Wednesday, February 20, 2013

One Week Linux Challenge - Day 7

Day 7 

     Here we are. Day 7.

     While writing this blog, I've spent a lot of time reading about Ubuntu. I avoided doing that before the final day, because I wanted to have a pure experience. I wanted to go through the rigours of daily use without having an ulterior motive in the back of my head searching out flaws that others found 'glaring'. 
     What I found was shocking; I found reviews written by people who are beyond power users. People who attack Ubuntu for 'not truly being free', and 'not providing enough access to the user'. It's hard to wade through all the complaints about Unity; That there isn't enough customizability with the Unity bar, that it doesn't run fast enough, that Ubuntu is heading in the wrong direction...
     I've learned something valuable these last seven days; Be skeptical of others. Whether or not some one else likes Ubuntu should provide nothing more than anecdotal evidence. The only real account that matters is your own. And you know what?
     I love Ubuntu.

     From the moment I installed it, to the very end, I waited. I waited for the crashes, for the unexplainable errors, for the lack of features or difficulty to adapt. It never came. I waited for major road blocks, for one program or function that was absolutely necessary, that would make me crawl back to Windows...but it never came.
     Some may say that Ubuntu is almost there. That, in due time, it will be ready for use to the general public. I say; Ignore these people. Ubuntu, and on a broader scale Linux, is ready to be used. We have to stop treating everyone like they're 6, and show them that it isn't hard to learn, it's worth taking the time, when it means liberating yourself to a new world where you don't have to be afraid to use a computer in case of a 'virus', or because you don't know how to install something, or any other reason.
     I'm going to continue using Linux. I'm no longer going to fear it because I'm unable to do what I did in Windows. I'm going to use it because it's a place of less distraction. A place where I can have the same satisfaction from healthier sources. Ubuntu is a world I feared because I didn't truly know what it held in store, and now that I took the dive I found out the water is clearer, the tank is larger, and the swimming lessons are free.

     I'm going to continue writing to this blog at least three times a week, documenting my eventual switch to Linux over my life. I will no longer be linking to Reddit, as I don't want to bother the guys on the Linux and Ubuntu forums with daily posts. I'm 21 and have a lot to learn, and I feel like Linux is going to be a big part of my life from now on. Thank you for coming with me for these seven days, I appreciate the few comments that have corrected my ways, or shown me how to be more efficient. It's things like that which motivate me most to continue; There's always more to learn. Thank you.



  1. Congrats on letting Ubuntu into your life. Your story warms my heart :)

  2. Glad you're enjoying the experience!

  3. "I took the dive I found out the water is clearer, the tank is larger, and the swimming lessons are free."

    I like that quote ..

    Come on in the water is fine!

  4. There should really be a one year challenge for Ubuntu. Pretty much everything works. If you do have an issue, it's generally easy enough to find the solution and fix it (providing you have access to another computer to google your problem). If there's anything you really can't do without Windows, you should probably take the time to re-think that process. Anything that is linked to a single vendor is a failure point.

  5. No offense, but you are new.

    You are still judging Ubuntu based on your Windows experience. Windows is not computing and applying the ruler you use for that experience to judge Ubuntu is just wrong.

    I describe Ubuntu as the bumper bowling experience of Linux - if you only want to replace Windows with a free OS it is great at that. If you want to dive in to real computing and be able to learn and take the training wheels off Ubuntu is not going to do it for you.

    1. It's perfectly possible to get into 'real computing' (as opposed to fake computing?) and learn on Ubuntu. It doesn't throw you into the deep end, but you can certainly get there if that's where you like to swim.

    2. Wow, it's because of comments exactly like this one, from supposed experts, bashing new users, that detracts people from using Linux in the first place. Using Windows IS computing. To say otherwise is downright stupid. Do you need the definition of computing explained to you? Similarly, Ubuntu is just as Linux-ey as any other distro. Again, saying otherwise just illustrates that you don't have a solid grasp of what Linux IS, or how to properly use it.

      I have been using Linux since 1998 and have lots of experience in over 25 distros. I am a software developer, spend most of my time in the shell, manage hundreds of VM's for a large corporate rollout on AWS, and have built crazy things based on Linux like beowulf clusters and robotics controllers. I think I know what I am talking about when I talk about Linux, and when I say that Ubuntu is a GREAT distribution, I mean it. I've used it almost exclusively for the past few years in both my personal and professional life. It is a FANTASTIC server platform, uses a great package management system, and has a wonderfully balanced configuration out of the box.

