back to article Rejoice, Penguinistas, Linux 4.4 is upon us

Version 4.4 of the Linux kernel has been finalised and released into the wild. Emperor Penguin Linus Torvalds announced the release on Sunday evening, US time. What's new this time around? Support for GPUs seem the headline item, with plenty of new drivers and hooks for AMD kit. Perhaps most notable is the adoption of the …

  1. moiety

    Penguiny news just seems to get better and better.

    Torvalds is of course letting world+dog know he's about to start work on version 4.5

    Shouldn't that be: "Torvalds is of course letting world + fucking dog know he's about to bastard well start fucking work on fucking version 4.5, you cunts, and no fucking slacking this time"?

    1. jake Silver badge

      No, moiety.

      Torvalds only gets riled up at people who get bent out of shape when he rejects b0rken and/or irrelevant code and/or comment to the KML (and a couple other public places).

      You have been around long enough to know that.

      1. moiety

        Re: No, moiety.

        b0rken. I like that, a lot (and fully intend to steal it repeatedly). A broken spelling of broken with a hint of borked. For the fully legitimate dictionary version, though, I would suggest it be spelled børken; with the only correct pronunciation being to do it in a Swedish Chef accent.

        1. jake Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: No, moiety.

          "b0rken. I like that, a lot (and fully intend to steal it repeatedly)."

          It's ancient. BBS and Fido era, pre-usenet, even. The first group (as opposed to individual) to use it on a TCP/IP based network was "probably cDc in roughly 1985, although I could be off by a year or two in either direction. Likewise "pr0n", et alia. Think of it as proto-31337.

          Apparently you are not as old as I thought you were. I will take that into account in the future. Apologies. This round is on me. :-)

          1. moiety

            Re: No, moiety.

            Apparently you are not as old as I thought you were.

            I probably am. Just that particular term either missed me or particularly appealed enough at the time that I noticed it. Probably the latter.

            First reference on Urban Dictionary is 2003. Went there with the vague idea of trying to get the mandatory Swedish Chef pronunciation in, but couldn't be bothered to create an account in the end.

            1. jake Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: No, moiety.

              I can't find a reference for "b0rken", "pr0n", et alia from back in the day. I know it's out there, somewhere. But I did find a couple old copies of the FILE (aka "the Jargon File", later "The (New) Hackers Dictionary"). Might do some of today's yoof a bit of good to compare and contrast the lingo of a third of a century ago ;-)

              First, from 1981:

              http://jargon-file.org/archive/jargon-1.0.3.dos.txt

              Second, from 1983:

              http://jargon-file.org/archive/jargon-1.5.0.dos.txt

              More beer ... because, gawd/ess that was a long time ago.

      2. Code For Broke

        Re: No, moiety.

        @Jake: what is KML? Keyhole Markup Language was the most obvious thing I found via a Google, but that doesn't seem to fit the context of your remark. Thanks!

        1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

          Re: No, moiety.

          KML := Kernel Mailing List.

    2. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      > Shouldn't that be: "... f ... f ... f... c ... f... "

      But what would he say if he was in a bad mood?

      1. jake Silver badge

        @GrumpenKraut

        "But what would he say if he was in a bad mood?"

        Probably "Your input is now being sent to the bit-bucket as useless". But as you didn't get the hint, you wouldn't actually get that notice, it would just happen. HTH

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      start work on version 4.5

      Version 4.5 seems really, really old. Firefox is on what version nine million and six now? Maybe Linux should catch up.

  2. channel extended
    Holmes

    Year of the....

    Will version 8.8.8.8 be the year of google, or dns.

    1. David Roberts Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Year of the....

      Lot of 8 for Linux there.....

    2. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Year of the....

      Just wait until Linux 10 adds tiles and sends all your keystrokes back to Linus - or the Linus AI Cyberclone that will have replaced him by then.

  3. wolfetone Silver badge
    Coat

    Will never be as good as Linux 3.11, Linux for Workgroups.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So will 2016 be the year of Linux on the desktop?

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      >So will 2016 be the year of Linux on the desktop?

      No! Die-hard Linux nerd here, check my other posts ...

      Sooooo, I updated to jessie (Debian stable) over the holiday season and the fuck is not stable, my classic gnome has gone, replaced by some other junk, Gnome 3 is still a mess, pre-alpha quality, if you ask me, but who would.

      I have systemd, they say improved boot time - I CALL BS - boot time has increased by about 50%, yes, I might need to "convert"all those services (built-in ones, of course) to use the new systemd, I thought Debian had done that for me?????

      Sound is b0rken, for the first time since 2002 (for me at least). I compiled & installed the realtek driver, kernel panic, first since 2001 (again, for me, note that all previous kernel panics I have had were from kernels I compiled). This system (the hard drive image) has been running Linux almost flawlessly since 2007 on multiple systems throughout the years.

      I have downloaded the FreeBSD ISO... ;-)

      If I may ask, please remove the children from the room ... what comes next is far from pretty:

      Ich hasse dich, Lennart Poettering, du SAU, verschwinde, hau ab, hätte deine Mutter abgetrieben, wärst du uns erspart geblieben!

      Excuse my German ...

      1. Guus Leeuw

        Have an up-vote for the German rant... Completely agree: software that wants to be a cure-all for a problem that hardly exists is not good enough...

