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Why Linux Is Not Yet Ready For the Desktop

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the choose-your-own-misadventure dept.

GNU is Not Unix 1365

An anonymous reader writes "Every now and then a new- or old-media journalist tries to explain to everyone why Linux is not yet ready for the desktop. However all those men who graduated from their engineering universities years ago have only superficial knowledge about operating systems and their inner works. An unknown author from Russia has decided to draw up a list of technical reasons and limitations hampering Linux domination on the desktop." Some of the gripes listed here really resonate with me, having just moved to an early version of Ubuntu 9.10 on my main testing-stuff laptop; it's frustrating especially that while many seemingly more esoteric things work perfectly, sound now works only in part, and even that partial success took some fiddling.

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Games (5, Insightful)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993711)

Without the big labels like Valve developing their titles on Linux, you aren't going to see Linux widely used in desktop soon.

Re:Games (4, Interesting)

Remloc (1165839) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993763)

That and "niche" applications.
The only reason there is a Windoze box in my house is that my wife is a quilter. The current version of Electric Quilt (AFAICT) will not run acceptably under WINE. There is no reasonable FOSS equivalent.

Re:Games (3, Interesting)

porl (932021) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993873)

you tried running it in virtualbox? it may still be technically running in windows, but at least you are limiting the 'damage'. if you don't give it network access you can do without antivirus stuff and probably make it run and 'boot' quicker than the real thing :)

also virtualbox' seamless mode will make it virtually... well.. seamless.. :D

Re:Games (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993887)

you tried running it in virtualbox?

And buy another copy of Windows? ReactOS is even less ready than Linux.

Re:Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993973)

Who mentioned buy...? ;)

But really, aren't you able to turn an already existing partition into a "virtualbox"?
If not, then that is a pretty silly thing IMO.

Re:Games (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993865)

Without the big labels like Valve developing their titles on Linux, you aren't going to see Linux widely used in desktop soon.

What makes you think that games are the be-all and end-all of the desktop computer market? The vast majority of desktop computer users is happy with Minesweeper, Solitaire and Tetris.

Tetris is not for Linux (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993921)

The vast majority of desktop computer users is happy with Minesweeper, Solitaire and Tetris.

The Tetris Company has never put out a product for Linux, except possibly the browser-based Tetris Friends. And it alleges [patentarcade.com] that workalikes such as Lockjaw and Gnometris violate its copyright, though this US Copyright Office document [copyright.gov] makes Tetris's claims look flimsy.

Re:Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993961)

I thought Valve were working on releasing a native Steam client? OK, so doesn't mean all the games will run.. but it opens some doors.

To those who thought Palin was a dunce... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27994051)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/05/17/oops-biden-reveals-location-secret-vp-bunker/?test=latestnews [foxnews.com]

The guy who once said Barack was well-spoken and clean for a negro just gave up the location and existence of his own secret bunker. Does he realize that there will be other VPs after him who may have wished to seek refuge in that bunker in the event of an attack? What a colossal ass!

Re:Games (1, Troll)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#27994057)

Buy a gaming console. These days I consider it much more likely that commercial PC gaming will go down the drain, then that Linux actually will be getting some decent native support.

Thats not to say that there aren't plenty games in Linux, especially taking Wine and emulation into account and there are plenty of indie titles that get Linux versions, but in big commercial gaming there really hasn't been any real progress in a long long while.

Let the anti-M$ bashing begin!!!! (5, Funny)

Hoover,L Ron (610796) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993723)

I always enjoy these /. stories about Linux acceptance. We are guarenteed a full vetting of why this article is wrong by the Linux-heads and why it is so right by the M$-heads. It's even numbered for easy reference to the sprcific points

Here's why... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993905)

Notice the ".ru" at the end of the domain of the "article". Russia, eh?

I'll tell you what's going on:

The Slashdot gang, desperate for traffic and the subsequent advertising revenue from said traffic, teamed up with the Russian mafia and they're writing these Troll articles. Now, nothing increases viewership like controversy and the biggest controversy among computers nerds is Linux vs. Microsoft and how Linux isn't ready for the desktop.

There you go.

Re:Let the anti-M$ bashing begin!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993913)

Not from me. I have to go to work.

The main reason (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993725)

The main reason is that Windows is actually really very good, and OS X is rather good too, and there's not really any room for a third contender.

1999 called, they want their article back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993729)

1999 called, they want their article back

Re:1999 called, they want their article back (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27994017)

1999 called, they want to know what percentage of desktop users are using Linux.

Boy is this going to be fun... (1)

rinoid (451982) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993731)

Any guesses to the amount of comments this thread will get once the cabal gets enough juice in their systems to read?

---

I don't care to hash over the OS wars...

Re:Boy is this going to be fun... (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993837)

Very little. Not just because TINC, but because those who wold speak up for Linux know better than to equate Linux with Ubuntu.

If not Ubuntu, then what? (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27994053)

Very little. Not just because TINC, but because those who wold speak up for Linux know better than to equate Linux with Ubuntu.

Then with what distribution of Linux-for-the-desktop should the promoters of Linux-for-the-desktop equate Linux-for-the-desktop? If not Ubuntu, then what?

The desktop is dead (4, Interesting)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993747)

The future is web based. Endless bloat, inefficient javascript and the latency of accessing remote systems. Why will people accept such a system? because a lot of people never learned to use a desktop, they learned how to use a web browser. Anything outside the web browser looks complicated to them.

There is also the fact that web-based is the new way of making money from software. No piracy since its mostly server-side, lace it with ads and nobody complains about adware. Give it a few years and ads will no longer be served up by dedicated domains you can easily block.

If client side desktop computing is to survive the interface has to become more iPhony. Ordinary folk love the touchy feeley colourful, childish looking animated interface of the iPhone so the future is in projects like Hildon. I personally hate the iPhone's interface but thats alright, if its Linux or BSD I'll just install a minimalist window manager which there should always be plenty of.

Re:The desktop is dead (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993771)

There is also the fact that web-based is the new way of making money from software. No piracy since its mostly server-side, lace it with ads and nobody complains about adware.

But people do complain about not being able to access web applications from notebook computers while away from Internet access, such as on the road or in a restaurant that does not offer free Wi-Fi.

Re:The desktop is dead (5, Informative)

Corson (746347) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993773)

I've heard and read that mantra ten years ago. The future is not web-based because no large corporation will put/send/store their sensitive stuff (as in trade secrets) on any other corporation's web servers. Not even email. Ever.

