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Bye Bye Ubuntu, a sad Christmas (github.com)
45 points by slasaus 1669 days ago | hide | past | web | 86 comments | favorite

My parents are on 12.04 and will be as long as the long term support lasts. I'm pretty sure forcing them to use Windows would mean a lot of telephone support for the next months. If anything, I would migrate them to another distribution.

I also don't really dislike the Amazon ads. I'm not so much concerned about privacy, but I find them very distracting and awfully implemented. However, it's only one ``sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping``. That is not going to make me change my default distribution.

Similar here, but Xubuntu (12.04). Old laptop previously running Ubuntu 9.04 which this time just worked out of the box. Everything they need. Internet connectivity, browser, Skype (no webcam though). They are happy as it's enough for them (parents over 60). New installation doesn't brake, no viruses, very safe for them to work with it. I can't imagine giving them Windows (which will not run smoothly on this laptop) worrying they will have lots of spyware, viruses, etc. after few months.

On the other hand my personal laptop runs Arch with DWM. I don't look back at Ubuntu for professional use. I'm so much happier.

It's pretty stupid to expect everything to just work. Your parents should have grabbed the source code, learned how to program, deciphered the problem and then fixed it themselves. Then they could have shared the code to help everyone else's parents fix their problems.

Or just get them iPads.

I'm so glad that someone is writing about this issue. It is important to understand that 12.04 and 12.10 both SUCK.

Here's why: Previously I was on 10.04, the best thing that happened to me ever. Boot speed was amazing and shutdown speed was the fastest among the three OS'es I had then (Windows Vista, OSX, Ubuntu 10.04).

Then something happened. I purchased the Windows 8 Upgrade edition and I had to partition my drives (because I wanted to) and I thought "you know what? Let me upgrade my Ubuntu, it's been sometime since I upgraded it." I upgraded it to 12.10 and I used it as my only OS before installing Windows 8 (because the setup was corrupted and I had to re-download it).

It was a nightmare. Unity is a nightmare. Before using 12.10, I was on 11.x and 12.04. I don't see why they have to thrust Unity onto your face. Everything was really fine before Unity came.

Unity is one of the poorest experience one could ever experience on any operating system. I'm not sure if it was inspired from some other OS, but whatever it is, it's a poor implementation and clearly no proper research has gone into designing Unity. For example, switching between open program windows is a nightmare, if you have auto-hide enabled, it just gets worse. If you are a developer, nothing could get even worse than trying to switch between a text editor and a web browser, for instance.

Now to the core, the OS itself is painfully slow. Post installation of Windows 8, I compared the boot and shut down times of both the OS'es. I'm not exaggerating here, but Windows 8 shuts down much much quicker than 12.10. The only reason I loved Ubuntu was for its speed, let alone security. Now what Canoncial has done is taken the only reason for me to use Ubuntu and bastardized it as much as they could. Video drivers are another issue. Back on 10.04, I had to manually install Nvidia drivers myself, but it would work well once installed. 12.10 just fucked it up big time. It would automatically try to install something and you will have to spend sleepless nights trying to remove it and install the correct driver only to realize that it wouldn't work either!

I know you can bring back Gnome using some terminal commands, but the speed of the OS itself is still slow. Try switching between tabs on Chrome, you'll realize what I mean.

Ubuntu's target audience has always been developers and power users first, and everyone else next. With Unity, they're trying to push Ubuntu towards general users, which will be a difficult task. Moving away from your target audience to attract a newer audience is the worst strategy I could ever think of.

Hence, here's another Bye-bye from me to Ubuntu. Hello Windows 8! (single boot!).

It saddens me that people who liked earlier Ubuntu releases jump straight to Windows or OS X, without trying Debian or Linux Mint first.

They both offer the good parts of Ubuntu, without the junk and without the poor experience.

I recently switched my laptop back to Debian. I prefer KDE over Gnome these days, so in that context, I think the number one thing keeping Debian from being a more popular suggestion right now is that the squeeze UI feels about a decade old and wheezy comes with a bunch of warnings about it being in "testing".

I've had zero complaints with wheezy so far (not a common thing for me), so I think it's well worth giving it a shot if you'd like to try Debian on your desktop.


