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Torvalds On Desktop Linux's Slow Uptake

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the dare-not-to-be-different dept.

Linux 450

javipas notes a Wired piece summarizing a two-part interview with Linus Torvalds that's up at linux-foundation.org (part 1, part 2). In the second part the creator of the Linux kernel gives his view on the limited success of Linux on the desktop. "I have never, ever cared about really anything but the Linux desktop... The desktop is also the thing where people get really upset if something changes, so it's really hard to enter the desktop market because people are used to whatever they used before, mostly Windows... better is worse if it's different."

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People don't like change (3, Insightful)

fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#22347816)

Meh, people don't like chance, so change will happen slowly. That's all.

Re:People don't like change (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22347962)

That's why John McCain will be elected president in 2008 and the so called youth vote will be irrelevant as usual.

Re:People don't like change (5, Insightful)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348032)


People also don't like crappy UI's, programs with really absurd/dorky names that make no sense to anyone but nerds who get the inside joke (if there even is one), and O/S's that don't support their favorite software. Honestly, I'd say it's about 100x's more likely that OSX gains significant ground to the point where it makes sense for apple to source out OSX to third party system builders than it would that Linux gains any significant headground. You know, unless the Linux community understands and finally makes strides to make Linux a) look like a program you would actually go out and spend your hard earned money on and b) make the UI and naming convention on the included software logical.

Re:People don't like change (5, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348132)

programs with really absurd/dorky names that make no sense to anyone but nerds

If stupid names are such a user turn-off, then why is Microsoft willing to spend $44B to buy "Yahoo!" so that it can compete with "Google"?

Re:People don't like change (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348328)

And why is their security product (as advertised on this very site) called foreskin?

Linux sucks as a desktop, pure and simple to (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22348070)


Linux sucks as a desktop, pure and simple to understand. And it's so friggin' antiquated it's silly. Vista may be a DRM-minefield, but XP is a perfectly fine desktop. That's why 100+ million use it everyday, compared to MAYBE a few dozen thousand Linux desktops. Those numbers are close. You may scream but that doesn't change the real world.

People hate change(s) (1)

A little Frenchie (715758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22347836)

we all know that, no?

I disagrrree (5, Informative)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 6 years ago | (#22347840)

I suppose it's time for a drive-by argument.

While many here on Slashdot seem rather cynical when it comes to adoption of Linux on the desktop, I am not nearly so jaded. Not only am I an example of a non-programmer-type who switched from Windows to Linux, but in the past 12 months, I have seen countless other examples, culminating in a large number of people switching during the early days of the Vista fiasco. They were convinced that if they had to re-learn how to use an operating system, they might as well just switch to Linux.

On a number of non-computer oriented websites I visit, including ones where the majority of the members are over 30 years old, the adoption of Linux has been phenomenal... skyrocketing to >10% within one year.

I think the times for "year of linux on the desktop" jokes is past. There is no reason for the sarcasm. With almost every OEM selling Linux PCs, and AMD/ATI adopting a more pro-Linux approach, I think that there is no reason for sarcasm. This IS the year of Linux on the desktop. We're living it.

Re:I disagrrree (5, Funny)

Malevolent Tester (1201209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22347888)

This IS the year of Linux on the desktop. We're living it
Duke Nukem Forever is going to be out in 2008 as well.

Re:I disagrrree (2, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22347918)

But will it run on Linux?

Re:I disagrrree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22348076)

It'll run on Linux at first, and they'll eventually port it to Vista and OS X when they stop sucking.

Re:I disagrrree (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348412)

they'll eventually port it to Vista and OS X when they stop sucking.

Then we're in for another long wait.

Only if (1)

Yogi_Stewart_4 (999603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348134)

you have the Bitboys Glaze 3D card. With the right drivers of course.

Re:Only if (2)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348550)

That or the phantom console.

Re:I disagrrree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22348528)

But will it run on Linux?

C'mon, everyone knows it's a Phantom exclusive...

I agree with you. (1)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348038)

I didn't have any problem using GNOME & KDE.

I think the whole desktop thing is as pure and simple as market penetration and the only folks bitching about the desktop usability are techies who are looking for a reason other than simple marketing. MS still controls the market and they have the penetration into the corp desktop and most machines come with their OS. So of course most folks are going to use them. Who the hell wants to remove the OS that came with the machine - even if a new one is free.

Re:I disagrrree (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22348072)

I'm with you on this one. The year of Linux on *my* desktop was 2007.
I switched to Kubuntu for 2 reasons:
  1. I finally got broadband.
  2. I took a C++ class so I needed a compiler. (So obviously I'm not one of you professional "software engineers")
This was in January. I told my (non-techie) wife what I was up to, but didn't try to evangelize or anything.
Around May she asked me to install Kubuntu on her laptop, citing fear of Microsoft lock-in.
Both of our setups are dual-boot, but we boot Windows less than once a month.
And it's really weird how she never needs help with her computer anymore.

Re:I disagrrree (1, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348258)

I'm with you on this one. The year of Linux on *my* desktop was 2007.

I wish you luck, but you probably don't understand why those of us for whom The Year Of Linux On My Desktop had a "199" in it laugh when we read comments like the original one here. Replace "Vista" with "Windows 98" and we've been reading that exact pronouncement for the last decade.

Re:I disagrrree (1)

farkus888 (1103903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348592)

why are you planning to wait another 172 years before switching?

Re:I disagrrree (2, Funny)

Fluk3 (742259) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348338)

The year of linux on the desktop has ben canceled due to global warming

Simple reason enough (3, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22347842)

People invest a lot of time learning a certain UI, the way it does things and the interface. For technical people like us, it's not that difficult to learn a new UI (since we have an appreciation of the underlying works). But for non-techies, learning a new UI (particularly one that makes as much use of the terminal/command line as most Linux distros do) can be a major hassle. It's just not worth it for most people, just for some nominal security benefits and to save the $100 or so that Windows adds to the typical computer.

