My Linux Experience
In the vein of recent posts, I thought I might take a second to explain how I came to use Ubuntu. My first Linux experience was with Red Hat 5 or 6 I believe. I got CD out of the back of one of those Teach your Linux books. I was probably 16 at the time, and I knew a fair bit about computers but nothing serious. But I could whip up a little Turbo Pascal and QBasic :) Anyhow, I was of the mindset that "Hacking" was cool, and Linux popped up a lot in 2600 and Phrack magazines. I remember it took me the better part of a whole weekend to install it to the point where I could finally bring up an X server with the tiled background and big black X. Getting it to use the dial up modem and connect to my ISP took several more hours. I played around with it for about a week I think, concluding "this is neat, but I'm not really sure what to do with it."
From there, I didn't bother with it until about 2003, which would be my sophomore year at MSU. We had to have an ESUS account, and if I recall right we had to use it for my intro to C/C++ class. I also started using Centos 3? a little in the CS 254? lab on campus just to play around. Around that time, I decided I would try and install it on my home PC again. So I went about installing Centos I believe, the install went far smoother than the first experience, and it was actually pretty usable. I got used to compiling, using configure and make, but wasn't really impressed with the tediousness of it. So I tried to use RPMs whenever I could. But it wasn't long before I ran across RPM hell. Package X depends on Y depends on Z which depends on a different version of Y... etc. Horrible. So I ended up giving up on Linux for awhile again.
Somehow a little later, I ended up with a Mepis CD. Once again I installed it and played around for a bit. It was ALMOST there at this point. Mepis just had a few little nitpicks and usability hangups that I couldn't quite get past for everyday use. Then there was another little break. Finally one day my brother shows up talking about this new Ubuntu Linux that was all the rage. Must of been around June of 2006, as I think the first version I actually installed was 6.06. This was the first time I actually got all the hardware working, all the hangups ironed out, and could actually spend almost as much time in Linux as I did in Windows. After dual-booting for what must have been about a year, I was running 7.04. My XP install was doing its windows thing, and kept blue-screening and eventually wouldn't boot up. I said the H@#$ with it and wiped windows, installed Ubuntu and been using it ever since. Another thing that sold me, is I love the control. If I want to kill something, I kill it. If I want to delete my root partition, so be it that's my decision. Windows just feels like a prison now.
I'm now a full time software developer/sys admin for a small company here in Bozeman, and use Linux exclusively. I manage about 15 Ubuntu boxes, running Postgresql, Tomcat, Apache, Samba, and ftp servers. I do dual boot at home because WINE just can't quite cut it for all the games I play at the moment.
Long story short, I use Ubuntu because it was the first distro that actually worked without pulling teeth, and it still works fine for everything I do. I've had a few issues with it, I think they push some changes too soon without ironing bugs out - which incidentally is why I don't use Fedora, I like my stuff to tend towards stability rather than cutting edge. I've tried Debian but it seems TOO slow moving. Ubuntu just works, it does everything I want it to, and I have never really been left wanting.