Why You Might Argue That Ubuntu Is The Best Distribution Of Linux

First, a little context: I am a musician who writes/records music to put on the internet, and I use linux-based desktop operating systems to do so. A little over a month ago, I had to get a new laptop because my old one's USB ports decided to no longer work & I needed a quick fix.

More often than not in recent years, I tend to load up machines using Arch Linux; an install disk that allows you to use a command line to manually build your operating system from online software repositories. It's really handy if you're tight on space and/or want your computer to have/run as little bloat as possible, and you can get real creative with how you configure it (Gentoo also does this but refuses to actually package anything and make you compile half of planet earth just to use it).

But when I got this new laptop, I just wanted to get back into production as soon as possible, so I loaded up my USB stick with the Ubuntu MATE distro & proceeded with my day. A perfectly-functional linux-based operating system that requires little more than installing my favorite DAWs & notation editor in order to be usable for my purposes? Yes please. It's nothing flashy like them crazy configs you'll see in the r/unixporn subreddit, but it serves me well.

Slightly-unrelated, but I think one of the biggest draws to using Ubuntu or something Ubuntu-based is the range of software that you have readily available at your disposal. Whether you like it or not, Ubuntu distros & variants such as Linux Mint & elementaryOS are some of the most popular linux-based operating systems out there, so natuarally, software developers who care about Linux compatibility are gonna make sure that people on the Ubuntu can obtain & use their software with ease. See an option for a PPA (private-package archive) or .deb file? Your favorite software dev is keeping them 'buntu users in mind.

Since I mentioned PPAs, let's talk about PPAs. A software repository for a particular piece of software that I can hook up to my package manager & that is maintained by the software's developer(s)? Hell to the yeah! Why is this useful? Because Ubuntu's own repositories can't carry everything... lord knows that Arch Linux tries w/ their AUR & that's kind of a clusterfuck. PPAs give you easy access to software that you wouldn't find in Ubuntu's repos. But the bigger draw for me relates to the notation editor I use (Musescore). The version in Ubuntu's official repos is just enough out-of-date to have a kinda shitty soundfont that I'm not a fan of, but one of the newer versions has a soundfont that slaps. Luckily, as is the point of this anecdote, Musescore has a PPA with said more up-to-date version, so problem solved.

In conclusion: Do you want to guarantee a solid out-of-the-box experience with a wide-range of available software? Use something based on Ubuntu. Want a barebones distro to really make your own? Use Arch Linux. Want to start hating yourself? Use Gentoo.