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Could 2018 Be The Year of the Linux Desktop? (gnome.org) 383

Suren Enfiajyan writes: Red Hat worker and GNOME blogger Christian F.K. Schaller wrote why GNU/Linux failed to become a mainstream desktop OS... "My thesis is that there really isn't one reason, but rather a range of issues that all have contributed to holding the Linux Desktop back from reaching a bigger market. Also to put this into context, success here in my mind would be having something like 10% market share of desktop systems. That to me means we reached critical mass."

He named the following reasons:

- A fragmented market
- Lack of special applications
- Lack of big name applications
- Lack of API and ABI stability
- Apple's resurgence
- Microsoft's aggressive response
- Windows piracy
- Red Hat mostly stayed away
- Canonical's business model not working out
- Lack of original device manufacturer support

Then he ended with some optimism:

"So anyone who has read my blog posts probably knows I am an optimist by nature. This isn't just some kind of genetic disposition towards optimism, but also a philosophical belief that optimism breeds opportunity while pessimism breeds failure. So just because we haven't gotten the Linux Desktop to 10% marketshare so far doesn't mean it will not happen going forward. It just means we haven't achieved it so far.

"One of the key identifiers of open source is that it is incredibly hard to kill, because unlike proprietary software, just because a company goes out of business or decides to shut down a part of its business, the software doesn't go away or stop getting developed. As long as there is a strong community interested in pushing it forward it remains and evolves, and thus when opportunity comes knocking again it is ready to try again."

The essay concludes desktop Linux has evolved and is ready to try again, since from a technical perspective it's better than ever. "The level of polish is higher than ever before, the level of hardware support is better than ever before and the range of software available is better than ever before...

"There is also the chance that it will come in a shape we don't appreciate today. For instance maybe ChromeOS evolves into a more full fledged operating system as it grows in popularity and thus ends up being the Linux on the Desktop end game? Or maybe Valve decides to relaunch their SteamOS effort and it provides the foundation for a major general desktop growth? Or maybe market opportunities arise that will cause us at Red Hat to decide to go after the desktop market in a wider sense than we do today? Or maybe Endless succeeds with their vision for a Linux desktop operating system...."
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Could 2018 Be The Year of the Linux Desktop?

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  • No. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 24, 2017 @03:31AM (#55799259)

    No.

    • Re:No. (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 24, 2017 @04:39AM (#55799425)

      Hey! C'mon! Trump won the presidency. The Cubs won the World Series. Now's our time, man!

      • Re:No. (Score:5, Funny)

        by kaizendojo ( 956951 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @08:53AM (#55799981)
        I think you're confusing signs of Linux adoption with signs of the apocalypse.
      • There will come the day that Linux has a "good enough" desktop experience and anything offered by commercial competition just doesn't matter. For me, for most applications, that day came somewhere 5-10 years ago. For big companies' IT departments, hell shall freezeth over long before...

        • Re:No. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @08:26PM (#55802445) Homepage

          All too late. Reality is the desktop is dying before Linux could take it over and well, Linux took over in all new mediums. So Linux won on the server, it won on the phone, it won on the TV, it won in the appliance market and the desktop is just slowly fading away and fragmenting. As the desktop OS becomes less and less consumer orientated and more business/science/education/government/geeks/nerds orientated, so it will fragment more to suit those elements. Probably Linux will dominate in that sphere but in the consumer market, in terms of numbers, Linux will dominate in consumer computer appliances.

          So where does that leave the personal computer gamer, it seems like at the present, that will fragment and be part of the console market sort off and depending upon what Apple does, they can be part of that market and steal market share from M$, whilst Google, Linux and surprise player Steam also steal market share from M$. M$ are screwed but they wanted to play anal probe with Windows 10 and they deserve it. So the desktop basically died before Linux was able to dominate it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      He named the following reasons:

      - Windows piracy

      This one is brought up frequently and it makes me laugh.

      On a level playing field -- Linux is free, pirated Windows is free -- people overwhelming choose Windows.

      Businesses could save around $45 Billion a year by not having to pay for hundreds of millions of copies of Windows. But they don't. Why not?

