Ubuntu popularity in downward spiral, is Unity to blame?

By Leeky ยท 58 replies
Nov 24, 2011
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  1. I don't think anyone would claim the stats were scientific, but they do clearly mirror 'buntu's rise and decline - in particular the recent sharp decline since unity became the standard. They also clearly show the rise of Linux Mint at the expense of 'buntu. I'm sure if this article was only about 'buntu's rise from '04 through to '07 you would not be here questioning the reliability of distrowatch and google trends stats...

    But if you have better, more accurate stats to support this, then please present them here...

    Distrowatch stats, though admittedly unreliable in many cases are based on "hits". For many distros this is an unreliable gauge of how well a distro is doing.

    Let's take Arch as an example. It's a rolling release, so presumably new users won't be going to the main site that often to download installation images, that would make Arch much more popular than it appears on distrowatch.

    Debian is another example. It caters for many different types of user, many veteran users will upgrade rather than reinstall and testing/unstable users are running a semi rolling release, so many of them will never download new installation images.

    'buntu and Mint on the other hand are obviously targeted at new users - in particular windows users. Even existing 'buntu users will almost always reinstall from scratch due to the, quite arguably perceived, unreliability of upgrades, so it's likely that the figures for both distros are actually rather inflated.

    It's also quite obvious that 'buntu has been losing ground for years if you head off to have a read of any Linux related forum except the 'buntu forum (where this thread would have been censored).
  2. I can't believe my eyes of what has been written from some comments... like windows is ready out of the box? In which planet does that happen? Failled to boot an OS 1 out of 5 times and also dare to make a comment? I personally hate unity but i've also read above "As for Unity... upon the load/boot, you should have a choice, of that I agree." I mean, Canonical wanted to make ubuntu clearly with unity in THIS release so why the choice? Has anybody refused access to the previous release with Gnome? Why is it such a fuss to have the latest version? It is like u are saying that in windows vista one should have the choice of vista or xp. Then why don't u install xp? I mean.. Why a version of a distro SHOULD have the view YOU like? I have 10.04 on my machine. I want my interface with Gnome 2 and not with Gnome 3 or Unity. So what do i do? I KEEP 10.04! All this time i am reading articles and articles.. saying about unity. YES UNITY SUCKS! So why don't you keep your version that suites you? Even the hardcore user above is complaining.. If you were a hardcore user you would clearly stick with the version you like and simply don't complain of the changes ubuntu has made. I've read so many articles on the matter specially latelly.. I don't use mint and do not intend to but i have read that they are heavilly opposed to unity and actually made great progress with Mint 12 "Lisa" providing 3 choices of DE. Gnome 3, MATE (a really newborn buggy fork of gnome 2 created from ONE of the Gnome developers and RedHat employee when asked by Linus Torvalds himself) and MGSE a new layer developed by mint team to be set right upon Gnome 3 and try to "look" much like Gnome 2. My congratulations to mint for this progress but personally what i think in up close is as follows.

