Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th Jul 2007 22:42 UTC, submitted by WillM
Linux "Remember the 1980s worries about how the 'forking' of Unix could hurt that operating system's chances for adoption? That was nothing compared to the mess we've got today with Linux, where upwards of 300 distributions vie for the attention of computer users seeking an alternative to Windows."
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Member since:

Companies usually run RHEL, SLES or some Debian flavor anyway and most of the software vendors (like Oracle, DB2) provide support for these distros. It's not hard really. Usually the binaries just work for any system (if they include statically-linked third party software as most of them do).

And those proprietery vendors that deliver for desktop users (Skype, Opera, Google) somehow manage to provide custom packages for most popular distros and some genric TGZ for others.

Saying that, I think more standarization (e.g. on libraries used in stable versions of major distribuitions) should be in place -- this would make the life of such vendors easier and encourage them to provide software via some standard mechanism for all distros like autopackage.

Still, I don't think this is the major issue blocking Linux adoption. OEM is.

Reply Parent Score: 4

kaiwai Member since:

But if it is a C++ application you need to make sure that you have the correct C++ library installed for it to work - for example, for some time, if you downloaded Firefox off Mozilla it would not run on Fedora unless you downloaded and installed a compatibility library - for a first time user to Linux if it doesn't load the first time they give up, assume Linux sucks and throws it the idea of using Linux out the door.

Standardisation won't solve it either - you end up with a static distribution at the core, which may be nice, but becomes outdated quickly - you would also end up with people within the Linux community complain that it is controlled too much by either Novell, Red Hat or some other organisation whom they have a beef with.

OEM isn't a major stoppage, over 1/2 of the computers sold in the world are from non-big name vendors - they're small white box companies - they're not under the same contracts as the big name vendors. I've yet to come across a single white box company who was unwilling to install Linux. Heck, its been almost like there is at least one Linux guru at the shop willing to peddling Linux for computers sold.

As for those examples, they aren't immune. Opera for example will fail to run if you don't have the correct libcompat packages installed. Skype as a mixed reputation as to whether it completely works on the machine of choice.

Reply Parent Score: 3

rcsteiner Member since:

So statically link your application and bundle all of the required compopnents in the distribution archive or CD.

Optionally, make the installation routine smart enough to see what needs to be installed on a target box if the required libraries are not already present.

It isn't that hard. Folks have done this on Windows and OS/2 and other platforms for YEARS.

Just because it flies in the face of UNIX tradition (where the world is dynamically linked) doesn't mean it can't be done.

Reply Parent Score: 3