No one has hard numbers, of course, but based on how much it’s talked about on the web, Ubuntu appears to be the most popular Linux distribution for home use (as opposed to for servers). Every tech news article about Linux mentions Ubuntu and will often recommend Ubuntu to new users. Many YouTube videos about how to do something on Linux will feature Ubuntu. Ubuntu is the top distro on DistroWatch (again, just meaning there’s a lot of interest in it—not necessarily that the largest number of Linux users are choosing it over other distros).

How did this come to pass? Seriously. I was there… not from the very start but from very close to the beginning. The very first release was Ubuntu 4.10, nicknamed Warty Warthog. I started with the next release, Ubuntu 5.04 (Hoary Hedgehog). My first experience with Ubuntu was not the best. The CD froze up part way through the installation, which led me to use Mepis for a month instead. But I came back to Ubuntu. Why?

On the surface, to a new user, Ubuntu would seem like a bad choice.

  • It doesn’t come with popular proprietary software.
  • It doesn’t have additional CDs (meaning, for software installation, you probably need a broadband connection).
  • Its documentation Wiki (especially at the time I started using it, less so now) is a mess.

I figured in 2005 that distros like Mepis and Linspire would thrive and be at the forefront of bringing Linux to ex-Windows power users, if not “the masses.” After all, in Ubuntu, I couldn’t (in Hoary) edit the applications menu, get numlock to stick, install Nvidia drivers, or add software repositories without resorting to the command-line, which was a very daunting thing for me to use when I first started on Linux. The word terminal was a scary word to see. In retrospect, I don’t know why I was so scared of it, but I was. And, yet, only a month after using Mepis, I moved to Ubuntu and stuck with it for three years. No, it didn’t come with Flash, Java, Nvidia drivers, Skype, Adobe Reader, or MP3 playback. It just had something.

The amazing thing is that even back when Ubuntu was barely functional (no easy-codec-installation or restricted-drivers-manager or Ubiquity installer) it was getting buzz. What got it off the ground? As far as I can tell, these are what Ubuntu had going for it:

  • Unlike giants Red Hat and Novell, Canonical was targeting home users first with its catchy (if slightly misleading) “Linux for Human Beings” slogan. Servers were secondary.
  • Unlike homebrews Mepis and PCLinuxOS, though, Ubuntu had the backing of some serious money (Mark Shuttleworth’s).
  • The free CDs worldwide (including shipping) is a nice gimmick that set Ubuntu apart, even if a lot of those CDs were given away to people who later threw them in the trash.
  • The Ubuntu Forums is a good compromise in that it has knowledgeable users but is generally free of the elitism and noob-disdain of other, more difficult distros’ forums. As a matter of fact, this was one of the major deciding factors for me. Much as I liked Mepis and much as their forums were friendly, they just didn’t have enough knowledgeable users to support me in all my questions. The Gentoo forums were far too intimidating for me.
  • I think this goes along with the forums being less intimidating, but associating the Ubuntu “Humanity Towards Others” philosophy with the distro seemed to give it a purpose and a flavor beyond mere technology.
  • The lack of confusing options really helps new users. You don’t have to know what KDE and Gnome are or choose what applications to install or which of five text editors to use. Ubuntu picks one application per task as default. If you want to switch to different applications later, that’s up to you when you’re more familiar with Linux programs.
  • Even though the Wiki isn’t the strongest representative of this, the Ubuntu documentation is pretty easy to follow. When I started with Hoary, the Ubuntu Guide was the best around, and since then a series of screenshot-heavy and video tutorials have sprung up to help new users who feel lost.

I’m a little conflicted on the single CD nature of Ubuntu. Even though I think not having additional CDs hurts the idea of Linux for Human Beings (since it really assumes users have a broadband connection or never want to install new software), I also found the multiple-CD distros confusing when I was a new user. I didn’t think of Mandriva as the first CD for installing the operating system and the second and third for only additional software. I thought I needed all three to install Mandriva. So I steered clear of Debian, definitely, which I think had fourteen CDs at the time.

I am quite proud of the Ubuntu developers’ work. Even though I have minor complaints, I like what I’m seeing: more point-and-click options, less need for the terminal, prettier artwork, easy codec installation. Yes, there are bugs. There will always be bugs. But Ubuntu is a solid distro with a large userbase to support and welcome you if you want to come. It was a dark horse rising up and now appears to be the de facto distro for new users.