If this is the official website of the distribution you're talking about, then the site doesn't inspire confidence as much as the original Ubuntu site does. Anyway, I'll give it a shot, thanks :)

It's not the best website, certainly, and it's not the "perfect OS".

But Linux Mint, to me, has always been my favorite derivative of Ubuntu (as someone who is not particularly keen on Ubuntu natively, and definitely dislikes Unity).

Linux Mint has moved away from Ubuntu, incidentally. It's now solely based on Debian.

The problem is that GNOME 2 on Ubuntu 11.04 is really polished. I still run it today and I have no intention of upgrading or switching.

I've looked at other DE's such as Mint, XFCE, etc. but nothing comes close to the desktop I had with GNOME 2 on Ubuntu 11.04.

I hate everything about Unity too.

Mint is good. But if one is already on Ubuntu, it doesn't even take a re-install to convert the machine to Kubuntu or Xubuntu.

Your rant about unity mirrors exactly what I was feeling when I upgraded nearly a year back. Today I just cannot go back to anything else other than unity. I was once a hard core KDE user and just out of curiosity tried KDE 4.9 after a long time to see how things have changed. Though KDE offers a lot of customization and has cool effects it just isn't polished enough. The integrated menu and title bar in Unity is enough to stop me from moving to anything else. That being said, I do agree that Ubuntu bootup and shutdown is very slow and yes, its slower than windows 7 for me :(

I'm on Xubuntu 12.04 and don't seem to have any of these problems. Unlike Windows, where you are stuck with the corporate decisions, Ubuntu still provides many options if you don't like the flagship distro.

That is what I thought for a while. I was really a Ubuntu fan since early releases. I always encourage people to use Ubuntu. I am really disappointed after last release because of this Amazon stuff.

I can understand, how hard to maintain this kind of software without any revenue but in Linux world there were always good business models. Also Ubuntu for Android is very good idea and I believe in near future we will be hearing it so much.

While trying to expand market share, let's say trying to access more users, making a move against user's liberty really hurts previously gained traction. It was going good but now I am not sure how can I trust a Linux distro that send my search terms to Amazon by default.

I don't want to be part of this anymore.

Recently I decided to play some game and had to boot windows partition which I did not use from the date of laptop purchase. So I went through Windows clean installation process and then it all started - scrolling on touchpad not working, directx not working with pre-packaged drivers (had to download over 600 megs of video drivers - have no clue what take so much space.) While downloading it, I browsed some news and got my Internet Explorer crashed - I would not be surprised if this was some trojan stuff delivered through null-sized iframe.

Since I do not have DVDROM, I had to find some ISO mounter. Again, downloading megs of software from some website and hoping it is not packaged with some trojan.

After installing this iso mounter, it asks me to install .NET framework. After googling it - it says ~1 meg to download. Fine, downloading and running it from microsoft website. After it run it starts downloading something else form somewhere.... Done.

Video drivers downloaded - installing. Asks to reboot. Rebooting - blue screen every time I restart machine.... In the end - whole evening was spent to play single game and I end up with BSOD. Saying "FU" and return back to my Ubuntu to continue coding.

After couple hours of coding my machine randomly freezes... this started to happen after installing AMD proprietary drivers...

So two things I learned that evening: - We are all screwed no matter what OS we use! :) - I need to buy xbox/ps/wii to play games :)

You might also have a hardware problem.

Yes, if you are getting actual BSOD under a recent version of Windows it is almost always the result of a hardware problem.

Make a note of the error message at the top of the BSOD and google for it.

If you want to do some tests , download something called "Ultimate boot CD" which is a boot disk with a combination of DOS and Linux based hardware test programs. I've used it to find faulty memory on many a misbehaving system.

I am pretty sure it is not hardware problem since I am using it for development and do all kinds of crazy stuff for last half a year. :) The thing about windows - you get more support from hardware manufacturer, but you get screwed by the fact it is all proprietary and often stuff from one manufacturer is not working with software from different one. And due to closed source approach there is no way to peek into it to see if it can be fixed or there could be workaround.