Re:The desktop is dead (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993783)

I've heard and read that mantra ten years ago. The future is not web-based because no large corporation will put/send/store their sensitive stuff (as in trade secrets) on any other corporation's web servers. Not even email. Ever.

For that, there is this wild thing called intranet.

Intranet apps that require IE (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993845)

The future is not web-based because no large corporation will put/send/store their sensitive stuff (as in trade secrets) on any other corporation's web servers.

For that, there is this wild thing called intranet.

If the industry-standard web application software for your line of business uses ActiveX or relies on quirks of Windows Internet Explorer, then Linux isn't ready for the desktop. And if it runs on IIS or Apache for Windows and not on Apache for Linux, then Linux isn't ready for the server either.

Re:The desktop is dead (1)

Corson (746347) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993957)

The intranet has always been there, and it doesn't need a Web to run. The client-server paradigm is as old as computing (remember the PDPs).

Parent poster not taking about corporate desktop (3, Insightful)

mrraven (129238) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993925)

The parent poster is not talking about corporate use, or geeks like us, he's talking about the folks at home. You know the other NINETY percent of the market.

Re:The desktop is dead (4, Interesting)

digitallystoned (770225) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993881)

The future is web based. Endless bloat, inefficient javascript and the latency of accessing remote systems. Why will people accept such a system? because a lot of people never learned to use a desktop, they learned how to use a web browser. Anything outside the web browser looks complicated to them.


I'll agree to an extent that Linux isnt a good desktop OS for people who are Windows nuts. I have used Linux for the past 4 years on a regular basis and there is a huge learning curve. Linux is great for the server environment and it blows Windows Server out of the water when it comes to ease of use and setup. As far as web browsers, theres a lot of kiosk companies that are running Linux with Windows as the guest os on their machines and taking care of a lot of issues that used to plague remote admin work for distributed computing platforms. Anything you can do in Linux can be done in Windows. Windows also has about 30 years of end-user time on Linux. I know it wasn't really adopted by a lot of my customers as a viable server until 2001-2002 time frame.


There is also the fact that web-based is the new way of making money from software. No piracy since its mostly server-side, lace it with ads and nobody complains about adware. Give it a few years and ads will no longer be served up by dedicated domains you can easily block.


I agree completely. Linux will always be there for the server backend platforms. Linux is great for serving the content. Look at its use in routers and embedded solutions. You couldn't get Windows bloatware to run nearly as effective as Linux does in small environments. I think Linux will overall end up winning in the server platforms in the long run. I'd take a linux server over a windows box anyday of the week just because of reliability. If you have the slightest clue how to setup a basic LAMP then Linux is the way to go. I don't think we need to push Linux to the desktop because people just expect it to work. I spend a lot of time in linux IRC rooms and i see a lot of newbs come in with basic questions that you could get by reading a howto. MS has made Windows so simple that switching to another OS other than a Mac would be hard for them. The other issue i have are the asshole hardcore linux guys that refuse to help people. I think thats really what keeps people away from Linux is because the community doesn't listen nor are they really worried about getting a larger userbase. There are some guys out there that help out where they can, and people appreciate the little bit of help.. In windows getting from A to B is clicking a few buttons. The same process in Linux could be from A to Z with every step needing to be complete and one error throws off the entire process. Until we as a community can stand up and be helpful and supportive and work with developers insteading of blaming them for the problems then Linux won't make it to the desktop and even hold water. Personally any chance I get I load a linux livecd and do what I need to do because for me its easier, but until its easy like Windows then we arent going to get anywhere.

Re:The desktop is dead (3, Insightful)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993903)

The desktop/laptop is NOT dead.

The reason is simple: people don't trust computing "over the cloud," because your device will be essentially useless if you are in an area with little to no Internet connectivity. Besides, you can get a netbook computer for under US$400 nowadays, and with improving technology those netbooks will soon store as much as 250 to 320 GB of data on the hard drive in the machine itself, way more than enough to store local data for business documents, spreadsheets, and smaller presentation files.

Re:The desktop is dead (3, Insightful)

PenisLands (930247) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993923)

You're forgetting about specialist applications like audio/music editing and production, video editing, and advanced image editing. Doing this stuff with web-based software isn't feasible, so as long as people do stuff like that, there will be some form of desktop.

Re:The desktop is dead (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993971)

The future is web based. Endless bloat, inefficient javascript and the latency of accessing remote systems.

Most of the software I work(ed) with is still to get heavy duty tasks done are still very much on my computer. CAD, programming, mathematica-type programs... not that I want them all to be, just how it is with current internet pervasiveness and speed.

Why will people accept such a system? because a lot of people never learned to use a desktop, they learned how to use a web browser. Anything outside the web browser looks complicated to them.

I like using Google Apps because I don't have to worry about keeping files updated across multiple computers. I think Google is safer than carrying a tangle of USB sticks about. If the file is that important or secret, I stick it onto a computer that has absolutely no net access, no modem, and no ethernet connected to it, no wireless, etc.

There are more reasons to like net apps than just being clueless. Besides the aforementioned syncing problem with files, services like mint.com provide, say, an iPhone user a convenient look at their finances impossible with a regular desktop/notebook unless you're really regimented.

There is also the fact that web-based is the new way of making money from software. No piracy since its mostly server-side, lace it with ads and nobody complains about adware. Give it a few years and ads will no longer be served up by dedicated domains you can easily block.

That's a decent insight. However, I have no problem with people making money on software that way, as long as software patents don't block competition. What's more problematic with me is being at the whim of the software service provide at any moment to hold your data hostage and your account in their hands. I had enough experiences with ebay's arbitrariness to make me wary. That's why I do keep a backup of the google documents (and important emails too, as webmail is the essentially the same thing with the same pitfalls as any web hosted app, although more comfortable to many because it's been around a bit longer)

If client side desktop computing is to survive the interface has to become more iPhony. Ordinary folk love the touchy feeley colourful, childish looking animated interface of the iPhone so the future is in projects like Hildon. I personally hate the iPhone's interface but thats alright, if its Linux or BSD I'll just install a minimalist window manager which there should always be plenty of.

While the interface is important, I think many like the convenience and lack of carrying files around like I said earlier, and that will be hard to replicate for any desktop app.

Re:The desktop is dead (4, Informative)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 5 years ago | (#27994021)

The future is web based.

Is it? After a typical month I am near my download limit for the month, and all it is is web browsing, email, and some file transfers. What is a web based solution going to do to bandwidth usage?

I've used Google docs for a quick project, and it has vastly cut and inflexible features compared to a spreadsheet installed on your machine.

