Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Ubuntu — Beyond the Hype

Filed under
Ubuntu

Since a few years, Ubuntu has been grabbing headlines in the mainstream press, sometimes to the point where people are referring to Ubuntu where they mean Linux (or GNU/Linux as the case may be)...

In short, we've seen and read the hype.

This is not the first time I had a look at Ubuntu, not at all. The first time I tried it, which must be about 3 years ago now, I was curious to see if it was really that much better than other distributions I have experience with. Linux for Human beings, it was said. Talk is cheap, is also said. And alas, I found that to be true.

Whether it's better than other distributions in a straight comparison is something for another review (sometime soon if I can help it), but that's not, nor has it ever been, the point I'll be making. But whether it's functional, usable, yes even pleasant to use, that's the thing. Hint nr. 1: I'm using it right now, and I have for a few weeks now. Want to know more? Read on!

More Here




Overdose of questions? Should I answer?

Naturally, this review can be classified as one man's experience.

Only a small part of it is opinion, most is a relaying of things how they happened.

The review is indeed based on experiences with a single machine, but note: the machine in question is a Novell certified machine with an excellent track record in terms of Linux compatibility. Note further that this review is about the way Ubuntu behaves, and since very few sections in the review are related to (negative Ubuntu experience with) this particular laptop, the review is relevant to all with an interest in Ubuntu. The one hardware issue is with the choice of Ubuntu developers to go for the new libata driver which clashes with the optical drive. Since this issue pops up with all drives from TSST made during a certain period, and TSST has had 20% marketshare for quite a few years, this issue too is considered relevant for a wide audience.

There is no comparison to UNIX training in the past, there is some comparison to other Linux and UNIX systems which are all very much alive today. I have no idea what this phrase means:

Quote:
not technically oriented to discuss the Ubuntu architecture and limited contents.
so I can't comment on that.

To this:

Quote:
Ubuntu and its family are each an embedded system with different desktops, but same web browser.

I can only say: I have not yet seen, heard or read about an embedded Ubuntu system - all Ubuntu family members install on regular PC hardware, and this is certainly the case for the Ubuntu siblings in this review, and they are thus by definition not embedded.

Quote:
Ubuntu being an embedded solution of a midi size, can only be compared with midi Linux systems.

Meaning: it shouldn't be compared to mainframe systems or so? Since the only system mentioned that doesn't run on straight x86 hardware is HP-UX, I think I stayed within these limits.
Otherwise, Ubuntu is Linux, it's not embedded, and it can be compared to any Linux or Unix system, including Mac for instance - to which I couldn't compare it for lack of Mac OS X experience.

Quote:
It is no longer i386 but i686 platform in the latest few releases. 64 bit version is appended two 32 bit cores.

Where shall I start? The review is about the x86-64 version, also called AMD64, and it will run on AMD64 CPUs from AMD and on Intel EM64T CPUs. Both architectures are backwards compatible with IA32 / x86 32 bit code, but the reviewed Ubuntu system is compiled for AMD64.
A 64 bit version is certainly not two 32 bit cores appended to each other. First, there are plenty of 32 bit dual core CPUs on the market, and second, there are single core 64 bit AMD64 CPUs available as well.

Quote:
Most important detail of the minimum requirement of dram size for any Ubuntu is not mentioned.

I have no idea to whom this may be of special interest, because people with such a low amount of RAM (256 MB or less) are already using Linux and know what's what. All others have upgraded by either adding memory or buying a new machine. No one in their right mind is running WinXP on such machines, and with the current cost of memory, nor should anyone who uses Linux.
Aside that, the kernel and some DE/WM will take similar amounts of memory, no matter which distribution. Hence, most distributions will run more or less with 128 to 256 MB of RAM. Getting OpenOffice.org writer to work simultaneously with Firefox or Konqueror with several tabs open, including my latest reviews, may prove a challenge in swapping though...

In case you hadn't guessed:
from the author.

With kind regard,
aRTee

PS Sorry to be pedantic, I guess I'm in the mood to take things personal...

