Desktop Linux: The Dream Is Dead

Elledan

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2010
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Missing the point for most people... they don't care about the politics of OpenGL vs Direct3D, open source vs proprietary, they just want it to work with the least amount of hassle.

DirectX not running on Linux is the main barrier and will be for some time even if ALL games start getting programmed in OpenGL for some reason. Most people don't only play brand new games. What if I wanted to fire up any of the dozens of games I play sometimes that have been made in the past ten years?
DirectX is the problem. It runs only on Windows. Even for the XBox 360 games have to be ported to the APIs it uses. It's easier than DX to OGL/OAL/etc., but it's still a porting effort. In comparison OpenGL ES is far more supported, even on the consoles, and being a subset of OpenGL it runs on PCs and Macs as well.

DirectX is also never going to work on Linux, OS X and such. There just isn't the push for it. Valve just uses OpenGL for its OS X efforts, adding an OpenGL rendering path to their engine. The DX games which work with WINE changes with each release and is unlikely to ever become stable enough to write a game for.
 

mortonP

Gawd
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Jun 26, 2010
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Linux doesn't need to compete with anyone. It is a free alternative to commercial OSs. I could live happily with Linux if it wasn't for the fact I am a gamer. If you are a gamer even OSX is pretty much a non-contender. What's OSX? Just a highly customized version of BSD (unix). What's Linux? Kernal unix clone with many customized versions available. Choose your poison.
 

gaspah

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DEAD?

What the hell is wrong with you people? I can see that being a legitimate summation if you only use you PC to PLAY GAMES.
I use linux PC 90% of the time. 8 hrs a day. 5 Days a week; sometimes more if I'm on a special project. I have NEVER looked back and NEVER needed windows anything to be productive at work.
I have a different PC for gaming, which I use maybe a few hrs a week. Which is MORE RELIABLE? The LINUX machine hands down.
Here's your problem. I use a Windows PC 100% of the time.
 

Staples

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Linux did fairly well on netbooks, it beat MS on phones, and is expected to do well on tablets.
Linux on phones and Linux on the desktop is completely different. On the phone OSes, they have written their own consistent GUI manager and not KDE based on XFree86 written 15 years ago (which is one of the problems). Supposedly Chrome OS which I think is for desktops is going to have a rewritten GUI manager and if it happens to be better than the hack stuff that Linux desktop has now, it will attract new people.

Basically, Linux on the phone uses the kernal and then totally modern code to run their GUI and software installers. The Linux kernal is not the problem and it works great on the desktop however most the code to run the desktop GUI and software installs is flawed.
 

Elledan

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2010
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There was the LSB effort to create consistent standards across Linux distributions, but this has completely failed. It's so bad now that there's no such thing as 'a Linux distribution' any more, but that picking a particular distribution will have serious repercussions on what kind of software you can or can't use, when you can conveniently install a piece of software and when you have to struggle through compile/dependencies hell. That even ignoring the many configuration and other (GUI) tools which are present on one distribution but not another.

One can say that Ubuntu does pretty well on desktops, for example, but that other distributions are failing miserable. Within Ubuntu things are pretty well-defined and standardized, and it's only when you try to change to a non-Ubuntu-based (i.e. not Mint or Kubuntu) distro, that you realize that Ubuntu is its own OS and all other distros are just that, different.

When using Windows one has a good idea of how things work, whether one uses NT 3.51, Win95, WinXP or Win7. With Mac OS there's a lot of consistency as well, and the BSDs don't differ too dramatically either. Linux on the other hand only has its kernel as consistent point, and only barely The rest of kernel and userspace are seldom comparable, leading to a fragmented mess one can't really call 'one OS' any more.

As far as I'm concerned, as long as you can still download distro-specific installation packages (DEB, RPM, etc.) instead of some universal 'Linux' installation package, there can be no talk of a 'Linux OS'.
 

Dr. Righteous

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Here's your problem. I use a Windows PC 100% of the time.
So did I till I got sick of crashes, viruses, spyware, updates that killed hardware, and other things.
OK< so update to the latest and greatest windows OS to fix these? What? $130 please, and my hardware is below spec? What about spyware, viruses, etc, etc. Still a major issue.
Issues that sidelined my previous windows install. Why pay for more of the same??
There are alternatives.

Ubuntu FIRST TIME found all the hardware, loaded 100% working drivers. Provided free software I can do my job with that is compatible to ALL the file types the business uses.
The ONLY hic-up was related to my really old video card. It didn't support the resolution I wanted for my dual monitor setup. Swapped to a newer card with more RAM, problem solved.

The gaming issue I do not consider relevant here.
I'm talking about being PRODUCTIVE, not playing games. And if that is being productive for you then it is about time your mom kicked you out of the house.