If you’re too lazy to install the proprietary codecs yourself, though, you can use a Ubuntu variant like Linux Mint, which includes them by default.

Further Reading
Five Reasons Ubuntu Is the #1 Linux Distro

79 Responses to “How did Ubuntu end up so popular?”

  1. Chris Rios Says:

    Very nice commentary. I’ve been playing around with the live CD of Ubuntu a lot lately. I’m trying to dive in but I’m going to need to purchase a new/used desktop/laptop to do it. I’m saving up. It is a really nice operating system and I’ve found it fairly easy to use. I’m coming from a Mac (and work on a Windows machine at my work) and it seems that a lot of my Mac terminal (under-the-hood) knowledge seems to translate over nicely to Ubuntu. I’m looking forward to diving in.

  2. Wikzo Says:

    Yeah, you have some great points. I have been using Ubuntu in a little over a year, and I’m very happy about it. First I had some problems with the wireless network and stuff, but now I got a new laptop with an Intel card which works very well. Surely, there is a lot that can be changed, but overall Ubuntu is a very solid and easy-to-use system.

    One of the best things, indeed, is of course the great community. It is huge and got some great features like the new Brainstorm website. Not every idea may be realized, but it is a good way to change something in the code by suggestion new ideas, even if you aren’t a programmer or developer.

  3. ironnickel Says:

    I started with Hoary as well. I wasn’t afraid of the command line because I figured with a new installation what could go wrong apart from having to reinstall – this was greatly aided by the fact that I installed onto an old laptop – my main computer being a desktop.

    Three factors made me use Ubuntu. The live CD worked and it installed to the hard drive on both my laptop and desktop. Acceleration for my radeon X800 card worked first time. The install came on one disc (I won’t use multiple disc installations) so installation was quick and easy (it was text only install but quite easy).

    Forums were definitely a help. I hardly use the forums to ask questions now, mostly just to find out the odd thing or two via google or to answer questions.

  4. Andrei Says:

    nice… i love what you wrote at the end. if people think ubuntu has bugs, they should take a look at windows vista :P

  5. Shamil Says:

    Ubuntu’s great at times. Warty, i was there for the first day of that, it was also my first time in front of linux. My god that was horrible, had to edit fstab with help from my brother. Hoary was a little better. But i moved to mepis a little bit after warty until edgy came out. Edgy sold me. Stayed with it since until gutsy came out, gutsy was buggy as crap man! Hardy comes out and i sniffed it carefully and came back to the flock knowing i was with another solid release as opposed to the former.

  6. Ryan Says:

    Fascinating. I was wondering this myself. I’m not an avid Ubuntu user myself, but I’ve mentioned it twice to friends in the last month. I’ve used AIX, Solaris, and Red Hat for years, and I’ve never recommended those. I think it’s the network effect;Ubuntu is more viraly contagious. I’d chalk it up to the community rather than the technology.

  7. nightman Says:

    I completely agree with You. I’m in love in Ubuntu for a long time, that’s why I’ve prepared it’s promotional website: http://www.ubuntustory.com .

    It hink that this OS can become real alternative for “normal” computer users.

  8. Mike Says:

    I have been using Ubuntu for about 2 1/2 years and I have it installed on all of our home computers which are mostly pretty ancient eMachine boxes. Other than addin more RAM, Ubuntu has saved me from wasting money on oversized hardware to support xp or vista. I also have saved untold dollars by not having to purchase software for our basic needs. All of our home needs have been met with the software that comes with Ubuntu.

    Work computer is microsoft based but my laptop runs Ubuntu and no one can tell the difference. Ubuntu plays well with the exchange server and ms office files.

    I had tired of microsoft years ago and tried a number of linux distributions but I was not geeky enough to be able to install and use them. The beauty of Ubuntu is that it installs easily and it works.

    Ubuntu has gained great popularity in a short period of time by focusing on the non-geek user. When my 85 year old mother-in-law likes Ubuntu better than microsoft because it just works everyday, you have a winner.

  9. ninaaoki Says:

    This is a great commentary on Ubuntu. I also use Ubuntu on all of my machines — and I’m especially pleased to see how far the OS has come. 8.04 Hardy has truly become a very mature OS.

