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Linux Five Years Away From Mainstream 497

Posted by Zonk
from the isn't-it-already-mainstream? dept.
wellington wrote to mention a ZDNet blurb about a Gartner group study. Gartner indicates that 'mainstream' use of open source in IT environments may be 5 years away. From the article: "Gartner's latest Linux 'hype cycle' report shows that open source is halfway to maturity but warns the biggest test will be whether it can demonstrate the necessary performance and security to function as a data centre server for mission-critical applications. Leading-edge businesses are generally still in the early stages of Linux deployments but Gartner expects increased commercialisation and improved storage and systems management for the operating system by the end of 2005, with Linux being used primarily for WebSphere and infrastructure applications on mainframes and web services on blades and racks."
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Linux Five Years Away From Mainstream

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  • Nuclear Fusion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <<akaimbatman> <at> <gmail.com>> on Friday September 09, 2005 @10:37AM (#13518605) Homepage Journal
    Did you know that nuclear fusion is only 20 years away? Just like it was in 1950! (No, I'm not skeptical. Not at all.)

    When I wrote my article [blogspot.com] and its follow-up [blogspot.com] on directions I think a Linux Distribution could take, I expected that there would be some controversy. However, I hardly expected the shear number of responses to the effect of, "Linux is great as it is! Never change it!"

    Which is surprising, because the very point of the Linux design is that different distributions were supposed to be able to explore completely different tracks. There shouldn't be any "one distro to rule them all", yet many of the respondants demanded exactly that! (Amusingly, they couldn't agree on *which* distro to rule them all.)

    When I pointed this out to many responders, and mentioned the fact that I'm merely attempting to suggest a Desktop environment that would help Linux adoption, I got another surprising response: "Who said we wanted regular users? Linux is for the elite. If you're too stupid to recompile your kernel or read all the scattered HOWTOs, you're too stupid to use Linux!"

    I understand that the Linux community is wide and varied, but this sort of attitude is not helping anyone. In fact, this sort of attitude causes Linux to take two steps back for every one step forward it takes in the market.

    It's normal that Linux users will disagree. That's why Linux is just a kernel, KDE/GNOME are just desktop environments, and the GNU System is just a collection of Unix utilities. It's so the end distributions can build the OS necessary to meet their users. But such a design DOES NOT require that users berate each other! Rather, Linux users should understand that "idiot" users using an "idiot" distribution is okay. Gentoo users can still recompile Gentoo to their hearts content even though Ubuntu exists. Ubuntu users can still use Ubuntu workstations even though Fedora exists. Fedora users can still a have 100% "Free as in socks and gun ownership" OS even though SuSE exists.

    There's no reason for this OS bigotry. It's causing confusion in the marketplace, and generally turning the public off to Linux. Just pick the distro you like, and be happy for other people who use something that works for them. K?
    • by adarn (582480) on Friday September 09, 2005 @10:43AM (#13518652)
      holy shit, an intelligent first post.
    • But I thought 2005 was the year of the Linux Desktop?!?
    • Re:Nuclear Fusion (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Friday September 09, 2005 @10:50AM (#13518714) Homepage Journal
      Linux is complicated.

      Not in the software thats available, but in sheer choice of software.

      MS Has Windows XP home and Windows XP Professional, designed for the general required use, its easy to tell epopel to get the correct version.

      99.9999% of home users don't ever need or want a c compiler, or 4 different word processors, or 13 ways to do the same thing, they want the most efficient simple way. The list goes on, but people suffer from too much choice, its like going into a foreign sweetshop and not knowing the names of the products.

      If I could just tell somebody to go and get the "Home" version of Linux - from whichever vendor was currently hot then it would be easier to get people to switch.

      After they have gotten used to their version and know their way around, then they can start customising it and adding all the perfect bits, but until that point, its just overpowering.
      • Re:Nuclear Fusion (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Rhys Hardwick (876699)
        I agree with some of what you are saying, but disagree whole-heartedly with others. Whenever I talk to people who have no idea about linux, I tend to get a lot of interest from the fact you can _choose_ what program you want to use. They like the idea that if one program doesn't suit you, you can choose from a whole host of others. One good example is word processors: OOo and KOffice are designed to appeal to different people. KMail and Evolution suit different people in different ways(in fact I use bot
        • Re:Nuclear Fusion (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot.kadinNO@SPAMxoxy.net> on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:31AM (#13519158) Homepage Journal
          I just wanted to second what you're saying.

          As someone who has been a Linux newbie repeatedly over the years, by virtue of periodically installing some distro, trying to get it to work, getting it 90% there and then getting hung up on some random bit of hardware and eventually getting frustrated and going back to my Mac, the lack of coherent established opinions is difficult to work with.

