/Left/Right) into a quick desktop navigation tool, and Ctrl-Shift-(Up/Down/Left/Right) to quickly move the current window around the desktops.

Overall I am impressed with the available applications for Ubuntu. I do enjoy using Thunderbird, Chrome, GRAMPS, KTorrent, VLC and some other apps which I have used less frequently. For home use I have also been very impressed with its ability to detect printers when connected without having to track down drivers at all. I haven't tried Win7 in this respect with the home Printer, but I know for work printers I was required to chase down drivers.

Win7 does seem far more polished though.

EDIT: Oh, the WHY....
The laptop had Vista on it. I needed to rebuild it. Vista sucked even worse on it after I rebuilt it, with finding drivers a major problem, and once drivers were installed it was still slow as a dog. I couldn't justify buying Win7, so Ubuntu was my Free option. I thought it was about time to give it a try (I had last used Redhat 7 many years ago, and it was only moderately successful in its job). It exceeded my expectations for speed, reliability and usability. I doubt I will go to anything else on that laptop (Compaq C710TU).

#8 Lode   Members   -  Reputation: 981

Posted 13 January 2011 - 05:27 PM

I have not switched to Ubuntu yet. If you have it then why did you switch to Ubuntu?


It's ok but I like ArchLinux better because it allows you to choose what you want to use more easily and has more recent versions of software in its package manager (it's more bleeding edge). Needs a bit more time to set up (you need to install the desktop manager you want for example, you start without any), but once you set it up to your liking, it needs no maintenance at all except a "pacman -Syu" every once in a while. I've had an ArchLinux running for 4 years without problems, then I got a new PC, and now this one is running for 3 years. It doesn't get slower or less stable after a while or so. It doesn't require risky updates to new major versions twice a year like Ubuntu (I say risky because in my experience Ubuntu gets less stable if you don't reinstall it from scratch), instead ArchLinux just gets incremental updates as often as you want.

Ubuntu is easy, but, if you post something on their forums it gets no reply because your message is pushed to the second page soon, and it's only easy if you want it their way.

#9 Prefect   Members   -  Reputation: 373

Posted 13 January 2011 - 07:26 PM

I have not switched to Ubuntu yet. If you have it then why did you switch to Ubuntu?

I switched three to four years ago, because it was generally somewhat better polished on the desktop than Debian. I still feel happy with it, and I'm typing this on an Ubuntu netbook.

The window resizing thing did annoy me when I switched from KDE to Gnome during the initial messy days of KDE 4. Under KDE, you can bind a modifier key to window resizing, so that e.g. Ctrl + Mouse Drag moves and Alt + Mouse Drag resizes your windows, which is very cool. Then again, I'm a fullscreen kind of guy, so it never really bothered me much.
Widelands - laid back, free software strategy

#10 leiavoia   Members   -  Reputation: 960

Posted 13 January 2011 - 09:18 PM

I have not switched to Ubuntu yet. If you have it then why did you switch to Ubuntu?

I switched to linux in 2001 because it was free and it came with a built-in C compiler... for free! How cool is that!?

I currently use Kubuntu because i've neer been a big GNOME fan. I rarely need a copy of Windows for much of anything. If i do, it's actually for someone else's needs and not mine.

Keep in mind that you do not need to entirely "Swtich" to any operating system. You can dual-boot or use a virtual machine and have the best of both worlds.

Ubuntu's packaging is generally quite poor compared to the original Debian packages.

Really? My experience has been the opposite. I used to be a stock-debian user and switched to Kubuntu back in 2007 because the packaging was more cohesive and timely.

... OpenOffice generally just sucks compared to MS Office ...

After having dealt with the innards of both, I've come to the conclusion that they both suck.

Long live WordPerfect 8!

... complaining about window resizing ...

Isn't this more of a problem with the particular skin/theme than the operating system? I'm sure you can configure this. At least KDE does.

