With its music store and cloud syncing services, Ubuntu 10.04 tends to eclipse Fedora in the minds of many. Not that Fedora project leader Paul Frields minds. He's told me in the past that Fedora is intended "first and foremost for users interested in and capable of contributing to open source." And when I spoke to Frields …
'making Fedora a more compelling choice for production servers running multiple virtual machines'. Brought tears (of laughter) to my eyes.
Okay, you get bonus points for signing your name instead of going the "anonymous coward" route, but you still need to explain that. Which do you object to? "Production servers"? "Virtual machines"? "Multiple"? All of the above?
Linux you use when you grow up? eh?
The author of this article seems to have entirely forgotten the Debian link behind Ubuntu.
You know, Debian, the distro that a great number of die-hard Linux geeks use?
I'm platform agnostic - and that goes for flavors of Linux too - so I'll take Fedora for another spin (it's been years) to see how it stacks up.
Having used Debian for years, I've recently switched to Ubuntu because of the desktop improvements, however, the beauty is that I also get the benefits of being able to install *any* .deb package.
The argument that because Ubuntu is aimed at 'john q public' is a moot point - sure, the default install of *desktop* ubuntu is aimed at windows or mac users, but a few clicks in synaptic, or firing up a term and running aptitude, you've got whatever you want.
It has sweet FA to do with 'Linux you use when you grow up.!
Does Fedora still use rpm files?
Has the dependency hell of rpm installs improved?
I'll make a judgment call when I try it...
deb vs rpm
I have never really felt comfortable with .rpm based distributions, favouring instead plain ol' debian. It's just way less hassle, imho.
As for ubuntu, I'm sure it's a great distro, and it's done a lot for the linux cause... But, debian based thought it may be, I just cannot bring myself to use it.
Forgive me, this is unjustified I am sure, but whenever I think of ubuntu, I immediately think of faecal material. I am sure this dates back to the first (and only) time I booted a demo disk and got this incredibly... brown... gnome desktop.
ah yes, a title is needed
"Does Fedora still use rpm files?
Has the dependency hell of rpm installs improved?"
Yepp and Nope...
TBH its not that bad if you only use binary packages, just don't try to package your own. rpmhell on Fedora is still about as much fun it used to be in the old days on SuSE (i never used Fedora^H^H^H^H^H^HRedhat back then).
"Does Fedora still use rpm files?"
Rhetorical question: does Debian/Ubuntu still use deb files?
"Has the dependency hell of rpm installs improved?"
Ever tried to use only dpkg command, not apt-get, to install/remove package? If so, "dependency hell " exists on dpkg installs. The comparison with apt-get and rpm must be left dead because neither belong to the same category, Fedora uses yum as equivalent.
"the open-source Radeon and Intel drivers in Fedora and together the three open drivers pave the way for a more complete 3D stack."
In other words, use the open source 3D drivers for an incomplete 3D stack. Any sane person would stick with the excellent proprietary Nvidia drivers and not bother wasting time on the open source incomplete foobars.
Fedora on a production server? Er, no!
I strongly suspect that because of its bleeding edge nature and rapid releases (<18 months after its release, support will stop), it's highly inappropriate to install Fedora on a server. The only reason I can think to do so is if you've bought some exotic new server hardware that RHEL (or CentOS) doesn't support yet, but Fedora does and even then, I'm sure the next point release of RHEL/CentOS would backport such support anyway.
I've always considered Fedora a technical desktop distro aimed at developers and its equivalent on the server should be CentOS. So for virtualisation features, the RHEL 6 beta release was the actual newsworthy virtualisation event in the RHEL/Fedora/CentOS family and not a desktop Fedora release (and I suspect a lot of virtualising desktop Fedora users sneak on VirtualBox because it's got a pretty slick GUI, better than the KVM GUI).
the email list is better too
As a long-time user of both, I would add that the help you get for Fedora is way beyond what you get for Ubuntu. Fedora-users members know their stuff.
Every time I search for a Linux related problem the first hits I get are always for Ubuntu. It just has such a massive user base that someone out there has always solved whatever issue you are having.
I can't say I had the same experience with Fedora, but this does not mean you can get help when needed. It just tends to take longer to get an issue sorted.
I still am amazed that no matter what your Ubuntu problem, you can usually find a solution within minutes. This is what finally switched me over from Mandriva (along with their simply dreadful and maddening RPM manager) after 9 odd years.
