View Full Version : Why did you make the switch

April 1st, 2005, 08:32 AM
This is in the spirit of the "What Linux Distro were you using before Ubuntu?" thread.

Why did you make the switch from your previous distro to Ubuntu and would you ever gou back to a previous distro if they bring out new and better versions?

My Switch was Mandrake 10 --> MEPIS --> Ubuntu.

Mandrake to Mepis: Mandrake was too restrictive if you didnt pay for it.
Mepis to Ubuntu: HATED the community ( What community? ) and hated that it's basically a one man show. Awesome little distro though. PLUS I found GNOME! ;)

I might not go back to Mepis but I'm VERY tempted to try out FEDORA Core 3 or the new 4 when it comes out.

Buffalo Soldier
April 1st, 2005, 08:39 AM
MEPIS -> Ubuntu -> Fedora -> Ubuntu

MEPIS -> Ubuntu: Dislike KDE and their IM client (forgot its name) looks fat.
Ubuntu -> Fedora: Scared of sudo
Fedora -> Ubuntu: Wanted back the speed, apt-get & synaptic, no non-free app philosophy, and sudo :p in Ubuntu

April 1st, 2005, 08:40 AM
[latest] Xandros 1 -> Mandrake -> Xandros 2 -> Slackware -> Ubuntu Warty rc -> Xandros 2.5 -> Mandrake -> Xandros 3 dlx -> Ubuntu

Xandros to Mandrake - Way to "possessive". You have to pay even more than MDK to get goodies. Their tweaked Konqueror is good though. Worst of all : it remembered me so of Windows [why I know dislike KDE more than anything].

Mandrake to Slackware - RPM's just didn't feel right. Too slow. Didn't like it much.

Slackware to Xandros - .TGZ are not my fav. way of dealing with applications. .deb kept calling me back.

Xandros back to Ubuntu ? Xandros: same as above. Ubuntu ? Not to hard to setup, great distro [speed, stability, updates rock], and great community. Plus, its supercow powered, what else could I want .

voted DEB on top of RPM .

April 1st, 2005, 08:50 AM
Red Hat - > Debian -> Ubuntu

Red Hat -> Debian : I never could stand Red Hat, but it was the distro we had at my working place...
I switched because some Debian guru helped me installing the Debian

Debian -> Ubuntu : as for any distro you have not installed on your own, the probability you mess it up is huge :-D.
My first apt-get update ; apt-get upgrade totally screwed my laptop :mrgreen: .
The same Debian guru told me to try Ubuntu (very nice of him !).
I followed the advice, and here I am, in this fairy-wonderland-community 8)

April 1st, 2005, 09:04 AM
I voted other.

linux switch :

(suse&red hat&knoppix) -> debian > ubuntu

primary desktop switch :

windows XP > ubuntu

Before using debian I've tried suse and red hat a couple of times. But this is long ago. I've also tried knoppix a couple of times and liked it as a live cd. At my university SUN solaris,red hat and windows XP is used.

I wasn't satisfied with debian as a desktop distro. I used it only when I needed linux for school(I study AI) or was bored. When I read about Ubuntu being an improved debian I decided to give it a try. Since then I'm using it as my primary desktop instead of windows XP. It's my first real attempt of running linux as my primary OS.

edit : I've been using Ubuntu since warty.

April 1st, 2005, 09:28 AM
Mandrake -> Ubuntu

Wanted to escape from RPMs, mainly (MDK10.1's KDE 3.3 implementation blew up in my face more times than I can count) but was also looking for a good community to get some help. :mrgreen:

April 1st, 2005, 10:56 AM
I started out just wanting to test the distro because I am a distro junkie. I stayed with it as my primary OS because everything worked out of the box (except a few non-free stuff like MP3, but that's a small price to pay), the system was lightweight and clean, there are gobs and gobs of packages available in the apt sources, and I haven't run into any dependancy issues like I did with all the RPM distros I've used. There are more reasons, but these are the big ones.

