Desktop Linux: The Dream Is Dead

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by HardOCP News, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Elledan

    Elledan [H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2010

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    There's a lot of things wrong with Linux, including a buggy (unstable) kernel. I still don't get them switching from a stable/unstable set of branches (e.g. 2.2 and 2.4 were the stable or maintenance branches). Then Linux clings to archaic and clumsy constructions such as X. It was a kludge back in the 80s and it only got worse, yet nobody is seriously working on an alternative which doesn't suck.

    Then the final straw: the lack of any standardization when it comes to the file tree. /etc has become the dumping grounds for config files and more, and applications install in 4, 5 or more different folders. This all is compounded by each distro's preference for system libraries, leading to SO hell, which is much worse than 'DLL hell'.

    Personally I think that the BSDs are the way to go if you like OSS operating systems. It just needs something better than X. Refer to the UNIX Haters Handbook for the reasons why X was and still is a terrible idea :)
     
  2. Elledan

    Elledan [H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2010

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    As for applications on Linux, it's beyond ridiculous to call something as pathetic as the Gimp a Photoshop replacement. I use PS CS5 Extended professionally (photographs, 3D painting mode, more) and I have used the Gimp many times in the past. The UI is horrible (floating windows, really?), the feature set is miniscule, it doesn't handle layers well, it's even worse at text and in general I would say that even Paintshop Pro makes for a worthy opponent.

    GCC is also a terrible compiler, definitely no match for the MSVC compiler. Maya on Linux is no match for the Windows version, or for 3DS (Windows-only). OpenOffice on Linux is generally buggier than on Windows (based on my housemate's frustrating experiences, mostly :) ). Fonts on Linux are much worse than on Windows (unless you install some real fonts), hardware support is still lacking, interface usability is still an alien word to the KDE and other devs and so on and on.

    Linux is an okay server OS, but even there I would go with BSD :)
     
  3. kmanuel

    kmanuel [H]Lite

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    The desktop is going bye, bye.. Pretty soon, no one will know or even care what OS is running in the background. It will all be about apps that will work across different platforms. The cell phone industry is moving in on the traditional "desktop pc" and laptop area's. The things people use to do on a PC will be moved to the phone or Ipad type of devices, running some "unknown" OS to the user. All they will see is a pretty interface and an APP store. The OS on these things will be windows, linux and OSx based and the end user would not care.
     
  4. WaltC

    WaltC [H]ard|Gawd

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    I think you could argue that this is exactly what is *wrong* with the oss model. You get a lot of old and varied ideas in the code about what should be done and how it should be done and this is the kind of thing you end up with. Every "contributor" has his own pet approach and his own threshold of coding familiarity. But even more so, I think, is the fact that you have to be careful not to step on somebody else's *patented software*--so sometimes the old and PD is just where you may have to go. (I hate software patents, btw, and would like to see them outlawed.)
     
  5. ChairmanMiau

    ChairmanMiau Limp Gawd

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    ~3 years ago I would have agreed with you.
     
  6. WaltC

    WaltC [H]ard|Gawd

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    You will have to pry my desktop(s) from my cold, dead fingers before that will happen...;) Object lesson: never, ever confuse desktop computers with cell phones. The only reason this is happening to any degree at all today is because Apple makes desktops, laptops, and cell phones, and many of Apple's customers have become inordinately confused. One very, very good reason why desktops are in no danger of going anywhere is because lots of people like me absolutely cringe at the thought of being restricted to 4 square inches of screen without a keyboard commensurate with the size of our hands. It's a terrifying thought! Heh...;)

    Also, as proprietary as Apple is, you'll have to pry iOS out of Apple's code, dead fingers before they give that up. The last thing Apple will tolerate is a "cross-platform" OS for its devices (they are devices, not desktops) because Apple demands total product control.
     
  7. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    I couldn't agree more. I heard all this "Linux will take over and bury Microsoft in the next xx years" nonsense as early as the late 1990's. It's never happened and I knew it wouldn't. Linux doesn't have it's crap together. There are too many distros. Simple tasks in the OS such as software installation simply took too much time and effort. Lack of compatibility with Windows software, etc. The industry just didn't embrace it the way it needed to be in order for it to gain a foot hold. It's basically stayed the plaything of elitists. Most of whom have never been able to completely eliminate Windows from their lives which in turn inadvertently supported Windows.
     
  8. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    Really hard to give linux a push when the perception is you get a "free" OS when you buy a computer, sure you're paying for it, but since you don't have the option to take it out, as far as you care its free.
     
  9. Litfod

    Litfod [H]ard|Gawd

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    I think Ubuntu has done great things for linux in terms of visibility and usability, but until I can game on it (Wine doesn't count) it will not be my primary desktop OS. I will continue to use it on my NAS box, though.

