Ubuntu a Window XP/Vista replacement?

Submitted by Robert Szeleney on Wed, 2008-03-26 08:44.

Update:
This is not a review of Ubuntu, nor critic at any Ubuntu developers, users, etc., but at the way many people and reviewers say that Ubuntu is a Windows replacement and even their grandparents can use it. It isn't personally directed at Ubuntu as a system, it was just the distribution I choosed, could also have been any other.

Hope you get the point.

This are just the experiences I made when I tried to install Ubuntu on a single machine I dedicated for alternative operating systems. (actually I wanted to install Ubuntu to see how far Linux has come recently). Reading all over the web that Ubuntu is a great Windows Replacement I just thought to give it a try, again, on this single machine.

If this was a review I would have used multiple machines, various distributions and would have spent much longer on all this issues. This blog just describes the experiences I made trying to use it as a novice user.

Update2: Be aware that if you ever want to simply write down your thoughts or something negative about it. From the Ubuntu forum:
- He's just stupid for not being angle to get it installed.
- I can't work out whether the guy is a liar, or a moron, or both.
- What an asshat.
- What an utter, biased, sarcastic, opinionated a*sehole.
- Writes an deliberately inflamatory blog post to get more attention for his project.
- He tries Ubuntu in a test designed to result in failure.
What? designed to result in failure? A simple installation? come on...
- Ubuntu core developer (at least he pretends to be one): So stop saying those things about linux, because i am a core developer of ubuntu, and i know better than you what is developing such a huge system like linux.
- etc, etc..

Obviously these guys completely missed the point of this blog, showing my personal experiences I made with Ubuntu 7.10 on a single machine I dedicated for alternative operating systems.
And let me say it again, I justed wanted to install this thing. I don't have time or the desire to fiddle around with it in any way. (and from all the reviews/opinions/etc. I read I expected that I don't have to)

Yesterday I decided to give Linux (Ubuntu) a try. The last Linux distribution I used was SUSE 6.0, from 1999 I guess, and it was a disaster.

Anyway, so yesterday I downloaded Ubuntu 7.10, burned it to a CD and booted it with following configuration:

Intel Penitum 4 2.4GHZ
Intel 865 chipset
onboard intel 865 graphics
2 GB of RAM

From what I read (I read various Ubuntu reviews and articles like 'Ubuntu, the Windows replacement' etc..., it should work painless, be a wonderful Windows XP/Vista replacement and should just work out of the box.

Ok, so back to the installation.
I inserted the CD and booted the PC. A nice splash screen appears telling me that Ubuntu is booting. A few minutes later, blank screen, monitor powers off. Nice! The very first linux I tried years ago, somewhere around 1996, SUSE from 1999 and now Ubuntu from 2007, all fail to just boot!! You can't even install this damn thing out of the box and a 'standard' PC configuration.

Anyway, after enabling the VGA safe mode in the bootloader Ubuntu finally started (with a screen shifted to the left by about 200 pixels). A few more minutes fiddling around with the partitioner (if you choose manual partitioning you still have to specify mountpoints! (how annoying is this?)), the installation finally started. (I expected to be able to build the partition table manually and Ubuntu just asks me where I do want to install it too, instead of having to specify a mountpoint) (read comments for further explanation)

Did it work? NO!
The installation hangs at 82% with a message like 'Scanning the mirror'.

After making sure that I indeed didn't put my bathroom mirror into my scanner I suspected the local network (especially the proxy) to cause this problem. Well, actually its a Ubuntu problem, because this damn installation doesn't even time out or abort. 45mins later I just disabled the networking which let Ubuntu continue the installation with an error message.

Anyway, one hour later Ubuntu was installed. As it was late already I decided to continue playing around with it the next day and sending the PC into suspend mode using the Ubuntu power off button and clicking on suspend.

Now guess what? Yep, next morning Ubuntu was of course unable to resume from the suspend mode.

Now tell me, this should be a Window replacement?
- You can't even start the LiveCD without getting black screen
- You can't install Ubuntu without knowing how the disable a network device (and that you have to, at all)
- You can't suspend and resume

I don't know what else doesn't work, or how good Ubuntu (or any other distribution) may be. All I know is that I wont touch a Linux distribution for the next few years again.
(Its a pity to encounter the same Linux problems again I had decades ago, and at the same time read multiple reports on the web trying to tell us what a good alternative Linux is today).

Fact is, Ubuntu (Linux) completely fails to install (on this system). And people are really suggesting non-technical people, yes even their grandparents, to use Linux?

A few other things:
- Why is there a Bluetooth Analyzer program (as very first application in the menu) even if I don't have bluetooth hardware at all?
- PalmOS Devices? Well, I have a iPhone next to my PC, but what should I do with a PalmOS device?
- etc..

Give me a break!
Ubuntu (Linux) may be a nice system for technic freaks, if you actually want to have to configure your system and like little challenges, but a replacement for a normal user (who wants that his computer just works, without ifs and buts) it definitely isn't.

