Linked by Mike Martin on Mon 14th Jul 2003 17:42 UTC
Linux After reading yet another "why Linux is not ready for the desktop" article/discussion, I decided that, as someone who uses Linux exclusively at home, its about time I wrote my response to the attitudes expressed. I have been using Linux since January 1999 (Red Hat 5.2 off of a cover disc).
Order by: Score:
ha
by hmmm on Mon 14th Jul 2003 17:52 UTC

Yet another reason to express my opinions about why my OS is better than yours. Er, well, at least its bigger. ;)

when will it stop??
by sajiimori on Mon 14th Jul 2003 17:54 UTC

Don't these people realize that they can't say whether an OS is ready for *my* desktop? Maybe they want attention.

this is a joke, right?
by KOMPRESSOR on Mon 14th Jul 2003 17:58 UTC

The author can't seriously be claiming that he has fewer problems with hardware under Linux than Windows... I have a system which triple-boots WinXP/BeOS DevEd/Mdk9.1 and of the three only WinXP was able to support all of my (fairly common) devices. Aside from which, getting Linux to support what it did was quite a strain at times!

Linux has many strengths, which is why I use it and advocate it. However, hardware support and configuration is NOT one of them. A more fertile area for comparison (which makes Linux look better) would be package management, and how modern Linux distros effectively avoid dependency hell.

The point about the average user not needing to drop down to the command line was well taken. The common retort "well, sometimes things in the GUI break and they have to" holds little water, since the corresponding windows fix is often to dive into the registry. Honestly, your average user of either platform would be at a loss.

Not spectacular, but adaquate
by Bruno the Arrogant on Mon 14th Jul 2003 17:59 UTC

I'd have to agree with the author that Linux is adaquate for desktop use. While still not as polished as Windows or the Mac, both KDE and Gnome are sufficintly enough evolved that the average user should be able to navigate them competently.

Really, what keeps me from using Linux exclusively is the same thing that prevents me from using a Mac more frequently - namely, the applications I need are available only on Windows. That is becoming less true over time, and probably isn't an applicable complaint in many people's cases. But as long as that remains true, if I were forced to make a choice, I'd have to chose Windows, as a matter of pragmatism. I'd imagine as long as that remains true, all other alternative desktops, not just Linux, are going to have a challenge making inroads.

RE: when will it stop??
by Jeremy on Mon 14th Jul 2003 18:05 UTC

Don't these people realize that they can't say whether an OS is ready for *my* desktop?

Here here! I agree completely. I am an avid fan of Linux/*BSD, but I have to admit, anything can be "ready for the desktop" depending on the person using it. My mom or brother would not be ready to work with a Linux box full time without me there to administrate it for them. They have no desire to learn how to do the Linux version of un/install of software or hunt through text files to change settings. So for them, Windows is a better desktop. For me, Windows is too limiting. *shrugs* Viva la choice. =0)

ready for who?
by will on Mon 14th Jul 2003 18:07 UTC

Mike - it is good to hear that Linux is ready for your desktop use. But I don't that is what people are referring to when they are discussing whether Linux is ready for the desktop. You obviously rely on a huge amount of tacit techical knowledge that makes Linux work fine for you. If you want to contribute to the debate you need to
a) determine the target group you want to discuss whether Linux is ready for
b) eliminate the dependence on your own knowledge in your evaluation of Linux for desktop use by performing a kind of usability test for one or more people in that group.

Based on those findings you can conclude something about the topic.

what platform is ready for whom
by Debman on Mon 14th Jul 2003 18:16 UTC

Linux works well for the advanced user or the most basic user.

the advanced user can do anything they need to do on the box, and so can the most basic user(web surf, e-mail, write papers, print) the basic user is one who would never attempt to do anything on their own even on a windows machine.

the windows platform works well for most people. most people can install software, uninstall it, and download programs etc. windows is better than Linux in this way becasue software installation is more intuitive than in Linux.

OS X...well, I think that is a good platform for anyone. from the advanced user, the basic user and the intermidate user.

comparison
by bogey on Mon 14th Jul 2003 18:18 UTC

eliminate the dependence on your own knowledge in your evaluation of Linux

Is that fair though? When people say something is as "easy as windows", you have to think about that. Is windows easy for someone who has never used it? Would a 'grandma user' be able to take a PC, and XP install disk, and get from A to B? I doubt it. Imagine that kind of user setting up dialup software, or configuring a computer for a static IP. Imagine them handling a dll error.

I'm not even that sure that windows would be _that_ easy for a mac user that had never used windows. The first registry conflict they had could send them up a creek.

I fixed a lot of computers for windows users that had no idea what a computer could do for them.

That's what I don't get. People always ask when GNU/Linux will be ready for the lowest common user. The dumbass, if you will. I think it is. For a user who can't fix his/her own problems, and won't install software. For a user who just wants to surf and write a paper. Maybe listen to some mp3's. If someone else does the installs and config (remember, somebody else usually does there windows boxes), they are up and running.

RE: what platform is ready for whom
by Anonymous on Mon 14th Jul 2003 18:25 UTC

I agree Linux works best for those in the upper or lower specturms of computer users. Windows allows those in the middle to do what they want to do but without getting to overwhelmed. Linux should strive to provide the majority of users in the middle area of the specturm of user a better computing enviroment. In fact I think Linux is on it's way towards that goal but as with all good things in life it will take sometime.

Perhaps the point should be...
by Alistair on Mon 14th Jul 2003 18:26 UTC

As an avid reader of OSNews.com but rarely a commentator, I have to say I'm disapointed by the sheer amount of "Linux isn't ready" and "Linux is ready" articles that appear so often.

I don't particularly care if Linux IS or ISN'T ready for the desktop as having even heard of it I've expressed the fact I'm not Joe Blow, by this I mean; People complaining Linux isn't ready for Joe Blow, and those saying it is - Should know Joe Blow doesn't know nor care about Linux at this stage of time. He wants what he's sold and loves adverts, he likes special offers, he likes commercial goods.

Linux is an OS, and just that - not a religion, nor the "uma cura". It can be used on a desktop, it can be used as a workstation, the same can be said for Windows or *BSD etc. The user is what determines the use of the product, so while Joe Blow USING Linux is not ready for the desktop, and Mike Martin USING Linux is ready for the desktop, you shouldn't be concerned about either as they don't reflect the world like so many assume.

My opinions written here don't reflect those of the OSNews.com readers, but my own which I felt needed to be expressed in the hope, that Eugenia who does such a wonderful job for our reading pleasure, will in future reconsider publishing such articles.

Why do we keep getting these...
by Will on Mon 14th Jul 2003 18:27 UTC

Is this in some kind of rebuttal to Mitch Kapors paper that came out last week? That seemed like a pretty good summary of the "Linux Desktop" issue.

Is OSNews that hard up for content that it must continue posting things like this?

I'm glad that Mike is happy with his system, but these posts remind me of the SNL "Weekend Update" sketch -- "Update on Franco: He's still dead!".

"Update on desktop Linux -- Linux users think it's Dokey Okey!"

RE: comparison
by Anonymous on Mon 14th Jul 2003 18:35 UTC

Bogey you make some good points there. I know of some people who are 'advanced mac users' but put them infront of a Windows box and you'll frustrate them easliy. Hell I know some old timers who have only known Unix and Linux. These guys also get frustrated in front of a windows box as well. I think the whole 'ease of use' thing is over hyped. It's more like what you are exposed to as a brand spanking new computer user for the first time that deterimines certian aspects of what you will or won't like in the long wrong. In the end people are creatures of habits and the habits you develop early on tend to stick with you and are hard to break, even if it's for your own good. Thus someone who is exposed to windows type computing habits will have a hard time with Linux or even Mac OS/OS-X in some cases.

Article.
by adapt on Mon 14th Jul 2003 19:13 UTC

Well this is the worst article I have ever seen on any website. Ever.

I've always been curious
by Anonymous on Mon 14th Jul 2003 19:19 UTC

"Really, what keeps me from using Linux exclusively is the same thing that prevents me from using a Mac more frequently - namely, the applications I need are available only on Windows."

I've always been curious about this. Asside from many games, what productivity applications are specifically missing from OS X that you need that aren;t already available or are available with the same functionality under a different title?

Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.
by FH on Mon 14th Jul 2003 19:19 UTC

...and Linux is still not ready for the desktop. RedHat, Suse, at al - need to take a cue from what Apple has done with UNIX. They hid it from the GUI, and kept the old simplicity of applicatiion installation. Power, stability, ease of use, POSIX compliant.

@Kompressor
by Bas on Mon 14th Jul 2003 19:21 UTC

>However, hardware support and configuration is NOT one of
>them.

You must be joking right, Linux (no not 3d party drivers as in Windows, but Linux itself. No need for a cdrom) currently supports over 35.000 different hardware devices. Stop making stupid replies like this..

I'm so glad I wasted my time reading that
by ChrisL on Mon 14th Jul 2003 19:23 UTC

Was there a coherent thought in there somewhere? I couldn't find one. It just seemed to be a meandering about through a bunch of different thoughts. I think anyone who's looking to actually try Linux out on their desktop will run away at a full sprint after reading this. It was confusing and useless. The table at the beginning is completely information-free. The list of things he can't do in windows includes "ugly fonts"... what the hell does that mean?

Could someone please edit these stories BEFORE they're posted? This is ridiculous.

It's about time people realise...
by Jay Developer on Mon 14th Jul 2003 19:23 UTC

... that these discussions and opinions will not take us anyware. The desktop is something personal, and it is not the vendors and developers that say wether or not any OS is ready for my desktop. Only I can decide what is ready for my desktop.

Do not agree !!!
by Don Kixote on Mon 14th Jul 2003 19:29 UTC

I WOULD LOVE to like Linux very much and use it as my ONLY Desktop distro, but I can't. Cause unfortunately I have had mostly a negative experience with it.
I have tried numerous distributions: RedHat, Mandrake, Slackware, VectorLinux. Attempted to install Debian, Gentoo on multiple (different) machines at work and at home, as workstations and as servers. And eventhough I learned a great deal about them I still can not use Linux as my prime Desktop OS. Believe it or not, I've had so many X crashes, Kernel panicks on all of them that I have never had in my entire life on Windows. My Windows (Win XP) just works. It's good for all those tasks that Linux can do and more. I can easily do Video/Graphics Editing (with multitude of commericial products). Great Gaming experience. Unfortunately Linux was taking a lot of my precious time just to get things going. I can not recomended any of my relatives/friends. And with regards to business Desktop? I think it's good for small businesses ONLY.

