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Thread: Why is Ubuntu so good at just... working?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Xubuntu

    Why is Ubuntu so good at just... working?

    I wasn't sure where to post this because I am not really asking for support. I don't need support because I installed xubuntu on my laptop from a usb stick and everything just worked right out of the box!

    I tried pure debian. I downloaded an .iso that's over 4 gb, burnt it to a dvd, and installed it on my laptop. Wireless didn't work - naturally. Then I tried again, this time I had a thumb drive with the wireless firmware on it, and when debian said something like "cannot id network hardware, supply firmware if you have it." Still did not work. On top of wireless not working it didn't seem to know what to do with my video card, and I couldn't get the right resolution on my screen. So what exactly did they stuff into that 4+ gigabyte .iso, without being bothered to put in something that would recognize hardware in a year old Asus laptop?

    Then I tried fedora. Much smaller .iso. Under 1 gb. Everything kind of worked! I mean, I had wireless working, and my screen resolution worked, but then I rebooted and everything went gray, and xfce kept freezing crashing.

    OpenSUSE: similar story, minus the wifi working.

    Then I installed xubuntu. I just simply worked! Wireless, video card, no problem. Iso size - I think it was under 800mb. Then I installed it on my 3 year old netbook. Everything worked. Then my girlfriend's 2 year old hp laptop. Everything worked. No problems. Desktop, same story. Some might say "Oh well it is because ubuntu contains non-free code that linux flavors like debian cannot ship with." Okay... but xubuntu is telling me that no proprietary drivers are in use in my system, so I don't think that is the explanation.

    I guess I am just curious. Why is it so EASY with x/k/ubuntu? Why does it seem like a battle just to get basic functionality out of other distros?
    "Never mind how it works! How do we get rid of it?"
    - Capt. Jack Harkness (Torchwood)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Why is Ubuntu so good at just... working?

    Magic.
    Come to #ubuntuforums! We have cookies! | Basic Ubuntu Security Guide

    Tomorrow's an illusion and yesterday's a dream, today is a solution...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Re: Why is Ubuntu so good at just... working?

    Ubuntu works because it offers many things that others dont offer.
    It has great hardware detection most of the time.
    Plus Ubuntu probably being the most well known linux helps

  4. #4
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Why is Ubuntu so good at just... working?

    It's the shoes.
    Splat Double Splat Triple Splat
    Earn Your Keep
    Don't mind me, I'm only passing through.
    Once in a blue moon, I'm actually helpful
    .

  5. #5
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    Jan 2013
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    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Why is Ubuntu so good at just... working?

    all the elves working up under the hood. They are magical!

  6. #6
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Why is Ubuntu so good at just... working?

    dude.
    Its the robots.
    For proof that they run Ubuntu, visit "about:robots" in firefox.
    Ubuntu Forums Moderation Staff || SandyDNET
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  7. #7
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    Re: Why is Ubuntu so good at just... working?

    Quote Originally Posted by sandyd View Post
    dude.
    Its the robots.
    For proof that they run Ubuntu, visit "about:robots" in firefox.
    +1

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Xubuntu

    Re: Why is Ubuntu so good at just... working?

    Hah! At this point I'm about ready to believe that it's magic and robots. Maybe even magical robots. ^_-
    "Never mind how it works! How do we get rid of it?"
    - Capt. Jack Harkness (Torchwood)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Why is Ubuntu so good at just... working?

    Quote Originally Posted by James_the_dude View Post
    Hah! At this point I'm about ready to believe that it's magic and robots. Maybe even magical robots. ^_-
    glad you are enjoying it though. It really is great!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Re: Why is Ubuntu so good at just... working?

    Different distributions operate by different self-imposed rules and target different audiences.

    Ubuntu is based on Debian. Debian, though, does not target a mainstream audience. Debian targets an audience that wants an extremely stable distribution that they can run for several years, with the confidence that it won't break and that they will receive security updates. This audience is explicitly not interested in staying current with the latest and greatest.

    This stable release is, oddly enough, called Debian Stable. To get there, Debian also uses two quasi-distributions. One that contains code that has undergone minimal or no testing. The second code that has a bit of testing, but has not proved itself to be ready for the stable release.

    The best way to ensure stability is to test for a long time, fix bugs once something is released, and not add new code into the mix. Debian Stable often lacks current drivers, programs, etc., for that reason. Adding those would make it less stable.

    The other versions of Debian can include things that don't work for the oppposite reason: They're very new and have had little or no testing.

    Debian, like Fedora and others, has a strict policy of not including non-FOSS code. So, if your wireless chip needs a proprietary driver to work, then it's up to you to go out and find it. Ubuntu plays by the same rules, but makes it easier for its users by maintaining some of these files in its repos as "restricted" packages or as "Additional Drivers". Some other distros do not wish to do that.

    Meanwhile, Fedora's purpose in life is to serve as a testbed for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. As such, it's full of new things and is released every 6 months. Red Hat Enterprise Linux, on the other hand, tries strenuously to avoid adding new versions, instead, fixing bugs and backporting features.

    Ubuntu, as a product supported by Canonical, also has considerably more personnel working on it than some other distributions, which are often the efforts of one or a very few people. It's also used by people who are not FOSS fanatics and who expect it to "just work", being unwilling to trade functionality for ideological rigidity.
    Last edited by buzzingrobot; February 26th, 2013 at 01:37 AM.

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