          In my longest (and still running) experiment with Linux, on a home server, I went with Debian because I thought it would avoid RPM dependency hell that drove me nuts in previous tries. In retrospect, I think this was a good move -- I'll never use anything that doesn't have apt-get again. However I'll often ask a question on how to set something up or edit a config file, and get the response "Well, that's just because Debian sucks and is broken. Use [insert distribution here] instead."

          It's fine to have multiple distributions. It's fine for people to have opinions on which distribution is best. But advocating that others switch distributions constantly in response to what ought to be minor problems doesn't do a lot to inspire confidence by new users in an OS.

          Also, I think a lot of users go too far the other way -- so on one hand you have distribution zealots who loudly proclaim that theirs is better and yours clearly sucks, for any reason or none at all, while on the other the people who actually have a soapbox to stand on (in trade magazines, established web sites, etc.) generally refuse to take an opinion on distros one way or another. Once in a while I'll see someone take a wishy-washy stance as to 'this distribution might be a good one' but there's very little clear guidance for new users. If you have an opinion based on real experience, for god's sake say it. But if you just like your distribution because it's yours, shut up.

          Okay, I'm done.
      • by RMH101 (636144) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:11AM (#13518906)
        researching, designing and implementing (smoothly, including migrating your data to your new environment with no impact to the business) a change to a new operating system *always* takes a long time. here, we're not moving to XP from 2000 as it's not worth it: we're moving to longhorn as and when it emerges. it'd take just as much planning (probably more, in fact) to shift to linux. think upgrade cycles. think win2k going off support as a driver to change. 5 years doesn't seem all that long to me...
      • If I could just tell somebody to go and get the "Home" version of Linux - from whichever vendor was currently hot then it would be easier to get people to switch.

        And then we get into the problem, which is "currently hot". Today it's Redhat, tomorrow it's.... That is problematic. With Windows (and even Mac) I know the latest version is the "hot" version. After windows Me (which sucked) came Windows XP home and professional. Two choices, and their were self-explanetory. Soon MS will come out with a
      • Re:Nuclear Fusion (Score:3, Informative)

        by LWATCDR (28044)
        "Linux is complicated."
        Windows is complicated. Why do I have to spend hours helping telling people to install Adware and spybot?
        Why do have spend time fixing busted registry entries?

        Linux on my Tivo just works. Linux on my router at home just works. No mucking about with service packs or any of that junk.
        Good grief too much choice in Software? I thought that is why people like Windows. There are a lot more than 4 word processors for Windows and frankly a lot more than 13 ways to do the same thing.
        If you wan
      • I'm actually amazed you got modded up with that.

        Software, in general, is complicated.

        Even if you tell someone to "get XP Home" (Of which, I'd NEVER tell anyone to get- Home's got a bunch of crap turned on that actually destabilize the machine...) or to "get XP Professional", you still have to tell them to "get an Anti-Virus proram" (Which is best? Your guess is as good as any- and it's more off of personal preferences, cost, etc...) and to "get an Anti-Spyware program" (Again, which is best? And, it's t
      • Re:Nuclear Fusion (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Penguin (4919)
        they want the most efficient simple way

        Or at least just the same way (as their neighbour, as at work, et cetera).

        Even though one might laugh that one should access "Shut down" via "Start" in Windows, this is only an issue the first couple of times. People know how to shut down their computer by now. 10 years of shutdown placed at the same location has clarified that. This is only an concern the first time. The only people who claim they can't find "Shut down" are people who would like to make a point about
      • Re:Nuclear Fusion (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hackstraw (262471) * on Friday September 09, 2005 @12:59PM (#13519989)
        Linux is complicated.

        Oh really?

        How is it that millions of people use it every day without even knowing that they are using it?

        The Tivo was so revolutionary and user friendly that it has become a brandname/product synonym like jello or kleenex.

        The Linksys WRT5x series of wireless routers are some of the most commonly used end user products of its type, and it runs linux.

        People use google millions of times daily.

        People use millions of websites that run Linux daily.

        Linus was even surprised to buy a digital picture frame for his wife and found out that it runs Linux.

        Seems like Linux is pretty mainstream to me.

        Oh, the infamous Linux on the desktop is that what mainstream means?

        The issues there are simple. There is not a compellingly different or better GUI subsystem and there is a lacking supply of easy to install and use software.

        As soon as those two issues are taken care of, linux will be mainstream on the desktop, otherwise its on embedded systems and servers where it is currently better suited.
    • Re:Nuclear Fusion (Score:5, Insightful)

      by l3v1 (787564) on Friday September 09, 2005 @10:52AM (#13518725)
      Linux users should understand that "idiot" users using an "idiot" distribution is okay

      I'm also fed up with some things, like ignorant idiotic "Linux [distro] reviews" and "Linux will be ready for [substitute as required] in 5 years" rants.