No way
by JSplice on Mon 14th Jul 2003 19:30 UTC

There's no way that linux is "easier" for doing normal desktop things. Maybe for someone who is accustomed to linux, these things may be easier to do because you are familiar with the OS. But for someone who has known and used windows for years will tell you that windows is way more easier to use, ESPECIALLY when it comes to installing software. When I want to waste time, I'll boot into linux to mess around installing things. Who the hell wants to compile something just to install it? In windows, i just double click on a file, and the program is installed. Now how can COMPILING a freakin program just to install it be EASIER than clicking a button? Let's face it, linux is in NO WAY easier to use than most other OSes, especially windows. Linux is good for geeks and people who like more customization, and who have more time to spend getting linux to operate how they want it to. For me, I use windows most of the time because if I want to be productive, than linux is out of the question. And this includes even normal spreadsheet/document stuff. For example, one time I was creating a spreadsheet in the OpenOffice spreadsheet program. I went through and changed a bunch of cells because i had to format the data differently. I realized that i formatted it wrong, so i went back and changed everything to the way it was origionally. However, when i got to the last cell, no matter what i did, it wouldnt let me change it back! After this I vowed to never use OpenOffice again, for the worthless peice of crap that it is. I dunno linux is most certainly not ready for the desktop due to it's lack of apps, and it's lack of user-friendlyness. It's getting better, but it has a long way to go when competing with windows.

RE: I've always been curious
by J on Mon 14th Jul 2003 19:31 UTC

It isn't just productivity applications. For the home user it is also about childrens learning applications and childrens games. This software seems to be only available for Windows and MAC.

@Don Kixote
by Bas on Mon 14th Jul 2003 19:35 UTC


Strange...i NEVER ever had an X crash or kernel panic.
But have seen many reboots with XP and other Windows versions.
You might want to contact a friend who can help you with setting it up. Its not normal to have crashes on a Linux Box!

Video and Graphic editing is quickly maturing on LInux as much holywood studios are adapting it. You can use MainActor, Cinerella, Kiosk, Film Gimp, SideFX houdini effects, and Softimages Eddie for editing on Linux.

Home Desktop
by Anonymous on Mon 14th Jul 2003 19:42 UTC

I've been using Linux for about a year and half now. I love it. However, it is not ready for our home desktop -- it doesn't pass the wife and kids test. There is just no major commercial software for it yet. No kids games, no educational software, nothing.

So, we've switched to a Mac and have never been happier. I'll keep using Linux as my file, print, and web server, but Linux won't be on my home desktop until I get can software like this:

http://www.macmall.com/macmall/shop/cat/Software/EducationLearning/...

So, if you don't have young kids who are into Disney, Dora the Explorer, Blue's Clues, and Nemo, Linux can work just fine. Otherwise, OSX offers the best of both worlds, IMHO.

Blink?
by Undomiel Elelome on Mon 14th Jul 2003 19:42 UTC

And the newbie computer user looks at this and says, "GUI? CLI? RPM? DB? RH? ftp? command line? compiling? JS? sys/net? DLLs? What the hell is he talking about?" And then if he is an intelligent new computer user with patience, he looks through again, "RH, ok, think I figured that one out, it is Red Hat. But that's all I can figure out from it." So many anacronyms in there that one can get lost in them easily if he has less than a clue.
Oh, and I do believe it is Asimov. And that is more the mark of a geek than any linux know-how in my opinion.

printing
by Dekkard on Mon 14th Jul 2003 19:43 UTC

printing on the commercial distros seems fine.. ive switched to slack..and while i love the distro..printing is a hassle.. why?

RE: @Don Kixote
by JSplice on Mon 14th Jul 2003 19:50 UTC

Strange...i NEVER ever had an X crash or kernel panic.
But have seen many reboots with XP and other Windows versions.
You might want to contact a friend who can help you with setting it up. Its not normal to have crashes on a Linux Box!


I've been using a dual boot of WIndows XP Pro and Mandrake linux (8.0, 8.1, 9.0, 9.1) for a long time now. I use XP probably about 95% of the time, and I have never had XP fully crash on me. I've been using XP since March of 2001, so that's over 2 years. However, I have had linux crash on me several times, not to mention various K apps within KDE. Linux itself may be stable, but let's face it: the apps written for it are not nearly up to par with Windows apps. Linux is good as a server OS, NOT a desktop OS. People who keep defending linux and saying that it is better for the average user as a desktop OS are people who hate Microsoft, and trick themselves into thinking linux is the ultimate OS. If you have to chose between Windows for free or linux for free, what would you chose and why?

.:.
by HAL on Mon 14th Jul 2003 19:53 UTC

Fine, I'll buy some cheap laptop at the shop around the corner, pop a linux CD into it and expect everything to work... I guess we all know that won't work. There does your theory of linux being ready, thanks for playing.

Article quality
by Ray on Mon 14th Jul 2003 19:59 UTC

The quality of the articles posted here is generally poor, but this one beats all others. And apart from that, why would I care if this illiterate, unthinking twit likes the Clash or not? This reminds of a letter written by a 12-year old to a school newspaper. The editors on this site aren't much better, Eugenia in particular.

you are such a newb
by XulChris on Mon 14th Jul 2003 19:59 UTC

I've been running linux at home since redhat 3.3

Just because you wish it, doesn't make it so
by Tony B on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:02 UTC

Unfortuneatly it's not ready. The current state of Linux is akin to that of Windows 3.1.

There are places where it still needs work (as in not will implemented), and there's functionality that just doesn't even exist yet.

Here are just a few off the top of my head (using RH 9.0)

Still needs work:

Cut and paste. There's 2 ways to do it usually; the KDE/Gnome way, and the X way. They don't copy to each other's clipboards. Kind of annoying.

Still no functionality at all:

Unified GUI install method. Many distros have their own kludge, or front end for a package management system. Lindows is probably the easiest. But for a general Linux app running on just about any distro, you can't just download something from Tucows and double click the icon. It's like the new nVidia drivers. It's much easier to use, but it's still command line (much like Windows 3.1).

Changing montior refresh rate on the fly with a GUI: Great, we've finally got something Windows has had since 1995, but wait, we still can't change the resolution with a GUI.

I think part of the problem is that Linux advocates take the myopic view that pointing out Linux's shortcomings is something akin to heresy, and therfore they aren't acknowledged and therefore aren't addressed. Pointing out shortcomings doesn't make you anti-Linux.

Linux ease of use
by JK on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:03 UTC

Most of the reasons why I dislike using Linux aren't really ease of use issues that would effect most users. Really it's amazing how easy to install and use Linux distributions like Mandrake have become. Most things can be done from the GUI and software installation with URPMI isn't any worse than in Windows. Most of the features that still require config file editing tend to be less commonly used features that most people don't require.

I think for a lot of "average users" Linux is perfectly usable and the available applications are more than adequate. Things that drive me mad like the inconsistent UI and poor support for multiple monitors aren't a problem for someone who just uses the computer to type a few letters and access the internet.

The only big problem I can see with Linux on the home desktop is how easily it's damaged by the PC being turned off without being shutdown properly. I find that a lot of inexperienced users (especially kids) just press the power button rather than shutting down correctly, especially when the system has become unresponsive. A lot of users don't even know how to use the Windows task manager and the situation is worse in Linux, often crashes will make X unresponsive so apps have to be killed from the CLI. How many normal users are going to know how to open a console, find the PID of a crashed application and use the kill -9 command?

When I was a Linux newbie I assumed that the system needed to be restarted when X was totally unresponsive, that's how I killed my first Linux installation. About 90% of the Linux crashes I've experienced have damaged the system, which is something I don't think many home users would be able to deal with. If nothing else Windows is an OS that can survive constant crashes incorrect restarts without any serious problems.

ok, we get it
by notImpressed on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:05 UTC

Sure -> people are allowed their opinions. But sometimes subtle censorship should be applied. Particularly at this overwhelmingly, beaten to death argument that populates the Osnews,com database.

To the linux Zealots -> take the blue pill.

@JSplice
by Bas on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:06 UTC

>If you have to chose between Windows for free or linux for
>free, what would you chose and why?

Stupid question, Windows is not free, not open, buggy, developed by a evil corp, virus magnet, backdoor enabled...
I would always choose GNU/Linux over Windows because:

1. its free/open (not money but freedom!)
2. its scaleable (risc/intel/arm/sun/)
3. its POSIX
4. its very stable
5. its virus free
6. it has tons off application that i like
7. i today hacked at least 2 supermarkt pc (so called secure...:)) running Windows 2000 with my Zaurus.
8. its not developed only by one controlling company
9. it has a very funny mascote
10. its the OS of the future
11. its what i am best in
12. i do not give a sh*t about...
13. it can do so much
14. i can make it do so much
etc..

Anyway, i do not care what you think of Linux and where it
is in your op. What i do see and know is that Linux is becoming really mainstream and big corporations are starting to pick it up everyday..food on the table....
Windows is passe. The future is bright the future is Linux

euhh...oh i get it..
http://www.tek-tips.com/guserinfo.cfm?member=jsplice


@ Anonymous - Re Home Desktop
by matt on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:11 UTC

Note you mention kids games. Heard of WineX? I use this to run Blues Clues games, Putt Putt Games and Dora games. There are also a number of free linux native educational games that my kids love.

As for the wife test, she only complains if I twiddle with the desktop, and move buttons, otherwise she has absolutely no problem. She uses MS Office on crossover office for work and writing up stuff for community boards she's on. Kmail for email - and basically that's all she does. Also note, that she uses WinXP at work, and has absolutely no difficulty flipping between them (mind you she treats MS Word as the operating system).