Lookit, I'm not missing the big picture here. It is all about money. Software developers look at the landscape and see linux on 1 or 2% of desktops. Are they going to invest big money in developing software for that or Windows which is on the vast majority of PCs.
The answer there is clear.
But because you can play all main stream games and run productivity software on your windows machine DOES NOT make it superior. It just makes you main stream. Just because you are in the main stream doesn't make you RIGHT. Sorry, but you are just one of the million of bleating sheep who Microsoft has convinced you can't live without them.
 

3far4shot

Gawd
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So did I till I got sick of crashes, viruses, spyware, updates that killed hardware, and other things.
OK< so update to the latest and greatest windows OS to fix these? What? $130 please, and my hardware is below spec? What about spyware, viruses, etc, etc. Still a major issue.
Issues that sidelined my previous windows install. Why pay for more of the same??
There are alternatives.

Ubuntu FIRST TIME found all the hardware, loaded 100% working drivers. Provided free software I can do my job with that is compatible to ALL the file types the business uses.
The ONLY hic-up was related to my really old video card. It didn't support the resolution I wanted for my dual monitor setup. Swapped to a newer card with more RAM, problem solved.

The gaming issue I do not consider relevant here.
I'm talking about being PRODUCTIVE, not playing games. And if that is being productive for you then it is about time your mom kicked you out of the house.


Lookit, I'm not missing the big picture here. It is all about money. Software developers look at the landscape and see linux on 1 or 2% of desktops. Are they going to invest big money in developing software for that or Windows which is on the vast majority of PCs.
The answer there is clear.
But because you can play all main stream games and run productivity software on your windows machine DOES NOT make it superior. It just makes you main stream. Just because you are in the main stream doesn't make you RIGHT. Sorry, but you are just one of the million of bleating sheep who Microsoft has convinced you can't live without them.

The first sentence sounds like something my Grandma would say, just take the proper cautions to avoid viruses, spyware and other malicious entities. Use proper Anti-virus/Spyware protection and stop going off scoring the internet looking for pron and you'll be fine. And your hardware is below spec for what?, running windows?..:confused:

I run Ubuntu as well as Windows 7 and Ubuntu is in fact a solid OS, and as you mentioned it really depends on what you want and what you need. The majority stick with Windows because a) it's supported by many major developers b)highly gaming compatible c) they have never even heard of Linux and just want there comptuer to work(the majority)
 

heatlesssun

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Messages
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So did I till I got sick of crashes, viruses, spyware, updates that killed hardware, and other things.

Lookit, I'm not missing the big picture here. It is all about money. Software developers look at the landscape and see linux on 1 or 2% of desktops. Are they going to invest big money in developing software for that or Windows which is on the vast majority of PCs.
The answer there is clear.
But because you can play all main stream games and run productivity software on your windows machine DOES NOT make it superior. It just makes you main stream. Just because you are in the main stream doesn't make you RIGHT. Sorry, but you are just one of the million of bleating sheep who Microsoft has convinced you can't live without them.
Wow. Did you get this info from 1995?
 

gaspah

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So did I till I got sick of crashes, viruses, spyware, updates that killed hardware, and other things.
OK< so update to the latest and greatest windows OS to fix these? What? $130 please, and my hardware is below spec? What about spyware, viruses, etc, etc. Still a major issue.
Issues that sidelined my previous windows install. Why pay for more of the same??
There are alternatives.

Ubuntu FIRST TIME found all the hardware, loaded 100% working drivers. Provided free software I can do my job with that is compatible to ALL the file types the business uses.
The ONLY hic-up was related to my really old video card. It didn't support the resolution I wanted for my dual monitor setup. Swapped to a newer card with more RAM, problem solved.

The gaming issue I do not consider relevant here.
I'm talking about being PRODUCTIVE, not playing games. And if that is being productive for you then it is about time your mom kicked you out of the house.


Lookit, I'm not missing the big picture here. It is all about money. Software developers look at the landscape and see linux on 1 or 2% of desktops. Are they going to invest big money in developing software for that or Windows which is on the vast majority of PCs.
The answer there is clear.
But because you can play all main stream games and run productivity software on your windows machine DOES NOT make it superior. It just makes you main stream. Just because you are in the main stream doesn't make you RIGHT. Sorry, but you are just one of the million of bleating sheep who Microsoft has convinced you can't live without them.
Microsoft didn't convince me... Linux did, I have given so many distros a "go". I am quite stubborn and was convinced that I just wasn't getting something and that Linux was really Graceland or something but time after time it fucked me in the ass.

