Why Linux Isn’t As Good As Everyone Makes It Out To Be [Opinion]

intro   Why Linux Isnt As Good As Everyone Makes It Out To Be [Opinion]Linux is a highly developed, stable and advanced operating system – this, I will never question. It comes in every conceivable flavour – from server solutions that simply work (again, this cannot be argued with) to desktop releases with more software than anyone could possibly ever need.

So what’s the problem? Why, in the year 2011 is Linux still not ready for the desktop? It works – sure, but after a long time using Linux as a primary operating system I’m just about ready to buy a Macbook Pro and dual boot Windows. Read on to find out why I’m a sad penguin.

Ubuntu

Enough, I’ve heard it all. “You might as well be using Windows XP if you’re going to use Ubuntu LOLZ!” – but this never used to be the case. I’ve toyed with Ubuntu now for years, and honestly can’t remember the first release I encountered. My decision to install Ubuntu came with version 10.04, after trying out a live USB release and finally getting fed up of Windows.

ubuntu   Why Linux Isnt As Good As Everyone Makes It Out To Be [Opinion]

I know that Ubuntu does not represent Linux as a whole, so why am I doting on it? Because it goes by the slogan “Linux for Human Beings” and is often referred to as the OS of choice for switchers. It’s never been the most attractive, streamlined or powerful of the many thousands of distributions out there, but for a bit of web, publishing and a brief foray into the world of Linux it generally worked, with great stability and few issues.

In my experience much has changed. Ubuntu 11.04 introduced a new interface – Unity – and I can’t stand it. Sure, I could turn it off but most people won’t – do you have to turn off the default Windows or OS X interface for it to become usable? The two machines running Ubuntu in my household felt noticeably slower after the update, partly due to sluggish animations which lagged on both installations.

Add to that the plethora of driver issues that appeared overnight with 11.04 – reduced wireless performance, graphical errors and the most annoying persistent sound sync problem and I’m done. Way to break a perfectly operable operating system. Which leads me on to…

The Many Distributions

I’m not arguing with the server side of things. If you want a solid, reliable server and you’re comfortable with command line access then do yourself a favour and build a Linux box. However – for the newcomer, the dabbler and the experienced-with-Windows user there’s simply too much to choose from.

linuxdistros   Why Linux Isnt As Good As Everyone Makes It Out To Be [Opinion]

Some people complained when Microsoft announced multiple versions of Vista and 7, stating it would “confuse the consumer” – but we all know that’s rubbish as the manufacturer generally sells Home Premium or Professional for a not-so-painful OEM price, and if you really need Ultimate then you can always upgrade. The many possibilities that exist for those looking to install Linux can be off-putting and confusing.

Of course once you’ve listened to 101 suggestions, ruled out the ones you don’t like and finally installed your distribution of choice you’ve then got the small issue of…

Linux Software

Free open source software isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes it’s worth paying for a quality product. Take GIMP for example, which after experiencing it, you’re either going to love or hate. If you hate GIMP, be it the workflow, interface or just general shortcomings in comparison with Photoshop then you’ve not got much in the way of alternatives.

gimp   Why Linux Isnt As Good As Everyone Makes It Out To Be [Opinion]

GIMP is about as good as it gets on Linux when it comes to imaging software, and even compared to the Windows-only solution Paint.NET it can feel outdated, messy and not particularly intuitive to the Adobe generation. There’s no Adobe line-up for Linux despite the community’s many pleas (Flash support is pretty horrendous at times too).

If you’re a musician used to Traktor, Cubase, Reason, FLStudio (I could go on) or even Garage Band then you’re out of luck there too. There are a few decent solutions, but there’s a reason most music is produced on a Mac or Windows machine.

reason   Why Linux Isnt As Good As Everyone Makes It Out To Be [Opinion]

Serious video editing is a no-go too. Despite the many capable solutions out there that are built for Linux, there’s still nothing that compares to industry standards like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premier. Of course these are expensive software suites I’m mentioning, but they’re also widely used and bought for a reason. Linux software simply can’t compare when it comes to this level of professional software, and it also can’t compare when it comes to…

Gaming

Things have got better when it comes to gaming on Linux over the last few years, but “better” should not necessarily be confused with “good”.  Valve’s distribution service Steam has had a major impact on PC gaming, playing a pivotal role in delivering everything from small indie games to full price new ones. The bad news is that it’s probably never heading to Linux (and even if it did, most games would probably not see the journey through).

steam   Why Linux Isnt As Good As Everyone Makes It Out To Be [Opinion]

There are lots of free games on Linux, but if you’re into your hardware-testing first person shooters or any of the latest releases then you’re going to need Windows. Aside from the odd free-to-play title, very little in the way of recent releases make it to Linux.

Dual-booting is always an option, but if you’re into your games in a big way you probably won’t be bothered with that.

Conclusion

Linux is not a write-off, but as a primary operating system it’s got some serious problems. Not all of these can necessarily be fixed either, though that’s not to say the humble penguin doesn’t have a place where it can be useful.

If you’re lucky enough to find a distribution you love, don’t play games and couldn’t care less about Adobe’s Creative Suite or a powerful video editor then that’s awesome. And those old PCs or netbooks without a lot of grunt might just get a new lease of life with Linux. Good luck!

What do you think about Linux? Do you agree that Linux is not good? Disagree? Have a say in the comments, below.

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140 Comments -

Kevin Coyle

A lot of games will work with the use of Wine or crossover. Same with the office suite and some of Adobe’s tools. With Linux Mint wine is installed as standard and it’s really not that hard to install in ubuntu. The average modern computer user isn’t as dumb as you think they are more than capable at adapting to the basic usage of tools such as wine or switching off unity. It’s as simple as changing wallpapers in windows.

Robin Ashe

You’re part of the problem though. The way you wrote that post is the same dismissive reaction that new Linux users asking for help face. It might be easy once you know how to do it, but first you need to ask for instructions, and what they get is remarks that they should be able to figure it out for themselves or go back to Windows if they don’t like Linux, questions about why they’d want to do something, or get sworn at and told to RTFM.

And changing wallpapers in Windows isn’t something that everyone knows how to do. A lot of people can only do what they’ve been taught to do, and they learn how to use a computer through the support of someone with experience, looking over their shoulder as they screw up and telling them how to do it right the next time. That’s something Linux doesn’t come with. Aside from some places like FreeGeek.

Lagesvantner

To a large extent, you’re right.  The Linux community will usually tell people asking how to do basic stuff to read the help, search the forums, etc.  However, Linux is primarily for people who want to learn.  The help functions and community forums are geared toward making learning as efficient and painless as possible and systems like Ubuntu or Mint could be run by the average user without opening a terminal or really needing to learn how to do anything (if you’re only using it for basic office software, internet browsing, email, basic games, etc.), but, and I apologize if this sounds condescending, if you don’t want to take the time to learn something new, then you’re better off with an operating system that spoon-feeds everything to you like Mac or Windows.

There’s a saying I’ve heard a few times among Linux users:
“Never be afraid to break something because, if you’re doing it right, you will” (paraphrased).

Robin Ashe

Right, so either you have the case where someone just wants a free and easy alternative to Windows and get turned off by the toxic community (that can’t get enough of distro wars and such), or you have someone who has an interest in learning and gets dismissed under the assumption that they haven’t read the manual, when the problem is that the solution isn’t there, or none of the solutions work (due to unique configuration or hardware issues).

I’d say it goes as far as Linux users priding themselves in figuring out something that’s too difficult for 99% of the population, and they reaffirm their position in the 1% with derogatory remarks to people who have problems.

Bret

I’ve been a Linux noob for a couple years now, never really having the time or inclination to delve too deep, which means I have a couple years worth of seeking help from more advanced users and I’ve never, ever been condescended. Ubuntu boards and especially Crunchbang and Peppermint users have been incredibly helpful and responsive. Strange.

Pat

I totally agree.  I’ve been a Linux user for a couple years and I am constantly learning new things.  I usually end up asking on the forums or using the chat option for help.  I’ve never been dismissed or condescended by the Linux community. “Distro Wars”?, yeah, right.  Windows vs. Mac wars are more fierce. Maybe he was shunned because of the tone of his posts, but for today this has served the purpose of stirring the pot and getting people to reply to this article- thus making it more popular.  Windows 7 has a place on my PC- in Virtualbox under my Linux Mint host. 

Anders

But there are two problems here.  Firstly, you can only get PC with MS Windows or OSX installed when you by it from major electronic stores.  So you, as a usual user, don’t need to install the OS in the first place.  The installation is already fixed and done.
While with Linux, you have to install it (if you not look into small stores where they sell you installed machines).
I have had people selling computers in a major electronic store yelling at me for not want MS Windows Vista…

IF you get the OS on the machine, there is much less trouble for the users with Linux (like Ubuntu).  It just works ™.
Here the problems is those who have been tough and having problem with a new environment. They would have trouble with a Mac, because it doesn’t work like a MS Windows machine.

James Bruce

Ubuntu … “just works”?

Like, it syncs with my iPhone? Like, it plays mp3s out the box? Or DVDs? And has no issues with my webcam?

Seriously?

Anonymous

I think that Unity provides easy and fast enough UI for the newbie(people that cannot change their wallpapers) – once the OS in installed – All instructions should be move the mouse to the left, the home is for your files, the orange thingy is for facebook, and the other two beneath them are for text files and tables.  :)

Reeses

Unity is user-friendly, but it’s also very counter productive.

Jack

” questions about why they’d want to do something”

Yeah, these are the most annoying aren’t they?
Along with the ones that want detailed configs and debug logs when your question was “can Gimp read TIFF files” or something.

Anders

If you ask “why doesn’t it work”, you get questions back.  If you give enough information so you can actually know what are wrong, you can solve the problem fast.
If you can’t even guess what is wrong, why spend time asking.