April 1st, 2005, 11:30 AM
all the microsofty stuff up to Windows98 > Ubuntu
o.k. I mucked around with a few distros Mandrake 8 a couple of years back couldn't get my HP printer scannerfaxvacuumcleaner to work. Then Fedora 3 but it ran rather slow and now I'm here. HAPPY
I didn't had a problem with windows (I know there will be rocks flying) a year ago but it seems new applications are written for XP even if the developers claim its for 98 and work poorly on 98. Some really weired things happened, so I decided its time to say goodbye :-({|=
I still use windows for a few minor applications I haven't found for Ubuntu yet.

April 1st, 2005, 11:32 AM
I started out somewhere in the past with redhat, then I tried SuSE for a short time, and after that switched to Gentoo, used this quite some time, but getting sick of compiling every program on my desktop I moved to debian (testing).

This suited me quite good until recently I made the switch to Ubuntu because It's a more ready-from-the-scratch desktop distribution in my opinion. And I like this over all that time spending in configuration of a simple desktop pc. (The community (wich is in my opinion more supportive then debian's) is also a big pro in this though!)

Today I'm about to make another switch, but this time for my server! I'm getting sick of bieng stuck to those old debian stable packages (i.e. PHP-4.2.x is in debian while I need some functions from PHP-4.3.x for one of my websites) on my server, and I don't really like the idea of have a testing distro on my server. So I'm going to put FreeBSD 5.3 on it, and I'll say bye to debian for good :'(.

April 1st, 2005, 12:59 PM
I switch from Slackware to Gentoo but got tired of always compiling and then recompile because you forgot a "USE" flag so I tried Kubuntu because I don't like Gnome.
And I really love the simplicity of Kubunt or Ubuntu. I like apt-get and it makes linux really fun again.

April 1st, 2005, 01:11 PM
So I'm going to put FreeBSD 5.3 on it, and I'll say bye to debian for good :'(.

How does FreeBSD compare to other distro's?

Application / Repository wise?
Ease of use etc. I have never tried, nor seen a FreeBSD in action. Some screenshots only.

April 1st, 2005, 01:18 PM
Let's see, what have I used?

Windows: No comment
SuSE: Don't like the YaST all encompassing configuration destroyer
Red Hat: Just a bit... meh
Mandrake: Nothing fundamentally wrong, except RPM
Fedora: See Mandrake
Gentoo: Can't be bothered waiting for compiler
Linspire: Um.. no
Debian: OK, I guess. Just didn't get along
Slackware: One man show and updating is a nightmare

Going back...

Caldera eDesktop (pre-SCO): Early 'home user' attempt, didn't really work
FutureLinux (I think): What package management?

I'm sure that there are more that I have forgotten about.

I started using Gnome before Ximian was called Helix. I only switched to Ubuntu because of the ease of configuration, the community, and the fact that I tend to change distro more often than I change my underpants. Having said that, I've gone from Warty to Hoary and so far have found nothing to drive me away, so this could be a keeper ;)

April 1st, 2005, 01:35 PM
i voted other, because there are various factor which make ubuntu ideal for me:

first of all, i get quite new software packages and the stability of the system is awesome. the only distros i had that had that few bugs were debian and slackware. but slackware was annoying with its recompile procedure. debian was a bit too unorganized for me.

then there were the rpm-based distros. red hat/fedora is extremely slow and i will erase it sooner or later from my lappy. yoper is too buggy for every day work and it lacks proper packages for me. and i do not see the speed advantage in yoper. ubuntu is way faster on my boxes.

then there was suse... bloat with an ugly green logo! and mandrake. actually a good distro (i never paid for anything and got everything), although a bit bloated if you do not make a very custom install. but the new policy and the new design are a catastrophe imho. so it is time to move from mandrake to other systems.

my two favorites are now the non-plus-ultra ubuntu (fast, clean, GNOME!) and xfld, a debian based xfce4.2 live-cd with hdd install option. small, fast, sweet. O:)

April 1st, 2005, 01:36 PM
I'm a switcher from FreeBSD, FC, Mandrake and Suse. Why Ubuntu?

It recognised my hardware, enough to end up after an install with a WORKING desktop. So many distros just didn't. It's not that I have goofy hardware, just that if X didn't work it was a sign that the road ahead (installing VLC and it's million dependencies) would be painful.