    I suspect your experience (if any) is on the games side, but on the vfx side 99% of everything done with Maya which is a lot, is done on linux. Regardless, I don't even see any significant difference in the windows version. The vector renderer? Yeah, how did I ever live without that.
    And linux Maya not a match for 3DS? What a joke.
     
  10. LordCalin

    LordCalin Gawd

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    Server wise.. I love my linux and opensource... apache, mysql, dovecot, postfix, bind and all the other wonderful tools that let my servers run. Desktop wise, I could probably use it for day to day needs Especially with gimp, openoffice, and a good WM. But my desktop is built around and ment for gaming, so I use to OS the games are designed for.
     
  11. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    That's true. Very few retail or even OEM copies of Windows are sold in ways the general public gets to see.
     
  12. LordCalin

    LordCalin Gawd

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    at our store, we tried to push Linux, and offered every system at a $100 discount if you were not getting it with windows, sadly even then most stuck with paying MS.
     
  13. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    Nothing sad about it. The average Joe would have been annoyed with Linux. Few would have really given it a chance to learn it and sadly I don't think Linux would have met all their needs very well. It's like multiplying the bad aspects of owning a Mac times 12. No one wants that experience. I'm not saying Linux is a bad OS or even a bad choice, but for the majority of people it isn't a very good one either.
     
  14. PrkChpXprss

    PrkChpXprss Gawd

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    That's 'cause the fat lady died too. Quite some time ago, actually. :D
     
  15. Jabroni31169

    Jabroni31169 My Future Son-in-Law

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    For the average user, linux will never be a viable option on the desktop/laptop for the average user. If you cant do it though a GUI then a windows user is lost. That being said, im an avid *nix user and it is my primary os at home and work.
     
  16. phide

    phide [H]ard as it Gets

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    Ever go to Best Buy, Office Depot, OfficeMax, etc., etc.?
     
  17. grizzed

    grizzed Limp Gawd

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    I purchased a netbook running linux and I'll do it again .. if they haven't buried it by then.
     
  18. AaronGant

    AaronGant Limp Gawd

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    I always thought it was because the linux guys felt like elitist. If there was widespread adoption of it then they'd just be one in the crowd.

    If mom and dad being on facebook is a real problem then all hell would break loose if they started booting linux too!

    If everyone ran linux who would sit back and say "should of had linux" when a news article about exploited computer vulnerabilities shows up.
     
  19. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

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    A few things have happened over the last decade, please note this is all referring to DESKTOP Linux unless otherwise noted:

    1. Windows got a LOT better. Windows XP RTM FINALLY got a real OS into the consumer. Prior to Windows XP SP2 Windows had too many security problems and SP2 did a fairly good job of FINALLY getting almost good security on Windows.

    2. The Linux community failed to innovate in any real way, simply being free simply isn't enough, especially for a product where the vast majority that use it never explicitly pay for it.

    About the most interesting thing that's come along to Linux is multi-touch in Ubuntu, which is fairly nice from what I've seen, but it's a year after Windows 7 had it so not all that innovative.

    Bottom line, the Linux community simply has never had a compelling enough reason for people to switch or adopt Linux in large numbers.

    I spent a lot of time in Linux, primarily Read Hat between 1997 and 2001 at which point I saw nothing really happening on the Linux front. Businesses nor home users weren't moving to it ad XP exploded. At that point I pretty much gave up on Linux full time, started playing with it on the side and haven't touched in 18 months. Don't miss a thing.
     
  20. weuntouchable

    weuntouchable [H]ard|Gawd

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    The problem with Linux: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_linux_distributions

    If OSS developers would ever decide to work together to build a great OS (or even a great 5 OSes) than Linux on the Desktop would probably be a suitable alternative for more people. Instead its limited because anytime someone wants a different default font they create a fork OS. The majority of computer users don't want to have to spend a day researching what distribution meets their needs.

    Had the Linux OS gone the route of a unified distribution a decade ago I'm sure it would have at least captured a 10% market share. And at a 10% market share we get every game ported, business applications that aren't Windows only, and several other things that have stagnated Linux's growth. Linux on the Desktop isn't dead, but its been in a coma for years.
     
  21. SamuraiInBlack

    SamuraiInBlack [H]ardness Supreme

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    Linux has come a long way in being simplified for the average user, but it needs to be simpler for the average user to look at and appreciate still, in my opinion.

    Personally I've always felt that if it had better game support, the gamer crowd would give it a serious look, and that's when it'd really start to take off.
     
  22. TheWeazmeister

    TheWeazmeister <a href=http://www.blogcdn.com/www.parentdish.com/

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    ^^ what he said.

