Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

When is it worth saying it's Linux?

Filed under

Recently, I was showing a Motorola Milestone phone to a non-technical friend. When I mentioned that the phone was running Android, he said to me "Oh, thats the Google Linux for phones isn't it... does it run OpenOffice?". I had to disappoint him at that point, but it lead to a question I had to ask: When the user interface is different and the API for developers is different, is an operating system still Linux, or is it something else?

At the recent Consumer Electronics Show there was a flood of netbooks and Android based devices about to be launched into the market. The folks at the Linux Foundation couldn't be more pleased about the incursion of Linux into this new generation of portable connected devices, but the software that appears on these devices often doesn't look or feel like "Linux".

The one word brand is a useful tool for consumers; when an average consumer sees the word "Windows", they know that the operating system will run programs written for Windows. When they see "MacOS" they similarly know it will run programs for Mac. When it comes to "Linux", things are different. Most of you reading this will, of course, know that what the general public have running on their desktop systems is, in fact, a combination of a windows manager and various applications, such as OpenOffice, GIMP, Firefox or Thunderbird, with a system kernel and that Linux refers to the kernel of the operating system, a distinction that is lost on consumers. But the new generation of devices lauded as "being Linux" aren't like that.

Rest Here

More in Tux Machines

Lumina Desktop 1.1 Released

The BSD-focused, Qt-powered Lumina Desktop Environment is out with its version 1.1 update. The developers behind the Lumina Desktop Environment consider it a "significant update" with both new and reworked utilities, infrastructure improvements, and other enhancements. Lumina 1.1 adds a pure Qt5 calculator, text editor improvements, the file manager has been completely overhauled, system application list management is much improved, and there is a range of other improvements. Read more

Radeon vs. Nouveau Open-Source Drivers On Mesa Git + Linux 4.9

For your viewing pleasure this Friday are some open-source AMD vs. NVIDIA numbers when using the latest open-source code on each side. Linux 4.9-rc1 was used while Ubuntu 16.10 paired with the Padoka PPA led to Mesa Git as of earlier this week plus LLVM 4.0 SVN. As covered recently, there are no Nouveau driver changes for Linux 4.9 while we had hoped the boost patches would land. Thus the re-clocking is still quite poor for this open-source NVIDIA driver stack. For the Nouveau tests I manually re-clocked each graphics card to the highest performance state (0f) after first re-clocking the cards to the 0a performance state for helping some of the GPUs that otherwise fail with memory re-clocking at 0f, as Nouveau developers have expressed this is the preferred approach for testing. Read more

Ubuntu MATE, Not Just a Whim

I've stated for years how much I dislike Ubuntu's Unity interface. Yes, it's become more polished through the years, but it's just not an interface that thinks the same way I do. That's likely because I'm old and inflexible, but nevertheless, I've done everything I could to avoid using Unity, which usually means switching to Xubuntu. I actually really like Xubuntu, and the Xfce interface is close enough to the GNOME 2 look, that I hardly miss the way my laptop used to look before Unity. I wasn't alone in my disdain for Ubuntu's flagship desktop manager switch, and many folks either switched to Xubuntu or moved to another Debian/Ubuntu-based distro like Linux Mint. The MATE desktop started as a hack, in fact, because GNOME 3 and Unity were such drastic changes. I never really got into MATE, however, because I thought it was going to be nothing more than a hack and eventually would be unusable due to old GNOME 2 libraries phasing out and so forth. Read more

EU-Fossa project submits results of code audits

The European Commission’s ‘EU Free and Open Source Software Auditing’ project (EU-Fossa) has sent its code review results to the developers of Apache HTTP server target and KeePass. The audit results are not yet made public, however, no critical vulnerabilities were found. Read more