It immediately had an intelligent mechanism for finding and installing packages, and from a local mirror based on a question I answered in the install. No more RPM hell!! How much of people's lives has been ruined chasing down dependencies, what a waste!

And of course any gang that uses Plone/vBulletin for their site must be thinking about how they can make online support a good user experience.

Long Live Ubuntu

April 1st, 2005, 03:21 PM
Mandrake --> Gentoo --> Debian --> Ubuntu

I tried Mandrake several years ago on a lark. That was before things worked well in Linux and RPM heck was rampant. I had to dual boot for several reasons. Then Gentoo was the "new kid" and was surrounded with lots o' hype. I wiped all of my partitions intending to install a Gentoo/Windows dual boot. I put Gentoo on first and never did get around to reinstalling Windows. That was September 8, 2001. I used Gentoo exclusively until ~1.5 months ago when I installed Debian on my school machine because I didn't want to spend 2 days doing an install. I quickly fell in love with apt.

I like testing experimental software and keep my own custom patches for a handful of packages, thus I need to hand compile some things. In about 3 days of Debian I got tired of stale packages (this was in sid, so they weren't really 'stale'). Some libs needed to be compiled by hand so that I could compile packages that depended on newer versions. Then one of those packages turned out to be gtk+ and I decided that Debian wasn't for me. The obvious choice then was Ubuntu as it was a combination of apt and fresh package versions. Debian is an incredible distrobution from what I can see, but I wanted to try something new.

There are a few things about Ubuntu/Debian that I am having a difficult time getting used to though, although they are things I can deal with I think. One is the fact that updates overwrite some config files that I wish would be left alone such as my menu.lst file to name just one. Another annoyance that wasn't an issue with Gentoo (being source based) is that there is no way to my knowledge to install headers (or -dev packages) automatically. Not that big of a deal really, just keep backups of the files that get constantly overwritten, and as for the -dev packages, they only need to be installed once.

Gentoo's community is at least as active as the Ubuntu one. They have a better mix of newbie-tolerant/ newbie-intolerant people on thier forums. There are those that like to help with the same questions being asked day after day after day and there are those that point the OP to the manual or the forum search feature. I'm not convinced that either way is better at the moment, but rudeness certainly has no place. In the Ubuntu forums, everyone is so bloody nice and cheery that if I point someone to the manual I feel I would be banished forever! =D> I applaud this community for their patience for sure. I like to help new folks, but I especially like to help those that are willing to help themselves.

I definately prefer the Ubuntu method of involving the community with the distrobution. These forums are great software-wise and feature complete. There are new twists appearing silently almost daily it seems. A "very well done" to all involved. The wiki is a huge success I'd say, and the friendly enthusiasm felt from the new users joining the community is obvious. I feel comfortable here and I feel that I would like to contribute in any way I can. Giving users that feeling and enabling them to contribute however small is also kudos to the Ubuntu development team and their philosophy. I do see myself staying here for a while.

Cheers and thanks,

April 1st, 2005, 03:44 PM
I, too, chose other.

I came from Fedora to Ubuntu. Mainly because I wanted to get rid of Fedora Core 2, which was extremely out of date. I then went over to distrowatch, and saw Ubuntu as an up and commer, so I decided to give it a shot, and so far I like it! 8-)

April 1st, 2005, 03:49 PM
I really wanted to try out Gnome because Mandrake's Gnome implementation really sucks (I used Mandrake before Ubuntu). So I found out about Ubuntu and realized it always has the newest version of Gnome and a great implementation of it too. It also looked pretty cool, and ordering CD's was free, so here I am!

April 1st, 2005, 03:51 PM
Software installation.. and desktop integration. I was on Fedora before, and it seems to have a 'bleeding edge' feel to it - cool new features, but they break more often. Ubuntu has a more polished desktop, a wider range of software in its main/universe/multiverse repositories (thanks Debian!), PPC support is ahead of Fedora (so if/when I get a Mac mini I could install it there)..

The only snag is running 32-bit/64-bit binaries side-by-side on AMD64 machines, which on Ubuntu requires setting up a chroot, but that's a minor pain. With OS X on my laptop and Ubuntu on the workstation, maintenance is really hassle-free!