Linux is fine for me and my family's desktop. However, until people can find a local/family geek to admin their linux box, like the current local/family windows geek admins their windows boxes, it will be a while until linux is more prevalent on the desktop in the home. However, make no mistake, linux is ready for the home desktop. It's just that the informal support infrastructure that keeps windows running in millions of homes is not yet in place for linux.

Matt

RE: comparison
by Anonymous on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:13 UTC

I think the whole 'ease of use' thing is over hyped. It's more like what you are exposed to as a brand spanking new computer user for the first time that deterimines certian aspects of what you will or won't like in the long wrong.[sic]

There is a certain amount of truth in this, but it only goes so far. That is, sure, people can learn anything, and do, but the question is how many do? More people in the world have the time and patience to learn a Mac, a few less Windows (even though they dwarf Mac users), a few less *nix.

As a guy who got started when computers were pretty primitive and who has designed Unix workstation hardware and written a lot of software, I still think that Linux is not quite ready for primetime. I love and use it all the time, but my experience trying to get a printer working the other night (hours) tells me we aren't quite there yet. Are we getting close? Yup, darn close. Things like OpenOffice have leveled the playing field tremendously for the average user.

The main problem I see is that things always seem to require a little bit of messing with to get right. Yes, I can do it, but the number of times I have to fiddle with obscure commands, man pages, blah, blah, is too high for the normal user. People on mailing lists respond with "Duh! Just download the source and recompile..." sort of answers that while helpful for getting me going again are not helpful for the average user.

In short, Linux needs to get a "just works" philosophy. I see that coming from the Ximian folks, for instance, and I think that's a good thing to support.

Again, we'll get there. But we aren't there yet.

RE: Blink?
by charlie on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:18 UTC

i mostly skimmed the "article" but when i came upon Asimove, any credibility he had was gone.

RE: No Way
by Anonymous on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:20 UTC

There's no way that linux is "easier" for doing normal desktop things. Maybe for someone who is accustomed to linux, these things may be easier to do because you are familiar with the OS. But for someone who has known and used windows for years will tell you that windows is way more easier to use, ESPECIALLY when it comes to installing software.

Did it occur to you that Windows is easier for Windows users exactly because they're accustomed to Windows? Mac is easier to use for Mac users. Linux is easier to use for Linux users. BeOS is easier to use for BeOS users.

Sure, there may be things that are just easier to learn or use on Windows. The same can be said for other system as well. It doesn't matter how easy you make the system, though. Unless you clone Windows completely, Windows users will find it difficult to switch to your system. Again, the same can be said for any system.

When I want to waste time, I'll boot into linux to mess around installing things. Who the hell wants to compile something just to install it? In windows, i just double click on a file, and the program is installed. Now how can COMPILING a freakin program just to install it be EASIER than clicking a button?

Yeah, because compiling programs is the only way to install them. Have you been living under a rock? Maybe I should start talking about Windows 95 as if it's state-of-the-art.

I recently did a fresh install of RedHat 9 on a new machine. I then upgraded Gnome to the 2.3 development series (because I want to, not because I have to). How many programs did I compile in this process? None. How many times did I touch the command line? None.

Let's face it, linux is in NO WAY easier to use than most other OSes, especially windows.

Linux is in many ways easier to use than Windows. Windows is not a pinnacle of ease-of-use. People are just used to it.

Linux is good for geeks and people who like more customization, and who have more time to spend getting linux to operate how they want it to. For me, I use windows most of the time because if I want to be productive, than linux is out of the question.

Gee, what's all this stuff that I manage to get done? Is that being productive? Nah, can't be. Clearly, I can't be productive, becuase I spend every waking moment tweaking text config files. No, wait, I don't.

For example, one time I was creating a spreadsheet in the OpenOffice spreadsheet program. I went through and changed a bunch of cells because i had to format the data differently. I realized that i formatted it wrong, so i went back and changed everything to the way it was origionally. However, when i got to the last cell, no matter what i did, it wouldnt let me change it back! After this I vowed to never use OpenOffice again, for the worthless peice of crap that it is.

I see, so because a program had some buggy behavior, you'll never use it again? All right, I'll stop using every program that's ever had buggy behavior. Does anybody want to buy a used computer?

Correction
by Tony B on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:22 UTC

I mean refresh rate with a GUI, not resolution.

Interopability
by Tony B on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:25 UTC

I've always been curious about this. Asside from many games, what productivity applications are specifically missing from OS X that you need that aren;t already available or are available with the same functionality under a different title?

I think interopability is the real issue. Most people create documents with MS Word or Excel. While it's possible to do the same work with other applications, interopablity between those apps is a problem. While most non MS apps can read and write MS formats, it's not 100%, and it's just more work that needs to be done to get everything running.

@Bas
by JSplice on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:26 UTC

Ok, I obviously know that windows is not free, but obviously you missed the whole point of that statement.

1. its free/open (not money but freedom!)

Freedom? Ok so it's open source...do I care? What normal person who has a life has time to edit the source code for their apps to make them do what they want?

4. its very stable

Not with my experience...KDE has crashed on me several times, not to mention other apps that I have used in linux.


5. its virus free

You say that linux is on it's way to becoming mainstream, but once it does, this advantage of linux will soon go away.


6. it has tons off application that i like


the apps suck


7. i today hacked at least 2 supermarkt pc (so called secure...:)) running Windows 2000 with my Zaurus.


if you go around illegally hacking into computers, than you dare not bash me for suggesting that windows can be free if pirated


8. its not developed only by one controlling company

I don't like Microsoft either, but they make the mainstream OS, and that's the way it is...honestly their recent operating systems aren't that bad.


And what does my registration at tek-tips have to do with this?



My experience
by Maynard on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:26 UTC

I can use Linux and Windows quite well. I recently left my computer with a cousin of mine and cleared the password for im on Windows 2000, but forgot to tell him my login. So he was stuck.

I had both Linux and Windows installed, and he knew my login and password for Linux. He was able to fire it up and use it. With few hassles of course, but it was his first time. BUT, there are issues.

Recently, on upgrading a kernel, NVidia's drivers wouldn't work anymore and X wouldn't start. I had to either downgrade or use the 2D drivers that come with the distro.

On upgrading Mozilla, Evolution stopped workig because Mozilla had removed the line in ld.so.conf that showed the path to the mozilla libs. Normal users cannot deal with such issues. We need a driver delivery format for all hardware, like you can install drivers for windows in evice manager by clicking on the hardware and selecting the driver from your hard drive.

RE:Just because you wish it, doesn't make it so
by Anonymous on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:33 UTC

all u have to say is windows that and windows this u came expect to see windows but linux it's not windows it's something else better to my opinion kde it's far most advanced desktop from windows desktop
and talking about pkg managment not even ..

RE: Linux ease of use
by philicorda on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:33 UTC

"How many normal users are going to know how to open a console, find the PID of a crashed application and use the kill -9 command? "

Or you can use xkill. It's a little app that lets you click on a frozen app and kill it. It used to be on most distros menus, but has dissapeared off them lately. I think it looks like a little target, but have not used it in a long time.

I agree though that Linux will have to start accommadating the disaster area that some users are. I know people who seem to be able to lock up any OS without difficulty, while doing the most basic tasks.

RE: No way
by Victor on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:34 UTC

Who the hell wants to compile something just to install it? In windows, i just double click on a file, and the program is installed. Now how can COMPILING a freakin program just to install it be EASIER than clicking a button?

[irony]
Wow, you just double-click and.. puff, it's installed?? No shit?! Dude, that's awsome!
[/irony]

Now let me introduce you a brand new term: binary files (oooooooh!). Ever heard of it? Yeah man, you don't have to compile those!!!! You know how awesome it that?! You just double-click... and it's there! It's freaking amazing!

Victor.


@JSplice
by Bas on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:40 UTC


You completly missed all my points, there have value for me.
It was your question, if you do not like the answer why ask in the first place?
Everybody is different some like Windwos, i hate it and visa versa. But if somebody claims Linux is not ready for the desktop then i think i use it for over 5 years now as my main desktop (i also use BSD, Beos, Mac and also but not as often, athene, qnx, opie, and Amiga) and find it a very fine desktop os.

I agree with you that the article sucked but the bottom line is that Linux is ready for the desktop. Keep on trying it Jsplice, beginnings are always hard..

Your tek-tips have nothing to do with..sorry!

RE: comparison
by Jellybob on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:40 UTC

I work in a centre that provides *very* basic IT training for people (lesson 1 includes turning on the computer, and using a mouse), and you're completely right.

Windows is *not* intuitive... people stare at the screen with fear in their eyes sometimes, because they have absolutely no idea what they should do next.

But then I'm not sure Linux would be any better... no idea how to fix that, just thought I'd do a brain dump ;)

RE: No way
by Xiol on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:46 UTC

But for someone who has known and used windows for years will tell you that windows is way more easier to use, ESPECIALLY when it comes to installing software.

Woah! Don't go stating the obvious.

Someone who uses something more finds it easier. Are you stupid or just dumb?


People don't know how to use Macs or Windows.

People stumble because even their UI's are too hard to use.

Everyday people will not pick up the command-line.

They will not manage packages.

They know nothing about security updates.

They will not understand why there are so many problems because its creators are bickering all the time.

Someone like Apple is positioned to leverage the good bits of UNIX with a good graphical user experience.

If only Apple can see beyond Macintosh, there may be hope...

Keep on hacking,
Steve

Linux still has a ways to go
by AkumaX on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:53 UTC

I've said this before and i'll say it again I respect Linux because i've seen how far it's come and it's capabilities, but it is far from ready for me and most people as an OS to use a decent amount of their time during the day.

I'd have to agree that Linux should go more like Mac OS X. Mac OS X has excellent UNIX core (Darwin) and doesn't get in the way untill you call it. Plus you can do a lot of configuration that linux users would normally do through text files right from a GUI interface.

When i refeer to ease of use i mean ease of use compared to other OS's. For instance Mac OS X probably has the easiest method of installing most apps (just dragging a file/folder from one space to your App folder or wherever). Windows has the next easiest just double clicking on an installer and going through a guided installation process. Linux has the worst installer process of the 3 having to compile the application yourself. I think any Linux user who says this is the only way to do it is a dumbass, most of the world doesn't want to compile things themselves. Doing things this way for Linux is incredibly inefficient and it will never be a mainstream OS as long as people have to do it.

