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back to article GNOME hacker: Culture isn't holding desktop Linux back

Open source bigwigs like Alan Cox, Miguel De Icaza, and Linus Torvalds can bicker all they want, says GNOME hacker Michael Meeks, but changing developer culture won't do a thing to attract more consumers to the Linux desktop. "I happen to mostly agree with [De Icaza's] conclusion – that we're still facing a huge uphill struggle …

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That's the most common sense I've heard in a long time.

Give that guy a medal.

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Last two paragraphs

Enterprises well and good. This HOME USER wants those things too.

While an attractive UI can enhance the experience, mindless bling is for yuppies and widdle babies. :-)

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Stop

Re: Last two paragraphs

ABSOLUTELY SPOT ON!!!!!!!

For the most part, enterprises don't give a shit about eye candy, they want stability, an easily understood UI, and the ability to move from one version to another without having to retrain the staff.

WindblowZE 8 is an example of what enterprises detest - a new UI for the sake of a new UI.

To be fair, one can toss that grenade (`a new UI for the sake of a new UI`) at Canonical for its adoption of Unity (which is, IMHO, a royal clusterfuck on a standard desktop.

Getting rid of Unity is the first thing I did after installing the beta of Ubuntu 10.10, 11.04, 11.10, 12.04 and 12.10 for testing purposes on my dev machine. I can't stand that fucking thing (Unity). I have had some of its capabilities by the use of a left side panel with launchers since 7.10.

Canonical, may I suggest that you leave Unity to everything but desktops, where, again IMHO, it is a fucking hindrance.

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FAIL

LXDE all the way now.

How about the GNOME decision to dump the interface users knew and introduce a completely new one? Who thought that was a good idea?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: LXDE all the way now.

Microsoft did the same several times and nobody died because of that.

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Re: LXDE all the way now.

IMO Microsoft has made incremental changes. The Windows 8 new UI is the only jump off from that. Granted Windows Media thingy already exited since Vista or XP Media center version.

But I've never used it myself, so shows how much use/need there is for me. I'd guess very few others use it either. That's the only reason I can assume MS are forcing it on people now, as they did not get the adoption they wanted.

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Happy

Re: LXDE all the way now.

> How about the GNOME decision to dump the interface users knew and introduce a completely new one? Who thought that was a good idea?

Me :-) It's precisely the thing that GNOME should be doing _because_ it's open source.

If enough people think the new direction is no good, then people will pick up with the old code and go forward with that instead. But if there's something good about the new code and way of doing things, then more people will jump in and hone it to something better and better ... until the next big new idea comes along. Distros generally have the resources to maintain old code if it suits their objectives. Debian built a huge reputation by managing this dynamic with their stable/testing/unstable streams. And Redhat has grown a billion dollar business out of their approach.

Personally I think the GNOME 3 interface is great, and I'm glad major distros have picked it up. I find it far superior to Unity and going back to GNOME 2 seems so clunky, slow and restrictive now. Who wants to carry on doing stuff the way they've always done it when new hardware capabilities open up so many more possibilities?

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Vic
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Re: LXDE all the way now.

> Who wants to carry on doing stuff the way they've always done it

Me.

Vic.

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Re: LXDE all the way now.

After the W3.1 -> W95 jump, MS has only made incremental changes, and they were in the dominant market position. Throwing away your established interface for something entirely different is ... brave, as Sir Humphrey might have said.

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Re: LXDE all the way now.

It's not the introducing new ideas bit that's crazy, it's the dumping the old ideas one.

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Anonymous Coward

If you're going to write for the Linux desktop, don't write for gnome use GTK or KDE. Either way it'll run on any of the major desktops.

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Anonymous Coward

Hang on there

Gnome is based on GTK and KDE is based on Qt. Go do some reading before you make an even bigger fool of yourself.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hang on there

GTK != Gnome

Build as gtk app. and it'll run on LXDE, XFCE etc. and gnome.

All major distros let you run GTK or KDE(yes QT) apps........twat.

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Headmaster

Re: Hang on there

All major distros let you run GTK or KDE(yes QT) apps........twat.

