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

  • Nice post, it made me laugh a bit. However, most of these “issues” are Linux specific, not necessarily Ubuntu. I agree with some of them, but do you think the developers really want to make Linux look and feel exactly like Windows?

  • Greater variety in wallpaper? I can agree with that.

    Showing a list of names of known users? No way, not by default. That’s a security hole. The enemy shouldn’t have that information. At most you should be asked if you want that option (which exists; it’s in GDM configuration), and told it’s dangerous and asked to confirm your choice..

    Supporting the Indian habit of repeatedly refreshing the desktop? OK, but just out of idle curiosity, what happens differently the Nth time you do that?

    Silverlight? What’s the point? It’s another [insert favorite expletive] proprietary technology that Miguel and friends will always be playing catchup with, so there’s no point. Microsoft has an interest in preserving the current situation, and will always introduce a new incompatible version, just as they kept bringing out new versions of WIN32S.DLL to break compatibility with OS/2. Demand that cricket videos use non-proprietary codecs instead.

    Ditch Totem? You won’t get any argument from me. Let’s send gnome-screensaver to the pits of hell too, while we’re at it.

    “Safely remove devices”? That along with some of the other things here makes me think that you could cut the list down to one: “This isn’t just like Windows! I may have to actually learn something to use this!” How many seconds does it take to learn Places>Computer, then right click on the icon for the USB flash drive and choose “unmount”? To paraphrase Dennis Ritchie, if you want Windows you know where to find it.

  • Hi,

    I’m from Germany and Ubuntu is no a failure here at all nevertheless I totally agree with you especially since most of the points you mention are no big thing and are solved in other linux distributions way better.

    Regards, Alexander

  • I would have to disagree on most of the changes you suggest in this article. I appreciate the simplicity of the default settings of Ubuntu including the login sounds, visual themes, clean login, etc. I’ll agree that Totem is a rather simple media player, but I see that as a good thing personally and downloading a more complex one is simple (I mean, since you’re obviously comparing this to Windows, who doesn’t go download iTunes or Winamp anyway?)

    Number 3 I hadn’t even heard of that behavior in Windows before you mentioned that today. I’d like to stress though that Ubuntu is not Windows. It shouldn’t be expected to behave the same way (and I wouldn’t want it to). It’s kinda like the Wine project, while I appreciate playing certain games without a reboot, it’s impossible to be better if all you’re doing is playing catch up. Besides, that sounds like a negative on productivity.

    Number 9 I flat out disagree with. In fact, I’m really hoping the developers pull Mono out of the distro entirely because I don’t want to deal with the patent encumbrance that it brings by not being distributed by Novell.

    Number 10 I thought they had done well improving this with the eject button in Nautilus. Please, if you think there’s more to be done, participate in the Ubuntu Brainstorm. I’m certain there are ideas on this topic but every vote counts.

    I guess the only one that I agree with you on is Number 6. I’ve never felt comfortable with being able to configure my sounds card for better than 2.0 stereo output. (although I haven’t played with audio in Jaunty much yet and I heard there were significant improvements).

    All in all, (without meaning to sound elitist but probably succeeding) I hope that 9/10 of your suggestions aren’t implemented. I don’t want my favorite OS to be just like my least favorite one. Ubuntu isn’t Windows and it shouldn’t strive to be. If it doesn’t work for someone, then they should use what does. I haven’t heard people try to push Apple to make OSX like Windows because people who use OSX, like OSX. If I wanted Ubuntu to work like Windows, why wouldn’t I just use Windows?

    Just my 2 cents :-)

  • To be honest I didn’t make it to the end.

    In 1, what makes you think that Indian user cares about text only GRUB more than a user from Mozambic, or even at all? I guess Indian user can ask for Hindu interface, but this is as irrational as asking for BIOS in Hindu – average user should not mess with BIOS and should not mess with GRUB.

    In 2, you’ve been asked for a username in Linux, for ages. This is how Linux works. On the other hand, that big chess Icon with a username beneath it, thats how it works in Windows. It is just different.

  • “Desktop-The Refresh option is missing!”

