I’ve been an avid Windows user for a long, long time. But after reading up on how Ubuntu and Linux makes life easier as a programmer and how Windows is so terrible, I decided to give it a try. Could an operating system really have such a large affect?
I downloaded version 10.10 and slapped it on a cd and began formatting my Windows 7 drive and installing Ubuntu. No problems with the installation - so far so good.
Once I got booted into Ubuntu for the first time, I began playing with video drivers. Ubuntu had a problem displaying the desktop on my triple monitor display. No problem, I figured I could get it up and running in no time.
Linux Video Support for Multiple Displays isn’t so Great
Two days later and many frustrated hours of playing with display drivers, I finally gave up and reinstalled Windows 7 (which took an hour or two to get everything up and running).
Ubuntu (and Linux in general) has some seriously lacking support in the video department. Even with using the non-open source drivers that ATI provides, I was still unable to get the setup to work exactly like I wanted to.
I spent several hours trying to set-up the xorg.conf file to properly display on each monitor, and allow windows to be moved between each of the monitors. More often than not, I would try to restart the user interface, and then see some new exception about how the latest change I did was unable to be loaded up.
This leaves me stuck in the Linux shell. This is great, if you know exactly what commands you need to use. However for new users, good luck figuring out what that command may be. If you don’t have another computer handy to look up commands for the shell, you may wind up having to reinstall Ubuntu entirely just to get back to the default settings.
For these types of problems, the Ubuntu forums are your best bet for finding a solution. With a simple Google search, you may find someone else who has a similar problem.
Crawling back to Windows
Unless you have a ton of free time to debug and research problems that are easily solved in Windows, Ubuntu may not be as great as it sounds. You may actually wind up appreciating Microsoft for a job well done. For now, I’ll stick with the guys up in Redmond.