Qt != QT

Get it right, ffs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hang on there

Whatever

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hang on there

There is that thing that qt programs tend to look pretty obviously different on anything other than kde. And kde programs tend to take a while to load up especially on low powered systems like older netbooks and the Rπ.

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Vic
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Re: Hang on there

> Gnome is based on GTK and KDE is based on Qt.

Yes. But if you write for GTK+, you can run that app on Gnome or KDE or Windows (Or OSX, I think, but I haven't done that personally). Similarly, if you write for Qt, you can run on the same variety of desktops.

> Go do some reading before you make an even bigger fool of yourself.

Oh, the irony...

Vic.

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There's one simple issue Linux has (apart from Unity)

Fonts. GNOME 2, GNOME 3 and KDE Plasma all look like they're being displayed on a monitor running at the wrong resolution. It's very unprofessional-even Windows 98 looked better and if I were a corporate buyer with no technology knowledge this would make me question whether Linux was really ready for desktop deployment.

It could also be fixed very simply. Love or hate Unity, Canonical has at least hired some real typeface designers. Everyone else seems not to have noticed.

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Just to add

What makes me particularly sad is that KDE is otherwise pretty much perfect: Windows users can jump right in and feel at home, and they have a great design team especially in the icon department. It's a shame when you open up a browser all the websites look wrong. I realise they can't copy closed source fonts, but fixing this should be their next priority.

Unfortunately, to a Windows user, KDE doesn't look finished and Unity despite its many, many flaws does.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just to add

Not interested in anything with Gnome as default desktop. Had Kubuntu 12.04 running on here before removing everything to go RAID. Disabled RAID and reinstalled everything and put Kubuntu back but took it off again because I'd forgotten about what a pita updating from a clean install was with Muon. Did at least find out that the way to easily overcome the RAID meta data remnants installation problem was delete each partition in turn backwards until only the disk itself is left, at which point all the existing partitions appear. That is, after dmraid -x wouldn't run even from the live cd.

Had openSUSE 12.1 on the laptop, which while never working with the Edimax wireless adapter on here, worked flawlessly with the Broadcom on that, but updated it to 12.2 and the unpheasant plucking release could suddenly no longer go online. Bugger fixing it. Bollocks to running ndiswrapper to maybe get around it, it certainly didn't pigging work with the Edimax! So I reinstalled 12.1.

Decided to try Mint (Mate). Quite impressed, even like the DE which is apparently based on Gnome 2, though also tried but rapidly removed xfce. And the Edimax works in Mint, though the signal is weak and can drop, and disconnects if you click on the network icon in the tray and it seems like you have to reboot to start it again.

So, now got Mint 13 Mate and openSUSE 12.1 updated and Samba working on both and both are running quite reliably atm. I like the way you can easily switch DEs at Login on Mint. I could almost recommend it.

But I've also got Windows7 Pro, Home, and XP x64, and there is no contest. None whatsoever. Not that I don't recognise the difficulties of writing drivers for Linux, though why you can have a device working perfectly in one release, then not at all in the next is beyond me.

What bugs me are the endless claims that Linux is superior to Windows. The only real point the Linux fanbois have is security, but the overwhelming majority of _my_ customers don't get re-infected after I've explained it to them in terms a non-geek understands. I guess because unlike the Linux geek I don't think everyone who isn't a Linux geek is stupid.

It isn't a steep learning curve to run Windows without getting pwned, certainly nothing like as much as getting the average Linux distro to run on the average hardware.

Here's a thought. Any confectionary manufacturors reading this, bring out a bubblegum series with cards of different distros, and different penguins. Maybe you could include stick-on tattoos as well. The fawning twats'll go crazy for them!

For an Apple series you can just include different large denominations of money. Not sure what Bill Gates loves. Different gates, perhaps (due credit to Linehan).

Fucking fanbois.

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Linux

Re: Just to add

How true. You can change all sorts of things in kmail (which I love) but then you get things like text almost flat up against a border, which looks terrible. It looks as though underlying data structures have made it into the gui with grouping headers, boxes and lines around gui elements, and so on. It would probably be better to have fewer features and better looks. That's no bad reflection on the devs, but we do need some more influential aesthetic designers.