I mean I don't even game and I still couldn't switch to Linux, i've suffered that nightmare before, I'd encounter problems and do my usual researching or whatever to feel my around a solution. Usually I find a solution, but the problem is that the solution is just something so counter-intuitive that I have to research it the next time I have that same problem.. I almost always remember how to resolve roadblocks when using Windows if I've already encountered them. Memorising lines of code when there could quite easily be a gui... seriously go fuck yourself (Linux not you personally)... Yes I'm aware that there is a gui in Linux but that seems to be nothing more than skin deep.. nothing more than running programs and the most basic of settings. Windows you just navigate or use the quicksearch these methods are very intuitive and makes life easy.

Problems that had no solution (at the time at least) in Linux:

1. I require RDP either through my home network or via a random computer on the internet. With Vista the RDP protocol changed and the only RDP that worked could not be logged onto from Vista running this new version. despite being able to log onto an XP machine perfectly fine.
Result = Forced me to give up on using Linux as my secondary fileserver as it was a headless machine (no monitor, keyboard or mouse) which meant disaster if I needed to fix/configure anything. Since then I've been made aware of web-based remote desktop programs but even after posting in a number of Linux forums about the problem and excessive googlage this solution never came up.

2. Network drives on a Linux machine will display with the correct amount of space available but try to use a copy function that calculates the space required/available before copying and find yourself limited to a few hundred gig at a time.
Result = Forced me to create batch files to copy using Robocopy, which actually did turn out better in the end but still was disappointed that these network volumes had this limitation.

3. Tried to install on a SATA drive when they first started coming out on the better desktop motherboard, Linux simply could not recognise it even with a completely updated distro.
Result = Abandonment of creating a dual-boot environment and using Linux alltogether.

4. Had an existing 6 disc raid configuration (raid-0 / ntfs) running on the onboard intel ich9r raid controller. I wanted to keep this volume as is because I did not want to take the risk of being without a living backup and just incase Linux didn't work out and I wanted to go back to Windows. After a few solid days of having someone over at my house helping me (very experience Linux user) eventually had to abandon the volume and create an new volume with mdadm because Linux simply will not recognise an INTEL raid array (yeah i know what you're thinking what an obscure/rare raid controller no wonder you couldn't find a suitable driver). Now I'll admit mdadm is a very powerful full-featured software package but does nothing about addressing simplicity, it takes a few seconds to figure out how to configure a raid volume either with an add-on card or an on-board raid controller... but even after being shown what to do and going through the steps myself had to research again when I went to configure it.
Result = Spend more than 2 days recopying many terabytes of data over my then 10/100 lan. Then having to do the same again when I went back to Windows because I could no longer logon using RDP.

I invested so many hours trying to save my pride and become Linux compatible. I was convinced that there had to be something behind it's following but no it was just shit. I tried hard to just have a running Linux machine in my house to spend x amount of time a day getting to know it... unfortunately even with loads of help whatever actual functionality task i required from the computer in order to justify it's hardware consumption just failed time and time again... even as a basic secondary fileserver and torrent box, I mean shit I didn't even need it for graphics work, gaming or any of that stuff Linux is known to be inferior for... but a fileserver c'mon that's as basic and as Linux-friendly as shit should come. Then even encountered a problem downloading torrents and had to emulate utorrent with wine because at the time there were no Linux clients on one of my favorite site's "allowed clients" list...

It's just a nightmare.. oh wait another problem i encountered on another occasion.

5. Had a media center (exclusively purpose-built) way back with a hdtv dvb-t card so I wanted to give Linux (MythTV) a go so I had a box running I could tinker around with.. but fuck.. failure again.. could not get a driver for the tv tuner... i mean shit.. cmon.. and then on top of that could not get a driver for the graphic card that didn't have horrifically visible page-tearing when playing back basic divx files.

Linux has poor support, most hardware vendors simply do not give a shit about Linux and the community takes too long playing catch up. Hardware simply does not come out without drivers developed by the hardware vendor then tested and confirmed by WHQL. This is why you NEED a proprietary software developer with strong financial incentive to be at the front of new technology.

This crap purported by Linux users that Windows crashes all the time is just so annoying. It's always the result of people loading totally shit software on their install that causes this apparent problem. My Windows doesn't crash, even when I was using XP and Vista. My system doesn't crash at all now and when it did crash it was a result of my own doing, such as overclocking or loading poorly coded bloatware. Now I know every bit of software on my computer very well and much of it is now very lite freeware software such as imgburn to avoid crap like nero.