    You ask how? Because it works.

    - nina aoki

  10. max stirner Says:

    i’ve been on ubuntu since breezy, switched from suse

    i think the main reason for its rapid takeoff were the fact that it had a) forums and b) apt package management. debian is great, but unstable-branch debian made usable is even better.

  11. Mike Says:

    I think part of the allure of Ubuntu is that it has been presented as a “trendy” or “cool” operating system from day one. There is nothing wrong with this, because as a result, the community grows exponentially. In my opinion, this community ends up being the main quality that separates it from the rest of the pack. Whereas other Linux distributions have support communities, you’d be hard pressed to find another Linux distribution with a community as accessible and large as Ubuntu’s. Not only this, but it has actually spawned many personal blogs and tutorial web sites dedicated to it. This is commendable, and only helps to garner attention and lend credibility to the viability of Ubuntu as a reliable OS.

  12. Rasta Freak Says:

    Debian plays major role in Ubuntu success too, don’t you ever forget that!!! I’ve been using debian for 4-5 years, and switched to Ubuntu only because a)they are practicly identical (i mix packages from both distros) b) with debian unstable, you’re never up-to-date for more that a few hours max (yes, it’s that dynamic). A lot of people that haven’t used debian, don’t know how much infrastructure has been laid-off and how many original/efficient solutions were made by debian people. Apt/dpkg – best of the best packaging system, easy to use “update-…” programs covering (almost) all package & system upgrades/downgrades on the fly, “alternatives” system, thousands of development tools/scripts, bug-tracking, I even think they “invented” that “XXX.d” dirs (dir with multiple conf.files or scripts), x menu subsystem, full-featured universal font system… For every OS/distro aspect they developed their own and original solutions. So Ubuntu took finished & mature distro, and it basicly changed policy not to be so restrictive (towards non-free software) and developed some simple front-ends for most common tasks (& debian tools). These days I doubt there is much more difference between the two, so I just “stuck” using Ubuntu, but it’s as customized as debian used to be, and I really see no difference at all now. Both in using and configuring the system. One of the reasons why debian is always in “shadows” is that it makes no compromise – they never do something in favour of popularity or ease-of-use if it’s against their stricts policies.

  13. ubuntucat Says:

    Ubuntu does owe a debt to Debian, but then so does every Debian-based distro (Xandros, Mepis, Knoppix, Damn Small Linux).

    Actually, the great thing (contrary to public belief) about open source software is that the wheel does not get reinvented every time. New distros are able to build off the improvements in other distros.

  14. lleg3nd Says:

    Well, when CNet’s Tom meritt introduced Ubuntu on CNET TV it did get a lot of attention during that time.

  15. michaeld Says:

    Linux is still far from easy to use for the average home user. I haven’t found Ubuntu to be any easier to use than say Fedora.

    The average user should stick to windows as it is better supported. However for those who know what they are doing then Linux is great.

  16. Lamnk Says:

    Yawn, nothing new here, move along …

  17. Ashis Kharel Says:

    It may still take sometime to take over the major pie of the existing OS implementation, but at this rate I can see it catching up to 20+ years of MS run up to being the #1 OS. Every tech. geek should follow the FSF norm and contribute to make it viable even to the less opportuned.

  18. edirectories Says:

    Been using Ubuntu for a few months now (after being coaxed from Mandriva, which seemed alright, the few hours I played with it) but then I started reading every review praise Ubuntu above all others. Who knows, maybe I would like another distribution better, but this has suited my needs so I’ve had no real desire to try other ones. Linux is a learning process and definitely not for the computer “newb”. Unless I happen to come across another distro I happen to like better, I’m never going back!

    Very nice article

  19. mark Says:

    The free cds really helped!

  20. Eden Crane Says:

    Lots of good points in the article and in the comments here.

    I would add that Ubuntu’s aggressive shipping schedule; their commitment to put out a new version every 6 months or so, helps their popularity a great deal. Using Linux on my home system, I want it to support the latest technologies. I remember being frustrated when the distro I was on didn’t support USB 2.0 without a kernel recompile. When new exciting software like Compiz gets released, and I don’t have time to play the linux ‘text adventure game’ of getting it working, it’s nice to know that the latest version of Ubuntu will include it. You never have to wait very long for a new version of Ubuntu.of ubuntu.

