My experience with Ubuntu Linux
July 14, 2018
My experience with Ubuntu Linux
Score 9 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Ubuntu Linux
Ubuntu Linux is used by our research team. We have several remote servers for doing computationally intensive work, and they run Ubuntu Linux. Ubuntu is free, as are most of the software that can be installed on Linux. This is great for our research team, as we are working from a limited grant. I have not had any issues with Ubuntu yet and seems to be more stable than Windows. Because it is more stable, we are able to focus more on running analyses and doing our research rather than dealing with operating system bugs. Ubuntu is a much more lightweight operating system than Windows, and updating the system has never caused any issues (unlike Windows!).
- The user interface is sleek, intuitive, and easy to use. I love it! It is also highly customizable.
- Package installation is very easy. You can either download via the command prompt or search for packages within the Ubuntu software center and download via the GUI.
- Ubuntu is much more lightweight than Windows, has less bugs, and is more stable.
- Not all software is compatible with Ubuntu Linux. Many of our collaborators use Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, etc.), which makes sharing files difficult.
- Adobe is not available for Ubuntu Linux, and although it is not a huge issue, it is somewhat annoying when working with collaborators who do use Adobe software.
- Hardware support for Ubuntu operating systems is limited.
- Most of the work in our research team is conducted on a Linux server running Ubuntu. Thus, our research progress relies heavily on the proper functioning of the Ubuntu operating system. Interfacing with the remote server via Ubuntu is intuitive and simple and has allowed us to complete code development and run large analyses.
- There have been a few issues with software not running properly on Ubuntu, and I had to use a Windows computer to do some other work I would have preferred to do on the Linux server. I attempted to remedy the issues, but I was not able to do so. When this happened I lost several hours of time I could have devoted to more productive activities.
- The best thing about Ubuntu is that it is free! Since I work in a research organization that is somewhat limited in funding, this helps my organization save money.
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
We also have a server than runs RHEL. I do not have a strong preference of one over the other. There is no GUI in our version of RHEL, and sometimes it is nice to look at files and folders, download packages, and do other tasks via a GUI rather than the command line. However, I my experience with RHEL has been very good. Although I like the GUI in Ubuntu, our server seems to work better with RHEL than Ubuntu, so I usually end up using RHEL.
Ubuntu is a beginner-friendly Linux distribution, so it is appropriate for many types of users; to those who are just getting starting with Linux, to advanced programmers. Though Microsoft Office applications are not available in Linux, comparable software is available for Linux that has comparable functionality. However, I would not recommend Ubuntu for organizations that rely heavily on Windows software. Ubuntu is great in settings where money is limited, because Ubuntu is free, and most of the software packages are also free.