More crap purported by Linux is this whole virus/malware scare tactic. Sorry it's not Windows fault peoples computers get infected, the only reason I've ever installed anti-virus software on my computer (and only temporarily) was to scan a harddrive from someone else's PC that couldn't even boot into safe mode. Virii are perpetuated by the novice and unaware... You need to ALLOW virii to infect your computer these days, actual 'vulnerabilities' these days in Windows are insignificant and far between.. Click on stupid shit, allow unknown entities to make changes then expect to get fucked. Also Windows users have a far higher rate of infection for two other major reasons: 1. Windows caters for the novice user and thus has the highest percentage of these unaware users, you need to know your shit when using Linux and so Linux users by the very fact they are using a more complicated, more involved software are defined as not being novice and generally are more aware of their system and it's vulnerabilities (although Linux users will continue to use this angle despite obviously understanding the malware idiot-factor). 2. Market share pure and simple, more users (and more stupid users) = more incentive to develop malware for it.

In itself Windows (especially Vista and 7) are far more secure than Linux, they have to be they're bombarded with shit constantly, their borders are tested countless times daily. This is something that Linux cannot boast about their software, they simply have not had to defend themselves from the same onslaught that Windows has had to. So at the end of the day less holes have been been discovered in Linux so less holes have been patched. This doesn't mean that less holes aren't there. When Linux can keep up with security with a market share simmilar to Windows then come back and tell me how secure it is.

More crap oh my computer is below spec I don't want to run the latest Windows... Like where are you from some desert village in africa? get a grip, seriously.. Windows 7 runs great on the most basic of hardware. It also makes better hardware shine far far more than Linux, far better allocation of resources it doesn't just stuff it away in a box and leave it on a shelf like Linux. I equate Linux's use of resources to cutting your lawn with a pair of scissors when you have a lawnmower in the garage. You have these resources so bloody well use them.

Yes Windows is mainstream, so it is supported. It is mainstream because it won the war. Nobody wanted to use Linux so it went nowhere, it's still needlessly complicated to use and lacks any sense of intuitive layout or functionality. Windows is easy, it's also just as configurable as Linux and just as pretty as OSX. I'm a user that runs my backend like a Linux user and my frontend like a Mac user. It's the best of both worlds, it's endlessly configurable and glows with simplicity. You can configure Windows however you like and delve in deep into the inner workings of it, but you're not forced to learn basically any of it to get it working for whatever purpose it's intended for. This is why it wins, this is why people have paid for it instead of adopting a free alternative.. alternatives to Windows have had like 20 years to get to the top.. but they've all failed.. The very fact that most Linux distros are FREE and have been FREE since the beginning of time says everything about it's inferiority in the desktop market. Linux did experience a short lived success in the mobile devices market, but despite being able to run everything required of such devices and enourmous cost cutting for these cheap devices... people turned back to Windows because they just don't want to use Linux, it's just not user friendly. I mean these devices are just used for basic web surfing, email, media and maybe a bit of typing on the road and still people are willing to pay 25-35% more for a system running Windows.

Linux offers absolutely nothing that I need that Windows doesn't have. Linux will never win this argument as most Linux users still run Windows.
 

Elledan

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2010
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The Linux driver issue won't be resolved any time soon either as long as the kernel devs feel they should break the kernel ABI every time they feel like it. Try writing a driver for that. Of course, the standard comment from the kernel devs and their rabid followers is to 'just make the driver open source'.

In comparison BSD is far less of a moving target, and thus is the obvious choice for a desktop OS, as Apple realized when they used the Mach kernel :)
 

KatalDT

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Didn't you hear? There's an experimental DX11 layer for Linux now. It will probably run into licensing issues, though.

However, DirectX isn't the 'main barrier'.
Sorry - for gamers. I had been talking about gamers not adopting Linux. If my games ran as well in Linux as they did in Windows, there is no way I'd be using Windows.
 

ChairmanMiau

Limp Gawd
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370
The Linux driver issue won't be resolved any time soon either as long as the kernel devs feel they should break the kernel ABI every time they feel like it. Try writing a driver for that. Of course, the standard comment from the kernel devs and their rabid followers is to 'just make the driver open source'.

In comparison BSD is far less of a moving target, and thus is the obvious choice for a desktop OS, as Apple realized when they used the Mach kernel :)
I can Google for "kernel complaints" too!

Why do I get the feeling that you're just repeatedly echoing someone else's blog posts from 2003? The ABI is mature, so patches that change it are almost unconditionally rejected unless they only add something useful. You're talking crap over and over again.
 

Elledan

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2010
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I can Google for "kernel complaints" too!

Why do I get the feeling that you're just repeatedly echoing someone else's blog posts from 2003? The ABI is mature, so patches that change it are almost unconditionally rejected unless they only add something useful. You're talking crap over and over again.
You should correct the Wikipedia article and many other recent articles on this then:
Linux does not provide a stable API or ABI for kernel modules. This means that there are differences in internal structure and function between different kernel versions, which can cause compatibility problems. In an attempt to combat those problems, symbol versioning data is placed within the .modinfo section of loadable ELF modules. This versioning information can be compared with that of the running kernel before loading a module; if the versions are incompatible, the module will not be loaded.

