Why are other Linux users "against" Ubuntu?

Maybe you’ve heard this question often:) But when looking up on the discussions about different Linux Distros many people have prejudices on Ubunu. Some have the opinion Ubuntu is hold by a company and they are strongly against it. Others praise the “old father Debian” as the one and only. The last group refer to Red Hat or OpenSuse.

So, what’s your personal opinion about this “bloody” discussion with Ubuntu?


My opinion: to each their own.

I’ve used Ubuntu 6.something, 8.something, and 10.10, and liked it.
I’m using Ubuntu Budgie 18.04.1, and I like it.
I’ve got another machine with Linux Mint 19, and i like it.

If others have to speak ill of other distros to feel better about their choice(s), that’s on them.

I think there are a number of reasons, the biggest is that Ubuntu falls under a corporation, and there is a lot of mistrust in the Linux world (I am speaking about the purist open source sect) when corporations govern a distro. Didn’t Ubuntu/ Canonical partner with Amazon (sketchy company that is reported to have a backdoor into the CIA spying game) to include links in the distro?

There is also the fact that despite the perceived notion that Ubuntu has more packages in their repos, many of them are outdated compared to the other distros and most certainly Debian Sid/Unstable (which is what I run Budgie on.)

Ubuntu has done a lot of good, like some of the others, Red Hat, etc. in promoting Linux and making it easier to install and use for non-tech minded people. Installing Debian is still a difficult task by many. It is your philosophy on open source that is your guide to whether Ubuntu is good or not.

I’m curious why you think Ubuntu has more outdated packages than Sid. Given that I am a maintainer of packages of both Ubuntu and Debian, we always upload to Debian unstable first and there is always an automatic sync to Ubuntu - unless there is a rare ubuntu block on packages or a ubuntu only patch (again in the latter case we are encouraged not to make those during a development cycle).

So from my maintainer view point - sid and ubuntu development is very much in sync - and the “prioritise debian” idea benefits both debian and ubuntu.


I am just regurgitating what I have read on forums. Why I imagine they are saying Ubuntu packages are outdated, is maybe do to the “freeze” periods that happen for Ubuntu when they are preparing packages for the next release? Also, i see this a lot on the Arch forums (I have never used Arch, so not an expert on their distros.) Don’t they handle packages differently, as in they don’t have releases cycles, packages are built directly from source, so they are more current?

Well, Debian packages are “outdated”, if you use stable version. But within sid/testing you can use recent software packages. An example: Eclipse for Debian sid oder stable is in version 3.8 although you can download 4.8 directly from the homepage or via snap/flatpak.

@Kan Yeah, the point is Ubuntu has succesfully done promoting Linux for daily use. But Debian or Fedora etc. are at least now easy to install. Most of the new users want a Linux Distro out-of the box. I can understand it. But if you want to get familiar with Linux the best way is to work on a Linux Distro. :wink:

I think there are many reasons some users have issues with Ubuntu, any many of them have been reviewed here already. I believe there are some others, and I’ll elaborate below:

  1. Ubuntu is seen as an “easy” distro for “noobies” in some corners, and there will always be some looking down at that…

  2. More historically, Ubuntu installs were seen as “bloated,” although in the most recent 18.04 the option for minimal installs seems to have quieted that complaint…

  3. There is a good amount of dislike about the PPA installation system Ubuntu uses for apps not in the repos, and I share some of those concerns. In fact, while new app packaging systems are pan-distro, Ubuntu is still kind of ground zero for the battle between Snaps, Flatpaks, app images, the aforementioned, PPA’s, repos, etc. With Ubuntu pushing Snaps, there are those unhappy with that direction (again, I’m kind of in that camp as well).

  4. There will be some who prefer rolling updates vs Ubuntu’s rigid release schedule.

  5. Some were Unity fans unhappy Ubuntu killed that DE… Others were unhappy at their choice of Gnome vs other DE’s as their “core” product…

  6. I guess there are those who don’t like their DE theming…

And that’s what I can think of off the top of my head…

Thx @Iari for sharing your thoughts.

In fact it’s true Ubuntu is used by many “noobies” for starting with Linux. For me it’s no problem. Why not?
Ubuntu has lot of positive reviews in magazines and on the internet. Cannonical has made it well. Others like Debian or RedHat didn’t make this.
Comparing to Fedora as an example they focus on Flatpak (e.g. Fedora Atomic or the upcoming Silverblue). Snap is pushed by Ubuntu now and in my opinion it’s a good way.