A question like “ca GIMP read TIFF files” is prob. a “try to do it” or “read the manual” the right answers.  If you haven’t tried to open a file, why should I take the time to answer?

No, I am not rude to those who is nice asking questions.  I might even take time asking about more information.
But if there are an arrogant dud who demand that I (we) answers his “important” question fast, I might get pissed and tell him in a short answer to get his act together if he want fast answers…
Like yours…

Stoyan Deckoff

Helps and how-tos for linux are all over the place, but:
1) Better do you homework first – search the answer before asking.
2) Ask the proper question “how to make this work” and “why this is not working” are different questions, and receive different answers.
3) Almost everything can be done – it took me two days to figure out my up arrow key is not working, just because I can easily re-map it under ubuntu. When I entered BIOS, just then I saw the key is not working there, too. Can I do it under windows with one line of code – I doubt it.

Boris

Hi, my name is boris and i was a windows user for 10 years, all i learned in that 10 years is point and click, loading images and thats it. im using linux(ubuntu) for 2 weeks now, yes it has its small problems, but it does not lag out , it works fast , it does not slow down with time , in the past 2 weeks i learned more about computers, operating systems, server then i have in my entire life. From the basic commands in the terminal, ssh, ftp, putty, wine. all of them are so simple and the tutorials are so easy and simple. yes linux drives me crazy sometimes , and that is not the fault of linux, its my fault cause i dont know something, and not knowing has nothing to do with linux. i love linix , i love learning it, it makes me happy learning commands. linux is pure potential. the more you know the better it gets, windows on the other hand is bad if you want to learn more. all i know now is that i feel sad for not using linux earlier. either go sudo or die :D

Tim Brookes

Re: Wine and Linux.

I’ve been down that road many times, and yes – you have a valid point, Wine isn’t bad at providing some support. However, once you’ve configured Wine and managed to install the game/program you’re after you then have to deal with instability and much of the time graphics or sound issues due to the fairly poor support Linux users have to deal with.

Despite Wine being great at times, it doesn’t fix the driver woes that many of us experience on a daily basis.

Sjaakiejj

“have to deal with instability and much of the time graphics or sound issues” 

Whilst true in some cases, definitely not in all cases. If you’re going to try to emulate DirectX 10, then it’s almost a guarantee you’ll get these issues. However, due to Wine emulating Windows XP with DirectX 9 primarily, quite a few games I’ve tried actually run better on Wine than they do on my Windows 7 installation.
Lord of the Rings Online for instance has very frequent crashes on my Windows 7, whilst it has yet to crash a single time on my Linux installation.

Anders

And some of the problems the Wine developers have is to find and implements the same bugs that exists in MS Windows. Not just the API.

Taylor

As a note of interest, as of today in fact, Desura released their public Linux client.  It isn’t Steam, but it is a decent alternative, although hosts more primarily indie games.

http://www.desura.com/groups/desura/news/public-release-of-the-linux-client

As for new Ubuntu versions running more sluggishly, I have actually found that mine runs faster.  A clean install, rather than an upgrade, can make a difference.  But everyone has different experiences, especially with all the variation in hardware, but it certainly isn’t an everyone-gets-slower thing.

I use Linux as my OS.  I find more people say they don’t like Linux than otherwise, though; this usually comes from someone who hasn’t tried it, or had a bad experience.  Fairly certain everyone has had a bad experience with Windows, but with it so established, most people don’t even think towards an alternative.

Tim Brookes

Thanks for the heads up about Desura, I will have to check it out. Your mentioning of a “clean install” of Ubuntu reminds me of my Windows 98/XP days when a clean install was more of a ritual than running virus scans or tidying up the registry!

I’m fairly sure a clean install on at least one of my PCs would improve the situation, however I know for a fact that the same graphics and sound drivers would be used and thus performance would be pretty terrible compared to 10.04/10.10.

My girlfriend uses Linux as her OS of choice after I started tinkering with Ubuntu a while ago. As many have pointed out for a simple web/email/DTP solution it’s great, but even she’s disillusioned and generally annoyed by the problems caused in the latest releases. Thinking of trying Mint next.

shawnlanglois

Every point is perfectly valid. Linux doesn’t have AAA games in the lineup. Many pieces of popular proprietary software don’t run on it and equivalent Linux software is likely not as polished. Having thousands of distros to choose from can be daunting for those new to Linux.

However, my one complaint regarding the article is that you don’t present an opposing view, or describe what Linux actually does well. For example you list Unity as a negative and gloss over the fact that you can very easily change the Desktop Manager. KDE, XFCE, Gnome Shell, LXDE are all a few clicks away, and easily swapped through. All provide very different user experiences that may be more to your liking. Mac and Windows users have far fewer options in this regard. If they don’t like the standard UI, they are hard pressed to change it.

And while a lot of Linux software may not have the same polish as a Mac or Windows equivalent, there are a wide array of options that are free, installed with a few clicks, and have been carefully monitored. Which of course ties into security. While it’s foolish to think that just running Linux gives you a blanket of security, it is by its very nature a more secure system that can be locked quite tight.

Also, I think that you have to take into account just what the system is being used for. For a lot of people, computer use is a very simple affair. They want to browse the web, send some emails, poke their friends on Facebook, maybe make a word document or a spreadsheet every once in a while, or Skype with a friend. All of these tasks can be done just as easily on a Linux machine as they would on a Windows or Mac computer. While gamers or multimedia artists might be better suited with another platform, Linux can satisfy a very large segment of the population.

I agree that Linux has rough patches, but then I would also say the same regarding Windows and OS X. Your points are all perfectly valid, but I think there is some missing context that could give a bigger picture to the wider situation. 

Taylor

At least in my experiences with Ubuntu, it comes pre-installed with all the goodies for the Average User (as you say, browse web, emails, poke friends, and so on).  A good web browser (either Chromium or Firefox), an instant messaging application, music software, and more.  It isn’t all that Windows proprietary business, either.  No worries about Internet Explorer, Windows Media Viewer, Windows Messenger.  

I haven’t used Mac OS X, but as far as I understand it, it is pretty similar to Ubuntu in the pre-installed, all-set-up sense.  With nice, working applications that don’t often give troubles.  I think that’s a pretty essential feature, in my mind.

Most people concerned with top of the line games wouldn’t be too troubled to change the desktop environment, as they would be fairly familiar with tweaking options, which is what changing the DE basically is.

Robin Ashe

There’s no need to provide an opposing view. There’s no shortage of articles about why Linux is great.

Dave Hilling

I agree wholeheartedly. XUbuntu helped me breathe new life into a CRT iMac which I would still be using to this day if not for losing it in a move. A lot of older machines can benefit from running Linux for Grandma who just wants Facebook and email, and maybe solitaire. Of course, being free (libre, as in free speech) gives the advantage of developers being able to improve projects to kick a decent software into the level of AWESOME, such as with Rakarrack guitar effects software. However, the fact that everything is free (gratis, as in free beer) takes away the profit motive which leads to projects being abandoned more often than not.

Tim Brookes

Hi,

Unfortunately I literally didn’t have enough words left to write an opposing view, and as a commenter below has mentioned – there are a lot of posts about switching to Linux. I myself wrote one about a year ago after becoming thoroughly fed-up with Windows 7 refusal to recognise my license. I flipped and switched to the FOSS alternative, and whilst I no longer get bugged to buy the software I’m starting to think you get what you pay for.

I have mentioned Linux’s validity as a server within the article, and in the past I’ve written articles focusing on light distros for old PCs (and I even did a “switching to Ubuntu” article many many moons ago) but I guess I felt it was time for some balance. 

I totally agree that much of the time Linux is an ideal solution for simple PC and internet tasks. It’s safe, it’s fairly bomb-proof and it doesn’t cost. For serious users with tasks they want to complete – audio production, video editing, killing bad guys in Battlefield 3 – it’s never ever going to cut the mustard (which is a shame).

Tim

Gerardo24

I believe it depends on your needs.

If you only need offimatics and web access to facebook, chats and so… Why not to go with a free easy solution?
if you are a programer, then linux and command lines is the choice.
If you are a gamer… Buy a windows super expensive box, a xbox of Ps
If you like something that simple works, have video and audio editing solutions out of the box, not care on viruses, go for a Mac

If you are a profesional in video, imaging or audio, you will have to buy a box that have the OS that best suits your prefered editing program, or the one that has the company were you work.

But for the must part of the population I believe that a Linux Box is an affordable option to be in contact with the world, and type a few letters.

Scott Barbour

General productivity – Easily done on Linux
Programming – Easily done on Linux
Servers – Done on Linux or another Unix-like OS (You just don’t do it using Windows or Mac unless you’re being subsidized by Microsoft or Apple, and even Hotmail ran on Apache rather than IIS)
Audio and video editing – Can be done on Linux if you are willing to learn.  There are even distros specifically for it (such as Ubuntu Studio or 64 Studio)
Games – Best done on Windows (since it is the primary target for most, but not all games).  It’s not because Linux can’t handle it. It’s just that every game developer has been using DirectX for a decade and a half.  A shift has begun for multi-platform compatibility (due to the power of smartphones).  Technologies such as SDL are becoming fairly commonplace.  There is now even a game delivery platform with a native Linux client (Desura)

Robin Ashe

That’s the problem, Linux isn’t always an easy solution. First of all, you need to reformat your hard drive, and if you want to do it non-destructively, research the right partitioning software. Then you install it. Then, you discover that the Linux distro everyone talks about (Ubuntu), doesn’t support MP3 files. Then you look up support information…. that’s a lot of work to get Linux just working at the same minimum base level as Windows. Easy is sticking with Windows, which came with your computer anyway, and therefore doesn’t cost anything extra.