      For the record, I have nothing against making one or more distribuions which would target the joe6pack masses, the "idiot" user base who doesn't know a kernel from an OS, a computer from a monitor, etc.

      What I don't like is when dozens of reviews say Linux is a piece of junk because the usual computer-illiterate is not able to click his/her way through the installation process, because they can't be expected to know their hardware, and so on, coming to the conclusiont hat Linux is not ready for anything.

      What I'd like my point to be here is that Linux is ready for a huge variety of things. Literally. It just takes a few energetic people and some funding to prepare a 6pack-friendly disto. Besides that, it is already ready to be used for datacenters, web server farms, clusters, developer workstations, and I could just go on with this, and many of you could even name exemples for them with known big players to back up the claims.

      Stating anything that sounds like "Linux is/isnot/will/willnot be ready for this/that in 1/2/3/... years/ever" is just plain fraggin' stupid and idiotic. There is no "linux". Linux is what you make of it. One could correctly state that there does not exist a specific Linux distro that would specifically target the 6pack clicking crowd, but one should not state that such a distro could not be developed.

      • You are correct (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jd (1658)
        Even to the extent of the Linux kernel, there is no "Linux", per-se. There is a vanilla kernel, but then there are a large number of kernel patches and patch collections. On top of that, not all options exist for all architectures, and different parts of the kernel will compile differently under different (ie: non-GCC) compilers, where they compile at all. Picking patches includes such issues as to the "real-timeness" of the kernel, security issues, clustering and even how kernel-specific modules need to be
    • Re:Nuclear Fusion (Score:3, Informative)

      by zootm (850416)

      Out of general curiosity, were there any positive responses to your article? Have any people offered to start projects and help implement some of your proposed changes?

      I'm not an experienced developer in "low-level" languages like C or C++, but I'd like to help out wherever I can. I know the GNOME Storage project is working on some things similar to some of your suggestions, but otherwise I liked your article and I've got a strong inclination to help out with any projects like this, so it'd be useful to k

    • People are different. Just because some very loud and rude people walk all over a forum, doesn't mean that this represents the people who are working on important bits. Often the loudest, are doing the least.

      What can be damaging to your view is mixing up those you meet on a forum, or are acting immature/ignorant, with those who really matters in a project.

      More interesting is that what you see as OS bigotry and elitism in others, is a feeling in yourself really. It might not have a reality in the other perso
    • Re:Nuclear Fusion (Score:5, Insightful)

      by .sig (180877) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:44AM (#13519306)
      Reading this post and the thread that goes with it makes me wonder if anyone else out there bothers to RTFA...
      If you even read the summary here on /. rather than hust the headline you'd see that the article is about linux being 5 years away from mainstream in IT environments. No mention of joe sixpack or your grandma not knowing how to use linux.
      They are 2 VERY different things, makes me wish I could mod the whole thread off-topic... (and redundant)

      [Personally, I agree with the artice, linux is already moving fast in the IT sector. Depending on how you define 'mainstream' it could already be there. IMO that's where it belongs anyway. I know I definately prefer to work in a *nix environment]
      • Re:Nuclear Fusion (Score:5, Interesting)

        by einhverfr (238914) <chris.traversNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday September 09, 2005 @01:10PM (#13520101) Homepage Journal
        Reading this post and the thread that goes with it makes me wonder if anyone else out there bothers to RTFA...
        If you even read the summary here on /. rather than hust the headline you'd see that the article is about linux being 5 years away from mainstream in IT environments. No mention of joe sixpack or your grandma not knowing how to use linux.


        Hmmm.... What percentage of web servers run Linux?

        What percentage of DMZ hosts run Linux?

        What percentage of closed email relays run Linux?

        THese are all mainstream IT environments and Linux is quite capable there.

        Now, if you are talking large database managers, LDAP infrastructures, etc. there is still a little ways to go. But it is still possible today (just not as mature as the above examples).

        Gardner makes one extremely serious error in this study: they underestimate the resources that IBM, SGI, and other traditional big-iron vendors are throwing at Linux. I would not be surprised of, in 5 years, IBM is retiring AIX in favor of Linux.

        Just my $0.02

        As for the corporate workstation, I think 6-8 years is a good estimate (not a question of whether Linux is ready for the desktop but a question of when people will decide to migrate and how long these migrations take).
    • Re:Nuclear Fusion (Score:3, Interesting)

      by budgenator (254554)
      desktop's are for normal users, those people who aren't realy interesting in wringing the last iota of performance out of a machine and typical know enough about one or two applications to get their basic job done even if they are doing things the hardway. Power user's want a Workstation, Desktop users don't fit Linux well, and Workstation users don't fit Windows well.

