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Red Hat CEO: Open Source Goes Mainstream In 2014

Unknown Lamer posted about 5 months ago | from the year-of-the-linux-lightbulb dept.

Linux Business 65

ashshy (40594) writes Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst likes to post "state of the union" addresses at the end of every year. Last December, he said that open source innovation is going mainstream in 2014. In an interview with The Motley Fool, Whitehurst matches up his expectations against mid-year progress. Spoiler alert: It's mostly good news.

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Happy Year Of The Desktop from The Golden Girls! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47630079)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Re:Happy Year Of The Desktop from The Golden Girls (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 5 months ago | (#47631631)

Burma Shave?

heh, this isn't good news (1)

someone1234 (830754) | about 5 months ago | (#47630085)

I thought it was already mainstream. So this news means, it isn't.

Re:heh, this isn't good news (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47630149)

The natural problem is that open source has to constantly pose as emerging useful technology to match up against the marketing that closed source software uses. It's just framing yourself as a perpetual underdog.

Re:heh, this isn't good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47630413)

It's just framing yourself as a perpetual underdog.
 
No, what frames FOSS as the perpetual underdog is FOSS and the community that surrounds it. Let's be honest here, most of the open source out there presented to the unwashed masses is a copy of a better closed source solution. Howl that Linux is in the server room all you want but only about 0.5% of the entire computing world could relate to what you're saying and most of those people aren't in the server room themselves so you're trying teaching a blind man to see. Android makes a ton of waves but it's about as close to being closed as you can get without actually coming out and calling it closed.
 
When I see the fanboys who are fighting the open source fight I just wonder what they're really going on about. And I say this as an open source user! The man on the street doesn't care about source code and the advocates out there are somewhat scary creatures to deal with.

Re:heh, this isn't good news (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47630477)

Your post makes me feel like this is a question for psychologists/sociologists. In-group knowledge and recruitment for esoteric social causes kinda thing. The simple pop-psych answer is that people like to see others agree with them.

Re:heh, this isn't good news (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#47630993)

The man on the street doesn't care about open or closed source for two reasons:

1. He can't read code. Having the source code available is not really very important to him.
2. He doesn't understand the implications that copyright and patents have on software. If he knows anything about that matter at all, then that some companies sue the living crap out of people for copying software.

I wouldn't be too surprised if the average person regarded the CSS vs OSS debate to be about as important as the bickering between two rivaling football teams or the discussion about whether having a dem or rep as prez is better.

Re:heh, this isn't good news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47631885)

The man on the street doesn't care about open or closed source for two reasons:

1. He can't read code. Having the source code available is not really very important to him.
2. He doesn't understand the implications that copyright and patents have on software. If he knows anything about that matter at all, then that some companies sue the living crap out of people for copying software.

I wouldn't be too surprised if the average person regarded the CSS vs OSS debate to be about as important as the bickering between two rivaling football teams or the discussion about whether having a dem or rep as prez is better.

The man on the street only knows open source as in "free beer". THAT, however, he can get excited about.

Re:heh, this isn't good news (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#47636451)

But only since the makers of commercial software started to lock their products down and crack down on copying. The general sentiment before XP came along with mandatory registration was that Windows is free, only companies have to pay for it. And people went NUTS when they heard the price ("200 bucks? What for?").

MS succeeded in making people think that PCs "have to" come with Windows. Of course people started to expect Windows to be part of "the box".

So I guess we have to thank MS and the BSA for making people aware that not only their software costs money but also that they can find free alternatives when they take a look around.

Re:heh, this isn't good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47630167)

You missed a crucial word by not bothering to read more than the title. Try again.

Re:heh, this isn't good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47631945)

Yeah, for lot of us it's been mainstream for like 20 years now.

Finally! (4, Funny)

lxw56 (827351) | about 5 months ago | (#47630113)

The year of Linux on the desktop has arrived!

Re:Finally! (1)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about 5 months ago | (#47630225)

Where. I don't see it.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47630227)

whoosh

Re:Finally! (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 5 months ago | (#47630457)

The year of Linux on the desktop has arrived!

