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2012 - year of Linux!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by robomo, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. robomo

    robomo Newbie
    Thread Starter

    "this year will be the year of the Linux Desktop!"

    How common that's been said year in year out, decade after decade.

    Unfortunately, Microsoft/Apple got there first to mass market years before Linux did.

    The mobile platform however, is still in it's infancy. Tablets and smart phones are still a relatively new thing. The first HUGE splash came from RIM's Blackberry and Apple's iPhone, and Android is relatively recent - just the past few years.

    However, Android's adoption compared to the other, closed source vendors is huge now:


    It's apparent Android is becoming the dominant player in the mobile market, and this next year will see a strong attack on the tablet and even netbook markets.

    I think 2012 is the year of Linux in the mobile market - the tipping point where Apple, RIM and Microsoft find Android/Linux as dominant to stay.

    Here's to a new year and Android Dominance! :D

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  2. saptech

    saptech Android Expert

    Linux has been 'the year of the desktop' for me since around 2005...I use it almost exclusively. I do need Windows for work related purposes but Linux is my main OS at home.

    Besides, its free and much much better than Windows. Linux shortcomings have to be overlooked since it's free. Why would Windows have shortcomings that we pay for?

    Just my thoughts!
  3. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert

    What shortcommings?
  4. mrqs

    mrqs Android Expert

    so if i give you a pint of beer that i have also pissed in, you're going to overlook that shortcoming because it's free?
  5. 330D

    330D From My Cold Dead Hands

    The optimism is amazing.
  6. Shane2943

    Shane2943 Well-Known Member

    Totally different argument. Your analogy suggests that you started with something good, then included something bad (piss) on purpose, then gave the unsatisfactory product away. Linux however, is more like someone home brewing some of their own beer, and giving that away, as opposed to buying a big label beer.

    Apples to oranges.

    And Linux does have shortcomings. Plenty of them. But so does MS and OS X. I run Linux almost exclusively at home, but my laptop does have Windows 7 setup in dual boot (although I VERY rarely boot to it) with OpenSUSE 12.1 being my primary OS. Things I would need to boot to Windows for include proprietary hardware support (such as flashing my Samsung Droid Charge as Odin doesn't run in Linux) and also proprietary software support (programs that only run in Windows and either poorly under Wine or not at all...such as EasyWorship or Google Sketchup).

    I used to be a huge Linux fanboy, but now, I'm a "use the right tool for the job" guy. There is a time and place and purpose for Linux, Windows and OS X, regardless of the reasoning (marketing, corporate deals, money, etc).

    That being said, I would love for Linux to take more of the market share from the other two. Do I want it to replace the other two? No. But competition is a good thing and the more boxes out there running Linux, the more support it will have, which is a good thing. I do absolutely talk up Linux to friends and people I meet because for a general purpose desktop OS, you can't beat it. Secure, fast, stable, current, and free. That being said, if I'm going to suggest Linux to someone, I always ask them specifically what they use their machine for. If they have some special program that they have to have and it only runs in Windows and has no Linux counterpart, then Linux is not for them. Most average users don't want to mess with dual booting or VMs. Use the right tool for the job. :)
    jroc, EarlyMon and karandpr like this.
  7. mrqs

    mrqs Android Expert

    fair point - but if the home brew tastes like piss regardless of intention, are you going to overlook that shortcoming because you got it for free?

    btw. i wasn't suggesting linux to be bad in anyway; i was just protesting against the general ideology of giving gratis products a free pass on quality control
  8. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    I've yet to see quality issues in Linux that are any worse or different than in Windows or OS X, and like those two, Linux quality issues are addressed with updates.

    Linux shortcomings are in its feature set for many users. And reduced features - or a requirement to learn more and configure more to get things working or get more features - are shortcomings that I certainly forgive because it's free.

