distro switch

Earlier this year I switched from one Linux distribution to another. After about 10 years of living in the Red Hat / Fedora family, I finally grew bored enough to change to Ubuntu.

When Ubuntu first came out, I was skeptical for a couple reasons. First, the initial graphic I saw for the distro was a group of people hugging in a circle. With a little research, I discovered the meaning behind the group hug: “Ubuntu is an African word meaning ‘Humanity to others’, or ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. The Ubuntu distribution brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the software world.” Admirable, but a bit touchy-feely for my tastes. Second, lots of early-adopters were raving about Ubuntu, and early adopting is something I tend to avoid in most areas of life.

It’s not that I disliked Fedora, but I was less and less excited about it with each release. Even though I’m not a huge fan of change, the packages, design, and functionality in Fedora weren’t changing fast enough for me. Additionally, some things that really should “just work” never seemed to do so (e.g., software updates). Mostly, though, I think I was simply bored with it.

After a good bit of research (surprise, surprise), I decided to give Ubuntu a try. The install was very simple, without making me feel as if the install was making all the decisions for me. More recently, I upgraded to 7.10 and couldn’t believe how flawless it was. I literally clicked an option that said “Upgrade now,” confirmed that I really wanted to upgrade, and after a couple hours it was done.

I’ve been using Ubuntu exclusively for about 9 months now, and am very pleased. I love that things just work (package updates, detecting new printers, automatically handling removable devices, etc.). And I enjoy little touches they include like this:

$ dos2unix
The program 'dos2unix' is currently not installed. You can install it by typing:
sudo apt-get install tofrodos
bash: dos2unix: command not found

How convenient is that? I realize many of the small things I now enjoy may be bundled in Fedora as well (since it utilizes many of the same underlying packages and tools), but I feel no need to go back. I’m very content, and see no need to change … until the next upgrade.

2 thoughts on “distro switch

  1. My history with Linux was very similar to yours, as was my switch. And I switched for very similar reasons.

    I’ve used OS X a bit, and have no compelling reason to move that way. It doesn’t seem to work any better than Ubuntu, and costs a LOT more.

  2. It doesn’t seem to work any better than Ubuntu, and costs a LOT more.

    I can agree with that to a point. In the things that Ubuntu does, it does them very well. But there are things it doesn’t do natively that are built-in to OS X. For me, much of the desire to finally move to a Mac can be summarized as: I’m tired of tinkering with hardware, the OS X apps and tools are extremely polished and generally just work, and they provide better apps in certain areas– all while still letting me get at the command line when needed. That’s not to say everything is perfect or bug-free in the OS X world, but to me, it’s worth the investment for something we use so heavily. But have no fear– I won’t be getting rid of the Linux box anytime soon. 🙂

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