Update:
Having all this said, don't get angry. It was not against you! Fact is, that you can get definitely angry if you try to install this system which is supposed to work. I know, writing an operating system which is supposed to run on common hardware is a really hard task. I also know what the cause of this errors I got is, and how one could work around or even fix them. Most of this errors are 'minor', from a technical point of view, but from a user point of view they are disastrously. The user will not care if 99.9% of Ubuntu (insert any other distro here) works perfectly if he can not install it (or boot into the LiveCD).

I tried to install this system as a 'simple user', I didn't plan to fiddle around much with it, just tried to use it maybe as surf station and play around with the newest OpenOffice. (didn't test it in a while). Things would have been different if I actually planned to spent a few hours/days on getting this working.
But you know, one can keep you rather busy. :)



I finally switched from

I finally switched from Ubuntu to Vista because I had other computers that needed to access the machine, and Ubuntu just wasn't working very well (slow, sometimes wouldn't appear on the Windows network, etc). I still kept Ubuntu on one HTPC I made up. However, when I installed a wireless network card, it WOULD NOT connect to a hidden-but-open network. After much investigation, this turned out to be a limitation of the wireless connection application in Ubuntu. I even tried switching that module out for another, and it still didn't work. I then gave up and installed Windows XP, where it connected right away without a hitch. This is just unacceptable if you are going to call Ubuntu a replacement for Windows.

\\ Barry Q //
\\ Naples Computer //

Funny!

All those critics about linux, and then you decide to use it on your project?
Be a man, and simply open-source your system, instead of use other people things.
I know that you can't go further on your project 'cause hardware diversification is bigger than your capacity to write drivers... So stop saying those things about linux, because i am a core developer of ubuntu, and i know better than you what is developing such a huge system like linux.
You are contraversive and... well, sorry, but your system have 1 developer, when ours got houndred thousand developers.
So now as you wish, use our job, and say it was you that have made such a good, stable and usefull system.
cya.

Sorry, but you just don't

Sorry, but you just don't get it. really ...

Edit: btw, quoted you in the article, hope you don't mind...

Thanks. The boot options

Thanks. The boot options screen that follows the initial boot splash. 'Boot into safe graphics mode' might seem a bit simplistic, but the choice is there for a reason, I suppose...

─░s fair to expect every new operating system - regardless of it being GPL or proprietary - to run every system function out-of-the-box?" You lead me to believe that you installed Ubuntu, and then decided to leave it for the next morning. It also sounds like there was no post-install configuration done. C'mon; even the iconic Microsoft still needs to be tweaked here and there after a fresh install! Granted, it has been my own experience that Linux has had a less than stellar success with suspend/resume...

overheated discussion about Ubuntu

hughtayler says:

Just last week I had precisely - precisely - the same experiences you had with Ubuntu. Unbuntu is still stuck in VESA mode until I test it with a different video card.

I came to a different conclusion though: Linux is a pretty good replacement for Windows. Modern operating systems are stunningly complex and I have had both easy and difficult installations with Windows and with Linux. Nobody makes an operating system that Grandma and the grandchildren can install and use while they are baking cookies. Maybe SkyOS will be the first.

Most users need someone experienced to answer the confusing question that all installs ask and to clear away distractions that will confuse the new user. My dad (91!) can use Windows XP only because there is not much on the Windows classic desktop except a preconfigured browser and solitaire.

I wish I had the time to play with SkyOS. It sounds like fun. One suggestion for included software: A dual pane file manager like Midnight Commander or Krusader or Servant Salamander or Free Commander. No matter what OS I am using, one of these descendants of Norton Commander is the first thing I download and use to set up and maintain my files. Good luck.

My view

Actually I dont see any linux distro being a Windows replacement, and it's a shame. Cause in fact, as you said, minor effort is required. For e.g. Ubuntu, Fedora, openSuse are bloated, messed distros, and I dont respect them. Why the hell do I need 3d workspace if I cant barely get a monitor working? Ubuntu simply got rock-solid Debian features (as many other did like Knoppix) and stated they were well packed into a single-cd "easy to use" distro, also introducing their own improvements. But man, it just doesnt fit. If you want a serious linux distro, go install Slackware. Its not so easy to be managed, but also isn't a bloatware.

Another fact that needs to be considered is that actually Linux is a (very good) open source kernel, it is very different from how Windows is 'managed' by M$. So, any comparison needs to consider the whole process.

c ya

It's not just you, many of

It's not just you, many of my friends were all crazy about Ubuntu and finally convinced me to install it. The entire process was a big disaster. It's a pain in the ass to install. Windows is at least twice as easy to install. I never even got it installed, after screwing with it for over an hour I got sick of it and quit. What's funny is most of the people who convinced me to install it to begin with no longer use it because there is really no point. They say it's fun for a while, but in the grand scheme of things it's pretty pointless and a waste of time unless you have a bad PC that simply can't support XP.

----------------------------------
Email - labs.beanz[at]gmail.com
AIM - dolphinlabz
Yahoo - zubu1980
How To Petition

Grandson's installation kills computer.