Other operating systems, such as Solaris, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and Windows keep the kernel API and ABI relatively stable, thus avoiding this problem. For example, FreeBSD kernel modules compiled against kernel version 6.0 will work without recompilation on any other FreeBSD 6.x version, e.g. 6.4. However, they are not compatible with other major versions and must be recompiled for use with FreeBSD 7.x, as API and ABI compatibility is maintained only within a branch.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loadable_kernel_module#Binary_compatibility

These guys are wrong too, then: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/...re-kernel-module-after-a-linux-kernel-upgrade

And these: http://www.mail-archive.com/linux-il@cs.huji.ac.il/msg57856.html

This doesn't even go into the mess that's vendor-applied custom kernel patches, which is another big can of worms.
 

1.1.2.3.5...

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 13, 2006
Messages
511
Linux offers absolutely nothing that I need that Windows doesn't have. Linux will never win this argument as most Linux users still run Windows.
Linux offers at least one major advantage that windows never will.

The ability to custom compile your own kernel.
 

PGHammer

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Ding ding ding. MS Office and Adobe suite are basically critical pieces of software used in the businesses that Linux has not been able to come up with a suitable alternative. And let's face it, MS will probably never make a Linux based MS Office and I seriously doubt Adobe would either.
And with all this using of OpenOffice.org as a reason to switch to Linux...no.

While I have nothing against OpenOffice.org (I have, in fact, used it, both in Linux and in Windows), it has one major glaring lack (which adding a third-party app can't patch without looking like a bandage over a sucking chest wound) - e-mail. It need not even be compatible with Microsoft Exchange (though it would certainly help if it were!), but Oo_O's lack of an e-mail application is a big barrier to adoption, and especially so in business, let alone home usage. Let's be honest - given a choice between Windows Mail and Outlook (home user), which would you rather use? (Home user means no Exchange support is needed; however, you may need support for Google's mail services (GMail and Voice).) Quite bluntly, even the best Linux e-mail applications pale beside Outlook just in terms of POP3 and IMAP (GMail/GoogleVoice) support, and you have to go through quite a few hoops to get Office 2003 working in Wine. (Crossover Office (which supports Office 2007) is better; however, it's not free, and doesn't support Office 2010.) That means that you must dual-boot (or multi-boot, or run Windows in a Linux VM, or Linux in a VM in Windows, which actually makes more sense). Linux distributions are good alternatives - however, their problems prevent their use (by me) as a primary operating system.
 

NICKSTAR

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What about spyware, viruses, etc, etc. Still a major issue.
Only idiots get viruses. I havent had a virus in 10+ years. Linux isnt quite as vulnerable to viruses because its not popular enough.

Sorry but your statement is only true with certain people. Just like linux is completely impractical for certain people because they dont know how to work it or get it to work with all their hardware and software.
 

RanceJustice

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This is asinine. Slashdot did a very nice comprehensive debunking of this and Reddit comments were equally in depth. This is the same kind of crap that suggested "Consoles were dead" then "PC gaming is dead", then "Operating systems are dead, everything will be on the cloud or like iOS" etc...

Linux on the desktop is getting better and better. If someone told me in 2003 that there would be distros like Ubuntu 10.10 today, I would have laughed. s. Linux on the desktop today is FANTASTIC for "normal, non-geeky" and "Elite, programmer/guru types" - its only weakness is somewhere in the middle "Power users and gamers".

If basic users are given the same kind of help they would get for installing/configuring Windows or OSX, Linux is fantastic for them. It likely supports whatever hardware they have and runs/boots faster, it runs what programs they need like web browsers, word processors etc... an generally has less problems or vulnerabilities due to its design. Guru-level users are capable of hacking around and making if how they wish, generally being able to fix problems they find. Its the power user segment that has issues - they have specific, advanced requests from "I want to use X piece of software and nothing else" to "I am used to X doing Y, and I'd like it to do Z here easily" but may not like the workarounds necessary.

