Ubuntu Users' Stories
Below you will find Ubuntu Stories submited by people all around the World. Most of them are in english, but we are also allowing other langauges.
If you want to contribute add your own story, help us to make this page more popular by telling your friends, posting it on your blog, digging it (etc), or contact us at email@example.com if you are able to translate it to your native language.
Who is using Ubuntu?
Check out who and why is using Ubuntu Linux. Read the stories below.
Marlxx, Business Owner
I've been playing around with Linux since 1997, using many different distributions (Slackware, Fedora, Mandrake, SuSE), even going to the point of setting up highly customized versions for my personal use. I had stopped using Linux except for playing around, since most of my work requires highly proprietary programs for control systems, which only run on Windows 2000/XP. About 3 months ago, both me and my partner had somewhat spectacular crashes of both our machines. In the process of restoring both our laptops, we decided that a better method of data retention was necessary (since I lost some data on an external HDD I had used to back up). We bought and built a nice server, and I decided that Ubuntu 7.10 was going to be the operating system. Now all our financials, projects, and other data is backed up automatically from remote locations using Bacula (another great product), and have a nice VPN working for us.
I couldn't be happier with Ubuntu. The system is robust, easy to use, and most of all, open source. I have already shown what is possible to a few friends of mine, and one even is having me build a server for him, of course running Ubuntu.
Andrew, Fix Windows boxes for a large fee!
Windows Operating Systems are my bread and butter. But whenever a customer asks me what version of Windows I use (usually asking if I recommend Vista) I tell them that I don't use Windows anymore; I use Linux.
I first got interested in Linux in general, and Ubuntu in particular while volunteering my services to a local group. They wanted to set up a computer lab but had zero money. All they had were three ancient PCs with Windows ME installed on the that were donated by a local company.
Needless to say, Windows ME would not do. But they couldn't afford Windows licenses and I doubt those PCs could handle XP anyway. So, I started researching alternatives.
I had heard of Linux before, but hadn't really paid much attention to it. But my old friend Google taught me the error of my ways.
I installed Ubuntu 6.06 on two of the computers and Xubuntu 6.06 on the third as it was so old that Gnome was killing it. I was so impressed by Ubuntu that I downloaded Ubuntu 7.04 (the then latest and greatest) and started playing with it ina virtual machine.
Then, as in all untenable situations, I reached a tipping point: Microsoft was caught pushing "updates" to XP even if automatic updates were turned off. Upon reading about that, I stuck my Ubuntu CD in the drive and rebooted and haven't looked back. SUre, I still have Windows installed, but only so I can reproduce errors and test software for my Windows-using clientele.
Just the other day I upgraded to 8.04. Unlike certain other OS's, Ubuntu only goes 6 months between major versions, not 6 years :)
John, High School Student
Roughly a year and two months ago, I began a download. The most obscure sentence you've ever heard? Yes. But it was no ordinary download, if you'd pardon the cliche. I was downloading Ubuntu 6.10, so I could burn it to a CD-ROM... all on my own.
Compared to an average 14 year-old, I was somewhat knowledgeable with computers, but I had an idea how things worked, so I was a fast problem-solver. I began toying with Linux first, when I heard about iPodLinux. It was fantastic, I loved it, and I eventually figured everything out and considered my walk with iPodLinux complete, and I lost interest. I saw desktop Linux as the next hurdle, and, seeing that my friend was interested with computers and having trouble with the drivers for his sound card in Windows, I figured I'd see how hard the learning curve was by burning my friend a Ubuntu installation CD as a birthday gift.
I wasted 5 CD's trying... Me and the software made our collective errors, but eventually, things seemed to work smoothly. I gave the CD to my friend, and it didn't work, but it got him thinking and he ordered one from ShipIt. I tried the CD on my home computer, and it ended up booting flawlessly. I tried it out, and that night, I installed.
To sum things up, it was fantastic. I would spend 3 hours at a time figuring things out... and at the end of it all, a year later, I had taught myself C, had in-depth knowledge of the inner-workings of the filesystem, and was adept at using the command-line and making Bash scripts. Best decision ever. And to top it all off, my desktop looked fantastic... complete with Compiz, an AWN-beta that mimicked Leopard's dock, a custom made icon set (assembled and named by myself using other's icons), and custom made panel skins and volume icons made by me using The GIMP and Inkscape. I was the type of Ubuntu user who would go straight to Synaptic, and never once would consider Add/Remove. (Sorry if I'm bragging... they were good times)
Then my monitor broke, and Ubuntu has no driver's to recognize the old 1024x768 CRT monitor I'm using to replace it, and maxes the resolution at 640x480. So I've been using Windows for the past few months.
My friend received the CD's a couple of months later, and absolutely loved Ubuntu as well. He told his dad, and it turns out his father had been running a Red-Hat server for the past few years.
That's muh storeh.
Ubuntu is an amazing operating system. When my desktop running Windows got a virus and wouldn't boot, I installed Ubuntu. Installation was quick and easy. This computer now runs Apache, phpBB3, and a rocking Armagetron Advanced Server.