      2. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
        Boffin

        Here is how to remove the Poetter crap:

        http://without-systemd.org/wiki/index.php/How_to_remove_systemd_from_a_Debian_jessie/sid_installation

        Works like a charm, booting now faster than with systemd 8^)

        Also removed PulseAudio, another piece of Poetter.

        1. Sven Coenye

          That works for KDE, XFCE, et. all., but as the OP uses Gnome, there's a lot more work to be done, if even possible. You'd need to go back to before 3.8 for a version that does not depend on systemd.

        2. Anonymous C0ward

          Slackware & XFCE user here :) systemd can go to hell.

        3. Hans 1 Silver badge

          >Also removed PulseAudio, another piece of Poetter.

          I always rip pulseaudio out, it is #1 on my post-installation/post-upgrade check list, alsa has ALWAYS worked for me ... up until last week. Problem is, I am not sure what caused sound to fail on my system, the wheezy kernel driver worked great, jessie uses the same kernel, I think, 3.2. What I will try to do is convert all services to systemd and see if boot time improves, I doubt it. That install is going to fly off my system anyway, FreeBSD is on a few other of my systems, I really like it. I am intending to replace Debian with FreeBSD on my main workstation, here ... will have to port my build to FreeBSD, but it already supports darwin (OS X) so it should really be a big change.

        4. Alan Brown Silver badge

          About systemd

          If systemd is working properly then bootups are significantly faster.

          Poetter is a tosser but the concept of multithreading the startup is a good one.

          On the other hand.... if it's not working properly then you're in for a world of pain trying to work out why. (Been there done that)

      3. Raithmir

        Jessie

        I feel your pain on the Jessie upgrade and the resulting systemd mess. On the other hand, biting the bullet and reinstalling the OS from scratch has been fine... I still don't like systemd though, it's a pain troubleshooting things when there's an issue.

      4. Chika
        Linux

        Ich hasse dich, Lennart Poettering, du SAU, verschwinde, hau ab, hätte deine Mutter abgetrieben, wärst du uns erspart geblieben!

        Damn, that's personal!

        Mind you, he deserves it. I still believe that LT needs to get critical with his rear end boot interface, and I'd love to be there to see it!

        1. Hans 1 Silver badge

          @ Chika

          Yes, it was way too personal.... just a rant from some stupid Linux user who is pissed off like never before. And, I knew this was gonna happen... I do not think he "really" deserves it, I guess RedHat have their part of blame, why, oh why does Microsoft not hire this dummy, I mean, they do collect 'em.

          I never understood the added "benefit" of pulseaudio, it uses alsa while all, or most, audio software on Linux happily works with alsa AND without pulseaudio in-between!!! Why have another process in-between that distorts your sound ? I do not get it ... this time, even after ditching pulseaudio, audio would not work properly, that peed me off, massively - I thought Poettering had made the two dependent (not sure if that is the case) and I went viral!!!!

          Note: the linux system in question is dead, I need to get a usb stick to fix it ... it was my production system, never dreamed of this happening ... anyway, one fuck up in 8 years is not that bad ... I have had to fix my Windows 8 Pro that I have since November several times, already ... I think systemd will kill Linux, so sad, they had it all, and fsck'ed up with some massive BS framework that breaks quite a few of my scripts ... just like when they switched from dash to bash, this time in proportions I cannot yet realize, the shell script change (bash to dash) gained 2 seconds boot time, on my system .... BASTARDS!!!!!!! I don't care about 2 seconds boot times, mates! It will take quite a "few" reboots to regain the time spent adapting my shell scripts for the change ...

          Don't $POSIX_ME_HARDER!

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        updated... convert ... compiled... downloaded...

        Dude, with all due respect, you have way too much free time to do that.

        I used to be like that, maybe with 10% of the dedication you have, then gave up and started to use whatever stable version of Ubuntu I could, and even so I had to deal with all idiosyncrasies of different versions dumped on us. And people complain about Windows 7 x 8 x 10...

        I still have workstations running older, more stable versions of Ubuntu and am putting Mint on the new ones. It dawned on me some time ago: the year of the Linux on the desktop is now, at least for spherical users in a perfect vacuum (e.g. me)

      6. Steve Graham

        I tried a FreeBSD distro, GhostBSD, recently and I was surprised at the amount of Linux crap in it. No systemd, certainly, but polkit, consolekit and even pulseaudio. There may have been more.

        Obviously, like Linux, it worked perfectly well once they were disabled.

        1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

          "I was surprised at the amount of Linux crap in it."

          Try OpenBSD, no polkit, no consolekit, no pulseaudio. I've been running a full desktop (XFCE, firefox, and LibreOffice) on a Sun pizzabox for more than a decade now, all the Linux distros I've tried on it just crawl for a while and then die. I also have an old Lenovo L410 laptop running OpenBSD and it just flies.

      7. Alistair Silver badge
        Windows

        @Hans 1:

        You in on the kickstarter to have Poettering painted in honey and dropped on a fire ant hill too?

        1. fajensen Silver badge

          I'm in - provided we can find a deserted spot with both fire ants and bears.

          Oh ... and tripods for the HD GoPro's so the Internet does not miss the money shot!

      8. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > Excuse my German ...

        This is the first time I see proper insults in German. Usually Germans are quite tame when it comes to profanity, at least compared to Italians, Spanish, or Russians.