Lagesvantner

A couple quick searches in the Software Center will let you install codecs for everything you need.  Also, Windows does cost extra, but the license is included in the price of the system — buying the exact same box without any software is noticeably cheaper than buying it with Windows.

Robin Ashe

Yes, but you don’t have to ask those questions for Windows. I was responding to the contention that Linux is good for those who want a free and easy OS. Linux is anything but easy.

Anonymous

Cant agree.
mp3 is installed with one click at install.
Ext4 format and support is done auto by the Os while installing.
Windows is not shipped with a PC half the time

Robin Ashe

The last part is only true because it’s shipped with the PC 90% of the time rather than half the time.

Sxpat

The way I got into Ubuntu is after being forced because windows vista would not install in my system after a crash. I tried multiple times but failed. Ubuntu was a breeze. I don’t get how these people face these problems.

Robin Ashe

Unique hardware configurations. Some people have the first distro they install work without a hassle. Others need to try 10 different ones before one finally works. Most people though would give up after the first one doesn’t work. You have to either be a serious geek and want to try Linux, or you need to have a situation where Windows isn’t an option and you have to keep trying until you get it to work.

That’s the big problem with all these distros. There’s a distro out there for everyone, that works just fine for them (if not for the lack of software available for Linux), but finding that perfect distro is like looking for a needle in a stack of needles.

Kobkoby11

To be honest, life someone said earlier, if you are seriously into Linux, doing these things(enabling mp3 and reformatting the hard drive) are not enough to deter you. in fact, it is now fairly easy to enable mp3 in Ubuntu. the only reason why it isn’t supported out of the box is because mp3 is a proprietary format.

Anonymous

So according to this article: 1) Ubuntu’s screw up of its GUI is reason to dump Linux; and 2) no decent video editor is reason to dump Linux, and 3) the fact that most game companies don’t port to Linux is reason to dump Linux.

This is just stupid.

Linux has superior audio editing software available. Linux has superior software development tools available. Linux has superior multimedia viewing software available. Linux has the same OpenOffice available as Windows. Linux has superior Web hosting software available. Linux has superior database software available (there’s a REASON Oracle has its own Linux distro.) Linux can do anything on the Web that Windows can do and more.

And then we have the constantly re-iterated non-issue of “too much choice”. This simply doesn’t exist. The average new user to Linux has never heard of ninety-nine percent of the specialized distros out there. They’ve heard of Red Hat Fedora, openSUSE, Ubuntu, Debian, and perhaps one or two others if they try. That’s no more choice than deciding between Windows XP, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Home Premium, or Windows 7 Ultimate. And NONE of those main Linux choices really matter – unless of course you realize how Ubuntu has screwed up its interface.

Speaking of the latter, I’ve avoided Ubuntu for years after having had a bad experience with Kubuntu stability, as well as preferring KDE to GNOME. That led me to openSUSE which has stood me in excellent stead of several years now, from 11.0 to 11.4 and soon to 12.1. So I’ve always understood that Ubuntu is a “dilettante’s” Linux, one that strived for “cutting edge” and “end user friendly” and failed to achieve either compared to other, more stable and better QA’d distros.

So just because Ubuntu’s current edition sucks and just because there’s no decent video editor (unless you look at LightWorks, which is professional grade quality just released as open source in the past year) and just because most high power games aren’t running on Linux is no reason to dismiss the OS in general.

Most full time Linux users on any major distro have no trouble doing ALL of the things that the general or office PC user needs to do. And they do it with EXTREME RELIABILITY, and considerably better security and equivalent ease of use of ANY Windows OS.

Rob

Using Ubuntu for photo editing and design I can not:
use a densitometer to generate a color profile and match my printer to my screen.
create an image using a CMYK profile for offset print
control my canon SLR camera from my PC (For studio shots)
use a programs like dream-weaver that makes web-design so much easier
For normal use (non design) I will use Ubuntu, I like Ubuntu, it is simple, stable and I have no problems with the Unity desktop, Thunderbird mail is for me an example how a mail client should work, libre Office without the “ribbon” as in MS off2007 – 2001 is a relief but unfortunately, for photo editing and printing, design and web design is Ubuntu simply not good enough.
Typed in Firefox 8 and Ubuntu 11.04

Tim Brookes

I never said that the OS should be dismissed altogether, and I’ve even made the point that Linux has its place. I also explained the Ubuntu angle in the article – Ubuntu is by far the most popular Liniux distro. The buzz surrounding its ease of use and validity as a fully working “Linux for the Desktop!” solution has never really been attached to any other distro (Debian a while ago maybe, or Mint more recently).

Therefore the devs had an opportunity – to improve, tailor and generally “soften” Linux into an OS that everyone would find useful, easy and pleasant. That hasn’t happened, in my opinion, and the direction Ubuntu is going is doing nothing for seasoned or new users.

Jeff

Yes, what operating system doesn’t have serious problems?

If you buy hardware that nobody has heard of, don’t think it will work without a hitch in Linux. Like that router you got from your Ethiopian coke contact. If your afraid of the command line, Linux will be daunting. Though, there are an overwhelming amount of distributions suited towards a beginner, such as Linux Mint. If you can’t figure out Mint, you might as well check your ass directly into a grave my friend. The internet runs on Linux, including MakeUseOf.

Why Linux Is Better
Nothing says “Give the users the power” quite like Linux does. A message from the Linux evangelic community (:

Lee

I have dual booted linux on a few computers and I definitely couldn’t use it as my primary OS. Mostly because of software incompatibility, but I haven’t found one yet that has a really nice UI (Ubuntu is OK but it still looks a little childish to me. And other distros look too cluttered or look like Windows 95).
If it weren’t for the programs that I absolutely can’t get on Linux (and I don’t want to reboot every time I want to use them, or setup a VM) I could probably switch.

However, Linux is a lifesaver when fixing a machine that wont boot. It’s really nice to just be able to pop in a LiveCD and have access to all the files on the drive and be able to troubleshoot issues. And while I’ve never tried any server versions of Linux, everything I’ve heard says it’s very good (I have hosted websites on servers running Linux, but they were always just free hosts so I didn’t set it up or anything).
After reading this post I might try a Linux server but I don’t really have much use for one.

Robin Ashe

Yeah, Live CDs are a big bonus for Linux. Knoppix is certainly pretty awesome in that department, but using it as a rescue utility is different from using it as a daily use OS.

Danny Stieben

I used to see lots of promise in Linux releases, no matter what distribution. However, recent releases and the paths that distributions are taking is pushing me back a little bit. If Macs weren’t so expensive, I’d probably order one by now.

I still run Linux on all my systems, but there isn’t as much enthusiasm as before. Maybe if it would also work on my updated hardware… -_-

Brian Neale

I don’t think anyone is suggesting that Linux is a “one-size fits all” distribution, so I don’t see much point in this article.  I don’t think Mac or Windows are suitable for everyone either, so can I look forward to follow-up articles entitled “Why Mac Isn’t as Good as Everyone Makes it Out to be (Opinion)” and then one for Windows?

Matt

Linux really doesn’t have that many shortcomings, for what its meant to be used for. If you want to game, by all means stick to Windows. No one ever said gaming was a reason to switch to Linux. In fact, out of all of the things that I’ve showed my friends about Linux was actually its free software (specifically office suite) and its beauty.

One awesome project to look out for, professional software wise, is Novacut. It looks to be a highly promising, fully equipped video editor.

Robin Ashe

What’s the odds that it will stay a Linux exclusive rather than make its way to Windows and OSX?

minehat

Mobile OS is taking over now. Linux is just for the geeky like most of us.

Jeff

And what do you think powers these mobile operating systems? Android is based on the Linux kernel. Even Mac OSX and iOS are based on the Unix kernel. Odds are very good, if it needs to run on your palm or with limited resources, it’s running Nix*.

Robin Ashe

Yes, but it’s only running the Kernel. None of the userland tools, GUI, or frameworks from Linux are in place on Android.

Jeff

Only the kernel? The kernel is the most important part of the entire operating system. It’s not just the kernel eithier, all of the API’s and Libraries written for Linux (surface manager, OpenGL, SGL, SSL, LibC, all the major drivers, memory management, multithreading, etc.). Without Linux, no Dalvik VM and without that, no apps.

Android is Linux + Core Libraries and the application framework.

Iam Akash

really it ‘s a good post
someone telling us the cons of linux, i suffered a bit due to unity  
, but hey still linux is a good option 

Eric Miller

I’m a long time Windows user/programmer. At home, I switched to Linux several years ago and settled on Ubuntu for a couple of years. A year ago I got tired of solving hardware compatibility issues twice a year and invested in a Macbook. Linux has it’s place and I’ll continue to use and support open source software, but I’m not going back to it for everyday use. Ubuntu may be Linux for human beings but I’d much rather use something that simply works. For me that’s OS X.

157audio

I’ve been using linux for about 5 years now, after a vista licensing issue on my wife’s laptop made me finally listen to my friend about ubuntu. Since then I have tried a lot of distros and while I can follow directions to use the command line, am no programmer. I use linux for everything but my music production. Right now I am typing from bodhi linux, which is pretty cool, very light and fast, but enlightenment is a little buggy. I think I am going to go back to opensuse and get over my fear of building packages. Ubuntu has been getting really heavy as of late, that I will agree with, and unity just doesn;t do it for me. I tried to like it, and see why they made it, but I find it limits quick access to the things I like to have quick access for, so it didn’t live long on my machine.