      If Linux had something to offer, that situation would not exist.

    • I second that. You know Linux Desktop is a junk OS from the fact an app may require version 2.5 of a library and another one might require no more than 2.4, and Desktop Linux offers no way around the problem. I run into this problem with an app which required a higher version of glibc than what centos 6 had, but you can't upgrade glibc without breaking the rest of centos 6. Ubuntu 14.04 Software Centre still has an old version of VLC. Unless Desktop Linux stops requiring major upgrades to give you access to
      • Re: No. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by yithar7153 ( 4137793 ) on Monday December 25, 2017 @01:14AM (#55803351)

        Desktop Linux offers no way around the problem.

        Sure it does. Use Gentoo and compile everything. You do realize many Windows programs have the exact same problem? The only reason you don't notice it is because Windows stores *every* possible DLL ever, causing the winsxs folder to bloat in size.

    • Agreed. It's been at least a year now that the Linux community has failed to put out a driver for AMD's latest that will actually let you drive a 4K monitor @ 60Hz. That just stings.

  • I find that unlikely. Linux will se more adoption, though, I guess.

    I'm also slightly amused when that kind of think comes from Gnome blogs. Is Schalller an actual Gnome dev?

  • by upuv ( 1201447 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @03:58AM (#55799327) Journal

    Linux desktop may very well become the only desktop in the future. Not because it won. It's because the other desktops died.

    The only real use for a desktop now is for business use. Personal use of desktops is crashing. Mobile devices have effectively taken over personal use.

    The browser has taken over as the OS on desktops. The applications are provided mostly by website interfaces. I have desktop machines that no longer have office suites installed, or graphical manipulation programs.

    We will still see beefed up machines. But only for the purpose of running online application via the browser.

    Personally I run Linux on basically every device attached to a monitor or TV as well as all my server gear. I have token windows and apple devices / vm's. But even a Linux fan boy like myself knows Linux desktop will never have it's big year. Simply because the desktop is dead.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Well at peak Steam has 14 million concurrent users, 33 million active daily and 67 million active monthly. Plus every non-Steam game like Overwatch, Destiny, various MMORPGs, old games that don't register anywhere etc. that may or may not overlap. That's a non-trivial user segment that's not going away any time soon. I'm sure there's quite a few other use cases too, you say you don't need graphical manipulation tools but I really don't see photographers working with 50MB RAWs online in the near future. Mayb

    • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @05:29AM (#55799517)

      You're forgetting a few other categories: gaming and creators. Smartphone or tablets really aren't a good substitute for these, as you really can't do equivalent things. The desktop PC is "dead" in the same way pickup trucks or full sized vans are "dead". Just because a typical consumer doesn't need one doesn't mean there isn't still a significant market, and a valid reason for that market to exist.

      PC sales will bottom out as they find their niche (work, gaming, creators), and then stabilize. At the moment, we're seeing a massive slowdown in the PC market for three reasons. First, obviously, smartphones, tablets, and notebooks are the large-scale market consumer devices of choice these days. Second, the PC market is largely saturated. And third, even for those of us to need PCs, those PCs are actually lasting FAR longer than they used to now that we've hit a "fast enough" hardware threshold.

      • For power users "Fast enough" is not the reason people are not upgrading, I used to do a 3 year replacement cycle and each time get a machine at least twice as fast as my previous one. My current machine is well over five years old and other than for tasks that can take advantage of a large number of cores any upgrade will get me around a 50% performance increase, which makes its just not worth it.

        • It's true that speeds aren't increasing nearly as fast as they used to, which reduces motivation to upgrade. However, for most typical use, even an older PC like mine is has more than enough power for day to day use. My primary development machine is eight years old, which is sort of astonishing to me. It feels just as snappy today as when it was brand new. Even if a new machine was five times faster, I can't imagine how it would make me significantly more productive. CPU speed or lack of memory is sim

          • I'm at a different machine right now, but mine is an i7 or i9, 8 cores at 3.something G. Even throttled back below 2G due to heat issues[1] it rarely slows down and if it does it's usually IO bound[2] - even running SAP. Exception is transcoding videos, but even then it can do four in parallel easily.