Web based is too inflexible. Just my opinion of course.

Some of it is dubious (1, Troll)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993759)

Zero games? Tell that to World of Warcraft, which seems to work fine for me on Ubuntu, straight out of the box, through wine. Also, the idea that Linux has no virus purely because it isn't popular ignores the fact it is very popular for servers which are bigger targets for crackers.

Wine doesn't run everything (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993801)

Zero games? Tell that to World of Warcraft, which seems to work fine for me on Ubuntu, straight out of the box, through wine.

The article states that Wine does not run every popular video game designed for Windows. You just got lucky in your choice of games; families with children clamoring for a specific incompatible title don't have that luxury.

Re:Wine doesn't run everything (4, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993843)

Lucky? I hardly think so. WoW is hardly an obscure game - it is the most popular MMORPG in the world. The idea that wine can run, out of the box, such a high profile game is perfectly incompatible with 'no games, period.'

Single player? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993981)

WoW is hardly an obscure game - it is the most popular MMORPG in the world.

Not everybody likes paying $15 per game per month for MMORPGs, and not everybody likes paying $60 per month for the mobile broadband access needed to play them away from hotspots. Can one buy a copy of a single-player game for Windows developed in the past twelve months and expect it to install seamlessly into Wine?

Re:Some of it is dubious (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993993)

Yeah, try that if you're running an ATI video card, and a composited window manager. After 3 days of trying I gave up, switched back to windows, and had it running in about an hour (plus install time). That's coming from someone who administers about 40 linux servers, and has used linux as a desktop OS for close to 4 years now.

9.10? (5, Insightful)

nvivo (739176) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993761)

having just moved to an early version of Ubuntu 9.10 on my main testing-stuff laptop; it's frustrating

The first alpha of 9.10 was released a couple days ago with new kernel, new gcc, lots of new libraries... you should not be surprised things don't work well yet. Jaunty seems pretty stable to me. Minor issues with my intel video card, but works fine for all my daily work.

Re:9.10? (1, Interesting)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993853)

having just moved to an early version of Ubuntu 9.10 on my main testing-stuff laptop; it's frustrating

The first alpha of 9.10 was released a couple days ago with new kernel, new gcc, lots of new libraries... you should not be surprised things don't work well yet.

I would think that it was released they should have it mostly working well. It seems they're more concerned with keeping the precious timeframe than actually releasing something that works (they did that with Hardy too, leaving us stuck with many Really Bad Things(TM) for the next 3 years...)

Re:9.10? (4, Informative)

TobascoKid (82629) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993949)

"I would think that it was released they should have it mostly working well."

No, I would expect 9.04 to be mostly working well (which for me it almost does - the regression in the intel video card support is ticking me off though). 9.10 is at early alpha - I would expect it to not work very well at all. So the submitter's complaints about issues with 9.10 are unwarranted.

Re:9.10? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#27994039)

Ah, my mistake. I thought 9.10 was the one that just came out. Mea culpa.

My comments about Hardy still hold though, troll-mod or not. I'm looking at you, whoever decided that a frelled-up pulseaudio setup was a good idea for a LTS...

Linux will never be ready for some people (1, Insightful)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993767)

They are indoctrinated to a world of malware, reboots and crashes. They are convinced that's just the way PC's are, so they stick with the devil they know rather than attempt to learn anything new. They refuse to open their minds to anything else. These people will cling onto Windows well after Microsoft go bankrupt and no longer provide updates. These people will sit securely in their own bubble and assume they are safe and secure. If it wasn't for the fact that EVERY user gets the fallout from Microsoft botnets regardless of their OS, I'd say leave them be.

Re:Linux will never be ready for some people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993813)

Have you used Windows much this last decade? Crashes are rare nowadays - in fact, in the past five years, my Windows servers have turned out to be more reliable than my Linux servers (I and my collegues administer hundreds of each).

Re:Linux will never be ready for some people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993875)

This is a mindless anti-Windows rant which does not address any of the Linux issues raised by the article.

The article points out the truth. People would use Linux if it didn't suck so badly.

Re:Linux will never be ready for some people (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993965)

On the other hand, many of the MS supporters also refuse to bite when trollbait is dangled in front of them, unlike you...

Re:Linux will never be ready for some people (0)

AC-x (735297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993991)

From TFA:

12. Bad security model: there's zero protection against keyboard keyloggers and against running malicious software (Linux is viruses free only due to its extremely low popularity). sudo is very easy to circumvent (social engineering). sudo still requires CLI (see clause 4.).

Re:Linux will never be ready for some people (3, Insightful)

masterQba (699425) | more than 5 years ago | (#27994037)

I think that Linux is more than ready for the desktop but as you say people don't know that it exists. Over the weekend I reformatted my semi-corporate laptop (lenovo thinkpad r61) from Vista Business to Ubuntu 9.04. And I've been totally surprised how well the whole process went. All of the hardware worked OOTB. Today I've been even more surprised when I brought the machine to work. I connected the network cable. Fired up Evolution and connected to the Exchange server. When I wanted to print something Ubuntu had found all of the available printers on the network and let me choose which one I wanted to use. Everything has been flawless the whole way. Not to mention that it's blazing fast compared to Vista. I can even run a Windows XP environment in Virutalbox without any significant slowdown (4GB RAM) so if I need to sync my iphone apps on it I can do that too. But people don't know that the possibility exists, or even if they know the headaches caused by Windows aren't big enough to warrant a change, or a couple other excuses to just stay with what they know.

some tech program archtypes do work (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993769)

T-SPICE works under WINE ... always has. No install or function issues. That's '1".

Sound and HDs... (5, Informative)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993775)

It took almost 3 months to get the sound working on Ubuntu (TOS-link). Even to this day I'm scared that if I lose the system I'll lose the configuration- it required editing different accounts, adding new packages, modifying them in a non-standard fashion, adding options that weren't documented...

Windows XP? Put it in and the sound comes out.

I'll say the same thing about hard drives too- while the support is built in I still had to do some 20 commands to add, mount, locate, format, automount, edit the UUID manualy, fdisk....

Nothing better to kill 2 hours of your precious life.

Re:Sound and HDs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993855)

The driver issue is not a Linux problem, it's problem of hw manufacturers who produce _closed_ source drivers only for MS.

Please stop talking about bad support of devices in linux, but talk about stupid hardware manufacturers.

You should be thankful for developers who wrote open source drivers in their free time.

