Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

How Apple Killed the Linux Desktop and Why That Doesn’t Matter

Filed under
Linux
Mac

It’s hard to say exactly what percentage of desktop and laptop computers run Apple OS X, but it’s clear that the operating system has made slow but steady gains at chipping away at that the sizable lead Microsoft established in the ’90s with its Windows operating system. Some figures put the number at about 6 to 7 percent of the desktop market.

But one thing’s for sure: OS X has been more successful than Linux, the open source operating system that has found a home on data-center servers but is still a rarity on desktops and laptops. Linux may have seen a surge last year, but it still hasn’t seen the sort of growth OS X has, nor the growth that Linux supporters have long hoped for.

Why is that?




(1) Simplicity (2) Money

(1) I couldn't possibly recommend any Linux distro to most Windows or Mac users. They simply don't have the time to learn Linux, particularly when the command line is needed.

(2) Money, money, money. Apple is earning a lot of it. It can fund development and promotion without difficulty.

Wired and it's Apple Fetish

Is there anything that Wired won't attribute to Apple being "great"?

Linux needed no help (or push) by Apple to fail, it had all the help it needed inside it's own house.

Distro fragmentation, Desktop fragmentation, fragmented support (from mediocre to out right tragic), and the number one reason Linux fails on the desktop - super ultra uber incredibly piss poor apps (that are fragmented).

The hundred or so bucks needed to put Windows or OSX on a system is a blessing when it allows you to run polished apps (many free and open source) that not only work, but look good to boot.

Linux apps are a cluster frack of poor ui, poor graphic design, poor coding skills, and poor support. The only thing linux apps have is a full cadre of apologists just waiting to tell you it's YOU not the APP that sucks.

Fragmentation is what keeps Linux down. No direction, no vision, and worst of all, no QA. It will NEVER get better (in fact the last several rounds of distros have pretty much proven it's peaked and is getting worse not better).

And you know what's really scary - it's creeping into the server market. Redhat has decided to let the Fedora fobs guide their ENTERPRISE line. Resulting in a major shake up of switching out chkconfig & service for that gawd awful mess called systemd. If I ran my data center on tablets, maybe I would be excited, since we run nothing but bare metal boxes running a hypervised pool of virtual machines - I don't really care that systemd boots several seconds faster (big whoop de doo).

Even with the complete lack of vision, Redhat will remain pretty much the only Enterprise choice (for linux that is), Ununtu will drive the linux desktop into ashes as it stumble around looking for a tablet OS that can run on a desktop, and all the other distros will continue to fumble finger their way to nowhere waiting for just one decent (as compared to windows or osx) desktop app that will never come. The few apps that approach being usable are ALL available to run native on Windows and OSX, so there is no redeeming savior to prevent linux on the desktop from slipping slowly under the sea of fanboy drool.

Linux has not been "killed" by Apple, nor has it 'failed'

Linux is doing just fine, thank you very much, and it doesn't really need developers who can't eat their own dog food around, constantly bleating, 'why can't Linux be more like Apple and Windows?'. The answer is, it doesn't need to, but must succeed on its own terms. Those terms aren't dictated by some captain of industry, they are communal, organic and fluid in nature.

Developers who admire OS X and IOS, and feel they can't work unless it's on Apple's hardware, should devote their mad skillz to developing software for Apple, and just STFU about Linux.

Sorry Miguel de Icaza that Microsoft crippleware Mono never really took off on Linux. Better luck with your next project.

Apple has made quite a significant contribution to Linux (and other, unix-like open source projects) in the form of CUPS. So thanks for that.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Proxmox VE 4.3 released

Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH today announced the general availability of Proxmox Virtual Environment 4.3. The hyper-converged open source server virtualization solution enables users to create and manage LXC containers and KVM virtual machines on the same host, and makes it easy to set up highly available clusters as well as to manage network and storage via an integrated web-based management interface. The new version of Proxmox VE 4.3 comes with a completely new comprehensive reference documentation. The new docu framework allows a global as well as contextual help function. Proxmox users can access and download the technical documentation via the central help-button (available in various formats like html, pdf and epub). A main asset of the new documentation is that it is always version specific to the current user’s software version. Opposed to the global help, the contextual help-button shows the user the documentation part he currently needs. Read more