            [1] Stock Intel coolers wank cats for a hobby. January sales coming soon...
            [2] OS is on an SSD already. I suppose I could get some extra disks in a RAID if it gets really bad.

      • This means that desktops are going to be more expensive, doesn't it?

        • I suspect the market will stay large enough to keep prices at commodity levels for some time to come. We're still probably talking about a potential market of hundreds of millions of PCs worldwide, just not every human on earth like the smartphone market. It's more likely that the number of PC manufacturers and sellers will shrink.

    • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @05:44AM (#55799547)

      The only real use for a desktop now is for business use.

      You say this as if this is some tiny remnant of the PC market rather than the largest portion of it.

      • by dwywit ( 1109409 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @05:56AM (#55799581)

        Yeah, the "remnant" of the desktop PC market.

        Every time I see statements like the OP's I ask "what about the people who use {photoshop/premierepro/equivalents} as their income-producing software?

        Laptops and tablets don't do large-scale video rendering.
        Browsers don't do rendering at all, except perhaps as a limited example of what workatations or render farms can do.
        Browsers are internet-dependent - which is great when you've got reliable internet.
        And independent musicians and video producers don't use browser-based software to render their work.

        So the OP is full of shit. There may be a shift away from desktop OS for some parts of the market, but until there's a viable replacement for the rest, desktops and workstations have a market.

    • Personal use of desktops is crashing.

      I am not sure its true. Desktop sales may be dwindling, but that is what you expect when the useful life of a machine is extending from three to ten years*, and the market was already saturated. If you want a desktop, you probably already have one. Even in the third world. However, that might well be 20 billion desktops, and in ten years time, may well be 22 billion desktops.

      A desktop is NOT a tablet. Just like an SUV is NOT a motorbike. They solve different proble

  • Linux desktop (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @04:15AM (#55799363)

    The problem, is that Linux appeals to people who are computer enthusiasts-- people who LOVE computers, because they are simply amazing things, and they want to get the most out of that purchase.

    Most people are not like that. They want a computer to do a very short list of things, and want one that will never slow down, break, or get infected with something. For most people, that thing is "I need the internet, facebook, and stuff for work/school." The less they have to actually know about computers, or how computers work (EG, the more "Magic box" like they are) the happier these people are.

    Linux dares to expose its internals, and worse yet, DEMANDS that you learn about how it works underneath in order to use it effectively. That is why it has never, and likely will never, take off as a mainstream desktop.

    Apple and Microsoft have created the "Shiny plastic experience", and people love it. Linux might as well say "Batteries not included, setup time 6 hours, major assembly required" on the box.

    Asking why Linux is not a mainstream desktop environment is like asking why McCalls clothing patterns are not the dominant source of apparel in the market. Sure, you can customize the clothing however you want, and you can modify the patterns to your hearts content--- But dammit, you gotta get the cloth, cut it, sew it together, and all that shit. Why bother when you just want a fashionable new sport top, eh? People would rather spend the money on something somebody else already put together-- VIOLA-- OSX and pals. Shiny plastic. No work.

    Linux needs to stop chasing this fantasy where everyone stops being lazy gits and becomes excited computer enthusiasts. They need to understand that they are a niche market, and do that niche very well. Last I checked, that was the Unix philosophy anyway.

    For this reason I am opposed to the efforts of Poettering and Pals. Dont dumb down Linux for the masses. There are plenty of shiny plastic offerings out there. There aren't a lot of highly mature offerings for enthusiasts.

    • I agree.

      The whole making Linux supposedly desktop ready for some mythical average user is dreadful. Firstly it's doomed to failure. Second, it's making it worse for people who actually like Linux in a variety of ways.

      Pursuing this route will make it suitable for no one, rather than amazing for a relatively small niche. For example, many applications especially gnome ones do not respect the current working directory if you start them from a terminal.

      "Normal" users don't use the terminal so don't care, but ho

      • Other thing though, Linux setup has for awfully easy. I did a n Ubuntu install on a new ThinkPad two days ago. The base install took minutes and was trivial (boot from usb, set new password, done). The subsequent setup was easy too (a bunch of extra packages and a ppa or two).