Ubuntu is making some inroads, with a more user-friendly GUI. But most people just don't see the value.

Re:Simple reason enough (4, Insightful)

eneville (745111) | more than 6 years ago | (#22347924)

People invest a lot of time learning a certain UI, the way it does things and the interface. For technical people like us, it's not that difficult to learn a new UI (since we have an appreciation of the underlying works). But for non-techies, learning a new UI (particularly one that makes as much use of the terminal/command line as most Linux distros do) can be a major hassle. It's just not worth it for most people, just for some nominal security benefits and to save the $100 or so that Windows adds to the typical computer.
but going from xp -> vista is also quite a "learning" investment.

Re:Simple reason enough (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22348380)

Maybe if you're configuring hardware, or setting up firewall rules, but for the average user, I just don't buy it. You click on the start menu, select the program you want, and it works the same (besides the transparent window decoration). Just because it's a pain in the ass for the /. crowd to learn the new control panels doesn't mean there's a massive leap for most end-users...

Re:Simple reason enough (5, Insightful)

gsslay (807818) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348094)

But for non-techies, learning a new UI (particularly one that makes as much use of the terminal/command line as most Linux distros do) can be a major hassle.
For non-techies, the UI is the computer. So if techies want to understand what an upheaval it can be; imagine learning a new operating system that works to three state bits, stores its configuration in jpegs, uses venn diagrams and tonal whistles instead of WIMP and communicates with hardware not by interrupts, but by a "alphabetical sort queue" principle.

Scared? Now you're getting the idea.

Re:Simple reason enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22348304)

It uses whistles instead of weakly interacting massive particles? Where are WIMPs used in current operating systems?

Re:Simple reason enough (1)

Stefanwulf (1032430) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348594)

That's one of the best analogies I've heard in these discussions.

It's also probably a good example of why I so enjoyed switching to linux - I really want to get my hands on the OS you just described so I could see how all that actually works...and so I can start playing with the application of image filters to config files :)

Re:Simple reason enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22348138)

For technical people like us, it's not that difficult to learn a new UI

Tell that to my damn fingers

:wq

Re:Simple reason enough (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348146)

So how do you explain MacOS then.

Re:Simple reason enough (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348438)

What about it?

Re:Simple reason enough (5, Insightful)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348218)

Sorry, but UI is a red herring, it's hardware compatibility and software availability (AKA "lock in") nothing else. KDE and Gnome are pretty much Windows like point an click interfaces.

Re:Simple reason enough (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348296)

I don't really buy the "better is worse if it's different" argument. The fastest growing desktop OS by far is MacOS, which is growing at twice the industry growth rate. It's very different from Windows (in some ways more different than some linux window managers), but still seems to attract many converts.

Re:Simple reason enough (1)

sckeener (137243) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348396)

I'm a techie and I would love to switch to Ubuntu.

So far my major issue on making the switch is a media server. I have Dlink DSM-520s and they connect into my computer to play my media files. I tried Linuxmce and like normal from Linux installations ran into driver issues. I've avoided Mythtv because of all the horror stories I've heard with installs. [linuxmce.com]

Still I'd love to make the switch to Ubuntu...but if I can't easily make the switch, how is Joe average computer guy going to make it?

Re:Simple reason enough (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348544)

I'm a techie too and I have both a Linux PC and Windows PC at home. The Linux PC uses the latest version of Ubuntu. Frankly, Linux has been a huge pain in the ass to install and setup for what I need it for. But it is getting better. On my previous install (Ubuntu 7.04), I finally just threw my hands up in frustration. I couldn't even change the screen resolution without doing it manually in the xorg config file and most of the programs I needed simply weren't available for it (or, if they were available, were either buggy as hell or didn't even have a basic GUI for linux). More recently it has gotten better. The newest version of Ubuntu has better GUI (including the "about fucking time" ability to change screen resolutions without having to go into the terminal). And a lot of programs like TrueCrypt are finally releasing GUI's for linux.

moron what's holding up the 'flock' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22347858)

wireless drivers. let's not forget to mention wireless drivers.

Re:moron what's holding up the 'flock' (1)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348000)

Personally, wireless drivers was what made me use Ubuntu rather then Debian. I don't think I could have coped with using MS Windows to access the Internet at every turn. (Now it is just when I want to use dial-up.)

Wireless Drivers (1)

bone_idol (782109) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348074)

He does.. FTA

"Broadcom is an example of this. They are - they have actually been fairly good when it comes to high-end gigabit network devices, wired network devices, but only when it comes to wireless networks and other more consumer devices, they've been completely unable or unwilling to help us at all."

How? (0, Flamebait)

DigitalisAkujin (846133) | more than 6 years ago | (#22347864)

How can you expect the king of nerds explain to someone why everyone else (ie: normal people) don't wanna use Linux?

Misquoted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22347880)

"I have never, ever cared about really anything but the Linux desktop."

Is it just me or is he saying that's the only thing he cares about. Seems counter to the rest of the summary.

Re:Misquoted? (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22347984)

saying that's the only thing he cares about

Well, I don't know about broader adoption, but the Linux desktop is why I got into Linux in the first place. I mean, I have never, ever cared about really anything but the Linux desktop.

The server market was a lot easier to get into. There's just a few loads, they're fairly simple, they're fairly well-understood, people are - have much less inertia in upgrading a server than they have in upgrading their desktop. But I have never, ever even run a Linux server and I don't even want to; it's not what I'm interested in.

But what does he think about (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22347894)

Leonard Nimoy, nude an in character?

Linux Desktop=Duke Nukem Forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22347912)

enough said

Re:Linux Desktop=Duke Nukem Forever (1)

heathen_01 (1191043) | more than 6 years ago | (#22347942)

Are you saying that Linux Desktop is equivalent to Duke Nukem Forever, or that The Linux Desktop is Duke Nukem Forever?

