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Where Linux Gained Ground in 2007

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the win-friends-influence-processors dept.

Linux Business 203

christian.einfeldt writes "Computer scientist and media maven Roy Schestowitz takes a look at platforms where GNU Linux gained the most ground in 2007. In a thorough review which is the first of a two-part series, Schestowitz looks at trends in supercomputers, mobile phones, desktops, low-end laptops and tablets, consoles, media players and set-top boxes. Schestowitz finds that GNU Linux solidified its dominant grip on supercomputers; made huge gains in low-end laptops and tablets; won major OEM and retail support on the desktop; gained new entries into game consoles; and also spawned new businesses in set-top boxes while holding its ground in pre-existing product lines. He sums it all up by saying that '2007 will be remembered as the year when GNU/Linux became not only available, but also properly preinstalled on desktops and laptops by the world's largest companies.'"

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203 comments

F40PH Factor (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21877280)

If it doesn't run on the F40PH, it doesn't matter.

Re:F40PH Factor (1)

ryanov (193048) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878110)

Not on the Wii. (1)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877294)

Linux can not be run on the Wii as the article suggests. It can be run on the Wii in Gamecube mode, but it has no Wii funtions.

Re:Not on the Wii. (3, Informative)

sxpert (139117) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877472)

running homebrew in wii mode was demonstrated at the CCC congress. check the video about the xbox360 security breakeage

Re:Not on the Wii. (1)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877866)

Homebrew is possible (as proven in the past few days) but Linux is not. And even homebrew hasn't progressed beyond a few proof of concepts.

Re:Not on the Wii. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21878878)

If you can execute arbitrary code on the Wii (as shown in the past few days), then what's preventing you from running Linux on it? Saying "The stock kernel doesn't support the hardware" isn't a valid defense, because, as you know, we have the source for the kernel, so somebody smarter than you or I could spend some time making the necessary modifications for that hardware.

Re:Not on the Wii. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21879104)

Does the wii hardware have true memory protection? Lot of games systems used not to, anyway. That makes running linux proper fundamentally impossible, you have to use something like uclinux.

Where Linux lost ground: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21877296)

Nigger-retention. And that's a good thing!

Happy new year, everyone! (Except for niggers!)

I sense some bias... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21877386)

On the desktop, the outlook seems increasingly bright. Two independent user surveys, one from LinuxDesktop.com and another from the Linux Foundation, saw participation more than doubling in just one year. This indicates strong growth that cannot normally be measured. When it comes to free software, obtaining absolute numbers is different from studying trends. If you extrapolate these figures, as some industry watchers have already done, then it's almost safe to assume that the presence of GNU/Linux on the desktop has doubled in the past year.
Oh please. I like Linux as much as the next person (and use Ubuntu on 2 desktops), the the idea that the Linux on the desktop has doubled in 2007 is absurd. Of course I expect this kind of "reporting" from someone who insists on writing GNU/Linux all the time instead of just Linux (it's nice to be accurate, but the GNU pedantry annoys more people than it attracts).

Re:I sense some bias... (1)

FoolsGold (1139759) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877428)

Oh please. I like Linux as much as the next person (and use Ubuntu on 2 desktops), the the idea that the Linux on the desktop has doubled in 2007 is absurd. Of course I expect this kind of "reporting" from someone who insists on writing GNU/Linux all the time instead of just Linux (it's nice to be accurate, but the GNU pedantry annoys more people than it attracts).

I dunno. It's hard to get figures, but given how small the market share is for Linux on the desktop anyway, doubling it would not be out of the question, at least in the geek community where the majority of its desktop use would be.

Re:I sense some bias... (5, Interesting)

Miseph (979059) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877672)

While I too doubt the estimate that the number of users running Linux has doubled in 2007, I don't doubt it by much. I know that between 1/1 2007 and 12/31 2007 I have seen more new people install and run Linux than any other year in my memory, and I have not seen any of them abandon it after a few weeks or days. The very fact that user survey participation on Linux specific sites has more than doubled is a strong sign that, even if the actual number of users didn't double, at least the number of people interested in it has, and that's big. If only Dell would take their Ubuntu machines off of the separate page and let us install it on more than two models as a drop down alternative to Vista/XP (with a big warning dialog to scare clueless buyers away from a product they probably don't want) I think 2008 would definitely see the number of Linux desktops double.

Just as importantly, I've seen a massive move toward non-MS products even on Windows machines. My college has Firefox installed on virtually every machine, and I can't even remember the last time I saw an open IE window; I've even seen a few installs of OpenOffice next to Office 2007 on the least frozen machines. The more cross platform apps gain steam, the less reason anyone has to pay the Microsoft tax, and the less likely people are to actually do so.

So yes, doubled is probably an exaggeration, but it's definitely been a banner year for (GNU/)Linux and FOSS in general.

Re:I sense some bias... (3, Interesting)

me at werk (836328) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878300)

I think you're close, but not fully there. If Dell gave users an option to install both with dual boot setup easily (which might require license haggling), it could be bigger. "No worries, if Linux isn't good for you, switch back to Windows by rebooting!" It's working for Mac, isn't it?

Re:I sense some bias... (1)

xubu_caapn (1086401) | more than 6 years ago | (#21880082)

this is an interesting idea, especially with hard drive space so easy to come by. I haven't looked recently but I'm pretty sure a lot of Dells have 500gig drives in by default, so most users wouldn't notice nor care. meanwhile they have a dependable OS to switch to when Windows acts funny.

Re:I sense some bias... (3, Interesting)

Ambidisastrous (964023) | more than 6 years ago | (#21880340)

It gives Dell something to do in the customization step, too. When I set up Ubuntu+XP for my parents, I added a shortcut/bookmark in Nautilus and the Places menu to the "My Documents" folder on the XP partition (rw access). So all their documents are available from both OSes, they don't need to learn much about user home directories, Dad has easy access to Excel, and Mom isn't plagued by the various anti-productivity measures built into Windows and Norton Antivirus For Home Victims.

This has been a good solution for them so far, and I think I'd recommend it for general use. It might be even better to symlink ~user/.mozilla to %ApplicationData%/Mozilla, to share extensions and bookmarks, but I haven't tried it.

Not sure if offering dual-boot out of the box is even the best option, really. I think the most effective thing Dell could do for Linux would be to list usable Ubuntu laptops on the same pages and in the same categories as the Windows Vista laptops for home and business users -- Vista isn't cheap, and home laptop prices are dropping quickly, so the comparison could be very compelling for customers.

Re:I sense some bias... (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878516)

I know that between 1/1 2007 and 12/31 2007 I have seen more new people install and run Linux than any other year in my memory

The key word here is "install."

That word - particularly when spoken on Slashdot - usually translates to "technical specialist or hobbyist." The Geek or would-be Geek.

or, to be less charitable, "my sister, my brother, my mom and dad."

Re:I sense some bias... (5, Interesting)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878682)

How about this, then: for the first time in ten years of using Linux, I was asked by someone else to install it. In fact, two different people requested it. That' definitely different

Re:I sense some bias... (-1, Troll)

fat_mike (71855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21879502)

You know where those numbers come from? Zealots.

I haven't seen a single person install Linux all year.

You know what I see.

Big damn Blade servers running non-Linux OS's using Linux variants in a virtual machine setting.

1993-200* was the year of Linux. Nobody cares anymore. We all learned our lesson 8 years ago.

Fuck talking about 15 year old technology and move on. Watching a penguin slide down a hill with hard as shit controls and crappy graphics while calling it "Groundbreaking" does not make me believer. Nor does OpenOffice, or Fire "Give me memory...what, you only have 600gigs? I'll eat your pagefile then!!!!!!!" Fox or Mplayer with all the fucking plugins you have to install.

Ubuntu = Vista Linux - I don't want to have to supply a password for every thing I want to do. Who thought that was a good idea?

Re:I sense some bias... (2, Funny)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#21880264)

I haven't seen a single person install Linux all year.

You should come out of the basement more often. Your mom installed Kubuntu upstairs 4 months ago.

Re:I sense some bias... (1)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878542)

...the the idea that the Linux on the desktop has doubled in 2007 is absurd.