        Fully agree with your sentiment btw.

      9. PaulFrederick

        That's why so far I have stuck with Wheezy here.

      10. The Real Tony Smith

        "Sooooo, I updated to jessie (Debian stable) over the holiday season"

        Holiday season? Do you mean Christmas?

      11. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "my classic gnome has gone, replaced by some other junk"

        Just install lxde and rejoice.

    2. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

      What? Linux is all over the place already...

      .. I replaced Win XP with it at the end of XP support. A better question is will Microsoft force Win 10 onto the desktop in '16?

    3. Teiwaz Silver badge

      So will 2016 be the year of Linux on the desktop?

      It's been 'the year of Linux on the Desktop' on My desktop for the last 16 years.

      I don't really care what other people use any more...

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: So will 2016 be the year of Linux on the desktop?

        I don't really care what other people use any more...

        Have an upvote. And a coldie...

        1. Ian 55

          Re: So will 2016 be the year of Linux on the desktop?

          I do care what other people use, because I get affected by every zombie Windows PC trying to hack my servers or spam me.

          I really, really do not understand why the majority of people who never leave the browser run Windows.

          1. Pomgolian
            Facepalm

            Re: So will 2016 be the year of Linux on the desktop?

            >I really, really do not understand why the majority of people who never leave the browser run >Windows.

            Because Linux isn't always trivial to install. For example, I have three screens on my c2010 vintage PC. Why? because I haven't got desk space for 5. I tried installing Linux Mint 17.3. Sadly, if it actually manages to detect all three of my screen, two of the three suffer shocking refresh bugs -moving or scrolling a window results in a "mouse trail" of the previous position. More likely though it only detects two but won't let me move the mouse between the two. I've spent a good few hours buggering about with xorg.conf, installing proprietary drivers etc. Nothing. I'm not a complete noob - I was an RHCE 16 years ago. Sticking with Win7 Pro X64. Might try again next year or wait until support runs out whenever.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: So will 2016 be the year of Linux on the desktop?

              > Because Linux isn't always trivial to install. For example, I have three screens on my c2010 vintage PC.

              Well, for that matter I have three screens on one of my desktops too, and never had a problem. That's a test desktop running OpenSuse Tumbleweed so gets reinstalled¹ every couple months, yet there's never been a glitch (yet!).

              Let us not from one example a rule make, shall we?

              ¹ Ok, zypper dup.

            2. jake Silver badge

              @Pomgolian

              "Because Linux isn't always trivial to install. For example, I have three screens"

              So do I. My "dailydriver" is a 1024X768 14 year old HP laptop, an IBM Model M attached to a 3152 plugged into a serial port, and a higher resolution flat-screen plugged into the docking station's video port. The combo has been running nicely these last 10 years or so under slack-current. (I always plug a so-called "dumb terminal" into a serial port on a new install ... makes for easy debugging if/when the GUI goes tits-up ... and I do most of my writing using vi; the model M is gilding the lily.)

              Ease of use is in the eye of the beholder. Learn one variation of Windows (or RedHat/Debian etc.), and you will know that version. Learn Slackware, and you'll know *nix.

              TANSTAAFL.

              EOF

          2. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: So will 2016 be the year of Linux on the desktop?

            I do care what other people use, because I get affected by every zombie Windows PC trying to hack my servers or spam me.

            Of course hackers would never dream of using *nix would they?

            IPCop is your friend...

          3. Sil

            Re: So will 2016 be the year of Linux on the desktop?

            Except for admin work & some dev/prototyping tasks, what advantages do you see in Linux on the desktop that would counter its many disadvantages (lack of support for hardware, lack of unity, lack of apps, slowness (start), uglyness - yes I know given enough time it can be the best looking OS, subpar for gaming, ...) ?

            Not every Windows PC is a zombie, and as unfashionable as it is to admit it, Windows 10 is a great OS on the desktop. Yes, privacy should be by default, but privacy configuration does not take much time.

            With its price and availability, there has been no barrier to entry for Linux on the desktop for many years, at least for people willing to try it or having an interest for a free desktop OS. It's even mandatory in some cases. But by and large, it seems people have voted and I don't see any recent advances that would make people change their mind to use it as their main desktop OS, except in special situations (Tails). And many people allergic to Windows and looking for a unix-like desktop OS seem content enough with OS X.

            Btw I'm a FreeBSD, Linux, Raspbian & Tails user too. Just not as my primary Desktop OS.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: So will 2016 be the year of Linux on the desktop?

              Except for admin work & some dev/prototyping tasks, what advantages do you see in Linux on the desktop that would counter its many disadvantages

              No covert usage of all my Internet bandwidth and no resetting of my preferences without my permission. Speaking personally, I find the disadvantages greatly exaggerated. YMMV. I still have a W7 VM for some apps, but in truth have hardly used it during the last three months.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: So will 2016 be the year of Linux on the desktop?

              > lack of support for hardware, lack of unity, lack of apps, slowness (start), uglyness

              Can you please provide some references to back up those assertions of yours? Please tell us:

              * What percentage of computer hardware can interoperate with each major OS (Linux, BSD, Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, ...)?

              * What is "unity"? The only thing I can think of is a desktop environment sponsored by the Ubuntu lads.