        This; Windows only appears easy because it comes preinstalled, but it's no fun if you need to reinstall it from scratch. The LiveUSB aspect is also nice to give some idea of Linux to people without any permanent installation. Of course, you need to remind them that it will be faster and more capable after a proper install. My gf has been constantly amazed by the "just works" nature of Mint I installed for her, compared to the usual Windows nightmares.

        Then again, I don't use Mint myself, and I like the va

      • "a bunch of extra packages and a ppa or two" There lies the problem. Which packages exactly? What's a ppa? Why would I use any forms of console or commands in an install anyway if I were a regular user? I tried for a decade to switch to Linux but found myself back on Windows in a matter of hours because everything was 100 times harder, the GUI was a horrible mess of pretty UI and stupid console windows that had to be open practically all the time to get things done, none of my programs existed or just work
    • Linux dares to expose its internals, and worse yet, DEMANDS that you learn about how it works underneath in order to use it effectively.

      If you're using Slackware, then yes. If you're using something like the *buntu's or their derivitives (Kubuntu, Mint, etc.), then that hasn't ever been true. My customers and I all find these distributions to be far easier to use than Windows.

  • It will be the year of the Artificial Intelligence doing all those 'desktop' jobs on a server somewhere in the sticks.

  • by should_be_linear ( 779431 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @04:58AM (#55799453)
    thanks to webassembly, cloud and other technologies, this will be year of web desktop. It doesn't really metter what OS you are running*, all you need is browser, which is new desktop. *except in case when some weird HW with specialized closed drivers need to be connected to your computer.
  • by poptix ( 78287 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @05:06AM (#55799463) Homepage

    "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didnâ(TM)t stop to think if they should"

    I like most of where Linux has gone since the mid 90s when I started using it, but I was never looking for a Windows replacement and I abhor the dumbing down and obfuscation of major components (systemd, for example) in the name of 'MORE USERS OMG!!!'.

    It's okay if everyone doesn't know how to use a tool. Imagine if a nail gun were dumbed down so far that nobody could possibly hurt themselves with it, and it were accessible to everyone. It would be a nail gun in name only. This is how you get things like the iPhone.

    I've never understood the push to be accepted by everybody, isn't it enough to be the most popular OS in the world? (Android, TVs, servers, IoT, etc)

    • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @08:50AM (#55799975)

      I abhor the dumbing down and obfuscation of major components (systemd, for example) in the name of 'MORE USERS OMG!!!'.

      systemd is about controlling linux distributions, NOT about dumbing down linux. I have been using it exclusively since the late 90s, and it doesn't make things easier. It makes them harder and less simple. I've used lots of distros, and settled on Mint XFCE. I was quite content with it until systemd came around. Now I can't cleanly shutdown my machine, ever. It hangs for minutes at a time. Try explaining THAT to the average user. If it just worked, then there could be an argument for dumbing it down.. but I do agree with the obfuscation part. Maddening. I think systemd can lead to a better linux desktop, in the same way Trump can lead to a better America - by showing exactly how bad it can get so we do the opposite.

  • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @05:09AM (#55799469)
    And that is the fragmentation. There are simply too many different "flavours" of Linux. And too many incompatibilities to make supporting them all, viable for software developers.

    Many years ago I worked for a computer manufacturer. We wanted an industry-leading product ported to our range(s) of machines. We worked hard with the software company and they required that for maintenance purposes, we had to supply 1 model of each computer that their software products would be sold for. They had a large room full of systems from various manufacturers.

    This is the state of Linux - but multiplied several times over. Not only does each "flavour" vary from each other (otherwise they wouldn't be different), but the too-frequent releases and updates of vital components: kernels, libraries, sub-systems, make it too expensive for software suppliers to keep the whole spectrum up to date with changes, debugged, and to test their own software products thoroughly on each variant.

    That puts a tremendous cost on the suppliers. And in a Linux market which expects software to be zero-cost or cheap ("I'm not spending $$$$-thousands on software for an operating system I downloaded for free"), it simply isn't worth anyone's while.