Re:Linux Desktop=Duke Nukem Forever (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348290)

Are you saying that Linux Desktop is equivalent to Duke Nukem Forever, or that The Linux Desktop is Duke Nukem Forever
Yes. That's why he posted anonymously. He doesn't want anyone to know how much of a moron he really is.

different is good (1)

b04rdr1d3r (1079225) | more than 6 years ago | (#22347922)

>> better is worse if it's different For the vast majority of people who really don't want to spend time learning a new UI, it is true, but some UI are so intelligently designed that the commands are right where you expect them to be. I change of UI from time to time for the sake of fun, but I keep coming back to the cleanliness of the WindowMaker... That said, I believe that I feel like natural might be considered unnatural by someone else... the beauty of Linux (and other *nix for that matter) is the fact that you can switch UI at will... I'd say this makes it ideally suited for the desktop because you can just pick whatever UI you want. (okay, this is not a valid argument for corporations...)

The XO laptop is a good example. (4, Informative)

xzvf (924443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22347926)

I put an XO in front of 5-15 year old kids and the younger they are the more receptive they are to the experience. Sugar is a unique desktop experience and it throws people off. Kids with PSP and DS systems are the worst. It might be why reviews by adults are so negative. My experience (and probably many of yours) is starting with a computer from the Apple II, Atari, Commodore era. Wrote high school term papers on a typewriter. In college I did amber screen work and wrote papers with a dot matrix printer. My first technical job was help desk for a huge Win95 environment. A godsend gave me the opportunity, with no experience, to move to a Solaris support gig. It was heaven to see the command line again. The rise of the Linux desktop feels comfortable to me. Put Linux systems in every school and its desktop will be popular in twenty years.

Perspective (4, Insightful)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348254)

My experience (and probably many of yours) is starting with a computer from the Apple II, Atari, Commodore era. Wrote high school term papers on a typewriter. In college I did amber screen work and wrote papers with a dot matrix printer... The rise of the Linux desktop feels comfortable to me.

This middle-aged woman at the office listens to the "E-Z Rock" radio station. That's because it feels comfortable to her. She grew up with stuff like that.

Me? I turn that shit off the moment I get the chance.

Maybe it's the UI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22347928)

I wonder why people like to use OS X on desktop more than Linux? After all, Linux has way more advanced file system!

moqd down (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22347936)

hand...don't is wipe3 off and Gloves, condoms You should bring

Read the article ... (5, Informative)

cbart387 (1192883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22347940)

I read these interviews before and of course the summary is misleading yet again ;) The interview(s) is/are (not sure if it's two or they just split it to get more stories out of one) covers a much broader range of topics. It's not solely about Linux on the destkop, also it discusses Linus's views on the open source, his experience working with the kernel etc. The desktop question is one (or two) questions out of many and is not a major focus in the interview. I wonder if the submitter even read the article ...

I'd suggest reading the interview (yeah right!), there's a lot of interesting insight from him. He's much more palatable then RMS. I particularly found his thoughts on getting involved interesting.

I get the question of "Where should I start?" fairly often and my advice is just don't even ask that question. It's more like if you're not interested enough in one particular area that you already know what you want to try to do, don't do it. Just let it go and then when you hit something where you say, "I could do this better" and you actually feel motivated enough that you go from saying that to doing that, you will have answered that question yourself.

Hard work (0)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22347968)

A GUI is used to communicate between man and machine. Communication involving humans is quirky to say the least - just look at the 'rules' of English. However once you have learnt the quirky rules then alternative sets of rules just look like hard work.

The general tendency of humans to avoid overdosing on hard work also explains diverse conundrums such as why I am still a two finger typist and why the US hasn't gone metric.

As usual: (3, Insightful)

crhylove (205956) | more than 6 years ago | (#22347974)

Linus makes cogent and valid points. However, despite the fact that this will start a holy flame war, I would go one further:

The main problem most early adopters have (that I see) IS in the difference to Windows or OS X. And that first difference is a feature: Security.

If there was a distro that was identical to XP, and booted straight to the desktop with root privileges, incorporating wine automatically, and having gimpshop, firefox, open office, urban terror, an identical winamp clone, et al configured as near as possible to the hegemonic forces of today's markets, it would gain a lot of traction very quickly.

Ditto for an OS X clone.

Many people do not want a password, do not want security, and do not want variety or choice. They want what has always worked for them, and they want it for free. I've seen more spam, viruses, trojans, rootkits, and other problems in the Windows world than anywhere else (obviously), but people keep going back there, because (sort of) IT JUST WORKS, and they are used to it. I've seen computers with virii and Mcafee that took 20 minutes to boot, but the user didn't care! Once it was up it had the stuff they were used to: Photoshop, Windows, Microsoft Office, and Outlook. There are pretty seamless replacements for all these, but they are generally not bundled by default in any distro, and are not 100% compatible across the board with the hegemonic software competitors.

*i* like the enhanced security of not logging in automagically as root, but grandma doesn't. Grandma says "fuck it" and goes and drops $500 on a dell, or maybe a mac.

Just give the people what they want (right or wrong!) and the masses will come. Now is the chance, since vista sucks balls, and sp1 doesn't fix it at all!

It all falls under the category of "Keep it simple, stupid", really. I'm still waiting for a distro that during install gives you two choices:

Super Secure
Just Like Windows

That will be the distro that finally takes huge chunks out of the windows market. Ubuntu is close, but still pretty far away.

Your grandma has a potty mouth. (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348282)

She should be ashamed. Or adjust her meds.

Totally wrong (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 6 years ago | (#22347980)

Why is this so hard for so many people to understand? The reason Linux doesn't get adopted has nothing to do with how the desktop works. I have news for you: Linux, Windows and the Mac are effectively identical when it comes to operating them.

I shout this from the rooftops everytime this comes up: PEOPLE USE APPLICATIONS, NOT OPERATING SYSTEMS.

Applications are EVERYTHING. Microsoft has long understood this. Why are people so upset at Vista? It's not because of the popups... it's because of the compatability problems. People want absolute, "it just works" compatability. People want to be able to walk into Best Buy, grab a box off the shelf (software OR hardware), and install it. No muss, no fuss. That's why the Mac has long had single digit adoption rates. People don't to figure anything out, they just want to buy a damn box and load it on.