      A distro is just a collection of software packages, to say one is not capable of doing something another is, reeks of amatuerism. Reconfigure your system the way you like it. Install new packages, make it your own. Are you saying that because the barrier to entry is low in Ubuntu that it isn't "real computing"? If so, then you sir are a moron. Ubuntu's strength is that it has a well balanced set of packages included by default, and also has a vast repository of packages maintained by canonical. They ensure that the things most people need to get started easily are there by default. That isn't a problem, it is a good thing.

      Take your misguided elitism elsewhere. We, the Linux and open source community don't want it. I understand that you want to feel "l33t" and "pwn" everyone with your 'h4x0r' skills, but really, to professionals, you just look like a bratty punk that gives our otherwise outstanding and helpful communities a bad name.

    3. > I think I know what I am talking about when I talk about Linux, and when I say that Ubuntu is a GREAT distribution, I mean it. I've used it almost exclusively for the past few years in both my personal and professional life. It is a FANTASTIC server platform, uses a great package management system, and has a wonderfully balanced configuration out of the box.

      Did you say "thank you" to the nice Debian Developers for making that happen?

    4. I'm convinced theBOSS is guilty of judging the new user by his own personal standard as a however many year user he said he was.

      You can stand on your soap box and scream your fidelities w/ respect to experience all you want. All you do is prove your experience is further from a new users.

      Anyway how you construed any bit of elitism from my post is preposterous. I'm sorry your job/family/friends don't give you the validation you need and you have to pick fights with random strangers online.

      If OP wants to get the most knowledge/training out of Linux he should train in as many different dojos as possible and pick up as many strategies and techniques and approaches as possible. To me, that's computing. In this case, the dojos are the operating systems.

      If you want to call computing picking up an electronic device and rolling your face over the keyboard, fine. I'm interested in people being equipped to understand the science and technicalities of what they are doing.

      Ubuntu's biggest boon is it's biggest burden. Yes, it's safe and unintimidating and does a lot of things. But it doesn't expose to all that's out there and then you are hurting yourself.

    5. FYIW @theBOSS

      Since we're measuring our packages.

      I manage a combination of AIX6.2/7.1 Lpars RHEL5/6 VMs and have been managing enterprise level tech that was dead or deprecated before you first booted Linux.

      In my line of work unprofessionalism and bratty is used to describe someone incapable of having a conversation without going off on a masturbatory false narrative of self-validation.

      That you chose to rage against the evil person with a differing opinion than yours on not even a hunch, but an assumption, shows me enough to explain why you need to puff your chest and carry the banner for something the way you choose to.

      I hope you use the Internet to blow off steam and you do not handle yourself this way towards customers or your peers.

    6. @Alex

      Don't mean to be rude here, but it sounds like your the one blowing off steam here.

      To me you are saying for me to use Linux "properly" I have to learn this and that, get here and there. I'm going to admit it now, I honestly have no idea what both of you are saying half the time, nor do I care.

      Its like saying I need to know electrical wiring to know how to flip a switch and use a plug. Would it be nice to know? Yes. Do I really need to know it? Nope, and no offense to electricians but I really don't want to learn why my laptop is charging.

      Same thing with Linux. I don't care if the Unity bar is not this or that, or it can or can't do this or that. At the end of the day I really just wanna surf reddit and watch some videos. Ubuntu lets me do that no problem, lets my computer illiterate parents do that as well (well facebook, not reddit).

      Forgive me if I'm wrong but I like to call myself an average user, this is what Ubuntu I feel is made towards. I fooled around and its obvious that I can do more advance linuxy stuff you guys do (or whatever you call it). If I can't whats stopping me from getting something like Debain?

      In fact this is all I came here to say, if I wanted to do more than what Ubuntu has to offer then I can switch no problem. If I'm happy with what came out of the box then leave me be.

    7. Computing: to use a computer.

      TheBoss was defending the majority of Linux users. You seem to be defending... something.

  6. Glad to hear you liked Ubuntu, and welcome to Linux!

    I agree with what you're saying, that people should try it rather than just read other people's reviews and make judgements, but I also think that people often misinterpret decent criticism of a particular feature with hating the entire thing.

    For example, I'm one of the people that doesn't like Unity, and have written several blog posts about it explaining new problems in each release etc.
    But I also still use Ubuntu on two of my machines and like to use it (standard Ubuntu with Unity on one, Xubuntu on another)

    But, if you do reach a point where you want to move on to a different Linux distribution, my personal favourite is Fedora, which I use on my main machine.

  7. @Alex, Not everyone is a power user, a system administrator, kernel hacker, etc. Some people only use their computers for browsing, and email. Explain to me how Ubuntu wouldn't be *perfect* for that group of people. Just because someone uses Linux, that doesn't mean they need to know all about spin locks and archaic 3COM token ring NICs.