              * Number of applications, ideally broken down by categories, available for each major OS. Some metric showing maturity/state of development and installed user base would be good too.

              * Time to start of each major OS, and cumulative start/shutdown time per year¹ (or another suitable unit of time).

              * An accepted metric for "ugliness", and comparison between different desktop environments.

              Thanks very much. Not that I don't believe you, but it seems to me that people either throw in their own subjective impressions as generalisations, or repeat whatever they picked up from someone else without ever checking in a minimally objective manner. It would be unfortunate to base decisions on such poor information.

              ¹ In my perception, computers these days (including or not phones and other portable devices) are not frequently rebooted these days. Looking at my own practice and people around me (friends, colleagues, and fellow café patrons) the practice seems to be to just use one of the sleep states or leave the thing running.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "So will 2016 be the year of Linux on the desktop?"

      Is it still slower than the latest Windows 10 on benchmarks?

      1. Marshalltown

        Windows 10 - Linux any day

        Having been forced into using it, my impression is that Win10 is flakier than the shoulders of my shirts. The network system is weird occasionally not "seeing" systems on the network, but which, if you know their network name, are accessible. Strictly a Win10 problem too. Win7 has no problem like that. The Win10 interface would be fine on a cell phone, but on a desktop??? Seriously? As Bill the Cat would say, "ack, barf!" Then there's "I'm Cortana. Ask me anything." Heh! But only of you get an MS account. And now the employer who insisted on the transition is discovering that true cost of MS support, especially when, after breaking down and paying for it, the help consists of "we're working on it." I've been using Linux, mostly SUSE with KDE, for years now and have to say that with very, very few exceptions, it is easily as good as MS.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Windows 10 - Linux any day

          I've been using Linux, mostly SUSE with KDE, for years now and have to say that with very, very few exceptions, it is easily as good as MS.

          Does SuSE still come with a little green lizard pin? I've been wearing the one I got with 7.1 now I no longer do MS stuff for a living. When people comment, it gives me a chance to recite the following doggerel:

          A habit obscene and unsavoury

          Holds the Bishop of Wessex in slavery

          With maniacal howls

          He deflowers young owls

          What he keeps in an underground aviary

          But the Prior of Dunstan St Just

          Consumed with erotical lust

          Raped the Bishop's young owls

          Those precious little fowls

          And a little green lizard what bust!

        2. Halfmad

          Re: Windows 10 - Linux any day

          When you can't simply talk about the new version of Linux without bringing in some MS bashing you know the latest version isn't good enough.

          This article is about Linux, can we at least keep the fanboy bullshit contained for a little while?

      2. PaulFrederick

        Linux is an OS kernel. Being such it has no desktop.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Linux is an OS kernel. Being such it has no desktop.

          Do you tell Mummy off when she says she's going to vacuum the carpets?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            > Do you tell Mummy off when she says she's going to vacuum the carpets?

            If you are an engineer, do you use "weight" when you mean "mass" with your colleagues?

            If you are a statistician, do you talk about "precision" when you mean "accuracy"?

            The other bloke is right. This is clearly a technical subject which requires clarity of terminology. The ignoramus who had to make the old tired snide about "the desktop" did not help.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              If you are an engineer, do you use "weight" when you mean "mass" with your colleagues?

              If you are a statistician, do you talk about "precision" when you mean "accuracy"?

              Clearly not. But I can read and it says on my desktop, right now, ""Linux Mint 17.2". And a couple of metres to my left is a bookshelf where there is a manual that clearly says on the spine "SuSE Linux 7.1 The Handbook". Perhaps you could take up this "misuse" of terminology with the people who manage these distributions. In the meantime, as pedantic as I can be at times, I'm more than happy with the colloquialism. When I use the term "Linux" most will take that to mean an operating system and clearly, a kernel is not an operating system.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                > Perhaps you could take up this "misuse" of terminology with the people who manage these distributions.

                I do not think there is any form of misuse there¹. The "Linux" in there is part of the name of the OS.

                > In the meantime, as pedantic as I can be at times, I'm more than happy with the colloquialism.

                So am I, but I do not agree that in this context, it would be overly pedantic to point out that the article itself refers to the kernel and not to any given distribution, and therefore discussions about "the desktop" are tangential at best.

                ¹ As you can guess, I am not Richard Stallman. "Mint GNU/Linux" and "SuSE GNU/Linux" just do not roll as easily off the tongue. :-b

    5. jake Silver badge

      @AC (was: So will 2016 be the year of Linux on the desktop?)

      Linux has been my desktop OS for about 22 years (late 1993).

      Specifically the Slackware distribution.

      I know, I'm a sample of one, and thus a testimonial. But this sample of one proves that it is a valid desktop, and has been for over two decades. For computer users. Interface users? Maybe not so much.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @AC (was: So will 2016 be the year of Linux on the desktop?)

        > Linux has been my desktop OS for about 22 years (late 1993).

        Is it true that you helped Linus write his kernel? Or did he just stole your idea? :-)

  5. Hellcat

    Until you don't need to pull up the command line for anything slightly administrative, linux will only ever be a niche on the desktop. Most casual PC users simply have no interest or time to learn commands and their syntax.