      I'm a LaTex junky, I'm helping the wife with a paper, so I install MiTek on her computer, permissions are screwed up so I just copy a couple
  • by spiderworm (830684) on Friday September 09, 2005 @10:38AM (#13518611)
    Linux was mainstream five years ago.
    • True, Linux is already mainstream for servers. It might take another five years to Linux to become a major player on the desktop, though.
      • I take issue with the argument that Linux isn't mainstream until it's mainstream on the desktop. Just because people don't realize it powers a lot of the servers whose websites they visit doesn't mean it's not mainstream.

        per Webster:

        mainstream: a prevailing current or direction of activity or influence

      • by hummassa (157160) on Friday September 09, 2005 @10:59AM (#13518791) Homepage Journal
        Depending on whom you ask, Linux is already a major player in the desktop.
        It au pair with OSX in raw number of desktops installed in a lot of places, and was pushed in a lot of countries to the desktop. Ubuntu Hoary / Fedora Core are every bit as easy to install than W2k/XP, and work equally well. Choose your desktop environment for your users and you're set.
    • by WindBourne (631190) on Friday September 09, 2005 @10:57AM (#13518780) Journal
      that by 2005, Linux would occupy about 1-2 % of all web servers, and would not even make it in the enterprise. This study can only mean that Linux has made it in the mainstream.
  • by mpathetiq (726625) on Friday September 09, 2005 @10:38AM (#13518615) Homepage
    Must we hear the same spiel before it becomes the truth?
    - to the tune of "Blowin' in the Wind"
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Mission Critical- Does this mean that it is going to be used in military applications- or is this just some buzzwording that is demonstrating that whomever wrote the summary is a middle manager who uses buzzwords to sound bright?
    • Obviously it involes rolling a natural 20 while on some kind of quest, as any roleplayer could tell you.
    • There is absolutly nothing wrong with using buzzwords. As long as ever fifth word is not a buzzword it is OK. The interesting thing about buzzwords - they convey a lot of information and people are familiar with them. The two words "mission critical" in and of themselves are simple, but put them into a business setting and most everyone knows a great deal a lot about whats implied.

      Really, AC, your statement is not that interesting.
    • Not a military term (Score:3, Informative)

      by BeanThere (28381)

      "Mission Critical" is not a military term:

      mission critical [answers.com] "Vital to the operation of the organization. The term is very popular for describing the applications required to run the day-to-day business."

      It may once have been a military term, but its usage has long ago become more generalised, so that usage is now strictly a part of the etymology i.e. history of the phrase. Language changes, and the correct version of a word is the one in use today.

  • by foQ (551575) on Friday September 09, 2005 @10:40AM (#13518629)
    How come every thing is "5 years away" but never seems to get here. I'll bet the writers for the Jetsons anticipated space cars in 5 years too.
  • by C3ntaur (642283) <centaur@@@netmagic...net> on Friday September 09, 2005 @10:40AM (#13518634) Journal
    Gartner Group was reported to be five years away from becoming a credible news source for the IT industry.
    • http://www.google.com/search?q="five+years+away" [google.com]

      After a quick google search, I've uncovered that:

      1. Iran at least five years away from producing nuclear weapon

      2. CIA five years away from terror readiness

      3. Scotland: Independence 'five years away'

      4. Cancer cure about five years away, British scientists claim

      5. Dog returned to owners after being lost five years ago

      6. Infants' gastro vaccine may be five years away

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just another kooky prediction. Linux already performs just as well or better that Windows, and it does have better security, really.
    Now all thet we need is to make it perform better and make it secure. What a crap.
    As a matter of fact linux already mainstream in many areas, and for all we know, it may never replace Windows on a desktop.
    But predictions are always true, right ...
  • ZDNet (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The source of bullshit for years and still counting.
  • by spooje (582773) <spooje@nOSpAM.hotmail.com> on Friday September 09, 2005 @10:44AM (#13518659) Homepage
    Hasn't Linux for the desktop been 5 years away for the last 10 years?
  • So basically, this tells us nothing we haven't already heard.