April 1st, 2005, 04:10 PM
mandrake->suse->fedora->yoper->mandrake->debian->kubuntu. I switch because of kde3.4. And I like synaptic. Mine opinion is that Mandrake and Debian, (Ubuntu) are the best distros out there. I hope there will be an dutch forum for ubuntu. mine english is not so good. A dutch forum is the only thing I'm missing. Mandrake has
mandrakeclub.nl a unofficial forum but very good.

April 1st, 2005, 04:14 PM
sick and tired of windows :-P


April 1st, 2005, 04:19 PM
mandrake->suse->fedora->yoper->mandrake->debian->kubuntu. I switch because of kde3.4. And I like synaptic. Mine opinion is that Mandrake and Debian, (Ubuntu) are the best distros out there. I hope there will be an dutch forum for ubuntu. mine english is not so good. A dutch forum is the only thing I'm missing. Mandrake has
mandrakeclub.nl a unofficial forum but very good.
you can ask ubuntu questions in dutch here :


But it isn't very active.

You can also PM me in dutch .. maybe I can help :)

April 1st, 2005, 04:49 PM
@demon666_nl thanks.

April 1st, 2005, 05:02 PM
I switched because I kept hearing how awesome this distro was. I'd have to agree wholeheartedly, especially with the addition of kubuntu. I'm normally a GNOME person, but the new KDE really won me over.

April 1st, 2005, 05:04 PM
@demon666_nl thanks.
np :)

April 1st, 2005, 05:13 PM
Oh Joy, I'm the first and only person to vote for hardware problems. I'm so unique.

Anyways, I had a dream of using debian, so installed it on my computer, and it worked like a dream. Not. It couldn't recognize my monitor, so I looked for other debian distros, mepis didn't work cause of a bad CD-R, so I just pulled out a handy-dandy ubuntu cd (that burnt correctly) and I haven't looked back. Okay, I looked back a lot. But I havent switched back to windows :)


April 1st, 2005, 07:03 PM
I switched because I was bored one night and the people i was chatting with one night suggested ubuntu, so I was like..why not. I had gentoo before, loved it. Was kind of tired of the compile times though, other than that it ran great. That and I learned everything I know about linux by installing and setting up gentoo. Portage rules.

Mase Track
April 1st, 2005, 07:21 PM
Still running a dual boot, so I've not completely (!) made the switch :D

I'm still fairly new to linux, although for one reason or another tried a few different distros.

Mandrake > Fedora Core 3 > Debian > Ubuntu

I started off with Mandrake 10.1, trying to learn the bits and pieces of basic partitioning and the like as I used a spare HDD to set it up, but was having a lot of trouble with monitor for some strange reason, so gave Fedora a go. I did'nt really have a problem with Fedora, however I accidently wiped the partition, and when I went to re-install I did'nt wanna sit through Yum updates for a few weeks, esp considering how the update program crashed everytime I ran it? ](*,)

Well anyway, I decided to give Debian a go, because of its stability etc, however I had a lot of trouble with the install being fairly new to linux, and it not recognising my hardware etc etc, but I loved the idea of Apt (I'd only just stumbled upon it not realising u can install it for fedora too) So I decided to give Ubuntu a go, as its based on Debian. This was only supposd to be a temporary measure to get me ready to install debian properly, but i loved it so much i have kept it around for good!

And as soon as their are drivers for my usb printer (Canon MP360) and usb soundcard (Audigy 2 NX) Im getting rid of winbloze forever :)

April 1st, 2005, 07:28 PM

RedHat-I was young, wanted to play games still, had old hardware, etc; didn't stick with it, tried gentoo a few years later.

1st time with Gentoo-Struggled, but got it working, a big leap from my redhat days. Never got full hardware support, gave up.

Suse-Tried an "easier" distro. I got a taste for power with gentoo, and suse took that away, went back to gentoo.