What depresses me is that I.T. Managers still trot out the old "Linux is not supported" FUD. It is a very rare occasion where you cannot get something sorted in hours or often minutes.
you dont seem to understand what supported means
"Supported" means that I have a contract with someone who is obligated to respond in a specified time frame to my support request. It is a FORMAL thing. Your users group is not formal support.
It's kinda like if your about to go to a dinner party and your SO asks you to "get dresesed." The fact that you are ware cut-off jeans and a dirty tee-shirt doesn't qualify.
Nice to see the FSF crowd "innovating"...
... by ripping off commercial operating systems like there's no tomorrow.
"If Ubuntu is uncomfortable because it leaves you feeling a bit like you're sharing ideals with Apple, take Fedora 13 for a spin."
(And no, I'm not an Apple fanboi. I just spent my working day fighting MS Word and Windows 7.)
to upset your stomach I will tell you the FSF crowd actually is innovating. *nix desktops had virtual workspaces since the beginning of time while your favorite commercial OS still doesn't (Windows does not, unless you install a piece of... GPL software) and Apple has just added that in version 10.5 in late 2007. And ping, netstat, ssh (which Windows refuses to know) and ssl and tls were all NOT invented by commercial OS writers.
Your last paragraph actually clearly defines you as a troll.
Re : Nice to see the FSF crowd "innovating"
"by ripping off commercial operating systems"
Not that they are but it is so much better than being in servitude to MS or living on Apple droppings.
A desktop based on GNOME cannot be anything but an Apple-ista desktop. Gnome is a knock-off of the Mac OS desktop, and always has been.
A bad knock off
I can tolerate the less than perfect Mac OS desktop thanks to the dock and nice things like Expose. But I hate Gnome!
So much dev time is wasted in Linux land, writing open source and proprietary drivers (NVidia are paranoid about fully open source drivers, thinking competitors will steal its technology).
And your point is?
I haven't used a Mac since 1988, so have no idea what they look like now. I do however use Linux (Ubuntu in fact). Works fine for me, whether its GUI a knock off I don't know. What I do know, is that my El Cheapo £250 Acer desktop runs Ubuntu fine, I have access to all the apps I need. Now, I think that pretty good for £250. So, what was the problem with a knock off GUI again?
Grr - that's my main dislike of OSX
I plan to get a MacBook this Friday. However, I hope that OSX isn't too much like GNOME, because GNOME is the primary cause of me avoiding Ubuntu (I find that Kubuntu is never quite as polished). For me, GNOME just isn't as usable as KDE. That's a personal opinion, of course, but it's been I've held for quite some time, so my first setup efforts on the Mac are going to focus on getting some sense into the interface..
@ E 2
"A desktop based on GNOME cannot be anything but an Apple-ista desktop. Gnome is a knock-off of the Mac OS desktop, and always has been."
Erm, I think you'll find that Gnome has been around a helluva lot longer than OS X. Over 10 years in fact. Perhaps your statement is the wrong way round?
Who's on first?
I read these threads and there's all this noise about this feature is good because that os is freedom-sucking and I just wonder. If you are smart enough to understand the trade-offs regarding freedom and to deal with the impediments, you're smart enough to use any os as needed. Nothing's perfect.
While Gnome may have been around longer than OS X (which is a union of Mach, BSD and the NeXT gui layer, which all precede OS X by a decade or so), the basic metaphors of the Apple desktop go back to 1982 in one sense, and a few years earlier to Xerox PARC, in another.
And what would it matter who came first? It's a world of riches. Some platforms cost more and may have more polish. Others are free and massively configurable.
What I found a tad non-specific in the Fedora review above were comments about dual versions of python. I've got that set up now (on my Mac, yes, yes, yes) via MacPorts and it's the same mechanism. Installation tends to be a one-time cost, so I'm not sure how Fedora is really delivering something interesting in this particular case.
dependency hell on rpm's
Pretty much solved with 'yum'.
Fedora is nothing more than a test-bed for RHEL and RedHat's ideas. Yes, it is very nice and yes it gets better with each release, but they still have a long way to go before they understand what most users want. A simple easy to use GUI, kitted with a well thought out desktop.
Sadly everyone thinks Apple are the only ones capable of making a useful GUI, they not, they simply have something semi-usable at the moment. ( I own 4 Macs by the way! )
Ubuntu have started with a firm base, then actually tried to sit down and think what will "sell" the system. "Oh yes, consider what the fleshy thing in the chair in front of it actually wants to do with it, not what fun toys we want in the kernel, that no one will ever see or get benefit from."