#11 Tachikoma   Members   -  Reputation: 552

Posted 13 January 2011 - 09:44 PM

I have Ubuntu installed on VirtualBox, and use it occasionally for development purposes. I have to say linux has come a long way in general, which is encouraging. The fact that Ubuntu has become more user friendly is also a big plus, which means more people with less computer experience are willing to use it.
Latest project: Sideways Racing on the iPad

#12 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1214

Posted 13 January 2011 - 10:06 PM

Oh, I should also point out that my wife quite happily uses our Ubuntu Laptop and she is far from a technical computer user. As soon as I had installed Skype she accepted it as the way we were going and we haven't looked back. Talking about package deployments, I have to say that the Ubuntu Software Centre makes it trivial to install applications based on what you require, and for anything more complex apt-get or custom builds tend to work well and are usually documented for Ubuntu specifically these days due to the large uptake of it as an OS.

#13 Chris Reynolds   Members   -  Reputation: 110

Posted 13 January 2011 - 10:18 PM

I try so hard to like Linux... The closest I came was with Fedora (and Tiny Core Linux for a bit). Ubuntu actually wouldn't even install on my system - reached an unrecoverable error and froze every time, even after multiple attempts to repartition etc.

Even in Fedora, I had a hard time installing a lot of the applications I wanted to use from the internet - the package finder/manager was the only reliable place for installing anything and even that can be confusing for someone who doesn't exactly know what they need. The dependency checking is great, but the disconnect between a website (and its accompanying product descriptions) and it's package in the package manager can be confusing.

Fedora and a few of the IDE's I used were also extremely slow. Made my computer feel ancient. I was looking forward to a less bloated feeling and felt the opposite. Netbeans seemed like it was so busy trying to process its code completion that it couldn't keep up with my typing.

Frustrations with drivers, development tools, and compatibility issues sent me right back to Windows 7. Now I just have Fedora on an old scrap PC so that I can build for Linux. It certainly isn't a nightmare, and I enjoy it because it's "different", but I couldn't do my daily with Linux.


#14 Mike Bossy   Members   -  Reputation: 662

Posted 13 January 2011 - 11:25 PM

I first started trying to use Linux back in 1997 and tried at least once a year giving different distros a shot and trying FreeBSD along the way. It wasn't until about 4 months ago that I finally switched full time and have been running Ubuntu as my main day to day OS. I switched for a couple reasons:

1. Smaller possibility of dealing with Malware/Spyware/etc. More and more of what I do involves the internet and I'd rather not have my banking info get stolen because I accidentally got a key logger installed from some random web site. It's not that I think Linux is more "technically" secure. I just think it's a smaller user base and therefor less attractive to the baddies out there.
2. I really wanted to commit to writing cross platform code. What better way than writing on Linux first which forces you to think that way or no one will end up being able to run your software on their Windows box.
3. I wasn't happy with the direction of OSX. It's only a matter of time before Apple is going to tell you what you can run on your computer and make computers only with a single "OK" button. I wanted to sink my computing efforts into an ecosystem that I know is going to go where I want it to go and not have to switch at some point in the future because it's been dumbed down to new lows.

I currently run Ubuntu on my old model Macbook Pro 3,1 and I triple boot it. I use OSX for Mac development and Windows for Windows development and playing games.

#15 owl   Banned   -  Reputation: 364

Posted 14 January 2011 - 01:02 AM

KUbuntu FTW!
I like the Walrus best.

#16 valderman   Members   -  Reputation: 512

Posted 14 January 2011 - 03:13 AM


Ubuntu's packaging is generally quite poor compared to the original Debian packages.

Really? My experience has been the opposite. I used to be a stock-debian user and switched to Kubuntu back in 2007 because the packaging was more cohesive and timely.

Yes, it's cohesive and timely, but it also introduces a lot of bugs that nobody ever bothers to fix because everyone must scramble to reach the new goal Shuttleworth set up for this particular development cycle. There are some Ubuntu-only bugs that have been in their bug database for five years without anyone bothering to do something about it.

#17 rip-off   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8114

Posted 14 January 2011 - 05:14 AM

I use it for work, and I find it very nice to use.