Martin, Software Architect & Businessman
I've been using Linux since 1997. I remember those old, good days when I learned Slackware and how to write programs in C. Then, about 1998 I switched to Red Hat and stayed until the version 9. Now I'm using the latest Fedora.
That's great, but from 2 years I'm observing the ubuntu distribution and it's community. I think Ubuntu is the greatest distro I've ever seen and right now I'm considering to switch one more time. This time from Fedora/CentOS to Ubuntu.
Sven Katesh, High School Student
When I first started reading about Ubuntu, I wondered what Linux was like. I was braced for a difficult to use, command-line interface. Guess what: Ubuntu was nothing like that. For the past year and a half, I've been using Ubuntu Linux...consistently. It's a merger of two worlds: the nontechnical and the extremely technical. Ubuntu has something for everyone; regardless of what you do, or what you plan on using it for. Simply the best distro out there.
OK, long story short. I have been using GNU/Linux for about 7 years now.
First there was Red Hat and Mandrake, that was for a start in times when I used dual boot with Windows - I used to play a lot of games back then. I also had Debian and S.U.S.E. for a while, and quickly switched to Slackware which stayed with me for a couple of years. I remember that back then this distro was *the best* for me and I have said that I would never change it to any other distro...
... until Gentoo came :) Then there was the same situation as with Slackware - "One and only, till the end of times". In those past 7 years I also had some UNIX systems, reviewed again the distros I had before, used Knoppix, Backtrack and I guess at least a few others which I currently can't remember.
I am old now ;-) I have seen almost everything and I think I am quite fluent in *nix systems, and I have to tell You after years of research: Ubuntu is definitely the best choice whether You are a beginner looking for an easy Windows replacement, or a lazy pr0 ;-) I love the idea of having the best applications out of the box for every possible day to day tasks, and the thing that everything works great. I love the big community, lots of software in repositories, strong & stable distro position through Canonical management.
Oh, one more thing. I am using OSS because it is better in general, not because it is cheaper/free.
I switched to Ubuntu right before Vista was released, after having some bad experience with Linux before. I was surprised to see everything working right out of the box, except for the video card which was ridiculously easy to install. Ever since I switched, I have never used Windows on any of my machines and when I have to use Windows on other machines, it feels endlessly sluggish and slow no matter how fast that PC is. Switch to some flavor of Linux now, you Windows users reading this! 8)
Mateusz Tybura, Student
I discovered Linux at some about July 2004. I bought book with Mandrake Linux 10 Power Pack. I used it until I get Fedora Core Linux 5 from some magazine. In 2006 I read in magazine about Ubuntu. I ordered free CD's of Ubuntu 6.06 .
From that time Ubuntu is my favourite linux distribution. I feld love with Ubuntu. It got perfect philosophy and community. I was translating it into Polish and now I'm learning about packaging and development on Ubuntu.
I tell everyone about Ubuntu cause it's best linux for newbie.
Christopher Hampton, Student
I have a MacBook and an Ubuntu box and I use both about the same. I am proud to say that I have gotten completely away from Windows and when I have to use Windows somewhere, I can't help but notice everything that Ubuntu has that Windows doesn't. A lot of the things you won't notice until you get used to Ubuntu, and then going back to Windows seems so unproductive. One of these things is the package manager. I get so used to just finding and installing packages with hardly any trouble, and then when it comes time to installing Windows applications, even the easy installs seem difficult. I love using the terminal, even if at first it seems kind of scary. I get so used to typing "sudo apt-get install vlc" for example and waiting a few minutes, and having VLC happily installed and configured for me. For those people somewhat afraid to leave behind windows because they have a few applications that need windows, I would like to suggest VirtualBox. It seamlessly lets you run both Windows and Ubuntu together, on the same screen. I can be playing minesweeper in one window and burning something with K3B in another. Keep in mind, though, that most games will not work if they need a video card. Most other applications run at near native speed, though.
Uncle B, I am happily retired
When I retired, I discovered, by reading the licensing agreement Microsoft provided with it that the software I was using was licensed through the company and I no longer had the right to use it. Being a law abiding citizen and a retiree, I looked for an alternative to paying a large sum of money for a Microsoft license, and found Ubuntu. I have not looked back since. The product is superior in all ways. It, simply put, works well, and that's more than I can say about Microsoft wares.
sirjoebob, tech support for ISP
I use Ubuntu (technically Xubuntu) 8.04 as the only OS on my dell Vostro 1500. I play counterstrike and half-life among other games utilizing WINE. I use Open Office for all of my school papers and have not had a single one have an issue. I run Compiz-fusion without any issues and have setup VNC and SSH on my machines to do remote work.
I also got Compiz-fusion to work on my friend's eeePC and keep a log of a lot of my work at sirjoebob.livejournal.com that I update with any issue I have had with Linux and how I resolved it.