No, no... It's projected to arrive tomorrow..

To quote an old adage... Tomorrow never comes.

Re:Finally! (3, Informative)

r_naked (150044) | about 5 months ago | (#47631765)

The year of Linux on the desktop has arrived!

I know this was meant to be sarcastic, but it may be more true that you think.

I have been an avid Linux supporter for use on servers for a long time, however, I refused to use it as a desktop OS for a couple of reasons:

* There was no distro that I didn't have to open a shell for SOME reason -- to get something to work. I do systems administration for a living. I don't want to have to fucking tweak my box when I get home.
* It was butt ugly. That may seem like a poor reason to not use an OS, but it is my opinion and I am entitled to it. I refuse to use Windows 8.x primarily for this reason -- it is fucking hideous. Monochrome? Really Microsoft?

Both of those issues have now been addressed, and I am now completely MS free. I will be converting my parents, and my brother, and I will be spreading the word to my friends that aren't technically inclined.

Re:Finally! (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 5 months ago | (#47632497)

It looks like your post must have been stuck in a 10 year time warp and is actually from 2004.

Re:Finally! (3, Insightful)

r_naked (150044) | about 5 months ago | (#47632803)

If I had to open a shell for *any* reason -- even something trivially stupid, then I would immediately give up. If you had said 2012 or 2013, maybe. The last time I tried was in 2011 -- but 2004 -- LMAO! Linux distributions were most certainly NOT "load and go" back in 2004.

Re:Finally! (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 5 months ago | (#47637437)

I'm primarily an OSX user. I still have to open shell pretty regularly to fix things. In the dozen years I've been on OSX I doubt there has been a week I haven't had to be in shell for some reason. That's UNIX not just Linux.

Re:Finally! (1)

r_naked (150044) | about 5 months ago | (#47637541)

I use OSX at work, and I haven't *HAD* to open a shell for anything when it comes to day to day use. There are some things I find quicker to fix / install from the shell, but that is my choice -- I am not forced to. I have found the same to be true with Linux Mint.

If you look at my post history, up until recently I was a die-hard Windows fan when it came to my desktop OS. Even OSX is missing little things that Windows 7 has when it comes to window management. For example, Aero peek on the superbar. I didn't realize just how much I used that until I was forced to use OSX at work. Also, clicking on an running app to minimize it. I could go on, but an OSX vs Windows vs Linux debate is not what this is about. I still love Windows 7, and if MS ever gets their head out of their ass and releases a decent OS again, I will be glad to use it if I have to. Again though, the point of my post was to let people know that if they hadn't tried Linux as a desktop OS -- maybe they should. I am a convert now, and unless The Linux Mint team decides to go full retard (like MS has), I'll stick with it.

Re:Finally! (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 5 months ago | (#47637821)

I like Windows 8. First version of Windows since 2000 that I've genuinely been enthusiastic about. Of course I use it on the right hardware not Windows 7 hardware. Anyway I wouldn't worry about Mint going to a Gnome 3 style interface. Mint came out of the backlash against that interface they may well be one of the last distributions to switch.

As for Linux on the desktop, yeah it is very usable. I think the lack of commercial desktop distributions has hurt quite a bit. Ubuntu plays the role that Debian used to play but we need Mandrake's and Calderas (pre SCO). I liked the "mostly free but enhanced" distributions and am often annoyed at how driver problems or codex problems end up crippling my experience.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47635609)

If I had to open a shell back in 1995, I would have smiled and said CHEESE! :D

Re: Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47636807)

You posted:

Both of those issues have now been addressed, and I am now completely MS free. I will be converting my parents, and my brother, and I will be spreading the word to my friends that aren't technically inclined.

Please also tell us! What distro have you settled on that is not butt ugly and does not require command-line tweaking? What distro is both useful to the non-technically inclined and reliably useable? and for bonus points, does it have a life-cycle long enough that a newbie doesn't have to upgrade in six months?