I like Linux but I can't really use it as much as I would like because it's slower than Mac OS X or Windows XP on the hardware I use and it's hard to configure some items and locate apps. I mean on Mac OS X there is a simple Applications folder on Windows a program files folder. How the F*ck on Linux am i supposed to assume that /usr/bin is the Applications folder? Even then I can't find things easily.

Linux take a good long look at Mac OS X because it's what a UNIX based OS should be like. Great UNIX tools with a GUI and a great UNIX core thats you can get at but isn't necessary to even use. Don't get me wrong I like the UNIX terminal but most people don't they simply want to easily install,use and configure their apps the GUI way as opposed to editing a file. Sometimes certain situations call for configuring a file, but thats rare when it can be so much easier from the GUI interface, which is why the GUI was made.

GUI for refresh rate configuration and more...
by luckierthanpozzo on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:53 UTC

redhat-config-xfree86

Something to think about:
Plop somebody who's never used a computer before. Bring up a graphical file manager; change to a massive directory with at least a thousand files; teach him/her how to get things done and then ask him to delete every single file containig the letters: xyz.
Now bring up an xterm and teach him all about ls, rm, wildcards etc. etc. and ask him to do the same here, and then ask him which he prefers.
Moral of the story: Don't confuse ease of use with force of habit.
By the way, I've only been using Linux since the last six months or so; I use it exclusively, and quite often I find the commandline easier to use than graphical utilities.

@luckierthanpozzo
by Bas on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:58 UTC


Indeed but that its a pitty no everyone thinks that way..imagine what you can do with a Linux/BSD machine running bash script and perl in the console. The wonderfull world of scripting..all those fine tools sed, awk etc.

wow! I'm convinced, time to switch (NOT!)
by xander on Mon 14th Jul 2003 21:00 UTC

Well that article wasn't very convincing. lol

I should write one about why I use Windows...

Bascially I can't stand X!! Has anyone noticed that X is like 20 years old and was designed as a networked desktop? That and I hate how things feel under X.

There's a reason Apple didn't use it in OS X. Until X is replaced with something more modern, I know I won't have much incentive to use Linux as a desktop OS. At this point I'd rather go out and get a Mac than run Linux.

Now Linux is great as a server. I use it here, and I have used it since 1997. So I'm not against Linux... I just don't care for X. And that's what keeps me from using Linux as a desktop OS.

RE: Linux ease of use
by JK on Mon 14th Jul 2003 21:12 UTC

"Or you can use xkill. It's a little app that lets you click on a frozen app and kill it. It used to be on most distros menus, but has dissapeared off them lately. I think it looks like a little target, but have not used it in a long time."

If X is unresponsive or you're running a full-screen app like a game or media player, the GUI tools are often inaccessible. In Windows you can usually alt+tab out of a crashed app, or bring up the task manager with ctrl+alt+delete. But in Linux the CLI tools are often the only option, despite the availability of xkill and various graphical task managers.

re: Interopability
by chrisb on Mon 14th Jul 2003 21:21 UTC

Mac OS has native MS Office, and thanks to Fink, openDarwin and Gentoo most *nix apps native (even if I've got to fire up an X Windows session). But back on topic (ish).

I agree with the first few posters, there have been far to many "Linux is/isn't ready for the desktop" and this has been the worst do far. I know the resultant flame war keeps your page views up but really this is getting stale. Anything will be ready for someones desktop, I'm sure there are some people out there that like to code everything to the metal without any OS and think that that is good for there desktop. However we don't hear much from them as they tend to be kept out of the community, and away from sharp objects, for their own protection.

A better article might be to compare as many OS's as possible and see where each has their strengths and weaknesses. Then maybe try some thought experiments on what the best OS that combined all the good bits and tried to avoid the pitfalls would be.

Comments
by mike on Mon 14th Jul 2003 21:24 UTC

As the author of the piece, I find it it a little amusing that most of the people who slagged it of did not seem to read it.

1. Compiling - the point I made was that with a current distro you do not need to go near the command line, let alone a compiler.

2. The article was a response to what seems to be a widely held view that this is what you do need to do as a user.

3. Use of terms such as DLL,cli etc - this is OSnews not zdnet

4. Hardware - yes in my experience I have more aggro with windows and hardware, stuff like finding drivers etc, when with linux it normally "just works"

5. fonts - yes I do find fonts on windows a lot worse than on my RH box. Sure it used to be a lot different, but accept that things have changed.

6. Again reading the article would help - the phrase "cant do" never appeared. I said and meant "easier to do out of the box"

RE: @Don Kixote
by Roberto J Dohnert on Mon 14th Jul 2003 21:27 UTC

< Strange...i NEVER ever had an X crash or kernel panic.
But have seen many reboots with XP and other Windows versions.
You might want to contact a friend who can help you with setting it up. Its not normal to have crashes on a Linux Box!


I've been using a dual boot of WIndows XP Pro and Mandrake linux (8.0, 8.1, 9.0, 9.1) for a long time now. I use XP probably about 95% of the time, and I have never had XP fully crash on me. I've been using XP since March of 2001, so that's over 2 years. However, I have had linux crash on me several times, not to mention various K apps within KDE. Linux itself may be stable, but let's face it: the apps written for it are not nearly up to par with Windows apps. Linux is good as a server OS, NOT a desktop OS. >

I have used Windows XP and I use SuSE Linux. I have never had a Linux crash, while yes I have had Windows crashes and Windows application crashes, I have yet to have a K-App crash or any other crah on Linux. On a professional standpoint my office totally runs SuSE Linux and we use Open Source productivity software and we are productive, we can switch documents and presentations with Windows users and We use Scribus ( a desktop publishing Linux app ) for brochures.

< People who keep defending linux and saying that it is better for the average user as a desktop OS are people who hate Microsoft, and trick themselves into thinking linux is the ultimate OS. If you have to chose between Windows for free or linux for free, what would you chose and why? >

I would chose SuSE Linux, for me it is easier, its stable, it doesnt crash. I dont have to worry about viruses and security holes. Better support and I can play my music, make MP3's, edit digital video from my camcorder, I can play most digital video. I do not hate MS, I have tremendous respect for Microsoft and what they do and what they have to put up with. All operating systems have their problems, there is no perfect Operating System but I like the benefits of Linux more than I like the minuses on Windows.

RE: No way
by JK on Mon 14th Jul 2003 21:31 UTC

"Someone who uses something more finds it easier. Are you stupid or just dumb?"

That's not always true. When I first used a GUI I'd been a CLI user for nearly 10 years. Yet it took me about 15 minutes of playing to never want to touch a CLI again. When I first used Mac OS I'd been using Windows for about a year, yet almost imediately Mac OS seemed more elegant and easy to use. I've used Linux/KDE much more than NeXTSTEP and BeOS, yet I find them more intuitive and well designed.

worn out topic...
by Bobthearch on Mon 14th Jul 2003 21:36 UTC

"Why Linux is (is not) ready for the desktop" Been here, done this. The author, nor most of the comments, have said anything new.

And I didn't think the article was written very well either. If you're going to write a column on some worn-out argument that's completely subjective, as least try and do a thourough job of it.

Odd he didn't mention the recent OSNews piece - someone bought a WalMart.com machine with Linux PRE-INSTALLED and it didn't work without manual configuration...

He also blows off a major percentage of home users, by saying simply he doesn't play games.

This didn't measure up to the level of thought and insight commonly seen in OSNews writers, Eugenia and others.

-Bob

re: Comments
by JK on Mon 14th Jul 2003 21:45 UTC

"1. Compiling - the point I made was that with a current distro you do not need to go near the command line, let alone a compiler."

That depends on what you're doing with it. Most users may not need to go near the CLI (unless a full screen app crashes or X becomes unresponsive), but there are still quite a few things that require config file editing or kernel patching. For example dual headed displays and software suspend just work in Windows, while I spend several days unsuccessfully trying to get them working in Linux.

"4. Hardware - yes in my experience I have more aggro with windows and hardware, stuff like finding drivers etc, when with linux it normally "just works""

Don't you usually get Windows drivers supplied on CD when you buy the hardware?

Actually...
by JSplice on Mon 14th Jul 2003 21:57 UTC

This article really had no business being posted. As seen by my comments and others it was just something to start a huge flame war. This is not "news" at all. It's someone's opinion on why they like linux...so are they going to start posting other people's editorials on why they like the OS that they use? Now that I've cooled down I can honestly say that the operators of this site need to look a little more, post news that has some relevance to fact, and not post articles that reflect any kind of bias...otherwise it will just cause another flame war which I blindly participated in today.

Oh and to Vic: Binaries? Ohhhh yeaaa.....You know I think i heard of those once back when i started using linux like 5 years ago...yea but since I was defending windows, it's cool that you mistook me for an idiot who knows no other operating system than windows. Seems you should loosen your emmotional attachment to linux a little bit...yes, people who have actually used it think that it's not good.

Things still missing - Linux
by SK on Mon 14th Jul 2003 22:03 UTC

Though Linux is ready for Desktop, i would say the thing that is missing badly is Video Messaging through Yahoo, MSN etc. It would be nice if gaim gets a plugin that would allow users to use their webcam!!

Re: Games
by Roberto J Dohnert on Mon 14th Jul 2003 22:03 UTC

I use WineX to play games on Linux and it works flawlessly, RTCW: Enemy territory and Unreal Tournament are some games I play on Linux natively and the speed and responsiveness of games under WineX are just about as good as native games.

People ignore games
by Thomas Nagashima on Mon 14th Jul 2003 22:05 UTC

Why do "Linux is Ready for the Desktop" articles always ignore games? Last I checked, games now make up a multi-billion dollar industry. I myself am an avid gamer and the only I haven't switched is because I can't run 90% of my games on Linux. Guess what? The majority of computers out there now in most people's homes have games on them. Be it "The Sims" (which I can't stand ;) ) or whatever.

... I roll my eyes emphatically and sigh.

I think we need a moratorium on "why Linux [is/isn't] ready for the desktop" articles for at least a year (a whole 12 months, starting now).