I've said before that if it wasn't for specific programs, I wouldn't have any reason to use Windows. The biggest weakeness Linux has is the fact that OTHER PEOPLE USE WINDOWS (and to a lesser extent, OSX). LibreOffice works just fine for any database I'd like to create, but if someone hands me one created in MSOffice 2010 well... I'm screwed. While World of Warcraft is thankfully able to use OpenGL and thus works flawlessly in WINE, 99% of other games including the Steam platform are designed and built from the ground up using Microsoft's proprietary tools and APIs - though WINE is actually an excellent triumph from a technical standpoint, I can't blame it for not being able to keep up with the newest and latest Windows programming advances and toolchains specifically designed for Win and the X360. I go out of my way to support companies that make Linux clients (S2games with Savage 2 and Heroes of Newerth, for instance) and enjoy some really awesome FOSS games (Wesnoth is easily the equal of most strategy RPGs save for the graphics, and has some fabulous user-made content), but if I want to play a certain game or use a certain program, I have to hack and hope, or boot into windows.

Linux use, even on the desktop is growing, especially in Europe, Asia, and Central/South America. The way to keep it growing is to stop propping up companies that lock you into proprietary technology. When you start your business, choose another email server besides Microsoft Exchange. Don't use MS Access for your database, choose an open SQL solution. Use open source technology when you can. Demand that companies start making Linux versions of the software you use, or at least ditch .NET and C# crap that makes it more and more difficult to transition. Support companies that support Linux and FOSS. Etc..all these things will loosen the grip of proprietary lock in which is the biggest enemy of Linux.

I'm worried the way the world of technology is going these days, with "App Store" mentality springing up everywhere as hardware seems to become an appliance that you are basically renting and have little control over. More people than ever these days are paying good money to have some vendor tell you how they're "supposed" to use the product and deviations from that can even lead to legal action. Horrid EULAs are everywhere. Even if you like Windows or OSX, it behooves everyone who believes in technology being a free (as in freedom), to support Linux development and open-source ideals. If Linux "wins" , so do you.
 

heatlesssun

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Even if you like Windows or OSX, it behooves everyone who believes in technology being a free (as in freedom), to support Linux development and open-source ideals. If Linux "wins" , so do you.
I agree with some of this and I'm all about choice but the question though is how does the developer win when targeting desktop Linux specifically? That's the problem. Writing code costs money because it costs time and skilled developers want to get paid. I've donated to money to projects in the past, I don't have a problem supporting them if they have something worth paying for.
 

RanceJustice

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I agree with some of this and I'm all about choice but the question though is how does the developer win when targeting desktop Linux specifically? That's the problem. Writing code costs money because it costs time and skilled developers want to get paid. I've donated to money to projects in the past, I don't have a problem supporting them if they have something worth paying for.
Free (as in beer and freedom, both) projects seem to receive donations especially when they support Linux. More Linux users tend to understand the value of FOSS and thus don't hesitate to donate. Now Windows/OSX users who are "into" FOSS and use it cross platform will donate as well, but typically freeware (as in beer, but often closed source) don't seem to get a lot of donations. Linux users tend to know something about FOSS so they are willing to donate more, buy schwag etc... to contribute - its part of the community. Wolfire Games did a whole bunch of comprehensive blog posts during their Humble Indie Bundle when you could pay what you wanted (even nothing) for 6 indie games that all had Linux ports. They found that Linux users donated more often and in greater amounts, presumably because it was part of the "culture" and they were thankful for Linux support.

When charging money for Linux software, despite much of it being typically FOSS, users are still willing to pay. Granted, many users are smart enough to have a list of requests framing what they're willing to pay. DRM for instance is typically a no go, pricing needs to be approached with realism instead of the typical "How much will these rubes pay for XXXX" approach etc... but if you are willing to meet these demands of the market, Linux users are very loyal and willing to pay. Charge $30 for a "AAA" game with digital distribution, unlimited installs etc... and you're golden. Even better in many cases, open the source and assets and sell support (a la Ubuntu) or have a tier of paid services for businesses (Untangle), and you'll have a good market.

Linux users tend to be intelligent people with certain ideals and ethic and if you treat them as such, you'll have customers that will not only buy your product, but will often be willing to donate their time to make it better, and give you advertising for free. Try to consider them a typical moneybucket consumer and they'll bite. If your company is selling a game that runs on Linux, a piece of hardware with Linux drivers/support etc.. .you're going to have a clear advantage over the rest of the market. It may not be the kind of instantly apparent profit that PHB's like to see (though sometimes it is!) , but if you're capable of thinking long term you're going to do well by tapping an agile market that many overlook, but will only make you stronger as a business in the long term.
 

rudy

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 4, 2004
Messages
8,671
Every one seems to be arguing about the definition of dead. Which is stupid. Clearly the main point of the article was that an opportunity to make linux a "MORE" "significant" force in the OS world was missed. As it is ~1% of desktops use linux and that will probably not change since the linux community did not do what it needed to take advantage of netbooks and anti vista sentiment. Apple however did take advantage of it. The author clearly feels that 1% is not significant and I agree it is not enough to attract the attention of the developers or much of anyone else.