I'm being completely serious. I want to try this trouble-free distro for myself (and please don't tell me it's Mac OS X).

Re: Finally! (1)

r_naked (150044) | about 5 months ago | (#47637037)

Linux Mint 17 - Cinnamon with the non-free tools. Yea, it isn't completely F/OSS, but I am not a fanatic like some people.

It is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: "Linux Mint 17 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2019."

I have installed it on HP desktops, and laptops (various models), and Dell desktops and laptops (various models), and everything has worked out of the box. Multi-monitor support rivals Win7 IMHO (this was one of my big beefs a few years ago). Now I could probably have just gone with Ubuntu 14.04, but the Linux Mint team has taken the time to make Cinamon / GTK2 / GTK3 look consistent -- I am really impressed. Again, *I* could have spent the time to make any Linux distro look good, and have a consistent look and feel, but why should I have to. Working with computers isn't my hobby -- it is my job. I have too many other things that I want to do when I get home. On the flip side, if I do find something I can fix, and I have the time, I like being able to share that back with the community. But the most important part of my decision was the fact that GNU/Linux has finally reached the stage where mom / pop / insert non-technically inclined person here, can use it without me constantly being on the hook for tech support.

If you would like further details on the exact hardware I have tested so far, please let me know.

Re: Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47637183)

Linux Mint 17 - Cinnamon with the non-free tools.

Thanks muchly. Looking forward to checking it out.

Also, people will start eating potatoes (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 5 months ago | (#47630117)

Open Source has been mainstream for quite some time. I'm not sure how you can claim that something that has had the support of IBM, Oracle, Dell, Samsung, HTC, Motorola and pretty much every other big name in the industry for at least 5 years can "go mainstream" this year.

Re:Also, people will start eating potatoes (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 5 months ago | (#47630163)

IBM, Oracle, Dell, Samsung, HTC, Motorola and pretty much every other big name in the industry

Plus, hell froze over in 2009 when Microsoft started contributing code to the Linux kernel.

Re:Also, people will start eating potatoes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47631111)

Which they only did so you can virtualize their products on Linux hosts.

Linux is too mainstream! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47630135)

Time to switch to Windows?

2014 is the year of the Linux Desktop! (3, Interesting)

wiredog (43288) | about 5 months ago | (#47630147)

Just like 2013,...,1995 (when I first installed RedHat 2 from a CD)

Re:2014 is the year of the Linux Desktop! (1)

OffTheLip (636691) | about 5 months ago | (#47630921)

Same, same for me with respect to Red Hat 2.0 in 1995. I still have my Red Hat 2.0 CD and the manual, the svelte tome it was.

Re:2014 is the year of the Linux Desktop! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47631309)

It was RH 5.1 for me. Once I git dial-up working, I ever looked back.

Re:2014 is the year of the Linux Desktop! (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 5 months ago | (#47632965)

Distinction - 2014 is the year of the Linux Post-Desktop Era...

Spoiler alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47630205)

It's mainly vaporware

USB Real Doll support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47630255)

can I connect my tricked out Real Doll with USB to activate its electronic functions? (mouth, anus, vagina, hand clapping labia which plays midi files)

Re:USB Real Doll support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47630271)

Disgusting!! Quite funny as well.

Re:USB Real Doll support? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#47630735)

What MIDI would that be? "Lover's Theme" from Delusions of Grandeur?

Re:USB Real Doll support? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#47631047)

Knowing my luck it would be Red River...

Re:USB Real Doll support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47635251)

Unfortunately 3.16 has a driver bug in where you get an orgasm loop when fucking into the anus. There is a workaround involving some udev rules, but I can't remember.

Generally, sex dolls market is dominated by china as they have mostly boyz from the one-child-rule that still want to fuck. China has recently announced to migrate to linux. So the driver problems should be fixed in some time, as the sex doll vendors will adapt to the new market situation.

2014 -- Year of Linux on the Desktop! (0)

sandbagger (654585) | about 5 months ago | (#47630265)

You read it here first!

