Why Is Ubuntu the best Known Linux Distro

Hi Guys,

Just wondering. Why is ubuntu the best known LINUX distro out there. I started with ubuntu a few years back but found it too simple with not much extra features I can modify. I did however found it very easy to use?

Is it possible we can get Opensue to have more market share?:wink:

Spread the word!

I think you answered your own question. Simple and easy to use.

No I don’t think so. The thing is, PCLinuxOS is also very easy to use, yet, not many people have heard of it. The same with LinuxMint.

I also figured out (I know I’m slow with this rotfl!) that because majority of people will use ubuntu, KDE is not going to be used much by new comers to LINUX. only people who go searching for other desktop looks will actually bother to try KDE.

Majority of Windows users only think they are allowed to change the wallpaper of the mouse theme, but do not know how much more they can do to customise their Linux desktop. So because of this, majority of new ubuntu users will always stick with what they have

I think Ubuntu is the most known linux in the mainstream is that well it made itself known.
With its free disk shipments, its simplicity and I think its individuality is what makes it stand out.
Also Michel Dell being a big fan of it doesnt hurt

On Wed, 2010-05-26 at 16:06 +0000, sabbyman wrote:
> Hi Guys,
> Just wondering. Why is ubuntu the best known LINUX distro out there. I
> started with ubuntu a few years back but found it too simple with not
> much extra features I can modify. I did however found it very easy to
> use?
> Is it possible we can get Opensue to have more market share?:wink:

Timing is everything. SuSE Prof. wasn’t totally free at one time. SuSE
and openSUSE (and Novell) play it safe with regards to the illegal
software that most need to do fun things (this has gotten easier for the
end user to install… but back when this all started there was
NOTHING… apart from manually getting things from sites like Packman,
etc.). Novell made a deal with Microsoft (regardless of what that is,
it is perceived as being evil FOREVER and unforgivable, sad but true).

So… you’re points about Ubuntu are right. It takes a LOT of chances
with things… yet still works for the majority case (the simple user).
Ubuntu also fails miserably in some cases… but the Ubuntu community
doesn’t care about those users (openSUSE has a more technical community
that cares when rare configs don’t work).

openSUSE, is sort of new… if you consider where it was vs. where it is
today. Sure it’s been around longer (if you count SuSE Prof.)… but it
was vastly different… shoot it was vastly different just a few years

sabbyman wrote:
> Is it possible we can get Opensue to have more market share?:wink:

wait: free software has no market, only users…

Ubuntu fills a NEEDED space for beginners…let’em have it…there only
needs to be one Linux with training wheels…

DenverD (Linux Counter 282315)
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Ubuntu, and Canonical, did a great job with marketing. I actually first heard about Ubuntu from a comment posted to some blog post or other. At first I thought they were annoying and the number of fan-boys out there screaming “this is the perfect distro” really got annoying.

Then, when I came across a second desktop which I could put a Linux on alone (no dual-boot) I made the request for a CD through ShipIt (though I didn’t think I’d actually get it any time that year). Surprisingly it did arrive.

And it worked much better than my previous experiences with Linux (Red Hat 8, 9 and Gentoo).

So just in this replay of my life

  1. People evangelized and got the name out about Ubuntu, whether it was good press or annoying fan-boys it still got the name out there
  2. Providing free CDs was more than a gimmick. At the time I did not have broadband access so the idea of downloading a CD was NOT a prospect I wanted to go over dial-up.
  3. The product was, compared to the others of the time for me, quick and easy to setup, looked good, stable and worked

Now, they continue to grow from the work of others, LoCo Groups, blog posts and bold changes.

If you read a post which includes some new gee-whiz bang program and look at the screenshots there is a good chance it was made in Ubuntu and, whether or not you liked brown, YOU COULD TELL! (cha-ching! free advertisement!)

Having some cool change or improvement also helps, because each release starts building the anticipation, with “what’s new” being the talk for a while. Just as it calms down, people get just a long enough break from it (a couple days? weeks?) and BLAM! now comes the next release and the whole cycle starts again!

Unfortunately everything Novell (including openSUSE) took a hit a while back, by the Microsoft deal.

There is little question that Ubuntu’s goal is to take over the desktop market from the current market leaders. Is openSUSE an enterprise-orientated distro? bleeding-edge testbed for EL? community-driven desktop and server replacement? This uncertainty does not help.

That’s a fair analysis I believe, and of course marketing costs serious money. Ubuntu had (has?) a rich patron in the form of Mr Mark Shuttleworth, and they had the flair to use the money effectively.

It also depends on the target market. I think openSUSE or Novell has been a little like a ship listing on the ocean and I’ve read in blogs of people saying the same thing.

Ubuntu HAD to push marketing to make it where they are now, and Mark S. knew it. He didn’t get where he is now by being stupid.

At the same time, he has provided the BDFL* capability of saying “yes” and “no” and keeping the ship on course to his vision. Sometimes it’s a hard decision and rife with people complaining (whining more like it) if they don’t like it. Yet, that is in part why Ubuntu is doing so well.

I think Novell and openSUSE need to make some decisions on where they are going, how to get there, and appoint somebody captain of the ship to keep it steering in that direction!


  • Benevolent Dictator For Life

Ineed it is direction that is what Ubuntu so popular, it has a predictable release schedule, it has a logical but not boring numbering and naming scheme, it also has a decent development team though not the best.
All distros have merits and flaws, hey I might be a Ubuntu user primarily but I see it has flaws.

