back to article GitHub.io killed the distro star: Why are people so bored with the top Linux makers?

Matthew Miller is a little concerned. As the new project leader for the Fedora Linux distribution, he thinks Fedora 20 is great and Fedora 21, when it ships, will be the best release ever. But he worries that to everyone else, Fedora – and Linux distros in general – are getting a little, well … boring. He doesn't just mean the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I, like many of my IT comrades in arms, now use DuckDuckGo.com rather than Google as a search engine so I'm sure that has something to do with it.

    I find DDG finds more relevant articles on server and PC issues. Plus no ads or deep invasive searches of my HD.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Hard drive searches?

      Exactly how does visiting google.com perform a "deep invasive search of your hard drive?" Maybe if you have a Google toolbar installed, but people who deliberately install a search toolbar deserve whatever happens to them.

      I can certainly see avoiding google.com to keep them from collecting even more information on you, but Google certainly has no idea what is on my hard drive, nor will they ever.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      DDG?

      You mean Bing, as that is where DDG pulls its results from.

      Just like F/OSS, DDG is having to piggyback off MS's hard work and innovation.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: DDG?

        Talk about FUD: DDG pulls its searches from at least fifty sources. Bing is one of them.

        By "MS's hard work and innovation" I assume you mean their desire to maintain their monopoly by copying what Google did. DDG does do something MS, Google and the rest don't. They respect your privacy.

        1. chris lively

          Re: DDG?

          You know that DDG is based in the US? That it has to comply with US laws? You know, ones like "Do what the NSA says and you're not allowed to ever acknowledge it." Like, oh just pulling a random one here: tracking all your users and sending that data directly to a TLA (three letter agency)?

          Please stop drinking the kool-aid and pay attention.

      2. SolidSquid

        Re: DDG?

        You mean Bing that was found to be piggybacking off of Google's search results in order to increase their accuracy?

      3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: DDG?

        Just like F/OSS, DDG is having to piggyback off MS's hard work and innovation.

        Not sure whether sarcasm or just shilling.

        Nah, "hard work and innovation" gives it away. Thumbs up has been granted.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: DDG?

        "Just like F/OSS, DDG is having to piggyback off MS's hard work and innovation."

        And at least with Microsoft / Bing, a massive chunk of the profits go to charity via Bill Gates.

        1. Chris Evans

          Re: DDG?

          "And at least with Microsoft / Bing, a massive chunk of the profits go to charity via Bill Gates."

          The sum may be large but it's rather indirect. The money doesn't come from Microsoft but a shareholder. Giving money directly is a much more efficient method.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: DDG?

          "And at least with Microsoft / Bing, a massive chunk of the profits go to charity via Bill Gates."

          What's the bet the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation save more money claiming (tax free) charity status, than they give away each year?

          Yes I'm cynical. The Gate Family know how to play the system and spin PR. Solid evidence they're not would be welcome. ;)

      5. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        Re: DDG?

        Must be a slow day in Redmond.

  2. NoneSuch Silver badge

    Linux is supposed to be boring.

    If you do notice your operating system, it's usually because it failed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ah, that's what the skin-crawl I get after using my linux box(en) for even a few minutes is. Thanks for the explanation.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Windows

        Crawling in my skin, these bugs they will not go away.

        for even a few minutes is. Thanks for the explanation

        You are not made for IT, anon. Please stay in your assigned area.

        1. Daniel B.
          Trollface

          Re: Crawling in my skin, these bugs they will not go away.

          MS shills are now hiding behind AC. It seems they noticed that using their real handles gives them away, it's probably why I haven't seen TheVogon posts as of late. Though there's still one MS shill posting with his handle...

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    The other thing is...

    That most of the time, the new releases of the likes of Fedora 'just work'. Unless you have some unique use case then for the majority of us this is the case.

    It didn't use to be. That is great progress IMHO.

    I mainly use CentOS and OSX at home. A bit of FreeNas and that's it.

    I do try the odd release of Fedora now but I don't have the need to dig deeply into it any more apart from the integration with Windows AD. {The real world job and all that}.

    The stability that a distro like CentOS offers me and my current needs is right on the nail.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The other thing is...

      "That most of the time, the new releases of the likes of Fedora 'just work'."

      You've not really used Fedora soon after release in quite a while have you?

      Normally takes them a few months after a new release to have most things working ok... :(

      (not just new device hw, but end user software too)

  4. Fehu
    Happy

    Awww, the good old days...

    I'm going on 13 years of working primarily in Linux at my real job. My boss tells me which distro we're going to use and supplies the media that's installed on our servers. At home, I have one machine that has the open source version of our company's supported distro on one machine, a copy of Ubuntu on another and two Chromebooks. I have a gaming machine running Win 7 and that's about all I have time for. Gone are the days when I would download a new distro about every other week and try it out. I think that's what they mean when they talk about a market maturing. I still visit DistroWatch.com occasionally, but I'm kind of afraid of wiping out something that's working and I might need for work just for curiosity. And isn't Miller really saying that the distribution mechanism is changing more than that interest in Linux is lessening. The first distro I ever downloaded was over a 56K modem. I'm kind of glad we don't have to do that anymore.

    1. boltar Silver badge

      Re: Awww, the good old days...

      "Gone are the days when I would download a new distro about every other week and try it out"

      I think the only reason people did that is that up until maybe 5 years ago there was a real improvement on the previous/other distro versions. Ie better OS perfomance/facilities and/or a better front end. These days Linux is pretty mature even on the desktop and any changes are simply small incremental changes that really don't warrant the pain of a re-install especialy since updating individual components is usually a fairly painless process (gcc excepted).

      I'm currently running Slackware 14.0 from 2012 on my laptop (and that was only to update a Slackware 11 install) and I have no intention of even thinking about an update for another couple of years because It Just Works. It does everything I need and has never had any kind of fault. Why would I?

    2. nematoad Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Awww, the good old days...

      "... but I'm kind of afraid of wiping out something that's working"

      That's what VMs are for.

      Just install Virtualbox and experiment to your hearts content.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think there's three factors in play here.