In car terms, Fedora is the little white Escort van, not luxury family car or big enough to be a Transit, but useful if you just need something inexpensive for doing a few oddjobs, but nothing too heavy.
Fedora = Good
I love Fedora. Used it for years (And many others). I tried Ubuntu recently and quickly changed back to Fedora and many servery things (Flame away if you like) were just not as mature I thought than on Fedora. I started with Slackware back in 1994/5 and have used many systems over the years.
Personally, I've never had a problem with the stability of Fedora. In a production role one is more likely to be using bulk standard equipment, much of this bleeding edge thing would be in the area of hardware that typically doesn't come into a production server. If the sort of things you want in a prod server are disk, memory, mail, dns, vpn's, java then you'll probably find that it's a very stable system. If you want to plugin esoteric new cards of some sort perhaps not so much.
Fedora appears to me to be the easiest system to compile new apps on and be able to find the dependencies IMO.
One more for the Fedora-on-server = WTF? Having suffered such an environment you must be batshit insane to think about running Fedora on a server for anything more than a few months (moreso in a production situation).
Thankfully the project to upgrade all the Fedora boxes to CentOS 5.3/5.4 is coming to a close, and now we've finally impremented yum things are looking up!
Fedora....ummm.. no thanks
Meh! Cheers + hurrah for Slackware....been using this since 1.2.13... Fedora meh! http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/wtf_32.png http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/thumb_down_32.png
Fedora is what Red Hat Linux does in its spare time, yes?
And those funky new features appear first in Fedora, get tested and debugged, and show up in Red Hat some time later?
Then if you want to test those funky new features for future business use, you set up Fedora. And plan to mount a production server with Red Hat (if you so choose) when it catches up with what you want.
"Other nice features in Fedora 13 include automatic printer driver installation - which means if you plug in a supported printer, the driver is downloaded and installed automatically."
So in other words a daemon running with root privs just downloads and installs stuff when it feels like it. No bloody thank you! Leave that kind of security black hole to Windows.
"Python programmers will be happy to know that Fedora 13 comes with a "parallel-installable" Python 3 environment that will make it easy for those looking to upgrade their code to test in both Python 2.6 and 3.0, without the need to install Python 3.0 from scratch."
Installing python 3 from scratch - download tar file, extract , configure, make install. Yeah , a tough job for all but the l337est users!
What kind of morons are using linux these days? I'm sorry , if you can't install software without some wizard to hold your hand then really , get back to Windows World where you belong.
Oh for goodness sake
"What kind of morons are using linux these days? I'm sorry , if you can't install software without some wizard to hold your hand then really , get back to Windows World where you belong."
I really hope you're joking Boltar. It's this ridiculous "Linux is for geeks only" mentality that has held it back over the the years and feeds a lot of the comments seen in this thread. You then moan that manufacturers aren't pre-installing Linux on machines and providing hardware drivers for your wifi chip/video card/bluetooth adaptor/touch screen/webcam etc.
If Linux is to succeed, it needs to be easy to use without a command prompt. It needs manufacturers to see that it has a large enough user base to bother writing drivers.
Otherwise it will wither and die leaving the world the choice between Windows and OS X.
Re: Oh for goodness sake
You are the chemo for the cancer that is killing Linux, or something along those lines.
Seriously, I don't know what snotty ubergeeks have against Ubuntu. If they don't want the X server, it's not like they can't remove it and all the other "hand-holding" with their uber-leet skillz. They can be stuck with a text interface from the 1970s writing their CVs in vim or emacs, while everyone else has something usable.
"So in other words a daemon running with root privs just downloads and installs stuff when it feels like it. No bloody thank you!"
I haven't tried this flavour, but if it works like how auto-installs have worked in Fedora 12 it's not a daemon, it's a program started on demand. And it asks you for a root password to install the packages.
Even if it doesn't, I would think they have protected this program just as they have protected "login", "gdm" and other programs running as root and taking input from the user.
How do you feel about being able to shutdown your machine from the GUI without specifying a root password? How do you think that works?
Love me some Fedora
For some reason Fedora mostly feels right underneath the hood to me more than any other distro/OS. I actually use WindowMaker instead of Gnome mostly. Tried Étoilé, nice but has a way to go, really excited for when it matures. Thanks to all the Fedora/ Free Software devs out there busting their ass to make us all a better OS.
One thing I don't get is why any article mentions Fedora the Ubuntu trolls come out in full force? They're doing more to harm Ubuntu than they are to Fedora IMO, but what the hell do i Know...