Another gem from this fresh windows install - headphones will work only if I boot into Windows while headphones are plugged in. If I boot without headphones and then plug headphones after I log in - no sound in headphones :)

My point is - there are all kinds of bugs in all popular OSes. I bet MacOS have bunch of them too. You just getting used to ones. Like it is never a problem for me to fix a webcam in linux, but it frustrates me to download 600 megs of drivers software to get my video card functional. The same way OP really frustrated by broken webcam and not really concerned about windows needs to update drivers, constantly monitor for viruses, etc.

One thing I noted tho - most frustration with Ubuntu (or any really linux desktop) I see comes the fact that some particular hardware is not working. The same hardware often have problems on Windows platform. And more often than not drivers/software for this hardware are closed source with bugs which never get fixed (because manufacturer's business in selling hardware, not software.) So apparently we would not have most of these issues with any OS if software required to run hardware would be open sourced. This will never happen probably tho..

To be fair, most of those things you mentioned sound like issues individual drivers rather than the OS. You are likely to have closed source drivers under Linux too, a variety of GPUs and Wireless cards do not offer open source drivers (or at least with full features).

You might not need 600MB of drivers for your video card, it's that the manufacturer packages it with 600MB of software. On a modern HDD 600MB isn't so much anymore.

BSOD really does overwhelmingly indicate some hardware failure, it is not uncommon for a PC (especially one that is highly used) to develop failures later in it's life. I would suspect common culprits to be your power supply, memory or HDD.

Yeah, I totally agree that major problems comes from closed-sourced drivers. And it doesn't matter what OS you use - Linux or Windows. MacOS it is a bit easier since Apple controls both hardware and software. It is not a case with PC platform in general.

For those saying "why not try Debian, mint, etc", I've been running my mother on Debian for the past 18 months and it hasn't been at all easy and I am starting to wonder if I shouldn't move her back to Windows. I gave her fairly simple hardware (an Atom PC) with enough RAM and disk space. I migrated her to Picassa and Libre Office. She's surviving but supporting is a little tedious, there doesn't seem to be a convenient alternative to LogMeIn (any VNC requires mapping ports on the router and teamviewer needs user intervention at the target). I was also running Ubuntu with KDE on my main laptop at home but I recently bought a new laptop and my wife was delighted that it came with Windows 7 pre-installed. I haven't yet decided if Linux will go back on. Possibly not.

So much in domestic Linux is unprofessional, that is why the professional Linuxes command such money. Linux seems to remain a hobby system with similar process control because it allows everything, if you don't constrain your model then you can't ensure quality. For example: how much testing is done against the kernel? I don't mean beta testing, how about instituting some standards regime with unit testing and interface compliance measurement? Linux depends almost entirely on peer code review, in critical parts that is reviewed by 'experts' but it remains a manual process.

How come researching hardware first is bad thing - you are not going to a shop and buy first thing you see.

Also windows is not perfect either, my old scanner doesn't have windows 7 drivers and will never have it seems. It works just fine in XP and Linux.

Sometimes things break, they even break in software that cost shitloads of money too. Six month old Oracle EBS SR with localization(!) problem - not critical, but surely half a year is enough to swap two strings. Sometimes it doesn't work well with some server vendor too (I don't know all details about this one).

Don't blame canonical for all the software in the distro, all they really do is adding eye candy and try to make it nicer, but they can't fix everything.

I find it silly when people try to force other people to migrate to Linux - show them around, tell about ups and downs and let them decide if they want to try it.

I use linux not because it open source, but because it does most of the stuff I need better. My parents use windows PC, because they can just install that thing which came with new printer and it works without calling me, despite I could probably make it work in linux just as easy since I know how to.

And for God's sake, don't install linux if you play games most of the time, but you read linux is better on the interwebz. Stop hammering nails with a microscope already!

For fuck sake, please stop acting as if Ubuntu was the only Linux distro! Last time I tested Bodhi Linux, I found it quite simple to use and yet not flashy.

I'm encountering something similar this Christmas. We'd given my wife's grandma a Chromebook - and it has died of its own accord after just 14 months.

After talking about the replacement, she nearly begged for a Windows or a Mac. By name. This same woman that doesn't think she can run the microwave while being on the cordless phone.