  • by CustomSolvers2 ( 4118921 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @05:10AM (#55799473) Homepage
    I have recently moved my main desktop operating system from Windows to Linux and I am quite happy with the change. On the other hand, I have to continue relying on Windows for quite a few things like developing Windows-based software. Similar multi-OS setups are likely to be increasingly common among developers and more technical people. OS manufacturers, software tools and infrastructure seem to also be going in this more practical lets-take-the-best-bit-from-everyone direction. Even the incompatibilities desktop/web/mobile/etc. are likely to keep decreasing.

    IMO, a big proportion of (desktop) users voluntarily moving to Linux seems a quite unlikely scenario. A different story is Linux-based systems becoming more relevant everywhere and to everyone, regardless of final users being fully aware about that fact.
  • Microsoft Exchange (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Alain Williams ( 2972 ) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Sunday December 24, 2017 @05:10AM (#55799475) Homepage

    you cannot drop a Linux desktop into a corporate environment (this usually means a Microsoft environment) and have it just work. This is the biggest problem. Unlike the readership here most people cannot care less about computers and don't want to work hard to understand them. They have to use a MS Windows machine at work and so will have the same at home - learning something else is just too hard & boring.

    Yes you can have *nix on the desktop, I have only run *nix on my desktops for 25+ years, but I am self employed so I run what I want, I do not need to interact with lots of other people within my company. I am also a techie: I have the interest & motivation to do this. But getting millions of individual Linux desktops will not result in 'the year of Linux desktop', for that the corporate environment must be cracked.

    A fully open source 100% replacement for the MS server environment would also help a lot. Yes: you can easily replace a lot of it, but the server components are just that, islands that are not joined up. Email to most people includes group-ware (calendering, etc), people do not want to have to separate the 2: they want to just continue the way that they are. The SME (Small and medium-sized enterprises) sector would be most likely to move first if such a FLOSS solution was available and easy to install/maintain.

    The SME sector is also able to do its thing without attracting Microsoft's big we-play-dirty marketing guns: think Munich.

    However: much software also seen as essential in a corporate environment only runs on MS Windows - eg accounting software. Vendors would only consider porting to Linux if there was a large market - it is much easier from their perspective to just require a MS Windows machine to run their software. Very much chicken and eggs.

    Can this be done ? Yes: but it needs the likes of Red Hat to make this happen. Those who work on the individual components (eg Exim/Postfix) have little interest in doing this - they are focussed on making good MTAs (in this example). Work to stitch them together needs to be done by a software integrator - which is exactly what Red Hat is.

    Red Hat has the money & technical ability to do this; once done it also has plenty of corporate customers, a few of which might try it as early adopters ... and when it works others will follow.

    Summary: what is needed is 100% client & server interoperability in the server environment. This is what Red Hat needs to achieve.

    • Exchange not so much as this is moving to Office 365 these days. But Active Directory is the big elephant in the room that SCCM and MDM still haven't caught up with through the nightmare of BYOD causes to a now insecure corporate network.

      Citrix does have some solutions to host win32 apps via a session on any device but DAMN is a horrible and very difficult product to configure and administrate.

  • Look Linux is not going to take off on the desktop! We hard about this for year after year after year after year since I have been on here back in 1998. 19 years have gone by and I am still waiting.

    We got into computers because they were new, trendy, hip, and were cool and could make some money using them. Linux appeal for me was it was more stable than DOS based Windows 98 and had a TON of stuff that you didn't have to pay $$$$ for

    Guess what? It ain't the 20th century anymore. Computers are not cool. Phone

  • I've been using it as a desktop for the last ten years. The 'lack of special applications' one leaves me with a Windows 7 computer for Logic Pro and music though.

    I've done quite a lot of non-profit sector work in the UK, recently, as I'm semi-retired. One of the other big 'blockers' is clearly Access, people love it and it's easy. The other is brand recognition. For example, we built a computer suite for older people with Linux Mint, they were fine because they hadn't absorbed all the spin about the vari
  • ... and 2018 will be another year of Linux, on both the server and the desktop, after finally moving away from OS/2 aka eComStation (even though a new, refreshed version named ArcaOS has just been released) which still ran on one server and after the final decision that I'll refuse to move to any Windows version higher than 7 on my desktop.