The one thing that has happened recently though in linux that is frustrating and is starting to have my eyes on a mac (but I HATE the mac OSX interface, I’ve tried to like it but just can’t) is the power issue- recent versions of the kernel are getting significantly less battery life- I am getting about 4 hours on battery on my lenovo t410, on super powersave mode, and in mint 10 I was getting 6. I understand it is better in win 7, which is also on here, but I can’t stand windows and it’s only on here for music production. THAT is the one area where I really gave linux a go but the music production stuff, with jack, ardour, etc, is a mess right now, too many people with different ideas who fight about stuff and tweak latency to ridiculously low levels (I could never achieve it anyway) but make very little actual music. So I try to forget I’m using windows when I’m using reaper (praying he makes a native linux version soon).

Anyway, not giving up just yet…

Jeff

Downgrade your kernel. Typically, your grub will store the last two kernel versions you’ve used, you can select to boot into it. If not, do a “sudo aptitude search linux-image” and find the kernel that worked well before, then install it with “sudo aptitude install [image name]”.

Open up a new question if this doesn’t help! (:

Ankur

Despite I really like Linux and fully support it, I have to say that I agree with you.

In short I would say, ” I cannot have Linux as my PRIMARY OS “.

Alan Dee

I love Linux. The problem is that OSX and Windows 7 are both really good. I credit OSX for raising the bar of operating systems. I think the drive to Unity is to adapt for a tablet PCs. But I don’t think tables will replace PCs. They are filling a need that PCs used to fill. But as a software engineer my desktop is going nowhere.
The primary reason I use Linux is for stability and security. No BSOD to worry about. If anything crashes I can restart that process WITHOUT restarting. Remember the root kit virus for windows a few months ago? If you caught it you had no choice but to re-install with a full format (losing all your data). I didn’t have a thing to worry about on my Linux boxes.
Some anoyances I do have do include the problems with flash. Worse, Moonlight, the linux equivalent to Silverlight, lacks the DRM components. This means that programs like NetFlix don’t run.
I like to think of operating systems like cars. Windows is a mass produced Ford. OSX is a high priced Mercadies, expensive but very nice. Linux you build yourself. You can get it in a kit (e.g. distributions) or you can build it to fit your needs: a stock car or F1 car for instance.

Robin Ashe

I’ve been thinking that Unity and Gnome Shell are moves towards Tablets as well, but that move needed to happen 5 years ago when Microsoft was making its Tablet PC push, not now that Android’s out. Android isn’t quite ‘Linux’, and might not be as open as some people like, but it’s pretty close, and I’m damn sure that Android will provide a better tablet experience, particularly with software support, than Linux will.

In that sense Android is a win for Linux, but only the Linux Kernel, it’s a huge loss for GNU.

Robin Ashe

The fragmentation isn’t just a problem for confusion, it’s that a lot of work is being done to do the same stuff, instead of having everyone do the same thing. Instead of the Linux community getting together and just putting something together, you’ve got Richard Stallman and the FSF feuding with the more practical aspects of the community. You’ve got KDE vs Gnome vs Xfce vs etc, etc, etc. All these people could be working together but they’re not.

It’s also a huge problem for hardware compatibility. I’ve been trying to use Linux since 1998, when I was just starting high school. I wanted to like it, it seemed perfect (and I still want to like it), but it wouldn’t run well on my hardware. Having spent over $2000 of my own money buying a PC, and finding XFree86 wouldn’t cooperate with my video card (and I spent hundreds of hours editing files to force it to work, it just wouldn’t). I had to leave Linux alone for years after that. With my next PC things got a lot better (An Acer Convertible Tablet PC, that should be a challenge). I tried a variety of distros, and they at least mostly worked, but I either had a problem with some hardware aspect not working, or some of the software was incomplete or wouldn’t work. Since I was in University, I needed my system to work, and when I couldn’t get something to work while I had a project to write, I rebooted back into Windows and I usually left it there for a while.

My next attempt has been with an LG Netbook I bought, since it doesn’t have an optical drive, installing is very difficult. Netbooks are perfect for Linux to show its stuff given the low specs and small screens, but the majority of linux users seem to expect everyone to have an optical drive and install from CD. Maybe one out of five distros I try will actually boot enough to install or try it in live mode. My brother has a Toshiba netbook, he has the same problem, but it’s different distros that work for him. I can get openSUSE to boot, but Fedora never finishes. He has the opposite problem.

That was really the final straw for me. If my brother and I could attempt the same distro, and when we encounter problems bounce ideas off each other to solve them, we’d be able to get somewhere. But we might have go go through 30 or 40 distros to find one that actually installs and that we both like enough to continue working with. Like it should be 80%-90% usable out of the box. Most aren’t.

I then tried installing Android-x86 on it. It worked without a hitch, despite noticing my netbook wasn’t an Eee PC. Froyo doesn’t have good mouse support, so it’s a pain moving around it in some aspects, particularly given that the End key acts as power off instead of as a scroll to the bottom, and it happens to be nested with the arrow keys. So there are some UI fixes that need to be made (and which I expect to be improved with Honeycomb). Android also brings in software that’s better than what’s available on Windows. Lately desktop development has been lagging with all the focus and excitement on the mobile space. On Linux the software is almost never as good as on Windows – if you’re lucky it’s good enough if you want to like Linux and put up with it, but it’s certainly not better.

With Android, even if it has some drawbacks over Windows, it has some advantages. And with a small project like Android-x86, it worked better than most Linux distros have. I’ve found my Windows alternative. Admittedly it’ll be another 1-2 year wait until it’s really viable, but that’s nothing like the 10+ years Linux has had and still not gotten it right.

indovisit

Linux is still an alternatif option, but enough for average user in general purpose. What make linux still not widely used is the availability of pirated windows. 

Dave Hilling

In order for Linux to break into the general market beyond corporations and hobbyists, there is one thing it really needs, and that’s support, including shipping with OEM bundles as well as access to customer service. You’re still pretty much on your own with Linux, being unable to pick up the phone when your system refuses to recognize your printer and get a walkthrough. If that support structure was there, I could easily see giving Grandma a Linux box. For that matter, imagine being a tech support rep trying to tell Grandma how to add the Medibuntu repositories so she can play the MP3’s she bought from Amazon. Even Android has that advantage. If your phone refuses to boot, you just call your manufacturer and they’ll hook you up with warranty service. Of course, for all the knocks against Ubuntu, I think they’re the closest to a mainstream distro that anyone will get, and their AppStore-styled software center is a great step towards being the ideal intuitive system for getting software, but it won’t really arrive until there’s real customer service in place. That’s why people still pay for Mac OS or Windows even though Linux is free.

Dave Hilling

Here’s the part of point the article is making: Try to describe that to your Grandma.

Robin Ashe

If it’s your Grandma you could actually get her using Linux. You’d buy the computer for her, set it up for her, she’d call you and you’d either use remote access to get in or help her over the phone. So for that it works, but I don’t think many people would be willing to go to those extents for anyone who isn’t family.

vzades

If you are hard core gamer or you are in printing business  Linux is not for you other wise Ubuntu is and other Linux os  are best i haven’t used mac though but i have used windows vista which is a shit os . Avoid the gate of hell 

T.A. (Tim) Walker

Ah, the “too many distributions” trope again… I wasn’t planning to “bite”, but this fallacy gets me every time.

It’s like saying “there are too many makes/models/types of car” – does anyone seriously suggest that the variety of vehicles available is a bad thing, because it “confuses the public”? For one thing, there are car “users”, and there are “enthusiasts”. If you’re handy in the garage, fancy high performance and the kind of looks that get people rubber-necking, you’re probably not going to set off to your nearest Ford dealership. (Example. Example.)

Similarly: I wanted a Linux distro for my Asus Eee 701SD netbook (a low-powered machine with specific hardware quirks), and frankly Ubuntu and its offshoots just weren’t suitable for various reasons. In the end, I went for Arch Linux, because I could hand-pick every component and fine-tune it to the Eee’s needs – it *flies* now, in a way that it never did with the Ubuntu-spinoff it used to run on.

Your Linux experience is your own, and just as valid as anyone else’s, but in my view, that “too many distros” argument is a fallacy that needs challenging wherever it is raised. (Interesting article otherwise :-) )

Robin Ashe

There are too many distributions though. Between all the distros I could make a pretty awesome OS that works on every computer I try to install it on. If everyone making their own forked distro instead worked together to make sure every computer out there is supported properly, instead of arguing about UI tweaks, and whether Gnome or KDE is better, Linux would have much more progress.

Firefox is successful because everyone is cooperating to make a browser that competes with IE. There are the odd forks or optimised builds, but every time FF moves forward, most of these forks move forward as well, re-implementing the tweaks or optimisations each time.

OpenOffice/LibreOffice is the same, it forked when Oracle went crazy, but the Go-oo guys decided to merge with LibreOffice as they realised that they could do a better job working together rather than separately. IBM Lotus Symphony is a fork again, but that was made internally for their own purposes, and released for anyone else to use as well. It’s a fork with a logical purpose.

We’ve got two great examples of open source software working well and progressing quickly because of everyone working together. We don’t have hundreds of different browsers running on the Gecko engine, some using GTK+, others using Qt, a few more compiled in native code for various operating systems, etc. There’s FireFox, and then a few optimised builds, Waterfox for 64-bit windows, Camino to have a UI that integrates better with OSX, IceWeasel to be GPL compliant, but nothing much else.

Linux needs much, much, much more cooperatin. Instead of having Ubuntu go one direction with Unity, trying to create a touch friendly UI, and Gnome go another direction with Shell, also making a touch friendly UI, and Mint messing with Gnome 3 to make it look quite different, and everyone else swearing off it to use LXDE instead, while KDE works on their own touch friendly Plasma interface…. they could all work together. They could have different distros with a real purpose, instead of fragmenting both end users and the code contributors.

