Ubuntu looks good (September 16, 2007)

The first time I heard about Ubuntu, I went to the web site and was greeted by fluffy pictures of children dancing in a circle. I could not figure out what they even THINK is good about their distribution. I mean, sure, I like children, and I like the world, but so do the people making all the other distributions. Bill Gates likes children, so should I switch to Windows? After an hour or so of browsing around I gave up and continued using Debian, with which I was and am happy.

Since then, I have run into a number of people who use and like Ubuntu. Within my research group at EPFL, in fact, I believe it is the only distribution of Linux that is in use. Thus I decided to give it another try, and I spent much of my recent vacation I put Ubuntu on my laptop and spent most of my time doing that most leisurely of activities: reconfiguring a computer.

It has been about a month now, so I thought I would share my impressions. In general, it feels just like working on Debian, except that many more things are configured with good defaults. More things Just Work. Some specific examples:

On the down side:

UPDATE: After another couple of weeks, it seems that Network Manager is not really ready for prime time. It is great when it works, but I find myself restarting it all the time. If it takes that amount of effort, you may as well start and stop interfaces from the command line.

Lex Spoon