  21. BrokenCrystal Says:

    I know I am going to get blasted for saying this, but I think (in my own personal experience) three things took me away from SuSE Linux.

    1. Dependencies – With Ubuntu (Debian) dependency hell was a thing of the past. With YaST, I had so many problems solving dependencies. Ubuntu’s package manager took care of these things for me.

    2. Money – Ubuntu was free versus SuSE which cost much money at the time. There was no such thing as free SuSE Linux then.

    3. Automatix – It was easy to install the necessary tools to play DVDs, MP3s, and Flash videos.

  22. GorillaGeek Says:

    I’d go with it if I could get it to install on my Dell Optiplex. I ended up with PCLinuxOS which is another great distro for those migrating from XP. Seems the Optiplex hates Grub and I had to go with Lilo.

  23. ZTK W S Says:

    What the hell does Ubuntu mean??? Worst name ever.

  24. Cann0n Says:

    The more people that turn their back on Windows, the better I feel about my Tux tattoo.

  25. Cann0n Says:

    By the way ZTK W S, Ubuntu is an African saying, roughly translated to “humanity towards others”. I’d hope everyone who uses Ubuntu would understand it’s meaning.

    System > About Ubuntu > About The Name

    or

    file://///usr/share/gnome/help/about-ubuntu/C/about-ubuntu.xml#about-ubuntu-name

  26. rrrrr Says:

    Oh your nerd tatoo?

  27. Darkwing Says:

    It just works. I think now is also a good time for Ubuntu as the number of people looking for an alternative to Vista are certainly on the rise.

  28. chad Says:

    I’ve been with/around ubuntu since before edgy came out. For me, it’s been a solid os. I’ve pretty much always used it as just a toy though. I know a ton of people swear by it, but I still don’t think it’s ready for the mainstream. I’ve never had a successful upgrade; my install has always ended up broken or crippled.

  29. mark Says:

    Pretty fascinating living in a time when you can download OSs like Ubuntu. Me lika.

  30. Eats Wombats Says:

    This echoes my own experiences. It was a combination of things — both a philosophy I liked and wanted to support and a degree of weariness with other distros — that persuaded me to switch.

  31. Larry Says:

    Having started with a distro that had nothing in it(Red Hat 5) in 1999, I almost didn’t use Linux. However, finding SuSE v5.3 with 5 CDs worth of software is what got me hooked. And, while some have complained about having to purchase SuSE, I had NO problems doing so because I actually don’t have a problems supporting a company that produces a product that I use. Now I help support by Beta testing for them.

    With uBuntu, and my first version was v5, I found it just lacking. It didn’t come with much of anything. Granted, I don’t have many needs software wise, but if it doesn’t come with what I want, I probably won’t use it. Yes, SuSE used to have dependency hell, but that wasn’t so much their fault as the people who created the programs. It irritates me to no end to have to install support for hardware I don’t have and don’t intend to use like: Cellphone support, blue tooth, firewire, etc. Making that a dependency is what creates problems.

    While I’m all for people using a strong, secure, system, I’ll stick with my choice, openSUSE, which supports my PCs, Macs(Old World ones as well), etc. When distros like uBuntu drop support for hardware I need to use, then I don’t support them.

  32. Mike Says:

    I, too, started into Linux with several different distros. Once I tried Ubuntu, I never looked back. Almost everything I do is in Linux now. The same for my family. I have had great success in finding help when needed from the Ubuntu community forums.

  33. Harold J. Wolfe Says:

    Had been using Suse for years but while trying to help a friend, learned enough about Kubuntu that I tried it and it instantly became my new distro.

    Now have it installed on two system and waitng to upgrade my third.

    apt-get really helps and those meta-packages really help

  34. Knut Says:

    Having used Ubuntu 6.06 and 6.10 (later moved on), for me personally it was the ubuntuguide and debian’s package system, apt. I has used Slackware on a server for a couple of months and had started to hate installing applications to it. Ubuntuguide made it extremly easy to install most of the applications I needed.

  35. Diana Silva Says:

    I really liked this post. I was like you, afraid to use the “Terminal” but now, I’m not. I love Ubuntu, I don’t know why. Maybe because it’s easy to use, understandable, it has a little bit of difficult and a little bit of easy, it has the perfect balance. I’m pretty new using Ubuntu, about 8 months, but i don’t regret I installed it. I have just Windows installed in my computer and I don’t miss Windows at all.