I have a very dear teenage grandson who downloaded your SkyOS
beta installation from a program (p2p?) site and tried to install
it on my other (main) computer. After going to you site to try to
make sense of this, I found that it costs $30 to try the beta
version. Well anyway, I don't know what he did but the computer
only boots up to the "Gateway" screen and won't let me change bios
or other adjustments. If you can help me fix this I would appreciate it. If I need to pay for a $30 beta installation I would do that because I see what he found to be so nice about your
SkyOS. I believe it could possibly give Microsoft a run for the money. I have windows xp and Suse linux on the broken computer.
Please reply to me at the email address: ecionci@verizon.net. Please include information on getting also a copy of your newest version, so that I may install it where my poor grandson tried to install it. He feels awful about this. Live and learn.

After going

its nice

It's unavoidable...

...to get hordes of angry linux-fanatics jumping on any kind of criticism against linux. Many linux lovers have a stronger connection with linux than many muslims have with Islam, christians with jesus and so on. They will defend the idealist image of Linux as the "free and open OS for everyone" even if it's NOT for everyone. Religion, ideology, it doesn't matter. I've just never seen such bitterness, hatred, antagonism, anger, foul mouthed, revenge filled computer users as certain groups of linux users.

Oy...

Robert,

My apologies for the reaction of many of the Ubuntu people. In my experience, the linux crowd has always had a less than a stellar reputation for patience with new users. ("Damn n00b, did you search the forums before you asked that question?")

I have been down the path of trying many different distributions of linux (over the last 10 years). I tried Ubuntu as well, and I can say that I have had similar problems. Actually, my monitor won't work at all with Ubuntu, and other than PCLinuxOS (the OS that DOES work), no other linux distro worked out of the box, the way YOU want it too.

I could relate to all of your sentiments. Why do people think that it's normal that you should have to tweak your OS bootloader to install it? That's the problem with linux; they need to get over the usability hump. Until it's as easy as YOU want it, it CAN'T replace Windows.

As for Windows installs... OEMS have a variety of choices for providing the Windows CD for recovery purposes. Some do provide the recovery CD that just formats your drive, and reinstalls (Dell). Some actually give you the original Windows install CD. While still others simply leave a small space (seperate partition) on the HDD with an emergency recovery prog that can be initiated if necessary to reinstall. It's not so simple as to say what ALL oem's do, since they all do something slightly different.

Oh, and regarding the knucklehead who talked about thieving MAC OSX Leaopard off of the P2P wires... The ONLY reason OSX is what it is is the very reason Windows is what it is. OSX is built to work on a limited range of platforms. No-one ever claimed it would work on a piece of crap PC that barely runs Windows. MACs have less issues BECAUSE they have less drivers. Fact of the matter is that while the PC has a glut of drivers for it, those drivers are provided by the manufacturers, and there is no QA on them. They are most of the problem. I have macs, and PCs running Linux (PCLinuxOS) and Windows (XP/2000), so I have a little experience there.

In my experience, linux still needs a lot of work. While the FOSS movement has the right idea, it can't help that the software isn't ready for prime time yet. Hardware detection/drivers, desktop experience, unified interfaces, and simple installers are all the things that linux needs to fix in order to be CAPABLE of replacing ANY OS, not just Windows.

Keep up the good work!

You have right for your case

Yes, you have right. To consider a Linux as a replacement, means that you have one user scenario that works on Windows XP/Vista and you REPLACE with the same Ubuntu machine.
On matter of facts Ubuntu has multiple misses from the Windows standpoint, as support for DirectX 10 or 9 games (this is first is came in my mind), one way to launch Photoshop, 3DSMax, to do ...
On matter of facts you encounter three problems: - your refresh rate goes bad (cause of one issue with the video drivers), because the installer detects the network card tries continuously to connect, even there was not setup the proxy settings, the ACPI drivers weren't fully supported. In some ways you are more compared with Ati (AMD for now) video card owners, some wireless card owner, (win)modems.
The fact you point out is that excluding the issue #2 (where it tries forever to connect to the internet), all issues are driver related. I am fully convinced that any OS that has issues with drivers will perform bad. So does Ubuntu Linux (Linux in general).
On matter of comparison, considering of Linux (and Ubuntu) hardware platform support I am able now to do all issues you point out, only on matter of support. If you take today one Windows 98 and put in a real machine, with SATA, Quad Core, NVidia 8400, a new intel mainboard chipset, FOR SURE it will not run.
If you were more lucky, considering taking a more "compatible" as drivers platform machine you will not put that words.
I will take that example to you: OS X is not a replacement for Linux. I will download a (pirate) version of Mac OS X Tiger or Leopard on bittorent, and I will install on my machine. The drivers will not work, after that the quicktime will freeze continuously. The Standby hangs my machine. When harddrive cames from idle, appears random crashes. Conclusion: OS X is not a replacement even for my cellphone agenda! But considering what Apple said: it is the most advanced desktop OS. How can be so advanced if it does not pass on my hardware?
The response is much easier: on an Apple compatible platform, OS X is by far one of the best (I don't want to put flames in that talk) OS.
On a Linux capable desktop (on matter of hardware) you will get some features you may miss in Vista:
- unified HIG (Human Interface Guidelines), which means that 9/10 applications that has a menu, even Firefox, they will setup their preferences in Edit-Preferences, they will close the current tab or view with Ctrl+W, and quits the application with Ctrl+Q
- integrated replaceable search engine
- a full office suite (OpenOffice for office, Evolution for emails, Firefox for browsing)
- a protocol independent messenger (pidgin)
- system-wide language update pack
- a SYSTEM-WIDE update system, that permits to upgrade one application to all OS, or to upgrade to a newer version without knowing so much about computers and over the internet by paying no penny (excluding the internet connection price)
- a standard desktop infrastructure: DBus (IPC), FreeDestkop.org (standards over the desktop operations)
- other features (applets, support for .NET via Mono, etc. etc.)
I don't want ot be mean, but putting as comparison a broken hardware platform against Linux (here your standby issue, etc.) without no testing previously, and state that is not a replacement, I may say yes: for YOUR MACHINE IS NOT A REPLACEMENT BECAUSE IT DOES NOT START OR WORKS

