Linux Desktop Success – Unleaded Hangout

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Linux Desktop Success. What’s it going to take to get us there? Have we already hit the tipping point with ChromeOS? Perhaps instead, it’s a matter of greater OEM adoption? We discuss.

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15 Comments

  1. I bought a laptop a couple of years ago. It had windows 8 preinstalled (I didn't like it).. I installed Ubuntu but I prefer gnome, then I installed Linux Mint.. but every program was really hard to install.. just to put an icon (direct access on my desktop) was painfully complicated and you need to write command in a terminal. I asked a couple of questions in a forum and the community recommend me to buy a book "Linux for animals". I'm not a basic user.. I used suse and Debian years ago. I have been a programmer for more than 20 years (C#, C++, Unity, Angular, react, Ionic, Kotlin, Swift, etc).. I mean.. I have to solve problems everyday at work but compiling a tar or using the apt-get is not the way Linux will reach popularity.. Android is so simple.. just beautiful.. I won't be trying Linux again for a long time. My laptop is now using Windows 10 and I have a Mac too.

  2. Great discussion guys.

    This idea of "the year of the Linux desktop" is outdated. The starting point of Linux desktop environment (LDE) success already happened and we are well beyond that point. However, the conceptual starting point where LDEs dominate the desktop landscape is rooted in a flawed point of view. It is flawed because it implies that we subject the Microsoft Windows sales, licensing, marketing business model (BM) to all desktop Linux OSes/distros. Its obvious that Linux does not fit or depend on the above mentioned BM. Its like trying to fit a peg in the shape of a crystallized snowflake into a round hole. Are we pitting LDEs against Windows business desktop installs, or consumer (non-student), or student used Windows installations, or all of the above? I would even go as far as limiting the comparison to Windows 7 and a set of LDEs.

    There are several LDEs that are very close to the Windows 7 (which is still the most popular version of Windows) look and feel. Because of the high degree of similarity, switching for the casual user from Windows 7 to a LDE is rather tame, as in the learning curve for a LDE ranges from near flat to a soft incline.

    Current distro versions run on bleeding edge hardware. I built a Ryzen 7 1700X PC over the Dec 2017 holiday season. It is a gaming ready PC with a nVidia GTX 1060 6GB video card, gaming keyboard, and a 144hz refresh free sync flat panel. I have the following installed:
    – Manjaro KDE v17.1.1 (64bit)
    – Linux Mint v18.3 Cinnamon (64bit)
    – Linux Mint v18.3 MATE (64bit)
    – Unbuntu MATE v17.10 (64bit)
    All of the distros were installed and updated without any errors or any special effort on my part. All of my hardware was detected and fully functional. I'm on 4Ghz Linux, with 8-cores/16-threads. Its a sweet ride and I don't have Windows installed.

    Before we are able to get more people (business and non-business users) installing/running Linux we need to accept and adopt the mindset that we are (for the most part) Intel/AMD/nVidia customers. We are on the same hardware platform. We run the same desktop hardware. This is our starting point in changing ourselves, our thought processes, and a point where great emphasis on inclusion starts. A windows or mac user is a potential Linux user. From the above starting point we need to reach out to those:
    – who are stuck on 10-15 year old hardware running Win XP (MS abandoned these folks)
    – who bought bleeding edge HW (Ryzen, Coffee Lake) and show them the Windows 8/8.1/10 alternatives (more speed, easy to pickup desktop UI and apps)
    – on 4-9 year old HW with Win7 installs plagued with the eventual glut and performance droop (breath new life and speed into that box)
    – fed up with broken Windows installations and are considering new hardware purchases
    – college students who are relatively tech savvy
    – elementary/middle/high school students (start 'em early)
    There are many more scenarios, but Its not purely about switching one's OS its about building and expanding the Linux community.

  3. Linux needs the PcMasterRace. Pc gamers build their own machines and install their own operating systems. They upgrade hardware and drive pc sales. People look to them for guidance and are usually "that computer guy" that helps people. Pc gamers like to mod games and eventually become game developers. When these users do upgrades they can give or sell their hardware and install Linux for the noobs. Pc gamers and companies also run Linux servers for games. Pc gaming is a 36 billion dollar industry and you guys are not even mentioning the fact that Linux is a big part of it. Game engine servers that runs Linux , Valve source engine , Ea games frostbite engine , Crytek cryengine, Amazon aws Lumberyard game engine, Microsoft Azure Minecraft and the Minecraft has Linux support. There is even more than this list I have shown here. Linux needs improvement with gpu drivers and now that we have vulkan things are looking good. All Linux needs is one big exclusive game cough half-life 3 for example and you would see Linux market share dwarf Apple's. Everyone knows what happened to steam windows market share with pubg game release.

  4. Microsoft is planning on killing off win32 for home versions in the next few years. They may also do this in Pro as well and using emulation to run win32. This all means that home users will be buying/upgrading into a "Windows 10 S" type enviroment. Pro will be (in my understanding) able to visualize these programs. The "traditional" desktop will be dead within 5 years for most. I believe Linux will pick up those traditional users that want a "regular" desktop experience. If anyone is interested in where this information came from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_bPcctTV_Y&t=1s and:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuSoYcM0Th4&t=716s

    I don't claim to understand everything in the videos linked. But it sounds like to me All your favorite Win programs may go away in the future and you will have to pay for PRO or use Windows store.