    Anything is better that Windows =P

    Honest

  36. Maarten Says:

    Nice article, and I agree that the community is an important factor!
    I also have to say that I like PCLinuxOS a lot too…..

  37. Chris Says:

    I hoped into linux about a year or 2 ago… and the thing that kept me loyal was the forums… i was afraid it would be filled with a bunch of elitist laughing at dumb questions from newbs… If that was the case I would gotten frustrated and moved on… but it didn’t… no question, no matter how silly, is answered by a more experienced user and is treated with respect and in verbose detail… these guys are saints compared to what I thought I might be running into. Not sure if that is rampant in other distros or not, but its definitely a fear of new users.

  38. robert lopez Says:

    I agree with this article 100% and just want to say that I Love what is going on with this distro and I am learning and hope to be able to help someone else as so many other ubuntu users have helped me.I am finding that I can pretty much do just about every thing I need to do with ubuntu. I dont even use windows anymore. I do graphics for my band Southern Soul, and record, download music, copy.rip.store. And feel good the more I produce with out windows. I have had the occasional crash, or stall but all I have to do is reboot and it starts up again at 100%, not like with windows which remembers the glitch and never lets it go. check out some music recorded with the Aurdur program at http://www.soundclick.com/southernsoul A BAND FULED BY LINUX……

  39. Martin Fleming Says:

    I was there at the very beginning when Linux Format magazine had Fedora 3 on the front cover and on that disc was an iso of ubuntu to try (Warty).

    Its was great from the start, even though the installer back then was very immature it only had to be run once as was still easy to do. It was on one cd not 3 or 4 and no annoying package selection to do on install.

    Synaptic was there form the start, a gui to apt to manage your software jut rocked whereas Fedora had yum but command line only and its add/remove application for adding removing software from the cd was just shit.

    Its not my place to say ubuntu is the best distro but clearly others have taken its lead in simplifying some takes like live cd installers, auto codec installation and of course a GUI to package management.

  40. Jonathan Davis Says:

    Great article, I think one thing that helped me initially choose Ubuntu over other distro’s was the fact that most of the popular live CD’s at the time used KDE as a backend.

    Now, me not being very knowledgeable about GNU/Linux at the time I really wasn’t liking the KDE environment, but thought that came as standard across all distro’s, which was a bit of a downer for me. So when I tested Ubuntu’s Live CD with it’s Gnome desktop I was very impressed and switched almost immediately!

    Jonathan

  41. afrodream 'n' beaded sandals Says:

    I guess I’m a late comer to Ubuntu OS but with current support why should i waste my money on expensive OS white Ubuntu can do all the tricks and more over them. Viva Ubuntu , thanks to open source communities. lets keep It up and make Ubuntu even more better.

  42. Richard Parker Says:

    I agree with ZTK W S – the name really puts me off! I’m a South African and know what the word really means… and I experience “ubuntu” daily,
    “what’s yours is mine” (and not the other way around)
    “corruption is okay” (that’s the African way to govern)
    etc.
    Why do you think Mark Shuttleworth don’t live in Africa anymore? – because real “ubuntu” sucks!

    I love linux and use slackware all the time – but to just say the word ubuntu leaves a bad taste in my mouth!

  43. Alex Seifert Says:

    Well put. I have been considering moving to Linux for a while, but I can’t decide whether I want to try Ubuntu or Fedora. I am entirely ignorant when it comes to the terminal and I would like something that requires the least amount of terminal exploration. The new release of Fedora has really made the decision more difficult as I have heard that it is very user-friendly. I guess I can just try both on Live-CDs and see how it pans out…

  44. Stas Sushkov Says:

    You forgot to mention the fact that Ubuntu has a dozen of derivatives… The story is short, if you need full support, just give a google search on Ubuntu derivatives!

    Good luck!

  45. chefdeb Says:

    I dawned my pirate hat, eye-patch and parrot, drew my cutless and dumped MS forever. I was free! Free of Bill Gates, Vista, and crappy expensive software. I embraced Ubuntu like a solid three-masted schooner with plenty of cannon power. My distain for MS is boundless. My love of Linux is priceless. Ubuntu was like finding buried treasure. Hardy Heron, Ahoy! Man the sails and full speed ahead!