    I have never heard of this!?! Why do they need to refresh the desktop? I have never needed to do this in Windows or Linux…

    “Right Click-Send To :Options are missing”

    My Ubuntu Jaunty has a “Send To…” item in my Right-Click Menu when I right-click on a JPG image. Maybe it only appears for certain file types??? It gives the the option to send to CD/DVD Creator, Removable Disks, Email, or Instant Message.

  • U really don’t know anything about linux/ubuntu.
    1. grub can be customized with splashes and colors
    2. System->Administration->Login window, there’s option for default username on login screen, also option for auto login the user.
    3.desktop is refreshed automatically, opposed to windows desktop bugs and hangs.
    10. both kde and gnome file manages, have buttons for auto mount/unmount of volume and “safely remove hardware”.

    next time, please try the system and learn it before writing shits. are u an IT?

  • If these are the reasons why “all Indians” refuse to use Ubuntu, then frankly, these people are better off NOT using it. And so are we.

  • I can agree with you on some of your points, but there are a few I must take issue with.

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

    This is a security measure, when set up this way anyone walking up to the computer must know BOTH a valid username, and the password to that account. It is possible to change the behavior of gdm to list the users as you suggest, but I really hope that NO Linux distribution makes this the default. Security is more important, and users should be educated about this.

    > 3)Desktop-The Refresh option is missing!

    I have been using Windows since version 3, and I didn’t even know that this option existed. Why someone would need or want to refresh a desktop 5-6 times after logging in AND before logging out completely escapes me. I have heard a lots of complaints repeated about Linux in the 12 years that I have been using Linux, and this is the first mention I have ever heard of this. Any insight on why this option is perceived as being so desperately needed?

    > 8)Right Click-Send To :Options are missing.

    Linux is not Windows, if your friends just want everything to work the way it does in Windows there is a product I can highly recommend to them, it’s called Windows and it’s sold by MicroSoft.

    > 9)Silverlight-Moonlight.

    This is not a Linux problem either, this is a problem with a publisher providing content in a format that was only meant to work with Windows. Perhaps if content providers could be persuaded to provide content using open standards and protocols, people could use Windows/Linux/Mac OS/FreeBSD/OpenBSD/NetBSD/Solaris/OpenSolaris/Amiga OS/RISC OS/insert favourite here without being locked out of content.

    > 10)Safely Remove USB Drive or Unmount Volume

    You have complained about two things missing from the right-click menu so far, and now complain about something that is available in the right-click menu.

    Personally I think that the default GRUB menu sucks, the default backgrounds in Ubuntu are absolutely awful, and the default sounds are annoying. I agree that the distribution could stand a little more choice in those areas. However most of your issues are that Linux doesn’t work like Windows.

    If you and the people you refer to had started out using Linux and were just being introduced to Windows, the complaints would go the other way. Since that is not the case, it sounds like they just want something that works exactly like Windows – in that case why on earth would they switch to Linux?

    Personally I will continue to change my wallpaper, gdm theme, and sounds ever 5 years or so when I do a full install on a new computer, and be happy to be away from the Windows way of doing things.

  • “He rights clicks on the desktop and refreshes the desktop about 5-6 times or until he is satisfied.”
    Why? What does that really accomplish?

  • Why would you refresh 5-6 times in Windows? Isn’t refresh only needed if something’s wrong with what is being displayed?

    Also, aren’t most of these addressed by Linux Mint? Introduce people to that distro instead.

  • Very pertinent points.

    I think the focus on user-experience should be holistic and towards polish and finish. Unless the entire user-experience is designed with the end in mind, it will continue to suck and send bad vibes to the end-users.

    There’s a lot to learn from Apple. Then, such attention to detail also requires software to meet the needs and usage of C (for Gnome) only raises the barrier. To promote development on Gnome, it should accept and integrate contributed software written in multiple languages (e.g.PyGtk and PyGnome).

  • Some of your points are legitimate usability issues. Others seem to be the usual complaint, “Ubuntu is not Windows” – which mistakes usability for familiarity.

    What people have learned (and has become habit) is not the only “right” way of doing things. Because Ubuntu is different doesn’t make it worse. People had to learn Windows, it is simply a little more learning for Ubuntu.

    GRUB is not pretty, you’re right – but have you seen the boot menu that Windows XP provides for other operating systems? It’s really no better. Ubuntu developers expect that dual-booting is an advanced feature – most users never see the GRUB menu, as it never appears and GRUB automatically loads Ubuntu within a few seconds.