We (Linux, and I'm lumping ChromeOS into this albeit a different beast) aren't going to win the marketing battle. With sites like Netflix not working on Linux and "you'll get it if you try it for two weeks" UX mentality (looking at you Unity), we're not going to win the experience battle - the only one where we stood a shot. Short of a product that thoroughly feels superior we just can't expect consumers to cope with a product just to "fight the [men]". And until that happens, I (and I suspect many fellow nerds) are following this round of the cycle and moving our families away from Linux (again, for now.)

I don't know if it's so much about UI. For a total novice I'm not sure if Unity would be harder to learn than say Windows 7, assuming unfamiliarity with both.

It's really down to compatibility and of course with a more common OS there are more friends and relatives that you can ask for help.

Compatibility with old software can be a big deal for some people too, for example my mother struggles to understand why she can't just keep using the same version of Wordperfect that she learnt in 1994.

Why move your parents to Windows rather than to some other Linux distribution? (Fedora, Linux Mint, Debian...)

There were also all these other complaints like "I've got this book about photo editing from a friend of mine, can you install that software for me?" where I have to say, no, sorry mom, that only works on Windows.

Same with watching video's of a certain TV-channel (Silverlight 4, not supported by Monolight yet) and a dozen other things. Like I said, I always had faith one day all (most) will be good. But now that I've lost this trust, I feel all I can do is give in and no longer ask patience from them (with yet another Linux distro).

You say you started in 2009 - I'm assuming you started with linux a bit earlier than that. I started using linux on the desktop in 1999 part time, and moved 'full time' by ... 2003 I think.

I gave up around 2008. Gave up trying to migrate friends/family; gave up being an evangelist. The number of things that wouldn't work on someone's hardware was always greater than my ability to help/google/patch/whatever. And I got sick of:

  1) works for me.
  2) research your hardware first(!)
  3) build your own machine
  4) this latest release version X "just works"
  5) other tired canards you've already heard.
I've no doubt that for some people, some distros 'just work'. They never did for me.

Perhaps it was my hardware (the 6 different laptops and desktops I rotated through during 5 years apparently just never hit that magical elusive sweet spot of 'just working').

Perhaps my expectations were different - I'd like to have two different apps running at the same time and both play sound at the same time - pidgin/gaim would constantly lock the sound so that nothing else could play, causing no sounds and sometimes crashes.

I've got other stories - everyone does - but got tired. I went mac full time in 2008 and have a good balance of a system that lets me run osx with windows and linux in virtual machines when I need them. It's certainly not perfect - I have occasional crashes, that stupid beach ball, and I miss the FISH protocol in Konqueror something mad. But... I get far more actual work done on this system than I ever did on Linux systems.

Other people will have opposite experiences - good for them - I just wish people would quit blaming the "linux on the desktop" defectors as if they'd done something 'wrong'. The only thing most of them did 'wrong' was to believe the hype for too long.

I largely agree, though I'm willing to research my hardware as long as I have the idea we move in the right direction of software that is more stable and intuitive to use (and where user liberties and rights are central).

I just got disappointed in the seemingly new direction of Canonical not sharing my values. The vision and hope was exactly the energy I needed to fight all the non-working stuff.

I had wireless issues 10 years ago on laptops - things like "driver X works with card foo version Y.ZZ". I went out and bought card foo, version Y.ZZ, only to find it didn't work, and then would be told "well DUH, driver X doesn't work with Revision D, only revisions A,C,B and F". Basically, stuff that was impossible to find out before a purchase - laptop companies would ship different revisions of the same card out, and just ship the appropriate windows drivers on a CD - no linux drivers (of course).

I got way too tired of having to deal with that, and even moreso of people replying "I've never had to deal with that - you were doing something wrong" or even better "Oh, it's not like that any more". Yeah, it might not be, but I was also hearing that it wasn't like that 10 years ago, when clearly it was like that.

So... after a while, you become numb to the claims of fanboys who've been using one linux distro for 9 months and think linux is the best thing ever and "M$ sux" and all that, and you just get on doing your work with a platform that fits your needs. When your needs change, and your platform can't meet those needs anymore, fighting the platform to change when it won't doesn't make sense.

>I miss the FISH protocol in Konqueror something mad.

The feature I miss most is how selecting text with the pointing device on Linux copied it into the "clipboard" without my needing to type Command-C or Control-C.

Like you, the beach ball (i.e., general lack of responsiveness) is at the top of my list of OS X's disadvantages relative to Linux.

