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Debunking Myths That Say Linux Won’t Reach the Desktop

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Linux

Every couple of weeks, I’ll hear someone or read a blog post that says that Linux will never reach mainstream desktop users. I completely disagree.

Of course, saying that I don’t agree and then ending the post here would be foolish, so I will debunk some myths about Linux, and hopefully illustrate why I think that Linux will reach the desktop.

Arguments and my responses

Myth 1: Windows Vista showed us that six different versions of one operating system is bound to confuse users. The hundreds of Linux distros out there will only confuse users further.

Response 1: Users will only be confused if they have to make the distro choice on their own. If users can get help to narrow down the choices to one distro, they won’t feel confusion and frustration due to the massive amount of distros.

Myth 2: It doesn’t matter if Linux is better, because users will not like Linux because Linux is different.

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today's leftovers

  • Debugging gnome-session problems on Ubuntu 14.04
  • Introducing snapd-glib
  • An awesome experience!
    GUADEC has been a week full of memorable moments. As my friend Rares mentioned in his post, our newcomers group was welcomed by friendly community members right as we arrived at the hotel. For someone who has never attended a similar event before, this really helped with getting into the conference atmosphere. In the first couple days of the conference, I found myself meeting a lot of people that I knew from IRC. It felt really nice to finally know the person behind the internet nick. I was especially excited about getting to meet my mentor, Carlos Soriano =). In between the presentations I also took the time to prepare my own lightning talk about compressed files in Nautilus. Speaking in front of the GNOME community for the first time was a unique experience.
  • Commvault Announces Support of Red Hat Virtualization 4 with Commvault Software
  • Modularity Infrastructure Design
    The purpose of our Modularity initiative is to support the building, maintaining, and shipping of modular things. So, in order to ensure these three requirements are met, we need to design a framework for building and composing the distribution. In terms of the framework, in general, we are concerned about the possibility of creating an exponential number of component combinations with independent lifecycles. That is, when the number of component combinations becomes too large, we will not be able to manage them. So that we don’t accidentally make our lives worse, we must limit the number of supported modules with a policy and provide infrastructure automation to reduce the amount of manual work required.
  • more, less, and a story of typical Unix fossilization
    In the beginning, by which we mean V7, Unix didn't have a pager at all. That was okay; Unix wasn't very visual in those days, partly because it was still sort of the era of the hard copy terminal. Then along came Berkeley and BSD. People at Berkeley were into CRT terminals, and so BSD Unix gave us things like vi and the first pager program, more (which showed up quite early, in 3BSD, although this isn't as early as vi, which appears in 2BSD). Calling a pager more is a little bit odd but it's a Unix type of name and from the beginning more prompted you with '--More--' at the bottom of the screen. All of the Unix vendors that based their work on BSD Unix (like Sun and DEC) naturally shipped versions of more along with the rest of the BSD programs, and so more spread around the BSD side of things. However, more was by no means the best pager ever; as you might expect, it was actually a bit primitive and lacking in features. So fairly early on Mark Nudelman wrote a pager with somewhat more features and it wound up being called less as somewhat of a joke. When less was distributed via Usenet's net.sources in 1985 it became immediately popular, as everyone could see that it was clearly nicer than more, and pretty soon it was reasonably ubiquitous on Unix machines (or at least ones that had some degree of access to stuff from Usenet). In 4.3 BSD, more itself picked up the 'page backwards' feature that had motived Mark Nudelman to write less, cf the 4.3BSD manpage, but this wasn't the only attraction of less. And this is where we get into Unix fossilization.
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    A trojan thought to have died out resurfaced with new attacks and a new and improved version, launching new attacks on routers running Linux-based firmware located in India's cyber-space.

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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    Kids are naturally curious about how things work, and with a new trend in hardware companies creating open source hardware products, it's a great time to teach kids about electronics. But modern technology can seem too complex to even begin to understand. So where do you start?
  • Oil companies joining open source world by sharing data [Ed: No, oil companies, sharing data is open data and not open source. More openwashing, like greenwashing]
    The oil and gas industry has long collected huge volumes of data, but it hasn’t always known quite what to do with it all. Often, the terabytes aren’t even stored on computer systems that readily talk to each other. Industry insiders are used to it, said Michael Jones, senior director of strategy at the oil and gas software maker Landmark. But it’s not OK, he said. So, about a year ago, Jones and some of his oil industry colleagues set about to fix it. This week, at Landmark’s Innovation Forum & Expo at the Westin hotel in northwest Houston, the company unveiled the beginnings of a collaborative its members called groundbreaking. In a move to drive technology further, faster — and, perhaps, take a bigger piece of the burgeoning big-data market — Landmark is pushing its main computing platform into the cloud, for all to use.
  • Interactive, open source visualizations of nocturnal bird migrations in near real-time
    New flow visualizations using data from weather radar networks depict nocturnal bird migrations, according to a study published August 24, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Judy Shamoun-Baranes from University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues.
  • Go! Speed Racer Go!
    I finally reached a point where I could start running the go version of sm-photo-tool. I finished the option validation for the list command. While I was testing it I noticed how much faster the Go version felt. Here are the python vs Go versions of the commands.
  • Semantic Interoperability for European Public Services will be presented at the SEMANTiCS 2016 conference
    The revision of the European Interoperability Framework and the importance of data and information standardisation for promoting semantic interoperability for European Public Services will be presented by Dr. Vassilios Peristeras, DG Informatics, ISA unit at the SEMANTiCS 2016 conference which takes place in Leipzig on September 13th and 14th 2016. The title of the presentation is “Promoting Semantic Interoperability for European Public Services: the European Commission ISA2 Programme” (slideset to appear here soon).

Linux at 25: How Linux changed the world

I walked into an apartment in Boston on a sunny day in June 1995. It was small and bohemian, with the normal detritus a pair of young men would scatter here and there. On the kitchen table was a 15-inch CRT display married to a fat, coverless PC case sitting on its side, network cables streaking back to a hub in the living room. The screen displayed a mess of data, the contents of some logfile, and sitting at the bottom was a Bash root prompt decorated in red and blue, the cursor blinking lazily. I was no stranger to Unix, having spent plenty of time on commercial Unix systems like OSF/1, HP-UX, SunOS, and the newly christened Sun Solaris. But this was different. Read more