Ubuntu is still half baked. It cannot replace Windows or OS X!

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.

OS X vs Linux vs Windows

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.

  • Raj

    Even i share the same thought as you do Mike. It’s destined that Open Source Linux will go a very long way with it’s growth. And it’s interesting how Microsoft will answer to it(probably they’ll force the consumers to buy their preloaded sh*t on computers just like what they have done with Vista)

  • I have tried Ubuntu, but I am still in need of Windows to run some of my applications for my work. When possible, I try to use open source software to support them as opposed to a mega industry like MS. Ubuntu has a ways to go, but it has come along way to. I liked XP, Vista – yuck. I am stuck with it, as it comes on my work machine. A group of us in the community are looking at starting a Linux group so we can work with Ubuntu and other Linux flavors – to learn and help others.

  • Dvas

    Couldnt disagree more. i use ubuntu as my primary work PC, choosing it over both MAC and windows. On my Macbook Pro mid-2011 running ubuntu 12.0.4 lts, It runs perfectly well, smoothly with all graphic effects enabled, with all the features you need. If one particular browser annoys you, simply change to chrome or any other… Its like saying IE is your only option with windows

    Currently using ubuntu to share my hotel internet connection wirelessly to my ipad…. Keeps pace with windows and mac i’d say

    • sabergeek

      That’s interesting. I’m happy to hear that Ubuntu is working well for you and for many other users too. The experience hasn’t been the same for all users. If you look into the discussion threads on several Ubuntu forums, you’ll realize that the ‘sluggish’ issue is vague (even on well configured systems) and quite mixed. It’s a different topic whether the issues are driver related or so on. The entire point is that, if an OS cannot work well even for for a small chunk of the users and even on good configured systems, then it’s too soon to claim an OS to be a replacement.

      • Adam Stock

        that isnt really a fair point – working as a public pc repair tech i see many thousand more issues with windows being sluggish than ubuntu and more that a fair amount of osx sluggish issues – working on your basis of working for everyone or no-one none of these operating systems are worthy ?

        • sabergeek

          The post isn’t about which operating systems is worthy or not, neither is it about supporting any particular OS. That is a matter of preference. I agree that Windows and OS X have their own set of issues (issues/ bugs are a part of every system there is and has been – you know that). A good number of popular media websites have been promoting Ubuntu as a reliable-alternative system, which is too soon to claim so. Rather misleading.

  • Antony Joseph

    I am surprised to hear this, I am a long term user of Linux and Ubuntu is one of my favourite distros. Never had a problem with the distro so far. Most of the sluggishness issues I have seen are usually because of some odd graphic driver misbehaving. You should check your memory and processor utilisation, check the graphics detected etc.

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  • Ajinkya Zore

    I’d like to happily say this in year 2013 : Ubuntu is ready. Bring it On.