Not necessarily absurd--just count the number of Dell and HP computers that came shipped with Linux. I've no idea what the numbers are, but it's going to ping the stats. Then add how many people "converted," even if it's on a secondary box....

One desktop at a time is all it needs.

Re:I sense some bias... (1, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878702)

the idea that the Linux on the desktop has doubled in 2007 is absurd.

Sure Linux on the desktop doubled, now there are two users!

Re:I sense some bias... (1)

Charles Dodgeson (248492) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878722)

the the idea that the Linux on the desktop has doubled in 2007 is absurd.
I bought a much bigger display in 2007, so my desktop has nearly to doubled.

Re:I sense some bias... (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21879032)

I like Linux as much as the next person (and use Ubuntu on 2 desktops), the the idea that the Linux on the desktop has doubled in 2007 is absurd.

An of those desktops, how many were you using in 2006? I had played with a couple distros before last year, but they simply were not a replacement for anything. Last year I converted my old PIII machine, an IMB Thinkpad, and put Ubuntu on my new homebuilt Core 2 Duo box. In the process, I have helped a bunch of people switch. There are many who abandoned old versions of Windows and upgraded to Linux last year. Last year is the first year Linux is my primary OS, not a toy.

Re:I sense some bias... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21879216)

An of those desktops, how many were you using in 2006?
One I've had running linux since early 2006, the other since 2004. (Using Mandriva prior to Ubuntu).

Easy Answer (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21877568)

It got nowhere, depending on who you ask.

Where are the commercial game ports for Linux? No one wants to make them, obviously, save for the FPS crowd (and there's only an Unreal Tournament for Linux because Epic passes the buck to Icculus to get the job done, not because they have the in-house talent to do it themselves). There are a few commercial games for Linux, yes, but only a few, and there's very little variety between them. In the open source world we have a few good games (the majority of them being FPS's, what a surprise), Battle for Wesnoth if you like strategy games (turn based ones, that is). Then we have the unfortunate, ugly ripoffs like "Secret Maryo Chronicles," and other games that look like they were developed for a C64. [happypenguin.org] Plenty of selection, not a lot of quality.

We have Parallels for Mac OS X, which seems to be quite capable at running Windows programs at a decent speed, with good compatibility. What do we have on Linux? Wine? Crossover Office? I think anyone who's actually tried to use either of these will probably tell you that if you really want to run Windows programs on your Linux machine, you're going to have to install Windows too...and the fact of the matter is that most of the commercial software out there is for Windows, whether you like it or not (being an Ubuntu user, I would have to say that I do not :>). Apple has the best of both worlds on their platform -- why can't, say, Canonical, or (dare I mention them) Novell? They had a few hundred million thrown at them by Microsoft, supposedly to increase interoperability with Windows and Linux...where are the results?

Distributions are still a fragmented mess, it's incredibly difficult to produce a binary for Linux that will work across all distributions (especially with Gentoo and their whole CFLAGS fiasco...thank goodness that fad died off). As much as you'd like to complain about Windows and Apple, binary compatibility is not a problem. There's plenty of smart, dedicated people out there that could find a solution to this, particularly the people working on the kernel. Why isn't it a high priority to increase compatibility -between- Linux distributions, or to form some sort of a community-based standard...one that actually works (as opposed to the LSB)?

Professional audio? Don't even bother. ESounD, ARTS, JACKD, now PulseAudio seems to be the big name in useless sound daemons...but that doesn't mean everyone will standardize on it. As if we needed yet another sound daemon anyway. If the Linux kernel is supposedly so "flexible" that it can be used in any range of devices from computers to cell phones, then why is it that 18 years or more later after the first release, there -still- isn't an easy way to do very low-latency, high quality audio recording on Linux? Linux distributions could _EASILY_ supplant a lot of the Windows based environments for professional audio if the kernel was up to the task. And for those out there who think that Audacity and Ardour are adequate replacements for ProTools...wake up.

I haven't run Windows on my PC in over six years, so clearly Linux has been capable of meeting my desktop needs...but the fact of the matter is that there's _PLENTY_ of problems that just aren't being addressed, that could solidify Linux as a real desktop computer competitor.

Re:Easy Answer (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21877810)

Everything you just described would require:

1) An enormous amount of work with people open source developers sitting at their computers 40+ hours a week minimum and 80+ to really get consumer grade software out the door and actually working

2) An enormous amount of hard choices with grand plans for features being cut so the tedious and unglamorous tasks of getting consumer grade software out the door and actually working get done.

3) An enormous amount of maturity that the open source world simply does not have

The failure of Linux and open source software in many ways has been nothing more than a validation of the commercial software model of development where all that matters is results and not bullshit.

Creating forks and new projects sure as hell is fun. Adding features is a blast too.

Making software that works right out of the box requires a grown up sitting at a desk working their ass off 40 hours a week getting paid a nice fat wage.

Re:Easy Answer (3, Insightful)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878306)

[quote]Making software that works right out of the box requires a grown up sitting at a desk working their ass off 40 hours a week getting paid a nice fat wage.[/quote]

This is why most of the best open source software is written by people who work for a company which derives its profit from elsewhere.

Easy Block. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21880954)

"This is why most of the best open source software is written by people who work for a company which derives its profit from elsewhere."

Yes, and for those companies we have adblock

Re:Easy Answer (4, Informative)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877910)

Where are the commercial game ports for Linux?
Beyond the obvious FPSes, Eve Online and Second life. There are also these game companies [quickfox.org] that have commercial ports for Linux systems.

We have Parallels for Mac OS X, which seems to be quite capable at running Windows programs at a decent speed, with good compatibility.
VMware server works fine for me. But best perforance tends to come from wine and crossover I have noticed.

I think anyone who's actually tried to use either of these will probably tell you that if you really want to run Windows programs on your Linux machine
I run all the source games (includes half life 2 and all it's episodes, portal, hl2 death match,, team fortress 2) just fine, Steam and so on just fine under. I hear World of Warcraft runs quite well too.

and the fact of the matter is that most of the commercial software out there is for Windows
Most commercial software available for the most popular platform. Who would of guessed?

Distributions are still a fragmented mess, it's incredibly difficult to produce a binary for Linux that will work across all distributions (especially with Gentoo and their whole CFLAGS fiasco...thank goodness that fad died off)
No it isn't. Follow the LSB.

As much as you'd like to complain about Windows and Apple, binary compatibility is not a problem.
I have plenty of applications that don't run on OS X from older versions of OS X. Windows Vista has issues running some older Windows programs. As for Linux... I can't think of a time EVER when a LSB program didn't work.

Professional audio? Don't even bother. ESounD, ARTS, JACKD, now PulseAudio seems to be the big name in useless sound daemons...but that doesn't mean everyone will standardize on it.
Gnome and KDE are adding support for it. gstreamer and KDE4's new sound system supporting it as a back end pretty much means it is going to be supported by a wide range of applications already.

Linux kernel is supposedly so "flexible" that it can be used in any range of devices from computers to cell phones, then why is it that 18 years or more later after the first release, there -still- isn't an easy way to do very low-latency, high quality audio recording on Linux?
Simply because the problem hasn't been addressed yet.

Linux distributions could _EASILY_ supplant a lot of the Windows based environments for professional audio if the kernel was up to the task.
I heard similar crap about when wine would run Photoshop and others. When Wine finally did for a large period of time, nothing changed at all. So forgive me if I just remain skeptical.

I haven't run Windows on my PC in over six years, so clearly Linux has been capable of meeting my desktop needs
I use Windows, Linux, various BSDs and OS X regularly.

Re:Easy Answer (1)

pestie (141370) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878108)

I run all the source games (includes half life 2 and all it's episodes, portal, hl2 death match,, team fortress 2) just fine, Steam and so on just fine under. I hear World of Warcraft runs quite well too.

Under what? So tantalizing a sentence, yet the most important word is left out...

Re:Easy Answer (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878478)

Under what? So tantalizing a sentence, yet the most important word is left out...
Sorry about that -- I can run them under Wine and Crossover (Crossover being the easiest) :)

Re:Easy Answer (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21880440)

I have plenty of applications that don't run on OS X from older versions of OS X. Windows Vista has issues running some older Windows programs. As for Linux... I can't think of a time EVER when a LSB program didn't work.