Linux will be adopted with a) it has nearly perfect Windows compatibility, or b) the major companies start producing Linux version of their commercial software.

And yes, I understand that there are typically free versions of various commercial software. But again, people don't want to figure anything out. They want to know that if they see a box, it will work. If they buy that fancy computerized sewing machine (such as my mother-in-law), it will work.

Re:Totally wrong (1)

heffrey (229704) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348058)

Developers, developers, developers.

Ballmer was right all along.

Indeed (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22348078)

Music Players
Linux 10,000 and they ALL SUCK! Got iTunes?
Windows 50 of which 10 are good.
Apple 2.

Video Creation/Editing
Linux 20 and they ALL TOTALLY SUCK! Got Sony Vegas?
Windows 50 of which 10 are exceptional.
Apple 5

The list goes on and on and on and on but, you get the idea.

Re:Indeed (1)

the plant doctor (842044) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348206)

Can't argue with the second point much, for me the Gimp cuts it, but on the first for music players ever heard of Amarok? C'mon, you're not being realistic in the least here. Just posting flamebait.

Re:Indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22348622)

Amarok is what I use. It's pretty nice and offers a great deal of hope but, let's look at the facts. I'm still using 1.4 because it is what ships and is supported by my distro. If you mention SVN you fail it!

My Amarok crashes for any number of silly reasons. I used it for a New Year's party and it crashed three times before the party was over.
It offers limited compatibility with only a few hardware players but still has issues e.g. corrupting iPod play lists, incorrect track time display, high resource utilization...

The other issue with Amarok is that, like so many other open source projects, they lose interest in fixing all these problems and instead turn all development resources to the "sexy new" Amarok 2 rewrite and, perhaps most ludicrous, a Windows port!

Right now, Rhythmbox is providing a better user experience than Amarok, though it has less features and suffers from issues of its own as well.

Ever used iTunes? Pretty smooth. Pretty slick. Feature rich. I've never seen it crash or had users complain of crashing.

But, I'm glad that you brought Amarok into the argument because it rather clearly illustrates what I meant in the previous post. Amarok is widely regarded as one of the better(best) open source music players. But, when compared to the likes of iTunes, Amarok is a rather crappy and 'not quite there yet' solution. And that's the case with SO many Linux apps. They offer great promise that never quite comes to fruition.

Re:Totally wrong is totally right (1)

R3d Jack (1107235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348180)

I finally bought a Mac for the family. They all hate Windows, especially my wife. But I held back because of applications. Two things are changing. One, more native apps for Mac. Two, VMWare Fusion, which allows me to run my Windows-only apps in a Mac Window. Now, everyone fights to get on the Mac. The same applies to Linux. When the apps are there, I certainly won't spend a bunch of money to get Windows, which is three on my list of OS's.

Re:Totally wrong (4, Insightful)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348190)

Thanks for saying this.

I have korean project partners who are angry with me because I won't install Office 2007 and make them save it in some older format. They are even playing games, claiming that they are using some essential parts (read Microsoft Equation Editor) which they cannot convert to old format.

I have given up on explaining the morality behind not using pirated copies... I have given up the rational that Office 2007 adds no new mission crucial functionality. I simply say that I don't have a computer and I work in my office. I don't even tell them that in my office I use OpenOffice, on Linux.

People are not masters in this area. There is a very simple thinking behind all this:
1) Expensive is good, more expensive is better, even when it is pirated.
2) I use bla/I _like_ bla, can you do it? (Until we can do it by clicking here and there, we are argument-less in their eyes.

Re:Totally wrong (3, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348568)

I shout this from the rooftops everytime this comes up: PEOPLE USE APPLICATIONS, NOT OPERATING SYSTEMS.

The other side of that is that while people use applications, the operating system can break that experience. I think more people are starting to get sick of the spyware and virus slowdowns, and your average person doesn't know how to fix that so they buy a new computer when it 'gets slow'.

Also...most of those applications are web browsers, document editors, and the like. Good versions of these exist for Linux. So at the point where the applications are pretty much the same, even a non-technical user can see value in going with the system that's not going to crap out on them.

People don't to figure anything out, they just want to buy a damn box and load it on.

That was true 10 years ago. Now people don't want to buy the box. They want their computer to come with all the useful stuff they want. That's why Mac adoption rates are skyrocketing. And Linux distros are getting far better about including stuff people want to use, with native apps that are, in most cases, better than what ships with Windows.

See, that's the funny part now - people are getting so lazy and expect so much from the computer that software compatibility is becoming less and less of an issue. So there really is a significant opportunity for Linux to be used by 'regular people.' Only caveat is it needs to come pre-installed on their computer.

Re:Totally wrong (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348582)

Compatability problems? Where are these problems you speak of?

All my old software has installed and worked flawlessly since I've been on Vista. Some of it dates back to when I used W98.

All my old games work. Ah, except CIV4, which needed DX9 if I remember correctly. What? Need to install DX to play a certain game? Hardly a new experience for PC gamers.

All my old cracks work. Key Gens work.

All my old cameras, scanner, mp3 player, printer, USB mass storage devices just work.

I'll admit Vista is not perfect but it's not the dog everyone makes out it to be.

"Baaaaaa" said the Slashdot sheep.

Desktop + Apps (1)

PodBayDoor (831711) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348616)

Most people don't and won't use Linux because it's a bunch of random software. Open-source is great for producing libraries and software to an existing spec, but most o-s developers hate to ape a UI too closely, with the result that most o-s GUIs are appalling.

Commercial desktops are:
- designed = usability and consistency, actually considering the use cases that regular people carry out every day
- principled = they don't contain every random feature that some hacker thinks would be cool

Linux has a few key apps (browser and an office suite), but if it weren't for Java, it would be very limited. O-s hackers create tools, not apps.

