Everybody hates ubuntu

ubuntu 16.04 Desktop

Everybody seems to enjoy hating on Ubuntu. There are hundreds of blogs talking about why they are leaving Ubuntu and going to arch or antegros or Manjaro or some other distro. And loads of ranty video’s ( such as this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTuBq3NUbrQ this guy is really pissed at Ubuntu ) as to why Ubuntu sucks so hard.

All of them have valid reason’s. I also have had the experience of Ubuntu taking a dump on my lap and then walk off laughing.

Also the introduction of the unity desktop which I feel is like a battery sapping extravagance which actually serves no purpose.

It’s a bit like Toyota spending billions of Yen in developing high performance batteries for the Prius and hours in the wind tunnel, then demanding that every Prius sold have a pretty parachute with the Toyota logo on it which is always deployed behind the car.

There are some pretty annoying bugs and annoyances in Ubuntu, and the latest Ubuntu does seem to have some pretty shocking ones that also get me reaching for my FreeBSD ISO or Centos ISO.

However after clearing the tears of rage from my eyes and turning my logic chip back on and I start thinking again, and I can start rationalising.

  1.  I have had Vmware Vcenter die during an upgrade, because of a special character in a password.(this bug is really scary, contact me and I will tell you why )
  2.   I have seen windows servers fall over and implode because of a bad update from Microsoft.
  3.   I have seen Microsoft Exchange server fall on its butt and die, due to a Microsoft upgrade, several times.
  4.   Windows update during December 2016 kills DHCP, users can not get on internet http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38301548
  5. February 2016, Cisco had me running around on valentines day patching a critical bug for all Cisco ASA Firewalls I had deployed that were using IPSEC VPN

Ubuntu is not the only technology that has caused me late nights and hours of fault-finding. However one big difference is that I did not (or my customers) have not had to pay thousands of pounds for the privilege.

I paid absolutely nothing for it!

This does not give Canonical a licence to make crap or shoddy software, but this fact does alter the perspective greatly. Enterprise software costing multiple thousands of pounds with expensive support programs also take a dump on you and give you late nights and embarrassing moments in front of your customers.

Don’t forget the meaning of the word Ubuntu. It is often also translated as “humanity towards others”. I think this has been lost slightly now that Canonical has grown and become more commercial to survive.

Ubuntu Linux is Open Source community driven project managed by Canonical. If Ubuntu does not do something you like, or it is broken in some aspect, unfortunately the difficult truth is it is down to you to help fix it.

I say difficult truth because I don’t really have the time, I need something that just works. Does that give me the right to take for granted and demand that someone else will have the time?

This is the cost of getting something so valuable and powerful for nothing. By its definition “humanity towards others” there is an implied contract that you have to contribute something and not just suck it dry.

The only alternative is to close your mouth and open your wallet and go to RedHat or Suse Enterprise, Microsoft or Apple.

Despite its many, many faults Ubuntu is a very popular operating system and has a large solution base of off the shelf software which plugin into Ubuntu.

I have decided to re-invest into Ubuntu and see how it plays with a new approach ( I stopped using Ubuntu nearly 5 years ago, I run a mac and Debian on my servers). There are number of reasons why I’m re-investing into Ubuntu, but that’s another blog post.

Here is my approach which I think might get me a good return on my investment:

  1.  Always stick to LTS release’s ( 5 years life time) . Don’t move to the next LTS release until at least the .1 uplift or 6 months from its release.
  2. Always read the release notes before installing , especially the known issues section
  3. Get a login id for launchpad so you can report bugs.
  4. Keep an eye on launchpad on the targeted bugs for the release your currently running.
  5. Use Ansible to create repeatable consistent known configurations.
  6. Look forwards not backwards, get to know systemd,ZFS, snap packages, LXD, might be useful stuff.
  7. Install Unity Tweak  Tool to turn off all the battery sapping/heat generating bling if running on a desktop.
  8. Keep an eye on the community blogs such as https://ubuntuforums.org and contribute useful stuff where I can.

I’m not a developer or a kernel hacker and have not touched C or C++ for years so I can’t really fix stuff, but I’m pretty good at finding workarounds.

If this does not work, then I will stick to my Mac Desktop and try FreeBSD servers 🙂


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