  5. I think the best market for Linux is people who are financially struggling, such as single parents or those who're disabled and get naff financial support from their government. With the Internet being more and more required as the years go by, I feel this would be really important, and a life-saver for those really struggling. The problem is, these people are fooled into thinking Windows is the only way, and the "right" way, and they likely don't even realise Linux exists! This is changing, gradually, though. God, I hate Micro$oft so much. >.<

  6. I don't know if appealing to the masses is the right choice given that 'the average user' is moving away from the traditional desktop computer and going more and more mobile. Even bureaucracy has gone digital and moved to the cloud so there aren't many cases in which you need to type a letter or something like that – you send an email or log on to a website and do stuff there – even with apps on a phone. People these days live in the browser + some social media apps + some audio and video player – that's it.

    Desktop PC's are for professionals, power users and gamers – THOSE are the ones you want to tackle, along with students, the other category who really needs a machine to create something with and not just consume content made by someone else. Some of these professionals in the past few years have been let down immensely by Apple who neglected the pro market, and have looked for alternatives – from hackintoshes to switching (back) to Windows – and a few to Linux. Couple that with Adobe's subscription model and you have another chunk of disillusioned pro users looking for an alternative solution to their problem. Even if it is just a small fraction, it's a fraction that *spends money*, which is why Steam is on Linux and some other paid software is available – not nearly enough, though.

    So, a solid, reliable and easy to use OS coupled with some good hardware support and a range of reliable PRO software could attract that slice of the market. Along with enthusiasts and students who DO need to type stuff and create content, regardless whether in elementary school or post-graduates.

    There are some professional pieces of software, FLOSS and proprietary – whatever, it does not matter as long as it gets things done but they are often poorly marketed if even marketed at all, and some are just not up to the task of leading a pro to take the jump. Right yesterday I was looking back at Scribus (DTP open source software) for a potential book typesetting in the next few months. I already used it but only for short and more graphic-based stuff. Well, imagine my surprise when I find out it does not handle well documents with more than 30 (yep, you read right – THIRTY) pages – the book is just about 80, import from Word or Writer does not include TOC, pictures and footnotes (there a tons of footnotes and pictures). Not only that, you can insert footnotes only in the "new" beta version, creating a TOC is a joke because you have to do it half by hand. In short, lots of workarounds, lots of unknowns and fixes that lead to a higher price for the client or you losing money. And that is just ONE recent example.

    I'll stop rambling and ranting. I love Linux and there are good programs (blender is great, so is Ardour for instance) but… we have to stop relying on things like – just use Wine or VB, A does the same as B (no it doesn't!) and market to nerds who live in the terminal IF we want to see the year of the Linux desktop – which is not necessarily something needed and to look for.

  7. All it takes is making Linux profitable to businesses. Valve is a good example as well as Google, Asus is a sad example. Dell sells Linux machines but they don't market them to the average user. But freedom is more important than anything. Windows users can already browse the web as well as Mac users and other OS users. If Linux isn't solving a problem, or perceived problem for the user, there just won't be an interest. Year of Linux desktop to me translates to a massive gain in OS market share. If year of Linux desktop means it's a viable option for an average user then that year would have been 2001 when I first started using Linux. It's always been a great Desktop experience in my opinion.

  8. I think that the Linux Desktop, specifically KDE Plasma has really hit the mark on so many levels, especially with the KDE Connect and now with the Plasma Mobile project, there is finally the convergence I have wanted in sight. Depending on what I am doing throughout the day, I interact with technology differently. When I am in work mode, I don't look at my phone. Why would I look at a tiny screen when I have 4 much larger screens to do my work. Having that mobile integration into my desktop, notifying me of things I care about and being able to act on it, not from my phone but from my computer is what I want. If I can send an SMS using a keyboard rather than a touch screen, life is good. There are other push notifications I get from my phone and onto my computer that I also find valuable so now I get my convergence. Just waiting for Plasma Mobile to mature enough to use full time and MY year of the LInux ecosystem will have arrived.

    Gnome? Well, we can wait several more years for them to catch up.

  9. Linux Desktop Lack of Success.
    The Linux community is terrible sellers to a broader public. We try to sell a car with nerd facts about the different alloys in the engine.

    Example on Linux selling gospel:

    Scenario: Newbie in a Linux forum…..

    How can I mount a NTFS disc on startup?
    32 answer like this. in different variations:

    Alt-Ctrl-T to start a terminal.
    ls -al /dev/disk/by-uuid/
    Create a mount point with sudo mkdir /media/ntfs. then use sudo nano, go to /etc/fstab and enter a line for the mount you want.

    The number 33 answer:

    Install GNOME Disks, run it. Find your partition/disc there, select ‘mount on boot’.

    So Linux is complicated as hell says the 32 first answers.
    That’s the image people see. We don’t know our audience.

  10. I think pushing Linux in day to day life will help. when you saw cool company doing cool stuff, ask for Linux, when people around you have problem, tell them about Linux. ex. today I saw NZXT is doing this https://www.letsbld.com/BLD and I asked for option to not pay for windows. probably not gonna happen, but if it did, awesome.

  11. Linux should borrow from ChromeOS. I think Ubuntu Core is going the right direction, everything transactionally update, easy rollback if something goes wrong, rock solid security, ease of use, and make it easy for techie people to assist them remotely. It should be almost impossible to break.

    Inexpensive ARM-powered laptops.

    If you want enterprise users you need something like ActiveDIrectory out of the box.

    You do that, and techie people will want to install it on the computers they manage for friends and family.

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