(disclaimer: typed on Macbook pro)
Have they made all their packages work yet? I tire of official binary packages that link to nonexistent libraries.
I also tire of operating systems wherein, say, upgrading might cause .xsession to stop working or /dev/audio and /dev/dsp to disappear--the former because some developer decided that such functionality should require an optional package, and the latter because...okay, I have no idea why it does that. As I say of lots of things in Fedora: Well, that used to work!
Creepy backward monkey-patching? Schizophrenic disregard for backward-compatibility? Packages that are broken out of the box? Familiar Unix features disappearing on aesthetic whims? Fedora covers all the bases! Who needs the same piece of application software to work for 18 months anyway?
Just had to point out the new 'new' drivers bit, made me chuckle but has been a pretty boring day so most anything would make me chuckle right about now.
Upgrad path for 3.0?
Does fedora have an upgrade path from FC 3 NO? No is why I will never use it again.
Re: Upgrad path for 3.0?
Yes it does. You upgrade to FC 4, then 5, 6, etc until you get to the release you want. Or did you want to do that in one hit? Name me one operating system that allows you to upgrade 10 major versions in a single upgrade. No, how about 5 versions, or maybe 3? Still no? Well what does that tell you then!
It's your own stupid fault for letting your system fall so behind. Never ever let important systems that you rely on get that out of date again. An FC 3 build in this day and age must have more security holes than a Swiss cheese.
If you absolutely have to keep this, then how about using your head and going for a sensible solution. Your ancient FC 3 build that you left to languish must be running on very old hardware by now. I assume you're running something you just can't transplant onto a more modern build (can't imagine what). So do what everyone else does that need a modern supported OS and hardware platform: go virtual. Get a nice fast modern system and run your FC 3 build inside a VM.
Honestly I can't believe the number of ignorant twits and trolls that have crawled out from under their rocks to throw mud at this article.
I did not say Mac OS X.
I said Mac OS.
Mac OS 10 desktop is an elaboration of Mac OS 9/8/7/6 and so on. Gnome uses the pegged top of screen app menu + limited configuration choices that Apple introduced with the Mac.
Mac OS (no version number!) predates Gnome. Mac OS (no version number!) predates Linux.
Are you seriously suggesting that a modern Gnome implementation is a knock off version of Mac OS (apart from the obvious Xerox type stuff)?
What exactly did they "knock off" that isn't bleeding obvious for good usability? Did Apple sue them claiming Gnome was a knock off? No.
OS X was way more than an elaboration. I remember the Mac guys in my office screaming when OS X replaced the "classic" OS. They hated the new GUI. Some even refused to upgrade for a few months. So whilst OS X may have inherited a lot of concepts from the older OS, it also made some massive changes. I would suggest that some of those changes were inspired from other window managers such as Gnome. Let's face it, it's kind of inevitable that cross pollination occurs. It is also a good thing.
People that constantly bang on about how Apple invented absolutely everything about the GUI experience hack me off. There's some really good stuff KDE, Gnome and even Windows do that the Mac doesn't. It would be a very boring world indeed if every GUI was the same.
Perhaps I should trot out the argument about why most Mac users use Microsoft mice, but life's too short to get into pissing contests about who's best.
Me, I just use what I get on with best. Currently that's KDE. If something better comes along I'll try that.
And the X server...
...predates the Mac. And the W and V predecessors probably predate Steve Jobs.
And most operating systems predate Linux. It's the new kid on the block. Nothing wrong with this. It was still doing proper multi-user environments and access controls years before Microsoft or Apple got a clue. All it needs now is a few good game publishers, because that's the REAL driver of domestic computer technology.
X is an overlooked hero.
X is pretty amazing. It was designed from the ground up to efficiently deliver a desktop environment from a remote machine. Plus this was in the days when we didn't have Gigabit LANs.
People now seem to think this type of functionality is new and "the latest thing". X was doing it decades ago.
A friend of mine was recently asking me if I knew of a tool he could use on Linux to see what was going on with another machine. He was blown away when I showed him that it's already right there built into the heart of his normal desktop system. It's simple to use and works seamlessly with lower network requirements than most modern kvm type apps. Okay Windows has remote desktop, but not between standard desktops.
Fedora's not for everybody
Fedora's a great distro, if you like living on the bleeding edge. If you're a "Windows refugee" and you're looking for an OS that Just Works, use Ubuntu. One of the things I like about Linux is that it doesn't try to be a One Size Fits All OS; there's a distro for just about everybody, and every type of hardware. If you're a gamer, and you want to squeeze every, last frame out of your games, use Gentoo; if you're using an old, slow laptop, use Puppy, or DSL. Personally, I use Fedora. I haven't upgraded to F 13 yet, because I like to give the newest version a week or two to shake out the teething troubles, but I will, RSN.
