Well, after spending a little time learning about it, last night I made the jump from Debian Sid (“unstable”) to Ubuntu Linux. Ubuntu is a Debian-based distribution that promises to focus more on desktop users by providing earlier releases of Gnome and other desktop applications. Overall, the switch went fairly smoothly. I chose Ubuntu “Hoary Hedgehog” (its development branch), which is based on Debian “Unstable.” I switched my apt-get sources over to the Hoary repository, launched “apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade” and crashed on the couch to watch a movie. An hour or two later (after fixing one minor upgrade snag), it was done. With the exception of a few core packages left over from Debian and probably wayyyyyy too many config files, my laptop is an Ubuntu machine now. Ubuntu is pretty nice. It feels a bit more “polished” than Debian, and now I’ve got Gnome 2.10, which is kind of snazzy. But there’s something I miss about Debian. Its kind of like when I traded in my old Jeep for a brand new 4Runner. Its slick and smooth and has lots of gadgets, but there’s something about the sharp edges on that old reliable you miss. Its like my laptop has lost that rock-solid Debian feel that made me feel like I could slam my machine repeatedly against the desk without doing damage. Time will tell how I finally feel about Ubuntu. Update: I’m also very concerned with the overabundance of the color brown throughout all of their default themes. Muddy, ugly, painful to look at brown. Update: There seems to be a fair amount of interest in how my experiment turned out. Well… it turned out badly. I wasn’t very happy with Ubuntu and I ended up reinstalling Debian. True, Ubuntu has newer versions of many packages than Debian has, but without that level of quality and reliability that Debian packages usually have. My machine lost that robust quality that Debian brought.