I’ve been distro hopping a bit lately, coming off of Windows 10 which I had been using for about a month as my primary desktop. It’s been a streak of indecisiveness, frustration, and discovery. Through my sporadic journey I’ve found once again, that my most frequent and carefree stops are on Ubuntu. So I thought I’d share here the things I really appreciate about it, and also would love to hear what the community loves about it as well!
Obligatory desktop screenshot
While looks aren’t the most important thing in the world, they are still very important. First impressions count, and Ubuntu’s Yaru styling takes good note of that! I appreciate their rather simple yet effective approach to theming that doesn’t appear tacky, but isn’t underdressed for the party either. I’d also like to give a shoutout to the Ubuntu fonts here, and while these have been around for some time, they are still wonderful and remain my favourite interface fonts of all time!
I am one of those people who loves installing software via the terminal. I love updating through the terminal. I love removing apps through the terminal. Why? Well, most people say it’s for the “control”, but honestly that doesn’t really scratch any kind of itch for me… It’s actually just because it’s just fun for me, and I like seeing flowing text and progress bars. It’s… Weird. But Ubuntu has put a lot of work into making sure these things aren’t only doable in the terminal, and when you first get into your system, there’s a handy little application/dialog that lets you know when updates are available to install! It’s just as simple as confirming the update and authorizing it… Then you’re done! No need to crack down to the terminal and getting handsy with things. I appreciate this, and I’ve started making more and more use of it. I have more appreciation of the OS, seeing it handle things intelligently and with little need for hand-holding. It saves time and does also instill a bit more confidence in me as a user. This has also helped multiple friends of mine become more comfortable with their installs, as remembering terminal commands, or just even remembering that they need to update, isn’t ideal.
On top of being able to update your system from the GUI, automatic updates are also really snazzy, and the fact that this is super easy to attain on Ubuntu is very pleasing to me. I figure, if my phone can do it, and I use that thing for pretty much everything, then my desktop can handle it as well. Nicely done!
Snaps are a massive plus of Ubuntu for me, TBH. They hold multiple benefits that solidify my satisfaction with Ubuntu as a whole. Getting new versions of applications without having to worry about PPAs or other system dependencies getting jumbled up is incredibly nice. On top of that, the manual control over what these apps get access to is pleasing to me, especially since it can be done via the Ubuntu Software app, which has shown me some connections I wasn’t aware of previously! Snaps also update automatically, meaning I have zero need to ever check these things… Like seriously, it just works. While I understand why some people dislike this, for me it means I don’t have to babysit my machine. Instead, I get to actually use it for the things that matter to me! Beyond all of this, though, I get easy access to applications that might hard to install or configure, or things that are just tedious to install and configure. Or applications that may not have even be packaged for Linux at all if it wasn’t for Snap. Being able to roll back Snaps or install multiple versions of them is also very handy, and can be great if you need to work around a regression in an app, or test between versions for compatibility or something! HECK YEAH!
In my experiences with Linux thus far, there is only one distribution that works on just about everything, and that’s Ubuntu. While it’s not the most up-to-date distribution out there in regards to the kernel in particular, I’ve tried various distributions on so many laptops with nothing but issues… But Ubuntu boots right up and makes the most of it. Outstanding work, and something worthy of praise!
Despite it being a massive target for haters, being pretty much the most common distribution out there has some awesome benefits for users. Traditionally, when apps get made or packaged for Linux, they’re usually made or packaged for Ubuntu. It’s the very first place 99.99% of app developers or publishers are going to look to get their app out. Which means software availability is less of a concern for me on Ubuntu than it is anywhere else. But even if an app can work on other distributions, or someone’s packaged it… That doesn’t mean it’ll work well. Thankfully, when you’re using the intended and tested platform, you tend to get much better results and support! This has made so many things simpler and more effective for me on Ubuntu than any other distribution. Things like Steam or Discord are prime examples of that.
Lastly, it’s the people who work on Ubuntu. The people who invest countless hours of their lives into improving Ubuntu for everyone. The people who translate it so speakers of other languages aren’t left out. The people who test bugs, the people who squash them. The people who fix things so other projects can benefit from Ubuntu’s charm, too. The creativity and dedication of the people who work on Ubuntu are key components of what Ubuntu has been, is, and will be. The risks they take and the changes they make aren’t always what everyone wants, but they work very hard to deliver a solid operating system for their users and their customers.
I <3 Ubuntu