    One is, tangentially discussed in the article, access. If I want to contribute to something on GitHub, I just hit the fork button and i'm away. Getting into Linux development is not only technically challenging, but dominated by corporate, salaried developers who are (rightfully) protective of their domains. There's little of the old community spirit there. Not only that but it's disparate and scattered, split between the kernel, the primary daemons, the distros, the desktop environments etc., all with ever so slightly differing approaches. It's just *hard* to get into, and even harder to see results.

    The second, again discussed in the article, is that Linux is somewhat... boring. It's low level, it's not sexy. The sexy stuff that does exist gets mired in the distro-wars. Even something interesting, novel and appealing like systemd has to undergo a verbal battering from the purists.

    The third is a generational thing, in two parts. Simply put, most new developers Don't Know C. We might have received some rudimentary training on it, but our languages of choice these days are more likely to be Java/C# or Javascript or Python or Ruby or whatever. Similarly, we're not as familiar with the inner workings of an OS as our predecessors. That represents a barrier to entry.

    And, in hand with that change in language focus, today's open source developers don't want to work on GPL'd code. I'm in my mid 20s, I contribute to a handful of open source projects of varying scale, and if I see the GPL I run a mile. Most of my peers on the London scene are of a similar attitude. We no longer equate the GPL with open source. Restrictive licenses don't fit with our view of the world. It's no longer necessary and often outright toxic to a project. This devil-may-care attitude to licensing extends to the point where, despite GPL being in the minority of licensed projects on GitHub, most GitHub aren't even licensed! We just aren't as militant as our parents.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Not licensed!

      "Restrictive licenses don't fit with our view of the world ... most GitHub aren't even licensed!"

      If you don't like restrictive licences why are you even more restrictive?

      You automatically have copyright with all rights reserved. A licence (look it up in a dictionary if you don't believe me) is a grant of freedom to do something. So unless you apply some licence to your GitHub project you're effectively saying that nobody else can do anything with it. And that's a good deal more restrictive than the GPL.

      Use the BSD, DWTFYW, explicitly say "anyone is free to do what they want with this at their own risk" but don't assume that just because you say nothing freedom is implied. It's not; just the opposite.

      Also, get a disclaimer in there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not licensed!

        "but don't assume that just because you say nothing freedom is implied. It's not; just the opposite."

        My point was rather that we can't even be bothered to go through the automated process of adding licenses to our GitHub repos, so it's quite a stretch to ask us to jump through the hoops involved with GPL compliance.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Not licensed!

          I take your point on GPL compliance and sympathise. Nobody suggested you should (unless you want to use someone else's GPL code).

          But if you CBA to add anything to your repos what you're effectively saying "it's all mine - you can't use it". That's the default.

          If you want it to be wide open you need to say that. Is that really so difficult?

    2. SolidSquid

      Syntax has it right, the GPL grants a standardised range of rights over a code base that otherwise you'd have no rights over. Without the licence, nobody knows what they're able to do without violating the rights of the project owner

    3. boltar Silver badge

      "The third is a generational thing, in two parts. Simply put, most new developers Don't Know C."

      So learn it then. Its not hard especially if you already know Java or C#. And the sort of people who say "but, like, pointers sooo are hard" really shouldn't be doing programming in the first place and should go off and do an arts degree.

      "but our languages of choice these days are more likely to be Java/C# or Javascript or Python or Ruby or whatever."

      No offence, but Python, javascript, ruby and similar scripting languages are training languages. They're the 21st century equivalent of QuickBasic. They do the job - up to a point. But eventually you need to take the training wheels off and learn a proper language that has full access to (almost) all OS resources. ie C/C++/C# or Java and gives you total programming freedom on the platform.

      1. roselan
        Flame

        shut up and go do machine code.

        What am I saying is: go design your own double patterning litho tools, and build your own cpu, noob.

        Programming is for wussies. Real Men do processor design.

        And coffee too. You can get me one ;)

      2. Daniel B.

        @boltar

        No offence, but Python, javascript, ruby and similar scripting languages are training languages. They're the 21st century equivalent of QuickBasic.

        YES. YES. YES. There's a lot of "do it with JavaScript" oriented people that are turning out to be very annoying; anything done in JavaScript will only run client-side and is a security vuln waiting to happen unless you're checking everything server-side as well. Pretty much the only thing I see good with the "cool" scripting languages is that they aren't Visual Basic.

        1. sisk Silver badge

          Re: @boltar

          No offence, but Python, javascript, ruby and similar scripting languages are training languages. They're the 21st century equivalent of QuickBasic.

          Python and Ruby maybe, but JavaScript is THE go to language for client side web site scripting, which makes it very important for both web design and HTML5 based mobile apps. But don't get me wrong: it gets misused a lot these days. It should never see use outside of those two environments, but somehow people have gotten the idea that it's the way to do things.

    4. sisk Silver badge

      We no longer equate the GPL with open source. Restrictive licenses don't fit with our view of the world. It's no longer necessary and often outright toxic to a project.

      I do have to agree with you on this point. The GPL is, in my opinion, long winded and nearly as restrictive as a proprietary license would be. My license of choice these days is the BSD license when I decide something done in my free time is worth licensing at all (if it's not in my free time I don't own it - pretty standard when someone pays you to code). Really more often my free-time projects end up getting thrown out to the wild with a public domain release. But then they tend to be dinky little things because, who wants to code for 8 hours on someone else's pet project and then come home and code some more on another big project?

    5. Vincent Ballard

      I think the language question seems far more likely to be relevant than the source repository. When software was on Sourceforge, we could download it and attempt to compile it. Now that software is on Github we can download it and attempt to compile it. What's the difference?

      But when most open source software was in C, figuring out the dependencies and getting it to actually compile was hard work and it was nice to delegate it to the distro. Now that so much open source software is in other languages which have their own package mechanisms to manage dependencies and don't require you to work out the best compiler flags, there's less reason to involve a third party.

    6. Daniel B.
      Boffin

      GPL

      Ah yes, the GPL. Even the Linux kernel code ended up staying on GPL v2 because the latest incarnation of the GPL ended up being very toxic. There's one thing in wanting to have free software, but another one to force that "freedom" into everything even slightly related to free software code. Hell, LGPL had to be created just to ensure that linking to FOSS libraries doesn't mean the GPL has stuck to your code!