Note: as matter of taste, if you want to skip for only first two issues (the standby issue will not be solved, but you may interrupt to enter in standby going to System->Preferences->Power Management), you can download the Ubuntu Alternate CD (which is used expressly for the hardware-incompatible video cards) which installs badly in the text mode, and you have one way to setup the proxy for your machine (you were able to setup it in System->Preferences->Proxy).

Conclusion: on a crappy hardware platform (on matter of OS drivers support) you cannot state that the software platform is bad. Try it in VMWare and if you consider that is bad, don't use it. But if you really want to have one Linux working (as any OS, probably SkyOS too), you have to provide to it a complete hardware platform. About bluetooth application, etc. you may hide them in System->Preferences->Main Menu application, and they are put by convenience. For iPod sync (probably on iPhone too), there are other applications for sync (like Banshee).

Thanks for your reply, and

Thanks for your reply, and that you are actually the first one (after hundreds of replies at various locations) giving information about the problems and tips how to solve the issue. I highly appreciate this.


on a crappy hardware platform (on matter of OS drivers support) you cannot state that the software platform is bad.
This was not my intention, sorry if I didn't express well enough in the blog.


I'm pretty sure Linux has a lot of great features, not even Vista or MacOS have. I never put this into question. I'm also pretty sure that Ubuntu will install on most machines out there, and for the machines where it doesn't install out of the box there are ways to get it working. Definitely.


All I actually tried to say was that it just failed on the machine I tried to install to. Unfortunately, this machine doesn't have any exotic hardware in it. I would consider the hardware configuration as pretty "standard" and common and got a little disappointed that the installation failed at so many places and the first 5 minutes of usage yield quite a few annoyances and bugs. Maybe I had too high expectations.


About bluetooth application, etc. you may hide them in System->Preferences->Main Menu application, and they are put by convenience.
If you don't have bluetooth hardware in your machine and never attached a Palm having this items in the menu is not convenience at all. ;) (Things would be different if the machine had a bluetooth controller installed). (I don't really care about this entries because they are easily removed, was just surprised to see them there)



As stated above already, I didn't plan to spend any time on configuring the system. All I wanted to do is to simply inserted the CD, click install and browse the web from the installed system. As I used a machine with more or less very common hardware components and because of the various reviews and statements like "Why do you use windows anymore? use linux! its better! its faster! its more secure! etc..." I (misleadingly) thought that this would already be possible without any configuration. (Things would have been quite different if I actually would have been mentally prepared to encounter a few difficulties :) )



Hope you get what I mean.


Thanks!

You're welcome

Hi Robert,

If you don't have bluetooth hardware in your machine and never attached a Palm having this items in the menu is not convenience at all. ;) (Things would be different if the machine had a bluetooth controller installed). (I don't really care about this entries because they are easily removed, was just surprised to see them there)

If you considered as a basic user, the bluetooth&palm device "doesn't hurt"
to exist in the menu. Bluetooth is a fairly common device, and for user being visible that, is not an issue IMO. Think that are Usb-attached devices that offer Bluetooth support.
Secondly, they are Sync applications, means that they start, and they will be "fully functional" when a device is around. So, there is no issue to exist. In that way you can validate if your Bluetooth device works, when you attach to your machine. My machine (Intel C2Q Q6600, with Intel board) has Bluetooth devices attached.

Windows Vista has similar application too: (this is the spanish title: Panel de control\Redes e Internet\Centro de sincronizaci├│n). Why is not removed the "Sync center" from Control Panel, when I run Vista in Virtual Box, and no sync device exists? For sure is installed by default for the moment when I'll attach a blue-tooth device, to be sure that I can do the sync. OS X has it too (I don't know the application name, but for instance iTunes has support for sync with iPhone and iPod wihout explicitly need to have somelike device with your computer).

I've encounter problems with Vista, still I know what are the values of it, so it runs in a VM. If you have time, please look on my blog:
http://okazi-mputer.blogspot.com/

As matter of daily work, I'm a desktop developer to a big Spanish software company.

hmm

Well i do tend to use Ubuntu quite a lot and while i find it has come a long way since the first few versions it is still a way off, the one comming out next Hardy is deffinatly an improvement over the last.

Linux is not for everyone, and i wish people would stop bashing Robert, it is a blog post of his own findings not a review.