    Canonical's ubuntu is the last 4-5 years mostly number 1 distro and that is because of the easyness, the eyecandy, the simplicity and the right marketing of the first three. Canonical actually helped the community alot by bringing many many people from windows to linux just by that eyecandy and the easyness the distro is dominant for. After that shift every user is different and afterwards choosed the path and distro the user wanted to use depending on one's needs and uses. I use linux for work since RedHat 7, long before fedora appear on 2003 but never for home usage until i met ubuntu on 2007. I thought of linux fit for me only as a server perpose until i used ubuntu and thanks to ubuntu i never booted windows again. For the easyness! And for the all working out of the box and not have many things to worry about. Now Canonical wants to make a sole path and be unique among linux distros, canonical wants to compeet with apple because apple focuses on the GUI experience as much too without giving much effort to evolve operating system new technologies because redhat does that! Actually canonical has done nothing to contribute to the actual operating system the last few years and is only focusing on making it pretty. And that is OK because that is what brought people over to linux from windows! And opensource is opensource, so others spent time and effort on OS technologies and innovations and canonical is free to use them to update their ubuntu. Anyways that is what Canonical represents and u know what? It is OK! Also every version of ubuntu and of any other OS represents it's packages and GUI and that is what you are choosing when you install a version. For a windows user for example if one wants to work simple installs xp! on the other hand, one wants it to be in a way pretty too? Installs 7. Before that, vista and found out what a failure that was. That is the version FOR. TO CHOOSE! vista is buggy? ok You install 7, that is the same thing here. I want gnome 2! i want it as it is the minute it stopped being developed. I like it that way! so what do i do? I KEEP 10.04 and have all packages i care updating, updated! After all the DE is just another package and the same way i do not update blender because i don't care to do so and the same way i do not update libreoffice the same way i will not switch my DE. I want for example the latest on Chrome or firefox? ok i update that! I want the latest kernel? i update that. So i have my 10.04 the way i want it! Customised to fit my needs! that is supposed to be the beauty of linux. I believe that when the point comes that i will have to upgrade because of other dependencies and only because of that, i believe that gnome 3 will have grown and matured right, if not MGSE layer from mint might have matured as well and work nice or MATE will not be buggy anymore because it will not be at the time, a new project. For now, Gnome 2 does my job the way i need it, besides that 10.04 does the job the way i need it to do and so i am happy i keep that. Remember people because it seems that u have forgotten, the Desktop Environment is NOT the Operating System! That is why there are so many choices on the Operating Systems and So many choices on the DE! And i really do not see the reason why on earth one HAS to update to 11.10 and WHY 11.10 MUST look like 10.10! Why? I see different numbers there, why not different DE. Unity IS hatefull. OK that is why i do not upgrade! Canonical showed their new product, it is in my hand to choose. The actual downfall of ubuntu is based mostly on the MISTAKEN MUST that i see on mostly newbies like the "hardcore" user above complaining about unity. Yes Unity is awfull and a person cannot work right in it.. it looks like it is being inspired by smartphones ! FINE use a gnome2 ubuntu version instead. They are all available! Why on earth do u have to install 11.10? Do you actually think that as an Operating System it has innovations comparing to 10.04? Hell no! Just the DE and small things apart that mostly! I am using 10.04 and i have all the applications i use updated to the very last so i can do my job and have the most stable versions of all properly!
  3. Another sermon from the church of 'buntu...

    Believe it or not, I actually read that post, because I thought to myself "somewhere in there, there will be something relevant or fact based..." and not just a load of rhetoric. I think I lost the threads at about the 27th "praise the lord!" though...

  4. I tried Ubuntu back a year or two when I hear is was awesome. I a windows power user and found it to confusing..If I did you can imagine how newbies would feel. It felt like I was back in the DOS days...I had hoped it would mature and be easier to use but it sounds like windows is where most people should stay and are.
  5. Sorry messed up a few words above but you know what I was saying ^^^^^^
  6. Yep. #27 said, with oh so many words, Why ever install Ubuntu if you can do better with any other distro? Why ever discuss Ubuntu if its followers have an attitude like that?
  7. Unity was a mistake. It is too bad that whoever is in charge is too stubborn to learn from their mistake. It took me two days to find a way to get past that dumb interface, and most will simply give up and turn to a garbage program like windows.

    Is the heads of Ubuntu so egocentric as to refuse to correct their mistake?
    Are they trying to kill Linux?

    Mark Heinemann
  8. Zilpha

    Zilpha TS Enthusiast Posts: 319

    Once upon a time, Ubuntu was really lightweight and easy to use. It installed fast, everything worked almost out of the box, and there was no drama.

    Since they added this Unity interface, I can't get the OS to work on a lot of machines that ate earlier releases for breakfast. There were cryptic bootup errors that I could not find answers for, and the unity UI itself was just a chore to learn and manage. It's just not worth it anymore. I am not an expert linux user, but I did like to keep it on a spare laptop to noodle around, and at one point I considered switching entirely. i know what I am doing on the command line.