    Wake me Linux is ONE year away, OK?
  • by RichardX (457979) on Friday September 09, 2005 @10:45AM (#13518673) Homepage
    ..they want their article back.
    Maybe John Titor can help.
  • Because by the time that the actual product has been developed, people have anticipated the next thing they want, and they are then waiting for that...The original five year wait is forgotten. In five years gartner will be saying that Linux or OSS is five years from the next thing they imagine they want. Pete
  • by Otter (3800) on Friday September 09, 2005 @10:46AM (#13518677) Journal
    Five years to mainstream Linux -- I'd say they were being optimistic about desktops. But servers? When is this report from, 1997?
    • by GPLDAN (732269) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:11AM (#13518905)
      I think it's really important to distinguish from Linux the server platform and Linux the desktop platform, as you say. I run GNOME from an Ubuntu distro on the desktop, and it's.... pretty good. But it's not XP. No Quicktime or WMV plugin means a lot of websites like CNN and Yahoo don't really work well. Xine is ok for DVD content, but overall it's a bit slow and uses more resident memory than what I consider an equivalent XP system does.

      Linux as a server has arrived, and has been here for awhile.
      • No Quicktime or WMV plugin means a lot of websites like CNN and Yahoo don't really work well.

        I think it's important to distinguish between no Quicktime or WMV plugin and no easy to install on Ubuntu Quicktime or WMV plugin. CNN works great for me using mplayer-plugin on my Gentoo systems, thank you very much, and just required a USE flag setting if I remember right. Getting it to work on most other distros I have tried, however, can be quite an experience, but it is still possible. And I believe it work

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 09, 2005 @10:46AM (#13518678)
    Apparently, 'Running the majority of web servers worldwide' doesn't count as mainstream.
    • Apparently, 'Running the majority of web servers worldwide' doesn't count as mainstream.

      Does Linux run the majority of web servers worldwide? I know that Apache does (around 70%, according to netcraft), but the only data I've seen on Linux usage (again, from netcraft) puts it at 25% of the ssl web server market -- considerably lower than Microsoft's 40%.
  • by nighty5 (615965) on Friday September 09, 2005 @10:46AM (#13518685)
    When Linux supports the full range of hardware that is currently under NDA's and vendors that refuse to "support" Linux other than supplying tainted binary kernels; then and only then will Linux be ready.

    I personally have moved to a mac because I couldnt wait any longer. Will revisit Linux on the desktop in maybe 3 - 5 years.

    • by tempest69 (572798) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:25AM (#13519074) Journal
      The problem isnt hardware support, it's install hell. When your RPM requires lib blah.bla.o and lib blah.blip.o, then you need to satisfy those dependencies, but sometimes those arent able to run with your current kernel. or need a compiler that you dont have installed. Before you know it your trying to install a compiler, and getting dependency errors for it, wondereing just how many hoops you need to jump through just to get one dinky peice of software to work. Once the Install-HELL is gone and the hardware "works by default" then linux has a go at the desktop. Then there is "Directory Hell" where the average user never wants to learn why a folder isnt a file, and why you cant view a folder full of family photos when you click open.

      Until you can get the easy things doable by the masses, then you have a chance at taking the desktop.

      Storm

      • by Bralkein (685733) on Friday September 09, 2005 @12:29PM (#13519678)
        What the hell are you talking about?

        I've been using Linux for the last three years, I've gone through Mandrake, SUSE, Debian, Gentoo, Slackware and Arch Linux and I have never ever had to manually go around and resolve package dependencies (except possibly on Slackware, but even then you can download swaret or slapt-get to solve that, and Slackware is meant to be a pretty hardcore nerd distro anyway). When exactly did you encounter this problem, and with which distro? I'm genuinely interested to know, so I can stay the hell away from it.

        You might have a point if you're talking about downloading Mandrake RPMs and trying to install them on SuSE or something like that, but that's not meant to work anyway, and I don't know why you'd think it would. It's not as if you'd buy Toyota engine parts for your Ford now, is it?
      • by MrNemesis (587188) on Friday September 09, 2005 @12:56PM (#13519948) Homepage Journal
        Most Linux advocates don't just hand their grandma a copy of Linux From Scratch and leave them to it, you know...

        My first ever experience with Linux was Mandrake 8.2 Beta. I found the installation of the OS much easier than (my first) windows install two weeks previously; It Just Worked. Once I'd gotten my head around how it handled installing things, it was easy.

        These days it's brain-sputteringly simple. Every desktop distro worth its salt has a graphical package installation utility that explains exactly which packages are available, and what they are used for - usualy sorted into relevant categories. Heck, even installing things as complicated (in the Linux world) as kernel modules/drivers is usually simple.

        Granted, some pre-alpha drivers require some confugling, but once they go stable and are added to the kernel, it becomes practically impossible not to set things up properly, thanks to the marvell of things like hotplug. Even relatively complicated pieces of software (that no Joe Schmoe would install anyway) such as Apache and MySQL have GUI configurators available. In the realm of pure desktop productivity/leisure software, I've not encountered a single package that didn't just install and give me a nice clickable button in my K/foot/whatever menu.

