10 Reasons why Ubuntu is a BIG Failure in India

Till today I have never been able to spread Ubuntu among my friends successfully.(I live in Bangalore and all my friends are Bangaloreans and Bangalore is known as the IT Capital of India.)Even though I installed Ubuntu for all my friends none of them actually used Ubuntu for more than a week.Some of them removed Ubuntu and flatly refused to use it again in future.Some of them used it occasionally to download stuff from torrents and to clean infected USB Drives.Based on their feedback ,I figured out why people(especially of India) are not too keen on using Ubuntu even if it is installed on their computers.

1)GRUB Boot Loader does not have an Aesthetic Appeal.

Ugly Grub

Ugly Grub

After installing Ubuntu ,we are presented with a Grub menu which displays about 5 options.The 1st option to load Ubuntu and the last option to load Windows.This menu has a black ground with white text.This menu does not have an aesthetic appeal and does not create a good first impression.Even though Grub supports eye-candy like custom background and coloured text,Ubuntu developers have chosen to ignore the Grub Menu.With a little effort ,the Grub Menu can be easily enhanced visually .

2)Login Screen-Users are required to type in their username.

Ubuntu Login Screen

Ubuntu Login Screen

The default login screen in Ubuntu requires the user to enter his Username and Password.Many people find this irritating.The login screen should display a list of Usernames by default.An average user will not try to find out how to change the behaviour of the Login screen.Instead he will simply say that Ubuntu is not good and will refuseto use it.So it is upto the Ubuntu developers to change the default behaviour of the Login Screen.

3)Desktop-The Refresh option is missing!

Ubuntu Desktop Right Click Menu

Ubuntu Desktop Right Click Menu

What does an average Indian user do when the desktop loads in Windows?He rights clicks on the desktop and refreshes the desktop about 5-6 times or until he is satisfied.This is a ritual performed by most Indian Users after switching on the computer and just before shutting down the computer.
When this average user tries to perform his ‘Refresh’ ritual in Ubuntu,he is in for a rude shock.The Ubuntu Desktop does not have a Refresh Option or any other simliar option like Reload in the Right Click Menu.
So I advice Ubuntu Developers to include to a Refresh or a Reload option in the right click menu on the Desktop and in the Nautilus File Manager.The option should be equivalent of pressing Ctrl+R.As of now ,pressing Ctrl+R refreshes the Desktop in Ubuntu.

4)Default Login Sound.
The default login sound in Ubuntu is not good.It has been the same sound for many versions of Ubuntu.The Ubuntu Developers should spend some time on selecting a better Login Sound.


5)Default Wallpaper.
There are only 2 or 3 default wallpapers in Ubuntu.Ubuntu Developers should add some more visually appealing wallpapers related to nature,wildlife,people etc.

6)Default Audio driver is weak.
Quality of Sound in Ubuntu is never as good as it is in Windows.I don’t know what Ubuntu Developers can do about this,but this is one of the main reasons why people refuse to watch movies in Ubuntu.The sound effects are absent.

7)Totem Movie Player sucks

Totem Sucks

Totem Sucks

That’s the general opinion of many users.VLC Media Player or Mplayer would have been a better choice as the Default Media Player.

8)Right Click-Send To :Options are missing.
The right click menu should have a Send To option with options to send files to the Home Folder or Removable Disk or a blank CD etc

People in India are crazy about Cricket.The Indian Premier League live videos are being streamed at using Microsoft Silverlight Technology.Ubuntu fails here.Inspite of installing Moonlight – Open source alternative for SilverLight,live videos cannot be viewed in Ubuntu.The development of Moonloght is way behind Silverlight.
Ubuntu Developers should include Moonlight by default.Even if Live streaming is not possible,other SilverLight Enabled Sites can be viewed using Moonlight.In current Ubuntu version none of the Silverlight Enabled sites can be viewed.

10)Safely Remove USB Drive or Unmount Volume
Many people do not know how to Safey Remove their Usb Drives in Ubuntu.They are not aware of the Unmount Volume option in the Right Click Menu.So they simply pull it out.This leads to loss of data if writing process has not been completed.
So the Ubuntu Developers should rename the Unmount Option for USB Drives to Safey Remove USB Drive.An icon should also be displayed in the taskbar to Safely Remove USB Drive.

I hope Ubuntu Developers ,GNome Developers and other Linux Developers read this and make changes in their Linux Distribution.Hopefully by the next Ubuntu Release,I should be able to spread it successfully among my friends.