    What is the purpose of refreshing the desktop? Unless you think there is some change that has not yet rendered on the desktop, I don’t see the point.

    Many of your complaints are also configuration/customization preferences. Many people are quite happy with Totem – if you prefer VLC, it’s easily accessed in the software repositories, go install it :). If you have more backgrounds you like, you can easily add them. If you prefer to click on your user name, you can customize that too using the “Login WIndow” tool.

    To expect Ubuntu to be exactly to your preference or exactly like Windows is unrealistic. It’s customizable, not pre-customized. Other distributions may be more to your liking (though I suffice with Ubuntu).

    Good luck!

  • 1. agreed
    2. agreed
    3. I have no idea what you’re talking about. Why do you refresh the desktop 5-6 times after logging in? And if it’s to make up for some broken behavior in Windows, why does it need to be in Ubuntu?
    4. meh.
    5. It’d be nice, but how much space on the CD should be taken up with artwork?
    6. For what hardware? My experiences with intel and via chipsets have been that all the hardware options are available to tweak.
    7. I don’t really know, I don’t use Totem.
    8. Sounds good to me
    9. Well, that one’s a whole can of worms, isn’t it?
    10. Fair point. Nobody does this on Windows either. That’s why flash drives are always getting corrupted.

  • some of your suggestions are fine , and I suggest you post them to Brainstorm
    (where you can post your ideas to ubuntu developers)
    some of the already been posted and if you want them so bad, go and vote for them.

    some of your suggestions are just not decent, we dont have to copy anything in windows just to make Windows-addicated users happy .

    btw , check out my blog for more ideas .

  • Thank you for this excellent review! I hope you will be heard.
    I had never heard about the “desktop refresh” thing!
    All the best,

  • + I agree with your suggestion for Grub, Grub should be more beautifull .
    now it looks so Dirty .

  • Generalizing your personal gripes about Ubuntu to all users in India is invalid. I work with a lot of people in India who don’t fit your stereotype of the typical Indian computer user. While some might find the same things you stated annoying, I really don’t think they are even close to the reason that Linux is not as popular as Windows. I think the major reason is that the applications people want to run aren’t available on Linux and people are too lazy to learn how to use Linux equivalents. There just isn’t a compelling reason to go to the trouble of switching operating systems. The Windows inertia is just too great in most cases.

  • These are all basic things. If people would take 5 minutes they could eliminate 7 out of the 10 problems listed here. This is why there is the ubuntu forum, conveniently located at If this is why ubuntu has failed in India, I wonder how most users deal with some of the complex issues Windows pits users against.

  • Interesting viewpoint.

    1) I actually tend to agree with this, it seems that there is no reason to keep the bootloader screen as blank as it is. Maybe the developers just haven’t considered it as something that they should do. You could suggest the change in the developer forums. I can’t believe that it really would put people off completely though!

    2) I think this is a security feature.

    3) Unlike Windows, the Gnome desktop actually does roughly what it’s supposed to, so there shouldn’t be any need to “refresh” it. This is a very curious thing for people to miss doing. Maybe more effort should be made to inform people that they don’t *need* to perform this action, rather than spend time implementing a pointless menu option!

    4) I think that this is something of a “signature tune” I think that you’d have about as much luck trying to convince Microsoft to change the default login sound in Windows. You can always change it if you want :-)

    5) It’s very easy to change the desktop background. There’s no point in wasting a lot of disk space storing a bunch of images when (by definition) you’re only going to use one of them! Better not to clutter up my computer with stuff I don’t want, and let people put their own pictures on the desktop background. A quick google search for the image of your choice and a couple of clicks to set it as the background is just as easy as going into the default images and looking for one you like.

    6) I’ve never experienced this. If you find a problem with something like this then the best thing that you can do is submit a bug report. That’s you part of the open source bargain :-)

    7) I’m not a fan of Totem myself, but it’s so easy to get new media players that it’s not a problem. Whatever default player you decide to package, there are going to be some people that don’t like it.

    8) Personally, I hate these options in Windows, they’re much less efficient that other ways of transferring files.

    9) This is a closed source issue. I guess they’re working on it as quickly as they can.