        If there's anything wrong with the way modern desktop distros handle packaging, it's educating the users away from the "download arbitrary .exe from random website, double click to install" mindset. Whilst I agree that a unified packaing system would be great, different distros are tuned for different usage models, so (to me at least) it makes sense that they'll handle things differently. Forcing Linux to adopt the windows method of software installation will create more problems than it'll solve.

        FWIW, my girlfriend is entirely happy with the Gentoo/KDE box I've donated to her.
  • Linux Always Five Years Away From Mainstream

    Gartner's latest Linux 'hype cycle' report shows that open source is always halfway to maturity...

  • But, each enterprise app you run will have different requirements, but as a general rule, big enterprise customers use version of operating systems that are a couple of years old. That means, most of the bugs have been addressed, or are at least well known.

    This means that most of the software the current /.'r is running, won't show up in enterprise level distributions for several years. So yeah, five years off doesn't sound that far off the mark.

  • No way! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    A five years from now Windows Vista will be ready for public beta (=final version)!

  • by burtdub (903121) on Friday September 09, 2005 @10:55AM (#13518759)
    <indierock>
    Mainstream? Well, I was into Linux before it was cool. I totally dig their older stuff so much better... then they sold out to the man
    </indierock>
  • Grain of salt (Score:2, Informative)

    by scronline (829910)
    Anything Gartner says about Windows and Linux has to be taken with a grain of salt. A very large grain at that. How can you trust anything that a company that's been paid by Microsoft once to say anything realistic about a Microsoft competitor? I mean, if linux isn't "mature" why is it already in so many networks? I don't know a single ISP that doesn't have atleast ONE linux server. Even those ISPs that are Windows based still has atleast one linux box somewhere. For that matter, why are so many Unix
    • Re:Grain of salt (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BeanThere (28381)

      The study is more about the market state than the technical readiness of either Windows or Linux, don't confuse the two. Technically Linux may well be ready and in many ways is better than Windows as a server, but this doesn't automatically translate to higher adoption in the market, as Windows has massive unfair advantages e.g. huge marketing budget & sales team, 'network effects', critical mass, desktop monopoly etc. When they say Linux is "ready" to start becoming "mainstream" they don't mean it is n

  • by canuck57 (662392)

    Gartner indicates that 'mainstream' use of open source in IT environments may be 5 years away.

    I wonder where he has been. I started using Linux IN the datacenter some 4-5 years ago now. One system was up for almost 4 years running DNS and Squid. For DNS, we occassionally patched it, for squid we had a job that restarted it once per week at 11pm on Sundays. It didn't make it to 4 years because the UPS had to be upgraded. We had bets if she would reboot, the na-sayer lost.

    And it was a no-name left ove

    • Sigh. My RH4 server has never crashed. It's had two cpu fans go bad, been unplugged three times, and suffered through 28 hours of no power because of the Ice Storm of 1998. It's been installed since 6 Feb 1996, so in another few months it WOULD have had 10 years of uptime, if you count all the eggs that didn't hatch.
      -russ
  • Wrong article title (Score:5, Informative)

    by Decaff (42676) on Friday September 09, 2005 @10:58AM (#13518786)
    In spite of the title, the article does not state 'Linux Five Years Away From Mainstream'. In states that 'Linux is five years away from mainstream use in Enterprise IT infrastructures. This is all about high-end data-centre stuff - a niche use. This article is confusing a very specialised use of Linux with it's general use as, for example, a mid-range server where it has proved it's successfulness for years. There is further confusion where the article mentions that 'many are re-evaluating Linux use' (many turns out to be 5 CIOs out of a panel of 12).

    I don't know whether this article is deliberate FUD, or just a confused mess. I suspect the latter.
  • I saw those in Tron, right?
  • Bunch of crock. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Pig Hogger (10379)
    This is ridiculous.

    I've been using Linux for 13 years now (took me a week to download it on a 2400 baud modem!) and I first implemented it in a business setting 10 years ago to connect someone to the Internet.

    How long has Windows or DOS or MacOS waited before becoming "mainstream"??? Certainly not 20 years!!!

  • 'mainstream' use of open source in IT environments may be 5 years away

    $#!+, I must be living in the future @ work. Eclipse, Tomcat, Rehat and Suse, big brave talk about ditching Oracle for postgres - Open Source tooling being first choice every time.

    OK, a big part of it is down to $$$, but that's not all of it.
  • Who cares about Gartner? *Websites* are mission critical for most companies. And guess where will you migrate your old Unix IT. Most companies use PCs. And Linux on the desktop is possible now. Many companies are switching esp. in Europe and South America.