The gnome 3 gui may put off linux devs and tifkam may be a flop, but in the end its

about the apps. Put ms office on the desktop and the year of the linux desktop in business would be here. It isn't the features, its about risk and confidence.

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Re: Just to add

Yes, let's all switch to MS so that our stuff "just works!". Like how I spent the last two days fixing an issue with buggered roaming profiles (random app crashes, including Outlook). Or the recent SP2 for the Windows Update server that dies in the process of upgrading. And the MS official solution? Reinstall WSUS. And reboot. A production server. Several times. If you think using the *nix console is close to black magic you haven't seen anything untill you try to do stuff in Powershell. Incantations galore.

Honestly I don't care about consumers adopting Linux. After all they are called "consumers" for a reason ... we wouldn't get much back from them. The secondary effect people talk of (big OEMs investing in Linux development bcos of all the people using it) is always just out of reach and is probably not worth the effort.

IMO the primary desktop focus should be on power-users and integration of clients into some kind of a backend (AD / LDAP / messaging server). Personally I'm happy with the state of the UI for the moment. KDE is good enough, Gnome 3 will be in a few years and there are several other good, stable options out there.

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Headmaster

Bollocks to Broadcom

Too busy to pick nits with you but here's a link to drivers for recent Broadcom hardware 12.2 driver: http://opensuse-guide.org/wlan.php . Oh and you can select DEs at login in openSUSE's KDM by clicking the spanner (of course) icon.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Closed source fonts"

They started by banning reading, they finished when they banned writing...

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Pint

Re: There's one simple issue Linux has (apart from Unity)

This is nothing to do with Linux. Android has some of the most beautiful font rendering around.

As far as it being "fixed very simply", how do you propose that happens? GNOME doesn't buy the rights to use various typefaces, it just uses ones that are available on the system. There's nothing to stop you buying your own fonts as an end user, and fontconfig will render them just fine.

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Vic
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Re: There's one simple issue Linux has (apart from Unity)

> Fonts. GNOME 2, GNOME 3 and KDE Plasma all look like they're being displayed on a

> monitor running at the wrong resolution

Well, I'm sat in front of two monitors. The right-hand one is attached to a computer running Windows XP SP3, the left-hand one to a computer running Fedora 14. The monitors are identical

Of the two, I'd say the Fedora display is much nicer.

Vic.

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WTF?

Re: There's one simple issue Linux has (apart from Unity)

Just looked at Linux Mint XFCE on an older Thinkpad because of Win 7 driver issues (there aren't any) with mini-PCI wireless G cards and the first thing that struck me was how ugly the fonts were. Getting truetype fonts may be the current answer, but why hasn't this basic issue been dealt with long ago, instead of dicking around with eye candy?

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Agreed, but...

" Instead, they should work to build systems that are secure, easy to manage, integrate well with existing network services, upgrade smoothly, and require little retraining(...)"

What on earth happened to requiring little retraining in Gnome 3 then?

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Anonymous Coward

That's what I commentarded on the last article...

"Consumers won't come to Linux until they're sure they'll have access to a wide range of applications, and developers won't write applications for Linux until they're sure there will be a large market to buy and use them."

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Anonymous Coward

"Open source bigwigs like Alan Cox, Miguel De Icaza, and Linus Torvalds can bicker all they want, says GNOME hacker Michael Meeks, but changing developer culture won't do a thing to attract more consumers to the Linux desktop."

Linux has failed to take a large share of home users for 4 reasons:

(1) There is no, or very little marketing. Your average user barely knows what Linux is Let alone the different brands, with the exception of maybe Ubuntu and Mint. And there is no reason for the average, non techie, home user to want to find out more. Linux may be far superior to other OSs, but who is telling people this?

(2) Being free is a double edged sword. Sure, the advantage is the user saves money. But then, buying something gives the user a sense of security, even if it is false. i.e. if they are allowed to sell it, then it must pass some quality control checks, they must have some customer support, there must be someone who takes some responsibility off my hands if something goes wrong. Yeah, that sense of security is often false, but it is still there. That's why even after average users learn about Open Office (for example), and see it, and see it has more or less the same features as MS Office, even after playing with it, liking it, when it comes down to the wire, they'll still buy Word.