There is a huge chicken-and-egg problem - a platform doesn't get apps until it has volume, and vice-versa.

If there was a coherent Linux desktop movement that created a common framework independent of any graphical toolkit (Gtk or Qt), and that focussed on users rather than on features, it might just gain users. The current situation with Vista was the perfect opportunity to promote Linux, but the big L wasn't ready.

Linus is talking high quality rubbish... (2, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#22347988)

" it's really hard to enter the desktop market because people are used to whatever they used before, mostly Windows... better is worse if it's different. "

If Linux is trying to ape the Windows look and feel, or its rubbish ever-changing architecture or dll hell... then it is doomed to failure in the long term. With Vista, Windows has reached saturation point - even long time users are reluctant to take on Vista or for that matter, IE7 or Office 2007.

Firefox isn't slow in its uptake because it is different from IE7; people use it bcos it is better. Linux trying to mock Windows would be a 10-year backward step, and doomed to failure.

RMS was right... Torvalds is just an engineer; he isn't great at predicting the future or reading people's minds.

Linux on Desktop? Ha (3, Insightful)

uptownguy (215934) | more than 6 years ago | (#22347990)

Here's the thing -- I've been working in the IT field for over 15 years now. I'm no systems administrator but I certainly know my way around a computer.

I want Linux to be ready for the desktop.

I want Linux to provide a decent end user experience.

But it doesn't. It doesn't even come close. I've tried different flavors over the years. Most recently, I tried (and failed!) to install Ubuntu on my laptop and desktop at home. And here is what I've found...

Between driver issues, chicken and egg problems (my network isn't working, how can I can my network working if my network isn't working), absolutely atrocious user-friendliness, what still feels to this "power user" like a very steep learning curve (I just want to get wireless to work, what is a "NDIS wrapper"? I have to do WHAT?) , nothing built in to the OS to help with this and online forums that are full of extremely helpful people who give convoluted, conflicting and overly complicated advice...

It just isn't a good end user experience. Linux seems all about feature sets and me-too-ism. cleverly titled software packages that are a little embarrassing to run or talk about. But very little thought is given to getting something up and running so a regular person can hit the ground running. If you don't happen to have a family member or friend ready to walk you through the transition, you will end up spending tens/hundreds of hours to get to a point where you can do the same things you could with your Windows machine. The closest I ever came was the Knoppix Live CD about three years ago... but even that ended up being more work than what I got out of it.

Again -- I want Linux to be ready for the desktop. I understand as an IT professional that you can get a much leaner, more secure, stable configuration for a fraction of the price. At the enterprise level that makes sense. But for a regular person looking to take the plunge... documentation, easy of use, drivers that "just work" -- SIMPLE, NON TECHIE ways to get things working once they don't work without needing to learn something new -- all of these might be things that geeks scoff at. But until they are addressed, Linux will forever be a tiny slice on that pie chart.

Come on geeks. Microsoft is ripe for the picking. Macs will grow in market share. People will continue down the MS upgrade path and you'll keep talking about how 20__ is the year of desktop Linux...

Re:Linux on Desktop? Ha (5, Insightful)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348272)

Linux is ready for desktop, hardware and software vendors are not ready for Linux. The are few reason beside hardware and software lock in for which people would not switch to Linux. "Oh My God, do you mean that I have to click only once!!!!11!!1!!"

Re:Linux on Desktop? Ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22348408)

I have to disagree.. My 51 year old mother deals neatly with ubuntu 7.10.
IMHO the problem is with technical assistance.. if it wasn't for me, no apt-get firefox plugins for seeing youtube films, no mp3/Dvd play and etc..
Of course if I talk about using a terminal, I'll be terminated... Don't expect mainstream non technical people to adopt a terminal console.. just forget it!!

The Desktop User needs the basics:
1.Internet Connectivity
2.Web Browser
3.Media Player
4.Text Processor
5.PowerPoint Like for seeing corny things

Re:Linux on Desktop? Ha (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22348566)

I want Linux to be ready for the desktop.

I want Linux to provide a decent end user experience.

But it doesn't. It doesn't even come close.

That's funny, I must have hallucinated the past decade or so that I've been using Linux on the desktop.

What would be accurate to say is that Linux isn't ready for your desktop. And that's quite all right, but don't pretend that you can generalise that to everybody, especially when you yourself point out that you aren't average when it comes to computer experience. And no, just because you have more experience, it doesn't mean that you should automatically find it easier than people with less experience. Often experience gets in the way, and people with less experience usually want to do less complicated things and have older hardware.

So please, stop saying that Linux isn't ready for the desktop. That's just FUD. It's not ready for your desktop.

Re:Linux on Desktop? Ha (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348642)

Between driver issues, chicken and egg problems (my network isn't working, how can I can my network working if my network isn't working), absolutely atrocious user-friendliness, what still feels to this "power user" like a very steep learning curve (I just want to get wireless to work, what is a "NDIS wrapper"? I have to do WHAT?) , nothing built in to the OS to help with this and online forums that are full of extremely helpful people who give convoluted, conflicting and overly complicated advice...
In the closed source world, there typically is a solution or there isn't. Linux is full of all these shades of gray, and NDISwrapper is a good example. It's just in the nature of Linux that people hack around and sometimes get things to work that aren't "supposed" to work - sorta, using some obscure recompiles and configuration hacks and binary blobs and whatnot. Let me introduce you to the newbie's guide to Linux compatibility:

Kernel tree driver (+ATI/nVidia): YES
Anything else: NO - no matter what you might read

Then go out and buy supported hardware. Don't assume that whatever strange winmodem or sound chip or printer or whatever will have Linux support. Start preparing for a migration BEFORE your actual migration by replacing hardware that WILL NOT work in Linux with hardware that will work while still on Windows. For a laptop, this means wait until it needs replacement and buy a Linux-supported laptop. When you're done (this may take a while) then try migrating, and if all else fails you can easily go the other way around and install Windows anyway.

