Home > In the News > Adobe dipping toes into desktop Linux watersAdobe dipping toes into desktop Linux waters Eugenia Loli 2004-11-03 In the News 49 CommentsAdobe Systems, maker of major desktop software products such as Photoshop and Acrobat Reader, has begun a quiet effort to become more involved with desktop Linux. About The Author Eugenia LoliEx-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 49 Comments 2004-11-03 8:28 pm Great news. Support from Adobe is something I have almost been praying for 🙂At the very least we’ll be able to view the increasing number of pdf documents in a better reader. 2004-11-03 8:31 pm They could start by updating Acrobat Reader, since the interface on version 5 is horrible.I though Adobe wrote alot of their applications in QT, surely if this was the case then porting to Linux wouldn’t be too much trouble 2004-11-03 8:40 pm They have used Qt for Adobe Photoshop Album (http://www.trolltech.com/products/hotnew/adobe.html), so porting it to Linux would be pretty much straightforward (just a recompile if they haven’t used platform dependant code). The problem is that I don’t believe there exist many Linux users willing to buy it… 2004-11-03 8:59 pm >The problem is that I don’t believe there exist many Linux>users willing to buy it…And they are right, Digikam is much of the same and it connects to over 500 camera’s. 2004-11-03 9:15 pm I generally translate a pdf file to text. If I need graphics I use GIMP and pull those files into an Open Office draw. 2004-11-03 9:43 pm “I would see it being very difficult to sell those applications. At the low-end side, there are simply too many free apps with similar functionality, and at the high-end side, the market is very small,” Gartenberg said. “People willing to pay $500 to $800 for an application usually have no problem running Mac OS or Windows.”So basically he’s saying that the people who are likely to use linux as a graphics workstation are just a bunch of cheap amatuers who can’t afford photoshop anyway?I guess that’s why I’ve been confronted by a lot of professional graphics and 3D artists who are interested in using linux. “Having no problem” and “can stand using” are two different things.Sure it might just be that they think the that the grass is greener over there, but it can also be that they are looking for a platform that they don’t have to maintain as much and is generally more stable.Also if Adobe made their products even more platform independant, they would be able to easily port them to any new system that pops up in the horizon. Who knows, maybe Haiku or SkyOS? 2004-11-03 10:37 pm …bingo. 2004-11-03 10:38 pm … well photoshop for linux would be great for me. (I know that GIMP exsist, and I tried it couple of times, but still it’s no match for photoshop for me.) If, in additionm it could run win32 plugins (via some sort of wine lib or something) … it could be a killer app for me. 2004-11-03 10:44 pm >I generally translate a pdf file to text. If I need graphics I use GIMP and pull those files into an Open Office draw.What is the point of that when OOo Write converts doc to PDF so easily and many PDF viewers are available? Personally, I don’t yet see what value Adobe could provide. 2004-11-03 10:52 pm Perhaps the real “value” of Adobe’s interest in Linux will be solely in the form of visibility due to association. If anything, it might increase interest in the platform and speed development. 2004-11-03 10:56 pm You tell me how to read my DRM’d e-books in linux Seriously, if you know how and it doesn’t take like many hours of time let me know. 2004-11-03 11:13 pm I would have no problem buying photoshop. Same thing applies to InDesign and Illustrator for a lot of people I imagine, there is simply nothing as good in the free software world and won’t be for some time.I think Linux needs to start getting some desktop apps that are for sale (and good). I think once they started hitting the market people really will pay. I think adobe’s products are perfect trailblazers.I wonder how they would release them? I wish there was some way to create an easy installion, as in windows easy, but I guess that will never be possible since Linux is developed and updated so rapidly and distro’s are so different. 2004-11-03 11:26 pm I prefer you dont use drm books at all. 2004-11-03 11:27 pm “… porting it to Linux would be pretty much straightforward …”I’d buy it for Linux if it was like $15-20. But some may already be quite happy with their OSS alternative such as for example Digikam. 2004-11-03 11:56 pm I use several Adobe products where I work and am generally pleased with them.And, those of you who love Gimp, I have this to say:I’ve used Paintshop, Corel, and P-shop. I’ve never found it a problem to bounce between Corel and P-shop. Infact, my knowledge of Corel allowed me to leap right into p-shop. Not so with Gimp. I gave up trying to use it when, after 15 minutes, I still couldn’t find the resize/resample image command.I’ve seen some *lovely* photo manips and digital art created with Gimp, so I know that once you learn its unconventional interface, you can do some *fine* stuff. But at the end of the day, lack of some key KPTs and the fact that you can’t color CMYK is what kills it for my professional graphic artist/designer friends who have played with it.And if Adobe starts making more overtures and *business* starts picking up on this, then I know Macromedia will follow. 