  46. antemon Says:

    though in between being tech savvy and complete idiot about linux, I do have some experience in free software. And by that I mean should I get GIMP or PaintDotNet.

    I’ve found more users and places where GIMP was predominant and thus based off my choice of OS on how many poeple are using Ubuntu and hence can ask help for.

    at the moment though, I’m on Mint. It’s just a lot less stressful in the eye compared to Ubuntu’s brown :)

  47. equus Says:

    As ninaooki said, it really has matured as an OS. I first made the transition from Win to Linux Mint 4.0 (based on Gutsy 7.10), and it was so easy that I was breezing through it in a day or two. I saw that it was based on Ubuntu, so when I bought a new laptop a month or so later, I made sure it came blank and installed Ubuntu 8.04 beta.

    And I’ve been happy ever since :)

    If any OS has a chance of stealing a slice of the mainstream market, it’s Ubuntu, for the following reasons:

    1. Its popularity. The fact that there are so many distros out there is Linux’s strength, as well as its Achilles’ heel. The community is so fractured that an ordinary Win user wouldn’t know which system is the best, or where to start. What it needed was precisely something like ubuntu, a project with a very ‘human’ or user-oriented approach, which was not targeted at network admins, geeks or IT professionals. It serves as a magnifying glass, rallying everybody and focusing all the rays of the into one tiny burning hot point, capable of setting Microsoft on fire :)

    2. Single CD installation + wubi. One CD simplicity, you install it and most things are there, including OpenOffice, Firefox, internet, sound and video software… Compared to a blank WinXp install, where all you can do after setting it up is play Minesweeper. Granted, it may need a bit of fiddling over the net. But downloading 4mb of audio codecs automatically via a dial-up connection does not take too long anyway. And XP never came with Java, Flash, a PDF reader, Skype, or DivX… I manage perfectly fine with a wireless connection in India, running at around 2 times dialup speed!

    3. The philosophy. It may not be an accurate representation of the real ubuntu in South Africa, but it does embody the whole linux and open source philosophy – free, by the people, and for the people. And as a bonus, it’s the only OS I know of that comes with a video of Nelson Mandela talking about it :))

  48. Brent Says:

    Ubuntu is cool, but for home use only. I cannot use it for my work until:

    1. Adobe ports their Creative Suite software to Linux.
    2. Microsoft releases a Linux version of IE.
    3. I suppose that’s it, but that’s asking a lot!

    It’ll never happen, so why bother to ponder?

  49. Thor Says:

    Nice post! I have been using Ubutnu since 4.10 – and was wondering about the version numbers for a long time :-) I came from Mandrake/Mandriva and found Ubuntu much more easy to work with. Been there since and guess I’ll be here for a long time.

  50. bananasfk Says:

    Ubuntu works as it not as fast as Fedora (rpm) on a release schedule and apparently has ‘long term support’ whatever that means.

    It is probably deemed a second generation os, and so far has none of the baggage distros haul with them for better or worse.

  51. Greg Says:

    While I am an experienced user I do like Ubuntu. Why well it’s just amazing toss it on almost any old PC and boom your up and running! Yes I did test a number of others but I was impressed that it installed correctly on an old Dell when the others did not…

  52. gogohatchet Says:

    Brian

    You can run Adobe CS using Wine. And you can run IE in Linux using Wine. So there . . .

  53. Michael Says:

    I am one of those people that went from Red Hat to Suse to Debian… and Ubuntu won me over at Warty, and I have not had another Dist on my system since. Why?

    1) Ubuntu install was simple.
    2) EVERYTHING worked on my laptop — with very little futzing around.
    3) Upgrades are a breeze, even between major revisions, and I have never suffered from the equivalent of RPM-Hell.
    4) Ubuntu is backed by Debian, with an insane number of packages available if you configure your package manager to accept them.
    5) Third party repositories are easily added to the package management system (e.g. I update Wine directly from the budgetdedicated repository).

    Ubuntu was the first dist that I found that could do everything that I wanted Linux to do, and I have not looked back since.

  54. Ryu.Exe Says:

    Ubuntu is a very good distro of Linux, and have a very young spirit, but I love Fedora.

  55. JoshuaRL Says:

    @ Brent:
    1) Very soon. Since Adobe joined the Linux Foundation it’s only a matter of time. Patience young Padawan.