And, Pengwyn, there really is an upgrade path from FC 3, but you're not going to like it: backup your data, reformat and do a clean install. FC 3 is so badly out-of-date that it's not worth trying to bring it into the Third Millennium any other way.
"I really hope you're joking Boltar. It's this ridiculous "Linux is for geeks only" mentality that has held it back over the the years and feeds a lot of the comments seen in this thread. "
I'm sorry , but if someone can't install software from a tgz or zip file then they really have no business administering a unix machine. I'm sure lots of people will disagree but thats my point of view.
So what will you do when the Linux user base shrinks to geeks like you and you can no longer get your whizzy new machine to work 'cos the manufacturers haven't bothered to provide drivers for a minority OS? The situation is bad enough already. The time will come boltar when Linux will not run on modern hardware. I can't imaging you'd be happy putting up with old tech. Then you finally can't buy a particular technology any more when a part fails. Ooops.
So I guess you'll say that you'll wait for some other uber geek to cobble together some partial implementation for your bits of hardware? The trouble is this is getting harder as the chipsets get more complicated. Sometimes it's just not possible at all to reverse engineer how it works because the datasheet is not public domain. So then you are stuffed.
You are clearly a server guy. People don't buy a "unix machine" and then want to "administer" it. They buy a laptop or whatever and expect it to work. If not they ditch it and go back to Windows. Microsoft 1, Linux nil. One less user.
Do want to see Linux fail after it has finally got to where it is after all these years? You're going the right way about it. What you consider your own little toy shop will end up closed for good if it remains the preserve of geeks only. I've been beating my head against this mentality for more years than I like to think about now.
Gnu's Not Unix? So that's fail number 1.
Second, while gzipped tarballs might provide superior compression to pkzip, most Windows refugees haven't heard of them. I'm sure if you explained "it's like winzip or winrar except better", people will understand.
Or you could sneer and say how they don't have the right to use a computer, and get the response you deserve.
And if you...
can't understand why your comments are so utterly stupid (see other posters for the reason why), then you have NO BUSINESS posting to this discussion.
You see, it works both ways.
A happy Ubuntu user, who really doesn't want to have to install stuff from tar files (yes, I do know how to do it) when a decent GUI does it so much more efficiently.
Indeed, Gnu's not UNIX
Neither is Linux.
For those who think it is, please send an email to the nice people at Open Group who can explain what UNIX is.
(dons the asbestos suit, as the responces to pointing this out get kinda "tosty")
"cos the manufacturers haven't bothered to provide drivers for a minority OS?"
Most of them don't anyway so that point is moot.
You've clearly missed the fact that linux's main area IS back end servers. Even if it disappeared off the desktop completely it would still be developed for server hardware. The Desktop side of it is a nice to have but ultimately irrelevant. For most linux users I know we'd be just as productive using openwin or mwm as we are using some resource hog like KDE 4 or Gnome.
Frankly I don't want the distros to appeal to the dumbfuck crowd who need a manual to figure out how to use the ON switch. The more they dumb down the distros and put in auto this and auto that the more chance we have of ending up in the kind of security hell Windows is in. I myself have already gone back to Slackware after getting sick of picking apart Suse and getting rid of the shit I didn't need such as the god awful netmanager.
If you consider linux to be in some sort of pissing contest with Windows over desktop mindshare thats fine , but there are many like me who couldn't give a damn about winning over the public. Thats not what linux is about.
But surely you'd get your version of Fedora 25.3 or Ubuntu Zealous Zedonk or something, and strip out all of those "security holes" in about five minutes using your uber-skillz?
Like I've said, you're probably quite capable of removing the X server entirely, and rolling your own kernel from source. So hop to it, and let the rest of us who want a machine with an open operating environment that works without a fight enjoy ourselves.
Linux is finding itself on more and more desktops, regardless of what obnoxious geeks with a vendetta against "normal people" seem to want, and you're just going to have to get used to that. As for what Linux is about, who the hell are you to dictate what a free open source project is about? Linus bloody Torvalds? I doubt even he'd have the gall to come up with something like that.
"cos the manufacturers haven't bothered to provide drivers for a minority OS?
Most of them don't anyway so that point is moot."