The biggest enemy of linux is itself and its developers not anything else. They give it away for free and people still do not take it. It cannot be any more obvious that something is wrong than that. People whine all the time about applications missing but the fact is most of those applications including most games do not work on Macs either but apple has managed to grab a significant 10% of market share in the US. Although not world wide. Everything a mac can do a linux machine can do, it can dual boot windows or run windows under a VM. So what excuse is left? M$ office on Macs is lacking features so it cannot be that. The fact is also most users in the world use computers for very little most of them are fine if all they have access to is face book.

IMO the biggest thing linux needs to do is kill off a bunch of the distros and rally behind one IE ubuntu. Then when the man power for coding is mostly behind 1 distro they can fix any problems they have and develop any applications they are missing. So far though a house that is divided cannot stand.

Also lets be real viruses are a problem with windows. However it is not because windows is a security blunder. Linux has its own massive amount of malware and viruses. No one ever talks about them though because they do not target the insignificant amount of linux desktop users why would a virus writer bother? These take place in the server world where linux does have a significant market share. Once again just as with M$ most of the malware gets in due to user error. But trust me as a person who does some web dev and runs web sites there is plenty of that going around.
 

gaspah

2[H]4U
Joined
May 29, 2007
Messages
2,373
Linux offers at least one major advantage that windows never will.

The ability to custom compile your own kernel.
So what does that do for me in any practical sense? what real world advantages does that offer me exactly?
Posted via [H] Mobile Device
 

Elledan

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2010
Joined
Oct 18, 2001
Messages
15,885
I agree with some of this and I'm all about choice but the question though is how does the developer win when targeting desktop Linux specifically? That's the problem. Writing code costs money because it costs time and skilled developers want to get paid. I've donated to money to projects in the past, I don't have a problem supporting them if they have something worth paying for.
I completely agree. My game development company looked at supporting other OSs including Linux and OS X before, and the conclusion was that the small userbase of even OS X doesn't make it worth it, let alone the minuscule contribution of Linux. It's not that we didn't keep easy portability in mind when we developed our game engine and supporting libraries, but that even the effort of porting those libraries doesn't justify the lack of return.

Windows gaming and that on consoles (and smartphones to some extent) is where it's at, and things will probably stay that way for a long, long time.
 

Stone Cold

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 23, 2010
Messages
1,146
The dream has always been dead. Linux has always been harder to use than Windows and Linux has never had a software library that came anything close to Windows. So what if Linux is free. Windows is "free" as far as most users are concerned because it comes with new computers.

The Linux community itself tends to be annoying.

No amount of marketing could have gained Linux real market share. Even if Linux was idiot-easy to use, it would still be all-but-dead. Apple Computers (heavily marketed and easy to use) has gained (and kept) some market share only because of spill over from the popularity of Apple's other products (iPod, iPhone, iTunes, and now iPad).
 

lightp2

Gawd
Joined
Oct 28, 2009
Messages
672
United State of America MBA Program.

How to train your Marketing/Sales People

Scenario : Linux is 1% Desktop Linux.

Teaching 1 -- OMG, Linux is 1%. It is not going to progress any more. NetCraft confirms. Dead.

Teaching 2 -- OMG, Linux is 1%, think about it, there's 99% more chances available.

Choose your path...
 

jeremyshaw

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 26, 2009
Messages
12,357
... And it because Microsoft "forced" things on us. I also know that if I send out a video in an email at work or to friends that WMV will play on all their computers because again Windows "forced" it on us (except for the Europeans with their N version)...
MS still sold the "non-N" version in Europe - at the same price. Most OEMs chose to disreguard the "N" version, since it was rather pointless.
 

1.1.2.3.5...

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 13, 2006
Messages
511
Linux offers at least one major advantage that windows never will.

The ability to custom compile your own kernel.
So what does that do for me in any practical sense? what real world advantages does that offer me exactly?
Posted via [H] Mobile Device
It offers you the ability to custom compile your own kernel. :confused:
 

KatalDT

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 28, 2010
Messages
2,567
It offers you the ability to custom compile your own kernel. :confused:
Yes, I'm constantly cursing Windows for the lack of ability to custom compile my own kernel. ;)


Note - I'm a fan of Linux, I have a Fedora desktop box in my office and several CentOS servers, but that's a really silly 'positive' for the average desktop consumer. And pretty silly for the average enthusiast too.
 