    2) IEs4Linux. http://www.tatanka.com.br/ies4linux/page/Main_Page Works well.

  56. hb Says:

    Really interesting thoughts.

    I’ll add something to it. In contrast of other distros Ubuntu implements lot of “bleeding edge” features.

    I translated the article in bulgarian:

    Available at:
    http://vestnik.hbcom.info/page.php?12

  57. Brent Says:

    IE4Linux does not work well with IE 7, let alone the beta of 8 which I need.

    Yes, I am well aware that wine can run CS2. But I truly need CS3 because of collaboration projects with others who are using it on Windows or Mac. Gotta be compatible in every way.

    Trust me I love Ubuntu Linux and run it for fun at home. I just wish I could run it at work too.

    If Adobe introduces native Linux support, that would propel Linux, most likely Ubuntu into the mainstream. Perhaps other developers would follow. Perhaps by that point, enough people will be using Firefox that IE will be irrelevant.

    I think this is several years away from ever happening although the development of Linux over the past five or six years has been remarkable. I’d say, it’s literally equivalent of the difference between Win 95 and Win Vista, and in less than half the time it took Microsoft to develop it’s software.

    I heard a rumor that Google is now funding the wine project. This is cool, but I want native support before I make a real switch at work. It needs to be official for me to be convinced that my production output won’t suffer or that my software won’t be buggy. Wine isn’t all that stable. Is it even in version 1.0 yet?

  58. Brent Says:

    You know what may really make this interesting is virtualization. I had not realized that Sun had recently purchased Virtual Box (or MySQL for that matter)

  59. wt Says:

    “the development of Linux over the past five or six years has been remarkable. I’d say, it’s literally equivalent of the difference between Win 95 and Win Vista”

    So true.. I remember how experimental (in a negative way) and odd the linux desktop felt 6 or 7 years ago, but the rate at which it has stabilized is very impressive.

  60. manny Says:

    another reason:

    Ubuntu has always been *1 step forward* the other big distros in ease of use and Big amount of software in repos !

  61. JoshuaRL Says:

    @ Brent

    Wine just released 1.0RC1. That is huge news, since it took about 15 years to get there. It shouldn’t be too long before Wine has a stable 1.0

    And to aysiu, thanks for this great article. Well reasoned, well said. You are, and I think you know this, also highly appreciated on the Ubuntu Forums.

  62. Josh Says:

    I guess it’s time for me to give it another try too. It’s been 2 years and the progress looks promising. Thanks for the article, can’t wait to hit the forums after install.

  63. anon2 Says:

    I use it because in a choice between OS X, Vista, and Ubuntu, Ubuntu wins by a mile. It’s as simple as that.

  64. Nate Says:

    This summer, when I build my computer, I will be putting Ubuntu on it because of the fact that it has excellent potential for it to improve in the future. And frankly I am quite tired of the Windows vs. Mac debate.

  65. Steve Says:

    For what it’s worth, aysiu is a big part of the reason I use Ubuntu. When I was first poking around looking at Linux, I heard about Ubuntu, and one of the first resources I found was the series of tutorials. In the pre-Wubi days, your description of setting up partitions for dual boot and lots of other stuff made the transition seem a lot less scary.

  66. gps Says:

    Never heard of Ubuntu until about two years ago. Now we have it as default OS on all our home machines. Boot windows only for Netflix or the occasional WOW which is not Ubuntu’s fault. With Hardy Heron and the Wubi??? installer the largest barrier (how do I partition my disks for a dual boot system etc…) has largely been negated. 1000′s of free packages via the apt package manager, the ability to micro control every aspect of the system such as individual icon sizes on your desktop etc… and a boost for aging hardware make it an excellent choice for preferred operating system. Why Ubuntu? because relative to the other distros out there it’s easy to get up and running, comes with a huge active community for support issues and actually has support from major players like Dell. People want to pop in a disk and just go… Ubuntu lets you do that or at least comes closer than the other Linux’s.