2nd time with Gentoo-Got it working flawlessly. Used it for two years, got bored with waiting for things to compile, heard good things on Gentoo forums about Ubuntu

Ubuntu-Great distro, I still frequent gentoo forums to solve problems here, I like the default gnome, synaptic is good; I still like portage better than apt-get however. Development here seems a bit faster than gentoo, but this could just be an age thing. My girlfried has no issues with this linux distro, so it's obviously a keeper. ;-)

April 1st, 2005, 11:05 PM
After playing with a few RPM distros for about a year, I was curious to see what the whole Debian-based thing was about. I'd heard good things about Ubuntu and decided to try it out. Once I found out you could use KDE with it, I was sold.

April 2nd, 2005, 12:15 AM

For better wireless support and cleaner Gnome interface, love the minimalistic approach. :)

April 2nd, 2005, 12:41 AM
Been using debian since arround 2000.. new laptop -> debian on steroids.
Had to be good.. and it is. apt/deb really got supercow powers!

April 4th, 2005, 11:14 AM
How does FreeBSD compare to other distro's?

Application / Repository wise?
Ease of use etc. I have never tried, nor seen a FreeBSD in action. Some screenshots only.

Well didn't know untill this weekend, but it's quite nice. There are two repositories you can use, packages, wich uses pre-compiled packages, and ports wich uses source code.

The packages are a bit like apt-get and other known linux package managers, haven't really used them on my server though.

The ports repository is quite cool however, if you don't mind compiling stuff, wich I don't for my server as I son't need large X programs and stuff on it. But you just have a large directory with a categorised repository tree in wich each program has its own dir. If you want a program you can just go to its dir and there is a single make script there. You can then just type your make commands and ports starts fetching everything from the net (or a cdrom if specified) and calculates dependancies to get them too.

I also found that FreeBSD is very well documented (http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/index.html) so check it out if you like :).

I like FreeBSD very much as a server distro but I don't think I would consider using it on a Desktop.

April 4th, 2005, 12:00 PM
For me it's been RedHat 5 - Suse - Mandrake - Gentoo - Ubuntu.

To be perfectly honest though, Ubuntu is the first time I use linux only - windows was always my main OS. RedHat 5 was back when I'd just heard of linux and it didn't really do much other than be an interesting OS. Suse was fun, but still not enough to drive me away from windows. Mandrake I used on and off, until for some reason their newer version refused to detect my hardware correctly while the previous one had. Gentoo compiling was too much.

Recently I've had to use a bunch of programs written for linux for my research, dual booting became a hassle and cygwin is really inefficient with disk IO, so I installed ubuntu. For the first time ever, I experienced a nice linux distro that worked out of the box. That's what did it for me.

When I stumbled upon my first problems with Ubuntu, I found the forums to be excellent, and it's the first time I've bothered participate in a forum of any kind. I hate the arrogant "go RTFM newb!!" answers you get in most places, but so far these forums are blissfully clean of them. If the work-out-of-the-box setup is the hook, the forums are the clincher.

April 4th, 2005, 05:02 PM
Just looking to try out a new distro after my first attempt at Linux with Mandrake. I've heard apt-get is better and also want to try Gnome. Plus, it's the most popular distro!

April 9th, 2005, 09:54 PM
I switched over from Yoper because it was broken and I wanted to try out Gnome, and there wasn't an easy way to do so on Yoper. Plus, Ubuntu had AMD64 packages and was optimized for speed.

I was also getting irritated at being ignored on the forums...although switching to Ubuntu hasn't exactly helped with that.

April 9th, 2005, 11:23 PM
I was running redhat 9.1, and using apt4rpm, and having trouble setting it up correctly. I figured, heck--I'm trying to use apt, so why not use a distro that runs it natively?

I had thought to do Debian Sarge, but was scared off by lots of bad vibes about the regular-old Debian install. On a whim, I followed a link and discovered ubuntu. Installed Warty and have loved it.

I prefer gnome over kde now, as a DE, but since this box doesn't have a lot of RAM, I run fluxbox (http://ubuntuforums.org/gallery/showimage.php?i=39&c=4) Ubuntu makes it all (fairly) easy to do what I need/want. big props to the devs and everybody in the community for giving me such a nice OS, DE choices, and friendly community support.

April 10th, 2005, 12:50 AM
I was running redhat 9.1, and using apt4rpm, and having trouble setting it up correctly. I figured, heck--I'm trying to use apt, so why not use a distro that runs it natively?

