Ultimately despite the factors that work against using Ubuntu in my lab, I persist. At the end of the day, I can say that I have machines that just work. The most important aspects of system administering to me are taken care of: I don’t need to worry about viruses and the nuisances they cause, and I get to uphold my own personal beliefs in regards to software and information freedom. I believe personally it is a solid foundation upon which to start tackling some of the other issues, such as promoting open data formats.
Combine this with the strong community that is growing, especially the growing Ubuntu in Education community and Ubuntu in ICT for Development community and it seems more and more of the kinks will soon be ironed out. Ubuntu is just one distribution of Linux, but to me, it seems to embody some of the best parts of working on Linux and other Open Source projects: community and development. It’s constantly being worked on by many different people, but it also maintains what may be considered a higher attention to user-level detail that other distros just do not have at the moment.
It may not be perfect, but nothing is, and at the moment I would rather use and teach an imperfect operating system where I am not breaking an laws in deploying it and can get the help and support and applications I need for free than use an Operating System that would require me to either be re-imaging every two months or force my users into the most heavily locked-down of sandboxed environments just to prevent the machines from becoming bogged down.
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