    As far as the article, people are making some good comments as far as Linux and what uses it has in today's IT, but this article is focused on the desktop markplace.

    To bring back to the big rig example, the 18 wheeler is absolutely necessary, however you don't see it being used as your daily driver by too many people.
     
  23. Ocellaris

    Ocellaris Ginger @le, an alcoholic's best friend.

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    The dream of the Desktop Linux is gone due to a self inflicted gunshot would to the head. Going back over the last decade, Linux has had multiple chances to break through however they always managed to get caught up in their own new developments and attempts to be different.

    I converted multiple people over to Linux in the last few years. Usually it was Ubuntu because they had read about it somewhere and wanted to try it. Every single one of them was happy with it from the start, then one (or more) of the following happened:

    -Sound stopped working. Most of these problems were due to PulseAudio. Switching to Pulse was a terrible, terrible move when Ubuntu did it.
    -OS update pulled in a new kernel that broke the video driver. This should not even be possible, however it happened multiple times (and happens to lots of other people). Nothing like me needing to drive to someone's house at 11PM because they are sitting on a command prompt and needed to finish a report for work.
    -Various package manager problems / dependency hell. This usually happened after someone liked one distro so much, they tried another. Each time someone switches, figuring out how to properly use the package managers is like learning to ride a bike all over again. Another problem here is that removing one packages in certain distros would gut the OS.
    -Flash problems. Nothing like sitting back after a long day to watch some online video. Until the video start running like shit after 30 minutes and eventually crashes Firefox. This is technically Adobe's problem, but affected a lot of people I know
    -KDE 4.0. This was likely one of the biggest blunders in open source history. Project managers tried to act like this was just a alpha, but they should have known better than to slap the .0 on there. People were waiting on this for years and the release was borderline unusable and unstable. Later the excuse became that if they did not release 4.0, they would have lost developers. So they release the 4.0, kept some developers, and left a bad tastes in everyone's mouth when they tried it

    Out of the 6 converts I had, they all run Windows now. No one really had a problem with not being able to run windows software. No one had a problem with the performance or networking either, they all abandoned the OS for things that could have easily been avoided.
     
  24. niconx

    niconx 2[H]4U

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    I never had to compile the Windows kernel to install a driver or service.
     
  25. Ashbringer

    Ashbringer [H]ardness Supreme

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    The OS is dead, to an end user. It's still strong within the corporate market, but who cares about that? When they say linux, they mean Ubuntu. Lets be frank, it's the only Linux OS worth talking about.

    The problem with Linux, is that it isn't a end user friendly OS. It's also facing a lot of the problems that Windows 7 has.

    #1 Where's my software bro? Wine has made major strides to bring Windows applications to Linux, but it's been a slow and terrible process. Some applications don't work. Some applications need certain fonts. Some applications run extremely slow. Some applications need you to jump up and down, while rubbing your head and belly.

    #2 What user friendliness? For a modern OS, it certainly relies on a lot of Terminal use. Almost everything you need to do, it done using Terminal at some point. There needs to be a way to integrate most Terminal functions within the UI?

    #3 Would like a hardware manager. Between Windows, Mac, and Linux, the one thing I love about Windows is hardware manager. Through this, updating drivers and setting up software is a breeze. I can understand why Mac doesn't have something similar, but Linux? There really needs to be a hardware manager in Linux.

    #4 Software installation trouble. Every linux distro has it's own repository. If the application you want isn't in the repository, then you're in trouble. You'll have to got through the process of finding a repository that does, and then adding it. Oh, and if you're trying to install an application, then you better hope it's through a .deb. Some reason, .deb files are rare, but there like a .exe or .msi for Windows. If it's not a .deb, then you'll have to open up Terminal.

    Though, I wouldn't count Linux out yet. When DX10/11 is fully integrated into Linux, then we'll see a bigger interest in Linux. It'll solve a number of problems with the OS, and build a bridge for the end users.
     
  26. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I agree, but mostly because the hardware crowd would rather spend the $100 that system builders license cost them on more hardware :p

    There are some pretty good native (and free at that) Linux games these days, the most publicized of which is probably Alien Arena[/quote] a quake styled retro-scifi alien game, but not enough of them for Linux to become your gaming rig.

    I think DirectX is the biggest impediment today to Linux gaming, but as more titles are ported to OSX maybe we'll see more Linux games as well...
     
  27. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Doh, link fail corrected.
     
  28. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

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    This article is about DESKTOP Linux, no that's not strong in the corporate world. Servers are another matter and on servers Linux has little to worry about and also in appliance packages like TV set top boxes. Linux is strong there as well, it's just stand alone desktops where Linux is dead.
     
