Thursday, July 20, 2006

The state of the GNU/Linux desktop, *buntu on the right track

Over the past year I have watched Ubuntu and its partner iterations spring from "that thing Canonical is doing" to the most widely used distro on the planet.

Do I mind?
Yes and No, No and Yes. At first I was greatly upset at how much credit and praise Ubuntu was getting for all of the debian community's hard work (mainly because my heart belongs to debian), but now we are in a time of playing nice and each organization progressing together with one another to create a development process that will benefit both projects as equally as possible. (Sources on this found here and here) But now that everything has been sorted out I am one happy camper and now consider myself a "debuntu" user because my server still strives on debian's incredible stability and security but my desktop reaps the ease of use benefits of the *buntu world. I say *buntu because I am an advocate of all Ubuntu flavors because each one offers all the great features as the last but along with the specified desktop environment that fits the target user the best.

What do I run?
Xubuntu. It gives me everything I ever wanted out of a desktop computer for personal, school, and work purposes and it does it all faster. The first time I mentioned to a friend that I ran Xfce on my new machine their reaction was a tad in the "shocked" state because they were under the impression it was a sub-par desktop environment in feature set and only existed for the interest of older hardware. I let him try Xfce for himself and quickly realized how far it has come and how fast it is. While I understand that Thunar is still under development and has some features that the user community would like to see put in it, even in its unfinished state it holds the crown of file managers in my book. So for me, Xubuntu is without doubt "for the win."

Have I tried all flavors of *buntu?
Sure have. Do I like them all? Of course, each one brings to the world the power of debian with the ideals of what the Ubuntu community sees as needs for the desktop along with special configurations for different desktop environment.

Is Xubuntu(Xfce) for everyone?
No, of course not. There are multiple choices because everyone has a different idea of how they want their desktop to interact with them, I just like things simple and fast. Once it is all said and done, its all about personal preference.

For personal computing, I think *buntu is where the future lies. Yet I like to consider myself a realist and I must say that I believe Novell/SuSE is where corporate Linux is headed in the direction of.

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