View Poll Results: Should newbies be steered to the latest version of Ubuntu?

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  • Definitely not - we don't want them to be turned away.

    14 13.59%
  • Maybe not - an older version might be okay

    9 8.74%
  • Steer them to something recent, but not very latest

    27 26.21%
  • The more recent versions will help the community more

    9 8.74%
  • Let's stick with putting them on the latest version

    44 42.72%
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Thread: Should newbies be steered to the latest version of Ubuntu?

  1. #11
    Join Date
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    Xubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Should newbies be steered to the latest version of Ubuntu?

    I always have used the latest. And I'm in charge of 4 complete newbies; they are using the latest

  2. #12
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    Ubuntu Studio 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: Should newbies be steered to the latest version of Ubuntu?

    The OP needs to realise that just because it didn't work for him doesn't mean it's the case for everyone else.

    I started on Jaunty as a complete Linux newbie and it worked fine for me.

    I've since installed Karmic on a casual PC users machine (also unaware of Linux) and they've had no trouble.

    Yes I'm aware people have had trouble, but this isn't the case for everyone. Using old releases isn't a viable option.

  3. #13
    Join Date
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    Lubuntu

    Re: Should newbies be steered to the latest version of Ubuntu?

    The other thing to keep in mind is that sometimes people WANT the latest and greatest. If you go to the Linux is NOT Windows link in my sig it will explain about everything I would have to say on this, but to reiterate the most important point: the essence of linux; the way it works, the people who use it, etc; is fundamentally different from that of windows. Most of us like those differences and while we would like people to share in our enjoyment of the things that are great about linux, we don't want to make it like windows to attract them to do so. Leastways, I could go on about it, but I'll just say read the article, it's a great one.

  4. #14
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    Hidden!
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Should newbies be steered to the latest version of Ubuntu?

    Maybe it would be enough to promote the LTS some more? Showing it alongside the latest version, marked as the more stable, but older of the two.

  5. #15
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    Re: Should newbies be steered to the latest version of Ubuntu?

    Quote Originally Posted by ubunterooster View Post
    I always have used the latest. And I'm in charge of 4 complete newbies; they are using the latest
    ^^^ this.

    I guess the question is, "Who is doing the steering?" My kids (10 and 9) use 9.10. So does my wife (on a PPC Mac, no less). So does my sister and her kids. None of them are particularly good with computers, but I'm able to manage their computers and trouble-shoot problems for them.

    There are pros and cons to using the latest version vs. the last LTS release, which is now almost 2 years old. If you're willing and able to help the "newbie", feel free to steer him or her to the latest version. But recognize that the newbie probably won't (and probably shouldn't) deal with any possible bugs him/herself. That will be your job.

    On the other hand, if you are the newbie, or you know someone who is willing to try out ubuntu but who doesn't have access to a lot of support, you may consider using the LTS version, at least until you are (or the newbie is) comfortable enough with ubuntu generally to try the latest version.

    EDIT: I strayed a bit from the original question; i.e., who is doing the steering. If you, as a user advising another user, are doing the steering, I think it's worth considering what I wrote above. If it is Canonical doing the steering (e.g., on the ubuntu.com page), I think there is some value in listing the LTS on the front page of the site along with the latest/greatest, with a description of the differences between the two. It is argued constantly that Linux is about the freedom to make choices; one such choice should be given right up front.
    Last edited by thatguruguy; January 22nd, 2010 at 03:50 PM.

  6. #16
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    Re: Should newbies be steered to the latest version of Ubuntu?

    I started using linux on Red Hat and Ubuntu 7.1 and had only the man pages to comfort me while I cried myself to sleep at night. However, there is something to be said for baptism by fire (primarily that it's much more interesting for on-lookers than a traditional baptism) in that you learn a lot more about the operating system. I'm sure many Windows users who now consider Windows "simple" started on MS-DOS, maybe Windows 3.1, or possibly just Windows 95, but in any case, it was hours of frustration and confusion, but it all amounted to an understanding of the OS that made using it later even easier.

  7. #17
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    Kubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Wink Re: Should newbies be steered to the latest version of Ubuntu?

    Quote Originally Posted by HarrisonNapper View Post
    the essence of linux; the way it works, the people who use it, etc; is fundamentally different from that of windows. Most of us like those differences and while we would like people to share in our enjoyment of the things that are great about linux, we don't want to make it like windows to attract them to do so.
    I read "Linux is not Windows" and it was VERY helpful. I am feeling a bit humbled at the realization that Linux has never really been intended to compete with other software; it's just there for the use and enjoyment of whoever wants to join in. I wish I had read that piece in 1997, but many of the dynamics were definitely different then.

