Compromising to Ubuntu


Well, reality finally took hold on me this week.  Yeah, I am a ardent fan of Arch, Gentoo, and FreeBSD.  I really like Linux Mint.  Unfortunately for me, the Linux distribution of choice in Vietnam is Ubuntu. Roughly 90 percent of Linux users I meet in Vietnam are now Ubuntu users.  The other 10 percent are people like me seem to be the old school Linux propents who feel that using Linux means configuring your entire system by command line.

Last night I met the IT Director from AppleTree, a French guy who has installed Ubuntu servers and desktops throughout Indochina.  That’s really impressive.  CentOS seems to be the only other distro, besides Ubuntu, making huge inroads in Vietnam.  The Vietnamese language Hacao Linux did not seem to impress any of my Vietnamese students who felt it was too cluttered, slow, and generally not worthy to compare itself to Ubuntu.

The last school year I used PC-BSD, PCLinuxOS and Linux Mint with my students.  They wanted Ubuntu though Linux Mint was a good compromise.  In retrospect, I should have gone with Ubuntu.  I was actually forcing them to use the distros I preferred which is ethically not right.  Linux is about choice so I should have used Ubuntu.

It’s been nearly a year now since I have worked with my students.  I will begin a open source project with a couple of my bright students.  Without a doubt, we will use Ubuntu for our servers (though I may opt to switch them to Debian for more stability).  It is a compromise I am making on my part.  I will install Ubuntu 8.04.1 on my Thinkpad T60.  I will keep Arch Linux on my desktop, possibly evening replacing it wil Debian Lenny Beta.

Ubuntu is what they want.  I will give it to them.


  1. Really nice to read on how you use Linux in schools in Vietnam. Unfortunately here over in the Netherlands we are a bit behind on that. I think also that it is a good thing for Gnu/Linux that your students know and want Ubuntu; they have probably never heard or other distro’s, but through Ubuntu they will eventually.

  2. It’s amazing, the only distro many knew over three years ago here was Red Hat and, yep, Gentoo. There were some Debian guys. Over a year ago, I had students showing me their Ubuntu cds.

    Ubuntu had a great marketing strategy with those free cds.

  3. ummm just for claritys sake linux mint is based on Ubuntu in fact the early release tag was ” Ubuntu is a strong desktop distro, but it falls short for some users in a few areas. Where are the multimedia codecs and DVD support, and what’s with all the brown, for heaven’s sake? If you’d like multimedia support with a minty fresh theme, try Linux Mint 2.2, an Ubuntu-based distro that throws in support for Flash 9, Windows Media Format, DVDs, MP3s, and troublesome wireless cards. “

  4. Okay, being computer-stuff deficient, I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about, but what I find really interesting are the names of these operating systems(!?). I think the producers must have a few South African computer programmers with names like Ubuntu (the African philosophy of community and sharing) and Gnu/Hurd (Wildebeest Herd?). I don’t know if these pogrammes/systems are any good, which some of them seem to be by looks of your posts, but these guys get top marks for innovative names!

  5. The Police in France use Ubuntu also. Ubuntu, the new computer Esperanto? An international computer OS? What a concept!
    Please donate your old boxes to a church-group or some needy student in these hard times! To comply with the law, and with Microsoft’s leasing policy, you can now replace Microsoft OS with the free (download from the net) Ubuntu OS, which can be set to erase the hard drive of all traces of the “illegal to give away ” Microsoft system and your private information, before donation! Now, explain to your lucky recipient that all the manuals they will ever need are available for free on the internet! Just ask for them in Google! OpenOffice, which is installed already is plenty adequate for homework assignments and with a little exploring, everything else can work well too! Happy computing!

  6. GNU/Hurd is the open source operating system that the Free Software Foundation is working on. It is supposed to compete with Linux but has been delayed for the longest time. I think it is a pipe dream myself.

    Ubuntu or Linux Mint are good starts if you want to learn Linux. Linux is reliable, stable, free and never gets viruses. It is also the most advanced operating system around 🙂

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