    10) Nautilus has a nice big “eject” button next to the names of the removable drives. Even then, right-clicking and choosing “unmount” is hardly a killer!

    It seems that most of the issues that you raise are of the category “Ubuntu isn’t exactly the same as Windows, but free”. People can learn about the small differences between the systems quite easily, as long as they’re expecting a slight learning curve. to make a Windows clone would not really serve any point, although I do think that the ReactOS guys are doing a good job at that!


  • 1: The boot loader that windows has when you have multiple widows operating systems installed is black and white too.

    2:You can change this setting to login automatically, if you can’t change one little setting, you shouldnt use a computer.

    3:The desktop automatically refreshes, why do you need to refresh it manually?

    4:Seriously??? the sound????? gimme a break man…

    5:Go download a picture or add your own, most people get their own wallpapers. i’ve almost never used the default wallpapers on any operating system.

    6:Do you have any proof to back up this claim??? one sentence isn’t really an argument for or against something.

    7:Go to add or remove programs, install a different one. customization is what linux is all about, if you dont like something they give you get something else. it’s all about choices.

    8:copy and paste, nuff said…

    9:silverlight is windows only, the fact that they have moonlight and that moonlight works on some silverlight sites is a miracle, because they get no code or help from microsoft. silverlight is just a ploy to get people to use windows.

    10:Wouldn’t anyone whose used a computer before try to right click?????

    I’m not trying to flame you, or spam. i’m just trying to say the you need to get your facts straight and realize that ubuntu isn’t supposed to be a copy of windows.
    You should read this article ( about how linux is not windows. linux isn’t supposed to be like windows.
    please don’t delete my comment, and please read that article, and please re-edit or post a new blog entry, becuase this one isn’t thought through very well…

  • 1. If Windows has “refresh”, it DOES NOT mean Linux will also have it. Why do you expect this to happen? 99% people don’t know what is the use of “refresh”. And Linux doesn’t require it. period.
    2. Ubuntu sounds are pretty cool. I have never heard anyone complaining about that.
    3. IPL matches were very much viewable using Flash, if you tried.

    I agree with all the other points. Very well put :)

  • Simple. Get your friends to try a different flavour of Linux or set up ubuntu a bit differently.
    Grub. Sheez. That is one ugly grub. Most other distros are way ahead.
    Login. My daughter uses a Mandriva derivative. She doesn’t have a login screen. I shut it off in the control centre. You only need a password for root (another ubuntu fault – no real root password). She is 9 and uses the computer every day.
    Refresh…………….er, why????
    Login sound. Change it…………..the same as you do in windows or even better…turn the irritating sound off.
    Wallpaper – as if MS give you a good lot of wallpapers. Go into the repo and download more.
    Sound – try different speakers. Honestly, my wife ( a musician) prefers Linux alsa over windows on the same machine. Then again we don’t use ubuntu.
    Totem does suck. Gnome, huh. Try a KDE distro. Kaffeine rocks.
    Right click in kde. copy to, move to etc etc. Gnome desktop again. Honestly. With MS users you should try them with KDE, not gnome. Gnome is too different.
    Moonlight – can’t help you, never used it. Don’t use proprietry MS sites.
    USB? I just yank mine out but I use pclos.

    • Lack of root access is not a ubuntu fault rather it is a security feature.

  • Ubuntu Linux doesn’t give you lollypops like colorful menu and megauseful media player out of the box, but it gives you opportunity to do your everyday tasks freely the way you like. So before writing something like this you should better get more familiarized with the subject of your article.
    1. Grub menu doesn’t have colors out of the box, but you can change it(colors, fonts, even background image)
    2. There is nothing wrong with inputing your username on login, but if it doesn’t satisfies you, you can change it too, so login screen will look like windows login screen
    3. Desktop refreshes automatically as it does in windows 2000 and later and maybe even in 9x(i don’t remember exactly). If you doesn’t know this maybe you should first read some books on how to work with windows propertly?
    4. If doen’t like login sound – change it or disable it(gnome desktop will load little bit faster). The same is for windows – i actually don’t like the default sound, so i disable it.
    5. The wallpaper is a matter of taste. Does anybody use default wallpaper in windows? So download a wallpaper you like and be happy.
    6. Do you know how sound system works? Seems to me you don’t.
    7.Totem is the default media player for gnome. Like Windows Media player is the default player in windows. If you don’t like it – you may choose MPlayer or VLC or whatever you like. Even Windows media player via Wine.
    8. An absolutely useless option – if you like to copy something somewhere you may use file manager(nautilus or mc in console or whatever you like) or console for this task.
    9. If you didn’t know, moonlight is a part of mono project. Read something about .net and so on to understand better what it is. And than go to mono project web site and get to know why ubuntu by default doesn’t include mono and moonlight.
    10. Ubuntu developers doesn’t have to make themselves over to lazy people who doesn’t know anything and dont want to know something new.

