10 Things I Hate About Ubuntu

I generally consider myself someone to be open to new experiences and prepared to consider both sides in any given discussion. This does sometimes mean that I may express opinions that are not popular. As Morten once reminded me so well, “The devil’s advocate advocates for the devil”, and he’s not wrong.

After I posted my Week of Mac experience, another online friend sent me this reply.

And I realized that Chris is not wrong either. While I lamented things like macOS not having a default package manager, there are definitely areas where macOS and Windows shine compared to Ubuntu. And there are even areas where my beloved Ubuntu has some serious downfalls. So, in the interest of playing devil’s advocate against my own arguments for Ubuntu, here are the 10 things I hate about Ubuntu.

I hate how there are too many different ways to install an application

APT, deb, Snaps, Homebrew, AppImage, downloadable tar.gz archives that contain an executable bash script, which, when run, installs the software. Can we all agree on one way to install software and be done with it? Personally, I was quite happy with APT as a package manager and installable deb files that can’t be distributed via APT. But there’s probably some barrier to entry there, and thus Homebrew finally becoming fully Linux supported, the rise of Snaps, and the terrible solution that is AppImage. Quite honestly, it’s becoming a bit of a nightmare.

I hate how you sometimes don’t play with networking devices nicely

I’ve definitely experienced this on both laptops and desktop PCs. On my current workstation, I must periodically reinstall the wired network adapter drivers because an update will cause them to become uninstalled randomly. It’s gotten better over the years, but it’s still nowhere near as smooth as it is on Ubuntu’s closed sourced cousins.

I hate how sometimes I have to find a community built project to replicate official software.

This probably isn’t Ubuntu’s fault per se. Still, now and then, I have to find a community-built project to enable some basic hardware functionality. The Logitech RGB Keyboard I purchased last year is one example. There’s no official Logitech software for Linux, but a community project built in Python lets me script the RGB color of the keyboard. And it works, but it isn’t very nice.

I hate how shitty graphics driver support has been in the past

Again, probably not Ubuntu’s fault, but the truth of it is that gaming on Linux has only really become viable in the past two years or so, and the graphics driver support, for Nvidia cards especially, is part of that reason. And don’t get me started on the dumpster fire that was Optimus support for laptops.

I hate that you don’t come with better video and audio players by default

The default video and audio players on Ubuntu are boring, there’s nothing else I can say about it.

I hate how you can’t give me the full, reported battery life on my laptop

Any given laptop’s rated battery life is reduced by easily 40% – 50% on Ubuntu. While there are apps you can install to help with this, it’s just not going to get you close. My beloved Zenbook only gave me 10 hours of it’s rated 17-hour battery life.

I hate how, sometimes, everything just stops working, and I have no idea why…

It’s 2021, this shouldn’t be happening any more.

I hate how, even given the stats, not enough companies think you’re worth developing apps for

According to the Stack Overflow 2020 Developer Survey, almost as many developers use Linux as their primary operating system as there are macOS developers. And yet, whenever a new developer-focused software product comes out, it’s rarely available for Linux from day one, and then it can often take months or years for the company to release a Linux version.

I hate how, when companies do offer open-source alternatives to their software, it’s usually often behind on some key features

Obs Studio is one such example. The Linux version only added Virtual Camera support around a year later than the Mac and Windows versions. I had to use a clunky workaround for a year (no offense to the person who shared it) to get it working on Ubuntu before it was included in the core version.

I hate how you do everything else that I need so damn well, that no other operating system even comes close

LAMP on a Linux desktop operating system is still the best and most configurable local web development environment. I can have a new site up and running in seconds, and I can install any software you might find on a typical Linux web server. Just the other day, I was installing ModSecurity to test out some of its features. This also makes it the most versatile, as I could, if I wanted, switch out any pieces of the stack at any time. I can run any developer-focused CLI applications that a macOS user can, but I can access Windows-only features, like gaming. I’m also not limited to what devices or peripherals I connect to my PC. Finally, I can configure my desktop exactly how I want it to be, even giving it a macOS look and feel if I wanted that. If there is some part of the OS I don’t like, I can remove it or replace it with something else at any time.

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