Re:2014 -- Year of Linux on the Desktop! (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 5 months ago | (#47630353)

You read it here first!

Last December,

No, no I didn't (ok, actually, yes I did. But I could've heard it eight months ago)

Re:2014 -- Year of Linux on the Desktop! (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 5 months ago | (#47630505)

You read it here first!

Last December,

No, no I didn't (ok, actually, yes I did. But I could've heard it eight months ago)

More like 180 months ago.

Re:2014 -- Year of Linux on the Desktop! (1)

PPH (736903) | about 5 months ago | (#47632961)

What's a desktop?

hum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47630415)

Except there is no regression testing in the open source community and so we get buggy after buggy patches and this circle of life never ends. And nobody bothered to replace the alsa and pulseaudio bloatware crap that pops your ears when listening to audio. The majority of open source software may be free but fall short from their counterparts and they miss a lot of rich features that exists in proprietary software. Inkscape, gimp, blender, libreoffice, etc... won't replace coreldraw, photoshop, maya or 3d studio max, office 2007->2013.

and look at all the ui's kde, gnome, cinnamon, etc... all buggy and cumbersome to use. The old start menu navigation type of way is ancient and crap.

Re:hum (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#47631065)

The problem is, the "can't someone else do it" attitude falls short when the answer is "you have what you need to improve it"...

If something bothers you about OSS, go ahead and change it. At least that's what I do. If it doesn't bother me enough to change it, I guess enduring it can't be that bad.

Re:hum (1)

Geeky (90998) | about 5 months ago | (#47636611)

And I could grow my own food, too...

Most people don't have the skills to change OSS code. I enjoy photography and, like many photographers, use Photoshop. For most of the photographers I know, just using Photoshop is enough of a technical challenge - suggesting they make code changes to the Gimp to make it do what they need would be like telling them to design and build a car from scratch rather than buy one from Ford.

I am a programmer, and I daresay if I really, really wanted to I could contribute, but to do so I'd be spending most of my free time on getting tools to work rather than using tools I've bought to do the things I actually want to do.

Mainstream ain't what it used to be (1)

ashshy (40594) | about 5 months ago | (#47630471)

Some commenters say that Linux and Open Source have been mainstream tools for a while. That's true -- in the tech world. Whitehurst mentions this, then goes on to explain that more traditional industries are accepting FOSS now. Things like railroads and power utilities, where open source remained a scary, newfangled, and unproven security hole as recently as last year.

RTFA, please.

RedHat did a lot with RH7 (4, Informative)

mlts (1038732) | about 5 months ago | (#47630557)

I would say that RedHat did a lot with RHEL 7, which, though not without issues, has added a lot of functionality:

1: systemd is a decent boot mechanism. On a SSD-based machine, RHEL 7 will boot to a graphical login screen in five seconds, due to firing off daemons asynchronously.

2: firewallD is of some benefit, but it adds the concept of zones, similar to how Windows works, which does help integrate Linux machines in a MS environment (where one has public, private, and domain networks.)

3: Docker and containers are going to be a big thing going forward. This is similar to BSD jails, Solaris containers, or AIX WPARs, and provide decent package isolation without the need for a hypervisor.

4: It looks like with the latest version of the Linux kernel released this week, that btrfs is stable enough for prime time. RHEL7 allows for a btrfs install. It may not have the bells and whistles of ZFS, but it is a step in the right direction, and files can be checked (and possibly repaired) for bit rot with a find and a btrfs scrub.

5: The ability to use SSD as a "landing zone" for writes, then move those to a lower tier of disk.

None of these features are revolutionary... but they do bring RedHat and its downstreams (CentOS) on par with AIX, Windows, and Solaris for enterprise level features.

So, I can see that RedHat's future looks rosy, especially when it comes to virtualization and having a competitor in the enterprise to VMWare. VMWare still is top dog, but competition is always good.

Re:RedHat did a lot with RH7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47632371)

None of these features are revolutionary... but they do bring RedHat and its downstreams (CentOS) on par with AIX, Windows, and Solaris for enterprise level features.