    So Ubuntu like any other linux distribution is ment for creative people who doesn’t want to do things by somebody’s pattern, but want to do things the way they like to do. Usually people like this doesn’t look at colors in the boot menu (your favorable windows don’t have it and won’t have it ever) or listen to the default sound they just do their everyday tasks. So before writing articles like you should first study the subject of your article more closely or you will drop a clanger like this time.
    Best wishes

  • Ubuntu is not Windows and should not try to mimic every detail of it. If your friends are not able to learn such a simple differences, then len them eat all the viruses on their MS machines. MS way is not THE ONLY ONE and the RIGHT one. It is a different system, so learn the diffenece.
    Sorry, but I consider at least half of your suggestions to be very bad ones.

  • Also, I know SuSE and some others are working with GRUB 2.

    It should support some advanced features you might like, including higher-resolution images and nicer menus. Ubuntu will probably move to GRUB 2 at some point, though I do not know when (which release) it will be.

  • What is the desktop refresh option mentioned in item 3 supposed to do? This feature may not be present simply because it isn’t required but I’m just guessing since I don’t know what this option is intended to do.

  • Do they really use refresh so often? That’s awful. There’s no reason to ever refresh your desktop. It should always display an accurate list of files that are contained on your desktop.

    That sounds more like a bug with Windows than a feature needed in Ubuntu.

  • Duh,

    Ubuntu + Linux Mint serves us very well here in the USA. I play everything, and obviously understand more about any OS than anyone in India. LOL!

    No wonder I hang up when an Indian answers my H-P or SONY tech issues.

    Good luck to you guys.

    Tempe, Arizona

  • Read this. It appears many people are afraid of change and like to stick with windows. Grub loading screen can be avoided if you don”t duel boot. For video install VLC player. One may use WUBI to install UBUNTU.
    Installing Linux Mint gives a different experience.
    I am 78 year old, and learned computers only8 years back and Linux two years back. With patience your friends can get used to Linux along with Windows ( which is many a time pirated.)

  • Seriously? This from the IT Capital of India?
    1) Close your eyes for 5 seconds.
    2) Get used to typing your username/password. It’s called security.
    3) Why refresh for the sake of refreshing? I do this myself when I’m on Widows XP out of a bad obsessive/compulsive habit. NOT having to do that in Linux is quite liberating!
    4) Personal preference. Change it to your liking.
    5) Personal preference. Change it to your liking.
    6) Uh, not sure what you mean by this.
    7) Yeah, Totem sucks. I’ll give you that one.
    8) I’ll give you this one as well… for convenience’s sake.
    9) Silverlight is Microsoft. You’re blaming Linux for Microsoft’s tendency to force proprietary formats down people’s throats? If people used open standards, this wouldn’t be an issue.
    10) Unmount is just what Unix/Linux calls it. Educate yourself on how to safely remove hardware in Linux. Hint: “unmount” = “safely remove”. Or… just wait a few seconds before pulling out that USB drive (works for me!).

    Bottom line, Linux is NOT Windows. Don’t label it a “BIG Failure” for not wanting to copy Windows down to the granular level. Judge it on its ability to do what you want it to do how you want to do it, but take the time to learn how it works before passing judgment. Otherwise all you’re really saying is “Linux sucks because it isn’t Windows”… wait a minute, do you work for Microsoft??

  • WTF? You are telling me Indians are such idiots that they must upon starting or leaving the OS click a button that is going to do nothing for them multiple times? In order to get the OS accepted by these idiots the developers must spend time adding a useless button for idiots. Let them eat windows then. I don’t give a shit.