    When I saw the bloated nightmare that was Vista getting rejected en masse, I thought Linux's time had come and about that same time, Ubuntu seemed to pick up enormous momentum. I still get the impression that Ubuntu is the most common distro most newbies encounter. It seems like if Ubuntu was to embrace the "newbie" niche, as someone else here said, perhaps the LTS could be plainly described as a good alternative to the latest version, side-by-side on the download page rather than just getting a mention. Like in this forum, the Pros and Cons of the latest distro and the LTS could be spelled out and the newbie then takes their chances. (Red pill/blue pill?)

    If Ubuntu is trying to be the best distro for most people interested in running Linux, maybe the current approach is the best approach. Just keep in mind that Ubuntu among Linux distros has the largest mindshare IMO. If Ubuntu is the biggest distro and keeps burning newbies by using them as guinea pigs, LINUX will get the reputation for being more trouble than it is worth.

    I came to Linux because I was tired of bloat, sloth, reinstalls, and wearing handcuffs. I now can see that I can get an OS that is lean, fast, rarely even needs a reboot much less a reinstallation and is free as in freedom. I can also see that I am not going to be able to make that switch quickly, though.

    As far as the "Linux is not Windows" point of the Mac OS X as a commercial alternative to both Windows and Linux, I have just never cared for Mac. Mostly, I'm too cheap and am willing to put up with some hassles to save some money. I even got a hand-me-down iMac in Bondi Blue that I tried for a few months and ended up hating it. If Windows put me in handcuffs, the Mac put me in an iron maiden. Different horses for different courses.

    Idea #2 - Maybe I should bite the bullet and pay for a commercial version of Linux as a straddle between the MS approach and the FOSS approach.

    Idea #3 - Maybe I should download the smallest, GUI-free distro and start learning GNU/Linux from the bottom-up, adding features only as needed? "If I am going to learn this slowly, I might as well learn it thoroughly," is the thought behind this notion.

  8. #18
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    Re: Should newbies be steered to the latest version of Ubuntu?

    I think your point about Ubuntu is right on the nose, personally. The stated goals of Canonical and Ubuntu are to make Ubuntu an accessible desktop distribution and to do that, you have to look at what accessibility is in a day and age where it is, in fact, defined in part by the history and movement of Windows. I agree that LTS should be offered up front as an alternative to newcomers and that those versions should only come equipped with stable applications and a host of tested drivers. I furthermore think that Ubuntu has uncharacteristically succeeded in doing this compared to many other Linux distros.

    There are distros out there that are even more geared toward working out of the box and appealing to newcomers. Ubuntu also has goals besides being accessible which sometimes conflict with that very goal. Sticking to the use of applications licensed under open source-friendly licenses is a great example of that.

    If you're going to go the direction of Idea #2, you might consider Linux Mint or Mandriva (ex-Mandrake). Linux Mint is free and based on Ubuntu, but includes a color scheme and menu layout more familiar to Windows users and additional drivers and codecs that make more hardware and multimedia work out of the box. Mandriva takes a similar approach, but you have to pay for the version with all of the extra stuff

    I think Idea #3 is grand, but be careful what you wish for. I think there are distros like Suse, Red Hat, and Ubuntu that form a happy medium. They open up opportunities for bottom-up and top-down learning while minimizing the amount of frustrating work on things you may not want to encounter right off the bat. If you really want to go all-out with this idea, you might try Arch-linux or, even better, Slackware. Running Slack and building your box is like running MS-DOS and building Vista from there (if all of the apps were open source and you could just compile the code).

    One of the great things about having so many distributions is that linux can be virtually anything to anyone from a kiosk for checking email and listening to music to a way of life, an ideology, and a career path. But I suppose if I talk any more, I'll have to submit this as an article instead of a post. Sorry about the tl;dr.

    Cheers.

  9. #19
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    Hardy Heron (Ubuntu Development)

    Re: Should newbies be steered to the latest version of Ubuntu?

    Quote Originally Posted by ssam View Post
    newer versions on average support more hardware and have less bugs.

    whats really needed is more beta testing.
    +1 for more hardware support

    While the newer versions are going to have some new bugs, they also fix a lot of old bugs, add hardware support, and add new features.

    The newest version is the one that is most generally supported on the forums. If you give them old versions, they will have all the old bugs and wonder why things don't work like what people are describing in the forums.

    FYI, every version ever released had people complaining about problems and things not working. Giving new people an old version won't help.
    Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. - Dr. Seuss

  10. #20
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    Jun 2008
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    Re: Ubuntu newbies are guinea pigs

    Quote Originally Posted by MelDJ View Post
    thats why 8.04 is called LTS.
    if you want stability, use debian
    Or, use Lucid Lynx. It's also LTS.

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