Ps. cute picture :)

Ubuntu

Disclosure: I use Ubuntu almost exclusively since 2004. I'm the Ubuntu Polish Translation Team admin. I'm a member of an elite translation group Aviary.pl, which translates for Mozilla Corp, Novell and GNOME.

Free Open Source Software's goal is to make good software and nothing else. It doesn't matter who or how many people use the software. No matter how much companies try to twist this into their own agenda, this is the original goal. This is what I've been sticking to since the beginning. Yes, it's selfish, yes it may be unpopular. Popularity was never considered when FOSS community started. Making the best software available is a goal in itself.

So, I don't care if Ubuntu works for you or not and nobody should. Report the bug, submit a patch, make the software better. End of story.


Well, I read my comment and felt it was a little bit too bitter. So here's an analogy.


Situation A)


A friend buys you pants. No occassion. He/she likes you and decides to buy you a pair of pants. You don't really think much of them. When you come home and try them on you realize that they're a little too long. It's a minor problem, but you can't really wear them. You could roll them up a bit, but you don't really want to go through the hassle and the solution wouldn't be clean. You call your friend and tell him/her that the pants are useless for you. They're TOO LONG! - you shout. You throw them away. Your friend spent time and money on buying this garment and gave you them as a present...


Situation B)


A friend buys you pants. No occassion. He/she likes you and decides to buy you a pair of pants. You are grateful for this generous gift. When you come home and try them on you realize that they're a little too long. It's a minor problem, but you can't really wear them. You could roll them up a bit, but you don't really want to go through the hassle and the solution wouldn't be clean. So you go to a tailor to make some adjustments. Ahh, now the pants have perfect length. You decide to call your friend and thank for the present, but politely remark that your size is X and not Y. Your friend says that next time he/she decides to buy you a pair of pants, he/she will take this into consideration.


=====


Please don't get caught up in this fevered hyped bullshit about "Linux for human beings" or "Your Linux is Ready". Go back to the roots, think again. Canonical, Mandriva, SUSE. Easy to use? Well done! Not really? Too bad!


I know that people will come back arguing anyway that it doesn't matter if this is free, it should still work. No. It should when someone tests it, reports back, files a report and submits code supporting this particular configuration. This is how FOSS works. If you want it work, make it work. This is not Windows, if you can't deal with this philosophy then you have a problem, not anyone or anything else. :]

>> I don't care if it works

>> I don't care if it works for you or not, and nobody should

Now tell this someone who considers switching to Linux.

Anyway, FOSS, Pants, etc. have nothing to do with the original story which just tells the experiences I made and the IMHO wrong way Ubuntu (Linux) gets promoted from not so less people.

Yes

People should switch when they're ready. If they hit problems they can't solve, then they're not ready and shouldn't blame the software. Don't shove Ubuntu down people's throats as a miraculous cure for everything thats wrong on other platforms. That's why promoting Ubuntu shouldn't be done the way it is and that was my original (though with much beating about the bush I must admit) point. Ubuntu isn't a Windows replacement. It's an alternative. :]

Ok, there I fully agree with

Ok, there I fully agree with you

Next time

Name me 5 "regular" users that would attempt to install a brand-new OS?? I'll wait, do you mind if I grab a cup of coffee while you're trying to think this through?

Ok, now that we have both agreed that "regular" users don't install an OS - not Vista (just ask MS), not OSX, not Linux - none of them. Sure they may, and I mean MAY upgrade - MS has had a little trouble with that, Apple less so lately.

So, the next time that you want to try out an OS the way a "regular" user does then do what I did when I bought my son his Ubuntu laptop. I went to Dell.com, clicked on the Open Systems link, picked the options that I wanted on his laptop, clicked Buy It and then waited. A week later, the UPS guy shows up with it. We take it out of the box, turn it on, choose the timezone and keyboard (standard stuff you would do with Windows or OSX), reboot it and - no bootloader questions, no wireless connection problems, all this shiny "free" (as in beer and air) software without additional work or cost.

That, my friend, is how normal users install an OS.

Geeks are the only ones that care about any of the rest of the garbage.

By the way - I have installed Ubuntu on 2 of my other machines and a buddies machine, all without a lot of hassle (not none, but, well, I am a geek and expect it).

John

Oh, my friend, its nice that

Oh, my friend, its nice that it worked for you. Fact is it didn't work for me at all.

Regarding the novice users who never install, you are completly misinformed here. What do you think all the recovery CDs shipped with new PCs are for? (many people use them, and yes, novice users too because this is the first the service hotlines suggest in the case of complex errors)
And I have no idea from which country you are from, but here in Austria its almost impossible to go to a shop and buy a PC with Linux preinstalled. ( i don't think novice users buy their PCs online). So, an easy and working installation procedure is essential. (on exactly the PC the user bought!

Windows install

And you are also misinformed: the Widows recovery install CD's that follow a PC are readily configured (OEM) to include the required drivers etc. to that particular PC. Thus, it will not require much input from the user and the install procedure is much more simpler (= suitable to a novice) compared to a normal installation with a retail Windows CD. You raelly can't compare a recovery CD to a normal retail CD (apples vs oranges and so forth).