Bob Henson

Your article is exactly correct. I use Ubuntu and Debian on my old laptop that was useless under Windows XP and is fine under Linux for communications purposes alone –  e-mail and browsing. Leaving aside the problems finding drivers for some hardware, and installing them without considerable study into how Linux works, it does not do games (even Windows games with Wine – which, if you can get it for your distro, is flaky in the extreme), video editing, music and getting help from experienced users is hard, hard work – they don’t want anyone entering their own little nerdy world.

You are also spot on with your assessment of Linux as it develops. From Linux Mint 8 (my laptop rescuer) to 11, it has got more bloated, and slower and slower, depite my adding extra memory. I’m starting to see why the Linux nerds want it kept the way it was. The flashy new interfaces and higher and higher hardware requirements are turning it into Windows L (they could call it). For the moment I’m staving off the worst by sticking with Mint Debian – but Gnome 3 already inveigled its way into into that one, and the writing is on the wall. 

Robin Ashe

I’m finding a major problem with Linux on old computers these days. Not enough RAM. Linux distros are becoming more RAM hungry, and the core thing most people do – browsing – now demands more RAM than anything except possibly a high end game. If you’ve got a system with 256MB RAM, you can either expect it to run very slowly while browsing the web, or you can just stick to a few websites. Either way, you’re better off using the old machine to play Quake 3, or something like that.

hartford3

Need help, like polite, concerned people from all over the world. Help with all Linux distros and Windows too? All in one attractive, easy to navigate web site. Aaaand, more than a few remixes/forks that just work. Then, check out http://www.ultimateeditionoz/forums.  You are never gonna get dissed there.  No spam, cussing, picking  BS allowed.

Jazzencat

Yes, audio editing can be done on linux, I use Ardour on my mac (I can’t afford Logic and ProTools is sketchy) as well as Audacity on my Windows and Mac OS X installs, but the plugins and effects for Ardour and Audacity on Linux simply are not in the same league as those used in Mac (Logic and Audio Units are some of the top tier ones) and Linux has nothing that compares to Native Instruments’ Softsynths or even the older Tascam Giga Studio.  The effects on Audacity and Ardour sound like the effects of a cheap hobbyist Mackie 8-channel mixer.

ProTools is great–if you can get it to work, but I’ve had nothing but grief with it.  For a hobbyist or someone just doing something for their friends or YouTube videos, generally the Linux tools are adequate for the task.  They can be a bit clunky though, but I really can’t use them for any project where I need the sound quality to be up to sellable standards.  Ardour and Audacity also have some interface issues, which left me using Digital Performer and Cubase instead.  The are generally pants, to say the least.

I’d hardly call Linux Audio tools “superior”. About the only software that actually holds it’s own in terms of interface and quality for recording alone is Ardour, but I still have the problem of decent Linux plugins. I’m using Ardour on Mac OSX so I can take advantage of the Audio Units plugins to get decent effects. I haven’t seen a single softsynth for linux that even comes close to Gigastudio, let alone Native Instruments. Ardour is very good at what it does (Hard Drive recording), and it manages this by specializing and not shipping with any audio plugins. Problem is the plugins. I still have to transfer the waves from Ardour to Digital Performer, Wavelab or Cubase on a Windows machine to take advantage of the Native Instruments or to Mac to make use of Audio Units. Either way linux is of limited use to me.

guest

“Serious video editing is a no-go too. Despite the many capable solutions
out there that are built for Linux, there’s still nothing that compares
to industry standards like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premier…”

An interesting (if inaccurate) assumption, since Linux is apparently both the desktop and server/render farm OS of choice at many of the major studios…

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Hollywood-Loves-Linux-45571.shtml

“The movie Scooby Doo, for example, was created at
the Rhythm and Hues studio and the whole movie was rendered and touched
up with the help of custom made software which ran on Linux systems.
Other blockbuster movies like The Matrix, Titanic, Gladiator, Superman
Returns, What Dreams May Come, Cats and Dogs, Shrek, The Perfect Storm,
Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Antz, Chicken Run, Deep
Blue Sea, Star Trek: Insurrection, Fantasia 2000, Men in Black, Hollow
Man and many many more, were created with Linux software such as RAYZ,
Maya or Shake.”

James Bruce

You’re confusing video editing with 3D rendering. The two are very different concepts. 

Count Stex

It’s been a while since I had a version of Linux installed. When I did is was Ubuntu. My idea was simple, Windows becomes bogged down when you use it for general stuff all the time, installing uninstalling it all goes to clog things up. as a gamer this is a problem as that will directly impact my game experience.
Thus my idea was simple, run Linux for day to day Web and application use, and have a super lean and clean windows install for gaming on. And it worked, but flip flopping between boots became a pain, it took too long. Admittedly this was back before i had an SSD for my main drive, and maybe it would be worth trying again now, however in the meantime Windows 7 has arrived and Windows no longer seems to suffer from the inevitable slowdown of the past so the need to use anything else, given you need Windows if you are a serious PC gamer, has all but gone.

Robin Ashe

Installing and uninstalling is also a pain on linux though. Most distros now just install everything by default. I remember 10 years ago you selected the packages you wanted installed, and nothing more. So when you go into a package manager to clean the menus up, you spend hours removing stuff, and being unsure how important the dependencies that get taken out as well are.

I agree though that Windows 7 has changed a lot, now with Windows 7 I only have the motivation to try Linux because it’s a geeky thing to do, not because I actually expect it to replace Windows. Back when Vista had just come out though, and the features weren’t working well with a system intended for XP, I did enjoy that KDE had all the same graphical effects of Vista Aero while being much leaner.

Bben46

I have tried using various linux distros from time to time. I keep hearing how wonderful it is and how easy to use it is and how it is so much better. Maybe for geeks, but my own experience is after a few days I run into some must have program or driver that is just not available or is not working properly – and go back to Windows. 

I tried to set up several of the small linux distros – puppy, etc on a netbook for my 85 year old mother who is baffled by windows – she gave it back to me after fighting with it for a week. All she wants to do is email her older sister – I set the sister up with a windows system several years ago and she has been able to use it for several things. email, pandora, facebook.

In my opinion, for non geeks, linux is just not ready for prime time yet. I still have hopes for it though.

Robin Ashe

Definitely, Linux had its chance to break out into the mainstream with Netbooks, but that just didn’t happen. People bought them because they were cheap, and if Linux were good they would have kept using them. They didn’t.

Andrade Mike

*Yawn*  Should’ve titled this article, “How to be a troll and get lots of responses.”

Anonymous

Greatest weaknesses for Ubuntu are:
Still not looking good enough. Some random bugs. Linux as a whole: the easy support for iThings (sync ipod and such, I have not found player that support full synchro like Itunes, half of the time I have trouble the player recognizing the ipod, etc) Some easy solutions for consumers are provided fir Win or Mac only. I have two HTC phones, HTC comes with software for Win only( not that I use it, but…)
As for the GIMP vs Photoshop, if one really needs CYMK support for print, well, as some said it before me( all post is great, btw) you go with the O that goes best with your software.

Oilets

I totally agree. 5stars. Linux devs need to be carefull not to end up being mistaken/confused and put in the same bag as winOsx.

Dave Holden

It’s horses for courses – as a server it’s second to none. I thank my lucky stars every day I don’t have to run Window server. As a desktop, well our business runs on it. That said I agree with some of your criticism of the home user experience. But then I don’t think it has anything to do with it being “Linux” it just the network effect of Microsoft being dominant. After all Android is fundamentally just “Linux” and plenty of “home” users get on fine with that.

BSK_1

Did you forget that GIMP and other editing software is free,open source?Did you maybe spent some time to check out how much money is spent on development of Adobe Premier or FinalCut Pro?Next time time do so before you spit on Linux and open source projects and if you don’t like it,go ahead and give to Microsoft (or Apple) money for something that is not near so good as Linux is,if you consider that most of Linux distributions come from the comunity and are developed without multimillion support like Windows and OS X…

Rob

The question is not Free or not, the question is can I use it to do my job.
the Gimp: no, bluefish: no or may be, creating color profiles: nearly impossible, remote control of camera: no.
I and with me many others are prepared to pay for good software, I would love to see Adobe on Ubuntu, I am sure it would be more stable, it would be great if  could use the Colormunki in Ubuntu but no, unfortunately that is not the case.

Robin Ashe

The money spent on Premier by people who buy it is worth it, because they end up making money off the content they make with it.

James Bruce

So the argument is going to be “you get what you pay for” then? I dont really think simply being free should be an excuse for something being low quality. There’s tons of open source solutions that are absolutely incredible, and BETTER than the competition. WordPress would be a great example. 

IMHO

Well, it looks you are getting the best of Windows and Mac systems to beat down Linux. 2 against 1 ain’t fair!
Anyway.
If you don’t like Unity doesn’t mean it is not usable. Many people didn’t like the change, it’s ok. Let ask you something how many people liked the change from Windows XP to Vista?
Again if you don’t like Unity, install Kubuntu or Xubuntu if Ubuntu is what you want.

Then you said: do you have to turn off the default Windows or OS X interface for it to become usable?
Can you? even if you want? Many XP users would have done it when migrating to Vista.
Have you ever tried to change the desktop wallpaper in a Windows 7 starter edition? 
http://www.techspot.com/guides/264-change-wallpaper-on-windows-7-starter/

GIMP is not enough?? Wait! Oh now we are talking about proffesionals and not users? Ok, you may be right, for video/photograph professional work you may need something “better”, but no a Windows machine, this is a Mac terriory. As an user, GIMP give me way more than I need and the same thing for video edition, I currently use OpenShot and Blender and again more than enough for me.
By the way it looks like companies like Pixar uses Linux for rendering their animations, seems like Macs are not good when it comes to build a cluster… 
http://blogs.computerworld.com/pixars_rendering_software_big_on_linux_servers_not_mac
oh, ok, this is not for users… oh wait, we were talking about professionals weren’t we? I am confused now.