It depends which lens you use. (2, Interesting)

delire (809063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22347998)

Linux is doing just fine if you consider growth rate. These statistics [w3schools.com] - and those of several other sites I've encountered (including my own) indicate it's adoption rate is as fast as that of Apple's, in some cases moreso. However, adoption looks very poor if you look to 'market share', a figure based on sale count, and by far the most popular guage.

Recently, however, the wide success of the EeePC (and apparent solid sales of Dell's M1330 w/Ubuntu) shows that Linux can work very well in the hands of the uninterested or uninitiated if it comes preinstalled. At a conference I recently attended I met an art curator using an EeePC. She said she doesn't like computers but prefers the EeePC because "it's easier than my MacBook and has better internet". For the casual and highly mobile computer user I think Linux is very much claiming market share.

At the other end, the workstation market, Linux is also making very strong ground (3D animation, film compositing/editing, engineering).

Re:It depends which lens you use. (1)

Nemilar (173603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348110)

You're completely right about it depending on "which lens you use," as you put it. But to use the w3c stats, or stats from websites you frequent, or your own website, will give a highly distorted view. These are (I'm assuming) mostly technical sites, with technically-minded people.

If you want to know how Linux is really doing on the desktop, look at the stats from ESPN.com. I'm betting not so good.

Sour grapes? (1)

grouchomarxist (127479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348020)

Sounds like jealousy to me.

the "it's for geeks only" argument (1)

stevie.f (1106777) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348030)

It's only been recently that any distros have received much publicity outside of computing circles and are losing the reputation of being "only for geeks" or "really hard to install". The biggest thing standing in the way is support. Who do you call if something goes wrong? That is very offputting for quite a lot of people. Then there is the fact that most PCs are sold with XP or Vista pre-installed, so why change? They feel that it is like throwing money away. In it's favour, as more people are using ubuntu (the one that most people have heard of) word of mouth is causing others to be interested and think 'if they can do it so can i'. I'm expecting to see an exponential growth curve over the next few years

Huh? Does Linus actually know people? (3, Insightful)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348050)

The desktop is also the thing where people get really upset if something changes
I thought that was IT departmens. Considering that a significant number of former Windows users are switching to Apple, and many, many more are at least considering Apple for their next computer, I don't think desktop users are as adverse to change as Linus makes them out to be.

Mac/Apple Does Destroy This Theory (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348192)

I'm not being anti-Linux here. But in any grand theory of poor Linux adoption, you have to account for the growth of Macs. Would you accept a grand unified theory that skips over gravity?

Why are people switching from Windows to Mac in significant numbers? And why not Linux?

Re:Mac/Apple Does Destroy This Theory (1)

Blahbooboo3 (874492) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348470)

They are switching to Macs over Linux because:

1) Most of the apps they use on Windoze now exist on the Mac -- Office, Photoshop, etc

2) Macs are easier to use than Linux desktops. And they have incredible support via applecare.

It's an inferior OS.. (2, Informative)

stormguard2099 (1177733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348066)

I would wager that many people think it's just an inferior OS that can't run what they want. In my experience working tech support at my university, a lot of people don't think that macs can run what they need. They have this concept that all of the good programs run on windows and people just don't use other OSs to do the stuff that they do on windows. Yes, I know I'm talking about macs instead of linux but if people have such doubt in macs, it doesn't take much to see how these same people would view linux (which most haven't even heard of). Mind you this is at a university so I was dealing with a young crowd which is commonly thought of to be more tech savy. To me it seems like these kinds of misconceptions are the biggest problem for linux

not true (1)

surfi (1196953) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348104)

this is not true since programs and even windows are changing it's GUI on every new version. linux only needs to be on shopping centers, thats all! you only have to look at the asus eee pc..

Re:not true (1)

whychevron (1230194) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348626)

agree , just look at the green machine at wallyworld always sold out and sears own Mirus always on backorder . the general public is starting to see the value of linux .

Ahh, there he is! (1)

Asmodai (13932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348122)

I was already wondering where the yearly Linus Torvalds talk would be about how Linux will break through to the desktop Real Soon Now(tm). This has been a pipe dream for how many years now?

Seriously, you cannot keep taking this seriously. Apple should how Unix can be made interesting to Joe Average to get a good uptake on the desktop, but neither Linux nor the BSDs will cut it for Joe and Jane Average, it's simple as that.

Linux on the desktop (1)

eitreach (1211194) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348124)

I don't recognize the "Linux isn't catching on"-argument. I do a lot of support and promoting work regarding the Ubuntu-distribution, and as far as I can tell, its use is skyrocketing - and not just in Linux-circles. Surely it is mostly open-minded people who are going to be interested in changing from CradleOS to something new, but there are a lot of these - and the fact that they are realising that CradleOS is a flawed system helps it along quite well. Linux is gaining in the desktop-market. It's no longer a question about when - it's a question about how fast.

It's easy - just make it better (4, Insightful)

edmicman (830206) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348162)

One thing I don't understand is that there seems to be a consensus that Apple got it right, UI-wise. Unix underpinnings, but an elegant interface (from what I hear, anyway....I haven't used a Mac since ~1994). The knock against linux seems to be that the frameworks are there, it's just sort of a kludgey interface a lot of the time. "Too much command line needed". In my experience, things like Ubuntu have made it a lot better, but it still seems like a bastardized version of Windows. Sure somethings are prettier sometimes, but a lot of times other parts aren't remotely close. So my question is....

Why not rip off the other guys? Rather than chase Windows, chase freakin' OS X. If Apple can make a glamorous OS based on Unix, why can't anyone make a glamorous OS based on Linux? Is it because Apple has those magical UI fairies? FOSS vs commercial shouldn't matter - people are ultimately the ones that make the stuff. Are you telling me there are no more best and brightest out there working in the FOSS world, that they're all snatched up and locked down for commercial project?

