Linked by Massimo Sandal on Thu 7th Jul 2005 20:14 UTC
Linux Recently in a post on my blog I argued that, despite many claims to the contrary, GNU/Linux is almost ready for the desktop. In particular, I argued that GNU/Linux is already a very good and easy desktop if people just take the time to learn its very basic differences with Windows before actually using it. Note: Don't forget to rate this article!
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Gnu/Linux is NOT ready for desktops
by Tanner on Thu 7th Jul 2005 21:16 UTC
Tanner
Member since:
2005-07-06

In my opinion, Gnu Linux is getting the worst time in his history. Many people started to think about the cluttering, the bad written code, the mess in the latest kernels...

There are some aspects that will never be clear for the average user: driver installation is a pain,for example the graphics drivers need kernel recompilation, with modules to plug in in order to achieve hardware acceleration... Packages are managed trought many different package-managers, with different systems and formats.

Desktop environments are heavy, based on old X11 client server architecture (?!? on a desktop system!!!), often they are only a patchwork..

In conclusion, people discovered that unixes arent for desktop usage.

Many discovered alternatives like BeOS who "died" (commercially) years ago, but also discovered that THOSE were the REAL desktop OSes. And the interest in those Oses is increasing day after day.

IMHO, obviously. Feel free to think that Linux is ready for the desktop.

Reply Score: 5

Mediocre Sarcasm Man Member since:
2005-07-06

driver installation is a pain,for example the graphics drivers need kernel recompilation, with modules to plug in in order to achieve hardware acceleration.

Ok, I'm still pretty new to Linux, but I'm fairly sure you only need to recompile if you wan't the drivers compiled into the kernel (or if you need to add support for modules).

Desktop environments are heavy, based on old X11 client server architecture (?!? on a desktop system!!!), often they are only a patchwork.

Ok, the above could be attributed to ignorance or an honest mistake (or I could be wrong), but now you just look like a troll.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Member since:

Ahem... anyone who uses the word "recompile", in reference to someone saying that something isn't user-friendly for mainstream users, isn't even close to beginning to comprehend the concept of user-friendly...

Reply Parent Score: 0

niran Member since:
2005-07-06

There are some aspects that will never be clear for the average user: driver installation is a pain,for example the graphics drivers need kernel recompilation, with modules to plug in in order to achieve hardware acceleration...

That just means you're using the wrong distro. On Ubuntu, you install a package to get the Nvidia or ATI drivers. That's not even necessary unless the user needs 3D acceleration, which most users don't.

Packages are managed trought many different package-managers, with different systems and formats.

End users are only exposed to one package management system: the one their distro uses. They're pretty easy to use, and put almost any software the users could want at their fingertips.

Desktop environments are heavy, based on old X11 client server architecture (?!? on a desktop system!!!), often they are only a patchwork..

X11 doesn't make the desktop environments heavy. There are plenty of lightweight desktops out there, but even the large ones are at least on par with Windows.

Many discovered alternatives like BeOS who "died" (commercially) years ago, but also discovered that THOSE were the REAL desktop OSes. And the interest in those Oses is increasing day after day.

So this whole time you were trying to poke holes in Linux usage on the desktop and you present BeOS as an alternative? Where are you going to find the drivers you complain about for BeOS? Even if you're trying to promote an operating system you like, you should be a bit realistic when evaluating others.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Member since:

Couldn't agree more.
Sadly , this is something that linux people never accept.

at least mac os X is coming.

Reply Parent Score: 1

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Ok, let's start with error # 1:
"graphics drivers need kernel recompilation"
That's incorrect in so many ways. You never need to recompile your kernel to build modules for it; thanks to the nice modules system in Linux (I believe BSDs lacks this for what Lumbergh would call "political reasons.").
If you meant to say that modules/drivers had to be recompiled for each kernel; then you are correct. This is that wonderful ABI that Lumbergh incessantly raves about. There are reasonable workarounds to this, Nvidia does it by writing a wrapper that you compile each time: The compilation takes something like 5 seconds on a 1.5 Athlon: It's not a lot of code; and graphics drivers are immensely more complex then all other PC device drivers.

"Desktop environments are heavy, based on old X11 client server architecture (?!? on a desktop system!!!), often they are only a patchwork.. "
A lot of people believe X11 is heavy. In fact, they thought so over a decade ago when R6 was released. Of course, we all thought Windows 3.1 was pretty big at the time too. X11 does have a lot more usefulness than most people will use on a desktop; but that doesn't necessarily make it truly slower. I'm guessing you would argue that Java is stupid on the desktop, along with Python, .Net, VB6, etc etc etc.


"In conclusion, people discovered that unixes arent for desktop usage."
Except that historically that's what they were for. VMS was for servers with it's excellent process protection, amazing security, and complete stability. Unix was for the desktop with it's small almost polymorphic utilities, great IPC for rapid expansion of the utilities, security for multi-terminal systems, and etc.
It seems almost frightening to realize that Unix ended up being seen as a server operating system and as a bad desktop system.

Would you care to provide some actual "for instances?" Or are you just going to carelessly slander other people's carefully crafted (ok, not always so carefully crafted) code?

Reply Parent Score: 1

Ravnos Member since:
2005-07-06

That's incorrect in so many ways. You never need to recompile your kernel to build modules for it; thanks to the nice modules system in Linux (I believe BSDs lacks this for what Lumbergh would call "political reasons.").

OpenBSD lacks loadable modules. FreeBSD's had them for a long, long time now. Not sure about NetBSD, but I'd guess that they do, too.

Yea, I'd happily pay for most of that stuff too. However, I wouldn't pay for it while giving up my favorite environment and switching to something I don't really like: I don't think I'd much like Linspire; I know I don't like Mandrake; and I don't like XandrOS. Course, I'm picky.

On the upside, buying a machine like the proposed TuxMini would mean you're getting hardware that's known to be compatible with Linux, so unlike picking up a machine from one of the larger OEMs you can be fairly certain that when you remove the pre-installed OS (whatever that may be) you won't have too much problem putting the distro of your choice on it. And if they're a half decent company, they'll probably contribute to the community, too.

Reply Parent Score: 1