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On Ubuntu

Posted 01-19-2016 at 12:23 AM by wagscat123

I started using Ubuntu when it gained popularity before Unity, MIR, and even the Ubuntu Software Center. There was just Synaptic and the apt stuff, and GNOME 2.
It was an updated version of Debian with Wubi, Ubiquity, and polish that made things "just work". This made it catch on fire, and become a good place for newbs and casual users. And from Debian it inherited a huge amount of compatibility, stability, and familiarity with experienced users.
Ubuntu has had to figure out a way to turn a profit, and it has changed. The Software Center, while nifty, has commercial aspects to it, and the Amazon search engine deal brought privacy and adware-ish issues in the basic GUI that were unparalleled until Cortana. GNU (while often quite puritanical) once referred to Ubuntu as "adware". They also tried to use their install base to push their end user cloud storage for quite a while.
Partly from diverging with Unity (to Canonical's defense was originally a cooperation with openSUSE and Fedora kinda like ~ upstart) and Mir, Canonical has a reputation for being a little lacking on contributions upstream. Downstream, they told Mint that they should have a license to use Ubuntu's binaries, strange for a free software company.
Canonical has also been chasing butterflies with its mobile platform, and resultantly its Desktop has been pretty stagnant since 12.10. Mozilla did much the same with its disastrous Firefox OS, and created stagnation in Firefox was probably its Manzikert, turning point for the worse, in the gradual takeover of Google Chrome. It's too late to get between Android and iOS.
I am grateful for the elegance and simplicitu that put a smile on my face before 10.04, and the huge user base it has drawn to the Linux. However, the practices and ethics of Canonical and the lack of customizability and incompleteness of Unity, introduced in 2010, I no longer reccomend it to newbies and haven't installed it's main edition on bare metal in years. It's shameful single distro and company, especially one with these problems, has become a lingua franca and almost a synonym for Linux among far too many.
Ubuntu once served a purpose to be a polished introductory distribution in the 2000's; glad it came to be. It brought many into the Linux circle.
However now Mint serves this purpose, with its customizility, variety of choices, lack of almost Oracle-like ethics, and focus on usability for end users. It is now what I reccomend to casual potential Linux converts, and what many do now.
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