    I think shortcomings -> quality issue is an assumption made, not a statement made.
    jmar likes this.
  9. mrqs

    mrqs Android Expert

    just in case any of that was in reply to me, i'd like to reiterate that it wasn't my intention to imply the presence or (un-)importance of any shortcomings in linux, just that i'm not willing to ignore any shortcomings in any product, regardless of price

    i'd say the term shortcoming encompasses quality issues as well as missing features
    it's a quality issue if your beer has piss in it and it's a missing feature if your beer isn't carbonated - i'd call both of them shortcomings

    i think the biggest issue with any of those three operating systems (windows, linux, os x) for any given user (nerdy exceptions excluded - i'm talking generally) is that the user is accustomed to one of them and will hence find the other two less intuitive and that's the biggest problem linux has always had - people got used to the microsoft way of doing things (me included) and are contempt with the way their os works, regardless of whether or not it's any better than the alternative(s)
    dylo22 likes this.
  10. Sulfur

    Sulfur Member

    No, it's more like someone made a worse copy of [one of] the best beers, and gave/gives it and the recipe away with a far more restrictive license than variants of what it copied now have, and usually with a giant cup of rhetoric about open source and somehow implying the GPL gives you "freedom".

    Did I say like? I meant to say that is exactly what happened. Well, if you replace beers with OS. :p
  11. Shane2943

    Shane2943 Well-Known Member

    Nope. I'm gonna switch beers until I find one I like. And if I don't, then I'll buy some major label beer until the home brewers start brewing better beer. There's good free beer out there, and then there's not-so-good free beer. All depends on what your taste is, and what you're willing to put up with as a trade off.

    Understood, and it's a fair point. Linux has gotten a LOT better in recent years in terms of desktop usability and quality. It's not perfect, and will never be, but right now, it is a perfectly viable and usable alternative to the proprietary OS's out there for the average and advanced users.
  12. Shane2943

    Shane2943 Well-Known Member

    I forgot to include the recipe. You're definitely right on that one.

    And I'm assuming you're speaking of the "older giants of Linux" as being the "best beers" (Debian, Redhat, Slackware, etc), and the worse copies being their highly marketed derivatives (Ubuntu, SUSE, etc)?
  13. mrqs

    mrqs Android Expert

    that's not overlooking the shortcoming; in fact that's the complete opposite of it

    i agree
  14. Sulfur

    Sulfur Member

    I meant Unix, specifically.
  15. Shane2943

    Shane2943 Well-Known Member

    True indeed. I do not deny this. Just stating that, at least with Linux being free (mostly), one doesn't have to overlook many of the shortcomings, one can simply try several different variants until he finds the one he likes and can be happy with. There are, of course, some major shortcomings that effect Linux as a whole, rather than individual distros, which I've already stated (proprietary hardware/software, etc).

    Nothing in life is free. One will either invest money, effort, or time (or all 3 and various amounts).
  16. Shane2943

    Shane2943 Well-Known Member

    Ah. I see your point now. My apologies. :)
  17. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Android Expert

    Isn't every year the year of the linux desktop? :p

    But, you go the computer section of Barnes and Noble, and you can find dozens of books on linux. Ubuntu and fedora books come to mind. Probably suse as well.... We'll see won't we..? :D
  18. saptech

    saptech Android Expert

    I didn't mean overlook it in that type of situation. I mean since it's free, why would you gripe about the shortcomings as much.

    And I sure would hate to have to pay for the beer that you pissed in, that would really piss me off! :rolleyes:

    Most linux distros are created by people who's doing it out of the kindness of their heart, I think, and not getting paid or very little pay.
  19. SUroot

    SUroot Extreme Android User

    That's still not the same argument. Linux doesn't taste of piss
    9to5cynic likes this.
  20. Danny_Boy82

    Danny_Boy82 Well-Known Member

    I would consider my self a very average user, and I have never messed with Linux, but recently I have been fliriting with the idea of putting Linux on my desktop; most likly dual boot. I almost exclusively use my PC for gaming, and while I admit I do not know the pros/cons of Linux, I would like to learn the OS, and maybe by default a little more about OS's in general.