How ridiculous. It's not moot. For a couple of years now we're finally seeing Linux listed as supported on product boxes. This is down to Linux being perceived as being a worthwhile
investment. However, it remains one of the main blockers that it is easier to get drivers for Windows (servers included) than Linux. I hear it every time I talk to both normal users and I.T. staffers.
"You've clearly missed the fact that linux's main area IS back end servers. "
Linux only got popular as a server environment because it has a large user base who advocated it's usage. Those advocates would have been saying Linux was cool because they played with it on a desktop machine. I've been using it for over 20 years fighting I.T. bosses all the way. It only exploded as a server environment in the last few years of that 20. If Linux had remained a console only geek system this would not have happened. Look what happened to Netware. Classic illustration of my entire point. Console only server side geek paradise. However it lacked the legions of people who used it at University and played with it at home. Result - it fizzled due to lack of support and interest.
Also, what are server for? Isn't a major part to provide services to desktop users? What's the point of having millions of LAMP systems out there if there are no consumers? LAMP is a major factor in what got Linux finally accepted into business server racks.
"The Desktop side of it is a nice to have but ultimately irrelevant. For most linux users I know we'd be just as productive using openwin or mwm as we are using some resource hog like KDE 4 or Gnome."
Oh come on. Now you are just being ridiculous. I think you'll find an overwhelming number of Linux users will be using Gnome or KDE. They would not swap to mwm or openwin without going "what the hell is this old fashioned crap?".
"Frankly I don't want the distros to appeal to the dumbfuck crowd who need a manual to figure out how to use the ON switch."
Blimey, what can I say to this. There's a difference between knowing how to use an ON switch and wanting to perform tasks quickly and easily. You make out like all desktop users are total morons. What a sad attitude to have.
"If you consider linux to be in some sort of pissing contest with Windows over desktop mindshare thats fine , but there are many like me who couldn't give a damn about winning over the public."
This is not a pissing contest. Without the public Linux is screwed. It has taken over 20 years to get where it is now and it will stall if it doesn't provide an adequate user experience. Linux has only finally caught on because people started using the friendlier distros like Ubuntu and went "wow".
Without users you won't get buy in, simple as. A user base of a few tens of thousand I.T. server admin geeks won't cut it I'm afraid. This is down to pure economics.
"Thats not what linux is about."
So what is it about? Giving geeks a playground on big iron server? Or providing people a fun, collaborative royalty free way to get things done better.
"Linux only got popular as a server environment because it has a large user base who advocated it's usage."
Linux is popular as a server enviroment because its Unix and its free and got in there first. The *BSDs didn't really get going until a few years later and by then linux had the momentum. If you look to see what systems LInux has been supplanting in the server room its not Windows - its Solaris, AIX, HP-UX etc. What does that tell you?
"Oh come on. Now you are just being ridiculous."
Why? All most people need is a window manager to start apps. mwm does that just as well
"I think you'll find an overwhelming number of Linux users will be using Gnome or KDE"
Because those WMs are the default install for almost all distros.
"This is not a pissing contest. Without the public Linux is screwed."
Drivel. Linux doesn't require profit to continue therefor the amount of people who use is irrelevant. As long as there are people still interested in spending time on it then it will carry on.
Hardly anyone uses NetBSD but its still going.
"Without users you won't get buy in, simple as."
Buy in? You want to try speaking english?
"his is down to pure economics."
Yet again you don't seem to get the point - linux is not a product that requires money for R&D so economics doesn't come into it. If Redhat and Novell went bust it would still continue. People code it for *free* because they find it fun. Got it yet? No? Oh well, never mind. Go drool over Ubunto Bollocks Bison's latest colour scheme then....
You, Boltar, are an idiot
who's attitude should have been consigned to the dustbin years ago. You obviously DONT want Linux to be popular, presumably so you can crow to your friends how cool you are knowing Linux when no-one else does. A bit like driving a Smart Roadster, an ultimately futile exercise.
If Redhat/Novell/Canonical went bust, of course Linux wouldn't die, but it would certainly not be getting the attention it deserves. All those companies combined pile a *lot* of money in to Linux development. whether that goes against your FSF ethics or not. If they hadn't already done I guess you would still be happy because you still have your command line.
Gnome and KDE are both relatively easy to use GUI's - the others mentioned are not so easy to use. That's why KDA and Gnome are the defaults, not the other ones. People want easy to use - they are not all masochists like you who insist on doing things on the command line when there are easier ways of doing it. Easy to use, means more market takeup, means more money spent on development, means more drivers/features, means better linux. Simple. But obviously not simple enough for you to understand.