So I’ve been hearing a lot about this upstart new Ubuntu Linux distribution. My curiousity piqued, I headed on over to the Ubuntu website to see if it merits further investigation, or even installation.
Upon arriving at the Ubuntu site, one is greeted with the following friendly introduction:
“Ubuntu” is an ancient African word, meaning “humanity to others”. Ubuntu also means “I am what I am because of who we all are”. The Ubuntu Linux distribution brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the software world.
Hmmm. Well, OK. Sounds friendly, I guess, but it does set off the “Diversity Group Hug!!!” alarm bell somewhere in the back of my brain. (And didn’t Bill Gates just warn us about Linux communists?)
Then, a little further down the page… this:
Oh no. Oh, no, no, no, no.
I’m sorry. I just can’t do it. I can’t use an operating system with that login screen. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to turn on my computer every day, and be faced with that nightmarish screen standing between me and my desktop. Life is depressing enough without my Linux distribution grinning at me and giving me a hug because I’m so special.
I’m sorry. I went with SuSE this time around.
Good call Andy.
As a side question, why not Red Hat?
Our company uses Red Hat b/c of software requirements – Cadence (same stuff that your dad uses.) After dropping $3mil on the software, we didn’t want to introduce OS issues by straying from their recommended operating systems (Solaris, HPUX, AIX, Red Hat.) I’m just wandering what draws people to the other Linux distributions such as FreeBSD, SuSe, Debian, Gentoo, Mandrake, etc?
Tiddo, I can’t speak for others, but my main reason for branching out from Red Hat/Fedora is simple curiosity about other distributions. I’ve used Red Hat/Fedora for about five years straight, and feel like I’ve pretty much seen what that has to offer. On the other hand, I’d never tried a KDE-based (a different graphical environment than the one Red Hat uses by default) distribution, and SuSE is one such distribution that has been around long enough to have a good reputation.
In the couple of months that I’ve been using SuSE (9.1, and just recently upgraded to 9.2), I’ve found the user interface to be somewhat easier and cleaner than the Red Hat/Fedora interface. I am growing to like a lot of the KDE-specific applications. The tradeoff is that I’ve had a harder time getting some of my old favorite programs to install and run correctly. So I’d say that I like the look, feel, and general user-friendliness of SuSE, but miss some of the flexibility of Red Hat/Fedora.
I wouldn’t suggest that somebody who is perfectly happy with Red Hat/Fedora switch over to SuSE or vice versa–they both seem quite nice, and are just slightly different flavors of the same old Linux. That’s my admittedly non-techie opinion, at least 🙂
What Ubuntu version were you using? Mine doesn’t have that photo on the login screen at all. Were you trying the new “Hoary Hedgehog” beta or something?
Mine has the stylized circle that you see in the Ubuntu logo.
BTW, SuSE will be first against the wall when the Revolution comes. Viva La Revolucion! Coders of the world, unite!
Oh, you were just looking at the home page. Well, for what it’s worth, it’s false advertising. 🙂 No such happy multicultural trinity appears in the actual distribution.
Red Hat is okay. But why not just use whichever KDE/GNU apps you like in any old distribution? That’s what we did – Gnumeric spreadsheet, Konqueror, the occasional true UNIX hacking…
On a related note, I read the other day that half the Linux stuff is open to litigation from Microsoft over intellectual property etc. Any truth to that?
Karl, I’m guessing what you read was referring to SCO, a company which has been threatening various lawsuits/shenanigans for a year or two now. I believe SCO has some sort of tie to Microsoft, although I think it’s an indirect connection. Anyway, SCO claims (I believe) that certain pieces of Linux code belongs to them, and want to be paid licensing fees for it.
I haven’t followed the case very closely (you might check Groklaw for a more thorough analysis of the sitaution as it unfolds). My impression from what I’ve read is that SCO is mostly trying to scare up as much money as possible from big Linux-using companies before their legal claims fall apart. (As of a few months ago, when I last read up on it, I don’t think SCO had even gotten around to identifying which pieces of Linux code were theirs although they were already demanding fees… makes one suspicious.)
So I don’t think Linux’s future is in any real danger–I’m pretty sure any proprietary code, once identified, would quickly be replaced by open-source alternatives anyway.