By the way... Apple's accomplishment with its own GUI over Unix is great, but is still greatly filled with holes and annoyances and geekisms that don't belong in an OS with the name "Mac OS." Or any OS, really. Why does Unix have to be so Unix, too??

How a bad article can stoke people's fires..
by Aris-T on Mon 14th Jul 2003 22:10 UTC

..though it's not hard I guess since this topic is always a heated subject ;)

I wish these articles were a bit more objective. They would give the author more credibility rather than them passing on their gut feelings. This is more of a messageboard rant than something that's article worthy.

And in response:

>1. its free/open (not money but freedom!)
Like JSplice I fail to see what the big deal is except if you want to be able to completely mold the entire operating system to your whim. If that's the case I only see a very small percentage of people/businesses actually going to this extreme. It only matters to a person if they are actually going to make use of that openness (is that a word?).

>4. its very stable
This is one statement that gets toted most often like its absolute truth. It ain't. There will always be an element-be it software, hardware, drivers, patches, whatever that can cause an unstable element. Heck I had GTK die on me when my machine froze up for no apparent reason when I switched from a terminal window to Nautilus.

>5. its virus free
Oh there are viruses, just not many. As it becomes more mainstream, you don't think the hackers out there aren't going to try and attack *nix machines?

>6. it has tons off application that i like
Good for you. But here it's more personal preference than anything else. But the software selections not for everyone.

>7. i today hacked at least 2 supermarkt pc (so called secure...:)) running Windows 2000 with my Zaurus.
A little far-fetched, but that's the IT department's fault, not the OS. Even Linux is able to be hacked if the yutz you runs it doesn't have all the security measures in place. So your point is moot.

>8. its not developed only by one controlling company
You know I'm not surprised people don't pick on Apple about this. They have an OS monopoly on PPC desktops but because they are the desktop underdogs it's "okay". Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

>10. its the OS of the future
Time will tell.

Am I a Windows supporter? No, I use it because it works best for me. It's a tool, not a religion. Why handicap myself by following a belief that I should go with free software when it has very few solutions for me? Then what, dual boot? If I was an advocate of free software and I was against "the man", wouldn't this be defeating the purpose? Makes you wonder if the loud Linux cult shops at Wal-Mart, buys Kraft cheese (company owned by big tobacco)and eat at McDonalds.

AkumaX
by Archiesteel on Mon 14th Jul 2003 22:17 UTC

Linux has the worst installer process of the 3 having to compile the application yourself.

Okay, repeat after me: you do NOT have to compile apps to install them in Linux. This is a MYTH! There are graphical installers that will automatically download and install apps for you without ever needing to drop to the command line. Or, you can download a package and double-click on it (yes, double-click!) and it will start the all-graphical software installer!

Please, stop repeating that myth. It's not true anymore!

">8. its not developed only by one controlling company
You know I'm not surprised people don't pick on Apple about this."

Well, perhaps because they don't have a combination of OS/Office Suite/Internet Browser/Media Player/Programming Tools monopoly...

And, as an aside, you're not saying that the original poster is wrong, just that he should also blame Apple. So, you do agree that a quasi-monopoly is bad?

RE:People ignore games
by Archiesteel on Mon 14th Jul 2003 22:22 UTC

"The majority of computers out there now in most people's homes have games on them. Be it "The Sims" (which I can't stand ;) ) or whatever."

BTW, there is a version of The Sims for Linux.

...
by contrasutra on Mon 14th Jul 2003 22:23 UTC

Linux has very few viruses in part because there aren't as many users, but mostly because its naturally more secure. Linux teaches you not to run as root.

If you dont run as root, you cant get a virus. Windows encourages you to run as Administrator.


And people complain about having to compile. Its because things are OPEN SOURCE. Unlike Windows, where everything is closed off. I perfer to know whats in my computer.


And it ok to choose an OS in part because of ethics or beliefs. Everything shouldn't be "best tool for the job at this time" because who you pick to "rule the industry" will have a lot of power, and you don't want some "evil" company to have all the power.

Linux
by Eat me on Mon 14th Jul 2003 22:26 UTC

Linux is not a religion. Some of you guys need to realise this. Man users are bad but the linux zealots make them look tame.

hmm
by mads on Mon 14th Jul 2003 22:27 UTC

"People who keep defending linux and saying that it is better for the average user as a desktop OS are people who hate Microsoft,...."

That's a lie, i use Linux but i don't hate MS. The above statement is a childlish statement.

When i work with Linux it makes me more productive, if Linux does not make you more productive then go for another OS, Windows, MacOSX, FreeBSD, whatever..... ;)

choice of operating systems= good thing
by Anonymous on Mon 14th Jul 2003 22:54 UTC

I hate these "Linux is/isn't ready for the desktop" articles. Use whatever works best for you.

Personally, I dualboot WinXP and SuSE (formally Mandrake) and I love both equally; they both have their strengths and weaknesses.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
by Anonymous on Mon 14th Jul 2003 22:59 UTC

ok i feel better.

windows is for sheep. and i'm one of them.

and though i have a sincere respect for it, linux is at a higher order of geekdom then i can possibly deal with.

and i realize that i should not even be posting to or reading osnews...as i am a single os user not capable of much perspective...as i only have one...and it lies with the forces of evil.

i'll leave insightful posting to my friend who is an mcse+i, rhce, lpi, and ccnp...

APT
by Anonymous on Mon 14th Jul 2003 23:02 UTC

"Okay, repeat after me: you do NOT have to compile apps to install them in Linux. This is a MYTH! There are graphical installers that will automatically download and install apps for you without ever needing to drop to the command line. Or, you can download a package and double-click on it (yes, double-click!) and it will start the all-graphical software installer!"

Yes, Linux package management is becoming very easy.
The first time I ever used Debian, I decided to install Gaim with APT, and all I had to type was apt-get install gaim; Gaim was now installed and ready to use after typing a single command. Needless to say, I was impressed!
Synaptic makes package management even easier.

I hear Gentoo's Portage manager is just as easy to use.

CLI vs GUI file management
by DCMonkey on Mon 14th Jul 2003 23:18 UTC

... then ask him to delete every single file containig the letters: xyz.

I can't remember if this was GNOME, KDE, or a dream (about GUIs? How sad ;) but try this (from somewhat fuzzy memory):
1) Navigate to the folder.
2) type "*xyz*" in the location box. Hit enter
3) Select all resulting files (there may be a keyboard shortcut for this)
4) Click delete from wherever (menu, toolbar, right click, keyboard)


Re: People ignore games
by Bascule on Mon 14th Jul 2003 23:49 UTC

Why do "Linux is Ready for the Desktop" articles always ignore games?

Because game developers have standardized upon Windows as the primary platform for computer gaming.

Last I checked, games now make up a multi-billion dollar industry.

Of which PC games account for 7% of total revenue. By and in large the majority of the market is made up of console gaming.

I myself am an avid gamer and the only I haven't switched is because I can't run 90% of my games on Linux. Guess what? The majority of computers out there now in most people's homes have games on them. Be it "The Sims" (which I can't stand ;) ) or whatever.

I have no games installed on my computer. I do own a PS2 and a number of games for it, however...

RE: No way
by Anonymous on Tue 15th Jul 2003 00:19 UTC

How is that Linux's fault ? Blame OpenOffice a program available in Linux, Windows, and Mac versions. Yet I don't see how Linux the the OS let you down there.

GUI IDE's
by Erik on Tue 15th Jul 2003 00:25 UTC

As for compiling, at work we use both command line development tools and GUI tools under both Windows and Linux (as well as command line tools under VxWorks). KDevelop works fine, though it doesn't have all the features of Visual Studio. So even compiling need not be completely GUI-less. On the other hand there are times when using the command line tools under Windows has advantages. Although I do believe that the Microsoft world is ahead in GUI IDE's for development, it is not as simple as Windows=GUI and Linux=No GUI.

Erik

The apps
by Darius on Tue 15th Jul 2003 00:41 UTC

Why do people who make these comparisons in favor of Linux always compare Linux to the default Windows install with no apps? (Either that, or else they assume that MS Office is the only office suite available for Wi32.)
I mean, the first thing on his list that you can't do easily with Windows is perl. HUH??? I might be able to understand this if perl was some $400 app that was freely available in Linux, but last I checked, it's free for Windows too and easily installable.

I get frustrated with articles like this because they never look at it from both sides of the fence. They just list everything Linux does well (often exagerating in the process) and leave it at that. Whatever happened to objectivity?

PS - I think that saying Linux is 'virus free' is misleading at best, outright lying at worst.

RE: Why Linux is Ready for the Desktop
by Clay on Tue 15th Jul 2003 00:50 UTC

Recently the City of Munich, Germany moved from M$ to SuSE. Open Office and Ximian Evolution is available and is suitable for most office workstations. Netscape has a browser for Linux and Opera has a very fast browser for Linux. I think Linux as reach a reasonably mature level for the desktop. One issue I have about Linux on the desktop is browser plugins. I use Red Hat, SuSE and Windoze as a triple boot and enjoy them very much.
Linux is ready for the desktop. Use what works for you.

http://www.redhat.com/solutions/info/casestudies/google.html
http://www.suse.de/us/company/press/press_releases/archive03/cray.h...
http://www.suse.de/us/company/press/press_releases/archive03/munich...

Comments(2)
by mike on Tue 15th Jul 2003 01:03 UTC

I compared the default install of RH (which some people, not me, see as the standard linux) and the standard office PC (stretching apoint to includethe pro version)

The article was not flame bait, it was my personal opinions about what I see as mis-statements freqquently made about linux.

Walmart article - yes I did read it, you will remember it talked about lindows - not exactly standard linux. To me "standard" linux would have to be RH,SUSE,Mandrake, Debian or Slackware (or derivatives)

I was not saying windows=gui linux=cli, I was merely making the point about you can do "the windows way of working" in modern linux.

RE: Comments (2)
by contrasutra on Tue 15th Jul 2003 01:15 UTC

> To me "standard" linux would have to be RH,SUSE,Mandrake, Debian or Slackware (or derivatives)

Watch yourself, Lindows is a Debian derivative. ;-)

remember when you talk about hardware...
by bogey on Tue 15th Jul 2003 01:30 UTC

A lot of the GNU/Linux beefs are hardware oriented. It doesn't just work with an [old laptop, newest interface, video card,my webcam, etc].

