I liked Ubuntu quite a bit but there were a couple small niggles I couldn’t get over and, in the end, work requirements just pulled me back to XP. I can’t really say much bad about my time with Ubuntu and I’ll keep it installed on my home pc - but it just isn’t sufficient for my needs at work right now.

My Problems

Database Development

I do a lot of different database development specifically with MS SQL Server and Oracle. Short of installing a virtual machine I see no way to continue to do development on these two tools from within any Linux distro. While I have problems with SQL Server 2005 Management Studio stability it is still far more useful than nothing. PL/SQL Developer is pretty much the best tool I have ever used with Oracle DB’s and is worth far more than we pay for it. I can’t really live without either tool.


Sure, I could probably look at Mono - but I am not sure it is worth it at this point in the game. I have already gotten 3 C# .NET apps out there that I have to maintain and, as it turns out, one of them is being funded for further work. I’m not sure what is involved in porting one to Mono compatibility (or if anything is required) but if anything at all is required I’m sure the customer isn’t going to pay for it and, honestly, why would they?

Music Player

This is just my personal thing but I tried out about 9 different music management programs on Ubuntu and I didn’t like any of them. I use MediaMonkey on windows and it is so vastly superior in both features and performance in dealing with my music collection that it alone would have been enough to get me back to XP - that’s how good it is.

Amarok and Exhaile were both “OK” but not too great and both were pretty slow at filtering my large collection of music. Neither was particularly good at organizing my music, neither had as much Amazon integration as I want (for tag cleaning after ripping a CD), and neither had good facilities for converting audio formats. Amarok had a plugin but it didn’t work very well. Furthermore neither let you put different watches on different directories. I have one directory that I rip new songs to on my machine and then another that serves as the entire library. I want to watch both but I don’t really want to check the big one on startup while I do with the small one. Finally, I tend to listen by Genre more than anything else. There is no easy/good way to browse by Genre in either tool.

MediaMonkey however just kicks ass at all of this. There is a free version but it is so damn good I have a paid version. I have never found another tool that is so good at managing my music (and I have a lot of it). Maybe I could have run MediaMonkey via wine but, considering the other issues I have already mentioned I didn’t see much reason to try.

Cisco VPN Client

I installed the Linux Cisco VPN client stuff but it just doesn’t work with our VPN - or at least I couldn’t get it to. Meanwhile the windows Cisco VPN client works pretty easily. Plus it comes with a native GUI while in Ubuntu I had to install a separate KDE GUI that asked for stuff my Windows one doesn’t. I really don’t want to be an expert on VPN’s just to connect to one.

UPDATE: Well I had someone show me what data I needed to provide - and they showed me a better gnome VPN client that integrates with the network-manager. So this is no longer a strike against Ubuntu at all.

Text Editor

gEdit was ok. Kate was Ok. Vi and Emacs? I don’t want to learn a whole new keymapping system. I just want to edit my text. I have been using EditPlus for years and pretty much love it. While I think “E” and “TextMate” look pretty darn good I’m not even sure they are worth giving up Editplus for. EditPlus is light and fast. Sure you have to pay for it but, again, it is well worth the $30. It’s just better for the kind of frequent editing I do than pretty much any other free text editor I have tried on either windows or linux.


I use SVN for everything and TortoiseSVN is just fantastic. I don’t mind using the command line but why bother when something as nice as TortoiseSVN exists. I found nothing remotely as nice for Ubuntu expect, perhaps, Gnubversion but I didn’t get to try it out. I understand KDE has a nice integrated SVN client but I was running Gnome.

What Was Good


That things kicks ass. No way would I have tried out more than 5 music players without it. There is no easier way to download and install software. It’s a work of genius. I love that thing. I will miss it’s functionality in Windows.


I use “launchy” in windows but it isn’t quite as nice as Gnome-Do (without the amarok plugin). Launchy is good but I just liked the feel of Gnome-Do better.

Easiest Apache Install Ever

Again this is thanks to Synaptic but man it was so easy and I had php, cf, and mysql all hooked up with it in no time.

I don’t blame Linux or Ubuntu specifically for my switch back. It just isn’t the right tool for my job. It would be great to have a much better MediaMonkey-esque music player/manager for Linux but that was really the only Linux shortcoming I found, and the fact that Hardy Heron shipped with a Beta web-browser. That kind of sucked; too many sites I go to (ESPN fantasy sports, Mint) don’t work right in it.

If I didn’t have to do any windows development I probably would have tried MediaMonkey via wine and stayed in Ubuntu; I was generally that happy with it. But, for now, I am back in XP.



network-manager which has a cisco vpn plugin. network-manager-vpnc is the package in ubuntu - it worked like a charm.

It turned out to be a lot easier than what I had initially thought. Fortunately I knew someone who was more familiar with the available tools.


What was the solution the Cisco VPN problem? This is the only reason why I boot into Windows for work, and if I could find a solution I could stay on Ubuntu. Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!