Ubuntu Broke so Now I Use Windows

This season has not been a happy one for advocates, I’m seeing a marked increase in Ubuntu rejections from non-technical users. Problems range from random crashes, freezing, graphics problems, too slow and usb devices becoming corrupt.

It’s not so bad when people move away from Ubuntu and move to Fedora or Debian, but it breaks my heart when people move to Windows XP or 7. Hey they gave Ubuntu a go right? But we couldn’t keep them.

Is anyone else doing more fire-fighting with instability issues in Ubuntu? I know all of my computers have issues with Ubuntu, unresolved, although I can cope or fix them as they come up. Not something everyone can do. It worries me because Ubuntu was our fresh brand, to try and get out there and if we bugger it up we’ll have to make a whole new brand to get away from bad experiences people have had.

Thoughts?

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64 Responses to “Ubuntu Broke so Now I Use Windows”

  1. John says:

    I have used Unix/Linux for nearly 20 years. GDM and Gnome3 freeze all my computers, and I switched to XFCE. This was the case with other distributions as well, though. I still think Ubuntu is one of the most reliably working Linuxes, and I know, because I am developer and run multiple distros. But hey, do not forget, it is FREE, which is awesome.

  2. Rambo Tribble says:

    I’m afraid the problem is not limited to Ubuntu, although Ubuntu has done much to seed it. At the root of the issue is the rabid adherence to a rapid development cycle. This “damn the bugs, full speed ahead” mind-set has infected open software from the Linux kernel to the browser. As is common with unbridled races, the casualties litter the roadside.

  3. Antonio Ferraro says:

    You must be living in outer space. I still have to see somebody who wanted to come back to windows. A few nights back, my sister in law called in to say thanks (for installing Xubuntu). The PC is now working faster than ever and we all use it with no probs. Personally, the only “buntu” I don’t like is Ubuntu proper. Of course you need to install it well, make clear what are the apps to do what and give some instructions to newbies…

  4. Name says:

    For the sake of stability every non-technical user should be advised to use LTS-releases only whenever possible. 10.04 was a great release, 12.04 will be, too.

  5. Andrew Mason says:

    Unfortunately yes. Although the few people that are still using lucid have no issues besides the software being a bit dated.

  6. Matthew says:

    10.10 was the zenith of Ubuntu quality. I feel, especially with older hardware, things are indeed less robust atm. A lot has changed in the last 2 cycles, hopefully with an LTS on the horizon, 12.04 will see improved stabilization of the code-base and fewer dramatic changes.

    If i was suggesting Ubuntu to a new user, I would most defiantly suggest 10.10 over the more recent releases. After all, it is the LTS release.

  7. Lachlan says:

    I left ubuntu for this reason 5 years ago.
    It has consistently broken something new every release. to the point it was driving me mad.

    since then i’ve used debian testing/sid/experimental and have not had 1% of the issues i got from using ubuntu. (even though ubuntu is a snapshot of testing!!)

    canonical has a great idea and the drive to try and bring a great product to people. in the end though, they are too focused on the wrong things and just drive people to something else.

    Ubuntu just can’t be used as a long term distro unless you’re a masochist.

  8. diego says:

    I’m using bsd and linux systems since nearly ten years now. Before Ubuntu I was a mostly happy Debian user. You know, updated software, friendly installation and all that. I certainly enjoyed Ubuntu until some releases ago. But now, to be honest, I’m tired. I’m seriously considering buying a Mac or using Windows 7.

    Unity is like returning to Win95. Gnome2 is dead. Gnome3 is what you get when you put 20 monkeys on LSD to write a desktop environment. KDE4 is a BIG pile of unusable junk. XFCE is mostly usable, until you want to suspend to RAM. LXDE is a crappy toy.

    I can’t believe this is happening. It’s a nightmare.

  9. AW says:

    When I rebuilt my primary desktop computer a year ago, I made what I thought would be a permanent switch to Ubuntu: pretty much everything I do is online, and I’m already familiar with Ubuntu since all my development machines (a mix of desktops and laptops, 4 in all) are running it, so I figured I could skip the Windows install and just go with Ubuntu.

    And it worked, for awhile. But eventually Ubuntu did something — somehow — during one of the system updates and it was all gone. I installed Windows 7 that night.

    I can tinker with the best of them, since I work on an Ubuntu machine day in and day out as a software developer, but my primary machine is strictly non-work: it is for relaxing, fun, play. I don’t really want to have that “edit a .conf file to get something work” experience when I’m off the clock.

    I don’t think this lapse in quality has been sudden, to be honest. It’s been happening slowly, over time. My development machines running Ubuntu have been getting progressively worse over time – and when Unity was released and my main development machine was upgraded, I had random graphical errors and crashes for months. Just last night I had an issue with the Unity dash refusing to show up, requiring an eventual reboot.