I love a lot of the aspects of the Linux desktop, but it just seems like the vast majority of FOSS projects' tagline should be "almost as good as the commercial counterpart, but it's free!". IMHO there are only a few major projects that have actually *improved* on their commercial counterparts and made a *better* product. And those projects are the ones that succeed. For Linux On The Desktop to actually work, it needs to stop trying to be the "free alternative to Windows or Mac" and actually be a *better* alternative, for more reasons than just not having to pay for the software.

Re:It's easy - just make it better (1)

eitreach (1211194) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348240)

How is Ubuntu Linux not better than Windows? Because it doesn't run software not written for that platform natively? Surely Ubuntu is a better system. Fast, stable and secure - and nothing is locked and denied access to, so that users who want to explore the system and make it their own can do that - while the ones who doesn't can just use it as it is. When my technically illiterate parents can use Ubuntu, everyone can.

Developers, developers, developers (3, Interesting)

sundarvenkata (1214396) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348552)

Mod me down. But the single best thing that the Linux community can do is to develop a free IDE for wxPython development (the only sane environment so far for cross-platform development). Imagine the number of applications you would have when you have a single IDE which can provide you with installers for n-number of operating systems without any additional effort other than learning python. Also since the next generation .NET applications (WPF and the like) cannot run without a huge runtime (since .NET does not have a linker), this is the best time for such a killer IDE. Can the open source community wake up atleast now?

As an offset (2, Informative)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348176)

I know there are going to be tons of posts saying the tried Linux on the desktop, etc etc. But I would just like to add my voice as one who has been using Fedora on my desktop for the past few years, quite happily, and not for lack of legal copies of WindowsXP, but because it I prefer the experience. It may not be ready for "the desktop" (which seems subjective) but it is, and has been ready for my desktop.

FiRst (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22348182)

ones in soFtwa8e [goat.cx]

Affordability will be the driver (2, Insightful)

FleshMuppet (544521) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348184)

I think we are already seeing where the success of desktop linux will come from, and its affordability. Those cheap Wallmart PCs, the EEEPC, the XO, all point the way to where success will come for linux. Right now, from a hardware perspective, there isn't much driving the need for beefier hardware from a consumer perspective besides memory-hungry OSs. The average user wants to surf the web, watch video, and do some word processing. That's about it, and they don't need eight cores and sixteen gigs of RAM to do it. I'm old enough to remember the days when the Commodore 64 DESTROYED the (then hardly ubiquitous) IBM in sales by creating a $250 computer that you could take home and just plug in and go. The fact that you can build a very usable, snappy system with linux on a quarter of the hardware that you need to just make Vista run is going to be very attractive to a certain segment of the consumer world that are not already linux users. And, this, in turn is going to provide a user base that can propell the system forward. System manufacturers seem to be figuring this out, with more and more of these systems, like the new Shuttle KPC, targeting this market.

It's the Apps stupid! (3, Insightful)

EarthandAllStars (1214536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348226)

The slow uptake has little to do with the quality of Linux/Unix/Apple as compared to Windows. It has everything to do with industry specific applications only being available in Windows. When the average consumer can walk into Best Buy or Wal-mart, easily find the Linux software, purchase it, and get it to work on their specific distro, then Linux will come to the desktop. Until that time, it WILL remain in second place. For businesses the old legacy apps will need to be ported over, and billion spent retraining employees and IT workers. This is why it is slow on the uptake, and I am an Ubuntu user BTW.

Re:It's the Apps stupid! (1)

the plant doctor (842044) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348250)

Why is a Linux user walking into Best Buy and purchasing software? Isn't that why we have repositories?

Re:It's the Apps stupid! (1)

EarthandAllStars (1214536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348340)

This is why Linux fails on the desktop. People are NOT used to using repositories, people are used to buying software off the shelf. Also, millions don't have broadband connections to download everything.

Re:It's the Apps stupid! (1)

the plant doctor (842044) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348432)

Education is the key then if people aren't using repositories because of ignorance as you claim.

Regarding the broadband argument, I used Linux for years on dial-up, sure it sucked, but it was no worse than running Windows updates.

Re:It's the Apps stupid! (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348572)

Windows update is for updates, not for new software.

Windows, to the end user, is the same with out without those updates more-or-less. If I want new functionality (aka, a new program), I don't want to have wait for days for it download when I can drive down the road 15mins, purchase and install it.

I just got broadband a couple months ago, and to me, ANY program I had to download was worthless if it was more than just a few megs. I could hold off on updates until I could get a copy of Autopatcher given to me by a friend.

Sorry, it's just the same thing to dial-up users.

Slow uptake (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348246)

No marketing is a problem, Wintel have lots of money for that. Linux is STILL being seen as for geeks/nerds and not for the general population.

For me peronally, I know the situation is pretty similar to Windows, it's an old rant that still is not solved, but...
1) No 64 bit Skype.
2) No 64 bit Java (with web browser plugin that is).
3) No 64 bit Flash.

Yes, you can get 32 bit instead, but if you've got a new machine and got a Linux newbie to install the 64 bit Linux to install on their new 64 bit machine, they will be pretty p'ed on the complexity (and perverseness) of trying to get 32 bit applications working.

I am also p'ed that since Compiz and Beryl merged, the better coding of Beryl was not used, and compiz-fusion eats _much_ more processor then Beryl ever did. The Linux 3D effects walk all over Vista.

Oh, and for newbies, partitioning on first install should be explained properly and also the install routines not "just my guess" what a FAT32 drive letter might be (is always wrong anyway). The problem is if some newbie installs Windows, everything goes into the "c" drive and they don't partition. Linux does use partitions, so explain them.

hah (1)

tarrantm (1210560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348248)

Linux devs don't really care about the desktop. All they care about is the server. Otherwise we wouldn't still be having arbitrary response issues with random apps, driver compatibility issues that gives Vista a run for the money (especially once you start playing around with xen) and craptastic development time on wine(x).

Mind you, I say this while writing this post on my machine installed with Gutsy.