Re:Sound and HDs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993919)

I should be thankful that they wrote crappy software? I can't even get sound to work on my linux computer, despite 14 hours of constantly dogging back and fourth in multiple linux chat supports, wiki pages and manual pages. a OS is not ready for main stream use unless you can put the disk in and have everything working. So far the only OS to ever do that on my whole computer is Windows 7. I don't want to spend 20+ minutes downloading and installing drivers, they should already be on the OS.

Re:Sound and HDs... (5, Insightful)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993955)

Standard Asound driver.

You miss the point: I did get it to work. That means it could always work, from the beginning, but Ubuntu did not include the correct hardware recognition to set up the system. It also provides no easy method for me to report back those settings for others. If it was truly a manufacturer problem then I would still not be having sound.

That means the moment I got it to work I stopped fiddling- and every time I get the little red upgrade spot I hesitate and think: Is this the reboot that kills it?

Re:Sound and HDs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993975)

And this is exactly the sort of attitude which means that it isn't, and likely never will be ready.

If the average user has to worry about details of device drivers and manufacturer support with an operating system, then it plainly isn't ready for general, 'desktop' use.

I think what some people forget is that for the majority of the population, their operating system is just a tool to get the job done, and they don't want to spend half their time configuring it.

Re:Sound and HDs... (5, Insightful)

AbbeyRoad (198852) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993979)

You are effectively saying I *should* use Linux
*because* hardware manufacturers have a problem.

Er. That doesn't make sense.

I don't care WHERE the problem is. I am a USER and
I want my computer to WORK. As a user I ought not
to even KNOW the difference between software and
hardware, let alone the feud between the
manufacturing organization and the Free
programmer. Let alone justify my use of the
software with some kind of support-of-the-little-guy argument.

I am thankful to developers, but those same
developers also tried to convince me
that Linux was more useful
than it really was and provided a half-baked
solution. They were not really honest
and you don't sound like you are going to be
honest with the user either.

I'd rather pay poolah and give no thanks
and get something that works.

And don't come with that "Free" is not "free"
kwap. In PRACTICE free and Free have turned
out to be the same thing.

Re:Sound and HDs... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27994029)

The driver issue is not a Linux problem, it's problem of hw manufacturers who produce _closed_ source drivers only for MS.

I agree that it's not Linux's fault, but it's still Linux's problem to deal with somehow. If the free software community has failed to negotiate with the manufacturers of popular hardware and has furthermore failed to promote hardware from more cooperative manufacturers, then the free software community has failed.

talk about stupid hardware manufacturers.

The free software community can't just up and start a new hardware manufacturer and have its products be competitive with those of the majors, can it?

Re:Sound and HDs... (3, Funny)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993927)

LOL Anecdote! My girlfriends computer couldn't uses its sound or graphics card under XP, both worked out of the box with Jaunty. Next anecdote please!

Re:Sound and HDs... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27994003)

You're full of shit.

Re:Sound and HDs... (1)

mastril (703650) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993929)

i had to manually fetch hdd driver, audio driver plus network driver on my last xp install. i already installed debian (lenny) on that same system. everything worked right away. people who claim that everything just works with windows and they always have to fiddle with linux usually compare a pre-installed and configured windows box with a manual linux install.

Re:Sound and HDs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993937)

It took almost 3 months to get the sound working on Ubuntu (TOS-link). Even to this day I'm scared that if I lose the system I'll lose the configuration-

I'm sorry, but I hereby disbelieve. It took 3 days to get sound-over-HDMI working, and that was because I had to learn that I had to download/compile an updated version of Alsa.

Next time, document your work.

Re:Sound and HDs... (1)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993983)

And for every anecdote there is a counter-anecdote. I installed Ubuntu and sound "just worked".

But then on the Windows install I couldn't use the CD-burner to burn ISO images even after spending hours trying different software and drivers...

Your anecdotes + my anecdotes don't add up to data. The fact is it's a great unknown just how well a Linux install goes versus a Windows install. You can try to get a sense of it from forum postings... but that's not easy either (in particular forum postings are heavily biased towards people who experience problems).

I know it's not easy to do... but until we have some reasonably systematic way to aggregate data about what does--and does not--work on a Linux install, it won't be easy to decide where to spend time fixing. Just assuming that there is "a real problem" because a few people post bug reports about a given thing isn't efficient.

Re:Sound and HDs... (0)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#27994033)

As a counterexample, here's my fairly recent installation experience when it came to sound:

Ubuntu - found my sound system, fired it up automatically, and linked my keyboard volume control buttons.

Windows - Had to spend a while figuring out the sound hardware myself, determine that the driver CD that came with the card couldn't properly install the driver under SP 3, downloaded drivers from the manufacturer, and ran that.

because they forked it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993779)

between GNOME and KDE, and the mainstream distributions (Novel ubuntu) promote GNOME/Mono.

So when somebody writes a new app, there are instantly forks of the same thing in: GTK, QT, Mono, PyGTK, Java, and one in C for FVWM.

So people just write libraries and the major distroes cherry pick the crappest frontends.

It's simple. If you make $40bn per year you can invest $100M to eleminate the competition and that can be used to promote crapware FOSS...

not ready yet - and never will be (3, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993791)

Linux's ship has sailed.

If you're not using it now, you probably never will. As a long time (and current) Linux user, I have come across all these issues first-hand, as has every other Linux user, developer and advocate out there. That they are still problems even though they've been known for years - sometimes decades shows that they will never be addressed, or fixed.

Linux is a hobby systyem. The code is donated mostly by amateurs (or people working for rewards other than money - for example the recognition of their peers) and is therefore not within the normal disciplines of IT developemt. If you tell a Linux developer their code is crap - or the application they have written is junk, they'll just walk. As they will if you ask them to do things they don't want to: such as write a manual, fix bugs, add (or remove) features.

Basically guys, this is as good as it gets. Live with it or go elsewhere.

Re:not ready yet - and never will be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993931)

Not necessarily true. As a Linux application developer, I welcome constructive criticism and bug reports, and make sure my work is thoroughly documented.

But then again, I am also a professional software developer with a Windows background, so I probably picked up these good habits from doing more proper coding work.

Re:not ready yet - and never will be (1)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993997)

"If you tell a Linux developer their code is crap - or the application they have written is junk, they'll just walk."

And..? If you ran a charity with volunteers doing work for you for free, would you tell them that their work was junk, and expect them to take it well? Although Linux isn't a charity, it's a very similar model, in terms of the fact that these people give their time and effort freely. I'm not saying that they should be free from any kind of critique because of that, but you need to be extremely cautious when you tell volunteers whether their work is good/bad.