      Now, don't get me wrong, we need radical people like Stallman; if it hadn't been for the Free Software folks we wouldn't even have the stuff we have now, but the GPL should really be toned down.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Daniel B. - Re: GPL If you would be right in your assumption

        this whole thread here would be about BSDs, not GNU/Linux. And GPL v3 was needed mainly because of TiVO and the likes.

        Please double check your reasoning.

    7. Justin Clift

      @AC - re Community spirit

      "Getting into Linux development is not only technically challenging, but dominated by corporate, salaried developers who are (rightfully) protective of their domains. There's little of the old community spirit there."

      If you're interested in the storage side of things, you'd be welcome in the GlusterFS Community. Many of us are salaried developers (paid by Red Hat), but many people aren't, and we're very _not protective_ of our domains. We take a "the more the merrier" approach, and are very newbie friendly. :)

  6. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Booths?

    I used to wait for a trade show and go to a booth to see when a new version of some software would be released - in 1986 - now we have this other thing called an internet to tell me.

    1. SVV Silver badge

      Re: Booths?

      Agreed about the availability of information on the web.

      But a day away from being stuck behind the computer at the office, with a pub lunch followed by collecting nonsense freebies for a few hours?

      Not to mention the ultimate work week : attending a conference. Top notch hotel in Paris, in June, champagne receptions with tech legends, company credit card paying for posh nosh every evening......

      Don't argue yourself out of a freebie, for goodness sake!

      (OK, I learnt some interesting stuff too which I used in subsequent projects, so it wasn't a total skive)

    2. chris lively

      Re: Booths?

      I'm pretty sure that the only reason for trade shows anymore is as an excuse for people to not be at work.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Booths?

        "I'm pretty sure that the only reason for trade shows anymore is as an excuse for people to not be at work"

        SSSHHHH! The PHB's might be looking at the comments!

      2. phil dude
        Boffin

        Re: Booths?

        maybe some people, but I know first hand it is where you *meet* other people who know things...

        Interesting comparison to the sciences, where authors who publish have to self-promote.

        In tech companies, the people who actually do the work, are usually never seen.

        But it is nice to get out of the lab, if the destination is nice....!

        P.

  7. 27escape

    If it just works

    or works enough (eg winXP) why upgrade/change.

    Developer types are interested in new stuff and the desktops are now all stable and do whats needed, we get our kicks from new apps/languages/systems nowadays.

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: If it just works

      A good point and it may be the explanation as to why we have had the likes of Unity, Gnome3 and TIFKAM foisted on us.

  8. i like crisps
    Trollface

    "GIT-HUB"...

    ...Another name for Twitter?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gnome? Unity?

    Er, could it be anything to do with Linux desktop environments like Gnome and Unity becoming hideous to use? There seems to be quite a lot of interest in Mint...

    1. Maventi

      Re: Gnome? Unity?

      I agree that Mint is pretty popular, but for some reason I've just never been able to grow to like it. The first impression always draws me in but after a few weeks I get frustrated. I can't even put my finger on the reason why, it just feels a little bit scratchy.

      By the same token I don't find Unity hideous at all these days. It's pretty good on large monitors and while the workflow is quite different to the old Gnome 2 interface I find it very efficient. It's also very stable.

      That said everyone has different tastes and it seems these days we are all spoiled by lot of very good choices out there. So much so that most folks just go grab their favourite distro, install it and then get on with life. It's rare to have to search for help to get things working now. On that basis I think the only way to really get some good stats on Linux adoption would be to somehow track hits against all the repository mirrors out there.

  10. JassMan Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Maybe the answer is that people are moving from base linux flavours

    Most of my mates are changing to Mint or Ubuntu with some special purpose flavours such as Arch or XBMC. None of these appear in the graph which has obviously been selected to give the impression that Linux is a has been for everyday users. OK, with over 50 flavours around the graph couldn't show every one. However, since Suse, Debian and Fedora are the main base distributions, they could surely have shown these as the main graphs, but have included all of the derivatives in the count for each base.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Maybe the answer is that people are moving from base linux flavours

      Distrowatch currently shows Mint as the top distro & also places Mageia above Fedora and openSuse, neither of which are in the graph.

      But as others have said, I think the main factor is that most users have found that Linux has progressed from "only just works" to "just works" and have less need to conduct searches.

    2. Fibbles
      Facepalm

      Re: Maybe the answer is that people are moving from base linux flavours

      Agreed, it's amazing how bad you can make a graph look when you exclude the most popular distro...

      Without Ubuntu.

      With Ubuntu.

      Oh no, the sky is falling!

      1. dominicr

        Re: Maybe the answer is that people are moving from base linux flavours

        Yes that is interesting, and we can see why the Fedora guy would leave Ubuntu out of his chart, but the basic story remains the same...

        1. mattdm

          Re: Maybe the answer is that people are moving from base linux flavours

          FWIW, Ubuntu, Arch, and Mint are covered on the next slide in the presentation; that's just omitted from The Register's summary article here, not the actual talk.

          And, you can see that, while still very popular (and deservedly so), Ubuntu is experiencing the same decline as everyone else, just with a slightly later peak (late 2007).

          1. Fibbles

            Re: Maybe the answer is that people are moving from base linux flavours

            You're reading the graph wrong IMO. Assuming the frequency of search queries correlates with interest in each distro and assuming that the sum of the distros listed on the graph represents total interest in Linux distros as a whole:

            - Interest in Linux was flat from 2004 to 2006ish.

            - Interest roughly doubled around the release of Ubuntu and stayed that way for a few years.

            - Interest in Linux has fallen and flattened out back at 2004 levels.

            This goes against MIller's assertion that interest in Linux distros has waned since 2004 - 2005. It just happens that interest in his preferred Linux distros has waned since that time.

            You'd be able to see this more clearly if Google Trends allowed for plotting a line representing the total of all the others. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to give that option (or at least I can't find it anyway).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Maybe the answer is that people are moving from base linux flavours

              Or maybe it just reflects a general dilution of tech search terms on Google as the web has become more mainstream; "Database", "Compile", and "Programming" follow the same declining curve, whereas "song" shows the reverse. I'm not saying interest hasn't waned, I'm just thinking that the graph doesn't shed any real light either way.

          2. Aleve Sicofante

            Re: Maybe the answer is that people are moving from base linux flavours

            Yes, but even today's interest on Ubuntu is about the same as the peak interest for the other distros almost 10 (ten!) years ago... Ouch.