Considering that LSB only dates back to 2001 and only covers a relatively small subset of total system functionality, your anecdotal experience is less than impressive. What most commercial vendors end up doing is one of 3 things:

1) Statically link binaries
2) Include all the dependencies for the program
3) Build and test packages for all recent versions of all major distributions (often leaving users of minor distributions to fend for themselves)

The fact remains that installing major packages targetted for one distribution on another distribution can be tricky at best. Hell, even trying to run packages on an older version of the SAME distribution is often hit and miss.

And God forbid you're running a Linux distribution from 2001 (as opposed to running an app from 2001). In which case you're going to be compiling just about everything (and dependencies) from source. There's almost no forward compatibility in Linux distributions. Fortunately, it is free to upgrade, but still...

-matthew

Re:Easy Answer (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21880698)

The fact remains that installing major packages targetted for one distribution on another distribution can be tricky at best. Hell, even trying to run packages on an older version of the SAME distribution is often hit and miss.
I can build applications against the Windows 2003 SP1 platform SDK and they certainly will not work correctly on Windows XP SP2 (Having done this myself, runtime errors popping up randomly are most common to happen in such cases).

And God forbid you're running a Linux distribution from 2001 (as opposed to running an app from 2001).
If I build applications against the latest Windows XP SP2 platform SDK. You will also find that running them on Windows XP (no service packs - a 2001 OS) will likely cause these applications to crash (if they don't crash while starting up, they will definitely crash when you minimize the application).

To put it simply, these issues exist on Windows on too - I should know since I have had a tonne of issues with this on most operating systems.

There's almost no forward compatibility in Linux distributions. Fortunately, it is free to upgrade, but still...
At the end of the day, this really depends on how the distributions decide to package their content. There are some like Slackware which make binaries that appear to 'run anywhere'.

As for OS X... Nevermind the architecture change and the Rosetta bugs with big endian and little endian. I can't get quite a few applications from 10.2 working at all on PPC versions of 10.4 or 10.5.

Running packages that were built for another specific distribution is in my opinion, a bad idea for any operating system. Linux isn't unique to this.

Re:Easy Answer (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 6 years ago | (#21880828)

EVE-Online for Linux is just a custom tuned version of Cedega packed with the normal EVE client for Windows. It runs like shit and frankly is pretty buggy at times compared to running under Windows, so I wouldn't consider that a gold standard.

Re:Easy Answer (4, Interesting)

Vapula (14703) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877960)

1) running Windows games on Linux
I've personnal experience of playing GuildWars flawlessly under Linux using Cedega. Cedega also supports World of Warcraft and other games making it probably much better than Wine (well, I should check on this one, lots of progress have been done) and CrossOver Office (which wasn't meant for games in the first place)

About Linux commercial games, you forgot about NeverWinterNights, and some promising products like Planeshift. And the upcoming "project Apricot" (Blender Foundation and CrystalSpace).

2) Audio
Very few sound engineers rely on only ONE program. Most of the time, they switch from one to another depending on the task they've to do. Don't forget that SAE is behind Ardour... They would not lose their time and money with it if it was useless...

3) compatibility
Linux rely on some standard components like openGL, X11 and the kernel. If you want to distribute some closed source binary, you may statically link those libraries which may be a problem.
Source distribution don't have many problems thanks to the autoconf and automake.
Did you already try to run some old Windows 3.1 softwares on Windows XP or Vista ? Often, Windows 98 applications don't run under Windows 2000 or XP.

4) ESD, aRTS, JACK,...
Well, ESD was GNOME, aRTS was KDE and JACK was for Realtime with low latency... You forgot about OSS and ALSA, GNOME/KDE and lots of other similar duplicate efforts.
GNU/Linux is also about choice... something lots of people have forgotten since the old ages...
COMMAND.COM or 4DOS.COM ?
Sound Blaster or GUS (now, most of the time, it's the onboard sound card)
EMM386 or QEMM386 ?

If you're "computer illiterate", you don't mind about what's installed and go with what the system install (aRTS, ESD, what are those things ?)
If you know what you're doing, well, you will choose the one which suits the best your needs...

I agree that there is still lots of place for improvement, but when I look back to the old time of Linux 0.99pl10, yggdrasil (CDROM) or SLS/Slockware/MCC (floppy) installs, the X11 Config file to build by hand (with a calculator and the specs of your monitor), very basic keyboard support (US qwerty, FR azerty and DE qwertzu, nothing more),... the way behind is much bigger than the way ahead...

Lately, I had to install a brand new computer in dual-boot Windows/Linux. Linux didn't need any extra driver but Windows needed lots of extra drivers (Video, sound, network,...). Security updates were also much faster to install under linux (and they included lots of apps, unlike Windows)... So, unless you need some specific software or plan to use the computer for gaming, Linux is going to become a better choice than Windows... Truly PnP !!!

Re:Easy Answer (2, Insightful)

EWIPlayer (881908) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878076)

4) ESD, aRTS, JACK,... Well, ESD was GNOME, aRTS was KDE and JACK was for Realtime with low latency... You forgot about OSS and ALSA, GNOME/KDE and lots of other similar duplicate efforts. GNU/Linux is also about choice... something lots of people have forgotten since the old ages... COMMAND.COM or 4DOS.COM ? Sound Blaster or GUS (now, most of the time, it's the onboard sound card) EMM386 or QEMM386 ?

All I can say here is that you seem to be missing the point. It's not that such things don't exist, they certainly do. All of the different types, the different implementations and flavours are all very nice and fun to have, but they simply don't measure up - they *really* don't. OSX CoreAudio and CoreMIDI are engineered properly. There's only one choice and you only need one choice. It's fast, it's clear and concise, it requires ZERO (read that word very carefully and then ask yourself how much work is required for any of the linux variants) user intervention to work with, there are no "interesting" bits of information that need to be known or configured, or tweaked and played with... etc etc...

Musicians write and perform music and the apps themselves are designed to let them do that with a minimum of hassle. Do you really think that any pro musician wants to spend any time whatsoever setting up the OS audio, let alone even having to choose which audio code to run, when OSX requires nothing of the sort and outperforms Linux anyways? I think that's the point of this whole thread (and others)... Linux may not have missed the boat here, since time is fluid and who knows what the future will bring, but OSX has given the Linux community what it's been craving for years - Unix on the Desktop - and it did it while the Linux community is still trying to figure out how to do it. Closed source simply did the better job here - it does happen. Apple could ignore any hardware issues since they controlled everything, and they could focus on the job at hand. OSS has much more "cowboy" related hardware issues to tackle, and it's not nearly as focused - OSS writes "everything" while closed source writes "something".

Who the hell could be surprised at the outcome?

Re:Easy Answer (2, Insightful)

Xabraxas (654195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21879392)

Musicians write and perform music and the apps themselves are designed to let them do that with a minimum of hassle. Do you really think that any pro musician wants to spend any time whatsoever setting up the OS audio, let alone even having to choose which audio code to run, when OSX requires nothing of the sort and outperforms Linux anyways?

First of all ARTS and ESD are being deprecated and OSS has been deprecrated already so take them out of the picture. Linux can do low latency scheduling and in combination with PulseAudio, JACK, and ALSA it is a pretty powerful audio workstation. Thrown in Ardour and the whole thing is hard to beat for the grand price of FREE. In fact I would love to know what CoreAudio does so much better than these technologies. Do you have specific features in mind or are you just stating your opinion? I don't know anything about CoreAudio so I would love to know.

As for musicians' ability to install a Linux audio workstation...they don't have to worry about any of that. That's what distro's are for. There are even distro's geared towards audio and others towards video and graphics. It doesn't seem like you have been paying attention to Linux development for the past few years.

Check out 64 Studio [64studio.com]

Re:Easy Answer (1)

Evil Kerek (1196573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878872)

Linux didn't need any extra driver but Windows needed lots of extra drivers (Video, sound, network,...).
HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH.

Did you smirk when you typed that?