At home I use Windows &, partly because I paid for it with the laptop, partly because its a fine OS, and finally because some of the software I like to use doesn't run on Linux. I could find serviceable replacements for most of the software, but I might miss some of the games even though I play them very infrequently. I'd miss Visual Studio for C++ development though. But I think I could easily get by on just Ubuntu. I know I certainly miss the Unix command line when I'm on Windows 7 (I know you can download the utilities, but meh...).

My only negative experience has been in the past I've had issues with getting wireless cards to work. I can usually get them to work after fighting with ndiswrapper for half a day, but even then the authentication screens tended not to "just work". I'd have to manage it from the command line. This is more a driver/hardware problem though, you cannot exactly blame Linux/Ubuntu for the hoops they have to jump through to get a driver to work legally.

Though I must say the last time I installed Ubuntu on a machine with a wireless card it picked it up and connected to the network all by itself. I would hope this means that a lot of effort has gone into detecting and handling these problems.

I found it very impressive when I managed to squeeze the then current version of Ubuntu server onto a P120 with 48 Megabytes of RAM and less than 5 Gigs of disk space (about 3 years ago). It randomly dies from time to time, but I suspect that is the geriatric hardware faulting or overheating or something. I use it as a remote SVN server mostly, and it does the job admirably while it is alive.

#18 Kayzaks   Members   -  Reputation: 137

Posted 14 January 2011 - 05:56 AM

I'd miss Visual Studio for C++ development though.


This (and a hundred other reasons).
I've never been a fan of Linux in general. Used it for a couple of years when I was interested in Network-related Programming a few years back.
Are you switching from Windows? Or from another Linux Distro? If you're switching from another Linux, I'd also recommend Ubuntu.
If you're switching from Windows, well I guess that's personal preference, and my answer would be No thanks.

#19 phresnel   Members   -  Reputation: 949

Posted 14 January 2011 - 06:08 AM

My only negative experience has been in the past I've had issues with getting wireless cards to work


I used to have a so called Fritz! USB WLAN stick (from back when I used windows) which was tad clumsy through ndiswrapper. I later bought linux friendly hardware, and with Ubuntu and some other distros, it couldn't be easier to configure wlan access. In fact I ran Ubuntu live, clicked on wlan configuration at the top, typed in my access data, and could browse, without having to go to CLI or even installing drivers. Everything was built in and as intuitive as it can get.

Dunno Windows 7, but Ubuntu (+ some others) make WLAN far easier to configure than on Windows<7, if you have the right hardware. Literally 5 minutes (mostly depends on DVD ROM speed) from pressing the boot button to surfing the internet on a virgin machine can't lie.

#20 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6059

Posted 14 January 2011 - 06:39 AM

My only negative experience has been in the past I've had issues with getting wireless cards to work. I can usually get them to work after fighting with ndiswrapper for half a day, but even then the authentication screens tended not to "just work". I'd have to manage it from the command line. This is more a driver/hardware problem though, you cannot exactly blame Linux/Ubuntu for the hoops they have to jump through to get a driver to work legally.


This has pretty much been solved now as the last major wireless manufacturer (broadcom) has released open drivers (included in all new kernels so their cards work out of the box) and even joined the Linux Foundation, some manufacturers require proprietary drivers but Ubuntu handles these more or less automatically (you just need to press the yes button when it asks you if you want to use those drivers)

Overall the success of Linux on the embedded market has greatly improved hardware support, the main problem areas today are graphicscards (amd and nvidia are a bit of a pain since the proprietary drivers have to be re-installed after a kernel update and amd has way too short support cycles) and printers/scanners (While most work out of the box or have drivers available many will lack alot of advanced features available in the Windows drivers).

Personally i still like Ubuntu, but right now i only run it in a VM for development purposes (I run debian on 2 machines though). If you've allready payed for a windows license i don't think there is any compelling reason to switch and dualbooting is imo too much of a hassle.
I don't suffer from insanity, I'm enjoying every minute of it.
The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!




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