Linked by Adam S on Wed 30th Apr 2003 07:26 UTC
Linux Lately, we've all read a lot of articles about desktop Linux - so many that it's getting hard to tell them apart. One says "Why Linux Sucks," the next "My Success With Linux." Even Michael Robertson of joined the fun with his "Why Desktop Linux Sucks, Today." But very few people have proposed anything radical, and I believe that's what's needed to take GNU/Linux to the next level.
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Linux desktop is almost already what we need but not in the main distros. Since main Linux distros such as overrated Red Hat and nice but after you manage to install SuSE 8.2, or Mandrake that is getting there but still needs several improvements, are not the answer to an average desktop user who patiently waited for years for those bigger names in Linux business to hear her/his needs.

Now those companies say they are going to pay more attention to desktop, still when you try to install their newest version something is missing, say, "Red Hat ships without mp3 support", SuSE 8.2 is difficult to install on some hardware and Mandrake just makes cosmetic changes without addressing a larger question of running MS apps, "NTFS resizing", or having "integration into Microsoft domains".

Yet, we all have our gods in Linux desktop. One can argue that his/hers is the best, the most potent and…forgiving of all Linux gods. But we’re looking for some universality here, right? We need a desktop Linux to do a lot of things and yet be simple and cheap. Hey, that’s an ideal desktop Linux god. So, while big names in Linux have long history of not looking after desktop users needs, some of us turned into less known distributions and discovered that there are other gods besides big gods as well.

And those smaller distors are something of a discovery within a discovery. First you discover Linux, an idea, a god, but then you discover that that god has its flows and maybe even stinks, so you moved to other big and known Linux gods and the same thing happens. If you didn’t give up smaller gods are there to help, even so they anticipated you were searching for some other solution, they set their priorities in desktop development to begin with. Let me tell you about my gods in Linux desktop.

I need to resize NTFS partition, I need not just see the "c:" drive but be able to open files that are there and copy their content say from MS Word into some Linux app while still in Linux, I need also to run MS apps in my Linux environment such as Photoshop or Visio, I need to have good integration into MS Win domains and their networks without doing a lot of Samba configuration, I also need to install Windows apps with a simulated Windows reboot in just few seconds instead of waiting two-three minutes – hey, it’s a litany of needs.

But folks that’s already been done in Xandros Desktop Deluxe 1.0 that includes CrossOver Office, which by itself costs over $50 as a separate product while Xandros includes it in their distro. Xandros has all those godly features mentioned in the above paragraph, so obviously for me that distribution is my religion and I’m using it and I’ll recommend it for deployment to my customers who are thinking and deliberating which Linux god is the best for their desktop needs.