Re: Overdose of questions? Should I answer?

aRTee,

You've been subjected to "atang1-land", where ordinary computer science related words, like "embedded", may take on mysterious meanings in atang1's mind--which often are incomprehensible to mere mortals. Sometimes I can figure out what atang1 is trying to say, most times I can't. Sometimes I learn something from an atang1 post--many times I give up in frustration as there are too many non-sequiturs and off-center meanings to discern his message.

Personally, I thought your Ubuntu review was detailed, informative, and well done.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

GNOME News: Black Lab Drops GNOME and Further GNOME Experiments in Meson

  • Ubuntu-Based Black Lab Enterprise Linux 11.0.1 Drops GNOME 3 for MATE Desktop
    Coming about two weeks after the release of Black Lab Enterprise Linux 11, which is based on the Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system using the HWE (hardware enablement) kernel from Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak), Black Lab Enterprise Linux 11.0.1 appears to be an unexpected maintenance update addressing a few important issues reported by users lately.
  • 3.26 Developments
    My approach to development can often differ from my peers. I prefer to spend the early phase of a cycle doing lots of prototypes of various features we plan to implement. That allows me to have the confidence necessary to know early in the cycle what I can finish and where to ask for help.
  • Further experiments in Meson
    Meson is definitely getting more traction in GNOME (and other projects), with many components adding support for it in parallel to autotools, or outright switching to it. There are still bugs, here and there, and we definitely need to improve build environments — like Continuous — to support Meson out of the box, but all in all I’m really happy about not having to deal with autotools any more, as well as being able to build the G* stack much more quickly when doing continuous integration.

Fedora and Red Hat

Debian and Derivatives

  • Reproducible Builds: week 108 in Stretch cycle
  • Debuerreotype
    The project is named “Debuerreotype” as an homage to the photography roots of the word “snapshot” and the daguerreotype process which was an early method of taking photographs. The essential goal is to create “photographs” of a minimal Debian rootfs, so the name seemed appropriate (even if it’s a bit on the “mouthful” side).
  • The end of Parsix GNU/Linux
    The Debian-based Parsix distribution has announced that it will be shutting down six months after the Debian "Stretch" release.
  • Privacy-focused Debian 9 'Stretch' Linux-based operating system Tails 3.0 reaches RC status
    If you want to keep the government and other people out of your business when surfing the web, Tails is an excellent choice. The Linux-based operating system exists solely for privacy purposes. It is designed to run from read-only media such as a DVD, so that there are limited possibilities of leaving a trail. Of course, even though it isn't ideal, you can run it from a USB flash drive too, as optical drives have largely fallen out of favor with consumers. Today, Tails achieves an important milestone. Version 3.0 reaches RC status -- meaning the first release candidate (RC1). In other words, it may soon be ready for a stable release -- if testing confirms as much. If you want to test it and provide feedback, you can download the ISO now.