About the Author: Bharat Balegere

Bharat Balegere is a 27 year old blogger from Bengaluru. He is a technology enthusiast and loves tinkering with computers and usb drives.

192 Comments + Add Comment

  • Most peoples in India does not like to change the things and does not want to learn new things. They mostly use/talk/behave by surrounding nature.

    Windows is popular and easy, so people are using it widely. The mature IT people are using Linux, but the other guys are not taking it seriously and they fail to grab the advantages of it.

    So, the other guys thinks it’s a waste of time!

    Piracy is not a big crime in India. So people don’t bother to use pirate Windows.

  • Indians have a thinking…
    that if you pay for something, then it has to be good…
    Things that are free (opensource) are crap (not exactly, but they are afraid like WILL IT WORK???)

  • Yes my friend Ubuntu has some bad things, and some very good things

    i agree with you that

    *the grub should be more eye-candy
    *the login screen should be by default with users show (i think ubuntu did this for security reason)
    *has to have more sounds&wallpapers
    (all these because Ubuntu (said) is a distribution for starters or medium knowledge users)

    i STRONGLY disagree with you that

    * has to be a “refresh” button!! Why the hell is important to has this button? this button appear at windows because it couldn;t make its icons look again complete(idiot windows)
    You want an idiot habit at Ubuntu?

    *Why the hell (again) has to be a “safely remove” button??? UBUNTU IS NOT WINDOWS!!! If you want to work with Ubuntu(or any else distribution) you got to learn how to use it!!!

  • Hi,
    I installed Ubuntu 11.10 yesterday night and using it. I’ve dual booted it with windows 7.
    I’m quite impressed with Ubuntu. Ubuntu is not Windows. So when using Ubuntu you have to keep in mind that you’re running Ubuntu.
    Everything is so simple in Ubuntu. You just need to spend 5-15 minutes exploring the Ubuntu and I’m sure you will get use to it.

  • So most of the issues Indians users have with Ubuntu is GUI is less intuitive.

  • All the arguments given above are not good enough to reject Ubuntu. These can be customized in linux

  • I have been using Ubuntu 10.04 and 11.10……Being an Indian i feel this a complete relief from Windows….well its takes getting used to it i mean for simple task i would say a day of exploring. This expresses freedom and its free what more do u want able to do task completely free rather than paying hefty dollars to M$….I really enjoy UBUNTU and i would ask DO YOU UBUNTU….hope the 12.04 LTS well even if has Unity and not Gnome shell well its still good at-least they kept an option to go classic which is a plus pointer….

  • Seriously? People will reject Ubuntu because there is no right click option for refreshing? That is ridiculous. They should give Pangolin a shot. It’s an LTS and also offers excellent service out of the box. The only pitfall is that people need to be able to configure Wine to get some of their Windows programs to work. That and Unity blows.. It’s better to wait for Linux Mint’s LTS edition in May. Their Cinnamon window manager is way better than Unity, although the former is still a little buggy.

  • Dear Bharat, I strongly disagree with your feedback regarding Ubuntu. First why shall Ubuntu shall have a refresh button, the desktop never get cluttered like Windows. Regarding wallpapers you can always download of you choice from the Web, who prohibits it?? Regarding typing the user name, its always better to type your User name and pass phrase before you start, its an Unix tradition… Actually my friends find it absolutely unique in Linux flavors and that’s the reason they love it…Ubuntu does not caches its files on the flash drive, like Bills Windows does, so there is reason not to add the safely remove hardware option. As per sound is concerend, Audio quality is excellent on any Linux platforms (If sound card driver supported natively), I never had any issue with Multimedia Features in Linux, infact Ubuntu provides most customize-able media center features. Also I guess you are aware .mp3 support is not directly avail in any flavors of GNU/ Linux due to MP3 patent issues..
    I think you need to change your view point. Remember these are the days world is dominated by Unix / Linux (MAC, iOS, Android) and 2/3 of all smart devices are running some flavors of Linux.. So please dont say again Linux is not making its footprints..

  • Bharat,

    I can see your point with the “ugly grub”, the totem media player issue, the audio issue (in your case) and the streaming issue. All these issues can be easily customised/fixed but I can agree with your point that ubuntu probably should customize/fix them in default.