    1. kventin
      WTF?

      i fail to see a problem. Most casual PC users doing anything slightly administrative usually indicate huge problems later on. Also, i thought command line tool with gui front is the unix way (along with "you missing a gui? so add it"). Also, certain non unix os vendor lately added command line tool to help administer its products -- power something. power builder? power command line? something like that. yet i didn't hear any cry of anguish of millions of terrified users.

      so what's the problem? (oh, you said "the desktop"... ok, so maybe linux would fail on desktop. again. but there's still server room, car, tv, tablet, phone, router... etc ad nauseam)

      1. LDS Silver badge

        "command line tool with gui front is the unix way"

        Of course. It's the wrong way also.

        The right one is make an API, and then call it from a command line tool and/or GUI.

        Having a GUI creating a command line, invoking a shell, and then parsing the textual result it a very silly way to perform a task - a GUI has no need to imitate a human - it can call code directly, and handle return data/exceptions as well. Of course something that people who can't get past 1970 can't understand.

        1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
          Linux

          Re: "command line tool with gui front is the unix way"

          I do agree with most of your post, but

          > ... if you are at any point forced to use a CLI on a desktop operating system, then one cannot consider that operating system fit for purpose.

          please don't confuse O/S with the applications (or infrastructure) on top of it. Linux is not and does not want to be a desktop O/S or embedded O/S, or ... . A good O/S should be fit for a certain set of systems on top of it. It has been my "desktop O/S" since about 1993. Remember installing it from about 15 floppy disks, one or two would always fail.

          1. PaulFrederick

            Re: "command line tool with gui front is the unix way"

            "Linux is not and does not want to be a desktop O/S"

            I'm not sure what Linux wants, but Linus himself had said that his goal was always to make a desktop OS. The fact that Linux has made so little progress in that direction Linus has also said that he feels that it is a personal failing of his. Although I'm sure Linux success in other areas is a great comfort to Linus just the same.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "command line tool with gui front is the unix way"

          > The right one is make an API, and then call it from a command line tool and/or GUI.

          Not sure why LDS got downvoted there, since what he describes is precisely what we¹ do.

          And do not forget the D-Bus endpoints. :-)

          ¹ Developer hat on.

      2. Sean Timarco Baggaley

        You're probably thinking of Microsoft's PowerShell, which has actually been there for years. It's just being highlighted for its scriptability -- a useful feature for server administration.

        GUIs can be scriptable too, but it hasn't really caught on. Apple's own "Automator" GUI-based scripting code generator isn't notably quicker or easier to use than a conventional shell scripting option, due primarily to its primitive approach to the concept that has never been refined.

        As for Linux in the server room, car, TV, etc., this is an irrelevance. Nobody, aside from the occasional nerd, knows, nor cares, what OS is used in that sealed box that keeps dropping their fucking ADSL connection every few days for no good reason. All they know is that switching it off, counting to ten, then switching it back on again "fixes" the problem.

        (It's also worth noting that, chances are, that cheap and cheerful ADSL router in your home has never had a firmware update. Ever. So it's full of more security holes than a good Emmentaler cheese.)

    2. theOtherJT

      Re: "Until you don't need to pull up the command line..."

      I agree with you that if you are at any point forced to use a CLI on a desktop operating system, then one cannot consider that operating system fit for purpose. See my feelings on the Windows 8 way of administrating Secure wireless connections for example.

      Where I disagree is that "Linux" is in that state. These aren't "Linux" problems. They're "Linux distribution" problems. There's plenty of good GUI tools to manage a Linux desktop, it's just a matter of if your distribution actually ships them, which frequently they don't. That leads to instant frustration on the part of a regular end user, who quite reasonably expects to be able to do these things without first delving into the package manager and installing another tool.

      "Linux" is ready for the desktop. It's been ready for a while. The holdup is getting that one magic distribution that includes everything that anyone might conceivably want and in such a way as it's not overwhelming. We don't have that yet.

      1. Naselus

        Re: "Until you don't need to pull up the command line..."

        ""Linux" is ready for the desktop."

        Ish. The problem is, it's fragmented to hell and back. Most people will try one Linux distro, find it doesn't do everything they can do under Windows in exactly the same manner as in Windows, and never touch any other distro ever again. I've known enough users who express and interest in trying linux, and get turned off just by the sheer variety of different distros out there; hell, I have 5 virtual machines with 5 different distros on them on my machine right now (one Mint, one CentOS, one Ubuntu, one Kali and a copy of Kubuntu). This is enough to drive any of our non-techy staff away with a headache.

        To be honest, I've never understood the obsession with 'Linux on the Desktop' anyway - it's always just seemed to be some kind of rallying cry for people who are pissed with Microsoft and just want literally anything to damage them, rather than actually being something to believe in for itself. Linus doesn't care. And Linux has been insanely successful in the server room and the data center, which is where it belongs tbh; almost all the real advantages of Linux over most other OSes are ones which you need an IT professional to understand.

        The fact is, it's 2016, we've been talking about how we're approaching the death of the desktop for a decade, and people still keep predicting the year of Linux on it for some reason (usually jokingly in Linux topics and seriously in Windows ones). If we ever do have the year of Linux on the Desktop, then that's likely to mark the funeral of the desktop rather than anything else.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: "Until you don't need to pull up the command line..."

          While I agree the plethora of distros is a little overwhelming for refugees from windows, I certainly would be against the usual suggestion that accompany similar remarks along these lines, suggesting one unified distro.

