Why Ubuntu

A friend recently asked why I used Ubuntu. He thinks of it as a nub’s distro and to a certain extent he is right. Ubuntu (Server) comes with lots of stuff and automatism you do not necessarily need. In a specialized, bigger installation I would definitely go for Debian or ArchLinux, because they both are lean distros. Debian for something stable and well-maintained. Arch makes it easy to stay bleeding edge due to its rolling release model.

Ubuntu has some main advantages in my mind:

  • You have an error message: Google it, append or prepend „Ubuntu“, and in most cases you get a helpful forum or Stackoverflow post. Problem solved. Don’t get me wrong. Arch’s docs are the best I’ve seen, if you want to get into the nitty gritty details and really want to know what you are doing.

  • Package versions hit the middle ground. You basically get Debian’s stable packages (admittedly with Ubuntu’s crazy patches applied), but if you want latest builds then just grab a PPA and you’re good. Also, many projects supply Ubuntu packages.

  • I like to keep my servers and my desktop environment as close as possible. This way I can reuse server Salt states on the desktop and vice versa. It also makes building development VMs for Mac or Windows users easier and keeps dev / test / prod as close together as possible (also, Kubuntu’s UI looks neat).