  • Dumb article!
    11) Some people don’t like switching on the computer – you have to switch on the computer to use Ubuntu.
    12) Some prople can’t pronounce “Ubuntu” and and so can’t recommend it to their friends.
    13) Some people think “Ubuntu” is an alien name and are afraid to leave the computer unattended in case it leads to an invasion of the planet Earth by alien flesh eating zombies from the planet Zog.

  • Maybe you should tell your user to get educated about linux first .

    1 . When installing choose auto login and there is nothing to worry about .
    You will not even see grub.
    2. What do you need to refresh desktop for anyway ?While you are at it why not fix registry too .
    3.So turn of login sound and for wallpaper navigate to any photo and choose it as a wallpaper .
    4. Audio works fine on all pc i installed it , and some go back to p3 and some are quadcore , Test your pc with live cd before installing . Heck , xp comes with fewer drivers then ubuntu .
    5 Yes , VLC rocks
    6 are MS saves . Email them to offer flash version.
    7 Re. USB: Maybe you should tell your user to get educated about linux first .

    Good luck and next time bring up some real issues .

  • I agree with number 1,5, and 6. 3,8,9, and 10 seem to be things that are just windows based, as in that is how it works in windows and people don’t want to learn a different way.

  • Reading that, I’m pretty much convinced Ubuntu isn’t suitable for you. But 1350 rupees will buy you a nice copy of Windows XP. Good luck!

  • For a country of over a billion people, a ‘BIG’ failure must include some large statistics. Can you provide details of how many your survey covered, technical proficiencies and suchlike?

  • You should have your friends try Mandriva 2009 KDE….it will make the transition from windows easier fo your users. Make use of the Mandriva Control Center panel

  • So, Ubuntu is a failure in India because Grub is ugly, there is no automated login, no screen refresh, login sound, sound driver, wallpaper and totem sucks? Does every IT guy in Banglore agree with you? :)

  • Pffft! Who needs users like that? Indians in general seem to be very Windows-centric, exceptions aside. Most of the big .NET pushers are in fact ethnic Indians. Heck, look at the employee roster at Microsoft: Indians galore! I don’t know if it’s just the whole ultra-capitalist ethos that permeates throughout the Indian culture (you know, “Microsoft is big! So money can be made there!”) but as far as I’m concerned, Indians can stick to Windows. I would prefer it that way.

  • This would happen to be the laziest, weakest thinking anyone has applied to an article this month. It must have taken a special effort.

  • Alot of the issues that you have with Ubuntu are the very essense that make up this distro. Those minor issues can also be changed by YOU. It is quite easy to customise it, change those features you didn’t like. Like the login theme, sounds, desktop backrounds etc and make your own installation disk to distribute to your friends.

    Or you could get them to try Linux Mint.

  • what a nonsense.
    many people in india use ubuntu
    i am the proof
    there are so many communities i am familiar with
    the moment is slow but steady

    its like “you cant just taste one”
    once you taste it you will not leave
    at my work, we changed almost 20% of people to ubuntu
    thought IT guys dont provide support, we help them and share knowledge

    UBUNTU hails

    i guess you are FUD by micro$0ft

  • Its a YES, if you talk about usefriendly and eye-candy I mean the looks of the programs itself like totem. But again every user is differents if you talk about tast…
    In Europe everbody thinks that important is that is working and must be strong. In Asia its more about beauty too show off. Japan,everything must be tiny and fuctional…

  • Kindly do not write facile articles! Your article is linked at Please read the talkbacks there. To most there it seems that you are a FUD monger. Makeing statements such as ‘Ubuntu is a failure in India’ is specious and based on poor knowledge of ‘Ubuntu’. You are making a rather over ambitious statement here. I use Kubuntu 8.04 (over the last 4 years from Breezy Badger on) and it has answers for most of your peeves about Ubuntu. Example, It displays the user login. By the way Ubuntu is not representative of GNU/Linux. If you don’t like it you can choose the many others, like Linux Mint (Gnome) a Ubuntu derivative, PCLinuxOS (KDE) a Mandrake/Mandriva derivative originally for a out of the box experience. Also your screenshots are of a Ubuntu version that is rather dated. This in itself proves that your claims are not founded on fact.