        2. maxomai

          Re: Maybe the answer is that people are moving from base linux flavours

          I disagree. There's a whole universe of Ubuntu repositories that contradict the narrative of Github-as-favored-distribution-method.

      2. roselan
        Thumb Up

        Re: Maybe the answer is that people are moving from base linux flavours

        I did the same comparison before reading the comments. I had already printscreened it when i thought "wait, this is elreg we speak about, someone has done it".

        thank you sir

  11. edge_e
    Boffin

    Does a lack of search=lack of interest?

    As has already been said, things tend to work straight from install a lot more often than they did 10 years ago. The figures from 2004 weren't caused by interest, it was everyone trying to get their wireless cards working. There's also the fact that a significant number of folk will have most of them bookmarked, just know the url or know enough of it to isolate it in their history.

    I think the figures for:-

    what linux distro should i install?

    would be much more relevant to this story.

    1. Kieran

      Re: Does a lack of search=lack of interest?

      Actually that one apparently doesn't have enough search volume to be displayed. This one does though. Close enough?

      http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=%22what+is+linux%22

    2. Long John Brass Silver badge

      Re: Does a lack of search=lack of interest?

      Agreed ... A far better metric would the bandwidth stats of the various distribution repo server + mirrors

      1. Jungleland

        Re: Does a lack of search=lack of interest?

        Indeed.

        Most distro sites now run their own forums too. Why search for an error and get 100s of results from 3 or more yeears ao when you can get almost live help on current versions.

      2. nematoad Silver badge

        Re: Does a lack of search=lack of interest?

        "Agreed ... A far better metric would the bandwidth stats of the various distribution repo server + mirrors"

        Don't forget BitTorrent, I haven't used a distro's mirror for ages so by your metric I would not be counted.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Does a lack of search=lack of interest?

          > Don't forget BitTorrent, I haven't used a distro's mirror for ages so by your metric I would not be counted.

          Same here. BitTorrent for all distro downloads for ages now.

  12. channel extended

    Just Works.

    As a long time linux user I used to reload different distro's just to see what was included. The advantage that distro builders bring is they select and adjust thing to work well. Today however there aren't that many different things that the builders include. Example: office software almost everyone includes Libre Office, and in my opinion rightfully so. Also it has become easier to assemble and release your OWN distro, based on ... When high speed internet used to mean 56K not 300baud, using a CD was the best way to go now high speed it 25mbs+. So time has passed, distrubition channels have expanded, and software has coalesced.

    Life goes on.

  13. P. Lee

    Maturity is bad for free publicity

    Most distro's are now competant and there's little need to keep switching to get a feature.

    The corporates have picked their distros and aren't going to want to add another or switch large amounts of infrastructure. Many large corporates' IT is outsourced making changes even more expensive and hazardous. Often the servers are basic infrastructure and the distro doesn't matter. You have a web server, who cares if its running Redhat or Suse since the code is the same. How often does your iSCSI or DHCP server software update?

    Most people running linux desktops are also not that interested in switching - they've looked, found what they like and don't feel the need to change. As the size of the environment has grown, the pace of change inevitably has slowed.

    My iphone is so old it doesn't doesn't really update but my wife's new one has zillions of updates. I have a feeling that the app devs just tweak things and call it a fix in order to remind you that their app is still there - its free publicity/advertising for them. If I had an app like that, I'd conclude the devs were incompentant and delete it. Corporates certainly won't stand for that kind of thing.

  14. tempemeaty

    Just my worthless opinion

    IMHO it's the lack of backward compatibility with each new release of every successive version of any given Linux distro that is killing interest in Linux overall.

    ¯\(°_o)/¯

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just my worthless opinion

      Yes, pretty worthless, particularly bearing in mind you put no facts in there, and just FUD.

    2. sisk Silver badge

      Re: Just my worthless opinion

      Eh, most packages released 5 years ago will still work in a modern distro. Probably even a good chunk of the ones released 10 years ago will. You'd probably have to compile something that old against modern libraries, but back you pretty much had to compile anything not coming from your disto's repository anyway.

  15. Long John Brass Silver badge

    App store?

    > The app store model that Apple pioneered has yet to really take off in the Linux world

    Ummm apt-get and it's kin has been around way longer than any of these so called app stores

    Apples only "innovation" was to hook a payment system up to the repo manager, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone else beat em that that idea too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: App store?

      Exactly (apt-get dates from 1998), or RPM which originated in 1997

  16. Cipher
    FAIL

    Flawed Premise?

    Since the article seems to say that declining numbers of Google hits = declining interest, I would suggest as others have, that Linux users may be using DDG.

    Also, Linux users know to go to Distro Watch, and the LiveCD pages, plus many other Linux websites to get the information they need. When I recommend Linux I send the user to either DDG or a direct Linux link.

    Last, how Mint was left off the graph is a puzzle. Maybe the same mindset that equates Google hits with popularity is at work here. Mint has been number 1 or close for quite a while now. Cue Jethro Tull now, because it appears that some are Living in the Past...

    1. roselan

      Re: Flawed Premise?

      if you trend linux and windows, you see both curves spooning downwards.

      Now add android to the party...

      http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=%2Fm%2F04r_8%2C%20%2Fm%2F0fpzzp%2C%20%2Fm%2F02wxtgw%2C%20%2Fm%2F055yr%2C%20%2Fm%2F03wbl14&cmpt=q

  17. itzman

    Why would I need to look at new distros?

    The one I have works alarmingly well, and its Mint 14., Now sadly its off maintenance and I will have to upgrade, but I am dreading it as it will be two days to get Mint 17 or whatever the latest is installed and tweaked to how I want it ...

    Frankly I have better thins to do with a computer than install linux on it. I just want one that works that I can set up to run the way I want it.

    I found it. End of story.

    1. Unicornpiss Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Why would I need to look at new distros?

      Agreed. Trying out different distros can be fun... if you have an abundance of free time to burn and a lack of things like a job and other obligations. Most of us find one we like after trying a few and then stick with it. Unless you're a grandma who only wants to search the interwebs and get on The Facebook, you're going to want to configure your machine to suit your needs and preferences. Installing and customizing an OS to your liking, as well as getting everything to work satisfactorily is as arduous in some ways as moving to a new home. It is an investment of time and effort, if not as physically as actually moving. And it has some of the same pitfalls as moving--things get lost, broken, and things end up in boxes (folders anyway) until you have time to deal with them.