2004-11-03 11:57 pm Indeed, the talk about “high-end side” was strange.I don’t know what they consider “high-end”.I would say Inferno, DF, Shake, Maya, XSI and MentalRay are high-end. Or at least middle-range. And many of them have Linux ports.Maybe they meant high-end for illustrators, Photoshop and such. 2004-11-04 12:00 am Adobe could assemble a complete top to bottom solution for all forms of publishing, and their service industries. They could create and implement design workstations optimized for the aspect of the industry being served. Couple that with networks for collaboration, storage, and distribution…. a la Apple and music.They could find a lot of opportunity with the freedom and technical capabilties of the Linux Kernel.I believe that “dipping their toe” understates their vision. 2004-11-04 12:22 am Good design apps are exactly what I need on *nix. Design is the only thing I can’t do properly on *nix right now. Getting the latest versions of Adobe and Macromedia applications to run properly on wine/crossover would be a start. 2004-11-04 12:26 am Looks like Adobe could be getting into the Linux game now. It will be interesting to see how they fare. I for one plan on sticking with Windows for all my needs. If I went anywhere else, it would be to the Mac OS side way before Linux. 2004-11-04 12:41 am Not so with Gimp. I gave up trying to use it when, after 15 minutes, I still couldn’t find the resize/resample image command.Then I think the problem is with you really. It took me about two seconds to find it, so any person should at least be able to find it in 20 seconds.I had problems learning the Blender3D interface though, coming from Lightwave it was a lot different. But once I learned it I found it superiour to Lightwave (the interface that is).So it doesn’t always make sense to follow everyone else. Especially not if you can find a way to improve it.But Gimp 2.0 took a pretty big step towards the common image manip interface. Besides the floaters being too wide, I personally prefer it over the Photoshop interface. It is far from perfect though.The biggest problem I currently have with The Gimp is the lack of a preview function in the filters. A filter like unsharp mask becomes pretty much useless without it.It does lack a lot of pro features, I will agree to that. But then again, a lot of people aren’t using those features anyway. 2004-11-04 12:45 am Most Windows users can’t afford the 600+ dollar price tag of Photoshop either. In fact Windows users are the reason why it cost 600+ dollars for a new version of PS with all their warez sites. The fact is Adobe will and should go after the big time firms who would like to switch to Linux but can’t because of their need of Adobe’s software. Adobe makes more money of corporate sales and educational sales then off the average home windows buyer. 2004-11-04 1:05 am No sweat I don’t do any music production, so I didn’t comment on that. We do agree though that things could be much better on the multimedia production front in the *nix world. 2004-11-04 1:13 am Yeah, how can it take 15 minutes to figure out that you scale an image by choosing (surprise) Image->Scale Image…?There are no perfect interfaces, there’s always a tradeoff. But IMHO the GIMP is pretty good now, and the menus are logically layed out.FWIW, GIMP 2.2 will have previews for many more tools (and improved, more flexible previews, see http://wiki.gimp.org/gimp/WhatsNew2 and http://developer.gimp.org/screenshots.html ).ObTopic: More Linux support from Adobe would be extremely cool, but I’m not really expecting anything amazing just yet. A newer version of Acroread would be a good start. Also, it would be cool if they did some work to make sure Photoshop etc play nice with Wine — like Macromedia talked about doing. There are already people using Photoshop on Wine (such as Disney).As for music software; well, it depends on what exactly you need. There’s tons of software on that area, e.g. Ardour, which looks pretty promising. Also see http://linux-sound.org . 2004-11-04 1:25 am I’d definitely purchase a linux version of Adobe Photoshop. Heck, throw in the whole suite as well. . . Yeah, yeah, there’s the GIMP here and ImageMagick there, but if Photoshop were available, I’m buying. 2004-11-04 1:36 am “If not, then show me the music production software that will get me away from Windows?”Try Ardour. 