Several weeks ago I made the decision to trash my Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop, which was previously running openSUSE 11.1 , to be replaced instead by Ubuntu 9.04 (I’m not going to give it it’s quirky Drunken Antelope type name, that’s stupid, and a plague on Open Source). So for a dyed in the wool Novell guy, why do this? I’ve been hawking SUSE and it’s variants for years, but the time came for something a bit different.

Don’t get me wrong, the SUSE Enterprise line (SLES and SLED) are very good and perfectly decent Linux distrubutions, but the openSUSE desktop to me always seems slightly unfinished, plus they seem a bit careless with their patch updates (my suspend and resume was working fine out of the box, but after online updates – poof! Also, the wireless networking needed a shove after resuming a session, I never had to do this after I’d first installed). I decided to choose Ubuntu because :-

  • It’s popular – arguably the Number 1 desktop Linux distro. This means I can get a good level of support in the forums
  • It’s got a decent gloss to it – easy to use, defaults to GNOME desktop, packages easy to install, much less fiddly than openSUSE
  • They’ll send me a free DVD if I ask for one, usually within a couple of weeks too. And some free stickers. People love free stuff, y’see
  • It supports all my hardware out of the box (I know this is more a kernel thing, than a distro thing, before I get flamed)
  • The Ubuntu community does not tie itself in perpetual knots over which desktop to default to in the GNOME vs KDE war. If you want KDE, you get Kubuntu. Seemples!

The latter point is interesting as the open wound within Novell/SUSE that is GNOME vs KDE was recently re-opened by someone in the KDE team who thought that KDE should be the default desktop. Herein lies the shotgun wedding between Ximian and SUSE at the heart of Novell. Formerly, GNOME die-hards, latterly KDE stalwarts. It’s caused no end of bickering, even though the list moderators have attempted to gloss over this. I said at a previous BrainShare session that I don’t have time for this sort of thing, nor to many others. It does not become the company that this shit still goes on years after the fact.


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