    What is important now is to get the remaining issues done, fix the 90% solutions. That is, we need more paid developers for key infrastructure projects such as KDE, gcc, classpath, valgrind, etc. It is just a matter of time. We will get openoffice 2 and fi
  • In 5 years, I'll wake up after 2 hours of sleep to my AI assistant handing me my rejuvination pill. I'll hop in my flying car and it'll drive me to work at the fusion plant. There won't be much work to do, because the Open Source software that runs the place does so damn well. That's OK though, we'll just play Duke Nukem Forever all day on our quantum computers and go home and fuck our supermodel wives, because geeks are cool now.

  • by Solr_Flare (844465) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:09AM (#13518887)
    Statements like these always remind me of the old Tom Hanks movie The Money Pit. "How much longer to finish the house?" "2 more weeks." "You said that 2 weeks ago!"
  • Why does Linux keep getting faulted for installation issues while Windows gets a pass?
    Linux installation is not a reason to avoid switching at a corporate or oem level.

    I downloaded and installed Suse 9.3 64 bit on my new dual Opteron the night before last. The installation went really smooth but of course there was a hiccup. I had to install sensors. That involved a trip to a web site, yasting around a bit, etc.

    It would be easy to blast Linux for not automatically doing everything and retreat to M$ land, except that Windows 64 bit doesn't even have drivers out of the box for my SATA hard drive and thus wouldn't work at all. If I really wanted fans to work badly enough, and could not get a device, I could write a kernel module myself and all Linux hardware stuff has excellent documentation to at least get me started.

    The bulk of all OS distributions are either OEMs or corporate rollouts. OEMS have a team that prepare images for a fixed hardware, and so do corporate rollout centers. Whether you wade through driver compatibility issues on Windows or Linux doesn't matter. Both systems have similar problems and Windows wizards at that level don't really help someone who should already be an expert on the topic.

    I would think that OEMs might consider locking down Linux PCs so that end users do not have the root password. So they can't break it...
    • by BeanThere (28381) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:56AM (#13519404)

      It would be easy to blast Linux for not automatically doing everything and retreat to M$ land, except that Windows 64 bit doesn't even have drivers out of the box for my SATA hard drive

      You hit the nail on the head. People hold Linux up to different standards than Windows. If you try bring Linux into an organisation, even the smallest hiccup will be met with criticism and "told you so"s that you 'shoulda stuck with Windows'. But the Windows server can crash several times a month and nobody even blinks, because, well, "that's just normal" ... the "server down again guys" routine. The fact that so many other people on the planet also have problems with Windows somehow "validates" its crappiness in the minds of its users - managers often don't really understand computers, so they probably subconsciously reason "as long as everyone else has these problems it must be normal" right? Meanwhile you're bringing in Linux because it's presumably better, so people automatically look for flaws, especially if you're basically trying to "prove the managers wrong" for their decision to use Windows ... managers who like to think they know a lot do not like people who know more than them about something questioning their decisions. (This pretty much describes the situation at my last job.)

  • they deliberately do TCO studies over a short period which oh so conveniently ignores the natural upgrade-cycle cost of sticking with ms-windows and being forced to upgrade whether you want to or not...

    On the desktop, Linux is having a tougher time. Gartner claims the operating system is reaching the point where the costs of migration may exceed the cost benefits in a phase characterised by over-enthusiasm and unrealistic projections which lead to more failures than successes.

    If the TCO study was done over

  • Out of touch (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 6031769 (829845) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:13AM (#13518921) Homepage Journal

    Assuming that this has been reported correctly (there is no link to Gartner's actual report), it shows just how far out of touch Gartner is when it comes to technical matters such as this.

    I won't disect what they've said because probably everyone else reading this knows the flaws in both their arguments and facts, but if an organisation can make money producing unsubstantiated and just plain incorrect claims like this then I am clearly in the wrong job.

    So, here's the plan: we set up our own global organisation, just like Gartner, and we issue our own PR, which by contrast will contain no factual errors and will not only contain details of the present situation but also predict how much better the situation is becoming (and how quickly). These reports can be distributed within the community who can then go to their customers/partners/PHBs and say "Hey, there's this great new report out which says that Linux is running on 10 million desktops worldwide and this market share is set to treble in the next 12 months". That way, coming from an authoritative source, they will naturally acknowledge that it is true.

    I'm not entirely joking here - who's up for it?

  • I'm a Windows developer with a kid. I can't afford to keep blowing money on Visual Studio licenses when I have a son I have to put through college. I'm hoping that Linux developer tools should be good enough and constantly improving, and in any case, they are free.