Remember though, as long as hardware standards are closed, this will be the case. If you make a _LONG_TERM_ move to GNU/Linux, you start buying things that are supported. You buy Nvidia cards, etc. Then, when you pop in (fill in fav distro), it just works.

By the way, Windows doesn't _JUST_WORK_ with my non-windows partition. And in the days when I used that OS for more than gaming, I often had to get drivers off a companies website. It's not GNU/Linux's fault that many companies aren't writing Linux drivers. But they won't see any $ from GNU/Linux users until someone supports their hardware on our platform.

-b

I've been using Windows and *NIX for years now, and I was feeling really good about where Linux is in ease of use. I was thinking in terms of ease of use, Linux is neck and neck with Windows, in some instances even ahead. I was thinking Joe User would easily be able to use Linux as their main desktop. At least I thought so until my sister came begging me to help her setup her computer for DSL usage via a home network. She has a Windows 2000 box and it literally took me a second to set her up. Then she asked me how I did it, and I quickly showed her. She took very good notes "right click on network places, select properties..." I was wondering why she was taking such good notes, and she proceeded to tell me her friend is also having a similar problem. I proceeded to tell her that the IP address she uses wont work for her friend. Then she wanted to know how IP addresses work so she can quickly set it up for her friend. I proceeded to tell her the whole concept of IP addresses but it went over her head. Not giving a damn about her friends computer not working, I told her to tell her friend just to call tech support to get his network connection up and running. At that point I realized that even though there are graphical tools to set things up in Linux, some even more intuitive than Windows, this choice that is the greatest asset of Linux is also its achilles heel. There is no standard Linux network configuration tool. There is no way one level one "engineer" would be able to assist another clueless person on how to fix their computer. There are no cue cards, no right click here, select properties, in Linux. Each distribution has it's own method of setting the network card. So regardless of how trully easy Linux has become, for the majority of people who confuse hard drive space with memory, it doesn't matter. They need someone to hold there hands and tell them the exact pixel to click on. Tech Support people, who usually are themselves clueless, won't be able to do that with Linux.

Linux will be ready for the Desktop
by Anonymous on Tue 15th Jul 2003 02:04 UTC

When you, yourself feel it is. When you feel that it is good enough for your needs and does what you want.

Again...
by JSplice on Tue 15th Jul 2003 02:06 UTC

If I was an advocate of free software and I was against "the man", wouldn't this be defeating the purpose? Makes you wonder if the loud Linux cult shops at Wal-Mart, buys Kraft cheese (company owned by big tobacco)and eat at McDonalds.

Haha that's funny. Maybe Linux really is the "Po Man's" OS.

Anyhow, I mentioned before about having to compile some apps in linux. Maybe I was being a bit one-sided there. True, most of the stuff that I installed in linux comes in packages. However, here comes the problem of getting the correct package for your distro! I remember trying to get packages for KDE of Gnome and going to their site and seeing that packages for my distro had not been made yet. So I was thinking, "so do I install another distro just to get these packages?", or "do I try and compile this from source?", or "do I just say F**K IT to linux and boot back into windows?". I've done all three of those, I can't say which one is done most often. But yes, there ARE instances where certain apps for linux are released in source only. And for these apps, you MUST compile them. Now, if I remember correctly, I don't think I have *ever* been forced to compile an app that I downloaded for Windows. So back to the "use what suits you best thing". If you like compiling your apps to install them, thats cool. I've done it before, sometimes it's a pain in the butt, other times it goes smooth. But for someone who wants to get something installed and running fast, such as many businesses, the obvious choice here is windows. People keep talking about how linux is just as good as windows for the business desktop enviroment. I totally disagree here. Anyone who works with a computer everyday knows how important it is for things to operate smoothly on the PC in order to make good use of their time. There are just too many quarks in linux to allow for this smooth operation. Crap here I go ranting again. I'm done.

RE: Again...
by contrasutra on Tue 15th Jul 2003 02:33 UTC

Well, the secretary or whatever wont be setting up the computer. A tech will. Linux WILL run smooth once properly set up. I think that is peoples point. That it can do all the basic things once coerced.

And of course you never "just recieve source" in Windows, because Windows doesnt come with a compiler. In fact MS charges upseen amounts of money for their development tools.

Does that tell you something?

why i use win98se?
by Anonymous on Tue 15th Jul 2003 03:47 UTC

i am using win98se, if that linux is for desktop is true,.................................................................


why, why am i using win98se?

--
truth is simple, king is naked.

Why Linux is Ready for the Desktop
by Ho Hum on Tue 15th Jul 2003 04:35 UTC

*YAWN*

I'LL TELL YOU WHAT LINUX IS READY FOR...
by Ronald on Tue 15th Jul 2003 04:36 UTC

Get those servers running Windows back to UNIX land. ;)

RE: Darius
by archie steel on Tue 15th Jul 2003 04:39 UTC

I think that saying Linux is 'virus free' is misleading at best, outright lying at worst.

There are virtually no Linux viruses in the wild. There's maybe two or three worms, but their damage has been very limited.

For all practical purposes, the risk of catching a virus on Linux tends toward zero. So it's not that misleading to say that Linux is "virus free", because that's an accurate representation of the current situation out there.

re: Just Because You Wish It ...
by Stephen Poole on Tue 15th Jul 2003 05:09 UTC

>Changing montior refresh rate on the fly with a GUI: >Great, we've finally got something Windows has had since >1995, but wait, we still can't change the resolution with >a GUI.

A perfect illustration of the differences between distributions, actually. In Mandrake and SuSE, you *can* change just about everything related to your video in a GUI (the Mandrake Control Center or YAST2).

One of the most dead-on comments I have EVER seen re: whether Linux is ready to challenge Windows on the desktop was from a guy who pointed out that Red Hat users are more likely to say no; users of Mandrake and SuSE are more likely to say YES.

:)

Just my opinion.

http://www.jediknight.com/~smpoole/switchtolinux.html

(Mike, don't let 'em get you down. I agree with you, in the main.)

Leaning curve not needed
by MusclePup on Tue 15th Jul 2003 06:00 UTC

Don't take this the wrong way, I think Linux is going somewhere but not to the desktop just yet. I've heard a million times before that Linux programmers don't think writing documentation is there job, who’s is it? I've been a windows developer for years and every program (pro or hobby) that I have written has been commented and documented by me unless there were others dedicated to that task. If all programmers did this correctly the average user (even using the command line) would have an easy to use system; it also helps with the whole open source idea. One example from the other day… I miss configured my video card in KDE and after a reboot the system went into a endless loop with no easy access to a failsafe mode to fix that problem... after some research back in windows I learned how to edit the XF86Config file to get things back up. Windows in the same situation reset itself to 800-600 with a dialog that indicated that my video card was not correctly configured. This might seem trivial to some Linux users but I don't have time to think about these issues and expect that my OS with take care me.
I do look forward to a day when I can swich to Linux but there is a ways to go for desktop and gaming systems.

Linux learning curve can be reduced with beter documentation.
by MusclePup on Tue 15th Jul 2003 06:01 UTC

Don't take this the wrong way, I think Linux is going somewhere but not to the desktop just yet. I've heard a million times before that Linux programmers don't think writing documentation is there job, who’s is it? I've been a windows developer for years and every program (pro or hobby) that I have written has been commented and documented by me unless there were others dedicated to that task. If all programmers did this correctly the average user (even using the command line) would have an easy to use system; it also helps with the whole open source idea. One example from the other day… I miss configured my video card in KDE and after a reboot the system went into a endless loop with no easy access to a failsafe mode to fix that problem... after some research back in windows I learned how to edit the XF86Config file to get things back up. Windows in the same situation reset itself to 800-600 with a dialog that indicated that my video card was not correctly configured. This might seem trivial to some Linux users but I don't have time to think about these issues and expect that my OS with take care me.
I do look forward to a day when I can swich to Linux but there is a ways to go for desktop and gaming systems.

People, first of all I don't know who the hell these people who say "you know my mom/kid sat down in front of it the first time and now easily use Linux." First of all who the hell are these people? and how big a time gap like 10 years? Windows and Windows Software is a lot easier to set up than Linux software and most people are sometimes at a loss as to how to install Windows Software. Please when you use the term "average user" please actually mean your average user not what you think an average user it. If peoples "average user" was actually the average user then there wouldn't be windows how-to videos sold on tv.

One thingI din't like about Linux was that it's sometimes so easy to screw up an installation. For instance i've installed Red Hat 7.2,7.3,8 & 9. I installed Red Hat Linux 8 easily so i decided to wipe it clean and install Red Hat 9 and it didn't ask if the resolution was ok and totally screwed up the video to the point where i could only see a couple of white pixelated lines and i had to install it all over again. Once before on mandrake I had a 2 button scrollwheel mouse (USB) and i told it i had that and it thought i had a ps2 mouse. Installed Mandrake and i couldn't even use the mouse i had to tell it i had a ps2 mouse (which i didn't have.) just to get by. Windows at least has the courtesy to start up in a very low resolution and allow you to make it bigger as you see fit.

Sure Linux has some better capabilities than Windows, but it's harder to configure Linux and to get it up working right faster. For the most part Apple is way ahead of Linux because they have combined an elegant user interface with UNIX and got it to work beutifully and it works right all the time.

linux is not ready
by dan on Tue 15th Jul 2003 06:48 UTC

Linux is ready for some people, but definitely not your avergage user who can barely install Windows software or find files on their harddrive. Windows is hard enough for them. I used to work at Best Buy as a technician and when people ask me if they need to plug in their monitor to install Windows.....makes you think twice if Linux is ready for these people.

My 2c
by Paul Eggleton on Tue 15th Jul 2003 06:52 UTC

I use Linux with KDE on the desktop almost full-time at home. I am a developer, and I fully admit to using (and even liking) the command prompt. Sure, there are a few things that are a bit difficult at this point without going there, but things are improving. For most everyday things, I use the GUI, and prefer to do so.

