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I gotta say, Canonical/Ubuntu has a lot of respect in my book for how dependable the distro has been over the years. I've been through my fair share of distros, and one of my employees goes through a new Linux install at least once a week. Ubuntu is one of the few distros that almost always works. Other distros will have one problem or another with this machine or that, but put Ubuntu on there and everything is fine (well, as fine as Linux gets).

A few weeks ago I had to dig up an old 12.04 machine and bring it back to the modern age. Much to my surprise, I was able to upgrade it all the way to 15.10 with minimal hassle. While the normal apt repos were dead for 12.04, Canonical keeps around an archived mirror. So you just edit the sources file to point at the archive, and then you can upgrade from there. Impressive.

Not that Canonical/Ubuntu don't have their warts. The Amazon fiasco, Unity, their cloud services, etc. And at the end of the day it's still Linux, with all the problems that brings. But, all things considered, I rate Ubuntu as the best of the bunch and feel grateful for the gift they give to the community.

Yeah, take Ubuntu and their repos, throw out Unity, find a way to get a Java release from the last few years, do the graphics drivers dance, and you have a very solid, reasonably compatible development environment.

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