          From Ubuntu (which I could do without the CLI if I wasn't so impatient waiting for the upgrade notifier to pop up) to Archlinux, where you are expected to use the CLI for administration. Certainly there are bumfluff distros out there, although I don't consider myself qualified to say which, having only used a handful).

          I don't think the desktop is dying, it's just not the dominant species any more.Gnome has a good base for a tablet ui, KDE are planning a plasma shell for the mobile space and Ubuntu Unity8 is coming along...

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: "Until you don't need to pull up the command line..."

        "Linux" is ready for the desktop. It's been ready for a while. The holdup is getting that one magic distribution that includes everything that anyone might conceivably want and in such a way as it's not overwhelming. We don't have that yet.

        Magic involves deception and I think we should leave that to MS.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Until you don't need to pull up the command line..."

        > I agree with you that if you are at any point forced to use a CLI on a desktop operating system, then one cannot consider that operating system fit for purpose.

        Thus spoke Mr "Neither a developer nor an admin nor a CAD draughtsman".

        Command line interfaces excel at certain tasks for their expressiveness, speed of use, and economy of resources. Other types of interfaces are better in other situations, but right tool for the job and all that.

    3. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Holmes

      > Until you don't need to pull up the command line for anything slightly administrative, ...

      ... computer illiterates won't be able to do system administration.

      Big surprise.

      1. Hellcat

        @GrumpenKraut

        Istalling a new more powerful graphics card.

        This is a VERY basic administrative job. They could go to their local PC world and buy the GFX card, come home and then... bam. Into the command line to install the drivers? Multiple reboots? Multiple commands.

        It's been made super easy to do in windows, but a ball ache in linux. You can burry your head in the sand and say it isn't so - but this is why someone wouldn't choose the various (and basically confusing number of) linux distros over the not quite finished yet windows 10.

        1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

          Re: @GrumpenKraut

          What you say indeed happens (grfx card install). This is no surprise when (Nvidia) the maker offers drivers for MS Windows but not even specs for the opensource crowd, or (ATI) the open source drivers just does not cut it. Had to throw out a perfectly good ATI when I bought new monitor (@2560x1440). Yes, there was plenty of cursing involved.

          Making sure the hardware will run smoothly before buying it tends to make a Penguinista's life less painful (did not have the chance in my particular case).

          On the other side of the life cycle, old-ish hardware usually just works with Linux, but I see Windows users throw it out as if that was something natural. Just to be clear: old-ish hardware that is perfectly specced for at least a couple more yeards.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @GrumpenKraut

          > Istalling a new more powerful graphics card.

          > It's been made super easy to do in windows, but a ball ache in linux.

          Sorry but you can't generalise from one example. I have seen it go both ways: network cards that Windows would absolutely refuse to recognise and which worked fine under Linux. Video card swaps/additions have never presented a problem to me on Linux, but I do not doubt there are examples to the contrary out there.

          It is just the nature of the beast, the only way to avoid this problem is going the Apple "closed garden" way of selling you both the software and the hardware to run it on. That in itself has its own pros and cons.

          > this is why someone wouldn't choose the various (and basically confusing number of) linux distros

          Can you offer any evidence to back that up, please?

          As for the "basically confusing", is it still the case that each Windows version (there are four of them out there which are currently supported, MS' website tells me) comes in different "flavours" such as "Home", "Professional", etc.? I'm sure they would be straightforward to tell apart by regular Windows users, yet they were utterly confusing to the uninitiated, like me.

          In any event, the different distros are simply different operating systems, built around a common base and very similar to each other. Which one you use is more a matter of preference than any real differences--for a home user, you can start with *any* of them and spin it for a while, if you don't like it you can change at any point. Your data will be kept, as will most of your configuration. For professional uses (e.g., as a platform for some service or product that you're developing), you need to make your research, but the breadth of choice comes as a great advantage.

          NB: I do not really care what you or anyone else use as their OS of choice for work or play. There is a market out there for all major players, be they free or proprietary, and I hope all of them (including Windows) will stay relevant for a long time so their public won't be disappointed. I just want to respond to what I consider baseless generalisations and unjustified preconceptions.

    4. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      I'm not a fan of any flavour of UNIX generally, but I've used GNU/Linux, and even the occasional *BSD flavour over the years, and although they were pretty rubbish for desktop use in the past, they're pretty usable these days. For users with basic needs, Mint and Open/LibreOffice will do the job just fine. The CLI isn't needed anywhere near as much as it used to be, though some distribution installers still have room for improvement.

      Unfortunately, "almost, but not quite, as good as the commercial options" isn't enough. You need to be quite a bit better than the market leader to steal their lunch.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Joke

        "You need to be quite a bit better than the market leader to steal their lunch."

        Maybe MS are worried so are competing in price these days?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > For users with basic needs, Mint and Open/LibreOffice will do the job just fine.

        Some of us in here do this for a living. You're embarrassing yourself pretending to be an expert in something you know very little about.

      3. PaulFrederick

        "You need to be quite a bit better than the market leader to steal their lunch"

        Maybe not, when you're giving away lunches for free. Although there is some skill in seasoning Linux to make it especially delicious I suppose.