I worked for a small transport charity (carting around old people on mini buses) last summer. It was interesting, but one major problem is that the volunteers routinely clogged up the administration offices, and continually created boring, never-ending conversations. You often get the urge to say "Please, just go away, I'm trying to work, and your conversation is dull" etc. But you just can't do that. I mean, you could: but the volunteers would leave. It's hard to juggle, but free volunteer work and critique are a dangerous mix. You have a valid point to a degree, but it's representative of the fact that these developers don't need 'telling off' - they need decent 'human management' to keep them on track without turning them off giving out their produce for free.

Troll -1 (5, Insightful)

k-zed (92087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993793)

The TFA is a worthless troll, even more so than usual in these "Linux is not ready for the desktop" Slashdot articles.

It has the usual list of ignorant complaints (oh no, there is a choice of distributions, boo hoo! oh no, there is a choice of GUI toolkits, boo hoo!), but some points stand out in their sheer stupidity.

"Bad security model: there's zero protection against keyboard keyloggers and against running malicious software (Linux is viruses free only due to its extremely low popularity). sudo is very easy to circumvent (social engineering). sudo still requires CLI (see clause 4.)"

Really?

Who admits these articles to the front page anyway?

Linux isn't ready for common consumption (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993797)

and I run it ubuntu 9.4 exclusively on my home machine. It is an excellent OS with some bugs and does occasionally does something completely random. It has its faults but that isn't the reason why it isn't ready for the normal user. The reason is that the average computer user is an idiot. I"m talking about those people who freak out when there isn't a gui and mainly uses their machine to write word documents, email and play games. These users want something that works and when it doesn't someone to call up and complain to/swear at.
Add in M$ market dominance and you have two blockades that are not going to be cracked anytime soon. However this is a good thing! As long as the idiots run windows, there will be orders of magnitude less viruses for Linux.

It'll never be ready (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993803)

The problem = selfish developers.

Attitude plays a big part (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993807)

One of the reasons Linux isn't ready for the desktop is the attitude of developers. An example is the current Kubuntu.

Many people who did take the plungs with desktop Linux settled, reasonably, on the mature, functional KDE-3.5. But if those people upgrade to current Kubuntu Jaunty Jackelope (one wonders if 9.10 will just be called "Silly Gay Name"), they'll find their familiar desktop -- nowhere. Instead, they'll find KDE-4.2, which isn't the atrocity that 4.0 and 4.1 were, but which still ain't ready for real work.

It would be a simple thing to support both and to allow people to migrate gradually to the new KDE, as it and its applications become more usable. But that's not being done and the developers and packagers are actually kind of snotty about it.

One *can* get KDE-3.5 for the current Kubuntu and Ubuntu, but it involves unofficial and semi-official (whatever that means) repositories and substantially more work.

Users, especially those who want to use Linux for real work, might end up thinking that Linux developers in general are kind of jerks. That impression can be hard to refute.

Upgrading is problematic (5, Interesting)

fprintf (82740) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993809)

I don't know why I bother upgrading. They say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and in the case of Ubuntu that has proven to be the case every single time because something always breaks upon upgrade. This most recent upgrade to Jaunty completely disabled my ability to put my laptop to sleep because the screen now goes dark and I can't see what is happening and what is stopping it from sleeping. No matter what I do I can't get the screen to come back on, so the only recovery is a forced shutdown via the power button. Now I can only shut it down and reboot it - so much for uptime statistics!

Anyway, something always breaks. This is, however, not so different than any other operating system upgrade. Unless you have well tested hardware, that is nothing too bleeding edge new and nothing too old (e.g. my IBM T-30 laptop) then it is likely you will have some problems each time you upgrade. I know I have had my share of problems when going from Win98 to XP that a few internet searches easily resolved. I guess it also helps when you don't upgrade that often - it has been years since I have touched my Windows installation and yet every 6 months I am upgrading my Linux and bitching every time when something breaks. I should just leave the freakin' thing alone!!!

Re:Upgrading is problematic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993877)

I use debian, upgrades are ridiculously easy.

#1 reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993823)

It doesn't run the 100000000000 Windows applications that people want to use.

I know that 99% of all people could do most of anything they want in Linux, but that is not a selling point. "99% as good as the real thing!" is not a strong enough reason to make people leave their comfort zone.

Joe Average would need a compelling reason for using Linux and there is practically none except "I hate Microsoft".

what i think about liunix (-1, Offtopic)

photorelive (1556991) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993825)

what i think about liunix as we all know its kinda harder to work with in different windows is too easy fr every one to work with and i think liunix are most wanted for networks and servers and the kinds of work which needs more security cause liunix is more stronger than windows in this point ( we can say its made for bussines and high scured systems ) and also i wana add that one of the reasons windows is strong and gettin more and more stronger is that the most laptops or desktops like sony,toshiba...or what ever kinds mostly offers a windows copy with the pc or laptop .. photo retouching lover http://photorelive.com/ [photorelive.com]

The Real Reason (0, Troll)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993827)

The Real Reason Why Linux Is Not Yet Ready For the Desktop? Microsoft is fighting it.

He has a slashdot button... (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993829)

...but insists that reproduction of any kind is prohibited without permission. So I won't quote from the article. I will just refer to it.

In the last paragraph the author talks about implementations of SMB and AD (active directory?) not being available, then excludes samba. I with he would say why. Samba seems pretty good in that area.

In addition I would like to say that my wife's corolla is crap because it can't carry 1000 kilos of stuff the way my van does. Also the Boeing 747 is crap because it has a bigger radar cross section than a B2 stealth bomber.

Re:He has a slashdot button... (3, Insightful)

Chlorine Trifluoride (1517149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993857)

...but insists that reproduction of any kind is prohibited without permission. So I won't quote from the article. I will just refer to it.

You might want to refer him to the concept of "fair use".

New distro = fixed 1 problem, broke other places (1)

derspankster (1081309) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993839)

I've been using Ubuntu since Drake and it seems to me that each ensuing distro has fixed at least one problem I've had on my desktop but then seems to be broke in a couple of other places that were fine before. Seems the first thing I do after installing a new distro is search for what's busted now. But, I continue with Linux. Masochistic streak?

I won't read the article, even the summary (1)

Looce (1062620) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993841)

... because this type of "Linux for the desktop" articles gets posted almost every month. If I could, I would mark all of these articles dupes even across month boundaries.

Let the flames begin, though. I may* come back to read the comments in the coming days.