    In the end, ultimately, I think one of the reasons I stay with Ubuntu is because the migration cost is too high.

    My Ubuntu installs are like a comfortable couch: there are sharp edges from the frame and uncomfortably flat sections, but I know them so well that putting the effort into migration to Fedora or OpenSUSE seems like too much trouble.

  10. Gordon Stevens says:

    Personally, although using the latest version of ubuntu, I have never had a serious problem with it. Seems to be most of the problems occur when people try to change it. Leave it alone, it works fine.

  11. mcniela says:

    Well, it certainly breaks my heart also.

    As with many of the people that have commented, I have also seen a decline in the desktop stability. There are a few reasons (I think) for this.

    a. Massive changes. These take time to work out. one cycle will not do it. In a lot of ways, I wish Ubuntu had stayed GNOME 2.x for some time and released a Ubuntu-Unity version while the development was in full swing. Granted, I like unity now, but it took a little while for that and I probably wouldn’t have made the switch without the push.

    b. Massive hardware changes to video cards / CPUs. Wow, just recently I realized how much laptops have changed. With many now using the hybrid (discreet) GPU in addition to the built in SandyBridge implementation, a lot of new PCs are having difficulty working with Linux. Hardware manufactures have been slow to push the needed drivers.

    Those the two largest issues I think for Linux now. With the current changes on the desktop, I am uncertain what I would recommend to someone now. I tend to think I would recommend a rolling release such as Mint Debian Edition… so they get stability but also get new versions of software without all the need to install a PPA to get the software. (Thoughts anyone???) I believe that most users don’t like to upgrade their system, but want new versions of Apps where feasible.

    For new users, we have to coach them on he correct linux way. USB devices becoming corrupt…. well, do they know how to properly stop the device before removing??? I would venture that they didn’t see it in the system tray, so just pulled it out instead of stopping.

  12. Winston says:

    I’ve ended up spending more and more time in Windows 7, which has actually surprised me with its stability and user interface. Just got tired of dealing with problems: second monitor wouldn’t work, Open Office got buggy and bloated, then Libre Office was no better, no dedicated blogging client, graphics card support terrible, wireless networking seemed to pick up a fraction of the signal under Linux (any distro) than it does under Windows. And just when I got the system stable and working well, it was time for an update. The Wife still has it running on a partition on her PC that she logs in to for secure banking &ct, and this has worked fine for a couple of years, but now she’s getting a message that her release is not supported. “If it’s not broken,” she asks me, “why does it keep telling me it is broken?”

    While I really enjoyed tinkering with Linux for a couple of years, I realized one day that I wasn’t doing anything with those computers besides tinker with Linux. It’s kind of like the old muscle car you keep in the driveway: fun when you feel like getting your hands dirty, but when you need a reliable ride into the city, you leave it behind and get in the station wagon.

  13. user says:

    I wonder which intention lead to this post. New brand is nonsense, some ran away from MS-Win and return – MS-Win didn’t choose a new brand -, same with Ubuntu some ran away and tried it again when LTS was released. MS-Win and Ubuntu may made bad choices, users also, so what, it’s called freedom.
    Newbies often enough compare a billions of dollars worth vendor with Ubuntu, which is based on and survives with it’s philosophy only.
    Unless newbies aren’t too arrogant to sympathize with engagement, they’ll enjoy the other part of the universe. That’s the whole point. Newbies don’t need to be engaged with MS-Win but they must with open source, until nobody tells them up front that engagement is a pre-condition to enjoy Ubuntu they’ll never understand the reciprocity behind all this.

    I’ve started as an average user with Ubuntu when I was forty, was I’m willing to learn something new, yes.
    Did I have graphic issues, broken kernels, yes. I didn’t know that I had to engage in order to help solve problems, e.g. reporting bugs, nobody clearly speaks up on this. Did I give up, obviously not, even I’d have the money to buy whatever and as much vendor software as I like, there is no reason for me to leave Ubuntu, but it’s my choice not yours.

    As average user with MS-Win you patiently wait for the patch day. The hype (promises) around Ubuntu make people unpatient.
    The argument people dislike rapid changes is inconsistent, they wouldn’t drive a car, zap through hundreds of tv-channels, videos and read, twitter through hundreds of pages, messages.
    At the same time they want the newest software, faster boot and more eye candies.
    The winner is who brings together high claims, unpatience and laziness.

  14. doctormo says:

    @mcniela – No, what I mean by usb devices becomes corrupt is that the usb urbs start producing errors, they eject disks, crash hplip, stop scanners and generally misbehave. There is something going on in the usb stack and it’s not being very reliable.