      Most people don't decide to pick up and move for the fun of it, arbitrarily, when they've found a residence to their liking; most folks don't jump ship to another OS unless it's falling apart or the neighbourhood isn't what it used to be. Barring a drive crash or hardware failure--which is perhaps equivalent to a home catastrophe like a fire or flood, most people want to stay put, kick back on the porch, and enjoy the familiarity and fruits of their hard work getting everything "just so". For the record, I use Mint as well :)

    2. Unicornpiss Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Why would I need to look at new distros?

      Agreed. Trying out different distros can be fun... if you have an abundance of free time to burn and a lack of things like a job and other obligations. Most of us find one we like after trying a few and then stick with it. Unless you're a grandma who only wants to search the interwebs and get on The Facebook, you're going to want to configure your machine to suit your needs and preferences. Installing and customizing an OS to your liking, as well as getting everything to work satisfactorily is as arduous in some ways as moving to a new home. It is an investment of time and effort, if not as physically as actually moving. And it has some of the same pitfalls as moving--things get lost, broken, and things end up in boxes (folders anyway) until you have time to deal with them.

      Most people don't decide to pick up and move for the fun of it, arbitrarily, when they've found a residence to their liking; most folks don't jump ship to another OS unless it's falling apart or the neighbourhood isn't what it used to be. Barring a drive crash or hardware failure--which is perhaps equivalent to a home catastrophe like a fire or flood, most people want to stay put, kick back on the porch, and enjoy the familiarity and fruits of their hard work getting everything "just so". For the record, I'm using Mint as well.

    3. roselan

      Re: Why would I need to look at new distros?

      I can't even tell what version of mint I have...

      I should have left the original wallpaper I guess X'D

  18. Tom 64

    CoreOS

    I'm a big fan of the approach CoreOS is taking.

    If it was production ready and easier to get installed in the cloud, I'd be rolling it out as my server OS for everything I develop. I can see a switch to it within the next year or so, one to watch for sure.

    1. chuckufarley

      Re: CoreOS

      Take a look at Qubes OS too:

      http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=qubes

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You may not want to read this

    But, as far as I'm concerned, what is preventing serious growth of Linux is choice.

    There is simply way too much of it. The endless distros that do not really offer anything better, but were created simply because someone didn't like something in all the other ones, the endless variations on packages that do not exist because the offer fundamental differences, but because a group of developers fond something principally wrong with the terms of the license (libre office anyone ?), the 36 mediaplayers that ALL have the same issues reading catalogues on network drives.

    Anyone that wants to try and give Linux a go is first confronted with a hundred distro's, then 10 or more graphic environments (and don't you dare ask any obvious newbie questions on a linux board or you'll be greeted with disdain and arrogance, telling you to read 10000 pages of information readily available on the internet, you lazy fool), and then the fun really starts, searching for programs you want for specific stuff (try : I'd like an app to manage my CD collection).

    If you finally get through all that, why don't you try to get your garmin GPS and maps working. You'll pretty soon find 1000 threads telling you to dual boot windoze or install wHine. Which is exactly what you were trying to get shot of in the first place.

    But by this time the general public will have long given up and reverted to Windows. And even if they DO get to the point where they've made a choice on a distro, they pretty soon find themselves locked in again, because if a program is not supported by theid distro or MMI, they have to download sources and start compiling.

    SO is there nothing worthwhile there ? Sure there is. But for your average consumer, there are simply too many choices to make, and way too much excrement to wade through to find a few hidden gems.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: You may not want to read this

      The treatment that n00bs receive is, by far the heaviest charge I can lay against the so-called "community." That's not part of any community I've ever belonged to in forty-five years in IT and over half of that time helping n00bs become participating users and contributors.

      1. Cipher

        Re: You may not want to read this

        What I see regarding newbie questions in the various Linix forums:

        1. Answers that don't address the question, "You don't want X, you want Y"

        2. RTFM

        3. Good detailed help, solving the problem

        4. No answer at all

        Too much #1 by advocates of particular software/methods, a fair amount of #2 by The Priesthood, and although there is a good amount of #3, not enough to overcome the perceptions left by the others.

        Windows users fare a tad better, once they learn to not use MS sites that tell you you have malware and to boot to safe mode as a stock scripted answer.

        1. sisk Silver badge

          Re: You may not want to read this

          #4 is my most commonly received answer.

          Though to be fair the Linux questions I have long ago left the realm of newbies, wandered through the land of "Oh that's on page 5 of the old version of the manual, but they cut it out of the current one", climbed up the hill of "yeah, ALSA can be a real pain, but here's a little black magic to fix your problem" and now firmly reside on the border of "That's a tricky one. If you ever figure out a solution let me know" and "I've never heard of anyone having that problem before"

          And yes, those are all answers I've gotten on various Linux forums over the years. Pretty close to exact words to.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: You may not want to read this

            "And yes, those are all answers I've gotten on various Linux forums over the years. Pretty close to exact words to."

            But is it any worse in LinuxWorld than it is with a Window box?

            In the last couple of weeks I've been trying to make VNC work again on my Linux boxes (don't ask, right).

            It used to work, then I stopped using it, then I upgraded, carried on not using it, and now I need it again it's bust.

            The answers are all there, but there are TWO problems involved. No individual answer I saw covers both:

            1) Setting up a VNC server

            2) Automagically starting the desired desktop after you log in

            It's now several days ago and I've forgotten the full details but the critical bit was using dbus to start KDE rather than whatever the distro had previously been using to start a desktop. I found this out by using routine "analytical troubleshooting" techniques - e.g. if I try a desktop other than KDE, what happens. Answer: fallback desktop "just works". So the problem is KDE related not VNC related.

            Job's a good'un, for another three to five years till I'm in the same situation again.

            If something doesn't work under Windows, you've frequently no realistic way of knowing what's going on or what's changed since it last worked.

            1. Long John Brass Silver badge

              Re: You may not want to read this

              If I read that right you looking to run a VNC server on your Linux box?