So, I can see that RedHat's future looks rosy, especially when it comes to virtualization and having a competitor in the enterprise to VMWare. VMWare still is top dog, but competition is always good.

My concern is if AIX, Windows, Solaris, and VMWare didn't exist, what would we be talking about here?

Is open source always going to be just "the cheaper alternative"? Will it ever lead the competition?
IDK, it feels like we're celebrating the local cheapseats theater here sometimes. You very well may watch ALL your movies there, but it will only ever be second-rate... which is FINE if that's what you're trying for.

Re:RedHat did a lot with RH7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47633253)

In every place I've been in, they are moving away or have moved from the older UNIX variants to Linux based solutions or Windows. I might see a SPARC or POWER box here and there, but there is usually more expense involved in chucking it than not.

Red Hat isn't cheap. But their solutions are quite good. Microsoft isn't cheap, but there isn't a single enterprise that doesn't use Exchange or AD, barring Google and IBM (assuming they eat their own dog food.)

I wouldn't say OSS is "cheaper". As for leading the competition, Apache is OSS, and it seems to be doing pretty well.

Of course, there is the manpower issue. OSS may have less licensing fees... but a decent Linux admin who knows what an enterprise needs is a lot harder to find than yet another H-1B who is ready/willing/able to work for less than $20,000 a year, and has a MCSE.

Re:RedHat did a lot with RH7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47642483)

5: The ability to use SSD as a "landing zone" for writes, then move those to a lower tier of disk.

None of these features are revolutionary...

Revolutionary? You mean the L2ARC and ZIL that ZFS has had for years?

I will never understand why do people copy ideas and technology from *BSD instead of, you know, just use the original you're trying to copy. You admit BSD is superior (see: Facebook careers), and yet you pretend it does not exist when you praise the (broken) Linux copies of that technology.

Richdales Laws (1)

Qbertino (265505) | about 5 months ago | (#47630601)

"Given a sufficient amount of time all software either becomes free open source software or goes extinct."

Re:Richdales Laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47631177)

Anonymous Cowards law:

"Given a sufficient amount of time all software becomes shit and goes extinct."

We're already post-FOSS (1, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | about 5 months ago | (#47630865)

I'd given this some thought since the FOSS docs discussion at the beginning of the week, and I think that we're already post-FOSS.

FOSS' heyday was in the nineties. GNU modelled its documentation on BSD, which in turn modeled its documentation on commercial UNIX. Through the nineties developers and those that maintained distributions honored this, continuing to write their documentation like the UNIX world did, and it was easy (relatively speaking) to make the software do everything that it could do and everything that the user or sysadmin wanted it to do within those capabilities.

Unfortunately 20 years out, rot has set-in. Projects and distributions are no longer thoroughly documented. The barrier to entry or to re-entry with anything more than using the default setup from the distribution is very, very high, much moreso than even the days when one had to do a lot more by hand.

We're not emerging-FOSS, were already post-FOSS, at least for as long as the crappy state of sysadmin and end-user documentation is concerned, as less and less individuals will be able to make new software do what they need or want it to do. If the software won't cooperate, then commercial software suddenly becomes more attractive.

Re:We're already post-FOSS (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#47631115)

I'd rather say that we have arrived at the point where software is complicated enough that you will have to pay for a competent (!) admin if you want to get more than the basics done. The difference between CSS and OSS is in that respect that it's way easier to pose as a halfway credible so-so admin in a CSS world with its wizards and gadgets, its online help and example config files.

Competent OSS admins are rather rare. Because learning almost invariably means spending money and not just time.

Re:We're already post-FOSS (2)

omnichad (1198475) | about 5 months ago | (#47633021)

So they've succeeded - and matched Microsoft's incompetence. Isn't that what it takes to go mainstream?

Re:We're already post-FOSS (2)

TWX (665546) | about 5 months ago | (#47633953)

Microsoft has better documentation.

Re:We're already post-FOSS (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 5 months ago | (#47637453)

The barrier to entry or to re-entry with anything more than using the default setup from the distribution is very, very high, much moreso than even the days when one had to do a lot more by hand.