I have always hated standard, cookie-cutter operating systems and have finally found one that allows me to be creative and productive at the same time. Truly Linux offers the best of the PC and MAC worlds for a price tag even a broke college student can afford--- free! :)
Andrew Geiger, Student
I originally downloaded Ubuntu to use as an alternative to Windows Vista. I then came to rely on my Ubuntu Feisty Fawn to do all of my computing due to Vista's instability. Ubuntu has been fun to learn. I learn about some of the more advanced Linux functions I can use, but I chose Ubuntu as my platform because it is so easy to use/install. Ubuntu makes an awesome and stable system out of the box.
Ubuntu has also opened me up to a lot of free software. I continue to maintain Windows XP on my computer, and when I was setting up my XP desktop, I realized that after using Linux 99 per cent of the applications I was using on XP were freeware, and most of that open source. Ubuntu is an excellent alternative to the grating confines of Windows, and from an advanced standpoint a lot more fun to work with than Mac OS X. Ubuntu is one of my favorite OS and one that I default to when setting up a new system.
I started using Linux back in 1999 and I fell in love with it. After a short time, I was learning how to automate advanced Linux tasks using scripts, etc. I was a bit of a snob towards Ubuntu at first. "There's no way that simpleton of a distro can beat my Slackware!" That was how I felt. Then, on a whim, I decided to install Ubuntu and give it a go. Now, three LTS releases later, the ONLY distro installed on my machine is Ubuntu. I guess in the end, wanting to automate all those tasks was about ease of use. Ubuntu comes out of the box easy to use. I love my Ubuntu!
Kasper J, Student
I've been using Ubuntu Linux for a year now. Ubuntu is not only software, it's a way of life. The community, open-source, sharing and giving, open-minded, those are only a few words to describe it.
Ubuntu: Humanity towards each others.
Have been an Ubuntu user for two and one half years and haven't looked back. Ubuntu looks great, runs well and the stability and dependability is second to none. My daughter installed here own version by herself and I run Ubuntu on my laptop. I use my laptop for work (internet, Office software, e-mail, printing to network printer, etc.) and at home for the regular stuff like bills, e-mail and chatting with friends and family. Ubuntu hasn't crashed once or caused us to reinstall due to virus, trojan or spamware. There is what seems like an endless list of software available at the click of the mouse that helps use with our computing needs.
The look and feel of Ubuntu is levels above what we can find in Windows and you can turn on the eye candy and not get a performance hit on your processor. The PC still runs crisp and snappy with the visual effects on and it is nothing that you can see on Windows.
Give Ubuntu a spin from a Live CD, or a CD that contains the entire operating system, and it can run from the CD drive without installing anything.
Ubuntu, the future of computing.
For those skeptics out there! Ubuntu is the definition of FREEDOM. It is also EASY to use. I have been using Windows since it came out as the 3.1 version, but as soon as I checked Ubuntu out, I completely transferred to it! You will never experience any blue screens of death (they are yellow in Linux), you will never EVER have to buy any software because Open Source has it all!
Just try it and you will see that this OS doesn't break down into pieces after certain time. So you will never have to reformat anything again.
After vista crashed on me a week before finals started, ( mind you it was not even 5 month old laptop ), i was fed up lost all my notes, solution manuals EVERYTHING, then a friend showed me ubuntu i have a copy of xp and vista for my laptop ( both legal btw ) but wow does ubuntu run so much better and faster! the 2 desktops and my laptopt are ubuntu now and all my friends are always curious to try it and the ones who do normally start wiht dual booth then delete windows off for the extra hardisk space !
I switched to (k)ubuntu around a year ago, and haven't looked back.
Whilst the operating system is great and the software is amazing, the one thing that keeps me on ubuntu is the community. No other distro or operating system has a community this diverse yet so close. I know that if I ever have a problem, the guys on IRC can help me out in seconds, and for this I am grateful.
Thanks to everyone on the ubuntu team, and thanks to all the members that make the operating system possible.
I added Ubuntu 7.10 to my hard drive via dual boot and I am just amazed. All of the problems Windows have and all of the restrictions Macs have are gone. Just plain gone. Even if I do encounter a problem, it's probably really easy to fix and I can easily find the answer by asking the community on the Ubuntu forums. All it takes is copying a line of text into a box and pressing Enter.
I still have to keep Windows for some applications, but I am gradually switching to Ubuntu for my daily computing needs. I already use Ubuntu more than Windows on my home computer. It has a high quality office suite, web browser, and all the basic stuff, and anything else you would need is in the large list of applications in the Add/Remove window. Installing applications is a breeze, too. All I have to do is check the box of what I want to install (and uncheck what I want to uninstall) and click Apply. Everything else is done automatically. No need to worry about clicking "Next" all the time, reading ridiculously long EULAs, or worrying about product activation. Free software is good software.
The reason to use Linux and the benefit I love the most is the community. Almost everyone is helpful and kind, and there are millions of people who are using and working on Ubuntu to fix bugs, add features, change the look, and just make Ubuntu cool. I think installing Ubuntu was the best computing decision I have ever made.
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