    With that said, you need to remember that Linux is not Windows or Mac and vice versa. If u want the same look and behaviour by all three then they wouldnt really be three different OSes now would they? If you are a linux user and you just got introduced to Mac or Windows it will definitely take some getting use to so why would you expect any different for persons switching from windows to linux?

    To be more direct though, why should there be a refresh button?… it may be a ritual in india but obviously it is senseless or simply not necessary.
    Secondly, whats wrong with typing in your username? Isn’t that actually a more secure thing to do? India uses facebook and email and so on right? Dont they have to put in both username and password? are you saying FB and so on should remove the username slot? That’s a silly thing to complain about.
    Thirdly, many persons like myself, do not like windows log in sound; however, they still use it. At the end of the day, there is no sound that everyone likes and why should it sound like windows when it isnt windows? plus you can change the login sound with ease if you want.
    Fourthly, there is a send to in right click menu and there is no need for unmount volume to be renamed as safely remove usb. People must use their senses!… if u want to remove your drive in a new OS look for something close but not exact. common sense must tell u that unmount volume is equal to remove drive safely.

    In closing, please remember that it is very simple to make ubuntu look like windows or anything else you wish but Windows is VERY HARD TO CUSTOMISE. Also, it is virtually impossible to make windows look and feel like linux. Which sounds better to you?

  • Ubuntu in 2012 has improved a lot from 2009. Now, Ubuntu has nice UI including Unity dash and HUD. Give Ubuntu 12.04 a spin and you will realize yourself. Ubuntu will become better than Mac and Windows soon because of its such a large community and all that open source, free software which runs on it. Why pay for software license?

    We are launching Ubuntu powered laptops, desktops and servers for India. Currently, we are in talks with 4-5 ODMs in Asia to design and oem these for us. The sketches of design are designed by our team in Bangalore, and we will be launching first models in mid-september.

    Also, if any one is interested to join us in Bangalore please check out our website and open positions.

    • There is nothing wrong with Ubuntu. It is a very good OS.

      As Shankara has observed: ‘What ubuntu needs is a big marketing push. It has all the qualities to sweep the market in very short period.’

      I am not an IT person but am attracted to the concept of open source.

      The biggest tragedy with open source in India, I feel, is the almost total lack of any proper institution to spread awareness about it. Some IT professionals learn it during their studies etc, specialise in it and become administrators for servers or hopefully developers. (It is bascally a server OS – all linuxes, BSD etc). The normal person who uses it for her desktop has to be a DIY person and most people do not have time or inclination for it.

      There are courses to become Red Hat administrators but I hope you realise that the skills that an ordinary desktop user is looking for are quite a bit removed from those of Server administrators.

      On the other hand, Windows (there are very few Mac users here) started as OS for desktops and is now trying to transform itself as an OS for servers too.

      You will find so many ordinary users who can do a lot of things (downloading apps – small tweaks and repairs) with windows OS but hardly anyone for Linux. This is because they keep learning from other people. Linux does not have that kind of eco -system. Either do it yourself or lump it.

      My personal experience is that hardly 2-5% PC users know that there is any OS other than windows and I am willing to take a friendly bet that the number of people who can load and run windows in a city is more than the no. of ‘pan beedi’ shops.

      The point I am driving at is that there is an urgent need to train people in the desktop linux environment and who in turn will be able to train/teach other normal users.

      Another drawback with Ubuntu (and other distributions) is that there are very few commercially useful applications (eg AutoCad, project management). Let there be paid applications also with Ubuntu which can be part of ubuntu software centre.

      My interest is to see open source flourish.

  • What ubuntu needs is a big marketing push. It has all the qualities to sweep the market in very short period.

  • I have bought a new compaq 420 laptop. Keen to install ubuntu. Does it support internet data card? Seen preview of ubuntu, quite impressive.

    • Congratulations
      It is heartening to see more and more non I T people interested in open source.

      I am very sure that Ubuntu supports Internet data card. I was able to get to this site after searching through Google, though I did not go through the contents.

      “How To Setup Mobile Broadband Like BSNL 3G USB DataCard On Ubuntu 11.10”
      I access internet on Ubuntu through Wireless modem.

      Wishing you all the best

  • This review is posted on 2009.
    Now most the things are changed, I’m using Ubuntu12.04 LTS in my home desktop and laptop. I switched to ubuntu from windows XP in 2009 August. Ubuntu 10.04 and later really works far better than Windows 7 ( leave that crashing XP). New changes made in unity/ Dash which are default in Ubuntu 12.10 and can be installed manually in 12.04 LTS makes it more productive faster more than Cinnamon. Once you get in to today’s unity UI you don’t want to go back to Cinnamon ( I’m not complaining anything bad about Cinnamon, Unity of 12.10 is more user friendly than Cinnamon).