Case in point, I was recently helping out at a Linux Installfest (an event where people who want to try Linux take their PCs in and have Linux installed for them). We were installing Mandrake 9.1, and the guy whose PC I was setting up was really impressed at how easy everything was (he had only used Linux previously in 1995, when the console was the way everything had to be done). The truth is we got the whole OS installed, including apps, etc. and I didn't have to go to a console to do anything, until it came time to set up his Winmodem (post-installation) that is (the winmodem drivers are in active development at the moment). So not everything is perfect, but it's not as bad as some might have you believe. In particular, notions such as "X is slow because it works over networks" and "you have to compile from source to install anything on Linux" should not even be entertained, because they are out of date, or (as in the case of the X myth) flat out wrong. Of course, it goes both ways - there are Linux people out there who claim that Windows XP crashes all the time, but a lot of people find it to be quite stable.

Those who say Linux is never going to be easy or complete enough are pretty short sighted - simply because if you have been following the leaps and bounds made by Linux and open-source software over the last year alone, you can't fail to notice how fast the pace of development is. The genuine complaints people have are getting less and less major. "Linux doesn't support my video card!" has changed to "I can't change my refresh rate in Linux without rebooting" (restarting X, in truth). Chances are if you find a bug or a limitation, it's being worked on, and more and more developers are working on open-source software as time progresses.

There seems to be an opinion held by some that Linux and open source is bad because it its diversity, and should unify and everything should be the same. I'm sorry, but it's not going to happen any time soon - developers are people too and they all have their opinions on how things should be done (not to mention that there are only so many hours in the day!). Find the distribution/application where things are done the right way for you, and use it. Give feedback to the developers in the form of constructive criticism and proper bug reports, and if that doesn't work, vote with your feet.

Regarding games under Linux: sure, it's not an out-of-box experience, but there are ways to do it. Some native Linux ports, Wine or WineX, Win4Lin, or just plain old dual boot (which is what I'm doing, for games only that is).

In closing, if you find Linux isn't ready for your desktop, wait a bit and try again in a few months. But it's ready for a lot of people right now.

hey!
by Anonymous on Tue 15th Jul 2003 07:52 UTC

i said again.

even if X11 is so faster than win9X/winnt/win2k/winme/winxp/win200X's GUI,

I WILL NEVER USE LINUX AS DESKTOP-OS UNTIL X11 DIED!!!!

even if linux 3.0...

--
when developer wouldn't hear end user voice,
so end user wouldn't hear developer's os, too.

Re: hey!
by Daan on Tue 15th Jul 2003 08:11 UTC

Let me say this: I will revert back to Windows if X11 died.

For me, one of the strenghts of Linux is that I can log in to my PC from the outland with putty, use vnc to start a virtual (non-visual) X-session and then work graphically on my computer at home, without taking over the desktop of the user logged in

This is possible because X is designed in a way that it can output to the screen, but also to the VNC server. And that's great.

Changing resolution is no problem anymore with KRandr, click the tray-icon and select a new resolution.

Remains one problem, as I see it: transparency. I think X really needs true transparency. With that, programs like Kasbar can actually be bug-free. But isn't this on the todo-list for XFree86 5.0?

Re: hey!
by Anonymous on Tue 15th Jul 2003 08:56 UTC

without X11.

it is there vnc for native win32.
it is in winxp internal function without cost.
and without another promie.
it is X11 on win32(don't try this at home!).

in desktop, X11,linux,freebsd,openbsd,os/2,beos whatever it is bloated and zero-native performance.

who's desktop?
by art on Tue 15th Jul 2003 09:43 UTC

Read this:
http://www.mandrake.tips.4.free.fr/switchsuccess.html
(Shame that article never got linked here though..)

and determine if linux is ready for your desktop.

No one can tell you that without going through the steps of identifying what linux can and cannot offer (related to your hardware for instance) and what it is that you need to have a fully functional system -- one that fulfills your needs, not those of some other user that then comments that it's fine for him and so should be fine for you.

I agree completely.
by Bill Gates on Tue 15th Jul 2003 10:56 UTC

I only use Linux at home. Our Windows cannot handle the devices I have all around the house. Once when a client came in (before the Lindows upgrade) the temperature was set to -5 C confusing the signal from the bluetooth device on his jacket.

At Microsoft we are using Windows 2003 Servers to play doom. All developement is done on Linux. Why do you think our exes are so stable lately?

I disagree completely.
by Anonymous on Tue 15th Jul 2003 12:59 UTC

i said ..

what you mentioned, is not a fact.
it just story, there is no technical desktop change.

so technically, i have no reason move to linux.

--
i don't want hurt anybody, but my linux experience fear me again..

RE: Paul Eggleton
by Archiesteel on Tue 15th Jul 2003 14:36 UTC

Great post! Very sensible and devoid of unnecessary zealotry.

And for those who think X is bloated because of its network abilities: if you don't use them, they won't take up memory and CPU cycles! Personally I think the latest versions of X are fine, and I love being able to turn any old Pentium 166 into a thin client running off of my newest server with XDMCP. Three people can be logged in at once and enjoy great performance (as long as one of them isn't playing RTCW... :-)

Horrible font 4 windows? Are you serious?
by cyberholic on Tue 15th Jul 2003 16:37 UTC

This is one of the things MS does right. In fact, it has never been an issue for windows users.

The font rendering on Linux is just UGLY. Yes, I know the Bitstream Vera fonts, still not as good as MS's Arial, Times New Roman and Courier New.

I just can't stand religous guys who even try to convince everybody that Linux shortcomings are ACTUALLY GOOD. Zealots.

...
by Err on Tue 15th Jul 2003 16:56 UTC

""Linux has very few viruses in part because there aren't as many users, but mostly because its naturally more secure. Linux teaches you not to run as root.

If you dont run as root, you cant get a virus. Windows encourages you to run as Administrator. "" -Contrasutra

Hmm, and I suppose that the various package managers/installers never ask you to supply the root password to install these apps?

The user might not be running as root, it doesn't prevent them letting some other app run with root permissions by mistake. The Linux viruses of the future will be spread the same way as the Windows viruses of the present, by relying on the lack of knowledge of home users.

Windows vs Linux, an opinion
by Jebus on Tue 15th Jul 2003 18:45 UTC

This has been said and I'm just gona say it again, although the boffins try to deny it Linux has short commings which are going to be very hard to address:
1. Multimedia - Soz to the linux fans but directx beats everything linux has to offer as for the various emulators and native ports out there, i choose to avoid them for some very basic reasons: Perofrmance, Why not just play 'em on Windows?
2. Development - VS.Net (Not 2003 the original works fine) is an excellent development suite which makes a laughting stock of everything Linux has to offer it is in short much more than the Linux development environments which seem to be nothing but a gloated text editor, with the ability to compile apps from a menu added. Then if its free stuff you want the .NET sdk is a free download, borland makes a command line version of there excellent compiler available, gcc is available for Windows in various flavours, activestate has an excellent freely avaliable perl distro availabel for download from there website if ur into that sorta thing, pyhons freely avialabel on windows, as is Java I'm able to run the latest version of the JDK + Eclipse for a brillaint freely avaliable development environment, most of this is of course avlable for Linux and has the added bonus that it comes packaged with most distro's instead of having to download it, however VS.Net is what makes me love windows for development so much.
3. Plug and play, i plug my device in windows detects it searches its driver database for the appropriate driver if its found it automatically installs it (I dont have to click a signle button, its just done), if not windows prompts me for the driver CD which will of course have been included with the prodect and installation goes smovely from there, sorry linux may have more drivers come with the base installation however windows has by far the greater driver support, it was at lest 5 months after I purchased my radeon 9000 that Linux finally got driver support, not there fault but the reality is it doesn't matter whos fault it is, its an annoyance which exsists on the linux desktop. although to be fair most of my hardware works with linux, BTW i also think linux has a better TCP/IP stack than window seems to run slightly faster.
4. Security, In this catogory Linux is ahead of windows, by default it has a more secure 'culture' about it however I still have to run as root/have root privalleges to install software just like on windows, reality is the on linux i run as a user on windows i run as an administrator, i won't go into the ammount of viruses on windows although i will say it is a well known fact that many home virus scares are just STUPID users blaming soemthing else when there system goes wrong.
5. Office productivity suites, i think the fact that OpenOffice the premer office suite on linux is a project established with the aim of creating an MS Office clone sees it all, MS Office continues to set the bar in office productivity, nothing to debate here really the best the Linux fanatics have been able to come up with is OpenOffice can read MS Office files, wow! (note sarcasim).
6. Software installation, certainly linux software installation has the package manager, but so what great its a package manager i can uninstall/reinstall any windows app i want from the Add Remove Programs menu, on windwos i download a program which takes me through the installation steps and get my system configured exactly as i need it all automatically if i want i cant customize what parts i install (i haven't seen that using rpms/whatever u call the debian things), linux users may respond to this by saying that u can compile the app urself sorry no game that loses u points not gains them in my books, on windows i dont have to worry about dependinces either its all there with the default windows installation or as DLL's included with the app, linux on the other hand i do have to worry about dependinces which *CAN* be an annoyance, i found it was an annoyance under mandrake 9, redhat 9 is goo though, lastly its best we discuss debains central app system which is great i give debian full credit for that, however the various ftp netowrks and pages linke zdnet provide central program repositories for windows and i dont have to touch the command line.

In conclusion i think linux can't challenge windows, untill the fans accept that it has some BIG flaws and i still have to spend a long time getting things working under linux which just work under windows.

RE: Windows vs Linux, an opinion
by SK on Tue 15th Jul 2003 20:14 UTC

Linux is getting more popular day by day. Just wait for the day where vendors start coming up with Linux drivers on the CD along with Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003/??/??/../.. drivers. One should appreciate the people who spend lot of time and energy to write drivers to those devices, most of the time the OEMs do not provide specifications properly because of the M$ backlash. Linux is the way to GO!!!

RE: Windows vs Linux, an opinion
by Archiesteel on Tue 15th Jul 2003 20:21 UTC

Soz to the linux fans but directx beats everything linux has to offer as for the various emulators and native ports out there, i choose to avoid them for some very basic reasons: Perofrmance, Why not just play 'em on Windows?