I had thought to do Debian Sarge, but was scared off by lots of bad vibes about the regular-old Debian install. On a whim, I followed a link and discovered ubuntu. Installed Warty and have loved it.

I prefer gnome over kde now, as a DE, but since this box doesn't have a lot of RAM, I run fluxbox (http://ubuntuforums.org/gallery/showimage.php?i=39&c=4) Ubuntu makes it all (fairly) easy to do what I need/want. big props to the devs and everybody in the community for giving me such a nice OS, DE choices, and friendly community support.
mdk 8.2 - It was supposed to be the most noob friendly distro

suse ?? - Another distro reccomended by people for being easy

crux - got fed up of 'noob' friendly stuff, decided to try crux as everything was i686 compiled and I was feeling more confidant with linux, changed because of lack of documentation

mdk 9.0 - mdk8.2 was the one that seemed to work best so i went to it's successor

debian - fancied becoming a packager only never got around to it, liked the community ethos that was supposed to be around it. ran off when I only had an isdn connection and realised how out of date it was.
gentoo - liked the idea of compiling everything and learning stuff

mdk 9.? - got bored of compile times with gentoo, so went back to mdk only rarely used it

Then i ran nothing but windows for a while

knoppix - my hd had a failure and had to be RMA'd, so I ran knoppix for two weeks in the mean time.

ubuntu - i'd had hd space set aside for linux for months on my new hd but never bothered installing anything, then a friend of a friend said how good the new gnome was (fluxbox/kde fan before) and how great ubuntu was. A few weeks later I saw some article on ubuntu and thought I'd try it. Had ubuntu on ever since.

I still mainly use windows though.... I have visual basic.net programming course at university and I love visual studio.net 2003...

April 10th, 2005, 01:04 AM
Mandrake 10 and 10.1, because I wanted to try Linux with minimal know-how.

Ubuntu because of all the options listed. There really needs to be a "All of the above" option in the poll. However I voted for DEB option, because I was looking for a good, simple desktop distro with which I could learn and have fun with apt, and Debian was both too bloated and aging for me.

April 10th, 2005, 02:55 AM
whoa. I just reread myself and I should say that I was running SUSE 9.1, not redhat !

doesn't make a difference. Ubuntu still rocks 'em both.

April 10th, 2005, 04:04 AM
I've tried a bunch of different distros trying to find one I really like. Previously I've had FreeBSD, Fedora, Slackware, and Suse installed but really didn't like the support online and the hassle with dependencies among other things. A friend handed me a Ubuntu CD one day and told me to give it a try and was impressed away. There's so much I like about Ubuntu, the configuration, the apt-get, etc ... BUT the best thing bar none about this distro is you guys, the online support. Thank you all so much, you really do make this onw of the best distros I've ever installed.

April 10th, 2005, 04:44 AM
Ubuntu Hoary is replacing Gentoo on my desktop machine. I still have
Gentoo on my server and on a Sun at work.

I've been with Gentoo on everything for about 1.5 years, and have come
to know the weaknesses. The package management is pretty good,
but the QA at bleeding-edge-rolling-updates Gentoo sucks. There
are too many broken ebuilds and broken packages that make it into "stable".
Recently a stable update of xorg required an unstable version of
the ati-drivers. QA should never let that happen. I've been sensing
that QA has been worse with Gentoo as the number of packages grows.

One morning I went to read the news on the web
and 2 of my Gentoo machines were unable to immediately
do it for me because I had some tweaking to do since updates
had been recently applied.

That was the point where I concluded I've been spending too
much time in maintenance of Gentoo. What I really wanted was
security updates, not bleeding edge releases every week, and
Gentoo could not provide that. Debian's concept of repositories
provides a much finer grained control over what level of
packages you want updated.

The other aspect of Gentoo that hurt was installing everything as
source. I've been in situations where someone on the phone asks
about something, and I say "OK, just a second I'll install support for that"
and realize it is not going to be ready to use in minutes,
but perhaps hours.

Ubuntu takes the advantages of Debian, and leaves behind the weaknesses
of Debian, which are mainly slow moving updates and nothing but a
mailing list for a "community". Ya gotta have a forum these days
with the high volume of Linux users.