    Yes, I'm keeping a few Windows applications installed in Wine (e.g. Adobe Digital Editions and Amazon Kindle so I can still buy and read DRM-protected e-books, now that m

  • The one problem holding desktop Linux over most of the last twenty years is that a bunch of idiots have simply failed to grasp that Gnome is just not a good enough desktop environment, particularly from a development point-of-view. It was, and still is, a mess along with all the faffing around with Mono that was supposed to solve all that. The politics surrounding that nonsense, and ironically this includes people exactly like Schaller, is where most of the wasted energy has gone.

    Where Unix desktops like
  • No? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by johannesg ( 664142 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @06:11AM (#55799615)

    Linux will have the same problems as before: installing 3rd-party software will still be next to impossible unless it has been specially blessed by a "package maintainer". Despite its many flaws, this is one area that Windows managed to democratize (accidentally, and to Microsofts obvous chagrin): everyone can write software for Windows, and that software will run on every Windows OS. Compare that to Linux: I'd like to use GPIB drivers (yes, it's a specialist thing) but it is only available for Red Hat. But maybe I'd also like to use Oracle and that is only available on Oracle Linux. Oh, and I would like to use a special card driver that's not on every Linux either. And if at the end of the day I want to kick back and play some games... Oh, I need Steam OS. My own Windows computer fills all of those roles simultaneously, and it doesn't even have to reboot to switch from one role to another.

    All of this is specialist software. All of it can be installed on Windows by clicking next-next-next-finish, and it just works. Sure, if you can get apt-get something from the appity app store, great for you. But that's not a democracy; that's the communist party blessing specific software and selecting what they consider to be useful to their perceived customers. All the software that's not blessed effectively doesn't exist, as far as Linux is concerned. And maybe with a _lot_ of tinkering you can get it to work... or maybe not. Again, on Windows it just works.

    This being slashdot I can predict the course moderation will take for this message, but this is what I consider to be Linux' greatest weakness. Ignore it at your peril.

  • by EmeraldBot ( 3513925 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @06:12AM (#55799619)

    For instance maybe ChromeOS evolves into a more full fledged operating system as it grows in popularity and thus ends up being the Linux on the Desktop end game?

    Meh, I've never really liked this way of thinking. What does Linux represent to you? To me it represents a culture of freedom to tinker, exploration, and self-development. None of those are compatible with ChromeOS. At that point, all we're really caring about is the label, that we can technically call what's underneath "Linux", and that's not really productive. At least with OS X, you can tap into those things, even if it's difficult and unwieldy (I got my start on OS X 10.6).

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Meh, I've never really liked this way of thinking. What does Linux represent to you? To me it represents a culture of freedom to tinker, exploration, and self-development. None of those are compatible with ChromeOS. At that point, all we're really caring about is the label, that we can technically call what's underneath "Linux", and that's not really productive. At least with OS X, you can tap into those things, even if it's difficult and unwieldy (I got my start on OS X 10.6).

      It's mostly a piece of software that should work. Which means I want developers to add features, fix bugs and write device drivers for it. And that I'm not beholden to a large company to tell me what it does (telemetry etc.) or their priorities (assuming upstream will normally accept bug fixes). Do I think it's good that Google uses Linux in Android? Yes. Do I also think it's good that there's a community project run by Linus that doesn't need Google's permission? Yes. Is it perfect? No. But it's better tha

  • ... someone like AMD or Intel operating systems an application you can switch to without rebooting the machine. The reality is I've had the idea that the only possible way Linux will gain ground is if you can run multiple OS's at the same time the same way we run applications at the same time. It has to be as easy as switching apps on a windows 8 taskbar. That would require a company like AMD to build it into the hardware/bios. So that you could run windows 7/10 side by side with Linux. Until running a

  • Do you really want to be the first choice of all the grannies who just want to see pictures of their grandkids?