2004-11-04 2:03 am Oh, finally some previews excellent news. I wonder why it took so long though. But I’m glad it’s coming.As for the music apps. A lot of those apps are very limited or just plain bad. There are some neat tools there though. Ardour looks promising (even though I don’t like the interface, but I guess I’ll get used), but it’s not quite there yet. And besides, I haven’t been able to get my Envy24 based card to work properly with linux yet, I don’t know if it’s me or the driver. Even if it’s my fault, getting a multichannel soundcard to work properly shouldn’t be that difficult.I find the audio servers and frameworks in linux to be a rather hacky at the moment compared to BeOS, OSX or even Windows. Far from plug and play.Also, running Ardour on Linux seems to require a lot more system resources than running SamplitudeStudio in Win2K. I haven’t investigated why, it doesn’t have to be Ardours fault. But in the end it doesn’t really matter who’s to blame.It seems to me that it will take at least 2-4 years before linux and its apps mature enough to be usable for that kind of work.But linux is ready for graphics production, there’s no question about that. Missing are the applications and an updated wacom driver 2004-11-04 2:06 am Have you actually tried it yourself? 2004-11-04 2:09 am Most Adobe products already run fine under Linux with WINE. I use Photoshop 7 daily in Linux without a single extra library from MS Windows. WINE is getting better and better and it’s only a matter of time until most show stoppers are worked out of it. 2004-11-04 2:37 am I don’t do audio production but from what I’ve read I think the state of play with Linux is you can *do* pretty much everything, but it’s horribly duct-tape-y. You’re absolutely right about audio, the whole system is a crappy mess, and some of the best things (dmix and jack, for instance) are almost impossible to a) find out about and b) find out how to use. Personally I think arts and esd both need to be taken out and shot, someone needs to be forced to write good ALSA documentation at gunpoint, and then we might see some progress. 2004-11-04 4:37 am Photoshop has been mentioned as running well with Crossover Office. I believe a movie studio paid to have wine enhanced so that Windows would not be needed on hundreds of desktops. 2004-11-04 5:03 am Adobe sees no value in the desktop market, they plan to release a full version of Acrobat for Linux for use in Servers. As long as a lot of you guys have this attitude about “We have freely available alternatives that are available” Adobe will remain the holdout. Im not trying to insult anyone or belittle anyone but this is a case where you guys are being your own worst enemy. For Adobe to consider Linux there had to be some call for it. You guys can use your freely available Alternatives, the Pro’s will use the major commercial apps. 2004-11-04 5:41 am Hear, hear, you are right on the ball there. Sound on Linux is far from great but ALSA works very well on my Hoontech DSP24 C-Port. Just took a long time to workout what I needed to get it running.Guy wqith Envy24, ALSA Ice-1712 driver with Envy Control panel from ASLA will help a lot. I use the same setup for my Hoontech (DSP24 based audio card). Still waiting for some decent audio apps for Linux that are not beta and preferably using Gnome/GTK interface. Unfortunately a lot of audio apps are written using QT which is a bummer. Still, given the troubles of getting yourself setup with audio under Linux, at least the audio drivers work unlike bloody Windows. 2004-11-04 6:05 am I think you are flat out wrong. First of all the Adobe does not even target the desktop market on Windows either. Most Adobe products are for professionals and not for home users. Second Adobe makes money off corporate sales and goverment sales. They make more money doing the afore mentioned then selling their products direct to the average Joe who 9 times out of 10 uses a warez version of Photoshop anyways instead of picking up the $600 dollar plus Adobe software suite at CompUSA.There are many companies and their clients and employees willing to shell out for Adobe products and for a Linux version of these products. To say that Adobe won’t make any money is stupid and short-sighted. What is the worst thing that can happen if Adobe would port Photoshop and their other products to Linux ?? Some cheap bastard at his job would warez it and make copies for his buddies ?? Well guess what it’s already happened under windows to the point that it’s become common practice.Adobe should branch out into Linux and make sure it has a in road to the professional desktops of companies who deploy Linux desktops just like it has a place in companies who are 100% Windows and or Mac. They are and should be catering to the professionals and not to the average Joes who are to damn cheap to pay for their product anyways. Don’t get the average Joe confused with the bulk sales Adobe would make to companies willing to buy a Linux version of their product. 2004-11-04 6:09 am P.S. The Gimp can also be installed on windows yet I have yet to see a decrease in the pirating of Adobe’s Photoshop software amongest windows users. 2004-11-04 6:40 am Great to hear this. Keep up the work Adobe, I look foward to using Photoshop in conjunction with my other tools on my Linux workstation soon. 2004-11-04 8:11 am … has been ported onto Linux x86, but they never released it. 2004-11-04 9:13 am I Wonder if they are looking at selling hardware. They could create a nice software/hardware design symbiosis. 