On the other hand, a linux install CD seldom is OEM and will have to include drivers etc. to all possible harware as well as will require more attention by the user. Just like an retail Windows install.

Hashimoto

No, I'm not misinformated.

No, I'm not misinformed. Fact is, for the user, the installation just works, the user doesn't care if its a OEM. He just inserts the recovery CD, waits a few minutes/hours and everything is done.

Good Overview

This was a good overview of your experiences, Robert.

To the Linux community: You need to know that what Robert says is simply a very analytical and honest look at his experience with Ubuntu. Will everyone have a bad experience? Of course not. Will some have an even worse experience? Sure (keep in mind; Robert has written an entire operating system on his own). At then end of the day, this is just one look at it, from a very qualified individual.

I do think this is a very fair assessment of Ubuntu and Linux in general. I used Ubuntu almost exclusively for six months. It worked, often times well, almost always capably, but I don't think I could ever say that it worked better than Windows. Sometimes things would just stop working, and you'd see no error message. The solution was to dive into the command line, see what was happening, and fix it from there...and that's fine, but it is NOT what the average user should be expected to do.

I finally switched from Ubuntu to Vista because I had other computers that needed to access the machine, and Ubuntu just wasn't working very well (slow, sometimes wouldn't appear on the Windows network, etc). I still kept Ubuntu on one HTPC I made up. However, when I installed a wireless network card, it WOULD NOT connect to a hidden-but-open network. After much investigation, this turned out to be a limitation of the wireless connection application in Ubuntu. I even tried switching that module out for another, and it still didn't work. I then gave up and installed Windows XP, where it connected right away without a hitch. This is just unacceptable if you are going to call Ubuntu a replacement for Windows.

Linux is great, and Ubuntu is the best of the best. That said, the two problems still remaining are 1) we live in a Windows world, and like it or not, anything that claims to be an "adequate replacement for Windows" had better work, 100% of the time, within that environment, and 2) there are still little hitches here and there that just make Linux not ready for everyone. It is 1,000 times closer than it was a decade ago, but it doesn't remove the fact that when there are problems with Linux, they are often all but unsolvable by the average computer user.

Good overview of your experience again Robert. And as you stated before, SkyOS isn't ready to replace Windows, but then again...you never said it was, either. ;)

ubuntu comments

I felt like commenting on some of the bad and silly info on the ubuntu forum, but it's just useless.

those people seem unable to see the point and are pulling up old misconceptions and stuff like that.

Just get on with your life.

I am going to assume that

I am going to assume that you are talking about 'Gutsy' - Ubuntu 7.10? I don't seem to recall a 7.01... My first question has to be, "why didn't you run the live CD instead of installing right out of the chute?" Prudence dictates that it's better to find out what's going to work with your hardware without much tweaking BEFORE you spend the time and hard drive space installing it.

Second question; "if given choices at the original boot screen, might it not be a good idea to read them?" I think you may have missed the boot options screen that follows the initial boot splash. 'Boot into safe graphics mode' might seem a bit simplistic, but the choice is there for a reason, I suppose...

Third question; "is fair to expect every new operating system - regardless of it being GPL or proprietary - to run every system function out-of-the-box?" You lead me to believe that you installed Ubuntu, and then decided to leave it for the next morning. It also sounds like there was no post-install configuration done. C'mon; even the iconic Microsoft still needs to be tweaked here and there after a fresh install! Granted, it has been my own experience that Linux has had a less than stellar success with suspend/resume, but the forums are chock full of fixes and work-arounds. And none of them are rocket science. I say this with some certainty because I have no trouble configuring any of my four systems - 2 desktops, a server, and a laptop - and I, my friend, am no rocket scientist. I'm not going to ditch a viable operating system on the basis of whether or not it has a hard time waking up in the morning...

I am glad that you qualified the statement "Fact is, Ubuntu (Linux) completely fails to install..." with "(on this system)" Come to think of it, when I became a beta tester for SkyOS, it, too, failed miserably in some of the most rudimentary functions on the hardware I was using at the time - all of it new; all of it better than most. But that is another story...

Robert, I'm sorry you had a crappy experience with Ubuntu. Not because of any personal responsibility, you understand; but mostly because Ubuntu is the common operating system on my computers and I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how things went so catastrophically wrong for you. I just hope you don't wait so long before trying Linux again.

Mick

ps - It's been quite a while now - still waiting for the next SkyOS beta... Any release date in mind?

In the Beginning there was nothing... And then God said 'Let there be light!' There was still nothing, but you could see it a lot better...

You completely miss the

You completely miss the point here.

This blog tries to describe that installing Ubuntu out of the box just failes. ( I don't want to try three different machines, I don't want to read through mailing lists, I don't want to fiddle around with boot parameters, ...).



why didn't you run the live CD instead of installing right out of the chute?
I tried too, but it simply didn't boot into the LiveCD (without starting in VGA safe mode).



"if given choices at the original boot screen, might it not be a good idea to read them?"
My point is that no one should even have to read the bootscreen in order to get the LiveCD booted. If someone has to read and actually USE the bootscreen options then something is wrong, and I don't consider this as user friendly then at all.



but the forums are chock full of fixes and work-arounds
I just tried to quickly install Ubuntu. Do I really have to read forums/mailinglists/etc. just to get this "Windows replacement installed?". If I have to, I don't consider this installable for novice users.