Unlike you, I do not experience any crashes of OS X. It hung and needed to be rebooted by holding down the power button -- once in about 4000 hours of service.

I've had about 6 in the past 3 years over multiple macbooks. It's certainly not an every day occurrence. Also, probably once every 6-8 weeks something beach balls so hard that it's faster to hard reboot.

This was also my experience using Windows and Linux across a variety of hardware from the mid 90s through mid 2000s. I don't know if it's just because I expect too much from my hardware - being able to run "too many" things at the same time, or what, but I always run in to situations where I need to hard reboot (not every day, but more than 1 time every 6000 hours).

People have to live with the fact that not all software works for all OSs. Android vs iOS, Windows vs Mac vs *nix etc.

If your mom got a book about photo editing for Mac-only software, would you be so sad to tell her "sorry mom, that only works on MacOS"?

For the purpose intended, I'd install a Debian distro and leave it be for the whole lifetime of the computer. Their support lasts a lot (but so does Ubuntu's for long-term support releases and other distros).

> People have to live with the fact that not all software works for all OSs.

That's the reality today, but when you take a step back and look at it more broadly it sounds nothing short of ridiculous. I don't remember any scifi movies where the characters had to dual-boot their refrigerators because the main OS kept track of your food supply but another OS had the software for calorie counting.

When you tell any normal person "that software doesn't work on this computer" they'll only stare back at you confused. It really doesn't make any sense and it should be the #1 priority for software development going forward.

I prefer Ubuntu LTS with 5 year support over the 3 year support of Debian. But given the fact that there are constantly things broken or not supported yet, I do feel an urge to upgrade to the latest and greatest. Unstable Unity and old versions of Monolight are just 2 examples of that.

You're just trading those problems for the problems of viruses and 8 IE toolbars.

I don't know why someone would go from Ubuntu to Windows. I can easily see going to Mac, or a tablet.

It's very possible that "they asked" is part of the back story.

No, apart from "I've got this book about photo editing from a friend of mine, can you install that software for me?" where I have to say, no, sorry mom, that only works on Windows. They never asked for Windows or Ubuntu or anything..

If i were in OP's shoes, I would probably test drive Zorin before going back to Windows: http://www.zorin-os.com/

From my experience, there's no difference in terms of regressions, except perhaps for things like RHEL/CentOS which are hardly suitable for the described task.

Good work. I understand the stance you were taking but it's equivalent to "I think wooden bats are better for baseball, so I make my tee-baller use a wooden bat." You were fighting the right fight but on the wrong field. Don't let people make you feel bad. When it comes to an OS for a non-saavy family member ease of use and keeping those phone calls at bay are the only things that matter. Installing antivirus and running an anti-malware application when you visit for holidays is much easier than the nagging calls. Also, Mom won't get those weird looks in best buy when she asks the 16 year old girl if this copy of Microsoft word runs on Ubuntu.

I had the opposite experience. Notice the out-of-band patch that Microsoft released Saturday? Yes, Viginia, if you run Windows, you better apply it and update your malware scanners. I spent a small chuck of free time this weekend scanning, cleaning and in vain before restoring from backup.

Vexed by the ease that malware slash through my defenses, I switched to running Linux as the main OS on my laptop and every other OS as a VM. It's amazing that Linux can deal with my hardware better than the OEM recovery disk. And if I need to reinstall or migrate, I can just copy the VMs from backup. I was using VMs on the other OSes, now Windows 7 joins the crowd.

A lot of people doing this will quickly learn that Windows is not perfect either. On my Windows box, Chrome regularly crashes, the NVIDIA driver control software has a memory leak that causes it to balloon to using 3+ GB of memory, and DirectX 10 didn't work at all (games crashed) until a recent update. There are also intermittent problems with the screen going blank, requiring me to Remote Desktop in and reboot the machine.

I would much rather have a bug in Ubuntu than in Windows. I had no way to fix that DX 10 bug or communicate with the developers. I was just lucky that it got fixed.

I guess you're right, but not having to say "sorry, you're not on Windows so that's why I can't make this software work for you (software from friends etc.)" saves me a lot of explanations that an end-user isn't really interested in.

