Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ubuntu Linux - To love and to hate.

Ubuntu Linux is, arguably, the most popular Linux distro around today, with millions of people who deeply love it. There are  some people however, who, for some reasons, do not just want to hear the mention of Ubuntu especially if it has to do with converting someone to Linux.

I seriously have a problem with such people and their line of argument. I for one, use Ubuntu as my reference distro anytime I try to explain what Linux is to people. I use Ubuntu because it is what I think newbies will find comfortable using. I in no way ever represent Ubuntu as synonymous with Linux. I always tell prospective Linux converts that there are hundreds of distros they can choose from, but to make things easy for them, I encourage them to start with Ubuntu and if they get to make headway in the world of Linux, then they can go on to try others.

These anti-Ubuntu elements, spend time bashing people like me and those who do as I do, saying we tend to make people think Ubuntu is all that Linux has to offer. Such people are just time wasters. First of all, the question that they are supposed to answer is that why is Ubuntu, a distro that is less than six years old so popular with people from all walks of life and has become the preferred choice for 9 out of 10 Linux noobs?

The fact that Canonical does not contribute to the upstream development of the Linux kernel, or that Ubuntu contains some element of proprietary software, does not negate the fact that a lot of work has gone into Ubuntu and that has started paying off. The popularity of Ubuntu was not achieved on a silver, it was worked for by the guys and gals at Canonical.

To simply dislike Ubuntu because of some reason is understandable, but to say because you dislike Ubuntu so others should not recommend it would be going to far. In any case, the argument that it's not right to recommend a particular distro to someone you are converting to Linux just doesn't wash. There are hundreds of distros out there and trust me, 95% of all newbies will just get overwhelmed when left on their own to choose. Most will end up choosing none and just return to Windows or MacOS. That in the grand scheme of things, will not be in the interest of Linux.

So to the critics of Ubuntu, I say we love Ubuntu, and we do so for a reason. There is no sense in criticizing ourselves when we are supposed to work together against a much larger and formidable opponent. To love or to hate Ubuntu? I choose to love Ubuntu. What about you?

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By Seraaj Muneer with 20 comments

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