    The GPL to me is a red herring brought up by Microsoft to plant this crazy idea that you should only develop for Windows because on Linux you aren't allowed to make money. I can't see any reason why I can't make shareware on Linux as opposed to
  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:22AM (#13519029) Homepage Journal
    Just like Fusion is always 10-20 years in the future for commercial usage.

    It depends on what your definition of "mainstream" is, of course. Right now, more people are using Linux than ever used Microsoft's DOS. Or Windows 3.1 for that matter.

    Define your own reality - don't let others define it for you, with metrics based on the sales price of the OS, or the net revenue from OS sales. Linux strength is it's low cost, so it will never win at that game.

    But right now, many people worldwide use Linux, or even BSD, even if it's what runs on their cell phone or inside their networked self-repairing robot-dog-feeding fridge.

    And, to paraphrase Martha Stewart, that's a good thing.
  • Yawn... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pedrito (94783) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:24AM (#13519058) Homepage
    Kind of like this article [com.com] from 5 years ago, or this one [forbes.com] from 3 years ago, or this one [linux.org] from Dec. 2000.

    In 5 years, there will be an in every garage [go.com]. Yawn...
  • Gartner Group (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AviLazar (741826) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:28AM (#13519124) Journal
    Gartner is a respected company. Many companies pay TONS of money to get their two cents. Considering this, for those of you who do not like what Gartner is saying about Linux...how about you counter their findings with your findings. Here are the rules:

    You should be neutral (tough for this crowd)
    You should be logical (shouldn't be tough for us, but will probably be)
    You should perform qualified research with backup sources.

    Publish
    Profit

    Saying "Gartner you suck, you don't know what your talking about. You are five years behind the times" is really lame and inflammetory (if not trollish). Proving them wrong goes a LONG way.
  • TFA is BS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cederic (9623) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:37AM (#13519233) Journal

    The article keeps flicking confusingly from Linux to Open Source.

    Open Source is already mainstream. I don't have colleagues at any major enterprises that don't use it, and the smaller enterprises tend to use it for a larger percentage of their operations.

    Linux adoption is however far slower, and I don't know anybody at all using it (commercially) on the desktop. I'd be surprised if Gartner's 5 years is correct, especially given the way Sun's Java Desktop hasn't exactly been the most successful business venture ever seen.

    So does anybody have access to the Gartner report that can clarify whether it's Linux that's 5 years away, or Open Source software?

    (Not that I rate Gartner especially highly anyway)
  • by DaEMoN128 (694605) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:45AM (#13519311)
    The average home user (I'll say a 60 year old whippersnapper is getting there ) is becomming more accustomed to being able to do more advanced things on the computer with just the click of a button. Backing up a dvd is a perfect example. Or even better, transferring a VHS to DVD. On windows, they buy a piece of crap software that barely works, but does what it says it will do, and thats copy VHS to DVD. Stop and think how many steps it takes to do that in Linux. Every one is saying its mainstream now. IT IS NOT! It is industrial right now. Mainstream is when it is a house hold name. I actually keep a windows box around for several reasons (mostly multimedia in nature)just because I can get what I want to do done in a quarter of the time with that particular os. I use linux on all of my other computers because it does all that I need for those particular machines. When they make a distro that is so dummed down that my 60 year old father can pick it up and go "Why didn't you show me this earlier??" it will be ready for mainstream. There is too much configuration to do for now (/etc/hdparm.conf, ipchains, samba, etc.) that isn't done automagically or through a very easy to use UI (Suse is an exception, but it is so crippled in other respects that it can't do what else I need it to do with out doing the dependancy dance). Personally, I think Ubuntu is a good start, but it isnt perfect either. All of the distros have something to them, but none are ready for my old man...yet. Till then, It will always be 5 years away. After then, it will be the now.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:52AM (#13519373) Homepage
    The Executives here try to wave these "studies" in our faces here in IT/IS about how we should back off linux migration.

    This one prompted a "see it's not ready to handle enterprise/critical applications.

    Until we let the CTO know that we have been depending on Linux for 3 seperate ultra critical apps for over 5 years now. and that tiny companies like GOOGLE use it exclusively for it's servers/backend.

    He did his typical "suprised" look and then left us alone once again. The key is to keep your Executives informed so they become immune to the FUD and lies these "professionals" like to spread about.
  • by qualico (731143) <worldcouchsurfer.gmail@com> on Friday September 09, 2005 @12:06PM (#13519490) Journal
    "warns the biggest test will be whether it can demonstrate the necessary performance and security to function as a data centre server for mission-critical applications."

    That statement has to be coming from the completely clueless.

    I'd say that this happened 5 years AGO:
    http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2005/09/05/septe mber_2005_web_server_survey.html [netcraft.com]

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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