Sorry, if you want to tout linux as better than windows, more power to you, but let's stick to reality when it comes to installing them. An SP2 installation is going to work on a 99% of the computers out there and maybe popping in a driver disk from the mfg or letting it update from M$. In any case, it's usually pretty simple. You CANNOT say the same for linux. Sure there are PCs it will just install on..of course then, depending on the flavor (that's one of it's biggest issues...still too many distros), you get to do the wonderful configuring blah blah blah. Oh and now we gotta find, download and manually install updates...blah blah...

Linux has things over windows - installing and updating it STILL is not one of them.

EK

Re:Easy Answer (2, Interesting)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#21879292)

An SP2 installation is going to work on a 99% of the computers out there and maybe popping in a driver disk from the mfg or letting it update from M$. In any case, it's usually pretty simple. You CANNOT say the same for linux.
Installed XP Pro SP2 on my new computer. No network, no proper resolution for my widescreen monitor, without installing the drivers that came with the motherboard.

Booted with Ubuntu 7.10 CD. Network and proper wide resolution just work.

Wiped everything and installed iATKOS (hacked Mac OS X). It was a bit tricky to get running (it's a hack after all), but again, network and resolution simply work.

Re:Easy Answer (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 6 years ago | (#21879552)

You're wrong, really. My personal hardware experience: Previous computer: Basics: all ok Graphics card (nvidia TNT2): driver download for both Sound card (via 82xx onboard): driver download in windows, supported out of the box in linux Printer (epson stylus C20UX): ditto Current computer: Basics: windows required me to find a floppy drive, and disk, so that I could install (SATA hard drive) Graphics card (nvidia GF6): driver download for both Sound card (SB live 24-bit): out of box in linux, download in windows Printer (epson C46): download for both Webcam (logitech quickcam): download in linux, out of box in windows PDA (asus a730): download in windows, out of box in linux Wireless (admtek 8211): out of box in windows, download in linux Graphics calculator (TI-84+ silver edition) TV card (winTV 250, I think): download in linux, still can't get the bloody thing to work at all in windows. Pretty close, but linux actually does a fair bit better. And none of this was researched for linux compatibility or anything before buying it - I just got the stuff and it worked, and some of it's fairly obscure.

Re:Easy Answer (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21880468)

Did you already try to run some old Windows 3.1 softwares on Windows XP or Vista ? Often, Windows 98 applications don't run under Windows 2000 or XP.


Oh come on! Windows 3.1 is from like 1992!

So, unless you need some specific software or plan to use the computer for gaming, Linux is going to become a better choice than Windows... Truly PnP !!!


If you consider building from source PnP...

-matthew

Fragmented mess? (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878446)

People who say that a problem facing Linux is that there are too many distributions and too many different ways to do things have the wrong perception of what an OS is. Different distributions are different operating systems, and expecting binary compatibility across different OS's is folly regardless of what kernel is in use. That's why systems like automake/autoconf exist, and standard API's like POSIX, exist, so that source code can be recompiled on different platforms without too much pain.

"Linux" is not a single operating system, it is just a kernel. The kernel can be run without GNU utils, without X11, etc.

Re:Fragmented mess? (1)

usurper_ii (306966) | more than 6 years ago | (#21879248)

I think a lot of different distributions is a good thing, but I think everyone is going to gravitate toward a few dominate distributions, and the rest will end up as niche products.

Usurper_ii

Re:Easy Answer (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878704)

We have Parallels for Mac OS X, which seems to be quite capable at running Windows programs at a decent speed, with good compatibility. What do we have on Linux? Wine? Crossover Office?

WINE is a compatibility layer. Not surprisingly, it isn't perfect, particularly not when compared to an actual virtual machine. If you want to compare apples to apples (excuse the pun), try VMWare, Xen, qemu, or bochs. Heck, there's even a specialized version of VMWare for OSX, VMWare Fusion, that you could compare it to. However, I'm guessing that since you already bought Parallels, you'd rather not spend even more money to buy another product that essentially does the same thing.

Re:Easy Answer (5, Insightful)

entrigant (233266) | more than 6 years ago | (#21880248)

Where are the commercial game ports for Linux? No one wants to make them, obviously, save for the FPS crowd (and there's only an Unreal Tournament for Linux because Epic passes the buck to Icculus to get the job done, not because they have the in-house talent to do it themselves). There are a few commercial games for Linux, yes, but only a few, and there's very little variety between them. In the open source world we have a few good games (the majority of them being FPS's, what a surprise), Battle for Wesnoth if you like strategy games (turn based ones, that is). Then we have the unfortunate, ugly ripoffs like "Secret Maryo Chronicles," and other games that look like they were developed for a C64. Plenty of selection, not a lot of quality.

The following publishers develop comemrcial linux games:

http://www.pompomgames.com/ [pompomgames.com]
http://www.garagegames.com/ [garagegames.com]
http://www.introversion.co.uk/ [introversion.co.uk]
http://frictionalgames.com/ [frictionalgames.com]
http://sillysoft.net/ [sillysoft.net]
http://www.basiliskgames.com/ [basiliskgames.com]
http://www.guildsoftware.com/ [guildsoftware.com]
http://www.shrapnelgames.com/ [shrapnelgames.com]
http://www.rune-soft.com/ [rune-soft.com]
http://grubbygames.com/ [grubbygames.com]
http://www.caravelgames.com/ [caravelgames.com]
http://www.planewalkergames.com/ [planewalkergames.com]
http://www.graalonline.com/ [graalonline.com]

There are also the high profile ones such as neverwinter nights, the doom and quake series, unreal, etc.

There are many high quality independant titles such as neverball, you mentioned wesnoth, crimson fields, flight gear, torcs, the spring project, total annihilation 3d, tecnoballZ, powermanga, tile racer, pingus, clonk, freeciv, ultimate stunts, planeshift, scorched3d, VDrift, silvertree (not complete, but being created by the wesnoth guys so likely will not be vapor), ufo: alien invasion, scourge, etc.

http://spring.clan-sy.com/ [clan-sy.com]
http://www.wesnoth.org/ [wesnoth.org]
http://torcs.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]
http://www.flightgear.org/ [flightgear.org]
https://icculus.org/neverball/ [icculus.org]
http://ta3d.darkstars.co.uk/ [darkstars.co.uk]
http://linux.tlk.fr/games/ [linux.tlk.fr]
http://tileracer.model-view.com/ [model-view.com]
http://pingus.seul.org/ [seul.org]
http://www.clonk.de/ [clonk.de]
http://freeciv.wikia.com/ [wikia.com]
http://www.ultimatestunts.nl/ [ultimatestunts.nl]
http://www.planeshift.it/ [planeshift.it]
http://www.scorched3d.co.uk/ [scorched3d.co.uk]
http://vdrift.net/ [vdrift.net]
http://www.silvertreerpg.org/ [silvertreerpg.org]
http://ufoai.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]
http://scourge.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Many of these are very impressive independently made free games. Perhaps they lack the multi million dollar marketing budget and won't make your geofrce 8800 gtxz 45 x super elite ultra melt, but theya re *fun* games, and they are numerous. Also keep in mind this publisher and free game list is only what I could find in 1 hour of searching.

Then there are freed older commercial games such as warzone 2100, homeworld, descent 1 and 2, doom, quake, etc.

Lets not stop there, there's also emulation: pcsx, ePSXe, zsnes, snes9x, pcsx2, mupen64, mednafen, gens, and many many more emulators.

Special mention of this project as well:

http://apricot.blender.org/ [blender.org]

Also, last, but not least. If you absolutely desperately must have the latest and greatest hyped to hell and back 9 figure budget game in lunux:

http://www.transgaming.com/ [transgaming.com]

Linux gaming is alive and well.

We have Parallels for Mac OS X, which seems to be quite capable at running Windows programs at a decent speed, with good compatibility. What do we have on Linux? Wine? Crossover Office? I think anyone who's actually tried to use either of these will probably tell you that if you really want to run Windows programs on your Linux machine, you're going to have to install Windows too...and the fact of the matter is that most of the commercial software out there is for Windows, whether you like it or not (being an Ubuntu user, I would have to say that I do not :>). Apple has the best of both worlds on their platform -- why can't, say, Canonical, or (dare I mention them) Novell? They had a few hundred million thrown at them by Microsoft, supposedly to increase interoperability with Windows and Linux...where are the results?

