Now that I have your attention, let me explain. I like to play with Linux periodically just to keep current (actually, I like to play with almost all technologies, but there is just never enough time). I have also done quite a bit of development on Linux for server applications, though I must admit it has been a number of years.
This past weekend, it was time to rebuild my laptop, which I do every few months because I have a tendency to install a lot of trials and betas and other stuff that just generally polutes my system. Since I was reinstalling anyway, I decided it would be fun to use Ubuntu as my main OS, and do all my other stuff (i.e. Windows) through virtual machines. So, I downloaded Ubuntu Desktop 7.04, burned it out to a CD, booted up and away I went. For about 30 seconds. Then the installer from the disk crashed and burned. I tried it several different times, playing with suggestions I got from forums and stuff. No luck – it appears the installer did not like the X1400 video card in my Dell laptop (all pretty standard stuff). I could probably continue to play with this, and I am pretty sure I would find some way to get it installed. Or, i could use a different Linux distribution. That would defeat the point, however, as what I was really trying to check out was whether the current hype about Linux being ready to make the move to the desktop is real.
This brings me to the title of this post. Do I think Linux sucks? No, I think Linux is great. Do I think Ubuntu especially sucks? Not at all, though I did not really get a chance to find out.
As I read various blogs (Linux blogs, Microsoft blogs with comments from Linux zealots, Open Source blogs, etc.), I frequently see comments of the type “Microsoft sucks, and everything they build is crap, because I tried to install “product X” on “machine Y” and it didn’t work.” This type of broad generalization seems to be endemic in the open source and Linux communities, primarily when talking about anything Microsoft. Sure, I have run into problems installing and using stuff from Microsoft. I have also run into problems installing and using products from pretty much every software vendor I have run into in the last 20 years. It is an unfortunate fact of life (though I do not believe it has to be this way).
As much as I love open source software, including Linux, fanatics in the open source community have really been getting on my nerves lately (it is much the same way I feel about golf – I love golf, but golfers annoy the heck out of me).
So, by the logic of the open source world, am I justified in saying “Linux sucks – especially Ubuntu”?