  • It looks like almost all your arguments are purely cosmetic. The first 5 “Big” failures are all things you can change immediately. Have your friends ever changed the Windows wallpaper before? Don’t like Totem, install VLC, what’s the big deal? #10, it’s not windows and its not that easy to right click, something that you said Indians are very fond of doing. By the way, why are you compulsively refreshing the desktop? That is something I have never heard of and the fact that you don’t have to do it in Linux should be bonus, not a failure.

  • The actual reason why Ubuntu might have failed with your friends is that they aren’t willing to take up the time to learn about the system. They simply want something that works, and not something that makes them exercise their brain-cells.

    As regards to the 10 reasons you put forward, I’ll tackle them one by one:

    a. It requires adding a single line to the configuration file (menu.lst), and placing just one file within /boot/grub to jazz things up. Now is that too hard?

    b. “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 refuse to use it.”

    If the average Indian user doesn’t give a damn about security, do you expect the guys Ubuntu to shoot down their security measures just for him/her?

    c. This one’s my favorite. People keep on refreshing their desktops, because they think it somehow magically frees up his RAM, and gives his system a boost. What a load of shit! All it does is to re-draw the screen once. That’s all. So you see, the problem is not the absence of a Refresh option, but of ignorance, and a lack of willingness to learn.

    d. and e. Why not help them out? Besides, copyrighted audio clips/wallpapers are a strict no-no.

    f. What audio chip do you have? I’m running a Realtek ALC883 here. Works like a charm.

    g. and h. Yeah, maybe you’re right on those.

    i. Proprietary technology… again. Just give them some time.

    j. Oh come one, you’re not trying to Windows-ize Linux, are you?

    By the way, I’m an Indian as well. I hail from Assam.


  • Sorry for the typos in the last post.

    I would like you to tell us why Ubuntu is such a hit the world over. People abroad have migrated to Ubuntu from Windows too. They probably face the same problems as us Indians, right?

  • In essence, please make ubuntu more like windows?

    The refresh ritual is entirely unnecessary in windows, and even more so in Ubuntu. Putting it in so people could be stupid would be an abomination.

    Sound is great in my computer: ubuntu outperforms Windows on that one. It depends on your hardware.

    Agreed Grub could look flashier. BUT if it had an image, it would take that much longer to load, and the Image is an entirely unnecessary (functionality wise) option. If people want one, they can put it in. It’s not difficult. And by doing so they can customize their experience. I know so many people (including myself) who have wasted hours skinning the old windows 95-98 bootscreen.

    If people find that typing in their username AND their password is too much, then they should change the GDM theme. It’s easy, and shows the user how much more customizable Ubuntu is than Windows, again.

    The login sound has progressed from version to version. I like it. You dont. Change it. Do you like the login sound from Windows? No? Too bad.

    Personally I find that wallpapers shipped with distros are never to my liking. I have my own collection. there’s an easy way to change it: right click on the desktop… etc.

    I’ve never understood why a media player should look completely different and outlandish compared to other apps. All I want to do is see the movie, not the window borders! sheesh. VLC is an option, you can install it if you want. Does Windows Media Player do much? or do people go and install VLC?

    Right click send to is convenient, yes, but there are other convenient ways of doing things. Ubuntu shouldn’t have to let you keep your M$ habits, any more than MacOS should. There are other Distros for that. Try Linux Mint?

    Silverlight is, imho, a diversion by microsoft from flash. I was perfectly content with having only ONE good, working codec that I had to install: flash. Now, we have to have flash, silverlight, and Who knows what else? All this eats into system resources. Silverlight should not exist. I especially do not like it since the M$ page which was supposed to tell you all about it insisted that you install it before you can read about it! that’s back-handed.

    Safely remove is just another M$ habit. You need to Unmount. Period. It’s not Windows. In MacOS, you need to Eject. Please, tell your friends that it’s not windows, it ubuntu, and they have a bit of learning to do. once they learn, they will understand, and they will like, and they will keep.

    However, I applaud your attempts to improve your friend’s computing experiences.

  • Rather than having Ubuntu confirm to windows users, the users should conform to Ubuntu.

    That is all that is worth commenting on. Most of what is in this article is laughable.

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