The Negative Ubuntu Effect

The Negative Ubuntu Effect

Let’s face it, Ubuntu cops a lot of criticism. From beginners, Linux veterans, developers and even Ubuntu enthusiasts. We’ve all been critical to Ubuntu Linux at some point. Whether the Ubuntu Developers pump out a good, bad or average release; the online criticism comes in thick and fast from all angles of the internet. With the current release of Ubuntu 12.10, the overall consensus seems to be negative. I have to admit, this shocks me a little. I found 12.10 to be a fast, clean and very good release.

There are many factors to take into account for one to come to a conclusion on a Ubuntu release. Or any operating system release or update as a matter of fact. One of the most obvious being variations of hardware configurations. After reading some reviews of Ubuntu 12.10, the most common complaint that I read of was system speed/performance. Personally, I found it just fine. In fact, probably equal to that of previous Ubuntu release and if not faster! But when reading these negative reviews, I did make a mental note of one thing in particular that was mentioned in all of them; they were tested on hardcore graphics hardware. Make what you will of it, but it seems to me that Ubuntu is best suited to more, how do I say it, a system hardware configurations that can be afforded by us mere mortals. All my testing was done on my modest system which runs an old Radeon X1050. And guess what? I had no issues.

I don’t wish to go in to specifics regarding why I get different results here in the office as to what some of the larger corporate media websites get because it’s beside the point. Some of these larger corporate media networks have lots of money to spend on resources and therefore hardware to test the software on. Realistically, many of us do have rather modest systems running modest hardware. Although it’s great to have all the latest hardware to tinker around with and to benchmark the latest software on, it’s not always a genuine representation of what it runs like on an every day system.

There are two ways to interpret this. You can accept that Ubuntu runs just fine, in fact excellent, on your everyday popular and rather modest hardware. Or you can take the view that Ubuntu is not up to the standards of being able to tame the rather extreme power within the most bleeding edge of hardware and graphics cards.

And then comes what I like to call “The Negative Ubuntu Effect”. Let’s build a basic scenario of a new user wishing to give Linux a shot. Naturally, due to the popularity and community-base of Ubuntu, it’ll probably be their first choice. It’s clear that someone who is new to Linux and has never tried it before would most likely read a few reviews on the internet before taking the next step and actually downloading and installing Ubuntu on to their system. They read one negative review after another negative review on the internet of how slow Ubuntu runs compared to X release or Y operating system. Understandably, it would turn them in the opposite direction when the truth is, it would probably run just fine on that users system.

Ubuntu’s popularity does great credit for the Linux eco-system. But the dark side is Ubuntu’s popularity also makes it a great target more dissatisfying and negative reviews.

At the end of the day, it really is up to the user to make their own judgment based on their own experiences. Any good Linux operating system should have a Live CD for users to try. These can provide a good environment to give the user a general idea about the operating system in question. And the user can see exactly what sort of performance should be expected from their own everyday system.

If you are new to Linux, try, test and use it and make your own decision based on your own experience on your own systems hardware.

  • Srđan Mikičić

    12.10 is crap, i think worst one to date, are u even trying?

  • LinuxSytesNet

    With every new Ubuntu release everything tends to get slower and slower in order to work properly. Got ssd drive which has speed of 500MB read & write and in Ubuntu everything that I am doing is so slower that even hdd with 80MB read & write will outperform my “ubuntu powered system”. I’ve learned my lesson long time ago and enver ever went Back to Ubuntu again – even Ubuntu based distributions. Debian for the win ! Just wondering why Raspberry Pi didn’t go with Ubuntu if it’s so great… All the people with non-LTS servers currently gonna be angry on Canonical which cutted the supported for these ubuntu distros.

  • anon8675309

    I have to agree with Chris’ assessment. I am writing this on Ubuntu 12.10 on a Asus Vivobook q200e. It runs fast and nice, and I never had one problem. It’s really up to the end user, but the man is right…the rest of the world has moderate hardware at best, and for better adoption rates it’s OK to focus mainly on that hardware.

  • V.

    Runs perfectly great for me as well.

  • Xunil72

    Ubuntu 12.10 is great and I like it actually more than Mint 14. Performance is not as great as Mint XFCE, but still very snappy. The desktop environment of Ubuntu Unity is despite of all the criticism quite thought through and seamless. Compared to other desktops, Unity appears to be built genuinely around a specific “vision” and does not have an appearance of being “mixed together”, with partially odd looking icons and odd UI-behavior, like some other desktops do. Well, at the end of the day it’s at everyone’s individual preference what to use. Canonical however could make a better job with new releases. The last 2 upgrades (11.10->12.04->12.10) were painful to an extend that we thinking about moving to a different distro.

