Jan 21, 2008

Why Ubuntu?

After hearing my complaints and rants, why would anybody want to use Ubuntu? Everything else seems to be much less of a pain in the ass. Sometimes I wonder myself about why I still use Ubuntu. Here are my reasons:

Safety - I don't have to worry about viruses or other malware. Firefox is nice and secure, and most viruses are written for Windows (I could write a whole article on this subject, but that will wait for a later date). I don't have to worry about accidentally downloading a WMV file and have it wipe out my filesystem. At the same time, I don't have to go "yes I'm absolutely-positively-freaking-sure that I want to run this program" every time I want to do something.

Speed - Ubuntu is slower than my XP install right now, but that's primarily due to the fact that my XP partition has nothing on it and the Ubuntu one has years of stored up documents, music, movies, etc. that will slow it down. After disabling Compiz Fusion (I'm sorry!) and Tracker, Ubuntu runs quite nicely. Especially compared to Vista.
EDIT, Seven months later: I'm running Compiz Fusion again, I've found a better set of tweaks that make it run smoother and get out of my way more often. Don't even notice it anymore. Also, the XP install now has enough games put on it so that it takes longer to boot up than Ubuntu does.

Freedom! This is a big one. I'm not an open-source zealot, I can accept the existence of closed-sourced software, but I really enjoy being able to download and use apps without having to pay for them, or even having to go to a website and find a download link. Fire up synaptic, do a quick search, and install. No strings attached.

Web Development is so much easier. I can install Apache/PHP/MySQL/Rails without any real work except for knowing which ones in Synaptic to select, and they configure themselves to work with very sensible defaults. I have to do NOTHING. Last time I tried to use Apache or IIS on Windows, it was a day before I actually had anything to work with, and it was a big pain to do anything with it.

Sometimes console is a good thing. For finding and executing a file, it's faster to use the console. Maybe Tracker might be better for this, but it doesn't really fit into my whole theme of only using the mouse when I have to. When you're programming, you usually have both hands on the keyboard, so it's easier to Alt-Tab to the terminal window and type something into there. Bash autocompletion also really helps.

That's my reasons for using Ubuntu. I'm sure a lot of these are good for Mac too, but I just can't justify shelling out so much cash for a Mac, and then losing my ability to customize my hardware. I'm a geek! I like to tinker inside my computer and fit things in different slots and all that stuff.

No comments: