Note – This article was written in the year 2012 and does not reflect the current state of Ubuntu.
RANT – My peers have asserted – ‘I have downloaded my free OS. I am ditching Windows and switching to Ubuntu’. As a technology enthusiast, it’s always a moment of excitement in a open source initiative, particularly when it’s an Operating System. Having said that, Ubuntu left me disappointed.
There are plenty of free Linux derivatives around to try. They’re like delicious-and-ready-to-eat-candies lying around the web. I’ve tried a few of them (Sabayon, Open SUSE, Mandriva, Fedora and a few more), and among the list, I particularly liked Damn Small Linux. It’s cute and only 50MB in size. It doesn’t raise many expectations as a user nor does it explicitly claim/ imply to be a desktop replacement.
Apparently, Ubuntu is popularly believed to be a complete desktop replacement. And with so many too-good-to-be-true words and promotions about Ubuntu (back in the days), I thought ‘Ubuntu could be my new permanent OS’. Sadly, that didn’t work out. Even though my computer’s (Macbook Pro 13 Mid-2010) hardware specifications are more than recommended for Ubuntu; it was still very sluggish. The setting panels and apps took their own time to execute. The default pack of applications still include Firefox browser, which is just another layer to discomfort. And it’s not just my computer – it’s a known problem. With such minor usability issues on hand, it’s too soon to claim Ubuntu as a desktop replacement. It isn’t completely reliable yet.
Update – There are mixed experiences regarding the ‘sluggish-ness’ issue. Some users are having no problems, while some are facing severe performance issues even on systems with enough hardware specifications. A google search on this issue will help you undersand more.
Windows and OS X have been under closed development much before Ubuntu was born. Due to Ubuntu’s open source nature, it is maintained by a large developer community from around the world and it still has time grow into a complete and reliable operating system.
Sluggishness and incompatibility does NOT fit in the criteria of a reliable operating system. Ubuntu is NOT YET a suitable Windows/ OS X replacement.