Human Leaves Ubuntu

As the Community Manager for Ubuntu Vancouver, it saddens me when a member resigns:

"When asked why he or she was leaving the group, "the member" answered: I really wanted Ubuntu to work out for me, but such was not the case. I've had two really bad experiences using the OS and I've decided to give it up. I just installed ubuntu on my desktop computer at home which failed miserably (I get as far as logging on but after that there is some sort of serious video card problem and the desktop fails to load properly rendering it useless) and in a second instance, I used WUBI on a laptop which after an update destroyed the dual boot on my machine making both Ubuntu and Windows inaccessible at boot time. With great regrets I have to say good-bye."

Please share your thoughts on how we can retain humans like this...

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Unity seems to be divisive. I used it for a few weeks before returning to the Gnome desktop. Work flow with Gnome is much more efficient. Unity does increase the available desktop and would be good for a netbook, but that's it's only advantage. Overall, I don't like the direction in which Ubuntu is going. I won't be upgrading to any later version of Ubuntu beyond 11.04, though I have been doing so since Breezy. In fact, I have been seriously considering another distro; in the end, I decided to stay with Ubuntu as it is now and not upgrade anymore. In general, once Ubuntu is installed, it remains very reliable. I had trouble installing 11.04 on this Dell Inspiron, but I got it going after some searching of the Internet and editing the boot configuration file to switch off an ACPI mode.

I managed to get an acquaintance to change from MS Windows to Ubuntu. He hasn't looked back and renovates old laptops giving them away. Recently, I advised him to stay with what works and avoid the newer versions of Ubuntu that default to Unity.

 
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Don't give up Ubuntu. If you really hate Unity, when you hit your login screen to enter your password, just change to 'classic' mode. Simple. Don't quit on Ubuntu because it's awesome and so are the people. Find a local group and you'll feel much differently.

 
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My reason I had to give up on Ubuntu as my main desktop OS was that I was unable to configure the touchpad on my macbook to make it less sensitive, while still working properly (like it does in OS X).

I would really love to use Ubuntu on a daily basis, but constantly loosing focus of the Terminal because my thumb is near the large (and really nice) touchpad makes my Ubuntu experience really frustrating.

 
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I think these are the same people who try out a product they buy and then return it two weeks later because it wasn't working out for them... whatever that means. I am sure that if that person had someone with them and show them all the cool things this product could do, they would not have returned it.

They didn't reach out to the community for help.

And if they didn't have a community near them, that would be where you silent sams should speak up, group up, and make one. Our Ubuntu Vancouve group rocks and I have not encountered one 'bug' that was not made to bow the knee. I know there are a few rare cases out there, but I think with a good community they can and will be overcome.

I'm also guilty, though. One thing I've never really done is taken my bugs to the right channel (I think it's launchpad or something) and make sure the bugs are actually fixed. I'm the kind of guy who will just silently google the answer alone or bug my friends but never post the solution. Are you guilty of the same thing? I bet all 99% of these people who left left because people like me didn't do our part.

The advice I would give them is simple. I would ask them first if they have tried to find a local group. Then I would encourage them to start one if not.

The power is in the community. I witness it daily. And that is where Ubuntu rules over the competition - it gives people like me a reason to be excited about my operating system. I can be part of building something great.

My 10 bits.

 
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Some very good points, but something has been missed here, kind of an old saying really . You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time. In other words, they kind of gave up, no? If I'd have given up on Ubuntu permanently, I'd have never seen 6 , or 7 , or 10 or 11 . Although I got frustrated and threw my hands up in defeat many, many times, I always came back. I was the one chirping " you guys should try Blank blank distro, it rocks"! Why did I always migrate back? It's not perfect, Ubuntu, but it's better the devil you know, than the devil you don't know. I come back, because by and large, it makes more sense the way we do it here. I now cherish every one of those problems that caused me to run away screaming. That's how I've learned as much as I have. Windows and Mac pay engineers millions to make it "just work" And it doesn't, not by a long shot. I have a brand new mac mini that wouldn't let me install 11.04. No sweat, Google, read, Google , read. One 24 hour period later, it just works! Not the damn wireless, but I have a thumb wifi that did, so good to go. I would have been pissed to spend $600.00 , then find out I was stuck with only Lion (speaking of unstable, buggy, slow!!). All those other lesson's helped me stay calm, bear down, and read. Lest you think I'm University educated, I've only grade 9 and a welding ticket, but an intense desire to figure out how to do it.
Maybe that's what's missing? Maybe poking around a bit will relight that spark, once they realize , they all suffer from this, ALL of them. Hardware moves at a blistering pace, no matter what distro, open or closed!

 
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I did get problems with Ubuntu after upgrading from 10.10 to 11.04 on my desktop AMD Semprom +2800..from that time I use Pardus ..Pardus is nice and run smoothly.

 
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It is sad, but it's true. There are many many showstopper bugs, especially in Ubuntu's own programs. Just have a look at: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ubiquity
The installer is one of the most important things. Nowone will never ever give it a try again, if it kills your Ubuntu installation.