Gaming, yes you are right, the last games in the market are not available for Linux, so you need a Windows system. Oh, by the way you forgot to add in this comparisson Mac OS.

What about servers? Don’t like to make any comparisson in this field? Oh, I see this from the users perspective.
What about development? These people are just weird.

I totally agree Linux is not pefect by any mean, but is not as bad this article makes it look like. As I said you are using the best of Windows and Macs to beat Linux and also you are mixing users and professionals whenever is convenient to make it look bad.

minnesota linux

> If you’re lucky enough to find a distribution you love, don’t play games
>  and couldn’t care less about Adobe’s Creative Suite or a powerful video
> editor then that’s awesome.

So, basically, Linux is great for 90% of people.  Plus, KDEnlive is a pretty damned good video editor but it does have room to grow, no question.

Robin Ashe

Nope, much, much less. Many people play games. On mobiles, games are the most popular app category, and people spend as much time playing games as browsing the web. Since most people have web based email, “browsing the web & email” is just “browsing the web”, but the two top things people want to do with their computing devices is browse the net, and play games.

And the thing with half the app usage total being games, that’s something around 90% of people playing games. Everyone plays games, but the thing with casual gamers is there are games they like, and games they don’t like. They don’t seek out a game because it’s a game, they like it because they were incidentally exposed to it and want to keep playing. Linux doesn’t have the volume of games to attract people like that.

Tim Brookes

Kdenlive is a messy and broken video editor with way too many issues and regular crashes. However, it has given me the best results out of all the Linux-compatible non-linear editors out there.

Poena

I have tried for 2 years to like Linux and installed a few distro’s – each one came with it’s own problems.

I wasn’t prepared to spend time and energy to figure out “how to” when I hit a snag.

Was never converted and always went back to Windows.

In my opinion Linux lost momentum when Win 7 replaced Vista, and a super slick Win 8 is going to do more damage.

Robin Ashe

Yes, Linux had a chance to gain momentum when Vista hit, but people were happy to just stick with Windows XP. Keep using what you’re used to, or learn a new system? If people weren’t willing to learn how to handle UAC, are they going to want to learn more of the quirks that Linux has?

James Bruce

Can I pop in for a moment here and say “mac osx”. 

Windows 8 is going to be as big a joke as windows ME was. It will be forgotten and written off, and it’ll be back to the desktop for windows 8.5

Ibrahim Ali

Now guys! No need for all the heated exchanges. I am all for Linux (and open source software) and REALLY wanted it to work. But emotions aside let’s be brutally honest. Linux doesn’t just have proprietary driver issues. The fact is even those supposedly native Linux applications sometimes balk and totally refuse to run – polish or no polish.

Why would the Nautilus file manager crash on me? Why would the Kdenlive video editor freeze up and crash? If you are thinking of using all the media (videos, photos and music) on Ubuntu, forget it. Even vlc gets quirky. Why do after all the sweat and hard work setting up my wireless network would Ubuntu/Mint continue to plague me with issues/drops on both my desktop and laptop — this is year 2011.

The fact is even those open source programs (we love) do run much more solidly/smoothly on Windows than on Linux – a case in point: Firefox and vlc player.  

If I am gonna edit videos/photos/music, I am not gonna f* around on Linux – because I know with Windows/Mac, I will be, as it were, going up the floors on an elevator pressing buttons while on Linux I will be using the stairs and would come with a half-baked work. 

Add to these all the program installation nightmare (ironically this could have been the best part as the idea of a repository or Software Center is a great one and under-utilized but you still have to hunt and compile from source for newer programs and deal with dependencies) — why do we expect any average user to even consider it? What makes things even WORSE is that the Linux hardcore guys quickly tell you in a haste to use Ubuntu or Linux Mint as they are simpler for a BEGINNER (they imply by this that you should MOVE on – it makes you wonder why). 

But to your surprise you find that they (Ubuntu/Mint/PCLinux) are not simple at all. So you wonder – if this is their idea of “being simple” then to have their level of proficiency (and MOVE on to other distros as they expect you to) you will need a PHD grade knowledge. — Linux users STOP saying use Ubuntu/Mint as a beginner (and thereby implying more learning and headaches to come with “Gentoo”) — that’s a big turnoff – why can’t people just stick with what they have? This kind of statement also betrays/hints the idea that Linux is a toying program (to jump os’s) rather than a serious permanent working os.

This is all — I wrote all this on Ubuntu 11.04 using the Opera browser.  

 

Robin Ashe

Yeah, the constant distro hopping is definitely an odd one too. It means almost nobody is satisfied with their distro. Even if they stick with one for a couple years, they end up being dissatisfied, and instead of looking at the next version of the same distro, they choose a different one. If that’s what the majority of users do….

Tim Brookes

Everything you said makes so much sense.

Loonycyborg

Pretty much all those points: Ubuntu Unity, lack of native support for AAA games and some professional software and others have been already done to death. Why do you think that there are only good opinions on Linux? That’s definitely not true, yet the article seems to suggest so in its very title!

Tim Brookes

It was a provocative title and as another commenter has pointed out – there really are no shortage of articles that praise Linux!

Ibrahim Ali

Still I haven’t given up on Linux and there actually things I like about it. These are some of them: 1) a great number of distro choices (albeit sometimes confusing as pointed out) 2) the open source nature 3) it’s totally free 4) makes you independent 5) Customizability 6) can be tested on live cd’s (unlike Windows) 7) if developed fully the installation through Software Centre (or even Synaptic) is a great idea – allows for multiple installation of programs from an organized clean repository and 8) great community support

hartford3

Goodness, did we ever start something.  As usual.  All those distros are a collection of different systems for different niches.  There’s a lot more software out there besides listed in that ‘center’.  For example we needed complete audio suite for our band.  $$$$$!  So we looked through the distro’s for a ‘studio’ oriented sw list.  Lo and behold we found several pro software that works through all our equipment.  There’s a lot of distros made by professionals such as law enforcement, music, video, science, that HAS software that works.  Do some work.  Look around and glean the software you need and put it in your Mint or Butu or Opensuse, whatever.  There’s Phd’s out there that only use Linux because it has what they want and just works.  Just because you tried once and screwed everything up. don’t give up and bad mouth something you haven’t really worked with.  Windows was made for people who know nothing about computing and can go to town.  Personally, every system I’ve installed (I test ‘em all.) works as planned after drivers and updates.  99% have no problems at all.  Most all of the equipment problems have been fixed by people who work for free programming and coding for the cause.  Really you either are or you aren’t.  Work on that Linux. Learn a little about computers, and your a secure and happy little camper.  PS, we run a fork of 10.04-3 for the whole family, highschoolers and all.  And our Angry Birds works better on WINE than Win7.  So argue on.  

James Bruce

Interesting point. The very fact that linux is so customizable makes it fantastic for embedded and single-purpose niche systems. Absolutely. And for free, too. 

However, let’s not pretend that makes for a good mainstream and general computing experience, because it doesn’t. Not everyone has the skills needed to configure, fix problems, download drivers and hack their own kernel. 

I think your family are going to be a lot of very technically capable people though, which is awesome ;)

Tom

One point I almost never see mentioned: the reason that Windows and Apple machines “just work” is because during their production someone actually installs and CONFIGURES the OS to work with whatever hardware is in the system. It doesn’t “just work” right “out of the box” any more than Linux does, but my partner’s Ubuntu-powered desktop “just worked” after I installed the OS and CONFIGURED it to work with the hardware, just as I would have to do if I were installing Windows from scratch.

Robin Ashe

Netbooks came with Linux configured out of the box. They didn’t ‘just work’ to people’s satisfaction then. I think it’s a bit of a bogus argument. Hell, my Netbook had splashtop, so I booted into Linux first, turned on Pidgin, logged in, and a couple hours later my email account was sending out spam. Only time it has ever happened – after using Pidgin on Linux. Obviously I’ve never tested it out again to see where the problem was, but that’s just about the opposite of ‘just works’

James Bruce

Uh, the last time I reinstalled windows from scratch it required no configuration at all, so I’m not sure where you got that idea from (perhaps 1999?). Mac neither. 

Lisa

After reading this post, I’ve come to the conclusion that I must be doing something wrong, as I’m happily using Ubuntu 11.10 as my only OS.

James Bruce

You’re not doing anything wrong, Lisa. If Ubuntu works for you, that’s awesome. We will continue to provide linux focussed article and guides. 

Tim Brookes

Not at all, if your demands are satisfied by your OS then that’s great.

anonymous

Linux came late to the game: started up in the 90s/00s, whereas Windows and Mac got started in the 70s/80s. As a result, production software was written for the OS’s with the head start. Only makes sense. So, now, Linux isn’t popular because it doesn’t have the software, and it doesn’t have the software because it isn’t popular. Tough to break out of that cycle.

As I see it, this could change overnight. Imagine what would happen if someone created a particularly nasty form of malware that could, essentially, disable Windows everywhere. For more information about the downside of monocultures, look up the Irish Potato Famine.

Robin Ashe

It wouldn’t happen. Since Windows XP SP2 and Vista Microsoft has done comprehensive tightening of security, and now that the anti-trust oversight is gone, they can make sure every version of Windows ships with suitable AV software. With Windows 8 they’ll control a large portion of where people get their software, meaning much less chance for malware to distribute (likely you’ll need to do something like Chevron to sideload Metro applications). It just wouldn’t happen.

OSX is more likely to happen because Apple cares much less about security, but if OSX gets taken down, most people would go to Windows, not Linux. Also, with Lion, the Mac App store and mandatory sandboxing starting in March(?), OSX is going to have similar security out of the box to what Windows 8 will bring.

