Ubuntu 18.10 was out yesterday, and it’s quite a pleasant distro.
Ubuntu’s look is good, certainly much better than the hideous brown they had for many years. It looks better than Windows 7 by default. I have only interacted with Windows 10 once, and I found it to look quite good, too. I doubt that I will ever install it on my machine, though. The horror stories I have heard make me want to avoid it.
I have even grown to tolerate Ubuntu’s default desktop. I hated it for a long time, but now find it acceptable. I think there are more usable window managers out there. I think the flatter icons are a step down from their previous design, which were about the best I have seen and could hope for.
As Alan Kay once said, the problem with computing is that it’s a pop culture rather than a real engineering discipline. There’s too much fad-chasing.
Ubuntu is often considered a “beginner” distro, and not for “professional” use. Whilst it certainly is beginner-friendly, I don’t see how it would be considered unprofessional. Ubuntu, for the most part, Just Works (TM). Why waste time fiddling around when I can get something useful out of the box.
I have tried many distros in the past, including:
- Arch: my second-favourite Linux distro. It is a rolling-release distro, and I actually find it the most stable. You need to do jiggering around with Arch than you do with Ubuntu, though.
- Debian: pretty good, although rather behind the curve
- Fedora: this distro is an abomination. Every time I have installed it, I have regretted it. It’s too much cobbled-together half-broken junk. I hesitate to say all this, because I just know that the advocates will come up with a bunch of rationales as to why they think I’m wrong. I’m not going to rehash their arguments, suffice it to say, my answer is still “no.”
- Mint: tried it, and liked it. I don’t really have anything bad to say about it, and it’s been a long time since I have actually used it. It’s a perfectly fine distro
- OpenSuse: can’t see the point. It was OK, but it didn’t have many of the packages I was interested in.
- Slackware: my third-favourite Linux distro. It’s solid, but dependency management is tedious. I am aware of apps than can help here, but still, it’s more work than I would care for
What Ubuntu offers is ease-of-use and a large collection of up-to-date software. It may not the absolute latest version, but it’s close enough. I like the Aptitude package management system, and it seems faster than some of the other systems I have tried. You can also get proprietary software and drivers for it. I am not puritanical.
Downsides? Well, it’s unlikely to be as fast as Arch or Slackware, nor as stable. I wish it wouldn’t ask to send crash reports, either.