It also sounds like there was no post-install configuration done.
of course not. This is the entire point of this blog. Ubuntu is presented as an easy to use and install system. For me, this means, it has to install right out of the box and just work. (I don't care if it works good or not, fact is that it didn't work at all out of the box).

You get my point?
Ubuntu may be really great, once you figured out how to install, once you configured your system, etc...
But at some much places (web) it gets described as a Windows replacement and everyone should prefer it to Windows. But if you can't even boot into the LiveCD Ubuntu is completely failing. (for whatever reason, the actual user will not care).


I don't have anything against Ubuntu or Linux in general, I just don't agree with the slogans like "Ubuntu a Windows Replacement!"



Come to think of it, when I became a beta tester for SkyOS, it, too, failed miserably in some of the most rudimentary functions on the hardware I was using at the time - all of it new; all of it better than most.
Yeah. This is why SkyOS is beta and I don't tell everyone to use SkyOS over Windows, Linux or whatever :)



s - It's been quite a while now - still waiting for the next SkyOS beta... Any release date in mind?
Yes, in a few days.

Re: You missed the point

Sorry, Robert - I am a very literal person and expect that people mean exactly what they say or write. So...

"My point is that no one should even have to read the bootscreen in order to get the LiveCD booted." Well, without even checking out the options, the experiment is doomed to less than excellence, or worse, failure.

"If I have to, I don't consider this installable for novice users." 'Fraid I have to disagree with you there; Linux-From-Scratch - now THAT'S uninstallable by novices... Anything 'Microsoft' has used a text-based installer until Vista. Is the partitioner in the WinXP text-based installer novice-friendly?

"...it has to install right out of the box and just work. (I don't care if it works good or not, fact is that it didn't work at all out of the box). I thought you said in your initial post that it had installed and the only reason you didn't go any further into it was that it was late? Something must have worked?

"I don't have anything against Ubuntu or Linux in general, I just don't agree with the slogans like "Ubuntu a Windows Replacement!"" So far, we agree on this one. You have to look at who's making the statement. If it was the whole Linux collection of community projects making the statement, it would be rash and ill-advised. But, since it's a reviewer stringing the words together, "Ubuntu a Windows Replacement" can only be called an 'opinion' and not qualified as a 'slogan'. And while a 'slogan' or 'statement' can be discounted or disqualified, an 'opinion' cannot. It can only be considered 'different' from 'collective opinion'. It's that whole 'freedom of speech' thing...

"This is why SkyOS is beta and I don't tell everyone to use SkyOS over Windows, Linux or whatever :)" Betas are great fun! I love MS betas - Longhorn4065 was my personal favorite - Linux betas, OSX betas, Solaris betas - I'll test anything. And, if the computer hardware industry had not taken off like it did with choice upon choice of hardware and configurations, everything would work 'out-of-the-box'. And, just from a Linux standpoint, every new release starts as a beta, but, hey; they have to be released sometime...

Mick

In the Beginning there was nothing... And then God said 'Let there be light!' There was still nothing, but you could see it a lot better...

Re: You missed the point

Sorry, Robert - I am a very literal person and expect that people mean exactly what they say or write. So...
No problem, I'm sorry too for not expressing correctly what I actually meant to say. (which I actually do quite often) ;)



Fraid I have to disagree with you there; Linux-From-Scratch - now THAT'S uninstallable by novices... Anything 'Microsoft' has used a text-based installer until Vista. Is the partitioner in the WinXP text-based installer novice-friendly?
Exactly. I didn't say that installing WinXP was easier. (but at least it doesn't hang on this configuration.



I thought you said in your initial post that it had installed and the only reason you didn't go any further into it was that it was late? Something must have worked?
Yes, i got it installed after booting in VGA safe mode and figured out that one has to disable the network device right in the middle of the installation. The next morning Ubuntu didn't resume from the suspend mode, this was the point where I decided to not use it any further.



You have to look at who's making the statement. If it was the whole Linux collection of community projects making the statement, it would be rash and ill-advised. But, since it's a reviewer stringing the words together, "Ubuntu a Windows Replacement" can only be called an 'opinion' and not qualified as a 'slogan'. And while a 'slogan' or 'statement' can be discounted or disqualified, an 'opinion' cannot. It can only be considered 'different' from 'collective opinion'. It's that whole 'freedom of speech' thing...
Yeah, correct. I didn't meant to say that this is an offical statement from Ubuntu. You just happen to read it very, very often if you read reviews and follow the discussions. (although such statements mostly come from 13 year old children, the general impression one gets from Ubuntu may be the wrong one)


"This is why SkyOS is beta and I don't tell everyone to use SkyOS over Windows, Linux or whatever :)" Betas are great fun! I love MS betas - Longhorn4065 was my personal favorite - Linux betas, OSX betas, Solaris betas - I'll test anything. And, if the computer hardware industry had not taken off like it did with choice upon choice of hardware and configurations, everything would work 'out-of-the-box'. And, just from a Linux standpoint, every new release starts as a beta, but, hey; they have to be released sometime...
Yeah, of course. I never would write such a blog about a beta release or even a production release. As said, this blog wasn't about the quality of Ubuntu itself, but about the, you know, the 'slogan' ;)

You were expecting...?