As someone who was using Linux since 1995. No it isn't moreso. Things are much much better then times when standard Linux documentation talked about recompiling the kernel to load up particular features or getting X to run at all was a challenge. Yes configuration is annoying but nowhere near what it was then.

The market is worse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47632007)

I remember long ago being able to walk into Fry's Electronics and buy RedHat releases as boxed software sitting on the shelf right next to Windows. Even Corel got into the desktop Linux market (in 1999), once again with boxed software you could walk into the store to buy. If anything, Linux has declined in the mass market. I do not know of a single store where I can walk in and buy a boxed package of a current distro, or a computer with Linux pre-installed (not including Android/Chrome devices).

Re:The market is worse. (2)

omnichad (1198475) | about 5 months ago | (#47633031)

It was broadband that killed that. The software (those distros, anyway) was free anyway unless you wanted support. As soon as it was easier and cheaper to download at home, that's what people did.

It depends on what/where (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47632577)

Is 2014 a FOSS year? Sure! It might only be 1% more than 2013, but its nibbling away at the competition. Is it the desktop? Maybe incrementally more than last year, but just parts of a percent. Will it ever be more than just that? Yes, certainly. The truth is that most people are moving their personal desktop to a device that they take with them: phone/tablet. Is it FOSS? Mostly. Apple has about 17% of that market. Microsoft has about 0.0001% of that market. Some will say "Samsung just barely edged out Apple, ...so thats all the competition" Except that that is a lie, and there is more. Samsung is the biggest of the Android vendors. They don't mention Sony or LG or ASUS or ACER or HTC or Motorola or any other Android vendor. Android really has about 85% of that market, and while the window manager is by Google et. al., the underlying operating system is Linux. Likewise Chromebooks are selling huge. Laptops still sell, but if you don't need it, then why. Especially if you connect from anywhere to a cloud based service, a full blown laptop is overkill (and a security problem). So is 2014 a FOSS year? Yes. As more companies move to the cloud, clients get thinner and cheaper. You don't need helpdesks or client support when the client is chrome to cloud. You save on people, licenses, security, etc. Paying more is just silly.

What they say is not what they do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47634663)

Why is Red Hat outsourcing more of it's infrastructure to vendors using proprietary software?

Umm... Printers? (2)

Kwyj1b0 (2757125) | about 5 months ago | (#47635649)

I know, I'm stuck in the old days where I like to print boarding passes, hotel receipts, parking passes, or scan and keep digital copies of my documents.

However, I recently took a (relatively) old computer (from 2012) and put Debian on it. Things more or less worked. Occasionally, I had to go down to the shell, but nothing that was too infuriating or difficult. Then one day I decided I wanted to (gasp!) use my wireless Epson printer with my Debian OS. It was like pulling my teeth out without anesthesia. CUPS is a piece of crap that is determined to waste people's time. I spent almost an entire day trying to follow various manuals, start print servers, open the configuration page in my browser, install GUI tools, and in general wonder why I signed up for this.

After giving up for the day, I went to bed, woke up the next morning, installed Windows 8 (I get it for free) on a separate partition, booted in, and in 5 minutes I printed out some tax forms and scanned a copy of my W2 for my records (this all took a little over an hour since I started the OS installation - even though I wasn't waiting at my desk constantly).

I guess when you can have your secretary print everything for you, then easy printing isn't really required before considering yourself going mainstream. I started out using my Windows just for printing, then slowly got tired of switching constantly. I started to do more and more in Windows (Quicken, Scrivener) even when there were Linux alternatives. Now I hardly boot into Linux.

Re:Umm... Printers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47636901)

true, printing has always been a sad story for Linux. Its is a little bit better today, but not that much.

Re:Umm... Printers? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 5 months ago | (#47637469)

Printing works fine if you use a printer with a standard print language like PCL, Postscript, LPDS... Really that's sort of a BS issue. Don't buy Linux incompatible hardware to run Linux.

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