Also, the current major malware threat is phishing, which is done over the web, and is platform agnostic. Linux isn’t any more secure than Windows or OSX for that, and in fact Windows has the lead because while Firefox was focusing on web standards, Microsoft was focusing on building a database and security net to deal with phishing sites. Not to mention, a lot of the AV software you can buy these days comes with extra identity protection software. Windows only of course.

Expecting Windows to be taken out is a pipe dream. Linux if it wants to be successful has to get good. It has to follow the lead of successful opensource programs like LibreOffice and Firefox, instead of the current model it uses.

Rdavies

 The best propaganda is to tell half truths, in the case of this article it is to leave out important pieces of information.

It is an unfair playing field when Linux has to compete compared to M$, Adobe etc on their playing field and not on its own merits.  If we were raised in an educational system that taught word processing and photo editing instead of teaching M$ Office and Adobe Photoshop it would be a different story.  We tend to stick to what we are familiar with rather than to switch to something that is foreign to us.

It angers me that I still have to use Windows on occasion not because I want to but because of compatibility or convenience issues that M$ forces upon us.

Too much choice amongst Linux distros?  Gimme a break!

GIMP will have the final release of version 2.8 in the new year with the long awaited single window interface.  Actually it is available now (nearly complete) in version 2.73.

Audio solutions?  How about Audacity and Ardour for starters.

Video editing?  Long time app and Academy Award winning video editing software Lightworks will be releasing Linux/Mac versions (likely this month)

I have to laugh at how it always seems to be the same issues that plague these anti Linux articles.  Is the gaming and video editing community so much larger than the general computing community (web, email, document authoring)

If we want to have a fair comparison why no mention of the same stereotypical issues facing Windows (rampant viruses, spyware, malware)

If I had to teach an easier to use operating system to a new computer user it wouldn’t be Windows and as someone has already posted if you don’t like something about Linux there are lots of choices and solutions.

James Bruce

If I had to teach operating systems to a new user, it sure as hell would never be linux. Try Mac.

As for levelling the playing field? That’s laughable, sorry. You don’t cripple the winners just so they can play fair with the losers! How about getting them to the point where you don’t need to introduce articificial penalties in order to properly compete. 

moonpappy

My grandchildren had no problem learning to use Linux and as it stands at present, prefer it over Windows. Their PC’s have Debian and Slackware. The oldest is comfortable installing the OS and installing packages. Children are wonderful as they have no preconceived notions as to how things are “supposed to be”. New users are not a problem to teach Linux, established users are.

Brian Neale

Yes, teach them about the spinning beach ball, teach them about the closed down nature of Mac, teach them about the big, fat, slow, resource hog that is Itunes, teach them about a completely user-unfriendly OS.  Teach them Mac.

Jazzencat

I use GIMP, but my current problem is that GIMP doesn’t play with Nikon .NEF raw images.  I have to shoot in RAW+jpeg mode and use the jpegs on GIMP.  Photoshop handles the NEF images, so for anything where I want to be starting with the RAW images GIMP is more or less a non-starter.  I have a Nikon because they are a very well-known brand, their customer support is better than Canon (faster too), Pentax wasn’t available where I was and Sony is a pain in the rear.  Canon cameras didn’t feel comfortable in my hands and the Nikon D3000 probably the best entry-level I could get my hands on.  So unless Nikon corp is being a real jerk and refusing to give their .NEF specs to GIMP at all, GIMP doesn’t really have an excuse to not support .NEF images (hell, I’d pay them for a GIMP version with .NEF support), I have to do that if I want Elements and GIMP can do a few things Elements can’t so I’d have no issues paying them what I’d pay Adobe for Elements.

F/OSS programs can’t constantly play the “free of cost” card either, since there is nothing in the GPL that forbids charging for the software.  You just can’t prevent a paying user from modoifying and redistributing the software and you have to provide access to the source-code.

Ardour is a program I’d pay for as well (and will next time I download), but Ardour is also deliberately designed to be a specialized recording software, that’s all the dev has programmed it to do (single guy is the lead on this, and despite the value of the software, very few people using it step up and donate even $40 for the program, and it’s worth that much.)  Where I can’t make use of Ardour or Audacity is when I need effects plug-ins.  Ardour has a Mac version that supports Audio Units and lets you save presets when you make a donation before downloading.  Audacity has them, but they are not up to snuff for anything other than a hobbyist project for YouTube and the like.  The plugins and reverb on Audacity sound like they were ripped from a base-level Mackie sound-board.  It’s fine if I just need to splice and tweak wave files, and that’s what I use it for.  Anything on mastering and post-production, I need to go with something like Steinberg’s Wavelab.  Linux suffers in the audio plugin area as well as in softsynths and samples.  There’s nothing in Linux even close to Native Instruments’ samples or even the older Tascam Gigastudio.

Too many distros is a major issue, and to the previous poster who likened it to saying there are too many models of cars, this is a false analogy (that is the fallacy, by the way).  The car analogy would fit if it was something like you bought a Ford Explorer only to find out that some of the gears won’t work or the car won’t even start because you live in an apartment building with a parking garage instead of a duplex and park on the street.  So now you have to go see what car make works (not GMC, the reverse doesn’t work; not Audi, the driver-side door won’t lock; not BMW your seatbelts don’t click and so forth)  THAT is the issue with all the distros in Linux.  Fedora vs Debian: Fedora has a different partitioning scheme (LVM) than Debian, and that can cause major issues trying to upgrade or clone a drive etc.

At least the various BSD’s have clear reasons for the forking: OpenBSD is focusing on open code and secure-by-default for server applications.  NetBSD: portability and scalability, FreeBSD: optimised for x86 architecture.  DragonFly BSD: adapted the kernel to function with an FS that is ideal for large-scale systems and has advantages in journaling and recovery from crashes, so again server and other applications where dataloss is extremely detrimental.

Too often though the different linux distros are more or less the same with a few minor tweaks to interface or something (Mint is to Ubuntu what PC-BSD is to FreeBSD), and they have to go start blasted flamewars over which is better.

re: Lightworks, I’ll keep my eyes open.  I have Blender, Vectorian Giotto, Synfig (both Flash animator programs), Scribus (ghostscript is a pain to deal with), LibreOffice, GIMP.  I haven’t found any program to really replace Windows Moviemaker (Jahshaka is dead, Avidemux is a pain to figure out and their documentation sucks)

moonpappy

Linux is for people who love to learn, who can learn and want more out of their systems than someone else’s idea of what your computing experience should be. For everyone else – there’s Windows. Thus the 1% share Linux enjoys. Most people don’t want to – or can’t learn something outside of how they are trained to think. An open mind is a rare thing but does bring fresh ideas. A closed mind will stay with what’s comfortable and commonplace.

James Bruce

LOL

Perhaps some of us enjoy learning other things than basic operating systems. Perhaps we like to divert our time to some other enjoyable pursuit. 

What you meant to say was “linux is for people who think the computer is the end in itself, worthy or reverance and demanding of your time to master it”. For the rest of us, the computer is a tool to facilitate other areas of life, and not the ultimate goal in and of itself. 

Jeff

Couldn’t have said it better.

moonpappy

No, what I meant was Linux is for people who love to learn, who can learn and want more out
of their systems than someone else’s idea of what your computing
experience should be. I don’t think the computer is the end in itself as I use my systems for different tasks – each  configured the way I want them. I stand by my original statement.

Brian Neale

That’s hilarious!  Thanks for entertaining me on a wet Monday morning!

Stephen Green

I’m in agreement here with the author. Having used Linux in many forms, it’s obvious that the continuing unsolved issues that he talks about here, added to the ‘new’
direction some of the major players have embarked on, Unity and the ‘new Gnome’ come to mind, along with hardware and application quality are huge! Free is fine, sometimes. But not always. The mention of Gimp is a very valid point. Linux will survive alright, but don’t expect it to ever compete with Windows or Mac anytime soon. The days of Linux
attracting newer users who are not angry with Microsoft or Apple are done..

hartford3

I got a couple of my 2cents on here but has anyone mentioned the new Commodore retro cool, desktop.  They have chosen to use Mint 10 as their OS.  You really should check it out and slap it on Virtual of choice.  The home page has all you need.  They say you can load windows if you want to. “But why would you want to?”  I quoted.  They have 3 or so versions of the fully equipped buggers, Commodore, guess they know what their doing.  Eh?  I like mint, “Not Just For Beginners”.  

Anonymous

You talk about 11.04 but 11.10 has been out for a month which fixed a lot of issues.

I recommend everyone that doesn’t need the latest and greatest to stay with LTS releases.

Ubuntu works for me, it does what I need it to do. Like everything, it can’t fulfill everyone’s needs. 

Windows has a ton of apps, games etc. But I don’t need that. I need a fast, secure and frequently released operating system. Ubuntu is just that.

Bogdan

So you’re first asking “is Linux ready for DESKTOP?” then you talk about music production, graphics and video editing? Wow…
I’m a music producer and I’m using Windows for this. But for DESKTOP there is absolutely no reason to use it. It’s like an old lady with a makeup, it’s slow, bloated, unstable and I could go on forever. And OSX is simply annoying trying to be so noob-friendly.
Linux is not for lazy people.

Michael Hoffman

A lot of it comes down to “What do I want to do with this?”

I think a lot of people who do scientific computation and general programming, especially those who aren’t willing to deal with a very large IDE and those whose problems are not really solvable in Matlab or Mathematica (though both have linux versions), will swear by Linux.

Also, maybe “primary OS” is not really a useful term in some cases. I don’t really have a primary OS. I use Win 7 and Mint and I use them for different things.

But maybe that’s just me, idk.