    The things that makes rejecting Ubuntu 12.04/12.10 are
    DVD play back
    Amazon adds which are default in 12.10
    Since Ubuntu switched its mail client from Evolution to thunderbird. there is no native calendar support )
    Notification centre which is in OSX
    GRUB ( no need to explain this fraud)
    Gwibber ( Creepiest software of the linux world)

    Most of the people use windows because it comes pre-installed.
    Everyone wants to get their things done, not software or its background ( whether it is open source or proprietary ) Firefox, Google chrome Android in OS are a sucess because they don’t let the people to think what they are using. They just work how they wanted to.
    Need to post even more , Sorry, I don’t have time

  • Replacing the generic names in the menu LIke : Unmount Volume to Remove USB device safely, adding a refresh option in the menu, adding vibrant pictures and many more modifications will kill the native / generic style and feel of ubuntu or any other linux distro… it has always been like this and should be like it…. I being an ubuntu and mint user feel good with these names and options.. It makes the OS look professionals and gives a feel that it is built for the PRO.. for development.. Windows is good. but there are lot many uselful things that windows doesnot provide are already with Ubuntu and other distros.. All (most apps) is free..

    Changing Linux from its native form will kill it

  • Dear All,

    I have used linux mint,fedora,ubuntu,debian,fenopy,mandriva,cent os(server),puppy linux,meego finally settled with ubuntu.All of us speaking about good and worst part of ubuntu. As a user for several years i am listing the features and failiure of ubuntu.


    1.No need to configure anything. Everything can be installed through application manager.

    2.Fast booting and fast shutdown.

    3.wonderful clarity

    4.quick use of apps as soon as after booting process

    5.Lot of community support.

    6.Failsafe mode.

    7.Open source.Everything is free.

    Faliures of ubuntu:

    1.In india nobody ,that means common mens will use internet very rarely and even to surf mails.So downloading nearly upto a gb of file for ubuntu is more difficult for them.

    2.Ubuntu stops shipping the os free of cost and it is major let down.

    3.No proper support from developers

    4.Critical issues cannot be rectified through GUI

    5.Need internet to download softwares.

    6.Updates were of huge size.

    7.Even configured properly my usb dongle sometimes failed get corrupted and force closed.

    8.Lack of ms office. Even though lot of applications were available none is equal to ms office.Somebody will say we can install through wine but common people cant do that easily.
    (Even android did this very well through kingsoft office)

    9.Lack of games.Many common people will use some eye catchy games for their time pass..such as captain claw(my most lovable game)

    10.Eventhough having sound installed will not be upto that mark

    11.If corrupted none of the common men know how to recover it photoshop support.Even gimp available but it is not upto the mark as photoshop

    13.No autocad support even alternatives available but they are not upto the mark.

    14.without internet connectivity its no use.

  • All listed above are fake and not true points. One simple reason why nobody use Ubuntu is that people are Microsoft-sick. That’s all.
    A caterpillar follows other caterpillars.

  • Mr Gowtham Saran has used all major distributions of linux, both Red hat and Debian based. I recommend that he round off his experience with Desktop BSD and PC BSD.
    He must be fully acquainted with the philosphy of open source and how and why this movement came about. Also, about the patents and copyrights owned by the big guns of Commercial software and the patent wars being fought in various countries. Open source developers do not have the wherewithal to fight any patent or copyright war and the very threat of sueing any Open source organistion is likely to halt development of a particular piece of software.

    GNU/Linux OSs are basically OSs for Servers and they have made a successful transition to desktops also; bringing their robustness and multitasking, multiuser ability to desktops too.
    Ubuntu, or for that matter, any distribution of open source software is not popular in India because of rampant piracy of Microsoft software. In N America and Europe, because of stringent laws, piracy is much less and people have taken to free software/open source readily.

    He has not considered that GNU/Linux is much less at risk of malware infection because of its design.

    I have tried to rebut what he terms ‘Failures of ubuntu’.