Isn’t marketing always about selecting the appropriate market sector? Shuttleworth was an effective captain, showing strong leadership, even at the risk of upsetting the open-source community at times. He could afford a good reliable compass. I assume when Ubuntu entered the “market”, he realized that at the time, the established and successful players - Red Hat, openSUSE, Mandriva - hadn’t really addressed the needs of uncomplicated desktop users, and he rightly exploited that.

When/if Novell-openSUSE decide where they are going and have the right captain, he/she needs to encourage their community of resources (board, developers, etc) to get involved with and make better use of the openSUSE forum! :wink:

  • Benevolent Dictator For Life[/QUOTE]

I have 3 views on this subject:
1st as has been noted Canonical has been a great marketer of Linux.
2nd it doesn’t take much effort to find some app written for Ubu.
Like it or not because of that marketing Ubu is now the elephant in the room & just as hard to ignore. It seems as if everything Linux is written for it. I mean just go to the VLC or Miro download page as a couple of examples look who is among the 1st! As a newbie I’d see this & it’d be important to me.
3rd Novell’s problems have been no help, not only the MSFT deal, their inabilty to market SUSE(which I’ve noted in some of my posts on this subject) but now the buyout.
Yes we here know it’ll have no affect on OpenSuSe but not the guys who are new or considering Opensuse. They’ll just see that NOVL is getting acquired & figure,“oh the buyers won’t care, so that distro won’t be anything.”
On the other hand Ubuntu has stability as a newbie considering a distro, I’d see they’ve been around since 2004 didn’t do anything with MSFT & aren’t having any other problems as far as can see. My thinking would be,“well here’s a distro that’s gonna be here today & tomorrow.”
**For views 2 & 3 is why if I were a newbie now my pick would be Ubuntu. **

All of these are very valid Points. especially the fact that ubuntu is good distro with training wheels.

But seriously, because of that deal with MS, it had a bad name. Also, Novell had a problem ever since MS broke through its niche market in the 90s with AD. Every since then, Novell has been running round in circles.

Also, Conical marketing is really good and the fact like was said before that DELL ships ubuntu. Somehow i believe opensuse will not be shipped with machines because that would detract from the enterprise products that actually have to pay for (that sucks!!)

And you what else, you know you see people posting on blogs and wherever that LINUX having so many distros to choose from causes people to have problems, I don’t that is true. LINUX is the future in terms of OSs that is. Future means choices. Because of the MS monopoly, people never chose anything. They went along with the flow. Having that kind of choice is new and alot of people are now developing the ability to choose. Weird ain’t it? LOL

It was Mark Shuttleworth’s advertising efforts, plus the fact that the state of Linux at the time was rubbish. Not in quality of product, but in usefulness to the desktop user.

Fedora and their standard “RTFM” brand of user support was rife, and (as we sadly still see with openSUSE), the available distros were not aimed at the desktop user, and what the desktop user wants and needs.

Although openSUSE has an excuse in that it is a corporate distro and cannot/will not make required multimedia and closed source software a priority.

Shuttleworth changed that, ubuntuforums was the best Linux support anyone had encountered at the time, it was friendly and helpful, and new users were treated like people not idiots.

Ubuntu made it easy to install a printer and scanner, whereas the other offerings didn’t.

In short, it catered to the masses and what they use a computer for, not what the nerds and lawyers want.


It’s because it’s so easy to do things in Ubuntu (e.g. getting wireless card to work after install: a pop up box tells you to enable a driver, then when you click on it you are presented with a GUI menu which allows this to be done).

Also there are so many sub projects based on Ubuntu, which makes it familiar to many users.

Because of this it has received a lot of publicity, nt least through Linux magazines which often distribute it on their cover DVD.

For openSUSE to reach a similar level of popularity, we need to educate new users and show them the steps to get things like wireless cards, etc. working after installing openSUSE and let them know why there are a few more steps to this with openSUSE than with Ubuntu.

But in the end, Linux is Linux and I’m sure after getting started on (new user friendly) distros such as Ubuntu, most of them will try other distros, such as openSUSE, and won’t look back. This doesn’t mean Ubuntu isn’t important, for without them many new users may find it too hard to get started with Linux in the first place.

I think Ubuntu is very important for new users, and some users who just want an OS that works without them having to lean too much about it; However, I couldn’t go back to Ubuntu after sampling the freedom, customisability, look & feel, community, YaST, etc… of openSUSE.

Barry Nichols.

That reminds of a time when I was using Ubuntu.
During hp-setup one of the posters for the location of their printer wrote that they entered “On the table next to the desk.”
You know what it worked for 'em! Others in that thread were thanking that poster.
Just for S & G I deleted my printer & tried it to my amazement it worked! So I just left that way & made it default.
No one said anything bad just later on someone did write what you’re supposed to put in, even then many thank you posts after that, no derogation.
Yes even now Ubuntu Forums still is a nice place to visit.

Windows is the dominant of all the distros. Ubuntu is the dominant of the Linux species. Same reason for both: brilliant marketing.

It wouldn’t have gotten far if the marketing was great, but the product sucked. Definitely would not have gotten to where it is today if the product was not at least 80% of what people expect!

True, but IMHO openSUSE leads in innovation, we have SUSE Studio and
the openSUSE Build Service and I’m sure there will be more. Each distro
ultimately learns from each other and with open source it’s easy for
everyone to adapt. For example the 2.6.32 kernel is being offered as a
LTS version so to speak for the the distros (Ub*, RH, SLE etc), so all
can benefit.

I used Ubuntu for a while when they maintained a SPARC version for my
Ultra10 when they dropped that I went back to Slow-laris (No I just
get free coffee coasters <ducking>). I see now that the Build Service
has brought back SPARC support so will have to get my thinking cap on
and see what I can build :slight_smile:

Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
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