Rory J S Patton

When I discovered the recovery disc I used to rescue my old desktop was Linux based I installed Ubuntu as a dual boot out of curiosity, when the next version of Ubuntu was released I dropped Windows altogether. I swapped from XP on my laptop because it would not boot up, I’m now running Ubuntu Netbook – much faster than my wife’s new Windows 7 desktop. The only thing holding back Linux is PCs being supplied with Windows pre installed, were purchasers offered OS free PCs with the price of Windows deducted software developers would soon find an incentive to port existing software to and develop for Linux!

Xpwiz

You have remember, even Windows screws things up. Remember Vista?
Honestly, I’d be surprised if you could go back to using Mac or Windows after Linux… I had to use win7 earlier today, of which the whole time I couldn’t wait to get back to my Ubuntu setup!Also as others have pointed out, your points are valid, but all of your negatives points would only apply to someone who’s pretty well versed in computers. So they would have no problem running a VM, or dual booting.In regards to Unity, I dislike it. But it’s also more appealing to new users. It looks easy and funky, which in the long run should help Ubuntu take a larger market share of ‘standard’ users.

Cavil

OK so basically this article can be summed up as:
1) Unity sucks
and 
2) Windows Software doesn’t work on Linux.

I agree that Unity sucks, but it’s pretty easy to swtich to KDE, XFCE, or another distro like Mint.

As for the lack of autocad/flash/AAA video games on linux, This is due to the overwhelming monopoly windows has on the market. programs and games will be ported to linux in time once it becomes more well known.

D. Torvalds

Linux is completely customizable. If you say you can do more on Windows, you are a liar. Windows is only big because it comes preinstalled, and people love the way Mac looks. If they used Linux enough to learn something, they would see how much better it is. You can’t hack on windows like you can on Linux. And Ubuntu BLOWS. Unity desktop is a POS. Try something that uses KDE. And if you’re upset with the GIMP’s layout, try GIMPshop. It’s GIMP made to look like Photoshop. Linux is much more secure and the community is the tops. Unlike windows. You don’t like something in windows? Oh well. Not their problem. I don’t think you’re even qualified to write this if all you’ve used is Ubuntu. Try something else– and I mean really TRY it– and then write another article. You know why no one has to turn off the Windows or Mac UI for it to be usable? THEY HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO DEAL WITH IT. You’re not used to the choices Linux gives. If you’re too lazy to replace the DE, get another distro. I am saddened to see such a biased article on one of my favorite sites. Try again. Try a different distro. Replace the DE. But for God’s sake, don’t write such a biased article again.

James Bruce

Steady on old chap. Any relation to Linus, Mr Torvalds?

I’m saddened to see that some people still think an operating system should be something requiring a college degree. If I have to spend a year adjusting to something, experimenting with different distros and UIs, until I find something even vaguely useable.. it’s a failure, sorry. 

You seem to also have silly preconceived ideas about why peopole choose OSX. It certainly isn’t just because it’s pretty. In fact, I’ve seen hundreds of awesome linux screenshots of incredible desktops, and then I realise they’re all custom programmed and took hours to get set up, and when I try to do the same, it’s fails miserably. … People choose OSX because it functions as intuitively as possible, hiding a lot of the technical details and simplifying the interface to what is needed to ge the task done. It’s called being productive. While you’re sitting there kitting out your KDE desktop, OSX users have already done the days email, made a nice photo album, edited that video into something awesome to show the family at christmas, made some cool cards, and been wowwed at every step of the way. That’s what a computer should be. 

Anyway, I may heed your suggestion when I have some time. I’ll download some KDE based, try to do all my daily work on it for a week, and give an honest-to-god report. I’ll try not to biassed, but that works both ways. If I need to keep checking stuff online just to figure out something that should be simple, then I’m not going to sugarcoat anything. Although I’m pretty sure you’ll just say that a week isn’t long enough, and that I would need more time to adjust. I have better things to do though. Like editing that movie on my Mac. 

Rory J S Patton

I have now installed several versions of Ubuntu and they’ve all worked without any tweaking apart from downloading drivers for VLC. I just turn on my laptop and do whatever I need. I am sure Macs are great, they are also expensive and unnecessary for anyone who is not a professional requiring their graphics capabilities, for the rest of us any box running Linux will handle our word and image processing needs. I still wish I could have afforded an Amiga 800 back in the day, if it was good enough for B5 it would have still been meeting my needs now – it’s tough not having lots of cash, thank goodness for Linux, its free!

Sam Brockman

I started out with Red Hat Linux back in ’99 when my dad gave me a computer as a present for my 9th birthday. I then switched to Fedora and in 2009 I tried Ubuntu for the first time. For the longest time I dual booted both Fedora and Ubuntu, but  by mid 2010 I saw myself only using Ubuntu. I like Unity and I think that Ubuntu is a lot easier to use than any other OS out there. This is just my opinion of course, but coming from a lifelong user of GNU/Linux I prefer Ubuntu. Sure I’ve tried hundreds of other distros, but Fedora or Ubuntu are the only two Distros that I have seen acceptable enough to run on my personal computer for more than a day. People are entitled to their own opinions, if the author wants to pay out the nose for shot software then let him spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year for that crap. I spend my money on Hardware and that is how it will always be for me personally until I find a compelling reason to do so otherwise. To each their own I suppose. 

Milan

yeey another who says unity sucks. I think that people who say that aren’t opening there eyes for changes. So you’re to lazy to figure out how things really work and how nice they are. It is true Linux distro’s are not the best thing that ever happend to a computer but if I have a choice between something that sucks(linux) and something that sucks and I must pay for(windows). I know the anwser. There is allways Apple products but as student I won’t see that kind of money for the coming years :P

Matt

You’re basically complaining about the obvious and unavoidable shortcomings of being a free and open-sourced system as compared to being showered in money as a business distributed system.  Thanks for stating the obvious!  Next.

Usmankhan

Windows may be crap
But linux is a bigger better crap

Usmankhan

and i am saying it after wasting my 2 month with this S****ty crap.

Jeff Fabish

If you’re a noob to any operating system, you’re going to think it’s crap.

James Bruce

For the record, that doesnt apply to OSX. Never thought that was crap, even during my n00b stages… ;)

happy penguin

The age old Linux v the world debate – its free, its solid, it caters for all, it rocks….but hey if you need a Mac Fix or a number 8 in your day…go out there and play….however you will return…; 0)

Jeff Fabish

Since we’re doing heated debates, I suggest the next article to be OpenGL vs Directx (make sure it’s as or more biased as this one!).

!#lover

ever heard of AV Linux? as for video editing KDENLive is just fine. Recent GIMP is decent too. gaming in linux is just fine. How about viruses, antiviruses eating huge memory & processor? Windows is result of laziness & ignorence just like this article 

Tim Brookes

Kdenlive – not only does it lack features (I could live with this) but despite being the most stable video editor on the platform it’s also definitely going to crash whenever you use it. Really.

GIMP – not a patch on Photoshop still, but fair point GIMP might do for some people. It’s useless to those who shoot in RAW though, so you’d need some extra software if you were a photographer.

Viruses/Anti-virius – Yep, well-pointed out – the lack of a requirement for a virus scanner in Linux is a real plus point, and I’m afraid virus scanners are here to stay on Windows (until the next big overhaul I guess). Can I also point out that Mac OS X has very little in the way of virus threats too, and that’s a considerably different beast to your common Linux distro. 

Laziness & Ignorance – statements like “gaming in linux is just fine” show more of this than the article, which is based on personal experience with little or nothing to gain from “siding” with any OS. It’s just a chinwag about Linux and its ever-present drawbacks!

George Koskeridis

I don’t agree with you. Linux open-source software has the same and even better power than commercial software. People spent more hours coding something; not because they are paid to do it but because they love it and thus enjoy it more.
Just because it doesn’t fit you and you don’t like change don’t criticize oss just like it doesn’t exist. You might have gotten used in using Windows, but the fact remains that if all of us have gotten used in Linux first then none of these negative blogs would have existed.
I used to work with Windows for as long as i can remember; that means i also used commercial software. Alas a change happened in my life where i had to change to Linux and it literally opened my eyes.
It has exactly the same (and better for some) power as Windows. I love it because it’s hyper-customizable and it looks like its software are the easiest to use.
Oh and i use it professionally. That means that i don’t have to pay Microsoft, i do my work just fine and easier with Linux and i get paid too.

Good luck on giving 300$ on Operating systems (even more with the crappy OSX)

Eric

I can live with the games not being 100% as good as the selection/quality of games on Windows.

I prefer Linux as a platform for the functionality and customization opportunities it offers.

Unfortunately Linux falls short on two fairly large points.

Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office and never mind what anybody says OpenOffice and Gimp just is not as good.

Agent Smith

Comparing the produce of a software giant (countless paid hours and funds for public exposure) to a non-profit community (unpaid part-time hours) isn’t exactly the fairest of match ups. The Linux of today is a popular platform for web servers and perceptive anarchists, but it’s potential is greater. If open-source prevailed it could erase a decent portion of the digital economy of tomorrow – something Apple, MS + invested interests (media) are trying hard to preserve and exploit. At the end of the day, it’s just business… and money talks. One day there may just be enough like-minded developers & users out there to embrace the idea of open-source and fulfil it’s potential. Until then I feel ‘Linux for desktop’ should still be respected for what it is – the early phases of a liberal dream. You could also say it’s disruptive to the mechanism that has paved the way towards the technologically advanced society most of us have come to cherish. No ying without yang…

Stoyan Deckoff

“In my experience much has changed. Ubuntu 11.04 introduced a new interface – Unity – and I can’t stand it. Sure, I could turn it off but most people won’t – do you have to turn off the default Windows or OS X interface for it to become usable? The two machines running Ubuntu in my household felt noticeably slower after the update, partly due to sluggish animations which lagged on both installations.”

I cant stand win7 interface, and CANT replace or turn it off, that is the difference…