    YOU are exactly what the author is referring to in regards to the skewed reviews.

    1. I believe I said exactly what you said. Ubuntu is fantastic as a transition for new users because it is safe.

      If all OP is doing is "I want to check email, read the news, send pictures and browser facebook" Then fine, Ubuntu is the way to go.

      Yeah, he can scale up but the whole point of Linux is the competing ideas and ideologies. That's computing. It's learning the technique and strategy and when to apply it at the right place at the right time and knowing which tool is best applied to which job.

      That's my point.

      I'm not a fan boy and I really don't give a damn about which distro anyone uses. I'm offering advice and you are too busy trying to burn a witch than actually comprehend the hand that is being given.

  8. I've really enjoyed your blog. Welcome aboard. Love the swimming lessons are free line.

  9. Yes. Ubuntu is still as Linuxy as any Linux. It's simply made to work for beginners out of the box. You can still compile your own kernel, write your own apps, etc. You are completely unlimited. You can use all free software if you want, and everything you learn will help you in other areas, too. Try Xubuntu for a much quicker experience on some computers. Since it's so popular, there are usually lots of people who can help with a project. Questions on typically get immediate answers. I find Ubuntu is the quickest and easiest way to get a computer working again if it's busted. Windows works fine but is vulnerable to viruses, expensive, and takes a LOT more work to install properly.

    1. > Questions on typically get immediate answers

      has anybody found a solution to this? msg me

      Choose Life. Choose to Sysadmin

  10. Try Linux Mint. It is a distribution based on Ubuntu but with some nicer "Quality of Life" changes. A more desktop friendly GUI, a nicer Software Manager, and I believe a smoother interface (with Cinammon) than Unity. But yes, congrats on trying and loving Linux.

  11. @Most of you

    How anyone could pull elitism out of my comment is baffling. Stop being white knights and think for a minute.

    Ubuntu is purposefully targeted at the Windows crowd because of it's ease of use and less-than-intimidating approach to getting users in to Linux. Never once did I say anything was wrong with that.

    The impression I got from your blog was "Wow there is nothing to be afraid of here. I like this and want to keep trying." If you do end up getting bit by the Linux bug and continue to want more you will hit a point where Ubuntu does not do it for you anymore. When that time comes you are going to search out new distributions because you are going to want to learn the different technologies and approaches that are available.

    For instance, someday you may want to check out the ARM platform, or play with a raspberry pi. Sure, there is a debian image for the pi but if you want to get the most out of the hardware you are going to need to branch out.

    All I'm urging you to do is to continue to keep your mind open. Remember there are many distributions out there and don't get locked in to Ubuntu because it makes you feel comfortable. When you're ready to step out in to the wild Ubuntu will just hold you back. Then you are hurting yourself.

    Don't be afraid to take the plunge and if you want a mentor/guide through some of the other distributions send me a message.

  12. I really liked Ubuntu until Unity. I know a lot has already been said about it so I won't add too much, but Unity was just a step backwards. With the Ubuntu phone, it will be appropriate, but for PC desktops it's not helpful.

    1. Unity wasn't a step back, it was a step forward. We learnt something from it. Sure it wasn't as polished as GNOME 2, but for a new product it was better than could be expected.

      Compared to other desktop environments, in my opinion, it's crap. Still, Ubuntu doesn't mean Unity, I've used XMonad and Xfce on Ubuntu just fine.

      The real reason to dislike Ubuntu is the fact that it's no longer free software (see Amazon scandal). The great thing about Linux is that there are other distributions out there and Linux Mint, based on Ubuntu, is the one I would choose right now. It's very Ubuntu like, but looses Unity and doesn't have the Amazon crap in it.

      Others may disagree, which is good. It's great that we have the diversity that we have in Linux because it keeps people accountable and honest. If one distribution sees it's got popularity and tries to abuse it (as Ubuntu did) then we can go somewhere else, and even use the entire Ubuntu codebase to start from. It's just the name and those looking after it that gets changed.

  13. Very good to hear! I myself took the plunge into Linux a few years ago and you know what? I haven't drowned yet!! Keep up the good work and feel free to check out my blog where I talk about how I got started in even more detail than I mentioned here. I wish you the best.

  14. The thing which bothers me though about Linux ok it's free and if you have the skills you can do great things but why isn't it being adopted more for everyday use. Also why don't the developers standardise a distribution for the home user i.e same package manager and packages.
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  15. This is really very great and valuable information for all of the user who are seeking about linux. If any one have any idea about ubuntu then tell me that it is also a part of linux or not.

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