(3) No advertising or marketing arms mean stupid names get released. Yes, Ubuntu means friendship in some language, or whatever. That's great. It doesn't sound very good though. By which I mean it doesn't roll off the tongue. Techies often don't understand this point, because they don't understand people. "Natty Narwhal"? Please. This naming convention is cute, and hip in a geeky kind of way. It is not marketable though. Google and Android get away with it, because they have a marketing arm, and Windows 8 aside, they have the market to themselves for non iPhone phones. Ubuntu may be a great word, with a great philosophy behind it, sharing and working together or whatever. But it is not marketable.

(4) Linux is still not as user friendly as Windows or OSX. It's getting there, but it can still be confounding for new users who ask a question about how to do something and then be told they need to run a bash script, install something with apt-get. Yeah, no big deal for techies, but for an average user, running a bash script, installing something with apt-get is about as annoying as you can get. Trying to configure PPPOE on Linux is like being shoved back into the 80s. Average users don't need this hassle. They want simple GUI solutions to their problems. Linux still relies to heavily on the command line.

Anyway that's my 2 cents.

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Linux

One of the main reasons they stick with Windows is because it already comes for free when they buy a computer.

Yes, you and I know that it is not free at all but as far as the consumer is concerned the price of the computer is $X and there is no option for a cheaper one sans Windows therefore Windows comes free.

When one of your main selling points is "it is free" (as in beer) then you don't get any competitive advantage against an incumbent product that is also "free", especially when the incumbent is familiar, and does not require any extra effort to install because it is pre-installed for you.

The main advantages Linux has are that is free, Free, more reliable, faster and easier to maintain (once you have overcome the initial learning curve)

As far as consumers are concerned, Windows is also free, they don't care at all about such esoteric concepts as Freedom, have no idea that the myriad of trials and tribulations they constantly endure with Windows need not be and assume that any alternative will be similarly afflicted, just buy a new PC if they want faster and finally they don't care about maintenance because they get other people to do that for them anyway be it the local PC shop or an enthusiastic nephew or whatever.

So really, what is the incentive for Joe Sixpack to switch to Linux?

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Absolutely right on 3, lol!

What consumer In their right mind would install so etching called 'GIMP' or 'Natty Narwhal' ?!?

Sure it's geeky and kinda cute in a really weird way, but as Linux has come to know,nthe market for programs with slightly disturbing names and acronyms is a very small one.

It's just ANOTHER example of the canyon that separates Linux geeks from normal people/consumers...

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Forget Joe Sixpack ... think businesses.

I'd say that the main reason people who know as little as possible about computers don't use Linux is far simpler than any of the above.

Linux can't run Microsoft Office (or some other MS-only package to which they are attached by advertising, brainwashing or addiction ). Yes, they could switch to LibreOffice with less trouble than switching from Word 2003 to Word 2007 ... but they won't unless someone tells them that they have to, because of inter-operability issues. (If I said peer pressure to conform, I'd not be too far off the mark).

The question we should be asking, is why are big businesses and governments almost all still wedded to Microsoft, when one might have thought they could save huge amounts of money by switching to Linux?

One answer is "support costs too high". A more likely one is "migration costs too high". Once again, Microsoft Office is the moat Linux would have to fight its way across.

I don't know the answer, but I'm certain that arguing the minutae of font design on a particular Linux desktop option isn't the least bit relevant.

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Vic
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Re: Forget Joe Sixpack ... think businesses.

> A more likely one is "migration costs too high"

Hactually, it's more like "perception of migration costs too high".

I've migrated a number of organisations. It's *astoundingly* cheap in most circumstances.

Vic.