  67. Justin Breithaupt Says:

    I don’t know about Ubuntu. 8.04 is nice and all but it lacks a lot of built in features and programs that Windows users need to use. I’ve been shifting threw the distro sands looking at what they all have to offer and I have to say I’m disappointed that someone hasn’t taken all of these nice features and software packages and rolled them into one distribution based on popularity, openness, and freedom of choice. Whenever I try to suggest such a notion I’m called a “bigot”, “Discriminatory”, or someone tells me that I haven’t contributed anything to the GNU/Linux community. ? So I finally started http://www.ultumix.com to prove them all wrong. Even after I sponsored car races and redesigned the KDE Windows like interface and incorporated the Mac4Lin interface (which I used before it was a project called Mac4Lin by designing my own version) I have gained no new respect or support however I have had a couple orders for Ultumix DVDs and I am gaining contributers slowly. I don’t have an FTP or HTTP mirror yet but still people are using my Distribution. Once I get 0.0.1.7 (which is ahead of Kubuntu) out I think things might change.

  68. Alex Says:

    Today my window went down with some hard disk error due to power failure. I have a Ubuntu live CD that i have never tried. I boot my pc with it. Its seems very good OS. I have used RHEL and Fedora before, but Ubuntu seems much better and easy to use desktop.

  69. lakmal Says:

    can anybody differentiate Ubuntu and RedHat plz?????

  70. ubuntucat Says:

    They’re two Linux-based operating systems (otherwise known as “distros” or “distributions”) that have different funding sources, release cycles, default software, software management systems, and communities.

  71. Alex Says:

    Very nice article. Is it possible to translate it and publish with your credits on our online czech tech magazine http://www.eMag.cz as different view thant we normaly have (as we cover mostly windows)? If so please let me know on my e-mail. Thanks.

  72. ubuntucat Says:

    Sure thing, Alex.

  73. tonton Says:

    i completely agree. the ubuntu forum is probably the most newbie-friendly forum in the net. hardly anyone ever gets flamed for not using the search function. unlike in most linux forums, where asking a question is an invitation to being flamed.

  74. lonetruth Says:

    I am using Ubuntu 8.04, after not having touched Linux since the mid 90′s. I was so impressed that I did a quick write-up here: http://lonetruth.wordpress.com/2008/06/30/ubuntu-experience/

    In my mind, and through my experience, the popularity of Ubuntu can be summarized by 4 simple words: It’s Just Like Windows.

    And I mean that in a good way: 99% of the user-friendlyness, with maybe 1% of the bugs.

    Cheers!

  75. Arkadi Says:

    I am Linux beginner and using Ubuntu 8.04 (used 7.10 too).
    It is wonderful OS and it fills all my needs from a desktop computer.
    Very simple, huge amount of help on the internet, and very beautiful. In my opinion in the current release there are less bugs and it is very polished. I am proud to be a Ubuntu user!

  76. Bobby Says:

    I’m a new Ubuntu user, I started using on ד אב. I think the English date is 3 August. (Yom Ivris B’Alef-Beit Angleet is 4th of Av). I find it incredibly easy and within hours I fell in love with Terminal. It doesn’t hurt I liked the CLI when I used Windows. I also don’t care for the docs – they are confusing. I use the wiki and forums, mostly. You can’t actually edit the official docs, and the wiki confuses me a little, so I stick to the forum. :)

    And everything worked out of the box, with the exception of Java or closed-source stuff, but it takes 2 secs to install. I LOVE Ubuntu’s PDF viewer, more than Adobe because it is much faster!!

    How fast is app installation in dial up?

  77. David Wright Says:

    I started with RH8 because a highschool kid told me all the reasons why Windows blowed when it came to software development and security, and told me how easy and reliable Linux had become. I was using that for awhile, fighting with its instability and rpm dependency issues, before I upgraded to RH9. I lived on that for awhile until my coworker and mentor with Linux, Paulo from Brazil (oh, and I’m from the USA), told me he received a copy of Ubuntu and said it was better than RH. He said I wouldn’t have to worry about package dependencies, the thing was the most stable Linux out there, and had more recent packages than other forms of Linux. He said it was 100% free and I could even have the billionaire owner send me some CDs, which I did.

    So yeah, that’s why Ubuntu is the most popular, and that’s why I still use it until today — they have not let me down one bit. I choose Ubuntu over RH or any other Linux.

  78. Santosha Chaitanya Says:

    I chose it because almost every open source project has a .deb file of its app for easy installation. By building on an already successful base like debian, they set themselves up for a win.

  79. Goatse Says:

    i started using ubuntu this year and really enjoying it everyday

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