Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Breaking down barriers to Linux desktop adoption

Filed under
Linux

People reject Linux desktops for illogical reasons, says IT consultant and developer Jono Bacon. For example, they fault Linux OpenOffice desktops for not having all the features in Microsoft Windows Office, even though few actually use all of the Microsoft stuff. So, in essence, they're saying they want desktops cluttered with unnecessary features.

Bacon discusses the impact of such irrational views regarding Linux desktop adoption in this interview. He also opines on what developers should be doing to reverse-engineer people's fuzzy thinking and make it easier to adopt Linux and open source. Bacon co-authored Linux Desktop Hacks (O'Reilly Media) and is an applications development specialist at OpenAdvantage, an open source software consulting organization that provides free services in the West Midlands region of the U.K.

Do you think Linux can compete with Microsoft on the desktop?

Bacon: Sure. The one thing that people tend to get wrapped up in [is:] 'Everything should work.' If you take Windows and, for argument's sake, deduce that it performs five hundred functions, the typical business or home user may only use a hundred or fifty of those functions. The Linux desktop can probably achieve nearly all of those functions, but many people disregard its suitability irrespective of the fact that they may not need many of the features. Good IT is about applying a solution to a need.

I deal with companies every day that are moving over to Linux, and it does all the things that they want.

I think the sensible person would sit down and identify whether it does what they need it to do now and identify what they're going to need in the next couple of years. Most people have fairly typical requirements that the open source desktop can achieve. There's no doubt about that.

I think we can match what most people need but there are sometimes niche situations where it just isn't going to cut it. We need to identify what regular people need as well instead of just targeting huge organizations. We need to be competitive but reasoned too.

What do you think prevents people from switching?

Full Interview.

More in Tux Machines

Programming/Development: Rust, Google Summer Of Code 2018, COBOL, Python

  • Oxidizing Fedora: Try Rust and its applications today
    In recent years, it has become increasingly important to develop software that minimizes security vulnerabilities. Memory management bugs are a common cause of these vulnerabilities. To that end, the Mozilla community has spent the last several years building the Rust language and ecosystem which focuses primarily on eliminating those bugs. And Rust is available in Fedora today, along with a few applications in Fedora 27 and higher, as seen below.
  • This Week in Rust 222
    This is a weekly summary of its progress and community. Want something mentioned? Tweet us at @ThisWeekInRust or send us a pull request. Want to get involved? We love contributions.
  • Google Summer Of Code 2018 Larger Than Ever
    Google Summer of Code gives students an opportunity to make a substantive contribution to Open Source projects with the motto "Flip bits not burgers" has recruited more mentoring organizations than ever for its 13th year.
  • The Beauty of the COBOL Programming Language
    The first thing I needed in my journey to learn COBOL was an IDE. I am a big supporter of coding in an integrated development environment (IDE). I like being able to write, test and run code all in one place. Also, I find the support features that an IDE provides, such as visual code structure analysis, code completion and inline syntax checking, allow me to program and debug efficiently.
  • Clear Linux Is The Latest Distribution Figuring Out What To Do With Python 2
    While Python 3 has been around now for a decade, most Linux distributions are still working towards moving away from Python 2 and that includes Intel's Clear Linux distribution. Like with Ubuntu, Fedora, and others moving away their base packages from any Python 2 dependencies and moving them to Python 3, Clear Linux developers are working on the same. Arjan van de Ven of Intel provided an update on their Python 3 transitioning. By the end of 2018, but hopefully within the next six months, they hope to be at a point where their performance-oriented Linux distribution is "fully and only Python 3."

Graphics: Chai, Nouveau, Mesa and More

  • Development On The Chai Mali T700 Open-Source GPU Driver To Resume
    Last year we covered the work on the project "Chai" as an open-source, reverse-engineered driver for Mali T700 series. After a hiatus, the lead developer is back working on the project. The developer on the project was previously just known as "Cafe Beverage", but this developer has come out today as Alyssa Rosenzweig.
  • Nouveau's NIR Support Inches Closer To TGSI Quality
    Longtime Nouveau contributor Karol Herbst joined Red Hat at the end of last year where his current task is on NIR intermediate representation support for Nouveau as part of bringing SPIR-V compute support to this open-source NVIDIA Linux driver.
  • Intel GLSL On-Disk Shader Cache Enabled By Default
    For Mesa 18.0 is the initial Intel shader cache support for archiving compiled GLSL shaders on-disk to speed up the load times of subsequent game loads and other benefits. For the Mesa 18.0 release the functionality isn't enabled by default but it will be for Mesa 18.1.
  • Xorgproto 2018.3 Brings RandR Leasing + Non-Desktop Monitors
    Xorgproto debuted earlier this month as a centralized package of all X.Org protocol headers that used to be versioned and developed independently. Given the slower development now of the xorg-server and lots of the protocols being intertwined, they are now all bundled together. Tuesday marked the 2018.3 release with the new additions for Keith Packard's SteamVR Linux infrastructure work. Xorgproto 2018.3 offers up the protocol changes for the X.Org Server work that Keith Packard has been doing on improving the virtual reality head-mounted display (VR HMD) support for Linux systems, particularly around SteamVR. The X.Org protocol changes needed are supporting RandR leasing of outputs and also non-desktop monitor handling, so the VR HMD won't be treated as a conventional display and the Linux desktop systems then attempt to make use of it thinking it's just another HDMI/DP display.
  • Even With AMDGPU DC, HDMI/DP Audio Isn't Working Out For All Radeon Linux Users
    While the newly-released Raven Ridge APUs could make for nice HTPC systems given the number of compatible mini-ITX/micro-ATX motherboards and these 65 Watt APUs offering Zen CPU cores with Vega graphics, besides the current problematic Raven Ridge graphics support, there are still some broader AMDGPU DC audio problems for newer graphics cards. Phoronix reader Fred wrote in today to call attention to the AMDGPU DC audio situation. While AMDGPU DC was merged in Linux 4.15 and provides HDMI/DP audio support to the past few generations of Radeon GPUs on this new display code stack, not all audio formats play nicely.

Open source RISC-V architecture is changing the game for IoT processors

Over the past decade, open source software has been one of the biggest catalysts in the tech world. Today, the power of open source, the freedom it enables, and the communities that it generates are gaining traction in the hardware world too. For these reasons, RISC-V is gaining huge popularity. Here is an introduction to RISC-V and the opportunities it opens. Read more Also:

Security: Updates, Tesla, Chef, SafeRide and More