I usually give some explanation about how to open source is all about "fighting the man". I know plenty of gamer friends who have bought Macs, because they want to be hip. They put up with not being able to run all their games on their Macs (no, Parallels and/or Boot Camp are not viable for these people). You turn the lack of application choice on its head and make it seem cool. This isn't a real "issue", since it happens with every OS. Even Windows is missing software used by some "creative" types (or so they say).

And what I've found is that more and more stuff is on the Web now anyway, so OS doesn't matter as much.

> They put up with not being able to run all their games on their Macs.

It's quite easy to install Windows with Bootcamp, though if you have an SSD, space is an issue. If you're a remotely serious gamer, you're surely enough of a nerd to handle dual booting.

The problem is that every [desktop] OS is crap. I've been attempting to use various Linux distros in that role for over a decade, and I've yet to have an experience that wasn't riddled with bugs and annoyances. Windows 7 is generally the least frustrating option, though OS X has cool features to compensate for its own issues.

So, on Linux, how would you have dealt with:

- a Chrome crash - memory leaks in your video driver software

for two of your examples?

"no way ... to communicate with the developers": http://connect.microsoft.com/

It's sad to see what ubuntu have become.

I would rather say that it is sad to see Ubuntu going in a direction that doesn't align with your tastes/needs. I personally think Ubuntu is better today than ever before (for the most part).

Personally I think Linux on the desktop is in a far worse shape than it was 12 years ago. Sure, Linux works much better on laptops then it used to, but what good is that since the software provided by distributions is less stable and of a lower quality then it was 12 years ago. It's all anecdotal evidence, but I've had far more success 10 years ago introducing Linux to non-so-technical users, previously exposed only to Windows 95/98, by using a default Gnome/KDE environment then I'm having now introducing them to recent versions of Unity/KDE/Gnome.

Linux became worse when the commercial alternatives only got better.

This website under Chrome under Ubuntu 12.10 (Unity): http://i.imgur.com/oUTwi.png

This website under Chrome under Mac OS X 10.8.2: http://i.imgur.com/UwTl8.png

This is completely unacceptable as a default experience.

(edit: grammar; screenshots)

Is Ubuntu going in a direction that aligns with the tastes/needs of anybody?

After the dumbing down of the past few releases, it isn't really any easier for non-technical people to install and use.

The dumbing down has also driven away a lot of the more technically-inclined users. Unity makes it damn near impossible to get any sort of real work done.

The majority of kids and teens, along with the elderly, could not care any less about it.

It's a lot like Firefox. Yeah, it's still around, but without any real focus. At some point, the stragglers who are still using it will move on to something else, and there's nobody new coming to replace them.

No. Ubuntu 12.10 breaks a great many things. And I don't mean "this doesn't work like it used to!"-broke. I mean, "this doesn't work! It used to!"

see: wifi; hdmi out; webcam.

I hate Unity 3D but whatever, that's the direction they're going. I don't care about the search "lenses". But just breaking shit from 12.04 to 12.10 is ridiculous. Whoever/whatever is in charge of Canonical needs to be fired. They're ruining the reputation of the brand, not to mention making many consumers absolutely dread the idea of new releases.


And the worse thing is that Ubuntu is moving away from 'common users' BUT ALSO away from 'traditional linux users'

Sincerely, it's been getting worse and worse by every release. Under the banner of 'making it more user friendly', they're adding more useless clutter, more 'funny pictures' but have no clear direction or desktop concept.

Yes, I believed it was going to be great as well.

I am much more productive in a linux distro with XFCE/IceWM, half of 'infrastructure' turned off (network manager, pulseaudio, etc) or I just go with Mac OS X

Those people who claim Ubuntu is ready for parents, brothers, sister, and those with little computer experience to use are kidding themselves. I understand the work that has to go into supporting devices that don't ship with nix drivers, but the amount of issues I've encountered as a slightly experienced Linux user puts me off, let alone anyone who hasn't a clue about the stuff you need to perform on command line.

I completely agree with OP.

Out of curiosity: you gave Windows 7 to your parents, what are you using right now? Another flavour of linux?

I find apt-get and the huge amount of troubleshooting information available the main reasons I'm still using (K)ubuntu. I have tried other distros but always came back...

I have a netbook with Ubuntu myself but only use it on holidays.