              If so this is what I use http://guac-dev.org/

              The only gotcha I found was that I had to use kdm instead of gdm(v3) as gdm broke xdcmp :(

              Client can be any html5 (canvas) enabled web browser, which also means you can expose your desktop via https if you feel so inclined

    2. Daniel B.

      Re: You may not want to read this

      Hostility towards n00bs, coupled with "if you gonna do FOSS U should know how 2 compile j00r k3rn3l d00d!" is one of the things that have indeed pushed back widespread adoption of the revered Linux Desktop. It also doesn't help that many of these "n00bs" were asking questions back in the late 90's or early 2000's and were simply shrugged away back then. Anyone remember trying to get one of those infamous winmodems to work on Linux? And what would you get as an answer if you ever had the great idea of asking about this?

      One thing that has got better these days is that most distros Just Work out of the box, even with the newer annoying stuff like EFI and Secure Boot (urrrrgh). Now the problem seems to be that there's too much stuff out there. Sound system? ALSA! ESOUND! PULSEAUDIO! Everyone trying to pull off their own half-assed implementation of something that should've been standardized 15 years ago. Then there's the kernel devs that seem to be purposefully breaking ABIs just to annoy proprietary driver devs because fuck proprietary drivers. I still remember the dark days of the early 2000s when we didn't even get proprietary drivers for anything on Linux, and I do not wish to go back to that. Please STOP it. Play nice.

      Hopefully, the Linux community may have gone past the RTFM stage, coupled with most distros mostly working without extra tweaks, so maybe Linux uptake will be better during the next years. I've had at least one colleague who gave up on Linux a couple of years ago come back to the Penguin OS after finding out that most of the annoying hacks are no longer needed: WiFi works OK out of the box.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Daniel B. - Re: You may not want to read this

        Annoying proprietary driver devs ? You mean those that are constantly hiding behind NDAs and withholding technical specifications from FOSS devs or providing buggy and unsupported blobs to be thrown at the Linux kernel (just look at NVIDIA for a textbook example) ? You don't seem familiar with Linux driver development.

        Please check your drinking water.

        1. sisk Silver badge

          Re: @Daniel B. - You may not want to read this

          You mean those that are constantly hiding behind NDAs...

          To be fair they don't have a whole lot of choice in the matter. They can 'hide behind NDAs' or be sued into oblivion. AMD actively supports the FOSS version of their driver, but even they can't reveal all the technical details to make it as good as the proprietary one. On the other hand NVIDIA's proprietary driver is a joke. I'd be embarrassed were I on the team that wrote it.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Small contributors

    Most of the comments I've seen are from the user point of view, but if there is less interest, I'd say it is from the small contributors.

    Once, you got a group together (or started alone), designed your new package manager, and launched your distribution. People would try it out, some would suggest changes, others would offer their time and start maintaining packages, and soon you'd have a small community behind it. The essential packages were modular, and even behemoths like OpenOffice could be made to compile and be packaged easily. A maintainer for a few packages could do that in his spare time, and do a good job. Now, you have monsters with huge interdependencies, cancers like systemd that try to be everything at once, and are extremely hard to replace with the modular packages, many of which have been abandoned. Being a small contributor isn't fun any more, it is almost impossible. You need a lot more of your time to patch and package, as you now have desktop packages depending on glorified init system replacements, have unstable monsters for sound middleware, and basically have a core set on which everything has hard dependencies, with limited space for small packages doing only a single function well. And now you need to work closely together with other contributors, with the added overhead, and suddenly you no longer have the time and patience to do it right - and it no longer is fun. Linux distro building is now either a "just add a coat of paint to distro x" or a full time job, so the big number of "spare time contributors" move elsewhere.

    Also, Android firmware is now more visible and fun. Getting kitkat running on a Nexus One, with the sdcard used for the apps, sure beats by far trying to get a package to work when the modular packages it depends on have been swallowed by some monster that also is incompatible with it.

    /rant over

  21. brolin_1911a1

    Linux Works and Many of Us Are Happy With What Works

    I started using Ubuntu close to ten years ago and loved it. It worked, it was simple to install. And it didn't have the DRM management headaches with peripherals that MS Vista tried to impose. Then Canonical decided that Ubuntu was no longer "shiny" and they had to go to the Unity GUI to make my desktop monitor look like a fondleslab. I spent two weeks searching for a way to get around Unity and go back to something that worked and with which I was accustomed. And I found Linux Mint 14. I'm up to Mint 17 Cinnamon now on two desktops and a laptop and haven't booted into Windows in so long I'm not even sure I still have that option. Since Mint 17 is an LTS version, I don't expect to upgrade further for quite a few years. When friends ask about Linux, I either burn them a Linux Mint distro DVD or I point them to a linuxmint.com repository so there's no need for them to go searching.

    As others have pointed out DDG respects my privacy while Google sells my search information -- haven't used Google for anything in at least two years. In short, a judgement based upon the number of Google searches for new Linux distros is going to be doomed to grossly underestimate the number of people migrating to Linux.

  22. chuckufarley

    How many packages do you really need?

    I have a Gentoo VM with LXDE, LibreOffice, Firefox, The Gimp and a few other artsy programs, and Sudoku. I can use it for most of things I need to do on the internet as well everything I need to do with graphics applications. It's just 409 packages (6GB of disk space total, including sources) and that includes the tool chain. It would be so much smaller if it were a server image because then I would not include a X server and all the other fluffy stuff.

    As everyone knows, minimizing the number of packages used minimizes the attack surface of the system. IMHO This is a big part of why major distros are suffering. Another big part of it may be that the major distros don't pay enough attention to what is happening outside of their own sphere of influence. Case in point: Heartbleed.

  23. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Holmes

    The web is the new hotness

    Young programmers prefer to tinker with the phones or develop for the web. That's where their interest and the money is. Nothing really to do with Github at all.

  24. b166er

    90% of everything is crap?

    What if we applied that logic to operating systems?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bah, FUD all round. The graph doesn't include Ubuntu which is a worrying omission. I'm sure they are seeing fewer searches as well but I imagine that's because they are transitioning from the "new and hyped" stage to the "just getting on with the job" stage. I've been playing with Linux on and off for more years than I care to remember and I'm constantly amazed by how good it is now (lets be honest the desktop environment was pretty awful for a long time).