    But, things like the previously mentioned issues really make it more costly than just staying with Windows. I'd rather pay a hundred bucks every few years and have an OS that I can easily find software, information, and a lot of really good support on than try to force Ubuntu to do what I need it to do.
  9. unity to hell
  10. AfricanTech

    AfricanTech TS Rookie Posts: 69

    Yip - it's cos of Unity.....and the fact that Mint is just so much more polished and easy to use "out of the box" - once I installed Mint I just couldn't go back to Ubuntu (and I only tried Mint because I hated Unity so much.
  11. I can not stress this enough. The 12 month 6 month 3 month 30 day averages at distrowatch are dominated by short term spikes in interest. The large uptick in interest in the last couple of weeks in Mint bleeds over into the 12 month and 6 month average due to its relatively large size.
    Those 12 month and 6 month numbers are not snapshots of interest 12 and 6 months ago. They are continually updated to include recent data.

    Because of this, graphs that show the relative percentages at the 12 month and 6 month level are very misleading and you are drawing the wrong conclusion from it. Mint was not X percentage of interest 6 months ago or even a year ago. What you are seeing is bleed over from the last few weeks dominating ALL the averages even all the way back to 12 months ago. You can not draw the conclusion that Unity was to blame.

    What you need.... and what distrowatch does not provide... is a trending graph of the 7 week average. Not the single 6 month "average" which rolls in the effect of the near-term spike in interest.

    The multiyear trending graphic is accurate upto the 2010 data point. The 2011 data point is again highly misleading due to the "averaging" that includes the large spike in interest in Mint which is limited entirely to the last month.

    Your conclusions would be better served if distrowatch provided both mean and median. If mean and median agree then a concept of an "average" over a long time period makes some sense. If they disagree substantially, then you mean is dominated by a few data points that well away from the mean. And this generally an indication that the mean is hiding important dynamics.

  12. Those are misleading graphs, but yes I think Ubuntu popularity will plummet once the updates end for 10.04 LTS. In 10.04LTS I thought they hit a home run, it actually worked well and was very easy to use (compared to the old releases). My hat is off to them for creating a great OS in 10.04, if they had polished the drivers and compatibility issues it would be the greatest OS ever.

    I have installed 11.10 on 2 systems and am trying to get used to it. I'd be lying if I said I liked it at all, to be honest I have to say it really sucks. I do like the extra real estate with fire fox and thats where it ends. I support a number of people and have been using Ubuntu since 7.10. If only the launcher held MENUS instead of apps. Are you guys listening, MENUS. Sort of like having a glossary in a book, instead of their current system of flipping through until you find what you are looking for.

    I have a copy of Mint 12rc and am looking at that to see how it shapes up, so far not bad. I just hope they can keep up the reliability. I know the people I help (some older) will not be able to handle a shift to Unity and I think I may be returning them to windows 7.

    I hate to criticize the developers like this because they have done so much, I just fail to see what would make them go in this direction because it's really really bad. You know how much that hurt to say returning to windows?
  13. Ubuntu starting down the hole back with 7.xx; for me it was the 'upgraded' camera manager not working with hardware the previous version was compatible with. Then can with the 9.xx incompatibilities-out of the blue-with the Intel graphics on my antiquated laptop. A Debian based build with aptitude and gnome, Ubuntu was convenient-take away gnome and it's just another Debian built. When you add in the annoyance of Unity-a thousand times awful-anything seems better. Mint anyone?

    Drop Unity, grab Gnome 3

    Guest accounts now ask trivia questions, I'm glad programs like 'cleverbot' don't exist. "What IT company is usually referred to as 'Big Blue'?"
  14. Never mind Ubuntu but since Mint seem to be popular I have to check it out.

    I wonder what kind of hate Metro in Win8 will get if the response for Unity is like this, the Unity changes are mild by comparison...
  15. Ubuntu. Yes. What to say. Ever since 9.10 it's being going down that bloody mumbo-jumbo drain. My wife started using 9.10 and was happy with it. Freaked out when i upgraded to 10.04. Forbids me to ever touch that machine again. (Downgraded to 9 again.)
    For me that says it. Ubuntu has become a combination of apple-copying shoegazers with a good eye for complicating matters.
  16. I personally think Ubuntu has been hijacked by Microsoft. They are surreptitiously trying to take the operating system towards a direction where you would have to pay money for every other program you download. The sudden disappearance of the Synaptic Package Manager and the push towards the Ubuntu Software Center looks as if the people running the show at Ubuntu want to control how programs are downloaded and installed in the system. Anyway, I didn't wait - simply went back to Natty and installed Gnome. Maybe I will try Mint out and if it works then stick to it.
  17. unity is not that bad. i would prefer to choose. and i'd go for gnome. but unity is usable.
  18. I have been using Ubuntu for a while. But now I am trying to find a substitute. Unity is the reason, why I installed Mint yesterday after trying Fedora. When I edit videos, I don't want a panel suddenly appear, when I move the cursor to the left side of the screen to adjust the time-line. Popping unity panel makes me almost crazy.

