Linked by David Adams on Tue 4th Dec 2007 19:39 UTC, submitted by michuk
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y "It may be a brave opinion but I predict that Ubuntu Linux and Windows Vista are going to be the two operating systems that will take over the largest chunk of the desktop OS market during the next couple of years. This comparison is based on my experience with both systems during the last couple of weeks on two different computers."
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RE[3]: Give it some time
by Morgan on Wed 5th Dec 2007 11:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Give it some time"
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

The problem with support for any hardware at all on Linux and other non-monopoly operating systems can usually be attributed to one or both of the following:

1. Lack of the hardware manufacturer's desire to write drivers for and/or support those OSes and

2. Lack of any open source developers interested enough in the particular hardware to write an OSS driver worth installing.

When both issues are present at once, usually with obscure but neccessary hardware, you end up with next to no support at all. Attitudes need to change on both sides of the fence before we get really good drivers, whether binary and manufacturer-supported or OSS and community-supported. Of course, what we really want is for the manufacturers to not only provide native OSS drivers but also to support said drivers. That very rarely happens but when it does (example: HP printers) it's a wonderful thing.

I long for the day when a big-name manufacturer will step up there and provide fully open-source friendly laptops and desktops that are 100% supported by Linux. Dell has come close with its Ubuntu offerings, but they are nothing more than their "Designed for Windows Vista" systems that are the most compatible with Linux. When it comes down to it, the various components that make up the PCs as a whole, each from a different manufacturer (mainboard, wifi card, video adapter, etc.), cause a significant roadblock to the above stated goal of 100% OSS compatibility. Even Apple computers have parts made by several different manufacturers, and are simply assembled under the Apple name and supported by Apple at the end of the production timeline.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Give it some time
by lemur2 on Wed 5th Dec 2007 11:55 in reply to "RE[3]: Give it some time"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I long for the day when a big-name manufacturer will step up there and provide fully open-source friendly laptops and desktops that are 100% supported by Linux.


Lenovo will sell you such a machine, and so will HP.

But really, all you need to do is look for certain chipsets.

For example, I found out that an Acer laptop I was looking at had an Intel graphics accelerator, and an Intel wireless chipset ... so I was pretty confident that it would support Linux 100% out-of-the-box including 3D graphics acceleration, and I was not mistaken.

I recommended this laptop to a friend who was looking to build up a Linux setup, and I told that friend to also get a bog-standard wireless router (I think it was d-link) & ADSL modem combined, and also to buy an HP inkjet printer (they chose a Photosmart).

The result - 100% Linux compatible laptop with printer and Internet and full application suite - all installed out-of-the-box from a single liveCD - at less than half the cost of an equivalent Windows setup to do the exact same tasks.

ATI graphics is also on the way to becoming open source, so perhaps by next year these cards also will have 100% 3D graphics support out-of-the-box.

If you are wondering if a given wireless chipset has an open-source driver, this list may help:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_open_source_wireless_dri...

Edited 2007-12-05 11:59

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[5]: Give it some time
by Morgan on Wed 5th Dec 2007 12:11 in reply to "RE[4]: Give it some time"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

You are exactly right in that, with a little research, a computer that is fully supported by Linux can be found. My own laptop, with the exception of the wireless card and the ATI video chip, is supported from a fresh install in Ubuntu, OpenSuSE, and even plain vanilla Debian. Changing my wireless card and waiting for the open source ATI drivers will make it 100%, and a couple of mouse clicks on my part gets those two items working in a binary-only fashion today.

However, what I want, and I suspect a lot of OSS advocates also want, is for a major manufacturer to take that giant extra step and assertively offer such support from the ground up. I want Dell or HP or Lenovo to design and build a system or series of systems for the consumer that have 100% Linux compatibility, come with it preinstalled, AND have the same level of customer and technical support as their Vista-based brethren. That, I think, will be the turning point for Linux as a home desktop and mobile computing platform en masse.

Indeed, it started with the above named companies listening to their customers and venturing into these uncharted waters. I'm not complaining at all that they didn't go "all the way" immediately, I'm just patiently awaiting the day that they do while I silently thank them for what they have done already.

Reply Parent Score: 3