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Word of mouth

    The previous generation used Distrowatch, tried out a few flavours of linux and might have switched between a few every so often. The new generation are more likely to be ex-windows users who have switched to Ubuntu or Mint due to a recommendation from a friend of forum. They are not going to be searching for Fedora, Slackware etc, just install and continue using the reccomendation with the occasional upgrade. They do this because most distro's do just work without any fiddling and can give a window's looking gui so it's easy to convert. Not everyone wants to become a command line expert.

    I probably would have stuck with Ubuntu if they had not brought in that unity desktop thing that also searched shops. Tried out mint due to that and been with it since.

  27. Michael Habel Silver badge

    If the rise in GitHub means....

    The death of stupid crap like *.rpm, *.deb, and stupid per Distro crap like apt, and yum, and replaces it with something both simple, and universal. Then I think I can learn to live with this. 'cause at this point you just tend to pick your poison. Be it Debian / Mint / Ubuntu etc... Or Mandrake/Mandriva / Redhat. And, then get on with it. There was a time when I was playing with a lot of Linux, back in '06, '07. Looking for an answer to a HTPC problem that MicroSoft were both unable, and seemingly unwilling to answer to this day... How to use their "Media Center" with a DVB-C Provider.

    Thats what eventually drove me away from Windows. At that time I was running (or attempting to run) pretty much everything sans Arch. Redhat-type, Gentoo and Debian-type Linuxes. Of those I found the Debian-types to have been more common, and agreeable. In-so-far as I could continue use the "experience" I had gathered up-to-that time. Instead of hanging 'round on Board, and Wiki sites trying to workout how to unpack that *.rpm File, or how to sudo yum -y.

    This fractured nature of Linux has been a major PITFA for too long now. So if Get-Hub can eventually morph into the One-Stop-Shop for everything Linux EVER! I sure as heck wont be bitching about it!

    1. phil dude
      Linux

      Re: If the rise in GitHub means....

      May I say you perhaps didnot take the time to learn the concepts?

      deb and rpm are just archives. They are both unpackable on any distribution. RPM are simply CPIO format, debs are tar.gz. You might be interested in Alien

      The "fractured" nature of linux, was perhaps simply the growing pains of a new thing. Not all things had been created and many were being tried in the "wild". Often this is the effect of individuals doing things in their spare time.....

      This is the reason to get Distro X, you find the one closest to your support needs.

      And yes, you have been able to buy support , no less useful than any other platform, for quite some time now.

      In fact, the one I know about (Suse Enterprise), will possibly write you code to get a feature working and support it, (if you are paying them of course).

      Pick a distro you like, install it. If you want something special roll your own, *because you can*. If you cannot do either of these things please pay someone who can, rather than complain that it is beyond you.

      We all know that we just want our computers to work...

      P.

    2. Daniel B.

      Re: If the rise in GitHub means....

      The death of stupid crap like *.rpm, *.deb, and stupid per Distro crap like apt, and yum, and replaces it with something both simple, and universal.

      Actually, it's reversing the trend. RPM and DEB are package managers that simplify software installation/upgrading in the corresponding distros, while yum/apt-get go a step further by downloading them automatically from established repositories. Before the package managers, we had to get tarballs and compile 'em all. GitHub is actually the same thing, except instead of downloading a tarball, you're actually pulling down an uncompressed copy of the whole frickin' repository, branches and all (because git is shit and does that instead of SVN/CVS where all the extra repo stuff stays on the server). So it is actually worse than just downloading a tarball, or even doing "svn co" on the sourceforge repo.

      I've been mostly sticking to svn repos for FOSS stuff, as sometimes I do have to compile from source when handling obscure distros or when I want the latest update for certain packages. I'm mildly annoyed by the git-craze in the FOSS community...

  28. Nanners

    Allow me

    1. People have lost track of all the different varieties of OS's. The don't want to go educate themselves on the fine difference between them. What if they invest and make a bad decision?

    2. They don't want to go look for drivers to do every little mundane task. It takes too much time and makes everything doubly difficult.

    3. Linux doesn't have as many options available once you do have it installed.

  29. lsatenstein

    Not all People are IT people, Hardware vendors still prefer MS and MS formatted disks.

    Android tablets, Apple tablets, are allowing people to do what they mostly used laptops for. -- to communicate with social media, or perform internet searches.

    To format a hard disk with a Linux version or any software takes manpower, and dollars. With a paid operating system(windows, for example), that is something hardware vendors appreciate.

    Hardware vendors are assemble to order, manufacturers. They purchase what they require in chips, as long as a vendor produces the drivers for same. Ergo, graphics, sound, network hardware is provided driver support by the vendor of said chips. The vendor subcontracts out the driver code to a third party.

    In summary, if you pay Asus, INTEL, Lenova, HP, Dell, and others to take hard disks you provide, including all appropriate software drivers, and you can guarantee a certain number of sales, Linux would be on the shelves of mail-order houses.

    Linux would not be sold by Big Box stores, as they want their profit for selling update copies of the operating system. Everyone along the way has their hand in your pocket.

    And that is why, in my view, Linux is going nowhere.

    What to do about it? Put a few Linux vendors together as a consortium to produce a commercial product that can be free and open source, or just Open source. Provide technical support and advertising. Compete with Apple, Microsoft, and Android. Do that and Linux would rise to #1

    1. phil dude
      Facepalm

      Re: Not all People are IT people, Hardware vendors still prefer MS and MS formatted disks.

      It is the anti-competitive practices of "Those that shall not be named" corporations that even make the storage format an issue. Crappy patents strike again.

      I will agree, if there was an effort to get a supported, promoted linux I would say it has sort of happened. Between Ubuntu and Android (via google), these have some serious skin in the game.

      One might think that Android could become an offshoot of current distros, so at least the "AppSpace" could be expanded to overlaps phone space...

      P.

  30. MrRtd

    So I decided to check what the trends for Microsoft Windows, Windows 7, Windows 8, Andoid, iOS, OS X, Apple and Macintosh. I found that all the Windows' had declines, Apple/OS X/macintosh has steady with slight decline, then iOS is pretty bumpy (presumably due to their hyped up releases), and Android had made gains and seems steady.