    Failures of ubuntu:
    1.In india nobody, that means common mens will use internet very rarely and even to surf mails.So downloading nearly upto a gb of file for ubuntu is more difficult for them.
    This could not be understood. How do common ‘mens’ get their OS (Windows) in India and what for do they use the OS? Cost of Windows 7 home basic edition is about Rs 4000/-. If someone is getting a fully functional legal OS at no cost, and is asked to download it, which is cheaper – Windows or (Linux) Ubuntu?

    2.Ubuntu stops shipping the os free of cost and it is major let down.

    Pray how is it major let down? Unfortunately Mr Gowtham Saran expects free home delivery of Ubuntu to continue indefinitely. Even Microsoft does not make home delivery. You can, at the most, download the Windows OS but will not get a DVD of the OS.

    3.No proper support from developers
    Again could not be understood. Does he mean that Ubuntu developers should extend technical support to every user, which is not the case for any OS. However, it is worth pondering as to how a new version is released every 6 months without proper support from developers.

    4.Critical issues cannot be rectified through GUI
    What is a critical issue? Even in windows, you have to rectify a lot of advanced / adminisrative issues only through Command line.

    5.Need internet to download softwares.
    You need it with every OS – updates of all OSs are through net only. The software which comes packaged, especially windows compatible costs a ton of money.
    6.Updates were of huge size.
    Again what is the definition of ‘huge size’. Updates may be 1Mb or smaller and are rarely more than 15 – 20 Mb

    7.Even configured properly my usb dongle sometimes failed get corrupted and force closed.
    I honestly do not know what a ‘usb dongle’ is. Hopefully it is ‘wireless USB adapters’.
    These adapters for wireless connectivity may fail due to various reasons and not because of OS.

    8.Lack of ms office. Even though lot of applications were available none is equal to ms office.Somebody will say we can install through wine but common people cant do that easily.
    (Even android did this very well through kingsoft office)

    What is there in MS office which is not available in ‘Open office’ or ‘Libre office’ ? I hope Mr Gowtham Saran is writing this after having tried properly Libre office 4. There are so many ‘hidden Gems’ in Libre office that after some time, when you have explored Libre office, you may not like to go back to MS Office. The biggest difficulty is not lack of MS Office but ‘why Ubuntu is not Windows’

    Cost of Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010 Price – Rs.9,990
    Cost of (say) Libre Office – Rs 0

    The free version of kingsoft office is deactivated after a year, and one has the choice of buying a licence of the Pro, Standard, or re-installing a new version of the free (free for home users). It is not free but being shown as free – not a proper business practice.
    Kingsoft office might be configured for Android as they would be able to get a large number of customers on that platform.

    9.Lack of games.Many common people will use some eye catchy games for their time pass..such as captain claw(my most lovable game)
    Many games, free or paid, are available on Linux platforms. You have to search for them on the net. It is also true that CDs of these games are not readily available in the market.

    10.Eventhough having sound installed will not be upto that mark
    These music players are almost the default in Ubuntu:
    Vlc; UMPlayer; Rhythmbox; Banshee. Every one of them is quite good.
    Search the web and you get a number of players of High Quality for Linux. Instructions about downloading and installing them are also there.

    11.If corrupted none of the common men know how to recover it.
    If Windows is corrupted, the common man does not know how to recover it; in general you have to take help of someone who knows Windows adminisration; you can find a Windows administrator in any street. It is agreed that there are comparatively much fewer administrators for linux.

    I think what Mr Gowtham Saran wants to convey is that there is a paucity of people who are well versed in adminisrative tasks in Linux.

    The version of Ubuntu I am using is 12.04. It is broken; also no updates or other applications can be loaded, but it is running and all the existing applications are fully functional. I do not think Windows can be run under such conditions. (I come under category of ‘common men’ – non IT fellow) photoshop support.Even gimp available but it is not upto the mark as photoshop
    Photoshop is a closed source commercial application. Adobe cannot afford to allow it to be run on an Open Source platform.

    GIMP has all the tools required for general image manipulation. It is free but you pay much more for some slightly better functions in Photoshop.
    If Mr Gowtham Saran wants to run Photoshop, no one stops him. Also, those who can afford to purchase Photoshop can easily afford atleast a basic version of Windows.

    13.No autocad support even alternatives available but they are not upto the mark.
    What is the cost of AutoCad and what is the cost of developing a robust CAD application? Can you expect to get it free? It is more like a niche product and developers would prefer to develop a mass product.

    14.without internet connectivity its no use.
    It depends on the usage. Perhaps for quite a few people, Windows would also be useless without internet.

  • I am from India and I Love Ubuntu……..

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