    5. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Linux

      Until you don't need to pull up the command line for anything slightly administrative

      My GF switched to Linux Mint Cinnamon three months ago, after using Windows since W98. At no point did she need a CLI, and I only had to ask her a few times over those past three months to open a shell and type some command or other, to check something. CLI because it would give me the info in the format I wanted instead of the "find the right tool, then find the option(s) I needed" because I'm accustomed to KDE as the desktop; command line tools are as good as identical between distros.

      So redirect your argument into /dev/null

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Until you don't need to pull up the command line for anything slightly administrative

        So redirect your argument into /dev/null

        Have an upvote. Mrs Git took ten minutes to learn all she needs to know to manage Kaffeine on the HTPC I just switched to Mint.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Until you don't need to pull up the command line for anything slightly administrative

        "and I only had to ask her a few times over those past 3 months to open a shell"

        But that's the whole issue. None of my family / friends have ever had to touch a command line using Windows ever. Or ask a third party for help every few weeks...

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Linux

          Re: Until you don't need to pull up the command line for anything slightly administrative

          Like I said, I wanted to check something and for me it was easiest to let her open a shell and type one or two commands. I probably could have done without had I been familiar with Cinnamon, but given that I've been working with CLI environments since about forever, I probably would have used the shell anyway.

          And having a newbie ask things maybe five times over three months? Did your friends/family score that low when they started using Windows?

        2. AJ MacLeod

          Re: Until you don't need to pull up the command line for anything slightly administrative

          You only display your ignorance; I regularly ask people to use a command line in Windows to get bits of information that would be much more tedious to get any other (GUI) way available.

          I've also noticed that when working alongside other (usually Windows only) IT guys, the good ones will inevitably have a command shell open - many things are just faster and easier that way, especially when you deal with hundreds of differently configured machines.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: Until you don't need to pull up the command line for anything slightly administrative

            I've also noticed that when working alongside other (usually Windows only) IT guys, the good ones will inevitably have a command shell open - many things are just faster and easier that way, especially when you deal with hundreds of differently configured machines.

            More reliably, too. Xcopy and robocopy do a much more reliable job than Win Explorer. Recently became a convert to Beyond Compare and that beats both hands down. My licence covers Win, OS X and Linux for a very decent price.

          2. Hans 1 Silver badge
            Windows

            Re: Until you don't need to pull up the command line for anything slightly administrative

            Exactly, how do you "netsh winsock reset" from the gui, please? Ever since I switched to Windows 7+ I have to use that quite often ... when nslookup gives different results to my browsers, now why is that so ???? WTF????? Why do I need to RE-Fscking-BOOT every time I issue that ??? This system is not for production work.... thank <deity> for that.

            And why, ohh why does Windows think my corporate VPN is a public network ? Why must I go through heaps to tell the bastard it is a private network????

        3. PaulFrederick

          Re: Until you don't need to pull up the command line for anything slightly administrative

          "None of my family / friends have ever had to touch a command line using Windows ever. Or ask a third party for help every few weeks"

          Yeah they just drop their PCs off at the tech shop, and the associate knows what needs to be done. Now go astroturf somewhere else.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Until you don't need to pull up the command line for anything slightly administrative

        > At no point did she need a CLI

        And what if she did?

        I do not understand the arguments (assuming there are any) against command-line interfaces, other than perhaps:

        1. A historical reticence due to CLIs being forced to do things there were ill-suited for, in the presence of better alternatives (e.g., DOS-Windows transition)

        2. Marketing by graphical desktop vendors intent on displacing former text-only interfaces back in the 80s and 90s

        There is nothing intrinsically wrong about command line (or graphical) interfaces, just their misuse.

        If you are unconvinced, take the following example: When you type in a Gargle search or enter a URL in your browser's address bar, you are using a CLI (command-line interface), unless you choose your search subject or URL from a point-and-click menu, in which case you would be using a graphical interface, or speak it to your computer (audio interface), or your computer just guesses where you want to go (different from autocompletion), which would be a holistic interface.

        As an exercise, I invite you to order the above approaches from most to least convenient and compare the relative positions of CLI versus GUI (graphical user interface).

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Until you don't need to pull up the command line for anything slightly administrative

        "My GF switched to Linux Mint Cinnamon three months ago"

        You have a computer in the kitchen?!

    6. Esme

      @Hellcat, quit with the trolling, please, I don;t like to see you making a fool of yourself. As I've mentioned before, yer average Linux user never goes anywhere near the command line these days - some don't even know it even exists - and have an agreeably pleasant experience that causes them way less grief than Windows. It's only the supposed l33t Windows bods that think they know it all that seem to have trouble with Linux. Dunno what you guys do that makes you think you need the command line, cause I don't use it and I've been using Linux for doneys years, and a mavien I most certainly am not.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Until you don't need to pull up the command line for anything slightly administrative

      Please don't be such a bore, that line is rather tired and has been for nearly two decades now. In any case, I take the opportunity to make some only tangentially related observations:

      Scriptable admin is a must in a professional, mid to large scale environment, and highly advantageous in other cases. This is regardless of what OS is being used, which is why Microsoft have been adding serious command line capabilities to their products for well over a decade now.

