5 Reasons Ubuntu is superior to all other Linux distributions

It may be a bold statement to make, especially considering the fact that I’m by far no Ubuntu fanboy.  My background in Linux began with Slackware, and I’ve always preferred the more simplistic distributions that allow you to have complete control over what goes on.  However, as the demand and the user base for Linux grows, it’s obvious that people want simplicity in another way; people want an operating system that is free and easy to install, configure, and most of all, use.  Ubuntu has answered the calling for a Linux desktop that moms, dads and grandmas alike can all use with a little openness to a change in the overall look and feel.  These are my arguments as to why I believe Ubuntu is superior to all other Linux distributions available today.

The ability to try everything out

The fact that Ubuntu has a live CD built right into the installation disk allows users to actually test out the basics and get a feel for Ubuntu right from the start without installing anything to your disk.  With all of the distros available to choose from these days it’s important for a distro to offer a straightforward, easy to use live CD option.

Ease of installation

Ubuntu offers users very simple methods of installation. Whether you choose to install from windows using wubi, dual boot, or single boot, every option is easily configurable and straight forward.  You don’t have to be a tech geek or have understanding of partitions and swap space in order to install Ubuntu.

Ease of upgrades

Since Ubuntu is based off Debian and uses the apt package manager, upgrades to new versions as well as security updates are simple to apply requiring almost no interaction apart from entering a root password.  It’s important to offer users an easy way to update packages for security as well as upgrade to a newer version when one is available.  Upgrading Ubuntu from one version to the latest version is as easy as pie; a few clicks, a little waiting, and a system restart and you’re on the newest version.

Community

Having a community that can offer support is crucial for any Linux distribution. It’s what makes or breaks any Linux project. Ubuntu has a great community for both development and support.  The Ubuntu forums are full of great questions and answers from both new Linux users and old timers.  The IRC channel on freenode is also a great place to hang out and ask questions or even provide your own assistance to those that need it.

Ubuntu just works

Taking into account that Ubuntu is just a distibution of Linux and it is actually Linux that “just works” it is important to note the fact that the the ubuntu developers have done in excellent job in creating a Linux distrobution that just works right out of the box. From plugging in third party devices such as digital cameras and usb drives, easy to use wireless, to the ability and awareness of using restricted device drivers if you wish makes Ubuntu great for people of all skillsets.

8 thoughts on “5 Reasons Ubuntu is superior to all other Linux distributions

  1. Hmmm, about the only reason from your list of 5 that carries any validity is the one about community. Yes Ubuntu has more users, and some/many of the users seem to have a possibly better attitude about helping people.

    Almost all distros of any note these days has a live cd. Many have multiple flavours of live cds (like ubuntu).

    By the same token, most popular distros have made great strides in user-friendly installation. Perhaps Ubuntu deserves some credit for leading the way on this, I do’nt know. But it’s no longer unique, or a point of superiority.

    As you point out out Ubuntu is debian-based, and as such uses apt, which is generally acknowledged to be about the best there is for managing software post-installation. However, Ubuntu is not the only debian-based distro, is it?

    Ubuntu just works? I think you’ll find they’ve got a forum chock full of people needing help, because it doesn’t “just work” for all people, all the time, on all hardware. Just like all the other OS’s out there. For me, that’s what makes tinkering with linux fun, and sometimes frustrating…

  2. Well,of all the reasons you mention I think Community Support is the only compelling reason worth considering. All the other 4 reasons are now almost a pre-requisite for most mainstream Distros and if you see Distros like Fedora , OpenSuse, PCLinuxOS, Mandriva … (the list goes on), these 4 are already present.
    Having said that , I’m a self-proclaimed Ubuntu fanboy and I think it rocks !!!

  3. Upgrading to a new release is not always as easy as you make it seem. Just visit the ubuntu forums after a new release and see the all the people that have hosed their systems trying to do a
    ‘dist-upgrade’. If it works, its great. But if it doesn;t , a new user is in a world of trouble.

  4. Wow. I think the author fails to understand that there are many distributions because there are many opinions about what constitutes “best.” I prefer something that has good performance over something that is simple to install or “just works” (which Ubuntu quite often doesn’t).

    I recently ditched Ubuntu for Arch Linux because of the amount of bloat it contains trying to work everywhere for everyone. Additionally, it’s much easier to install software from source and the packages are more cutting edge in Arch. I recommend Ubuntu to almost everyone I meet who is interested in Linux because it is one of the all-around easiest distributions for new users.

    However, to say that because something is easiest it is the best is like saying checkers is better than chess. It’s not true for all people.

  5. Donald,

    I’m certainly not failing to realize that there are many distributions available. You’re right, beauty and “the best” is in the eye of the beholder. This article contains my own opinions of why I think Ubuntu is superior to all of the other distributions available today.

    With that being said, I haven’t really suggested that Ubuntu is the best. I’m simply making points as to why it is better than what is available today for the average, or new Linux user.

    Thank you for your comments and input, I appreciate all constructive user feedback.

    Cheers! :)

  6. As a former Ubuntu fanboy I can almost agree with you on this.

    On the surface I think Ubuntu is great. It’s stable and there’s a ton of software available for free. The downside is hardware support and even flash. I have scoured the internet and tried every “solution”, but I have not been able to get the same online experience with Ubuntu that I do with Vista.

    My suggestion to Ubuntu would be to not be so adamant about releasing a new version every 6 months with the same bugs as the previous versions. Instead, hammer out the problems and put out an OS that truly is workable “straight outta the box”.

  7. I happen to agree with everything you said. Ubuntu has been the ONLY distro that works for me. I tried Mandriva – barely configurable, didn’t have near any many other working aspects. Tried 2 other distros and they didn’t work at all.

    Ubuntu is awesome – it is fast, good looking (because you can install anything to get your look), and never has failed me. Plus it installs easily within about 30 minutes each upgrade. Thanks, Mr. Shuttleworth and Canonical.

  8. I disagree about the ease of upgrades. I upgraded to Intrepid Ibex. It too many painful hours to perform the upgrade, after which my system was well and truly hosed beyond repair. Lacking a means of rolling back to Hardy, I had to reinstall Hardy from scratch, losing my various setting. Fortunately, those had already been lost when Intrepid wiped them out, so I didn’t feel too bad. I had also backed up the data, so I was OK in that regard.

    As for saying Ubuntu is “better” – that’s such a general statement. It’s like saying size 10 shoes are “better” than size 9′s. Depends a lot on how big your feet are, wouldn’t you say?

    For the nontechnical user, I would agree Ubuntu is “better” than any other distribution I know of. It’s quick, easy, and usually painless to install (or to test). But if you’ve got obsolete hardware, or if you just want to build a server, then something like Gentoo would be much “better” – it lets you choose what to install, and you compile it specifically for the system you have instead of relying on generic versions.

    Other distros may be more useful to people with different requirements.

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