You compare parellels with wine? Do you know the difference? We here in linux land have virtualization too. We can even do what you mac users call "coherence". Welcome to virtual box:

http://www.virtualbox.org/ [virtualbox.org]

And holy crap, it's even gpl'd.

I'm not sure what your beef w/ wine is. The very few times I've used it, it ran windows applications just fine. From photoshop to ms office to internet explorer to imgburn to nero. Piece o' cake. All I did was click on the windows exe in my pretty konqueror window and voila, windows app up and running.

Distributions are still a fragmented mess, it's incredibly difficult to produce a binary for Linux that will work across all distributions (especially with Gentoo and their whole CFLAGS fiasco...thank goodness that fad died off). As much as you'd like to complain about Windows and Apple, binary compatibility is not a problem. There's plenty of smart, dedicated people out there that could find a solution to this, particularly the people working on the kernel. Why isn't it a high priority to increase compatibility -between- Linux distributions, or to form some sort of a community-based standard...one that actually works (as opposed to the LSB)?

Are you kidding? If the binary is elf, compiled for the correct architecture (x86, x86_64, ppc, etc), and the needed libraries are installed... then it runs. This is pretty much the case for all modern operating systems. That's why, for example, a company can distribute a tarball with binaries for x86 linux, and it "just works". Everything from games (doom3), to apps (vmware), to modules/libraries (ioncube php loaders) are all distributed with a basic elf binary that runs on typical linux distros with glibc. This compatibility exists without the LSB. The LSB makes cross distro compatibility even more braindead. If you are having trouble compiling a binary that works on any distro then perhaps you shouldn't be writing code to begin with.

Professional audio? Don't even bother. ESounD, ARTS, JACKD, now PulseAudio seems to be the big name in useless sound daemons...but that doesn't mean everyone will standardize on it. As if we needed yet another sound daemon anyway. If the Linux kernel is supposedly so "flexible" that it can be used in any range of devices from computers to cell phones, then why is it that 18 years or more later after the first release, there -still- isn't an easy way to do very low-latency, high quality audio recording on Linux? Linux distributions could _EASILY_ supplant a lot of the Windows based environments for professional audio if the kernel was up to the task. And for those out there who think that Audacity and Ardour are adequate replacements for ProTools...wake up.

Professional audio recording and mixing is not my field, so I really cannot comment. However, I will say that when the foss community puts their weight behind something, you can usually expect results. Pro audio may have been neglected for some time, but the tides are beginning to change.

http://www.rme-audio.com/english/linux/alsa.htm [rme-audio.com]
http://puredata.info/ [puredata.info]
http://ardour.org/ [ardour.org]
etc.

From a unixy kernel to a full toolchain to X to DE's to games and hundreds of other areas FOSS came, and it conquered. This will be no different.

Re:Easy Answer (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21880300)

We have Parallels for Mac OS X, which seems to be quite capable at running Windows programs at a decent speed, with good compatibility. What do we have on Linux? Wine? Crossover Office?


There's VMware for Linux, which operates more or less the same as Parallels. So really, OS X users are not much better off than Linux users when it comes to WIndows apps. What OS X DOES have is MS Office and high end professional apps such as the Adobe suite.

Apple has the best of both worlds on their platform -


The only two worlds Apple has the best of is Unix and NeXTStep. When it comes to Windows-only apps you're not much better off as an OS X user than a Linux user. Though Parallel "Coherence" mode is kinda neat.

- why can't, say, Canonical, or (dare I mention them) Novell? They had a few hundred million thrown at them by Microsoft, supposedly to increase interoperability with Windows and Linux...where are the results?


What it comes down to is that there is no substitute for good native apps. Windows "compatibility" can be an acceptable kludge for specific applications, but native applications are necessary to sustain any potential challenger to Windows dominance in the long run.

-matthew

OSX... (0, Offtopic)

EWIPlayer (881908) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877670)

Switching from Linux to OSX (after using Linux exclusively for over 10 years) ranks up there as one of the largest impacts, for the better, to my personal productivity and enjoyment of programming, and computing in general, that's ever happened to me.

I admire the work being done with Linux on the Desktop, but all of this talk of "Linux on the desktop in 200X!" is getting to be kind of silly. There's a monstrously large Elephant in the living room and it's not getting discussed much... You want Unix and a production quality desktop with tons of high quality third party apps with a buttload of real-world usage? Stop waiting on Linux and switch to OSX... What you want is here, now.

Forget about all of this "It's got to be 'free', man" stuff and just recognize the fact that it has to work, and work well... 10 years I was with Linux, set up hundreds of machines in various places. Now, I just tell people to go buy a Mac and let the computer work for you instead of having to learn (what is to the lay-person) a bunch of voodoo magic.

I await the inevitable flamebait award...

Re:OSX... (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877730)

I agree with you in general. I've pretty much been Mac-only at home since 1988. However, as a Java developer the Mac is obviously very, very lacking. In addition, the hardware is frustrating-- no 2nd mouse button (why can't they do a Mighty Buttonbook?), no dock, no 2nd monitor out (which I get with a dock on my work Dell).

If I wasn't so tied to Macs, I'd be seriously thinking about a Dell right about now.

Re:OSX... (1)

EWIPlayer (881908) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877776)

Naw, I won't start a Java war :) Sufficed to say, I never touched ObjC before I met my Mac, and I gotta say it's wicked cool for development. Mix in some C++, Python and Ruby, all of which are well supported now, and it's shake and bake.

But you're right, if you're a Java guy then you're somewhat hosed... but I'll never fault apple for that very fine decision :)

Hardware issues notwithstanding (yeah, you're tied to the hardware, unless you get a machine that runs OSX86 well) it's a great OS - turning back just doesn't seem like an option for me. BTW on the macbook pro (that's all I've ever used, so it may be on everything else as well), the touchpad has a second mouse button - just tap with two fingers. This a bloody godsend!

Re:OSX... (1)

Christopher Rogers (873720) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877804)

no 2nd mouse button
There's an option in System Preferences to set tapping with two fingers to trigger a right-click. It's under the Trackpad tab of the Keyboard & Mouse section. However you need a Mac laptop made within the last couple of years to get this functionality. If you can scroll with two fingers on the trackpad (enabled by default I think; if not, yet another very useful feature), then you can enable this function.

Re:OSX... (1, Insightful)

Kymermosst (33885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878336)

Yes, but those of us that want a real ****ing button with a real tactile click are out of luck. Especially people like me who think the pad is for pointing, the buttons are for clicking.

Until Apple sells a laptop with at least two (preferably three) independently clickable buttons, I'll never get one.

Oh, and a USB/bluetooth mouse or trackball is not an option. The point of a laptop is to have everything you want built-in. Ever try using a mouse on a plane?

Re:OSX... (2, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877812)

In addition, the hardware is frustrating-- no 2nd mouse button ...
Yeah, Linux shares the same problem. I installed Linux on my PowerMac and it only had one mouse button as well. It's too bad there aren't any third-party products which would alleviate this problem.
 

Re:OSX... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21880294)

Notice that the parent says the *hardware* is frustrating.

Re:OSX... (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878026)

How is OS X lacking in Java development? A part of my bread and butter is enterprise Java stuff, and I do it all on a MacBook. What am I missing exactly?

For years, it was impossible to develop with Java on Linux because all of the implementations sucked so badly. OS X made Java development on a Unix box bearable (note that I'm not a huge Java fan, but whatever, it pays the bills).

As for the mouse thing, the OS supports multiple buttons, so I just use my Microsoft mouse. I'm not sure if I've ever even used an Apple one, as this MacBook is my first Apple.

Re:OSX... (1)

hardburn (141468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878742)

Java was pretty bad on Mac prior to OS X, though. Has always been bad on BSD, too. Not so great on Linux, either. So much for cross-platform development.

As for mice, I've got a wireless Mighty Mouse myself. The two-button interface is dodgy sometimes, and the scroll ball gets easily jammed up with dirt. I've yet to see a mouse from Apple that I liked.