  • Mohamed Semlali

    Except heating issues, Ubuntu 12.10 is perfect.

  • Silviu

    I prefer Windows & OSX because there is more professional software for them but if I were to use a Linux based OS I’d chose the one that at least tries to treat me more like a human than a cyborg. I don’t want to waste time reading about how to compile software, I just want to install my stuff and work. I like the fact that they include Software Center that is based on applications rather on packages. And I like Unity better than anything else since it uses the space best.

  • Mauri Salomaa

    Not happy with Ubuntu try Linux Royal. More info

  • Nelson Delgado

    This “Ubuntu Effect” reminds me when we began in Drag Racing many years ago. While we were new to the strip and losing all the races… everybody loved us! We all love the underdog! Everybody wanted to help us out and had kind words: “you guys are doing fine, you got a great car, it justs needs some fine tunning, just try out this and that…bla-bla-bla” Pure love! That was until we applied all those “helpful” tricks and began winning, and all those friendly and helpfull racers and mechanics changed dramatically and began bashing: “that car is a lousy piece of cr4p, I don’t know how it won”, “I don’t know how he won again, it must be pure luck”, “I’ll bet that the next race his engine blows up… I’m looking forward to it”, and so on…. Losers always act that way, so just wait some time and you’ll see Clement Lefebvre and Mint take the shots instead, it’s the human way!!!

  • Ante Bajto

    Ubuntu 12.10 is not working with propriatery drivers on my new machine based on AMD A10 5800K APU with ATI HD 7660D graphics. Forced me to install Mint (working perfect). Unity was not working. Tried all possible workarounds with no results. Open source drivers worked ok, but there is poor gaming support.

  • Tony Gallagher

    I am studying at the moment and, as part of the operating systems part of the course, I was asked to recommend Linux distributions for testing. The group tried Ubuntu, Fedora and Linux Mint. They hated the user interface of Ubuntu, and Fedora did not fare much better. They also said that issues with Flash and other codecs were a disappointment. They preferred Linux Mint (Cinnamon), saying it was more familiar to them and a better “out of the box” experience. Just an observation. Every user must use what is good for them, but my concern is that newcomers to Linux will give up at the first hurdle.

  • SmpCtryPhys

    Have you considered that what you are observing is a form of democracy-in-action. Complaints of this are healthy, as we learned in Vietnam with the hand grenade enema phenomena. You see this with Ubuntu because people think, perhaps mistakenly, that their opinions make a difference. They know they don’t with Windows.

  • AlexV

    I run my Ubuntu 12.10 on a Dell xps 15 Intel® Core™ i5-2410M CPU @ 2.30GHz × 4 and is just fine. There are few issues as turning it off and sound management but overall runs fast and is very reliable! Also the issues I experience are usually simple to sort out if you have a basic understanding of how Linux coding works. Forum are good but I think there should be a dedicated support for real beginners! I think people are quite hedonistic thinking only about how good the system works for themselves and not understanding the overall significance of the free software movement!!!

  • Chrisjones

    Your views of Linux are very old-fashioned and represent nothing of how Linux functions. Very few Linux distributions require compiling your software anymore. And you seem confused at what Software Center is. It’s a Graphical User-Interface which installs all the same packages. It just makes it much easier for the not-so-advanced users. Linux still relies on those same package as that’s how the modular side of the Linux operating system is designed and works. I just felt like this should be clarified.

  • sirkingchase

    I quit using Ubuntu a couple years ago. It is great for beginners but anyone who is knows anything about linux hates it. The two main reasons I dont use it is becuase it contain freaking ads!!! Come on, even windows doesnt have ads, I cant believe they stooped to that level. And apt-get installs so much unnessary crap and leaves you little control over how to configure a package. Im using ARHC Linux and Ill never use Ubuntu again. Iev been playing around with RPM systems ( Fedora ) so I can be more familar with Enterprise enviroments but Ill probably use Arch until the day I die

  • Slamo

    The only problem I ever had with Ubuntu 12.10 on my q200e was that the brightness controls (fn + F5 or F6) didn’t work. I had to utilise a work around by putting xbacklight shortcuts on my desktop. No problems other than that. Switched to Fedora for a brief time. Now I am back. Ubuntu 13.04 fixed the back light issue. Running Ubuntu 13.04 64-bit with Unity. Couldn’t be happier.