Saturday, January 1, 2011

Farewell, Ubuntu

I first started looking into Linux in the 1990s.  I have been playing, and then subsequently relying on, Ubuntu since I started this blog in 2007.  And now I may be going away from Ubuntu, and Linux, for a while.

My situation is that, throughout this time, I have had work to do.  There were always applications or capabilities that I was using in Windows that I could not yet match in Ubuntu.  As a transitional step, I bought VMware Workstation and ran that on Ubuntu, so that I could use those Windows applications in Windows XP virtual machines while continuing to become more familiar with Ubuntu.  And this worked.  I did become fairly comfortable with Ubuntu.  I have spent what must have been hundreds of hours researching, tinkering, and troubleshooting, as shown in many posts in this blog.  The performance was never as good as on the Windows machine.  But it was a good arrangement nonetheless.

During the past year or so, unfortunately, VMware or the underlying Ubuntu installation grew flaky.  I reinstalled both a couple of times.  It just wasn't working.  The VM was working so slowly, even with faster hardware and a fair amount of attention to performance tweaks.  I still don't know why.  If I knew, I would fix it, because one odd thing I noticed was that Windows XP running in a VMware Workstation virtual machine was vastly more stable than Windows XP running in native mode.

Right now, there are too many things that I still can't do in Linux.  The promise has been a long time in coming, and it's still not here.  I will probably keep a dual-boot on at least one computer, and I may find that I need it sometimes, for some purposes.  I got to the point where installing and tweaking Ubuntu was a lot faster and easier than doing so in Windows.  I like Ubuntu.  But at the end of the day, I need my software to work.  So, for now, I am going back to Windows.