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Linux

user (un)friendliness

Your #4 sounds wrong to me. If you do not know that everything you install via apt-get (aptitude) can be done in synaptic (as well as app center in Ubuntu), than it it is your problem. There's NOTHING wrong about a bash script or a cli command. The user does NOT have to know bash. It is much easier to send user a bash script or instruct him/her to copy-paste a command , than to ask a Windows user to either open the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shmindows\BillGatesIsAnIdiotAllRightreserver\... or to follow a lengthy sequence of left-clicks, right-clicks, middle-finger-cicks, countless OKs, Options etc....

Windows is still a crap and unfriendly. You'd like to connect multiple Win7 via an Ethernet router, you can't as easily as with any GNU/Linux, *BSD running a dhcp client daemon, and who the hell cares why....

As far as other points are concerned, I can see that one of the major obstacles in making GNU/Linux more popular is the current education system. No, I am not blaming its unquestionable rapid demise by itself, but the fact that IT classes are not offered there yet, there are Windows/Apple classes. Yes Schools strive to prepare consumers, not users. That is one of the main problems.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: user (un)friendliness

With regards to the original point 4. I have seen numerous occasions on Linux forums, where a simple "n00b" question is answered with some bash scripting answer, or using apt-get or modifying bashrc. Linux techies need to understand that the general population has no idea what bashrc means, and they don't want to know. It's not important for 99% of users.

I like Linux. But calling it user friendly, in the general sense that even a beginner can learn quickly, is living in cloud cuckoo land. Linux has many good points - security, customizability, cost, adaptability, great programming language support - but user experience is not up there.

I don't think calling Windows crap cuts it anymore. Maybe a few years ago you could get away with that, but Windows 7 is pretty good. In fact, ignoring the obligatory comments about poor security (I'll concede that point), Linux devs should take a long hard look at Windows 7 to see how to make a truly user friendly OS.

Yeah, I don't know what MS is thinking with Windows 8. They're crazy. But, they can afford to be. Because even if everybody hates Windows 8, what are they going to do? Apple is too expensive, and the best alternative is Ubuntu (or Mint). Both are in permanent beta test mode, with all kinds of flavours. I mean, go to the Mint download page. There's dozens of options. Given that an average user doesn't even know if his/her PC is 32-bit or 64-bit, how are they even going to begin to choose which version to download? And then, for Linux environments, there's Cinnemon, KDE, GNOME, Unity. Too much choice is a bad thing. There is minimal help to beginners to help them decide. And bear in mind that a beginner doesn't even know what "desktop environment" means.

Why doesn't Mint settle with one environment and preach the virtues of that?

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on the Windows forums

I get my own permission to copy-paste a story I told on zdnet.com about both my friends' and my own experience of Windows forums and the peculiar user-friendliness à la Rougemont:

"What if a Windows box starts to malfunction? Like it happened in a few months after a friend bought a Toshiba lappy for her daughter? It shuts down with Win7 would spit out some enigmatic message "Windows has encountered a system error f3-f100-0010 and will have to shut down" Her dad was not able to decipher the message and could only find out in some forums that it could be a malware related issue. The offered solution was a harsh 3 hour exercise of running AV, deleting and countless rebooting. Well, it did not help. I tried to help too. I wen to the same forums and MS websites, where people politely kicked off, since "it was a Toshiba related" prob. Toshiba never offered any solution either. Some "knowledgeable" Windoze users warned that it was a faulty hdd. I booted off out of Linux Mint and tried hdd health test with smart-tools --- all went well.

Guess what? Her dad installed Ubuntu 12.04 and it has NO PROBLEM now. She can be safe, thanks to 30k+ of freely available packages form the canonical repos and if a similar problem happens it would provide more informative, easier to troubleshoot errors for a more competent community to understand than that lame one around MS Windows. Were there no Linux, what would you do if you get your Windows desktop frequently shutdown with an error f3-f100-0010 with neither MS, nor the manufacturer, nor forums being of any help?"

Disclaimer: That very dad, a 2 year-without-Windows-that-broke Linux user, who installed Ubuntu on the kids laptop had successfully installed it on many other machines. He knows no shell cli whatsoever. I should teach him some day...

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Unhappy

continual change and too many distros

Nothing is said in the article about the proliferation of distro's and the lack of any stable api's, which are surely two of Linux main problems.

