I posted a note on Twitter yesterday how I was finally moving to Ubuntu away from Apple. I have run Linux based systems for years. I started out in technology as a Unix administrator so this is not foreign to me. I have tested a number of Debian and RedHat derived systems. Up until around ten or so years ago I had been a strict RedHat users then migrated to CentOS as RedHat’s business model changed. But all that was on the server. For home and my main business machines I wanted the power of Linux without the hassle of fighting drivers, especially for graphics and printing. This meant I only had one real choice and that was MacOS. But that has been changing. MacOS has gotten more GNU hostile. Hardware changes in MacOS have been leaving me behind. Apple is focused on iOS and emoji’s today not power users.
My wife’s iPhone was finally at the end of its useful existence and she was interested (with no prompting from me btw.) in trying a Google Pixel. A number of her friends have one and they love it. Google is about to announce new Pixel phones soon so the price of a Pixel 3 is a bit of a sweetheart deal. It was low risk at this price point to give it a try. The one issue was that my wife has been in the Apple ecosystem for years. I was worried how this transition would go, especially with losing Apple Messages. It turns out that since most of her friends have converted to Android the switch was pretty smooth. With no burden of Apple Messages any longer, I took the opportunity to convert to Ubuntu on my home server.
Technically, I have been running Ubuntu on my home server for years. But I am now using it as my main home desktop as well. The Mac Mini I had been running was bogged down and not playing nice with software and Catalina didn’t help the situation. The time was just right to move.
I am running Ubuntu 18.04.3 which is the LTS release, again, my main goal is to not have to fiddle any more than I want to. I am running on an old Dell XPS 8700 which came out roughly around 2013. It all just works, including setting up the NVIDA drivers which have traditionally been a pain to get working.
Why did I choose stock Ubuntu rather than one of the flavors or even a different desktop? I have tried others but the Ubuntu team just does a great job of testing and squashing bugs. I spend the bulk of my time in a terminal or browser so the desktop doesn’t matter much. I have tried several tile based desktops, but I prefer stock – less fiddling, less problem.
I would recommend anyone that wants a solid, stable experience to give it a try. I have an old Lenovo Thinkpad I had played with running Ubuntu on before I might make my main laptop moving forward now!