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They only count clicks on the ubuntu link on their website.
Newsflash: there are no official usage statistics on Linux and there is no simple way to calculate them. However, when distrowatch, counter.li.org, wikimedia and AMD all agree that Ubuntu is the most popular distro, I am inclined to believe them.
As I said, if you have more scientific statistics, feel free to share them.
Not a surprise that an ubuntu user does not understand that.
One question (honest one). [...] So, my question is, what makes Ubuntu to be any better than the rest for you?
Previous posters covered many parts that Ubuntu/Kubuntu does well (codec/driver integration, general polish), but to me the sticking point is font rendering.
Ubuntu has the best out-of-the-box font configuration out of any other distro: subpixel AA, light hinting, bytecode interpreter enabled. The result is smoother and more accurate than Windows Cleartype and has better contrast than Mac OS X font AA - without sacrificing typographic accuracy. OpenSUSE, Fedora, Debian, Arch, even Kubuntu look exceedingly ugly in comparison. Yes, you can modify the hinting settings, but you cannot get them to match Ubuntu's output without a dangerous, invasive procedure.
Given that my PC usage is 95% reading/writing text, I simply cannot tolerate broken font rendering - so there you have it.
Edit: I should also mention that "update-manager -d" has worked consistently here since Ubuntu 7.10, while I Fedora / openSUSE always seem to barf on version upgrades.
Many consider Linux to be "built by experts for experts" and there are many that wish it would stay that way. I'm glad that's changing though as even an expert doesn't always want to be dealing with trivial breakage and minute minutia just so they can get some work done.
And thanks to God there are also distros for not so called "experts".
I'll give you that automatic installation of media codecs is a great thing. It must be one of the most recurring questions among newcomers. Having said this, Kaffeine in OpenSuse does something similar, although I haven't tried it because I don't have admin rights to install rpm packages at work. Things like font rendering is another plus, although I don't see how it can be any different than Debian, which also includes the bytecode interpreter. Hardware working properly depends on the kernel (and on idiotic decisions of not including certain firmware, OK), the GUI apps to configure say, networking, aren't Ubuntu's exclusivity, apt is a Debian thing and I don't think it's any better than rpm nowadays...
But seriously, is this what makes the difference? Does this explain the difference in 'market share' Ubuntu has over other distros? According to those wikimedia stats, there are more Ubuntu users than the rest of the distros combined together, _surely_ it's not a font rendering issue(*).
They seem to take away the fiddly bits. And add the polish.
This is what I meant. What fiddly bits? I'm not saying it's not true, but I don't know what you are referring to. Also, I don't know what you understand by polished. For me, my tiling window manager with zero window decorations is the epitome of polished. Is this an aesthetic, and therefore subjective thing?
For ages people complained that when they installed Linux they just couldn't get it to do the things they wanted it to do. People would ask how do they get this stuff to be useful and geeks would throw shell commands and bash scripts at them and expect your average end user to be happy with that. Ubuntu cast a shining light on the need to remove this kind of micro-management from the usual day to day. And they made it so.
Other distros now also contain the little niceties here and there as well, but I think the underlying infrastructure for a users apps is provided in the most pleasing way via Ubuntu/Kubuntu.
But how? Gnome is Gnome in every distro. What is it so different? The point about the Ubuntu forums full of people having problems is a fair one. Somehow it doesn't turn out as easy as usually sold. My biggest qualm about Ubuntu is that it's not all that different to Fedora when it comes to add new stuff. I understand that there's a lot of enthusiasts that want to try the very latest software developments, kernel, X server, what have you. That leads the distribution to exactly the opposite direction that they claim it goes. It's nice that you don't have to e.g. use the command line to connect to your WPA wireless AP, but what advantage is that when later you have some major breakage because they add largely untested bits everywhere? What about adding desktop effects by default and thus breaking desktops with drivers that are not up to the task, what about the first round of KDE 4.0, or introducing a broken new audio layer, inclusion of Intel drivers in bad shape, premature transition to libata subsystem, a beta version of Firefox in a LTS...
My point is that either the distro aims at one thing or at the other. If it's a distribution for people wanting to try out new stuff--as it seems--then it's not the stable user friendly distro you say it is. Having the system downloading codecs for me is of no use if sound if screwed because of irresponsible decisions from the developers.
(*) I'm the only real life person I know who cares about font rendering.
While I have used ubuntu in the past it never really appeals to me. The fact is that while I can click to install the proprietary drivers for say an ati or nvidia card, I'd much rather just go and download the driver from ati or nvidia. While you may say that's stupid, I present to you this point:
You have a computer and you install Windoze on it, what is the first thing any windoze user does? Goes to the website or google and searches for the driver. So that little nice-ity that ubuntu provides isn't even something that most converts would think about.
I prefer fedora to any other distro I've used. Why? My answer: It's always growing always improving and they try to stick to the newest code, while maintaining stability. Contrary to popular belief fedora is no longer a test bed for rhel. Fedora has become it's own distro and some of the changes find their way into rhel, and many other distros. Sure the changes they make may seem dumb at first, but after a little while they mature and bug fixes are made and then you end up with things like Network Manager(which when it came out was a pain in the butt for me) that are a great nice-ity.
Hey, who cares if I've never used Ubuntu? The distro is slow, parasitic and just plain sucks...
I tried every version of ubuntu since 5.04, and in my opinion it strongly sucks, often fail to boot on my hardware and has plenty of bugs. But. This is my opinion, and have nothing to do in these discussion, like every other good/bad opinions.
However, I know a troll-speech when I see one. You see, there's that little sticking point where Greg actually works for Novell and would like nothing better than having his non-free SUSE darling take the place of Ubuntu as the "mainstream distro". Think about this for a little, and you'll see that his rants start making a lot more sense.
Maybe you never saw that video. At some moment/moments Greg suggests to use RedHat. (and Never suggest Novell). And as you well know, RedHat is main competitor for Novell. Thats why any hogwash about attacking competitors is idiotic, kid.
And i would appreciate sign of non-free SUSE. I can easily prove, that ubuntu is far more non-free than Opensuse.
Why else would he deliberately miscalculate his "contribution stats"? (His numbers were completely wrong and he was called out for it *during* his speech.) Why else would he deliver the speech so maliciously? (not disclosing his Novell affiliation...
He never blessed Novell. Many times blessed varied Novell competitors.
Rest of your speech is common subjective affected rant.