_________
* The word MAY, as used in this comment, has the same meaning as in RFC 2119 [ietf.org] .

It could work on the desktop... (2, Interesting)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993849)

...if the OSS community was as honest (and constructive) as this guy [lunduke.com] it might have a chance on the general-purpose desktop against Windows.

Karma be damned; I thought that despite the provocative headline, it was a really refreshing criticism of Linux on the desktop.

full article... before it gets slashdotted (3, Informative)

qtzlctl (1538903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993859)

Why Linux is not (yet) Ready for the Desktop

Preface:

        In this document we only discuss Linux deficiencies while everyone should keep in mind that there are areas where Linux has excelled other OSes.

        A primary target of this comparison is Windows OS.
Linux major shortcomings and problems:

0. Premise: proprietary software will stay indefinitely. Full stop. You may argue eternally, but complicated software like games, 3D applications, databases, CADs(Computer-aided Design), etc. which cost millions of dollars and years of man-hours to develop will never be open sourced. Software patents are about to stay forever.

1. No reliable sound system, no reliable unified software audio mixing, many (old or/and proprietary) applications still open audio output exclusively causing major user problems and headache.

1.1 Insanely difficult to set up volume levels, audio recording ... and in some situations even audio output.

1.2 Highly confusing, not self-explanatory mixer settings.

1.3 By default many distros do not set volume levels properly (no audio output/no sound recording).

2. X system:

2.1 No good stable standardized API for developing GUI applications (like Win32 API). Both GTK and Qt are very unstable and often break backwards compatibility.

2.2 Very slow GUI (except when being run with composite window managers on top of OpenGL).

2.3 Many GUI operations are not accelerated. No analogue of GDI or GDI+. Text antialiasing and other GUI operations are software rendered by GUI libraries (GTK->Cairo/QT->Xft).

2.4 Font rendering is implemented via high level GUI libraries, thus:

2.4.1 fontconfig fonts antialiasing settings cannot be applied on-the-fly.

2.4.2 Fonts antialiasing only works for certain GUI toolkits (see 2.1).

2.4.3 Default fonts (often) look ugly.

2.4.3.1 (Being resolved) By default most distros disable advanced fonts antialiasing.

2.4.3.2 By default most distros come without good or even compatible with Windows fonts.

2.5 No double buffering.

3. Problems stemming from the vast number of Linux distributives:

3.1 No unified configuration system for computer settings, devices and system services. E.g. distro A sets up networking using these utilities, outputting certain settings residing in certain file system locations, distro B sets up everything differently. This drives most users mad.

3.2 No unified installer across all distros. Consider RPM, deb, portage, tar.gz, sources, etc. It adds a cost for software development.

3.3 Many distros' repositories do not contain all available open source software. User should never be bothered with using ./configure && make && make installer. It should be possible to install any software by downloading a package and double clicking it (yes, like in Windows, but probably prompting for user/administrator password).

3.4 Applications development is a major PITA. Different distros can use a) different libraries versions b) different compiler flags c) different compilers. This leads to a number of problems raised to the third power.

4. It should be possible to configure everything via GUI which is still not a case for too many situations and operations.

5. Problems stemming from low linux popularity and open source nature:

5.1 Few software titles, inability to run familiar Windows software. (Some applications (which don't work in Wine) have zero Linux equivalents).

5.1.1 No equivalent of some hardcore Windows software like AutoCAD/3D Studio/Adobe Premier/Corel Painter/etc. Home and work users just won't bother installing Linux until they can work for real.

5.2 No games. Full stop. Cedega and Wine offer very incomplete support.

5.3 Incomplete or unstable drivers for some hardware. Problems setting up some hardware (like sound cards or TV tuners/Web Cameras).

5.3.1 A lot of WinPrinters do not have any Linux support (e.g. Lexmark models). An argument that user should buy a Linux compatible printer is silly since that way Linux won't ever gain even a traction of popularity. Why should I install an OS where my printer doesn't work?

5.3.2 A lot of web cameras still do not work at all in Linux.

5.4 It's impossible to watch Blue-Ray movies.

5.5 Questionable patents and legality status. US Linux users cannot play many popular audio and video formats until they purchase appropriate codecs.

6. Poor or almost missing regression testing in Linux kernel (and, alas, in other Open Source software too) leading to a situation when new kernels may become totally unusable for some hardware configurations (software suspend doesn't work, crashes, unable to boot, networking problems, video tearing, etc.)

7. A galore of software bugs across all applications. Just look into KDE or Gnome bugzilla's - some bugs are now ten years old with over several dozens of duplicates and no one is working on them.

8. Poor interoperability between applications and their components. E.g. many kernel features get a decent userspace support years after introduction.

8.1 Most distros don't allow you to easily set up a server with e.g. such a configuration: Samba, SMTP/POP3, Apache HTTP Auth and FTP where all users are virtual. LDAP is a major PITA. Authentication against MySQL/any other DB is also a PITA.

9. General slowness: just compare load times between e.g. OpenOffice and Microsoft Office. If you don't like this example, try running OpenOffice in Windows and in Linux. In the latter case it will be much slower.

9.1 Slow (libraries) linker. Braindead slow linker. Intolerably slow linker. Win32 OpenOffice being run from Wine starts in a less time than native Linux OpenOffice. Microsoft Office 2003 starts from Wine in a matter of few seconds even on 1GHz CPUs with a slow HDD.

9.2 (Being resolved) No parallel boot of system services. Questionable services for Desktop installations (Fedora, Suse, Mandriva, Ubuntu). No delayed loading of system services.

9.3 (Being resolved) Huge shutdown time.

10. CLI (command line interface) errors for user applications (see clause 4.). All GUI applications should have a visible errors presentation.

11. (Being slowly resolved) Poor documentation.

12. Bad security model: there's zero protection against keyboard keyloggers and against running malicious software (Linux is viruses free only due to its extremely low popularity). sudo is very easy to circumvent (social engineering). sudo still requires CLI (see clause 4.).

13. A very bad backwards and forward compatibility.

13.1 Old applications rarely work in new Linux distros (glibc incompatibities (double-free errors), missing libraries, wrong/new libraries versions, GCC source level errors). Abandoned Linux GUI software generally doesn't work in newer Linux distros. Most well written GUI applications for Windows 95 will work in Windows 7 (15 years of compatibility on binary level).

13.2 New applications linked only against lib C will refuse to work in old distros. (Even though they are 100% source compatible with old distros).