The OS marketplace is not IOS, Windows and Linux - but rather IOS, Windows and Fedora, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Gnubuntu, ANotherBuntu, Debian, Arch, Mageia,l OpenSuse, CentOS, Redhat, PCLinuxOS, etc, etc, etc, etc. I cannot believe that anyone can seriously make the case that this proliferation of distros, whose most important common characteristic is that they never work properly, does Linux no harm. Linux is not an OS, its a whole family of ever different, ever changing OS's. The main things they have in common is lot's of bugs, ever changing api's, and the family name of Linux.

The fact that all of the major api's are continually chnaging hardly helps. There is no stability whatsoever in most of them. It's a moving target. At least Windows is stable for a few years between releases, and maintains some degree of backward compatibility with older api's. Linux's answer to the ever changing api situation is to bundle the applications with the OS, so in effect the OS and the applications are a single entity. Upgrade the OS and you have to upgrade all the apps to go with it. I doubt this is considered an advantage by most people outside of the Linux community.

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Anonymous Coward

Linux will never succeed, at least not commercially.

First, let's clear up the terrain so I'd like to be very clear on this: I'm a Linux fan, I made my teeth with Linux From Scratch (fine piece of work, by the way) and I despise Microsoft (I always spell their name properly) as much as I can without going into extremism.

Now getting to the real business, I have a bad news for anyone hoping and waiting for a Linux desktop success: it will never happen. The reason is very simple, nobody is taking Linux for what it is. The desktop computing device market right now is dominated by two powerful species. On one side we have Windows, a somewhat dull but sturdy and reliable workhorse across all industries and in all homes. On the other side we have MacOS, also powerful and reliable but stylish and elegant, destined to those who want to differentiate themselves from the Windows users mass. In order to occupy a relevant place between the two, Linux must bring something that the others don't have. It is not enough to be as good as Windows or MacOS.

Incidentally Linux had something to offer, it is something that has been built in it but there are tow major obstacles which locked it out of the enterprise and consumer market. Linux is unique, it is the only OS that gives you a PC that you can fully trust as your own and more important than that, a PC that fully trusts and obeys you as its owner and master. No other OS would even come close to that and this is something no software and/or hardware vendor will tolerate. The two obstacles I mentioned above are large masses of users who don't care about their digital rights and enterprises who freak out at the idea of consumer having a choice or any kind of rights.

The Windows (TM) of opportunity (pun intended) for Linux on the desktop is closing faster than ever. UEFI and secure booting will fire the last salvo into our beloved penguin.

By the way, Michael Meeks forgot to mention two more reasons for Linux desktop failure: Microsoft's total control of computer OEMs and retailers.

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Win 98/EEEbuntu

I've still got some Win98 and Win2K machines, to which I can add and remove features and applications, they still get (old and office) automatic updates.

On the other hand, the EEEbuntu machines are now out of support, add/remove/update (apt-get) is now broken, pain in the butt reconfiguring them to point to alternate update servers etc.

It's not just the installation point that is painful. Linux is painful at end-of-life too.

Maybe in 15 years time, old Ubuntu machines will be as easy to maintain and use as old Win98 machines are now, but I haven't seen any sign of it yet. And -- for crying out loud, I'm comparing a 2 year old laptop to Win98. That is not a high hurdle.

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Linux

Re: Win 98/EEEbuntu

"On the other hand, the EEEbuntu machines are now out of support, "

AFAIK the netbook remix is no longer supported because Asus got the necessary bits into the kernel.

I recently installed Xubuntu on a eeepc 900, everything worked out of the box and it's fast.

The only tweak I made was to edit fstab so that the BIOS partition did not appear on the desktop or in the file manager.

#mkdir /mnt/asusbios

#nano /etc/fstab

LABEL=BIOS /mnt/asusbios vfat noauto 0 0

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Win 98/EEEbuntu

Absolutely.

I installed Linux Mint on a netbook just a couple of years ago, and now it's frozen in time as far as software goes. The 'repository' is a walled garden of software that has had its gate welded shut. I get errors on major websites saying my browser is out of date, there's a new version please upgrade, and I can't do anything about it other than

a) become an elite hacker

b) save all my data, wipe the disk, reinstall a new version, copy back in all my data.