Considering the discussions about the Unity DE or the integration of Amazon, users who want stick on Ubuntu there a lot of different DE based on Ubuntu.

Actually I’ve read a lot about the discussion pro/con Ubuntu. Especially users pointed out that Ubuntu is hold by Cannonical. In contrast to Ubuntu, Fedora is sponsered by RedHat. Using Ubuntu can give you the oppertunity learning more about Linux how it works. Maybe Arch/Gentoo or Debian might be “better” to get a deeper insight on Linux…

Forum postings and blogs tend to represent the vocal minority. Linux users are technical by nature and a very opinionated bunch and they hate change. Examples of this can be seen the GNOME 2 – 3, Unity vs Gnome, Systemd, etc.

I think there is a balance that a company such as Canonical must maintain; on one hand it has it’s own self interests at stake e.g. profits, market share, etc, and on the other it needs to be responsive to its base of users.

IMHO, two (probably a lot more) of the things that Free Open Source Software FOSS suffers from are consistency and testing. Like it or not, Canonical makes an attempt at addressing both of these issues. As a byproduct, it has created an ecosystem that allows many groups to flourish.

Don’t you think Flatpak and/or Snap will eventually replace the security risk PPA’s at some point?

Well, sure, I think to some degree they already do. But Snaps, the Canonical/Ubuntu system of choice, have a few flaws for me:

  1. They are slow to run compared to .deb installed versions. The Snap versions of Simplenote and Hiri take much longer than their .deb counterparts to load up…

  2. They don’t follow system theming, and many Snaps for me have been downright ugly (hello, Firefox). As makitso said above, one FOSS issue is consistency, and the non-theming of Snap apps is a big contributor to that as far as I’m concerned…

  3. I’ve had a few Snap installs flat out not work…

Happily, those working on Snaps know about these issues, but we’re not at a point where they are fixed yet.

Yeah, I agree with your points. It is not a polished alternative yet. I think out of those three issues, the speed issue is the most important, although I haven’t really noticed it. I may not be running cpu intensive apps either. Hopefully, like you stated, they are aware and working on these. I do like the security aspect of it being bubble-wrapped …AND…the fact that dependencies tag along without effecting other applications.

Well, Snap or Flatpak will be the future for Linux Distros in my opinion. If they worke fluently, it’ll be no problem for choosing softwares via Snap. But I have to say that I haven’t focused on the cpu intensive. I’ll have a look on it.

@makitso - Ubuntu has created a Distro which adresses firstly “noobies”. Canonical is depended on tne users work and feedback to improve it. Linux Users are technical - it’s true - but considering that one migtht use another DE. if Unity was for him the hell. Linux in general offers oppertunities and the freedom to choose what to do or not.

@andigi89 - > Ubuntu has created a Distro which addresses firstly “noobies”

With all the different desktops available for ubuntu, e.g. Budgie, GNOME, xfce, Mate, etc. to choose from, anyone who wants to move to linux should be able to find something that suites their needs.

@makitso Yes that’s true it’s firstly adresses to “noobies”. It’s important to offer this oppertunity.
Besides I ask if users who are more experienced or have advanced knowledge on Linux choose Ubuntu? :thinking:

No clue why they wouldn’t? I’d expect an average user -advanced or not- want to have a comfortable desktop.

@vlijm It’s just an open question or thought about it. Maybe others want to use other Distros like Fedora, Debian etc…:tipping_hand_man:

@andigi89 > …if users who are more experienced or have advanced knowledge on Linux choose Ubuntu…

IMO, there are a lot of experienced linux users that use one of the *ubuntu distros. But, I have heard that users, who do lots of development and use their platform all day, talk about “workflow.” Lots of these prefer the GNOME 2 experience that MATE provides. As to Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, etal, I think it’s a matter of what their developing for – and personal taste. For example, I have read that Linus Torvalds uses Fedora.

Definitely lots of experienced Linux users utilize Ubuntu, although I’ve read some programmers will also run some rolling, constantly updated distros as well to make sure their code will run on the latest everything.

@makitso Ah okay - IMO at the end it’s a personal decision which Linux someone choose. Well, I watched the video on Youtube of Linus Torvalds. He says that he uses Fedora. Why not…

Why did you choose Ubuntu?