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A Tale Of King and Evil or How I Made Peace With Ubuntu!

In which I tell how Ubuntu won my trust back.
The King Is Dead

Once Upon A Time...

I used to be a fairly happy Ubuntu user from 2008 to 2011 (shh! I was a faithful FreeBSD and KDE 3 user before that). I could concentrate on my job and my desktop didn't get in my way. I didn't spend any of my time trying to configure things the sane way.


A Kingdom Without An Heir

But things changed by the double blow of Gnome 3 and Unity. Introduced at almost the same time, they ruined my IT life and destroyed my productivity. Seriously. Only gods know, how many hours (instead of happily coding) I spent fiddling Gnome 3 or Unity to have a responsive desktop that behaved like a desktop is supposed to: not get in my way!

I switched to Ubuntu Gnome to find myself unsatisfied, and then back to KDE 4, and despite it being really cool, found it not for my type. Then tried XFCE and quickly learned it was a mistake.


Harsh TimesThe Era Of Pain And Chaos

This state of distress pushed me to the point that for almost 7 months I used Windows 7 as the only operating system on my laptop! Despite all of its shortcomings and lack of even the  simplest utilities, Windows was able to make a fragile balance in which I could concentrate on my job...again! However there were couple of points that were painful thorns in my side since day 1; my desktop was very resource hungry, I had to pay for a valid license of NOD32 (what the..!?), installing libraries and runtimes (such as Python C-backed libraries) was tricky and most important of them all: there was NO bloody terminal!


Of False Princes And Kings

As a Linux refugee, I kept a watchful eye on the distro world in the hope that a fix to this situation will emerge. During those dark days, it was really sad and hurtful to see reviews with stellar titles such as "Ubuntu XX.YY: The Best" where people would claim Ubuntu XX.YY had fixed all the problems and its snappy and responsive again, the way it was supposed to be; it was sad to find out that most of the people who made OS reviews, didn't try to perform their daily routines of work on the reviewed OS and some even were trying that OS for the first time!


The Coming Of The Rightful Prince

This gloomy story went on and on, until May 2014 when I downloaded Ubuntu 14.04. Suspicious of the distro's quality, I only installed it on a VirtualBox machine. To my surprise it was snappy and almost stable under VirtualBox. For a couple of days, I did some of my coding in the Ubuntu virtual machine; I was feeling happiness again slowly starting to run in my veins. Still conservatively, after making a full backup of my Windows installation (using CloneZilla) I installed Ubuntu 14.04 on my Thinkpad T530.


The Reign Of The Noble Shah

Ubuntu 14.04 hasn't let me down! I am productive again. 99.99% of the times I do not even notice I am running Linux or Ubuntu or Unity or any other fancy name; Ubuntu 14.04 doesn't get in my way at all. It's snappy, responsive and the UI is relatively well-designed and well-implemented. In fact I've been such happy with my installation that I haven't touched it since May 2014 and didn't even bother upgrading to 14.10! This is great news! This is the first time in my Linux history, that I haven't felt the need to upgrade my distro to be able to use it smoothly!



I have been thinking about writing this piece about Ubuntu 14.04 for a long time now and always found myself very reluctant to the idea considering the saturated realm of low-quality reviews. But in the end, I convinced myself as a happy user it's the least I can do to help Ubuntu back.


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Colin says:
Jan 06, 2015 04:08 AM

So you prefer 14.04 unity to 14.04 gnome?
I'm using 14.04 gnome myself but installed 14.04 unity on my elderly father's system. He was confused by the lack of a start button/menu to start with but I think he now prefers it as when searching for something he does not need to remember, for example, the name of the audacity program... just that he requires a sound app so if he types sound audacity will appear in the list.

What put me off was, I found unity very pushy about software I had not installed - especially paid software. I didn't want my screen real estate taken up by software I hadn't installed. It seems everyone wants control of the "app store" of late!


Bahman Movaqar says:
Jan 06, 2015 04:15 AM

@Colin, this thing about "software I had not installed": you mean when browsing collections in software centre? If yes, it may be the case. I never got the hang of any AppStore'esque software; and am still using the old fashioned Synaptics. Yes...I'm a cave man.

The most important thing about Ubuntu 14.04 for me is that, I can get my work done without even noticing it's Linux. That's a huge achievement for OSS world; seriously...we're finally making progress on the user friendliness front :-)

Colin says:
Nov 11, 2015 01:25 PM

> You mean when browsing collections in software centre?
I missed you answer until today Bahman. Sorry.
Nope I mean in unity - in its search bar if I enter "video" for example it displays the video apps I have install which is a plus. But then displays other programs that I have not yet installed. Sometimes it is applications for sales in its app store. Sometimes is a little vague I know but I not looked at unity in a very long time so I cannot be more specific.


DemonLord says:
Jan 08, 2015 01:29 PM

quite a nice story

tangel476 says:
Aug 26, 2016 07:32 PM

one thing I like about linux, it lacks adware program

4rx says:
Apr 13, 2017 06:50 AM

With thanks! It is an very good web page!

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