Not really acceptable to me, and I suspect most other users!

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Re: Win 98/EEEbuntu

I've still got some Win98 and Win2K machines

Got any slide-rules around as well? There is nothing to brag about. Actually, slide-rules are the ones to be respected.

EEEbuntu machines are now out of support

Get Linux Mint 13 (LTS) *buntu 12.04 . Installs in 10-15 minutes. Problem's solved.

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Re: Win 98/EEEbuntu - upgrading Linux Mint

"I installed Linux Mint on a netbook just a couple of years ago, and now it's frozen in time as far as software goes"

I can feel your pain.

"b) save all my data, wipe the disk, reinstall a new version, copy back in all my data."

Linux Mint does provide a backup and restore utility to address a wipe and upgrade, and will also save then reapply your software selection to your newly installed copy.

However. While this is fine if you keep all your data in your home directory and only have one user, for those of us who have installed LAMP or other server type apps have to identify all the config files to bring across and/or start from scratch.

It's a pain in the neck.

"a) become an elite hacker"

If I am going to do that I might consider taking a step back and rolling my own distro. I doubt I'd find time to do that though.

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...the forest through the trees

When I ran windblows I could always put the same program/disk back in the next machine and install the same software again even though it's a later version of windblows. This customer/home users like.

On Linux I have to find all new recompiles of every fscking program every time because the compiles for the last version of that Linux wont install and run on the next. Customer/home users hate that.

So until programs will install and run across multiple versions of a chosen flavor of Linux without a recompile for each I'm not expecting things to change.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ...the forest through the trees

Not quite so! I had to trash my perfectly functioning Canon LIDE scanner and buy a new one because putting the disk in my Windows 7 to install drivers and software was a no go, it was no longer supported. On Linux I could still have the option to recompile the whole damn thing.

One thing I don't quite understand, if you despise Linux why don't you like Windows ?

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Re: ...the forest through the trees

On Linux I have to find all new recompiles of every fscking program

Recompiling the Windows mentality and fscking internet connection might be an option too. Only once I remember installing something from a cd. It was my first Linux distro Fedora Core 4 in 2004. Fire up your favorite front-end to the package manager, search for the app, tick-mark it, commit to install. You're done! Also install a printer, you most probably need no driver to find and install. It is there with all other drivers supplied with CUPS. Likewise, most hardware divers are loaded on demand by the kernel and hence are not sought out for either by you, or by the system.

PS. Ever tried installing old 32-bit Windows apps on 64-bit Windows? The same app that installed in all of my 64-bit Debians and FreeBSDs ... with WINE

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Re: ...the forest through the trees

You can hack the install config file to report win 7 as Vista . As long as it has vista drivers you will be ok. I've done it before and had no issues.

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FAIL

Nope...

Linux biggest problem isnt the fact that it offers poor usability/user experience compared to Windows or OSX, though that is surely a part of it... The biggest problem is, that LINUX OFFERS NO INCENTIVE TO SWITCH!

There is no need for it on the desktop, no huge group of disgruntled users whose problems aren't solved better in a different way over switching to Linux.

The biggest advantage for Linux is that it's supposedly "free". But if we're talking "financially free" first of all it's not true (though the costs are different than plopping down 50$ for a user fee) and secondly: OSX or Windows can also be "free" for the user with a torrent download.

The other "freedom" that Linux is trying to promote: Freedom to see the code and tinker with it, is a freedom that nobuser in their right mind cares about. Or rather: The one percent who DO care about it have already switched to Linux. The other 99% couldn't care less. And THATS why Linux will never win on the desktop. (Or even just have a sizable install rate.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nope...

You missed one last freedom. Freedom to have your computer trust you. In order to give you a taste of what it means take a look at this: you decide to block some websites in your hosts file and Windows 8 is silently modifying the hosts file to unblock those sites because Microsoft doesn't like you to do that. This is exactly the kind of scenario Linux was designed to prevent.

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