Another example was Ubuntu One. With the release in 10.10 it was buggy as hell. Who wants to pay for such a service ? Fortunately it's getting better on the Ubuntu One front but Compiz remains.

Come on guys, Ubuntu should overthink it's QA / Release strategy or more and more users will leave. I used (and will use) Ubuntu since 7.10 it's a great OS but you have to be realistic !
Keep an eye on the quality of your own distribution !

 
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Indeed, spend more time fixing bugs and less time adding new features. Ubuntu is supposed to be more stable than Windows, not less. I realize Ubuntu aims to strike a balance between innovation and stability, but IMHO the balance has swung too far in direction of cutting-edge but ultimately unneeded features at the cost of losing users like this one.

 
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Personally I think there's no way to get enough new features in and get the system tested on enough hardware in a 6 month release cycle. There really needs to be a longer development cycle.

 
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Only introduce new features if you are 170% sure that it won't break existing stuff and it is in a completely working state. Make Ubuntu _stable_, please. Thank you.

 
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This kind of hardware/driver bugs will never go away completely until we get Linux systems where the hardware and the software are specifically designed to work together. Ideally, they'd be designed and assembled together by one company (like Sun and Apple), who could guarantee that stuff works and doesn't break on updates.

The diversity of hardware out there is enormous, and it's simply not possible to ever get an OS that supports any piece of hardware out there (and any combination of them).

 
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Well I'd say if possible someone of the LoCo should try to contact the user and offer live help. That is meet somewhere with that person and offer to fix that particular problem for him if possible.

On top of that I'd say if possible also file a bug report or add a comment on an existing bug report if applicable.

 
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1. Test your software and only release when it works - not when a predetermined release date arrives.

2. If software is bug-ridden do not ignore this fact and built new features on top of those bugs in the next release.

3. For minor bugs and irritations, give the user the ability to change features that annoy them - unlike Unity's current approach of continuously diminishing choice.

In addition, if you wish to at least give the impression that Ubuntu cares at all ..

4, Don't publish articles explaining how its the user's job to patch these bugs. It is not - they are "users". They can help find them, but usually do not have the time, facilities or skills to do much more than describe them in general terms ie, from a user perspective.

5 When they do report bugs, don't mark them as "low priority" until the end of the release cycle and then delete them. Most people that I know have given up reporting bugs because there is no useful response from Ubuntu.

 
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In the Berlin LoCo it was pretty common for people to bring their computer (even if it was a Desktop machine) to team meetings and have somebody have a look at them. The first problem could have something to do with a botched up Xorg.conf and in the latter you might still have a way to reenable grub.

 
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@Daniel:
Great idea. Community is key. Ironically Vancouver has an incredibly active community and this member didn't reach out.

 
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If it was up to me, I'd kill Wubi. Do real developers even use it?

 
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Wubi is likely a bad idea ;)

 
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Ubuntu also fails to boot 50% for the time for me.

My graphics card is blacklisted so unit2d only for me. Never had a problem before I upgraded to 11.04

It you want to keep users then it has to 'just work'

Do you really expect someone to use ubuntu when it wont boot? Because at that point you don't have a computer you have a very expensive brick. The fact that your brink is open source is not much of a consolation.

 
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I've used Ubuntu since the 5.04 days, but I've recently switched to Fedora because Ubuntu has went from a polished, well put together distribution to a horrible, buggy mess. The fact is that Ubuntu has made a massive change in direction. It used to be about improving what already existed and working with others to make Linux butter - now it's about "Unity" - which breaks away from everything else, lacks basic features, has little in the way of customization, and performs terribly.

Ubuntu used to run perfectly on both my laptop and my Desktop, but 11.04 is full of bugs, is unstable and extremely slow - 11.10 is even worse, it can't even play a video in vlc at a decent frame rate.

I want to use Ubuntu and I want to love Unity but I just cant. I suspect "the member" in a similar boat to me, 2 bad releases in a row has driven me away.

 
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Is your laptop and desktop certified?

 
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The most important part would be to have a "AskUbuntu - supportapp" or similar easy to spot.. So that they know where to go when in trouble. Many doesn't know how great our community is and that they can get support for free. Helping the community to help would be a good place to start. Sometimes a friendly word is all that is needed.

A recovery mode that works mostly automagical like a one push button to recover grub. Often there are not hard-to-fix problems that occur.

 
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Excellent idea! I've been advocating for prominence of Ubuntu Community on the desktop. So far no luck but I'm not giving up :)

 
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Yes but OpenSuSE has RPMs ;-)

 
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Make KVM play a more prominent role and encourage users to virtualize Windows. Having an automated Wubi to host with Windows VM script would probably help here.

 
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Isn't it obvious? To keep users like this Ubuntu needs to be less buggy. Another thing that would help is offering new users help. This may have been done, but this blog post doesn't tell us if such help was, or was not offered. Another thing that would be nice to know if you know it is if the user has gone back to Windows or has decided to try another OS. After having Xorg fail to start up at least 50% of the time over two releases on my laptop I ditched Kubuntu for OpenSuse and it's fantastic. OpenSuse has a lot of great features, like 1-click install and YaST.

 
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Was your laptop Ubuntu-certified?

 

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