Having used Ubuntu for the last decade, it was time for a change. I began my journey into open source with FreeBSD and Slackware, and used FreeBSD for over 10 years as my main desktop OS before switching to Linux. High-quality distributions based on FreeBSD include pfSense, FreeNAS, and of course, Mac OS X, and Sony PlayStation.
In my time, I've played with many different open source operating systems, including OpenBSD, NetBSD, Arch Linux, Cent OS, Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, Mandriva, and Red Hat. I should take a look at PC-BSD, as they aim to be a user friendly desktop operating system based on FreeBSD.
The main reason for switching back then was that ports were often lagging behind Linux, and often didn't have any support in FreeBSD. That's all changed now. FreeBSD has an extensive collection of very up-to-date ports, and to my suprise, I've found a number of ports that are more up-to-date than Ubuntu packages! Nvidia has first-class driver support for FreeBSD. I've also switched over all my servers to FreeBSD 10.2, except one, which runs KVM virtual machines (pfSense and FreeNAS) on Cent OS 7. Because of FreeBSD's excellent virtio drivers, network and disk performance is wonderful. The only reason I use KVM is because my servers have Intel L5520 CPUs and the FreeBSD native hypervisor, bhyve, requires Westmere or newer for Intel processors.
All my sites, including this site, now run in a FreeBSD jail. As of July, 2015, FreeBSD 11-CURRENT has support for running 64-bit Linux under Docker. Running Cent OS under FreeBSD is as easy as one command: `docker run --rm -it centos`.
To be honest, there was one thing that really ticked me off about Ubuntu. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, published Ubuntu 12.10 with built-in Amazon advertising... and did not offer a way to disable it! I knew immediately that I did not see eye-to-eye with the folks at Canonical on two ciritical issues:
Privacy went out the window in the interest of making money. Richard Stallman (RMS) - founder of the GNU Project, Free Software Foundation, GNU Compiler Collection, GNU Emacs, and GNU General Public License - called it spyware, saying:
One of the major advantages of free software is that the community protects users from malicious software. Now Ubuntu GNU/Linux has become a counterexample.
By making Amazon product advertising enabled by default, and not providing a way to quickly and easily disable it, the folks at Canonical sent a strong message to the world that they do not respect our freedom. This is at odds with their roots in Debian, which is reknown for being zelous about freedom. Having the gall to publish Ubuntu 12.10 with Amazon product advertising enabled, and not offering a quick off-switch is astounding to me, even 'till today. I cannot honestly recommend anyone use their products while this type of anti-privacy, anti-freedom leadership exists within Canonical.
After struggling to find a way to disable it, I knew that the countdown to tossing Ubuntu out of my life had begun. It was a great ride while it lasted. Farewell Canonical!
That said... FreeBSD isn't able to put my laptop to sleep, so I use Linux Mint on my laptop, which is based on Ubuntu but not published by Canonical :-P