13.3 New libraries versions bugs, regressions and incompatibilites.

14. Enterprise level problems:

14.1 No software policies.

14.2 No standard way of software distribution.

14.3 (Being slowly resolved) No SMB/AD level replacement/equivalent (samba doesn't count): 1) Centralized and easily managable user directory. 2) Simple file sharing. 3) Simple (LAN) computers discovery and browsing.

***

Additions to and well-grounded critics of this list are welcomed.

Written during April 30 2009 - May 18 2009

©2009 Artem S. Tashkinov - All rights reserved. No reproduction of any kind is allowed without express permission by the author.

Chicken and the Egg (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993863)

The driver problem is a variation of the chicken and the egg.

Linux is not a large part of the desktop market thus many manufacturers do not bother writing drivers for them. As a result every time a new piece of hardware comes out someone has to have that hardware (so they care) and then cobble a driver together for it. As a result some hardware is not supported (or poorly supported). Then people say Linux isn't desktop ready because the drivers aren't up to snuff. Repeat.

I'm not saying the complaint isn't valid but sadly there is little Linux can do about it (short of creating a new project to keep up with every piece of hardware known to man). Windows on the other hand doesn't have this problem as every manufacturer on the planet makes sure to include a driver for windows. Mac escapes this problem since it's a hardware company and says we only support Mac products. It's a very unfair setup and I'm not sure if there is a way to break the cycle.

Again... (5, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993869)

Seems like we've had this exact argument a thousand times. This list at least makes mostly good points. But it still misses the mark many times. Particularly annoying is the absolutism in so many statements, like:

No games. Full stop.

This is obviously false. There are games on Linux. Many are open sourced, and some commercials games are available on Linux (e.g. World of Goo). Now I wouldn't have argued if he had said "Very few games." But instead he tried to make his point punchier by being absolute... and this weakens his whole argument by introducing lies.

And as usual the author prefaces by mentioning that this is some sort of relative comparison with Windows, yet points out problems that exist with all operating systems, like "A galore of software bugs across all applications", or "huge shutdown time" (I've timed it on dual-boot systems and for me Kubuntu was faster than Windows XP. YMMV.) and "poor documentation" (does Windows come with an awesome manual I wasn't made aware of? No. For both Win and Linux you end up searching online. Both have tons of 3rd-party documentation.)...

And then there are kind nonsensical complaints like "don't allow you to easily set up a server with e.g. such a configuration: Samba, SMTP/POP3, Apache HTTP Auth and FTP where all users are virtual" Does Windows let you do this easily? The heading said that this was an analysis of whether Linux is ready for the Desktop and instead the author injects one of his pet-peeves about configuring Linux as a server?

And then there are spurious assumptions used to justify complaints, like "Linux is viruses free only due to its extremely low popularity". We've had this argument many times... undoubtedly the low market-share of Linux helps keep viruses off the platform. But there is also plenty of evidence that it is robust security-wise (e.g. infection rates for servers). At a minimum it's not the settled question the author implies.

I could go on and on. No doubt this thread will tear-apart other statements from TFA. It's too bad, because many of the points made are very much correct, and deserve attention. But it seems that whenever someone tries to compile lists such as this, they end up not only making good points about what needs work, but throwing in their own anecdotal annoyances and personal viewpoints, which muddies the whole argument...

Linux is ready for the desktop (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993889)

For most users, Linux IS ready for the desktop. There's more people that use their computers casually then for installing the latest games or other such applications.

I've had Linux installed on and off for 7 years, but about 2 years ago I saw that the OS was good enough for everyday use (I don't use Ubuntu). It has now got to the point where before I had 100% use of Windows XP and 0% Linux, I have 2% Windows and 98% Linux usage.

A majority of applications that I had to buy software for in Windows I now have in Linux versions, maybe not as 100% polished, but they are usable, like Kdenlive for editing HD video or Avidemux. It's not a question of being free for me, but they are more stable than in Windows equivalents.

The only thing that people should be p1ssed off at is the lack of updates for applications like Skype, who after well over 2 years have given no updates to users of Linux, and no 64 bit version. Would be nice for Google to get their finger out and have a 64 bit version of GoogleEarth.

The other annoying thing is that still manufacturers refuse to get their stuff to work on Linux.

I call BS (1)

MortenMW (968289) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993893)

One of the authors point is "Huge shutdown time". I guess he has never tried to turn off a Windows machine with lots of services running....

Hardware (2)

rootnl (644552) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993895)

Some of the big problems are wifi, bluetooth, sound and video related. Most of these problems are a result of proprietary drivers/hardware. I have problems with bluetooth that my keyboard won't connect after a reboot. Configuring the spdif raw output is a pain(eventually got it running properly with a custom .asound configuration). Cheaper sound cards only support one channel, thus causing one application to block another (there are workarounds, but even for the tech-savvy this is a pain). Video support, you are at the mercy of the hardware.

For me, Linux is ready for the desktop, it's just that some hardware's not ready for Linux.

Linux is different (1)

Corson (746347) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993899)

Linux should not be compared to Windows or MacOS X. There are many Linux distros just like there many car makes and models. There is no backward compatibility or part swapping in cars, yet people buy and drive them them. Despite its pitfalls, the Linux desktop can be packaged and sold around a specific, targeted solution. Check out the Linux Appliance Construction Kit (http://susestudio.com). And don't forget that Qt is LGPL as of release 4.5.

No (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993911)

Not this shit again.

Ohh boy, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993917)

just another dumb ass that thinks he knows what he is talking about. Blaming Linux because Autocad does not want to port their app to Linux is loaded with flawed thinking. Hey moron, how about point that finger where it belongs... AT AUTOCAD!

Why OSX isn't ready for the desktop. (4, Interesting)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993941)

A lot of reasons mentioned in there could also be said of OSX.

5.3 Incomplete or unstable drivers for some hardware. Problems setting up some hardware (like sound cards or TV tuners/Web Cameras).

5.3.2 A lot of web cameras still do not work at all in Linux.

5.4 It's impossible to watch Blue-Ray movies.

5.2 No games. Full stop. Cedega and Wine offer very incomplete support.

I did my research and found a TV tuner that would work under Linux so that I could run MythTV. How many tuner cards work with OSX? Linux is not Windows, but it doesn't mean it's not ready for the desktop.
Apple puts together hardware that works with their OS and now Dell and other OEM's are doing the same with Linux. If you want to run either Linux or OSX on older hardware you have lying around be prepared to hack (although much less with Linux). If you want to build a system from scratch, do your homework first and buy compatible parts.
I stopped reading halfway through. Its a troll. I could say Windows isn't ready for the desktop because there are no CLI utilities or scripting languages built in.
If you want to do something in batch like resize and auto-rotate a bunch of digital camera pictures you need to search for and download a program that does exactly what you want and hopefully not get a virus.
With linux, you whip up a little script that runs jhead -autorot and convert -resize.
A lot of times you need to do something specialized each time. Having a full blown GUI for each occasion doesn't make sense and neither does having something that is so extremely configurable because it would ultimately be complicated and confusing and still wouldn't handle the 5% of the corner cases.