Ocellaris

Ginger @le, an alcoholic's best friend.
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Messages
18,872
It offers you the ability to custom compile your own kernel. :confused:
well I have the ability to go eat a stack of waffles on my roof while solving a rubix cube. that does not means its useful or going to make me productive.

custom kernel compiling is a niche activity in a niche market.
Posted via [H] Mobile Device
 

gaspah

2[H]4U
Joined
May 29, 2007
Messages
2,373
i certainly identify with the idealism behind supporting Linux, however it's not a cause i weigh that much importance upon i think i'll leave my idealism at being Vegan. i'll leave taking down corporate control for a blood-soaked revolution.
It offers you the ability to custom compile your own kernel. :confused:
Yes i get that. but what does that mean to me? what does that do for me? what actual quantifiable benefits does compiling my own kernel offer me? the only advantage of a reduced reduced instruction set i can see is better performance, of which won't be noticed in comparison to the huge performance advantage offered by prefetching in Windows 7.
Posted via [H] Mobile Device
 

heelix

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
1,077
Server side Linux is alive and well, along with the developer's desktop.

I dual boot. (Technically, I slide in a second set of drives) Linux while working and Windows when gaming. Browsing and web based email are identical. I also use Office 2003 on my Linux partition via crossover. I'm on the technical side, however, and have been using a variant of Linux since the install was on floppies.

My brothers are non-technical. They managed to get Ubuntu up and running on a laptop. That amazed me. The installers have come so very far. All they really needed was a browser and open office. It was enough. They did not have the cash/access for a Windows license and Linux was easy. They even got wireless working.

Anyhow, if Linux has a 1% market share, that is amazing. I thought OSX had a market share around 5% for sake of comparison.
 

1.1.2.3.5...

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 13, 2006
Messages
511
Yes i get that. but what does that mean to me? what does that do for me? what actual quantifiable benefits does compiling my own kernel offer me? the only advantage of a reduced reduced instruction set i can see is better performance, of which won't be noticed in comparison to the huge performance advantage offered by prefetching in Windows 7.
Posted via [H] Mobile Device
Oh, well. I can tell you some good reasons. Compiling your own kernel means you can modify the kernel to better meet your needs. For example, suppose you are writing a kernel for a phone. Then you would want to strip out all unnecessary junk and add in a lot of stuff relevant for the phone hardware.

Or, perhaps you are making a homebrew hpc center with 20 nodes. You could, in theory, do this with windows. But each node really only needs certain things like mpi and networking and maybe some memory management or cuda software if this is a hybrid system.

My buddy compiled his own kernel and set it up for faster context or thread switching (or whatever you call that). He ran that with a q6600 cpu and said increasing how fast the OS switched thread made everything feel a lot smoother while not hurting single threaded performance by any amount he could detect.

I believe Google runs linux on the nodes and I am pretty sure that is a very tuned OS with a lot of tweaks to the kernel.

How being able to compile your own kernel benefits you depends on your needs. If you don't need it, then the benefits may never be realized. Think of it as plugging in an ati 5870 video card into your grandmothers 300 dollar Wallmart emachine. She will like never get any benefit from running that video card, but she does have that ability.
 

Elledan

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2010
Joined
Oct 18, 2001
Messages
15,885
Okay, how does compiling one's own kernel suit a regular desktop user? I'm a pretty hardcore software person, and I only once compiled my own (NetBSD) kernel, when I just needed it to get as small as possible for an embedded project. I can see no conceivable reason to compile a desktop kernel, unless it is for something really specific (tired of loading kernel modules? Adding clustering support?), or to apply some fixes before it hits the 'stable' release.
 

1.1.2.3.5...

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 13, 2006
Messages
511
Okay, how does compiling one's own kernel suit a regular desktop user?
I never said it did. My claim is that Linux offers users the ability to modify and compile their own kernel. That is something that Microsoft will never allow.

I never said the average end user is ever going to do this!!!!
 

Elledan

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2010
Joined
Oct 18, 2001
Messages
15,885
I never said it did. My claim is that Linux offers users the ability to modify and compile their own kernel. That is something that Microsoft will never allow.

I never said the average end user is ever going to do this!!!!
Fair enough :)

I admit that it's nice to be able to tweak an OS to one's heart's content, though I much prefer the BSDs over Linux due to the massive difference in documentation (or lack thereof). Modifying the NetBSD kernel so that the thing plus userspace tools and drivers would fit on a single floppy was fun :)

Windows does make for a very good desktop OS, though. No OSS OS can touch it so far, although Haiku seems to have the most consistent GUI so far.
 

NICKSTAR

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
3,806
It offers you the ability to custom compile your own kernel. :confused:
Windows offers me the ability to install 99% of software without having to jump through hoops to do so . It also offers me the ability to use the REAL software and not some knockoff, feature lacking alternative.
 

VRMan

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Messages
434
Linux is for young ambitious people who want to learn new things.
Windows/Mac is for old people who just want sh*t to work.
:D
 
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