  29. temujin987

    temujin987 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I once heard a statement that I really like, but I don't know who is quoted by this: "Linux is only free if your time is worthless".

    I'll just leave this statement uncommented.
     
  30. SticKx911

    SticKx911 2[H]4U

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    I run windows on my desktop for work and school stuff, but for my laptop, I've been running ubuntu (or some other distros here and there) for like 4 years. the only time I needed terminal in the past 2 years was when I would want to run aircrack. with the new package manager there is little need for terminal use. the hardest part to me is finding new repositories to get some other extras, but once they're added, you're good to go.
     
  31. squash

    squash n00b

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    Who cares? If you don't like using Linux, keep buying Windows. Linux isn't going to be all things to all people, nor does it need to be. And as much fun as it is to see a bunch of Windows users spread their misinformation around, your time would likely be better spent visiting the web sites of your various individual hardware manufacturers downloading driver updates or something.
     
  32. TheCommander

    TheCommander 2[H]4U

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    Windows 7 has made it even harder for Linux. Why should the average joe use Linux when Win 7 makes things easy. There was a time when I used Linux half the time. Now with Win 7, I rarely ever use Linux. Ubuntu is a nice OS though.
     
  33. Ashbringer

    Ashbringer [H]ardness Supreme

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    I also heard that Open source is only free, if your time is worthless. Yet, we have things like FireFox, VLC, and OpenOffice, which are all relatively successful.

    Linux could be the scariest thing that Microsoft or Apple could ever face. Dress up like FireFox or VLC, and parade around Microsoft's headquarters, on Halloween. There's going to be a river of piss flowing out.

    If the people behind Linux, got their shit together, both Apple and Microsoft would shit themselves. Just to give you an idea, Debian doesn't have FireFox on their repository. The reason is because they don't believe FireFox is truly open source. It's that kind of thinking is the reason why Linux is only 1%. It's why open source drivers suck balls. It is why linux is actually getting slower, and not faster.
     
  34. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

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    Bingo, the VAST majority of software ownership costs tends to be outside initial acquirement costs.
     
  35. Ashbringer

    Ashbringer [H]ardness Supreme

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    Don't know how you avoided terminal so easily. I wanted to install the latest Catalyst drivers for my ATI card, and I hard to user Terminal like crazy. First the uninstall, then the reinstall.
     
  36. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

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    I wouldn't put OpenOffice on a list of successful open source projects; it's deader than desktop Linux. The point that was trying to be made here though was from the consumer perspective and with applications more involved than a web browser. Indeed OpenOffice is a great example. OO is great 8f you're not doing much of any value but for serious office productivity work in the business world the cost savings of OO can EASILY be outstripped in other headaches.
     
  37. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    Few people really look at retail copies of the OS. Most get them with their computers or they buy the upgrade versions which are FAR cheaper than their full version counterparts are. Most seem to be able to swallow the cost of the upgrade editions without too much trouble.
     
  38. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    agreed.

    you are missing what he is saying. Most people don't go buy Windows as a retail or OEM copy. They buy a computer, it has windows on it and that is what they use. Most aren't looking at it from the stand point that they are paying $X for hardware and $Y for windows to be installed on said hardware. They just see it as they pay $X for a computer and it comes with a "free" copy of windows. Therefore for the average person Windows is free to them as it came with their computer. If they where to go buy that computer from the store, format the hard drive and install linux they haven't saved themselves any money. As regardless if they use it or not they have already paid for windows. Therefore for the average person the agruement that linux is free doesnt' matter to them as they never so much as paid for Windows in the first place as much as they purchased a computer that came with Windows. Sure Best Buy and the rest sale copy of windows for people like us that build our own machines or for those that want to upgrade an older machine, but that isn't going to include a large part of the pie of sales of windows.
     
  39. phide

    phide [H]ard as it Gets

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    Good to know. Been using it pretty much all day here at the office. I'll go ahead and inform my boss that it's dead and that we shouldn't be using it any longer, though.
     
  40. SixtyWattMan

    SixtyWattMan [H]ardness Supreme

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    This is the Linux community summed up in a short dialog I have written.

    Fanboy 1: MICROSOFT SUCKS
    Fanboy 2: YEAH GREEDY CAPITALIST PIGS!
    Fanboy 1: THAT'S WHY I USE OPENSUSE,
    Fanboy 2: OPEN SUSE SUCKS UBUNTU IS WAY BETTER
    Fanboy 1: FUCK YOU SUSE FOR LIFE FAGGOT.
    Fanboy 2: OPENSUSE SUCKS DICK IT'S WORSE THAN OSX.
    Slapping fight ensues.