    Or the soccer moms who are buying the desktops for grandma to see pictures of the grandkids?

    The success of Linux and the Linux Desktop is not measured in how many soccer moms are using it.

    • For grannies, tablets make much more sense than a full desktop. Most of those are already running Linux under the hood. It doesn't take away my fully tweakable Gentoo experience, nor does it make the Linux supercomputers any dumber.
  • I clearly would love to see Linux being used as a desktop and not in another damn server, phone (except Librem 5), if you want to call Android "Linux," but the hardware to make owning a traditional desktop/laptop as a brand new, young owner is too expensive. You absolutely have to target a younger audience if you want to make this work. You're not going to get a 13 year old to use Arch or care about systemd or libre kernels and you're not going to get an experienced 50 year old to use Ubuntu. If it's not pe
  • by MoarSauce123 ( 3641185 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @08:00AM (#55799837)
    And a year later we know the answer is "No". For me, core reason is not the desktop as such, but interoperability with other systems. Why is setting up Samba such a pain in the you know where and the very few GUI tools for Samba, well, all suck? Add to that the driver issues that are about as bad as those on Win 10 and the rapid dropping of support for older hardware. Oh, and as worse is documentation and decent GUI tool availability. Yea, I want step by step guides and a GUI. It's 2017! The time of manually editing config files in some editor and being told to change a dozen rows of code and the recompile are to be over.
    I do enjoy using desktop Linux on my 35$ Pi. As capable as a big PC for light office work and web use.
  • Had GNUStep been used for GNOME (it was the GNU project's official toolkit in 1996) and the work put in to complete it:

    1) Linux vendors' resources wouldn't have been wasted in all the work of developing three major versions of GTK plus Bonobo, rather than delivering a better user experience.

    2) The API instability for application developers caused by the three major versions wouldn't have happened.

    3) The Apple resurgence would have helped by creating a bunch of desktop software reasonably practical to move t

  • Is it possible that fight for Linux to to take over the desktop is the wrong fight, or at least not the fight that should be fought first. Maybe the fight should be "open source applications". Windows comes on the most PCs, and most PCs are packed with a bunch of shitty applications no one uses. Why not try to start to convince users in a major way that open source on Windows is a good alternative. If the end users start to fall in love open source applications on the desktop and were educated on why it i
  • Shit GUI (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Frampis ( 3356649 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @08:50AM (#55799977)
    Most Linux DEs are extremely limited and expect you to google a terminal command for a lot of settings. It's not uncommon for the GUI to omit some pretty basic settings such as monitor refresh rate or mouse acceleration.
  • https://linux.slashdot.org/sto... [slashdot.org]

    Enough already! Let this idea just die. There will never be a year of Linux desktop unless a company like Google or Microsoft decides to bring "accessible to masses" Linux desktop.

  • ... before being a desktop OS becomes strategically irrelevant?

    I would argue that most modern desktops are overdesigned. They are conceived as a kind of central information switchboard for digital life, which made sense in 2000. But today all that handy-dandy crap is in your phone, which makes more sense.

    What you need on your desktop is haven from all that crap. A distraction-free place to concentrate on things. That's why I use i3.

  • That one of the individuals behind the abomination that is Gnome 3.* is wondering about it. This aside, 2018 is not going to be the year in the desktop for Linux. It will never be, all the more so since the powers-that-be in the community keep pushing the Gnome and (to a lesser extent) KDE monstrosities. But, that is a good thing, at list for many of us. We can still use alternative desktop systems that do everything that we want or need. And, by maintaining the status quo, the bad guys will carry on focusi
  • This year I did my first linux install for home use in about six-eight years. I was Lubuntu on an Acer laptop. OOB the trackpad wouldn't work without a change to grub and I still can't get it to suspend/wake properly.

    Linux is not ready. It needs manufacturer support.

  • by Artem Tashkinov ( 764309 ) on Sunday December 24, 2017 @12:23PM (#55800813) Homepage
    Yet another copy of the famous list of major Linux problems [altervista.org] - too bad with many crucial omissions.

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