I'm not sure what you're talking about, but if it's playing movie files, you should know that MPlayer/Xine with Windows codecs actually provides better performance than Windows. (Yes, I'm talking about Sorenson QuickTime movies, as well as .asf, .wmv, etc.)

Development - VS.Net

.Net is a failure. Microsoft has admitted as much by pulling nearly all references to it from its marketing material.

MS Office continues to set the bar in office productivity, nothing to debate here really the best the Linux fanatics have been able to come up with is OpenOffice can read MS Office files, wow! (note sarcasim).

Reading MS Office files is essential for any Office replacement. But there is one definite advantage of using Star/OpenOffice over MS Office: price. But if you can't live without MS Office, you can always use it in Linux with Crossover Office.

linux on the other hand i do have to worry about dependinces which *CAN* be an annoyance, i found it was an annoyance under mandrake 9, redhat 9 is goo though, lastly its best we discuss debains central app system which is great i give debian full credit for that, however the various ftp netowrks and pages linke zdnet provide central program repositories for windows and i dont have to touch the command line.

With tools such as URPMI or RedCarpet dependencies are resolved automatically. Installation of programs is easier and faster than in Windows. You do not have to touch the command line as there are graphical tools available. And there are big software repositories you can use with those programs, they're just not on ZDNet...

Something i have to say
by jief on Tue 15th Jul 2003 23:13 UTC

OK, I've been reading a lot of articles on the web lately about Linux/Windows (mainly because there's not much to do at work during summer). And there's one thing that bugs me a lot. People seems to think that Linux includes only Debian, RedHat, Mandrake and SuSE. Which in my opinion, are by far the worst Linux distributions EVER. Those distros only tries to copy Windows in making it as easy as possible for the user.

It's about time people try other distros. Or *BSD. Sure some aren't as easy, but you gotta keep in mind, you all had to learn how to use Windows in the past. I personally run Gentoo, and it's easy to manage, it's well developped. The user base is really friendly, and it has the best package manager. They took the BSD port system and made it better.

As for Linux being ready or not. Who really cares? Most people using Linux don't play games, and all the good games are playable with WineX, and crashes a lot less than in Windows XP(I know because I tried them under both OS).

The only thing that Linux lacks for now, IMO, is some specific software in a few fields ie. music, multimedia. But then again, if you're in that those fields, you probably have a Mac anyway.

my 2 cents

RE: RE: Windows vs Linux, an opinion
by Jebus on Wed 16th Jul 2003 06:27 UTC

> I'm not sure what you're talking about, but if it's playing movie files, you should know that MPlayer/Xine with Windows codecs actually provides better performance than Windows. (Yes, I'm talking about Sorenson QuickTime movies, as well as .asf, .wmv, etc.) <
I was talking about games, Which there are far far far more of on windows and they peroform better thanks to directx and better driver support, much better than when run on an emulation under linux and they have the advantage of just working ;) , BTW. i should have been more clear about what i meant however i did make the post at 4:00am cut me a little slack.

> .Net is a failure. Microsoft has admitted as much by pulling nearly all references to it from its marketing material. <
.NET may or may not be a failure I dont care, the fact that microsoft is rewritting many system components to be used from .NET in Longhorn suggests otherwise (More likely they've just realised that putting .NET at the end of everything has just confused everyone (and sounds stupid), you yourself provided the perfect example assuming that VS.NET must be just for .NET development), either way I don't care I was talking about C++ in VS (Note: I removed .NET just to make you happy) and I stick by what I said VS is far supperior to anything Linux has to offer.

> Reading MS Office files is essential for any Office replacement. But there is one definite advantage of using Star/OpenOffice over MS Office: price. But if you can't live without MS Office, you can always use it in Linux with Crossover Office. <
Of course reading MS Office files is an essential step however it certainly doesn't make OpenOffice and similar in anyway supperior to MS Office, which has a wonderful workflow, as for crossover office I'm sorry I don't see the point of spending more on a comercial product to run Office on Linux when it runs on Windows and naturally doesn't have to worry about the emulation layer ;) .
> With tools such as URPMI or RedCarpet dependencies are resolved automatically. Installation of programs is easier and faster than in Windows. You do not have to touch the command line as there are graphical tools available. And there are big software repositories you can use with those programs, they're just not on ZDNet... <
Firstly I've installed programs in Windows and Linux its not faster on Linux, secondly I use the package managers which come with my distro of choice (Mandrake/Redhat) and I have experinced dependincy problems on Mandrake, I have never experienced that on Windows I just double click on it and its installed, thirdly of course there software repositories for Linux its just the Windows ones are much much bigger simply because there are more programs written for Windows, I was pointing this out because many Linux fans seem to think the only way to get software on Windows is off a comercial CD, if you looked the amount of freely avalable software for Windows on the internet outnumbers the amount avalable for Linux (Not counting Shareware programs or anything)


> Linux is getting more popular day by day. Just wait for the day where vendors start coming up with Linux drivers on the CD along with Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003/??/??/../.. drivers. One should appreciate the people who spend lot of time and energy to write drivers to those devices, most of the time the OEMs do not provide specifications properly because of the M$ backlash. Linux is the way to GO!!! <
The amount of market share Linux has does not warrant the money spent on developing drivers for it, as for the Linux marketshare growing, its only growing in the Server side of things really were this sorta thing doesn't matter so much, however this is a debate about the viability of Linux for the desktop PC more so its a debate about the viability of Linux to be run on the average users desktop, most average user's haven't heard of Linux if they have they have no idea what it is, your average user buys a PC with windows + MS office preinstalled on it and doesn't have to worry about it again, reality is the only people who Linux is attracting is the techo's (I.E. people who are reading this....) who don't make up a large market share and even the techos are split from memory figures show linux has about 0.3% market penetration, of course your message is mostly anti microsoft crap which to me is just silly its an OS for F******S sake. BTW I certainly appreciate the people who spend there time writting drivers for Linux as I do all the people who take tehre time out to contribute to open source projects however that doesn't mean i should deny the reality that Linux is lagging badly behind windows in this area.


My OS isn't a brand its a tool, to use something simply because thats what everyone says is cool is foolish and would make me no better than a brand following blond bimbo (not that some guys don't do the same thing), therefore I chose Windows it works when I want it to as I want it to without me having to worry about it, BTW I'm sick to death of this desktop crap aren't you? why not move onto something relevant like discussing how to make Linux better, then a person like me will see a real need to switch ;) .

RE: Windows vs Linux, an opinion
by Archiesteel on Wed 16th Jul 2003 16:51 UTC

I was talking about games, Which there are far far far more of on windows and they peroform better thanks to directx and better driver support, much better than when run on an emulation under linux and they have the advantage of just working ;)

Okay. Personnally, as a Game Designer, I mostly play on consoles. Games are usually less buggy (because they are developed on controlled platforms) and of better quality (higher budgets in general, lousy games are - in theory - not accepted by manufacturers).

The only games that suck on consoles (as opposed to PCs) are First-Person Shooters and Real-Time Strategies. As it happens, FPS is a genre where Linux shines: RTCW (including Enemy Territory), Unreal Tournament 2K3 and Quake 3 are all available Native on Linux. Other games, like Counter-Strike (my personal favorite) run extremely smoothly with WineX. They install smoothly (even more so now with the Point2Play installer). They "just work," to use your words - and they should, since most of the "work" is done by the video card, not the CPU or the application layer (remember, Wine is NOT emulation).

Of course reading MS Office files is an essential step however it certainly doesn't make OpenOffice and similar in anyway supperior to MS Office, which has a wonderful workflow,

Not sure what you mean by workflow, but OpenOffice does have an important advantage on MS Office: price. Not only is it free, but future upgrades will be free as well.

as for crossover office I'm sorry I don't see the point of spending more on a comercial product to run Office on Linux when it runs on Windows and naturally doesn't have to worry about the emulation layer

Considering that Crossover Office will also let you run Quicken, Quickbooks, Photoshop, Lotus Notes, IE, and so on, it's a pretty good investment if you already own the Windows apps. And, considering the fact that Crossover Office costs LESS than a brand-new Windows License, you're not actually spending more.

Oh, and you don't have to worry the "emulation layer" (which is not emulation at all). It just works. Flawlessly. The only little thing that nags me is that soft links (i.e. aliases for files and directories) in Linux FS are not recognized by apps running under Crossover Office - though the next (free if you've bought it) upgrade will perhaps solve that! Other than that it is flawless...and actually more stable than some of the "Office on Windows" experiences I've been through!

I use the package managers which come with my distro of choice (Mandrake/Redhat) and I have experinced dependincy problems on Mandrake, I have never experienced that on Windows

Do you run a "cookerized" (i.e. modified) distro? You shouldn't have any dependency problems with the Software Installer unless you've installed a buggy beta of URPMI. I have yet to run into a single dependency problem with the Mandrake 9.1 version of the Software Installer. I have, on the other hand, experienced "DLL hell" on Windows quite a few times (though admittedly not since Windows ME).

from memory figures show linux has about 0.3% market penetration

That figure is way inaccurate. It was spread by FUDders last year but has since been proven an utter lie. Linux penetration is more into the 3-5% range (still low, but climbing).

as for the Linux marketshare growing, its only growing in the Server side of things

Inaccurate. It's growing faster on the server side of things, but it's still growing on the desktop side (at an admittedly slower pace).

BTW I'm sick to death of this desktop crap aren't you?

Nobody's forcing you to participate in these discussions! ;-)

RE: Windows vs Linux, an opinion
by jief on Wed 16th Jul 2003 20:44 UTC

Archiesteel is so right. And on the server, linux/unix has a bigger share for internet servers i.e. web/dns/ftp.

After what happened in January, I'm sure a lot of sys admins decided to move their MsSql servers to more stable and secure MySQL servers. Face it, if you need stable, high availability and secure servers, don't run Windows. You will need to patch it all the time with security patches (and as we've seen, even Microsoft suffered from SQL Slammer).

I have nothing against Windows, I use it at work, althought it behaves oddly sometimes, it works most of time. But when you're used to Linux, it's just not comparable.

Jebus, you should use other distros than RedHat/Mandrake, and you would see what linux is really about.