Well, reality finally took hold on me this week. Yeah, I am a ardent fan of Arch, Gentoo, and FreeBSD. I really like Linux Mint. Unfortunately for me, the Linux distribution of choice in Vietnam is Ubuntu. Roughly 90 percent of Linux users I meet in Vietnam are now Ubuntu users. The other 10 percent are people like me seem to be the old school Linux propents who feel that using Linux means configuring your entire system by command line.
Last night I met the IT Director from AppleTree, a French guy who has installed Ubuntu servers and desktops throughout Indochina. That’s really impressive. CentOS seems to be the only other distro, besides Ubuntu, making huge inroads in Vietnam. The Vietnamese language Hacao Linux did not seem to impress any of my Vietnamese students who felt it was too cluttered, slow, and generally not worthy to compare itself to Ubuntu.
The last school year I used PC-BSD, PCLinuxOS and Linux Mint with my students. They wanted Ubuntu though Linux Mint was a good compromise. In retrospect, I should have gone with Ubuntu. I was actually forcing them to use the distros I preferred which is ethically not right. Linux is about choice so I should have used Ubuntu.
It’s been nearly a year now since I have worked with my students. I will begin a open source project with a couple of my bright students. Without a doubt, we will use Ubuntu for our servers (though I may opt to switch them to Debian for more stability). It is a compromise I am making on my part. I will install Ubuntu 8.04.1 on my Thinkpad T60. I will keep Arch Linux on my desktop, possibly evening replacing it wil Debian Lenny Beta.
Ubuntu is what they want. I will give it to them.