      For occasional administration and infrequent tasks, a graphical user interface is certainly advantageous. Personally I'm a big fan of Yast2, especially since in the absence of an X display it will fire up in Curses mode, which is great when SSHing over satlinks.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Microsoft have been adding serious command line capabilities to their products for well over a decade now

        You mean playing catch-up with what JP Software were doing two decades ago?

        https://jpsoft.com/

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "You mean playing catch-up with what JP Software were doing two decades ago?"

          Powershell is way more powerful than a souped up command line. It's a fully featured shell, but object orientated and with lots of modern features. Think like a *Nix shell but better in just about every way imaginable.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Powershell is way more powerful than a souped up command line.

            Sounds like fun. I used to run its predecessor 4DOS back in the days before WinNT...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              > used to run its predecessor 4DOS back in the days

              4DOS has absolutely nothing to do with Powershell.

  6. theOtherJT

    Virgil 3d

    This is officially Very Cool. Has anyone actually tried using this yet - what level of feature completeness are we looking at here with regards to getting access to hardware acceleration from the GPU right inside a VM without having to resort to direct pass-through to a dedicated card, does anyone know?

  7. J J Carter Silver badge
    Linux

    Good news. This will surely drive Linux use from a rounding-error to an irrelevance in the stats.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Facepalm

      You keep repeating yourself:

      > Projecting forward the growth rate, Linux will soon advance from statistical noise to rounding error, then onwards to the next target of irrelevance.

      Soon you'll be a trollionaire.

  8. Mikel

    Commentards rejoice

    Nothing brings the Wintards to the yard like Linus shaking out a new kernel version. The fear. It smells.

  9. Anonymous IV

    "Emperor Penguin Linus Torvalds"

    Nobody commented on this.

    I liked it!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Emperor Penguin Linus Torvalds"

      So did I :D

  10. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Linux Distos... questions and more questions...

    I realize there's no "one size fits all" for a desktop, but is there a place one go to find comparisons, reviews, etc. without all the snideness, potshots, ego, etc. that newbies to Linux take when asking questions? I've been to some forums and it's a real quagmire of questioners asking and being shot full of holes for not "doing their homework" or "asking imbecilic questions"... What I hear around El Reg is basically recommendations for the flavor/favorite of the week with a baseline as to uses, etc.

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Linux Distos... questions and more questions...

      "[I]s there a place one go to find comparisons, reviews, etc. without all the snideness, potshots, ego, etc. that newbies to Linux take when asking questions?"

      No. Man up or fuck off, that's the Linux way.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Linux Distos... questions and more questions...

        I think you're right.. Have an upvote for laugh.

    2. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Linux Distos... questions and more questions...

      This might help:

      http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/distro-indecision-cheats-guide-choosing-linux-distribution/

      One of the nice things about candidate distros is that they can be booted and used from DVD to test their viability for you before you commit to hard disk. Mint has a forum just for newby questions here:

      http://forums.linuxmint.com/

      Hope you have fun finding what you're looking for :-)

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Linux Distos... questions and more questions...

        Those links appear to be an excellent place to start. I was flailing about randomly based on everyone's personal recommendations (here and other places) and have specific questions. This is a good starting point.

        Thanks.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Linux Distos... questions and more questions...

          I was flailing about randomly

          I know the feeling. It was a lot worse 15 years ago when one distro saw my scsi adapter, but wouldn't connect to the Internet. Another couldn't see my scsi adapter, but did let me connect to the Internet. I never did get Corel Linux to do anything useful and found myself banned from its support forums. So it goes... I never did manage to get Samba to share my printer (PostScript) and the Samba devs told me they shared theirs from an NT WS box.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Linux Distos... questions and more questions...

      > I realize there's no "one size fits all" for a desktop, but is there a place one go to find comparisons, reviews, etc. without all the snideness, potshots, ego, etc. that newbies to Linux take when asking questions?

      I can't recommend a site fitting your description, most likely because I have no need for it. However, I can give you a bit of personal advice:

      Indeed there are many distros out there, many of them with their own choice of version / setup. Which one you like best is an entirely personal matter which can only be decided on the basis of personal experience.

      But, despite the large choice of distros, individual preferences often boil down to:

      * Choice of desktop used (KDE, Gnome, other, or command-line/headless)

      * Choice of package management system (RPM based, DEB based, other)

      * Choice of management tools (the real bit of individual difference between distros)

      * Availability of software for your distro (size and popularity of repositories), including any specialised software you may need/like.

      So I would say, try different distros for some time, and eventually you will find one or two you like best. These days many distros have "live" versions that can be run off a USB stick without touching the contents of your hard drive. Good for a first spin.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Those "Linux on Desktop" comments and the frequent mentions of Ubuntu...

    Ease of use of an operating system is not correlated with the amount of money spent marketing it, the way Microsoft and Shuttleworth do.

    Objectively speaking, all modern desktop systems are just different implementations of the same technology, the "Desktop Metaphor" invented by some Xerox people in the 70s and matured in the 80s and early 90s. There is nothing intrinsically more difficult, generally speaking, on one implementation compared to another.

    Even when moving to a different metaphor, such as "smartphones", most people¹ seemed to have little trouble adjusting to it.

    ¹ With some anecdotal exceptions. I have been using an Android thing for a year or two now and I still use the command line (adb) to install/uninstall/enable/disable stuff and tweak things around. I'm sure you can get apps to do that, or maybe there is a menu somewhere, but it just seemed easier that way, plus it doesn't change from one phone to another.

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