    So not sure what to take from these stats, but there may be a correlation between the falling sales/interest of desktop/laptops and the raise of mobile devices/tablets, and one thing is for sure and that is marketing is probably one of the weakest areas of any Linux distribution.

  31. sisk Silver badge

    Choosing a distro is like choosing a car.

    With cars, if you need to haul kids around you get a minivan or a station wagon. If you work on a farm or in construction and have to move around heavy stuff, you get a pickup truck. If you just want to get around for the minimum money you get a Vespa. If you need to conduct business while moving around the city you get a limo and a driver.

    With distros, if you're building a server room and want enterprise grade support, you get SUSE, RHEL, or CentOS. If you're just browsing the web and checking email and don't want any hassle you get Mint or Ubuntu. If you're installing it on a Pentium II you get DSL or Puppy. If you're doing security testing you get Backtracker.

    And then there's Debian and GenToo. Those are like getting a well rounded pile of car parts: you can build whatever you want to with them, but you have to know what you're doing.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Choosing a distro is like choosing a car.

      "And then there's Debian and GenToo. Those are like getting a well rounded pile of car parts: you can build whatever you want to with them, but you have to know what you're doing."

      Gentoo maybe.

      Debian's the "I just want it to keep working" option irrespective of whether it's server-room or desktop.

      1. sisk Silver badge

        Re: Choosing a distro is like choosing a car.

        Debian's the "I just want it to keep working" option irrespective of whether it's server-room or desktop.

        Perhaps if you let it do one of the standard installs it lets you choose from during the installation, but if you do the minimal install and then build up from there (which is how I typically set up Debian) it becomes much more flexible.

  32. pyite

    Overblown

    The top distros have become so ingrained to the open source world that they are invisible.

    A bigger test would be if Ubuntu skipped a release -- if nobody cared then it would be a big problem.

    1. phil dude
      Linux

      Re: Overblown

      Yes, its called maturity. I use opensuse, and I have skipped several ubuntu releases. As have many ubuntu users. That is the point.

      I don't HAVE to upgrade. It just works. I am running 12.2 which suits me right now, because THIS hardware needs it. All the applications work, because this is FOSS and they can all be compiled for THIS system.

      The cronic FUD peddled by M$ and all the companies that depend on their teats remaining wet, is that somehow there is some "perfect support state". There is not and everyone here knows that. There is a system that does what you want, and there is everything else.

      M$ has massive problems with the patching because

      a) They are huge

      b) M$ has released a great deal of broken by design software (codified incompatibilities, WTF?)

      c) windows was never designed for the scale of enterprise it now encompasses.

      Their monopoly status led to a) and b) and has allowed them to ignore c).

      I patch as I need to. I could let Opensuse do it, but I choose not to. I install exactly what I need to patch openssl, or firefox or whatever....

      It helps greatly I sit behind a firewall (linux) and I have many browsers and profiles, and I have both on and offsite backups.

      UPS's solve so many stability problems...

      My 3 machines: server (up 583 days), backup desktop (up 313 days), desktop (up 124 days).

      I'm a paranoid, they are out to get me and I just want it to work...!!!

      P.

  33. NiallHammond

    Flawed argument

    Basing this on Google Trend numbers is fundamentally flawed.

    The Google Trend numbers are about the frequency against other searches and as the Internet has become more democratic and less focused on IT the relative frequency of any IT search will dimish. Computer has gone down Hamster and Porridge have gone up, not becuase people are less interested in using computers and are prefering to feed their hamsters porridge, just becuase the internet now has a more balanced user base.

  34. Gaius Maximus

    From Google to GitHub?! That's quite a leap.

    I can tell you why I'm bored: I'm frustrated by all the goofy, touchy stuff being forced upon us. And not only have the UIs been dumbed down with indecipherable icons, they're now abandoning menus and keyboards, so it's touch or nothing. And the more traditional UIs aren't as complete. xfce doesn't really have a suit of applications like Gnome and KDE, so we're forced to bastel together a Frankenstein patchwork of applications that, while not being as comfortable or as evolved as things such as gedit, at least still support the keyboard as their primary, even their only control interface.

    My rule is that if it can only be done with a pointing device/touch-screen, then it's irreparably broken. That's why I keep going back to Ubuntu 10.04. And, by the way, I'm writing this from Ubuntu 14.04 with Mate. And It's still just not where 10.04 was.

  35. BitDr

    Stability & evolutionary change Vs change driven by ADD & the latest shiny

    I, as many others, use what just works. Developments of the last few years (systemd, wayland, touch GUIs for the desktop, predictable device names, etc.) have me considering moving away from Linux to BSD.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A few notes on this

    My 5 cents on this:

    1) Those developers that only know Java/C# and stuff are simple plain code monkeys, that produce bad software in bad companies, most of the time doing things in SOAP, XML and other shitty technologies, some of them don't even have programming training, they are just fetched from other areas and go for development because of the money, to those let them burn, to their clients, its well done, since you should ask for a resume from all of your consultants, and not trust in big boobs or a big ass;

    2) Saying that you should use BSD, because people got to eat, it's like saying that we should all drug ourselves because those poor farmers got to eat, developers of big corps or the ones that use constantly BSD or open source software, aren't the ones that get well paid, their managers are! Even still if you continue to think that those poor managers, should deserve to eat gourmet all day, than go ahead.. Because, developers work long hours for an misery wage, in those countries where big corps outsource their stuff;

    3) Because of the last point, you should have no incentive to give away, put it simple, if you are open source, then you are my hero, if you are a business, then lets talk business. Good intentions are dead, they've died of old age;

    4) The majority of distros are half-assed anyway, just look at all the extra crap that get's installed when you install Ubuntu, half of the stuff in the menus you don't even use! As for Systemd, and all of the other controversial pieces of software, you are not forced to use, unless your distro forces you to use it, and then you should just choose something else you like more. I've personally like a lot of Arch, because it doesn't install stuff like libabrt, that kills babies once in a while...

    5) The other cardinal sin, of most distros is that you have to upgrade everything once in six months, what the f...? This is linux and open source software we are talking about, not commercial software, that has timely releases... Distros, should just be rolling-release, where updates simply are done whenever a particular piece of software gets updated, not in a grand event, which uses fireworks and all that fluf.

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