Games for GNU/Linux

Security News

  • Tuesday's security updates
  • New Open Source Linux Ransomware Divides Infosec Community
    Following our investigation into this matter, and seeing the vitriol-filled reaction from some people in the infosec community, Zaitsev has told Softpedia that he decided to remove the project from GitHub, shortly after this article's publication. The original, unedited article is below.
  • Fax machines' custom Linux allows dial-up hack
    Party like it's 1999, phreakers: a bug in Epson multifunction printer firmware creates a vector to networks that don't have their own Internet connection. The exploit requirements are that an attacker can trick the victim into installing malicious firmware, and that the victim is using the device's fax line. The firmware is custom Linux, giving the printers a familiar networking environment for bad actors looking to exploit the fax line as an attack vector. Once they're in that ancient environment, it's possible to then move onto the network to which the the printer's connected. Yves-Noel Weweler, Ralf Spenneberg and Hendrik Schwartke of Open Source Training in Germany discovered the bug, which occurs because Epson WorkForce multifunction printers don't demand signed firmware images.
  • Google just saved the journalist who was hit by a 'record' cyberattack
    Google just stepped in with its massive server infrastructure to run interference for journalist Brian Krebs. Last week, Krebs' site, Krebs On Security, was hit by a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that took it offline, the likes of which was a "record" that was nearly double the traffic his host Akamai had previously seen in cyberattacks. Now just days later, Krebs is back online behind the protection of Google, which offers a little-known program called Project Shield to help protect independent journalists and activists' websites from censorship. And in the case of Krebs, the DDoS attack was certainly that: The attempt to take his site down was in response to his recent reporting on a website called vDOS, a service allegedly created by two Israeli men that would carry out cyberattacks on behalf of paying customers.
  • Krebs DDoS aftermath: industry in shock at size, depth and complexity of attack
    “This attack didn’t stop, it came in wave after wave, hundreds of millions of packets per second,” says Josh Shaul, Akamai’s vice president of product management, when Techworld spoke to him. “This was different from anything we’ve ever seen before in our history of DDoS attacks. They hit our systems pretty hard.” Clearly still a bit stunned, Shaul describes the Krebs DDoS as unprecedented. Unlike previous large DDoS attacks such as the infamous one carried out on cyber-campaign group Spamhaus in 2013, this one did not use fancy amplification or reflection to muster its traffic. It was straight packet assault from the old school.
  • iOS 10 makes it easier to crack iPhone back-ups, says security firm
    INSECURITY FIRM Elcomsoft has measured the security of iOS 10 and found that the software is easier to hack than ever before. Elcomsoft is not doing Apple any favours here. The fruity firm has just launched the iPhone 7, which has as many problems as it has good things. Of course, there are no circumstances when vulnerable software is a good thing, but when you have just launched that version of the software, it is really bad timing. Don't hate the player, though, as this is what Elcomsoft, and what Apple, are supposed to be doing right. "We discovered a major security flaw in the iOS 10 back-up protection mechanism. This security flaw allowed us to develop a new attack that is able to bypass certain security checks when enumerating passwords protecting local (iTunes) back-ups made by iOS 10 devices," said Elcomsoft's Oleg Afonin in a blog post.
  • After Tesla: why cybersecurity is central to the car industry's future
    The news that a Tesla car was hacked from 12 miles away tells us that the explosive growth in automotive connectivity may be rapidly outpacing automotive security. This story is illustrative of two persistent problems afflicting many connected industries: the continuing proliferation of vulnerabilities in new software, and the misguided view that cybersecurity is separate from concept, design, engineering and production. This leads to a ‘fire brigade approach’ to cybersecurity where security is not baked in at the design stage for either hardware or software but added in after vulnerabilities are discovered by cybersecurity specialists once the product is already on the market.

Ofcom blesses Linux-powered, open source DIY radio ‘revolution’

Small scale DAB radio was (quite literally) conceived in an Ofcom engineer’s garden shed in Brighton, on a Raspberry Pi, running a full open source stack, in his spare time. Four years later, Ofcom has given the thumbs up to small scale DAB after concluding that trials in 10 UK cities were judged to be a hit. We gave you an exclusive glimpse into the trials last year, where you could compare the specialised proprietary encoders with the Raspberry Pi-powered encoders. “We believe that there is a significant level of demand from smaller radio stations for small scale DAB, and that a wider roll-out of additional small scale services into more geographic areas would be both technically possible and commercially sustainable,” notes Ofcom. Read more