    Starting and changing programs is slower with unity than with a traditional start-menu. The panel appears, when I don't want it to appear, and it does not appear, when I need it. Unity makes working with the computer slow and frustrating.

    I use the computer to do things (editing videos and photos, writing, working with sound, doing things in Internet), not to watch the beautiful desktop and menus. And unity, by the way, is not beautiful. Gnome3 looks better. But it is not very practical either.
  19. Could be Unity, not a big fan, but it is not too hard to change it to something else, it does have apt-get after all. Unity is too hard to use, so many more clicks to get to things you want and I don't see a good point in it. Should have just been an option in the first place.
  20. As much as I tried, I never could get Ubuntu to work satisfactorily on my old & decrepit hardware. The distro that works for my purposes is Puppy Linux - Linux for dumpster divers like me. I run several versions, on anything from a 433mhz 128MB ram thin client - to a 1.7 ghz 2GB ram laptop. My desktop OS (Puppy Slacko) is carried in my pocket on a bootable 4GB usb stick. Right now, I'm on a 1.5 ghz 1GB ram mini-itx industrial computer - that serves as my email & surfing box. As long as I can watch youtube, I'm happy. Puppy Linux does my form of computer necromancy just fine. If the hardware is too old to be recognized, I back up a few years & try a Puppy version with an older Linux kernel - which has not failed to work for me yet. Maybe, sometime soon, I'll find some faster & better hardware on heavy trash day...... on that day I'll try Ubuntu again. Then, I can beeyotch about Unity. LOL
  21. I've got an old desktop I'm using as a media center for my living room television which I put Ubuntu on. I've refused to update beyond 11.04 so that I don't have to put up with the Unity interface. I hate it! I'll most likely be switching over to Mint myself soon, as I'm sure that sooner or later it will become necessary.
  22. I dumped Ubuntu at 10.10 I was orginaly going to mint but the install failed and it was unresolved so I went to Kubuntu it worked nice and install and replaces all my files stored on Ubuntu one. I have been a long fan of Ubuntu but the unit shell sucks for a laptop or desk top it would be great in a tablet but its a mouse clicking maze on a laptop. I might look into Xubuntu ot try the new mint 12 maybe it will install.

    oh ya unity sucks

    send your hate to
  23. Gnome3 and unity are complete disasters. Worse still, their developers insist on staying on the bridge of titanic until the end.
  24. I'm a 4 year Ubuntu user but have switched to Debian for now. I might try the next Xubuntu or Lubuntu LTS release (12.04), or maybe Mint at some point. But for now Debian squeeze / xfce works well for me. I don't expect I will ever use Unity or Gnome3 unless they provide a LOT more customization. I have tried them both, in their current form - each would be OK for tablets or phones but neither makes sense for a desktop.
  25. I think the reason its Unity: many people come to Linux Ubuntu for its facility of use and its amazing effects with compiz (cube, etc) I know that fx are not only in Ubuntu, but the end user thought that. For me Ubuntu is the best distro: free and free (gratis) with a great enterprise back and the biggest support for the Debian community.

    Linux Mint is an ugly ubuntu. My server is Ubuntu 8.04, my desktop OS is Ubuntu 11.10, 10.04 (in the laptop).

    Linux Mint is the "actual moda" a simple fashion for "to be snov". Althoug i don understund how Canonical not made more applications for Ubuntu, por example a good office pack based in LibreOffice but an interface more actual like office 2007-10, and any good 3D game o something for start up Ubuntu.

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