2004-11-04 11:43 am I would pay (more than the windows version) for the Corel Graphics Suite. PhotoPaint is excellent. And the only reason I use windows is for CorelDraw. There is no competition in terms of flexibilitty and quality in the OSS world yet. 2004-11-04 12:48 pm Anyone tried Pixel32? It’s for most available platforms. More info at http://pixel32.box.sk 2004-11-04 2:09 pm Also if Adobe made their products even more platform independant, they would be able to easily port them to any new system that pops up in the horizon. Who knows, maybe Haiku or SkyOS?ROFL! Neither of these OSes have anything near a market share which matters. About 100% of the users who run these OSes run it on top of another OS or dual boot. Given Windows has ~ 90% market penetration on the desktop, it means 9 of 10 are able to run the Windows version. Let alone that both are hobby projects and Adobe (with e.g. Photoshop) doesn’t aim for hobbyists!I don’t see why any of these 2 OSes get any significant change (put QNX in the list for Tommy).This in contrast to Linux which is used because it is cheaper than Windows. And its used by corporations with WINE already. 100 desktops running Adobe Photoshop with Linux is cheaper than 100 desktops running Adobe Photoshop with Windows. Same for CAD. Plus, these machines need to be rock stable. Nothing less. Features, OTOH, don’t really matter. Why not? Because they’re used for say merely one thing: ‘Photshopping’, ‘CAD’, or fill it in here. 2004-11-04 2:25 pm GIMP means one thing to me, Geek Image Manipulation Program. That thing has the most unfriendly user interface I have ever seen on a graphics application.I am primarily a Mac OS X user. I use Photoshop most of my waking hours. Adobe creates very uniform apps. For example, when Indesign was launched it took me less than a day to learn it, because the interface was just like Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. (God bless the Quark killer!)Most other graphics professionals don’t have time the learning curve involved in GIMP, and some do not have money for a Macintosh. Photoshop and other Adobe products on Linux would be a great alternative to a Macintosh. 2004-11-04 3:47 pm Hmm, I can’t even get hardware monitoring of the inputs. I haven’t even been able to use any inputs for recording, any app just crashes.The windows driver works great nowdays, and I’ve even had better results with the BeOS driver even though it’s alpha. 2004-11-04 3:59 pm ROFL! Neither of these OSes have anything near a market share which matters. About 100% of the users who run these OSes run it on top of another OS or dual boot.Don’t be silly. I said in the future. And who knows what might happend in the future. Besides iirc, Adobe started porting to BeOS once, they might want to do it again.Isn’t linux also pretty much a hobby project?One of the main problems with large companies like adobe is that they are heavy and slow, they don’t move as quickly as small companies. Using platform independant code would certainly help to follow any possible OS trends that the future might hold. Perhaps Apple will give them the finger as well? Given Windows has ~ 90% market penetration on the desktop, it means 9 of 10 are able to run the Windows version. Let alone that both are hobby projects and Adobe (with e.g. Photoshop) doesn’t aim for hobbyists!I don’t see why any of these 2 OSes get any significant change (put QNX in the list for Tommy).This in contrast to Linux which is used because it is cheaper than Windows. And its used by corporations with WINE already. 100 desktops running Adobe Photoshop with Linux is cheaper than 100 desktops running Adobe Photoshop with Windows. Same for CAD. Plus, these machines need to be rock stable. Nothing less. Features, OTOH, don’t really matter. Why not? Because they’re used for say merely one thing: ‘Photshopping’, ‘CAD’, or fill it in here. 2004-11-04 4:02 pm Oops, I submitted the post by accident.The thing is that very few companies has 100 desktops running Adobe Photoshop. These people are often considered “specialists” and can even get away with a Mac even though the rest of the company is running Windows. 2004-11-04 5:13 pm Left is only M$Office 4 Linux and we’re mainstream…. 2004-11-04 11:19 pm Nooo, you are so bad. Office for Linux, no way in hell I’d get it. Time to promote and support an alternative (-: 2004-11-05 11:50 am <quote>I haven’t been able to get my Envy24 based card to work properly with linux yet, I don’t know if it’s me or the driver.</quote>It’s strangeWhen I put a card (m-audio delta 66 — envy24) into a PCI slot, the system (debian sid) autodetected it and loaded kernel modules (22.214.171.124)I also use envy24control as a mixerhttp://themes.netart.eu.org/screenshots/img017.jpeg.html 2004-11-05 11:53 am also no problem (PnP) with Mandrake 10.1 Community. 2004-11-09 11:47 pm “I don’t yet see what value Adobe could provide.”I agree with that. There is GIMP, xpdf, xfig and Latex, wath do we need Acrobat expensive software for?