I'm using OS X as my main OS. I did try Ubuntu but really got crazy of the bad multitouch support (hovering over the touchpad was seen as a click, so I constantly lost the focus of my terminal while typing and having my palms near the touchpad)

So I'm waiting for good multitouch support for my Macbook Air and mayne switch then (not that sure anymore but I do have a little hope for those following Ubuntu's moves closely and the ability of apt-get like you pointed out).

I downloaded Ubuntu 12.10 by mistake. Nothing worked that were not already included in the DVD.

I then downloaded Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and all my hardware (with the proprietary AMD driver) and preferred software (Opera, Blender, Skype) works there.

Lesson learned.

Why not Kubuntu or straight Debian? I remember a few problems when KDE went Plasma on us, but they pretty quickly worked out the kinks and we have been pretty happy with Kubuntu for several years now.

Bye bye Linux! Hello viruses, trojans, and ever-increasing bloat!

This is so unfair...

Viruses, trojans and bloat are not a part of Windows, it is what users make of their systems. I use both FreeBSD and Windows (as desktops) and I haven't had an issue with any of them for the last two years.

It's not really "unfair", imo. It's obvious the GP poster is just regurgitating some garbage he heard somewhere else without doing any critical thought.

The most absurd things seem "obvious" to you. What is obvious is that you have not had to support friends who keep getting viruses, keep running out of free space on their massive disks, keep complaining about slower and slower performance.

I had the pleasure of supporting such people - believe it or not, they used different OSes, from old Windows versions to shiny new Mac OS (which, I admit, I couldn't help with) and they all had the issues you talk about - running out of free space and worsening over time performance and more.

It makes no difference which OS do you use if you have fifteen copies of the same 10Mb bmp image in different places. It also makes no difference if you never uninstall anything and keep piling shareware/freeware apps like a Pokemon Trainer.

I'm sorry to break it to you but users of PCs generally should NOT own a PC, because they have no time nor intention to learn about using such a machine properly, and large percentage wouldn't be able to even if they wanted. That's why shift towards tablets is a good thing.

Anyway, sufficiently non-tech-inclined user WILL kill his OS rather sooner than later, no matter which OS he happens to have. If you want to stop supporting these users just go there and disable all the features they use to make a mess of their PCs and lock them down in a sandbox, which is perfectly doable with every modern OS I'm aware of, or just persuade them to use tablet or chromebook.

And stop hating decent OSes just because your friends are unable to use them properly.

When I wrote about disk space problems, I did not refer to user content. I agree that there is no easy fix for people keeping fifteen copies of bmps, etc. Instead, I was talking about disks getting filled by OS components, and by other software made by Microsoft, Apple and other large companies. This is something I have not seen on the Linux distros that I have come across.

As for "sufficiently non-tech-inclined user WILL kill his OS rather sooner than later", well... some OSes and distros are more resilient to abuse than others. Ubuntu seems to be one of the best ones around. I'm an Arch-er myself, but that's because I'd rather give up some resilience to stay on the cutting edge.

But that's not the fault of the OS. That's the fault of the user.

I tend to develop more and more by the "it's never the users fault" pragma in order to build software that is perceived as "it just works".

Users? What do you suppose will happen to machines of users who rely on just the default software for "simple things like red eye removal"?

Of course, I'm not partial to Linux in this case. BSD and Mac users don't have the virus and trojan troubles that most Windows users are plagued with.

> What do you suppose will happen to machines of users who rely on just the default software for "simple things like red eye removal"?

Um, they won't get infected with viruses or trojans? But what do you count as default? Random, preinstalled crapware from HP, Dell and others or Windows components? If the former, then I saw similarly bloated and useless versions of these for Linux, too.

I'm a FreeBSD user and I love it. I can't imagine my grandmother using my system for longer than five minutes. She certainly wouldn't get a virus, because she would be completely unable to install anything.

But, she now has Windows XP installed and, she has no problems with viruses or trojans. It took me awhile to convince her NOT to click on anything that has the word "free" in it, but I managed. She does not want to watch porn either. This eliminates both most common ways people get 'infected'.

And she's got not one virus or trojan, for four years now and counting.

