Ubuntu: Beauty And Power
What is an OS? A way to make a collection of words, pictures, videos, content, show up on a screen? A way for us to take ideas out of our heads and put them into a form that is accessible by another? For me this is Ubuntu, and, as the saying goes, it just works.
I install Ubuntu on a machine, and I can do the simple things I need to do. And it’s a system that I can put in front of anyone, and they’ll get it. They’ll be able to do the simple things that they need to do. (And I think this applies to all three main DEs.) It’s an example of the reality that Linux is not just for geeks and hackers anymore.
But it also has the capability to do the complex things I need to do as well. One of the common criticisms of Ubuntu is that it hides and candy-coats more of the really awesome, powerful Linux tools that “serious” users need. But I disagree. To use an easy metaphor, I would call a standard Ubuntu install a front door and well-equipped parlor room that gives easy access to the rest of a large and powerful mansion.
For instance, putting the perspective of “power admin features” on all the discussion the past few weeks over Ubuntu’s goal of competing with Mac OS X, it’s interesting to note there are many more steps to get a terminal in OS X than there are in Ubuntu.
Considering tools like Nessus, Wireshark, Umit and UFW, among many others, combined with Ubuntu’s continual drive to improve user experience, to me it’s not a matter of “hiding” the power tools. Rather, all you have to do is walk through that parlor into whichever room you need.
Need a simple desktop for basic computing? Right this way. Need to set up some file sharing for your home office? Install a couple packages, and there you are. Have a seat. Want to set up a mail server for yourself? Well, by all means. You might have to walk up a couple of floors, but you’ll get there easily enough.
Works With U Contributing Blogger Toby Deemer runs Ubuntu 8.04 to manage a large law firm network.