Linked by Howard Fosdick on Thu 28th Mar 2013 21:49 UTC
Linux Like many OSNews readers, I use Ubuntu. I also use several less popular distros. What is it like to use these lesser-known distros compared to the dominant systems? How does running, say, VectorLinux or Puppy or PC-BSD, differ from using Ubuntu or Fedora? This article offers a few ideas. Obviously, it broadly generalizes about distros for the purpose of discussion.
Thread beginning with comment 557052
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Ubuntu pulls an Apple
by twitterfire on Fri 29th Mar 2013 09:26 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

Ubuntu announced few weeks ago that it won't use Wayland display server like the rest of the linux world, instead developing its own display server, Mir. Mir won't be compatible with Wayland and will support Android graphics drivers. It will be used on both mobile devices and desktop.

Using Unity on top of Mir, talks with Nvidia and Amd for graphics drivers, exclusivity for Steam, switch to Qt, we can see where this is heading. They will try to head towards a better integrated system with a stable api but at same time higly differentiate from the rest of linux world and break compatibility with the rest of linux distros. Kind of the Apple of the linux world.

They will probably fail. I don't think they have the know how and developers to release a quality and stable display server in a year as they say. I don't think Nvidia and Amd will write graphics drivers for them, unless Canonical puts their money where their mouth is and pays for development.

But if they manage to do this, release in time, have GPU vendors release drivers for Mir instead KMS/Gallium3d, have Valve release some AAA titles on Steam, they may become the only linux derivative with a desktop market share worth mentioning.

Edited 2013-03-29 09:28 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ubuntu pulls an Apple
by PieterGen on Fri 29th Mar 2013 10:33 in reply to "Ubuntu pulls an Apple"
PieterGen Member since:
2012-01-13

Yes, but what does this have to do with big versus small distributions? Most of the big distributions stick to the standards. There will always be discussion on what the "way of the standards" is.

- Gentoo and Debian are true to things like the original init., the standard file hierarchy and so on.
- Fedora introduced SystemD. Arch adopted this soon. I lack the expertise to judge if this is a good step forward or a breakaway from the unix philosophy.

Like many of us I have used lots of distros. I agree with Howard that a small community small can be fine. On the other hand, in small communities (let's say Salix, Siduction or Funtoo) it can take quite long before your question gets answered.

Larger communities with knowledgable users (Gentoo, Arch) are fine with me. Large communities with mostly less experienced users (Mint, Ubuntu) are of less value to me.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Ubuntu pulls an Apple
by toast88 on Sun 31st Mar 2013 09:17 in reply to "RE: Ubuntu pulls an Apple"
toast88 Member since:
2009-09-23

Debian are true to things like the original init., the standard file hierarchy and so on.


No, we aren't. We are going to switch to systemd with Jessie. We're just currently in freeze, so we can't make such fundamental changes.

There was a talk by Michael Biebl and Tollef Fog Heen on the systemd integration for Jessie at FOSDEM.

https://fosdem.org/2013/schedule/event/debian_systemd/

Gentoo will probably make the jump sooner or later, they already admitted at FOSDEM that their udev fork is pointless ("a toy project").

Adrian

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Ubuntu pulls an Apple
by toast88 on Sun 31st Mar 2013 09:14 in reply to "Ubuntu pulls an Apple"
toast88 Member since:
2009-09-23

No, Ubuntu does not pull an Apple. Pulling an Apple would mean doing actual work and contributing back upstream.

Apple is the largest contributor to WebKit, CUPS, llvm to name a few. They also help maintaining X.Org and open-sourced many other, smaller projects to the public:

http://www.macosforge.org/

while Canonical usually only releases stuff that's usable on Ubuntu only: Mir, Upstart, Software Center, Unity etc.

Apple is NOT a bad company when it comes to open source. Without Apple, we wouldn't have Google Chrome and all the mobile browsers derived from WebKit. gcc would still be without competition and maybe fallback. Software rendering for the GNOME3 desktop wouldn't be possible either (that requires llvm) and CUPS would probably be unmaintained.

So stop making these dumb comparisons.

Adrian

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Ubuntu pulls an Apple
by twitterfire on Sun 31st Mar 2013 10:13 in reply to "RE: Ubuntu pulls an Apple"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

Actually we have to thank University of Illinois for llvm and KDE for Konqueror which was the basis for Webkit. Apple contributes to open source only when they use open source projects. If they start a software from scratch, it is closed source.

But you are right about contributing upstream.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Ubuntu pulls an Apple
by Valhalla on Sun 31st Mar 2013 17:06 in reply to "Ubuntu pulls an Apple"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24


Using Unity on top of Mir, talks with Nvidia and Amd for graphics drivers, exclusivity for Steam, switch to Qt, we can see where this is heading.

'Exclusivity for Steam', where did you get this idea from? Steam is already out and it's not exclusive to Ubuntu, distros have also been given the go-ahead to repackage Steam in their repositories.

As for drivers, from what I've read they (Wayland/Mir) use the same base drivers and the same EGL interface, so on there should be no problem there.

Of course getting NVidia and AMD to write proprietary drivers for these new display servers is another story. Their big Linux customers are primarily doing 3D and GPU accelerated computations and likely couldn't care less if it's running X or Wayland/Mir and therefore won't ask for such support.

The Steambox could perhaps cause such a demand if Valve wanted to use Wayland/Mir but as it stands it will also use X (atleast in it's initial incarnation).

Reply Parent Score: 2

screamingturnip Member since:
2012-04-05

Damn it, why'd I have to read the original comment, it was 10 times cooler when I thought that guy was a cosmonaut... on a crashed satellite. I was thinking ubuntu allows you to use steam in SPACE and update your drivers, that's frigging amazing.

Reply Parent Score: 1