I don't use *ubuntu myself, but this is what I install on friends' PCs (Ubuntu earlier, Xubuntu now). By "simple things like red eye removal", I was referring to something the original author wrote. I then teach them how to add/remove software themselves, and to click on the occasional software update notifications. Life becomes a lot easier for me after that.

I have seen disk space problems on Macs though.

It's always been the same story. Of course you shouldn't give Linux to your parents...

My parents have been running Ubuntu since 2008, when I finally got tired of uninstalling spyware. It's been running like a charm ever since. Once Unity came out, I moved them to Xubuntu and never looked back. I do a clean install every year or two of the latest version.

The trick is to use compatible hardware. I gave them my old ThinkPads.

Maybe a full reinstall gives less regressions than upgrading, but I didn't have the time to do full reinstalls.

Oh, that's the most likely cause of your problems then. There are all kinds of issues with upgrading Ubuntu installs. I always do a clean install for that reason, never an upgrade.

So. Your updating your parents to a now obsolete operating system? Why not Windows 8?

Windows 7 will be supported for years (probably past the lifetime of many of the machines it's running on), and is well understood, and builds on years of similar previous versions.

Windows 8 is different enough that it's reasonable to watch from the sidelines for awhile.

Not new is hardly obsolete. It's an operating system that works and will continue to work for many years to come.

Windows 7 is more like Windows XP/Vista than Windows 8 is so it is more likely easier to just drop them back to what they probably already know.

Also Windows 8 is brand new and while it works just fine upgrading to it isn't really something that needs too be done just yet. Windows 7 is still a great OS.

For what I've read Windows 8 flourishes on tablets but can be a bit annoying/split minded when controlled by a mouse. This combined with the fact that most businesses will probably skip Windows 8 and stay with/move to 7 gives me the trust it will be maintained for a while.

That is a pretty spot on summary of Windows 8. I use it on a laptop (no touch screen) and really like it but it can be a little bit disjointed to use. Saying that I never use any of the Metro (Modern UI) apps and uninstalled them all as soon as I installed Windows 8. They are not the kind of applications I want to use on a general purpose computer. A tablet? Yeah ok but not with a mouse. The 'old' desktop way of doing things is far better than the new way for 'old' input devices.

Windows 7 is not obsolete. It works, new hardware for many years will have Windows 7 drivers, and new games will work in Windows 7.

Unless you are a MS salesman trying to pitch WindowsRT...

This story stinks, what an obnoxious sense of entitlement.

How dare they break YOUR webcam, and why should you invest untold hours in learning how to contribute and then fixing it.

World on a plate with no effort to give back? Meh.

Nonsense. The "it's open source, fix it yourself" argument only holds if your target audience is developers.

Ubuntu is intended to (also) target non-powerusers. They intend to be a competitor to other "normal people" OSes such as OSX and Windows. The fact that they give it away for free is entirely Canonical's own choice, and it does not magically take away users' right to criticize them.

Canonical puts a product in the market with claims to certain qualities, such as openness but also ease of use. The OP feels that some of these qualities have disappeared, and chooses a different OS for that reason. How is that obnoxious?

Straw man.

I don't understand your aggression. He chose to pay $100 - or whatever Windows 7 costs now - so that is the investment he needed to make to fix his problems. Fixing it in Ubuntu might be a lot more expensive to him (or impossible due to limited technical skills). What is the evil he has done now? He made a sane decision and I understand him well.

>> I don't understand your aggression.

It's easy, someone shares with you a product of their hard work, for free, and if you then choose not to use it that's entirely fine. If however you choose to snipe at hard work, you deservedly attract criticism in the strongest terms.

A much more constructive response which would attract high praise could be any of:

A) learn how to and then fix it yourself, share this improvement freely with others B) sponsor someone to fix it for you C) engage in directed discussion with those currently in a position to assist but unaware of the issue - open a bug ticket

> If however you choose to snipe at hard work, you deservedly attract criticism in the strongest terms.

That's a strange attitude. A user does not thrive on your hard work, he uses your product. He cannot judge (nor should he) whether hard work or sloppy, unmotivated fumbling was involved in creating it. If the product does not work properly, criticizing it in a civil manner is a perfectly fine thing to do, while snapping back at him in a "fix it yourself or STFU" manner is a display of bad manners.

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