Re:OSX... (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21879534)

Yeah, I never used a Mac before OS X, but I believe you. Don't forget that the Java that gets shipped with OS X is Apple's, not the BSD one. And anyway, with the GPL'd Java, all those half-baked free alternatives (Blackdown, etc.) will hopefully bite the dust, and the cross-platform thing won't matter as much.

As far as the actual development goes, though, IDEA + vim + Quicksilver (which is unique to OS X) + Umbrello (soon to run natively, rather than under X) + iTerm + Parallels (for when I have to deploy to a Linux server, usually RHEL) = development nirvana.

Re:OSX... (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878184)

No 2nd monitor out? If you're using a MacBook or iBook, the 2nd output will only mirror the display but the PowerBooks and MacBook Pros will certainly drive a second independent monitor.

Re:OSX... (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877774)

I admire the work being done with Linux on the Desktop, but all of this talk of "Linux on the desktop in 200X!" is getting to be kind of silly.
Article nor the summary says that.

You want Unix
Unix is not important to me, I also don't think the majority of people who use Linux, use it because they want something Unixy. But! If I were to choose a system for Unix capability, I would choose windows over OS X since Windows' POSIX subsystem actually behaves completely to spec for one, unlike OS X's BSD subsystem (which still managed to some how get certified). My first choice would be a Linux distribution for the main reason that lots of things would just work without having to work too hard. I mean for one, the x11 support in Linux is superb. It supports drag and drop, no clipboard issues, X11 communications work flawlessly unlike on OS X with it's poor x11 support.

and a production quality desktop with tons of high quality third party apps with a buttload of real-world usage?
Tons of high quality third party applications and you are going to mention OS X? Can I have what you are smoking? There isn't that vast large amount of third party applications for any specific given version of OS X, never mind claiming the majority of those are high quality.

Stop waiting on Linux and switch to OSX... What you want is here, now.
Having used OS X for many years and still using it. Sorry, I don't agree with your reasoning

Forget about all of this "It's got to be 'free', man" stuff and just recognize the fact that it has to work, and work well... 10 years I was with Linux, set up hundreds of machines in various places. Now, I just tell people to go buy a Mac and let the computer work for you instead of having to learn (what is to the lay-person) a bunch of voodoo magic.
I use Linux because I consider it superior for my uses. I also find the desktop environment available are superior for my uses. I have even paid for certain distributions like SuSE and Mandriva and I have no problem with paying for Linux software which I have done also in the past too.

Re:OSX... (3, Insightful)

EWIPlayer (881908) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877888)

Article nor the summary says that.

Google is your friend... I'm being general.

Unix is not important to me, I also don't think the majority of people who use Linux, use it because they want something Unixy.

Wow... well, I think you just might be wrong there.

Tons of high quality third party applications and you are going to mention OS X? Can I have what you are smoking?

What do people do most of the time? Photo editing, surfing, word processing, spread sheets, movie watching, music playing, IM, email and gaming. Adobe Creative Suite, Omniweb (very nice app, by the way) - Firefox - Safari (not great), MS Office, Apple office suite (very very slick, IMO), Quicktime with codecs (quite nice, in fact), iTunes (not great, but not bad), Apple Mail (very nice app), various IM progs are all pretty decent, games... I don't play games, so I don't comment. You've got great interoperability in these apps, drag and drop is superb, man... it all just works.

But as well, how about artists? Incredible audio app support like no other. Most of the apps that windows has (and some it doesn't) but supported in an OS that understands how these things should be done - CoreAudio and CoreMidi - not bolted on by some third party guys after the fact. It's integrated and works extremely well. People are tossing out their synthesizers and studio gear for a powerful Mac and their favourite apps, and they're not afraid to take the gear on stage. Try this stuff with a linux box... I still have my wife using a linux box and she can't even get her email to work right because people send her attachments that are *still* a bitch to read on a Linux box, and I am not about to put in the effort to get it all working right... I've grown very tired of doing that stuff.

But! If I were to choose a system for Unix capability, I would choose windows over OS X...

For Unix compatibility, you would choose a non-Unix over a Unix... Thanks for playing :) I just started being a Windows programmer about four months ago - Unix-like, it aint. Wow... what a thing to say - you are probably the first to ever write down such a thing. Congrats.

Re:OSX... (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878468)

Google is your friend... I'm being general.
Great, so you're leading towards off topic.

Wow... well, I think you just might be wrong there
Seriously, I never hear people wanting to use a Unix like system in general as the reason why someone uses Linux and I know a lot of Linux users.

What do people do most of the time? Photo editing, surfing, word processing, spread sheets, movie watching, music playing, IM, email and gaming.
I definitely wouldn't put photo editing first and I don't find it that common to see people watching movies on their computers outside of Youtube either.

Adobe Creative Suite, Omniweb (very nice app, by the way) - Firefox - Safari (not great), MS Office, Apple office suite (very very slick, IMO), Quicktime with codecs (quite nice, in fact), iTunes (not great, but not bad), Apple Mail (very nice app), various IM progs are all pretty decent, games... I don't play games, so I don't comment. You've got great interoperability in these apps,
Sorry, I'm not seeing a 'ton' of applications there. That doesn't even come close to my definition of a few high quality 3rd party application. Now high quality? That's arguable, especially with how Firefox is unstable (hint: known to crash) on OS X, how most of the applications you mentioned don't even follow Apple's HiG.
(I find it strange that you didn't suggest VLC as a media player, which is known to be very popular with OS X users).

drag and drop is superb, man... it all just works.
Except when it comes to x11 on OS X. Then drag and drop absolutely sucks :P

For Unix compatibility, you would choose a non-Unix over a Unix...
Windows' POSIX subsystem behaves CORRECTLY unlike OS X's BSD subsystem. If you really wanted to get something because it behaves like Unix properly then using Windows' POSIX subsystem would definitely be a choice over OS X. Since it can't even do signals properly.

Unix-like, it aint.
Look up Windows Services for Unix.

Mod parent Troll. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21878546)

He's begging for it, read the little chain up above.

"Seriously, I never hear people wanting to use a Unix like system in general as the reason why someone uses Linux and I know a lot of Linux users."
WTF else does one use Linux for, but to have a UNIX-like system? It's not because they're all too poor to afford a copy of Windows.

Adobe Creative Suite, Omniweb (very nice app, by the way) - Firefox - Safari (not great), MS Office, Apple office suite (very very slick, IMO), Quicktime with codecs (quite nice, in fact), iTunes (not great, but not bad), Apple Mail (very nice app), various IM progs
"Sorry, I'm not seeing a 'ton' of applications there. That doesn't even come close to my definition of a few high quality 3rd party application."
You wouldn't know quality software if it hit you on the nose.

"how most of the applications you mentioned don't even follow Apple's HiG."
Troll say what?

"Except when it comes to x11 on OS X. Then drag and drop absolutely sucks :P"
Troll say what?

"Windows' POSIX subsystem behaves CORRECTLY unlike OS X's BSD subsystem. If you really wanted to get something because it behaves like Unix properly then using Windows' POSIX subsystem would definitely be a choice over OS X."
ROFLMAO

"Look up Windows Services for Unix."
Oh God, you can't be serious. Yes, let's all use Windows, the real UNIX.
You are such a bad troll, and I feel a little sick because I know your twisted little mind might actually believe the garbage coming out of your mouth.

Re:Mod parent Troll. (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878778)

WTF else does one use Linux for, but to have a UNIX-like system? It's not because they're all too poor to afford a copy of Windows.
I personally find it technically superior for my needs. Others have philosophies. Some because it works for them while other stuff doesn't etc. Google for more reasons.

You wouldn't know quality software if it hit you on the nose.
Personally I am not impressed with the majority of software out there. The fact you would see all these applications as apparently "high quality" tells me your standards are set too low.

"how most of the applications you mentioned don't even follow Apple's HiG."
Troll say what?
Apple Human Inteface Guidelines [apple.com] .

"Except when it comes to x11 on OS X. Then drag and drop absolutely sucks :P"
Troll say what?
If you don't even know about these issues in OS X. You certainly don't know OS X well at all.