"if you choose manual partitioning you still have to specify mountpoints! (how annoying is this?)"

Did you expect the partitioner to read your mind? If you manually partition it you have to tell it what mounts where.

Well, if I choose the

Well, if I choose the manually partition the device, I simply want to create a primary partition, lets say 20GB out of the 80GB and install Ubuntu to the first partition.

In every other system you just select the first primary partition to install the system too, and don't have to tell the partitioner that the first partition is going to be root (/).
Although, selecting the first partition as target or telling the partitioner to mount the first partition to / is almost the same the first is much more logical and doesn't deal with virtual filesystem internals.

I see, that makes more

I see, that makes more sense.

It's funny, I seem to remember Ubuntu acting the way you described until Gutsy was released.

The title to this "review" says it all...

I'm sorry, but I think the title to this "review" says it all...
"Ubuntu a Window XP/Vista Replacement?" Uhh??? Really???
Furthermore, you, an OS developer, was unable to install Ubuntu? And write a review based on your experience on a single machine?
A bit off the topic but have you ever tried to run Windows XP, full blown, using ONLY the XP installation CD?
Ubuntu is NOT intended as a Windows replacement, specially, Ubuntu 7.01, what version is that?

Please state the facts when reviewing a software, otherwise you start to loose credibility...

Furthermore, you, an OS



Furthermore, you, an OS developer, was unable to install Ubuntu? And write a review based on your experience on a single machine?
Of course, this was the actual point of the blog. Download Ubuntu and install it on the machine you have. Why I should install Ubuntu on other machines if I want to have it on exactly this one??



Ubuntu is NOT intended as a Windows replacement, specially, Ubuntu 7.01
Exactly my opinion. Sadly it looks like a lot of people see this a bit different.



Please state the facts when reviewing a software, otherwise you start to loose credibility...
This is not a review, its a simple personal blog entry.

Personally I just registered

Personally I just registered to reply to this "thread", and to say that I agree 100% with Tomasz Dominikowski . I've been playing with Linux since early 2001, and I'm using Ubuntu since the 1st version.

Robert, I have only one advice, don't try to re-invent the wheel ... many tried and only a few succeeded ... SkyOS will die after the 1st 6 months it is released, just like the vast majority of MMORPGs ... I don't think that you have the necessary resources to keep up with the big guys or with the Open Source community gathered around the major Linux / BSD distributions ... or nowadays even (Open) Solaris :)

Who will chose SkyOS in the place of Windows? Unless you GPL it, SkyOS will be an epic fail, you should have been learned your lessons from BeOs and Zeta :)

I wish SkyOS not doomed to fail

In response to the previous post, to robert:
Is writing a computer program is fun? Even if at times, there are discouragements, writing computer applications or specifically here systems programming must be fun, right? Linus continue to manage/contribute to the Linux Kernel because he was having fun of doing it, not that because he was getting paid by Red Hat or any other company. And I think you must be having fun by writing an Operating System from scratch by yourself. Its not re-inventing the wheel, if the goal is to have fun by trying to understand computers better by writing an operating system by yourself, is already a great cause. Well, you can do this with Linux from Scratch, or from BSD, but again, writing your own must be more fun and you have the complete freedom of what license to use.

I'm not an expert,
but I believe your OS will live if:
You will design or select your own hardware (of course from existing hardware vendors)for your OS and continue to develop with that specific hardware. (Like Apple)
Then create a new/unique market for your Computer platform for special purposes anything you can imagine but must be unique.(Much like Apple for Graphic Design, but no, I'm not sure if Apple designed their OS for Graphic Design)

Then I believe with 60% certainty that your OS will continue to live. You can't easily compete against existing Titans. Even Apple has only 5% or less market? in the computer industry knowing that Apple's OS X is an advance OS than Windows. We can't change the culture. Windows has all the games that almost all computer gamers have been using, in this area where Apple cannot stand. Even Linux with the capability of running most Windows games, still, above 90% of Internet Cafes are using 90% pirated copy of Windows(at least here), very little among them was running Linux/Wine. Most businesses and home users need Windows, specially on the desktops. So if you try to enter into this market, I think is a failure. Your comment that you don't care of who will be using your OS, I think it is not your goal. You must have the complete fun if your OS was used by some people here and there and they are happy. That's the beauty of writing computer software, I think.

For Ubuntu Linux, I can't agree anymore.
I also experience the infinite loop of the Ubuntu installer when it tries to connect to the Internet. After that observation, I detected that it must be a network problem and I also disabled or disconnect the LAN cable to let the installer continue. I many times got frustrated with Ubuntu, but I don't blame or will write a blog for it while the rest of the Ubuntu users were all having their problems fixed for the same problems I have. As what others have said, Ubuntu and GNU/Linux in general is not a Windows or Apple replacement, it is an _Alternative Operating Sytem_.

I do hope that your OS will continue to live...
Thank you for reading my comment.