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.
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.