    I guess my point or rather question is, and please forgive if this is a little OT or should be directed else where, would there be a prefered version for beginers? Could I run games, specifically World of Warcraft, off of it?

    Maybe point me in the direction to a good source of info.
  21. mrqs

    mrqs Android Expert

    i wouldn't know about running games, but ubuntu is probably the most mainstream linux distro
    Danny_Boy82 likes this.
  22. Shane2943

    Shane2943 Well-Known Member

    The question I have is, other than learning the OS, why do you want Linux? It's not a trick question. Here are some upsides and downsides to running Linux:

    -Virus-free and no AV software required
    -Ad-ware free
    -Most distros include most all pieces of software you would need out of the box (office suite, web browser, chat clients, email clients, music/video players, text tools, utilities, drivers, etc)
    -The software the distro does not include is usually free and easy to obtain
    -constant and fairly frequent updates, especially for the major distros
    -tons and tons and tons and tons and thousands of tons of support can be found for most distros online via chat and forums filled with nerds that live for not much else than to be nerds
    -lots of choice out there - tons of distros, tons of software
    -central software management for most distros - makes installing/removing and updating software a breeze because you don't have to go to 30 different websites to download software. It's all managed in one place, from one package management system.

    -steeper learning curve to do things that are not "right out of the box" - even for user friendly distros like Ubuntu (don't let this scare you, though. If you want to learn, you can)
    -lack of proprietary software support - software providers that are not open source tend not to release Linux versions of their software, even if their software is freeware (Google SketchUp and iTunes are great examples). There are some proprietary software that runs natively in Linux though and what doesn't can be tried with the Windows emulator "Wine." Wine is hit or miss though. Not all Windows software runs under it, and some software does but with bugs. There are open source software alternatives for most major pieces of proprietary software though (like Banshee/Rhythmbox/Exaile in place of iTunes).
    -Sometimes more setup is required to get what you specifically want.
    -Configuration will often times involve the command line and editing text files. If you're comfortable and ok with this (like I am) than it's no downside.
    -lots of choice out there - I put this one as an upside and downside because sometimes too much choice can make a decision daunting. Such as "OMG! There are 500 distros out there! Which one do I pick?!"
    -Compiling software - if a piece of software you want/need is not "built" for your distro, you will need to "build" it yourself through a process called compiling. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's very difficult, but it's always pretty involved.
    -ATI graphics support is pretty lax - this is not the fault of Linux, this is the fault of ATI for releasing such crappy Linux drivers. If you have Intel or especially NVidia, you're in the clear. NVidia and Linux are best friends.

    I think that covers the basics.

    As far as installing your first distro, I would actually recommend using a completely different hard drive if you have one. If not, you can dual boot it fairly easily, but make sure you read read read the newbie guides on whatever distro's website you want to install.

    Finally, any of the major distros are good for newbies (and more advanced users alike). Check out Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Mandriva, and Mint. I've run all of those and they're all solid and well maintained.
    jroc and Danny_Boy82 like this.
  23. mrqs

    mrqs Android Expert

    those also apply to windows 7
  24. Shane2943

    Shane2943 Well-Known Member

    True. I never said those upsides were unique to Linux though, just that they are upsides (good points) about running the software.
  25. Danny_Boy82

    Danny_Boy82 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the thorough response.

    As to why I want to get Linux:

    Well after spending 9 years in the military it is time for me to decide what I want to be when I grow up. I have always wished I knew more about computers, even more so now that I use android; I wish I had a more in-depth knowledge when it comes to things root. I will also be starting school this month in pursuit of a CS degree. I'm not sure if this is the road I want to go down, but the knowledge I might gain would certianly be useful.

    I understand Linux will not be easy for me to figure out, especially coming from a soley windows experience, but I would like to broaden my knowledge base. A relative recently asked me, when talking to me about a potential job, if I knew anything about writing code or if I use Linux (I guess he was refering to doing things through the command prompt). I would like to have that knowledge and be able to say yes to questions like that.

    Yeah I tried to do some research, but found it hard to wade through all the sites/info and decide what is good/bad.

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