Linux or Windows ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27993945)

I just didn't know all that even as I use Linux daily as my personnal desktop OS, thanks for the infos !!!

Everyone has its own experience with each OS available out there.

Just to tell everyone the first thing that stops me from using Windows : read the EULA carefully !!!

not only in soviet russia (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993947)

desktop isn't ready for the linux!!

in the corporate system there are companies that have only just moved from 16bit windows apps, they are stuck at whatever os they are with now, and would probably not take the plunge with linux especially if they cannot port old 16 bit applcations to 32/64bit.

bit corporation are so afraid of change that it can be their downfall, the new kid on the block with a dynamic team of programmers can make for a smoother system, obviously a larger company can benefit from their preexisting market share and managerial experience.

Well I may have not read TFM (1)

giorgist (1208992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27993959)

but why should I ?

"having just moved to an early version of Ubuntu 9.10"

Why on earth would you have gripes ? You are lucky to have anything but a command line

He has some valid points. (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 5 years ago | (#27994007)

Like the lexmarkprinter. I bought one, ignorant as I was since my printers always worked on Debian (long time debian-fanboy here)... Now this was an el cheapo lexmark, but I needed to print and really I don't care who writes the drivers just as long when I plug the printer in, it starts printing... Also: ALSA one day I reboot, it works. Another day I reboot and for some weird reason I have to force-reload ALSA. Personally I put up with it cause of the other advantages Debian offers me, but is really putting up with.. Not a good thing. I can't sell that my parents. They want it to work. Out of the box. This is also a reason I am considering the switch to BSD, but there I would mis my precious Flash 10 to much.

Article is a troll (2, Informative)

bcmm (768152) | more than 5 years ago | (#27994009)

It should be possible to configure everything via GUI which is still not a case for too many situations and operations.

If regedit.exe counts as a GUI, so does your favourite text editor. Navigating to a path (in the registry or in the filesystem) and changing a cryptic string for another cryptic string is necessary on Windows to do interesting things, same as Linux. It is not generally necessary on either platform if you just want to listen to music and write emails.

Also, to add an unscientific anecdote about hardware support, I now find it easier to make hardware work on Linux. Having bought a Vista laptop, I installed Windows XP and Linux on it, and have every piece of hardware working perfectly on Linux, but many missing/unreliable drivers (and, bizarrely, no support for USB keyboards) on XP.

Cut and Paste (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27994025)

To me, Linux won't be ready on the desktop until I can be sure what will happen when I highlight some text. It won't be ready until there are sane semantics for the clip/pasteboard that are obvious and consistent across 100% of the applications I run. It won't be ready until I can copy a URL and paste it in Mozilla's address bar without having to carefully click and hold backspace/delete to remove the current URL before pasting.

From a simple usability stand-point, Linux is utterly wrong and brain-dead. I use copy+paste all the time and in Linux it's just too painful.

What I took away from this: (1)

Jamamala (983884) | more than 5 years ago | (#27994027)

First, as has already been pointed out, a lot of his criticism is subjective or unfounded.
Secondly, and more importantly; despite these tens of problems that are listed, Linux is still gaining market share against windows. More subjectively; Linux runs "better" on all the PCs I have tried it on. Sure, niche cases like setting up X-Fi cards are annoying, but then they aren't a walk in the park in Windows either.
Finally, this made me laugh the most:

3.3 Many distros' repositories do not contain all available open source software.

(Emphasis mine). So? It would be impossible to contain all open source software ever in a repo. But at least a sizeable quantity is available there, compared to microscopic amounts of "packages" in Microsofts repo (i.e., Windows Update) which is mostly composed of patches anyway.

Maybe next yer (1)

PeeShootr (949875) | more than 5 years ago | (#27994031)

Maybe next year will be the year for Linux on the desktop. All jokes aside, until you can just drag and drop to install apps on Linux (like OS X), Linux will not be accepted on the desktop. 99.99% of users don't want to (and shouldn't need to) bring up a terminal window. If you ever have to bring up a term to do anything, you can forget about wide acceptance. Most Windows users don't even know the command prompt is available.

Why bother? (1)

coffeechica (948145) | more than 5 years ago | (#27994041)

The whole idea of having an OS is that it's supposed to give me a platform on which I can run programs with no extra fuss required. Windows does that. MacOS X does that. Linux does too, but it takes a lot more effort. I'm not at a computer to tinker with the OS, I'm here to get something done.

The developers are not end users (5, Interesting)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27994043)

In my opinion, one of the biggest hurdles keeping Linux our of the domestic desktop market is the developers apparently can't put themselves in the shoes of the average user. In my personal experience they tend to hold the end user in contempt, but I realize that this is a fairly small sample of the community...

Like it or not, Windows and OSX have set standards for interface and functional transparency. It may not sit well with developers that they can't micromanage what the OS is doing, but the average user just doesn't give a shit and is unwilling if not incapable of tweaking the OS to accomplish otherwise simple tasks.

It needs to "just work." If you need to use the command line, it's broken for desktop use. If you need to manually edit a file, it's broken for desktop use. If an essential component for some software is not included and must be installed and configured separately, it's broken for desktop use. (That last one is a big, big problem for Linux!)

For all the faults Microsoft has with their software, at least they did the research and learned how Joe Shmoe uses a computer and designed to the lowest common denominator. That's how they ended up on top.
=Smidge=

I found the author's name (0)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27994049)

I found the unknown Russian author's name: Steveski Ballmerski.

"It's hard to compete with free" (1)

Dibblah (645750) | more than 5 years ago | (#27994055)

Given the titular statement, why does Linux not win?

One of the main reasons that Windows remains popular is because it's well known and people are used to it.

In this case, I'm misstating the phrase. The realistic version would be "It's hard to compete with stolen". Many home users that I know assume Windows is a right. If a person in IT hasn't been asked by someone for a license key for Windows, I would consider that unusual.

Which makes Linux a poor third choice, which a majority of people wouldn't even consider if they knew it was available.

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