Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why I love Ubuntu...

Well, I had installed Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala and used it for a while, liking the interface and features. But I got bored with it pretty quickly. I found it to be hard. Installing programs was a pain. But yesterday, having updated it to 10.04 Lucid Lynx, I began to see it from another angle. It looked awesome. Though it is not much of a change from Koala, it has made this unique OS like it was never before. Here is a list of reasons why I recommend every casual computer user to switch to it:

Interface and Features:

What I feel is, no matter what kind of computer, Ubuntu makes it feel like a mobile phone (or a Mac). The reason: mobile phones and the Mac has an OS and software that is built and/or customized for the hardware. The software integrate amazingly with the OS, because it was configured to be. Since I started using Ubuntu, I felt, "Why can't Windows be so much connected to the software it runs?" Now that different people have different tastes, they may like or not like how Linux behaves with the programs. I now realize that there is not much software available for Linux. Most of what is available IS available in the Ubuntu Software Center. Earlier I had thought why Linux doesn't make installing software easier. But now when I come to think of it, installing programs is a one-click process (literally) when we use the Software Center for the job.

Speed and Stability:

Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) in Windows (image from

Microsoft says that Windows is really stable. It could be. It is indeed more stable than the previous version. It can be like Linux if we take care of it and keep it in shape. But for beginners and casual users, Linux is more apt. Windows makes it easier to install software. You just click an installer and it starts installing. But still, you need to choose the directory in most cases. In Ubuntu, ALL software is installed very perfectly into the directory it is

meant to go into. No user can make mistakes and install programs into wrong directories. Now that makes Linux more stable! Programs are very organized. There's hardly need to clean up things. Windows Registry gets bloated when you install and uninstall software frequently. It slows you down. Now you need to install programs to get rid of the errors and trash. But because Ubuntu integrates better with software, the program is removed much more efficiently than in Windows. You just tell Software Center that you want to remove this program. It does everything for you completely. Booting is superfast. With this really old machine, I'm up and running with Firefox in just about 30 seconds after selecting the OS in the multiboot menu. Ubuntu greets me with a completely ready and working desktop in just about 10 seconds after entering the password (on my old computer). Someone out there claims that Ubuntu boots in about 3 seconds on his computer.

"All-In-One"ness and Flexibility:

Ubuntu comes with all the software you need. Windows doesn't come with heavy photo editing programs. It doesn't have Microsoft Office included in every edition. It doesn't come with a complete sound recording cum editing program. It doesn't come with 15+ casual games pre-installed. Most of all, it doesn't come with Firefox. What ever Windows has included in it may be complete for the casual user, and some people MAY find complex programs difficult to use (that's the reason Ubuntu has documentation so big that you can't imagine to read all at once) but the best part of Ubuntu is that it gives you complete freedom. All the software that comes with Ubuntu is open-source. Microsoft ties you down to only Microsoft products for complete usability. You can't use some Windows Live features without Internet Explorer. Ubuntu has everything you need and not anything that you don't (okay, almost nothing that you don't need, but you just don't need to go down into the complexities of Linux to use and enjoy Ubuntu and make it a part of your life). It also doesn't make using any particular app mandatory. You can install Opera or Chrome instead of Firefox (sorry, no Safari. Jobs probably hates Linux, and probably so does Gates. They make their own operating systems, and EARN from that).

Astonishing Hardware Support:

Really, when I first dual-booted Karmic Koala on my Windows XP laptop, I had no driver problems. All my components were seamlessly running with it. Even Bluetooth worked, and so did the GPU (with full acceleration). I suddenly got multi-touch features for my touchpad too. Thus, Ubuntu has amazing support for all kinds of hardware. What it doesn't support, it installs the necessary drivers automatically. I wish Windows could do this too. I had run into problems with my graphics card drivers on my Windows Vista laptop. And apparently, there was no turning back. I was forced to restore the computer to its original state. Microsoft boasts that Windows can easily use all kinds of hardware that we jam into the computer. But Windows Update doesn't stand to its claims.

Beautiful Appearance:

Ubuntu looks beautiful. Windows Vista and now Windows 7 look quite snazzy and shiny, but all the eye-candy becomes boring soon. With this update to 10.04, Ubuntu has gradually moved closer to looking like a Mac. Surprisingly, Ubuntu can easily render all these pretty graphics with the weakest resources you give it to work with. I am using Ubuntu with all the graphical beauty enabled, on a pretty old laptop, which has about 32 MB of dedicated graphics memory, and Ubuntu's performance surprises me too. I really love looking and the popping and bouncing and stretching of the Windows every time I pull things here and there. I do it for fun sometimes.


Really, not that Windows should be completely free, but it can be cheaper, at least. Latest versions of Windows are enormous wallet hoggers. They make you much lighter than you would like. Ubuntu is free. Completely free. And that's really good of it.

I don't hate Windows, mostly because of its monster compatibility with software and familiarity. I love Ubuntu because of its uniqueness and usability, and its being easy for most users with basic tasks. Ubuntu is not for me when it comes to using it as a primary OS. I'll continue to use Windows (probably a Mac sometime soon) and learn advanced Linux functions and commands. Also, I am sure I'll love the Google Chrome OS when it comes out. It'll be an exciting thing to use.