OSS Leftovers

  • Chef expands its cloud and container menu
    Chef, a leading DevOps company, announced at ChefConf 2017 that it was adding new capabilities to it flagship Continous Automation/DevOps program, Chef Automate. This enables enterprises to transition from server- and virtual machine- (VM) based IT systems to cloud-native and container-first environments with consistent automation and DevOps practices.
  • Nextcloud 12: The bigger, better, in-house small business cloud
    It's not even been a year since Frank Karlitschek, co-founder and former CTO of ownCloud, forked ownCloud into Nextcloud. Since then, this do-it-yourself, open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud has become increasingly popular. Now, its latest version, Nextcloud 12, the program is adding more Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) features.
  • The Spirit of Open Source
  • What happened to Mastodon after its moment in the spotlight?
    More than a month later, the buzz over Mastodon has quieted. But though it may not be making headlines, the service continues to grow.
  • Mozilla: One Step Closer to a Closed Internet
    We’re deeply disheartened. Today’s FCC vote to repeal and replace net neutrality protections brings us one step closer to a closed internet. Although it is sometimes hard to describe the “real” impacts of these decisions, this one is easy: this decision leads to an internet that benefits Internet Service Providers (ISPs), not users, and erodes free speech, competition, innovation and user choice.
  • The eternal battle for OpenStack's soul will conclude in three years. Again
    After six years as a formal project, OpenStack has survived numerous raids and famines and now finds itself in a not-too-weird space of being boring, on-premises infrastructure. That is, “boring” in the good way of focusing on what users want and fixing existing problems, only chasing shiny objects – cough, PaaS, cough, containers, cough, orchestration – as much as needed.
  • With version 2.0, Crate.io’s database tools put an emphasis on IoT
    Crate.io, the winner of our Disrupt Europe 2014 Battlefield, is launching version 2.0 of its CrateDB database today. The tool, which is available in both an open source and enterprise version, started out as a general-purpose but highly scalable SQL database. Over time, though, the team found that many of its customers were using the service for managing their machine data and, unsurprisingly, decided to focus its efforts on better supporting those clients.
  • NewSQL CockroachDB Ready for Prime Time
    There's a new open source database on the block. Although it has a name that will most likely make you cringe for the first dozen or so times you hear it -- CockroachDB -- I have a feeling that if it isn't already on your radar, it will be soon.
  • Windows 10 S Won't Support Fedora, SUSE Linux, and Ubuntu
  • Manage Linux servers with a Windows admin's toolkit [Ed: Well, the solution is learning GNU tools, not relying on proprietary stuff with back doors from Microsoft]
  • FreeBSD quarterly status report
  • openbsd changes of note 622
  • Book Review: Relayd and Httpd Mastery

    Overall an excellent book which is typical Michael W Lucas writing style. Easy to follow, clear cut instructions, and tons of new stuff to learn. If one must use OpenBSD or FreeBSD, then the chances are high that one will stick with the defaults that come with OpenBSD. No need to use fat Apache, or Nginx/Lighttpd web server especially when httpd and relayd audited for security by OpenBSD core team.

  • Guix System Distribution (GuixSD) 0.13.0 GNU/Linux OS Supports 64-bit ARM CPUs
    The GNU Guix and GuixSD 0.13.0 releases are here about five months after the December 2016 launch of version 0.12.0, and it appears to be a major milestone implementing a few important changes. First off, this release can now be installed on computers powered by AArch64 (64-bit ARM) processors.
  • The Good And Bad In WikiTribune, Wikipedia Founder's Open-Source News Site
    Countering the fake news threat has become a real challenge for social media platforms, which also serve as avenues of news dissemination along with the traditional media outlets.
  • Android Studio 3.0 Canary 1
  • Jaded by Java? Android now supports Kotlin programming language
  • Rcpp 0.12.11: Loads of goodies
    The elevent update in the 0.12.* series of Rcpp landed on CRAN yesterday following the initial upload on the weekend, and the Debian package and Windows binaries should follow as usual. The 0.12.11 release follows the 0.12.0 release from late July, the 0.12.1 release in September, the 0.12.2 release in November, the 0.12.3 release in January, the 0.12.4 release in March, the 0.12.5 release in May, the 0.12.6 release in July, the 0.12.7 release in September, the 0.12.8 release in November, the 0.12.9 release in January, and the 0.12.10.release in March --- making it the fifteenth release at the steady and predictable bi-montly release frequency.
  • Master Haskell Programming with Free Books
    Haskell is a standardized, general-purpose, polymorphically statically typed, lazy, purely functional language, very different from many programming languages. Recent innovations include static polymorphic typing, higher-order functions, user-definable algebraic data types, a module system, and more. It has built-in concurrency and parallelism, debuggers, profilers, rich libraries and an active community, with approximately 5,400 third-party open source libraries and tools.
  • [Older] Manifesto: Rules for standards-makers

    If we work together on a project based on open tech, these are the principles I will try to stick to. I wanted to put all this in one place, so I can pass it along to future software developers.