"Windows' POSIX subsystem behaves CORRECTLY unlike OS X's BSD subsystem. If you really wanted to get something because it behaves like Unix properly then using Windows' POSIX subsystem would definitely be a choice over OS X."
ROFLMAO
Yeah, it's funny how OS X took BSD code and still messed it up to the point where signaling doesn't even work correctly. While Windows gets it right.

"Look up Windows Services for Unix."
Oh God, you can't be serious. Yes, let's all use Windows, the real UNIX.
I didn't say it was the real UNIX nor did I imply it. I am saying that Windows's POSIX subsystem has the correct UNIX behavior, where Mac OS X does not.

You are such a bad troll, and I feel a little sick because I know your twisted little mind might actually believe the garbage coming out of your mouth.
Why don't you refute what issues I have mentioned instead of flamebaiting me?

Re:Mod parent Troll. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21879918)

Maybe he's confused about what you're saying. _Even_ Windows gets signaling right while OsX, a bastard BSD, manages to mess it up.

Personally, I'm more annoyed by not being able to access hardware though device files. That one alone convinced me not to bother porting my software to OsX.

Re:OSX...IRC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21879298)

A friend of mine uses osx and was complaining that there are (she cannot find anyway) any free beer osx irc clients. Are you aware of any that aren't 30 minute timeout nagware apps? Thanks in advance.

Re:OSX...IRC? (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21880718)

A friend of mine uses osx and was complaining that there are (she cannot find anyway) any free beer osx irc clients. Are you aware of any that aren't 30 minute timeout nagware apps?
xchat aqua, bitchx, irssi.

Re:OSX... (3, Interesting)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877816)

The biggest drawback for Linux isn't the platform or OS, it's all those dumbass Klingon sounding names for the applications. Fix that - and for god sake don't make people use a perl script to install it - and you might be able to claim more inroads into general public market share. People don't WANT to use Linux, more people just don't want to use Windows because they've realized how treacherous it is. The iron is hot.

For that reason, your instincts are good for OS X because I've seen many people switch off the Windows platform in 2007 and never look back. They love their Macs mostly because the OS leaves them alone to work plus they've discovered all the software that comes with it. If you are the kind of person who can install any Linux flavor and be able to answer the question "ok, now what?" then Linux is for you. That excludes the vast majority of people who just want to use a computer.

Re:OSX... (2, Insightful)

EWIPlayer (881908) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877914)

People don't WANT to use Linux, more people just don't want to use Windows

That's a brilliant observation and it's one I tend to overlook, but you're totally right. People don't necessarily want to use Linux, OSX, freebsd, Joe's OS, but they simply are tired of using Windows and desperately need an alternative. OSX doesn't immediately run on their Windows hardware, so the next choice is Linux.

Thanks for the insight.

Re:OSX... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21878148)

all those dumbass Klingon sounding names for the applications

Abiword, Cinepaint, Gimp, Inkscape, Open Office, Scribus, Firefox... I'm having some difficulty here, please give me a klingon lesson and tell me exactly which names you're referring too.

Re:OSX... (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878320)

I'm having some difficulty here, please give me a klingon lesson and tell me exactly which names you're referring too.
Try anything related to KDE...

Re:OSX... (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878358)

all those dumbass Klingon sounding names for the applications
Abiword, Cinepaint, Gimp, Inkscape, Open Office, Scribus, Firefox... please give me a klingon lesson and tell me exactly which names you're referring too.

You picked a few names that showed SOME thought. Tell someone using Photoshop on a Mac that you're going to replace it with Gimp on Ubuntu and they'll give you a shot in the chops just for the names. GnuCash? Kopete? Pdftk? Xournal? nGhost? GnoTime? PyCoCuMa? Feisty Fawn? Gentoo? (ok, that's a breed of Penguin)... pyBackPack? Kdissert? Zune?.... oh wait.

Re:OSX... (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878298)

The biggest drawback for Linux isn't the platform or OS, it's all those dumbass Klingon sounding names for the applications.
Someone once said... programmers should never be allowed to choose the name of their apps! XD

Re:OSX... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21878434)

You want Unix and a production quality desktop with tons of high quality third party apps with a buttload of real-world usage? Stop waiting on Linux and switch to OSX... What you want is here, now.

And yet, we're not "waiting on Linux". We're using it on our desktops today. What does that say?

Forget about all of this "It's got to be 'free', man" stuff and just recognize the fact that it has to work, and work well...

I saw a NeXT cube when I was in college, and I thought it was the greatest computer ever ... until I saw a Pentium-75 running Linux 1.0 (without even X). I suggest that it is you who are ignoring the elephant in the room. We've seen Mac OS X. We've used it. We've developed for it, and played games on it. And we still want Linux! We are not so shallow to think that if it's Unixlike, then it has all of the benefits of Linux. You can put our words in 'quotes' and pretend that we talk like stoner-dudes, but it does not change anything.

I realize that if you've been setting up hundreds of Linux boxes, you're probably just ranting, and want nothing more to do with something called "Linux" no matter how good it is. I could tell you that these days it's pretty much "insert Ubuntu installer CD, reboot, press return" (you don't even have to give away personal data like on the Mac), but you wouldn't hear me. That's OK. We'll still be here in 20 years if you ever decide to come back.

Re:OSX... (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878444)

What, so I can pay $250 a year for updates that break my apps? Riiiight...

Apple and Microsoft both need to stick to hardware.

Re:OSX... (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878748)

If you lived and worked in areas of the world which I would call "developing," you would favor freedom more than you do now. For some of, forgetting about "it's got to be free, man" is like giving up on real democracy and just accepting the corruption that exists and destroys as inevitable. Free software may not mean much for the deleveloped nations of the west, but for the rest of the world, Free software equates to national freedom.

Re:OSX... (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21879288)

You want Unix and a production quality desktop with tons of high quality third party apps with a buttload of real-world usage? Stop waiting on Linux and switch to OSX... What you want is here, now.

If I could run OSX on whatever hardware I wanted, I'd consider it.

LK

Re:OSX... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21879566)

That's a lot of words just to say "I'm gay."

Re:OSX... (0, Troll)

skeeto (1138903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21879804)

Switching from Linux to OSX [...] ranks up there as one of the largest impacts, for the better [...]. Now, I just tell people to go buy a Mac and let the computer work for you instead of having to learn (what is to the lay-person) a bunch of voodoo magic.

I can share my operating system and all of the installed software with my friends. You can not.

I win.

Re:OSX...blue screens alot (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 6 years ago | (#21880274)

my daughter has OSX, sure it's cool and I can do Unix admin tricks to manage it remotely from my GNU/Linux box, but the truth about Mac OSX is that it's slightly too bleeding edge and unstable. Fork out $120 for the latest version of Mac OSX and things bring in return. And MacOSX has issues with my favorite coding language.....

Linux on the desktop is redundant now (-1, Flamebait)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878064)

Want user friendly UNIX? Mac OSX.
Want a free UNIX, which is only marginally less user friendly than Ubuntu, and about on the same level with most other Linux distros? FreeBSD.

With both of the above alternatives available, I can't see any reason for using Linux on the desktop at all. The other wonderful thing about using either of the above is that it means that I can also bypass the freak show that is Linux's user community and the plague of the FSF, as well.

Linux's modularity and potential small size mean it might still have a place for embedded devices, but even there, if you don't mind less initial user friendliness, there's NetBSD...and with NetBSD not only do you have arguably greater portability, you've also got a more liberal license, and the above mentioned social benefits, as well.

Anyone I come across who doesn't know about Linux and who is planning to try it, is going to get told about the above alternatives, and then urged not to bother. It's just not worth the pain and suffering.

"pain and suffering" (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878130)

You're right: learning and knowledge are completely overrated, and intellectual curiosity is merely some historical fiction.

Re:Linux on the desktop is redundant now (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878718)

Want user friendly UNIX?
I have doubts that most desktop users care that much about their desktop being UNIX

I can't see any reason for using Linux on the desktop at all.
Well, there are those who have philosophies - opensource, free. Don't want to pay for a expensive machine just get to get OS X (since Apple machines are higher priced and higher speced than the low end in the PC industry).

And then there are people like me, who don't really care about price. But use a OS because they feel it is technically superior for their needs.