If you want to be taken seriously about linux on the desktop, get wine(x) working with apps released within the last year instead of being 10 years behind on your windows cross-platform application compatibility. Where's the DX10.1 port to linux? And if I'm gonna be paying for Cadega for my games, I might as well just install win2k or winXP dual boot instead. Because the linux desktop right now falls closer to Vista in usability than it does to either 2k or xp.

That interview was definately worth a skim (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348260)

I like his part about the final decision on design lays on the person who steps up and actually does the code. Also it is important to know that if you code that you should keep up to date with new versions of stuff in case it breaks your old code because releases are the time they're prepared for that stuff, not years later.

Dual boot Ubuntu (2, Insightful)

matsuva (1042924) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348268)

I don't know a lot about computers but am quite interested in them (that's why i read slashdot). Two years ago i tried an ubuntu-only system and it was disaster, crashes all the time, controls i didn't understand and very little info to be found on the net for absolute beginners. A few weeks ago i got a computer-savvy friend to install a dual boot system for me, i now have XP pro and Ubuntu, i have logged on to windows twice since then. The ubuntu system does everything i want it to do, it's faster, all software is free, it's more userfriendly, there's no viruses and security problems etc... next time i have to wipe my HD it will be an ubuntu only system,for me windows is something of the past, i don't need it anymore. The ubuntu forum is great for beginners and has a lot of easy info, whenever i've had a problem i found answers there. Also it feels great to work with a system that is developed for the users, not for profit.

Re:Dual boot Ubuntu (2, Interesting)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348586)

I've been a UNIX geek for some 20 years (though I always have one PC somewhere with the latest iteration of Windows on it - well, apart from that Vista trash but that's another story) and I started off with Linux some ten years ago - firstly with Slackware, then Red Hat, then SuSE, back to Red Hat for a while, then Linux From Scratch.

About four years ago I settled on Gentoo Linux and I'm still with it - as an experienced Linux person, I truly believe that the only way of having a fully optimal and stable system as much of the time as possible is to "do-it-yourself" with rolling updates that compile everything against the library versions your system currently has. Gentoo isn't perfect but it does its job most of the time and that's what counts.

I wouldn't say that Red Hat and SuSE "sold out" to commercial interests but they are certainly no longer contributing to the adoption of Linux on the desktop, preferring to sell Linux products more for the corporate server space.

Having said that, I tried Ubuntu recently and whilst I cannot consolidate my mind into buying into any distro that expects relatively frequent "wipe and fully reinstall" updates, I was impressed with the user friendliness of it - to the point where I've pointed friends of mine at trying it when they've asked about it, they all seem to still be using it (at least dual-booting it like you) and I've not had many questions or problems thrown at me by them.

So whilst Ubuntu is of no real use to me, I very much respect what they are doing and long may they continue with it as it will be those kinds of easy-to-use distros with good support tactics that will determine Linux's penetration in the long run.

New and different (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348410)

If better is worse if different, I for one hope Linux continues to get worse. Innovation will always drive technology- new ideas, new implementations, new ways of solving old problems, and new problems that need to be solved. If Linux ceases to innovate, there are others who wait quietly in the wings that will not.

RE: Linux on Desktop? Ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22348484)

I want Linux to be ready for the desktop.

I want Linux to provide a decent end user experience.


I completely agree with uptownguy. I have similar experiences being a senior consultant in IT dev; I'm fully integrated to the Java/.NET/C++ languages. So I tried to build a dual boot laptop with Ubuntu. It worked fantastic, straight off the CD. I ran it for a couple of months but in the end got rid of it as a secondary partition.

"Why?" I hear you ask, because I had to revert to Windows Vista (yes, Vista) to do things like skype, webcams with friends, access my built in SD card reader, use some software like Photoshop and Premiere to do my home videos etc...

I want Linux to work.

I hate Windows, and would love to use Linux, but I can't.

I'm a typical bonafide gadget freak and spent hours trying to get the stuff to work. I'm a bit of a newbie at Linux, but as a contractor in Java/.Net, I should be able to install Skype!?! Shouldn't I???

When hardware support is more available, and people without IT qualifications are able to install third party devices, We'll see the rise of Linux as a viable desktop OS. I'm not religious, but I'm waiting for the second coming! ...Of my Linux god!

Linux is learning (1)

Randall311 (866824) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348574)

Linux is becoming a more viable and user friendly desktop solution with every release. I am absolutely amazed with the progress in the last five years. The major roadblock of widespread adaptation of Linux as a desktop has been and always will be lack of hardware drivers. I can't tell you how many times a certain network card, printer, tv capture card, or other device that is critical to my productivity is either not supported at all under Linux, or supported poorly with missing functionality. This is not from a lack of effort from OSS projects, but from a lack of useful documentation from hardware vendors who want to keep their hardware designs secret and refuse to release their specs to OSS projects even under a NDA. Without good specifications, writing good drivers is damn near impossible, and reverse engineering only gets you so far. I'm venting but this has been and continues to be a major obstacle for Linux becoming a full blown Windows killer. This is yet another chicken-and-egg problem for Linux. Widespread adaptation will not happen until we get better driver support, and better (any) driver support won't come from vendors until widespread adaptation.

Why Linux doesn't cut it for me (1)

LostPassword (855249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22348612)

Simply put, it's xorg.conf or something around there. I've given a dozen distros and flavors of Linux a try on the desktop and it always comes down the the exact same thing. Whether it's Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Linux Mint, Open Suse, Debian Testing, Mandriva, Red Hat, etc, No matter what video card (used 3 different ATI and 2 different nvidia) I use I cannot ever manage to drive my 1680x1050 LCDs properly at native resolution without completely hosing up X and the system in general. I'm talking to a point where I can't even get a TTY on screen without a reboot -- I have to SSH into the box and go back to driving everything at 800x600 with vesa drivers by restoring the config and rebooting. I'm probably a moron, of course, by all of your super-geek standards. But I've been rolling around in technology for 20 years now and if it's not a no-brainer for me, then I can guarantee that for mom and pop Linux is infinitely far away from useful.
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