In my case: OS X is too difficult - Getting things like applications in Darwin ports working is far more difficult than just using your average linux distribution. The GUI is simplified beyond my liking, I am a power user and I like to customize my desktop a little. Most OS X applications are geared towards the user who has never used the program before but don't hold applications for the more advanced users -- To explain this as simple as I can, a VIM user is likely going to be much faster with LaTeX from scratch to make a pdf document than a user that uses a GUI centric application like Pages and/or Microsoft Office to do so the same.

The reason is that the experienced user with VIM is capable of operating a lot faster with his aliases, tiny commands and so on than a user who has to rely on the mouse and various GUI menus popping up offering various options (yes, I am aware there are VIM ports on OS X). The problem is that OS X in this scenario doesn't really have many applications that even do a compromise by doing 50/50 in capabilities.

OS X doesn't handle x11 properly. I want to use a x11 application, that means I expect to be able to do simple things like drag and drop and copy/pasting properly.

I personally find OS X slower. I run Linux on the same hardware and I find general multi-tasking is just 'faster'.

I find OS X's bugs annoying. Can we please FTFF! (No, Leopard didn't) I am sick of stupid bugs that cause Finder to freeze up on silly things like file shares and even crashing on ungraceful events.

What is really sad is that OS X managed to get Unix certification, but still the BSD subsystem can't handle signals properly. Even Windows' POSIX subsystem does this correctly (that's right, Windows is capable of being more UNIX-like than OS X is in it's current state).

My Linux system does not have these limitations. I hope this was informative to you as to why at least I don't use OS X -- I don't particularly have any real philosophies when it comes to proprietary or opensource software.

Linux's modularity and potential small size mean it might still have a place for embedded devices, but even there, if you don't mind less initial user friendliness, there's NetBSD...and with NetBSD not only do you have arguably greater portability, you've also got a more liberal license, and the above mentioned social benefits, as well.
It is my belief that Linux has been ported to more architectures and platforms than NetBSD has. There are RTOS versions of the OS even that NetBSD does not have. Heck, take a look at the Linux on xbox, Nintendo DS and other random projects people have created. It seems to be running anywhere these days.

Re:Linux on the desktop is redundant now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21879328)

In my case: OS X is too difficult - Getting things like applications in Darwin ports working is far more difficult than just using your average linux distribution. The GUI is simplified beyond my liking, I am a power user and I like to customize my desktop a little.


Sorry, but if you can't get Darwin ports running then you're not a power user. Just stick to things that require you to drag an icon to the Apps folder and you should be okay.

Re:Linux on the desktop is redundant now (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21880644)

Sorry, but if you can't get Darwin ports running then you're not a power user. Just stick to things that require you to drag an icon to the Apps folder and you should be okay.
Seriously, the issues with Darwin ports are stupid things like dependency hell. The applications randomly segfaulting (on a brand new OS X system you just setup). Packages that are referenced, but don't actually exist.

These issues were resolved years ago on Linux distributions.

Re:Linux on the desktop is redundant now (1)

fatrat (324232) | more than 6 years ago | (#21880842)

I agree with a lot of what you say (and I'm a Mac user), but for editing one of the things that keeps me on a Mac is that there is no Linux port of the wonderful TextMate [macromates.com] . It's biased to Emacs keybindings, not vi, but it's much the best editor I have ever used. Keyboard short cuts for everything, easy automation, source control, syntax highlighting etc etc.

Re:Linux on the desktop is redundant now (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21879342)

With both of the above alternatives available, I can't see any reason for using Linux on the desktop at all.

Better device driver support.

LK

Roy is a bit of a nutjob... (1)

flydpnkrtn (114575) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878138)

I understand that there is "telling it like it is" and not pulling any punches, but if you've read http://boycottnovell.com/ [boycottnovell.com] for more than a day you might start to think that Roy Schestowitz is a little bit paranoid... there are several people in the open source world that have openly argued with him on his blog, because he has made baseless accusations without factual evidence.

See http://boycottnovell.com/2007/11/25/gnome-foundation-ooxml-ecma/ [boycottnovell.com] for an example of this... Jeff Waugh (of the GNOME foundation) is one example of someone who has argued with him

PST Files and Synch with HP Phone (1)

AO (62151) | more than 6 years ago | (#21879584)

These are the only things keeping me from switching all of my home computer over to Linux (Main box - Vista, Web Camera box - Xp , Home Automation box - Just switched to Ubuntu during the Christmas break, Poker Night Laptop - XP but really only needs Java, Wife's laptop - Vista, and Windows Home Server - Yes, I now know I can do all of the same things under Linux, but this was easier at the time)

The Home Automation box (misterhouse) just got switched over...the laptop I use on poker nights is next, followed by the box running the web camera security system (I haven't looked for software, but I'm sure it will be out there :)

I have saved emails since 1998, always under Outlook pst files. I tried Linux 2 years ago, but there was no way to transfer over the emails...as far as I can tell, you still can't!

My wife won't care what OS she is running (I already deleted IE and installed Firefox on her laptop) but she would freak if she lost all of her email.

Truthfully, I don't even care about syncing my phone. But how do I get all the email stored in PST files?

Re:PST Files and Synch with HP Phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21880064)

Just restore the pst in outlook then connect to your other account as imap, then copy the folders from one account to the other. on a q-mail server for instance, the mail becomes files that can be compressed, and are perfectly portable, the e-mail is text, the attachment is the file itself. no worries mate.

Re:PST Files and Synch with HP Phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21880266)

Can't Thunderbird import PST files on Windows? Then just transfer the Thunderbird-Windows mail to Thunderbird-Linux.

There's also this:

apt-cache show readpst
Package: readpst
Priority: optional
Section: universe/utils
Installed-Size: 192
Maintainer: Ubuntu MOTU Developers
Original-Maintainer: Joe Nahmias
Architecture: i386
Source: libpst
Version: 0.5.2-1
Depends: libc6 (>= 2.5-0ubuntu1)
Filename: pool/universe/libp/libpst/readpst_0.5.2-1_i386.deb
Size: 56626
MD5sum: 7b21a877cbdbd89f659ada29169c208d
SHA1: d797c660608c97ef7717c003ee16fff2b847f096
SHA256: 56061a3e9aa6fb34d668d84424b4b5ef6edfc67f714e8346ca9e58926470c55d
Description: Converts Outlook PST files to mbox and others
  ReadPST is an application that can take a Microsoft Outlook PST
  (Personal Folders) file and convert it into mbox, kmail, its own
  recursive format, or separate each email into its own file.
  .
  It can currently handle emails, folders and most contacts.

Linux FTW!!!! (1, Troll)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 6 years ago | (#21880914)

I took the hard disk out of my broken Packard Bell laptop (daughter had spilled cola over it and it refused to work again) and put it into my Sony VAIO laptop... started it up and it booted perfectly into KDE... absolutely no problems at all... and all the hardware was different... different mobo chipset, different processor, different graphics card.

We were able to rescue all her data and coursework that she'd been working on when the accident occurred...

Out of curiosity. when I tried to boot the windows XP on the other partition it blackscreened... with a cryptic FATAL error code...

Ubuntu Linux 1 : Microsoft XP 0

Re:Linux FTW!!!! (1)

Frederico Camara (976080) | more than 6 years ago | (#21880964)

I was using Linux as my primary OS before 2007 (Debian, then Ubuntu). Before the switching, I was using XP and Linux alternatively. Both were installed with equivalent applications, and I bought a 160Gb hard drive. I became very angered by the fact that Windows XP started overwriting the beginning of the hard drive after it reached the 137th GB of the drive. I was not aware that this could happen. Well, this is a very dumb limitation for XP that was corrected in sp1. I thought at the time that it shoud have been corrected at least before XP was ever shipped. At the same time I thought 'Linux may have this limitation as well' and started searching for it. Although a simple search at google showed me the problem with windows XP, with Linux nobody was having this problem. The reason for this is that this problem is related to XP, not the filesystem. Fat32, NTFS and EXT2 all have limits beyond some Terabytes. It's been corrected in 200X. But in my opinion, an operating system that have such lack of vision, of problems that would affect it some 5 years in the future, can not be taken seriously. Ubuntu Linux 2 : Microsoft XP 0
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