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Linux, as a Whole


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#46 @Leo

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 20:40

Sounds like Linux isn't meant for you then.

With this moronic "Linux isn't for you then" approach still heads on, is it really wonder that "teh year" has not, and will not for the foreseeable future, come? :rolleyes:

Until the zealous community pulls its head out of its ass, Linux will be a niche aimed only at a fraction of computer users.


#47 OP Mindovermaster

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 20:43

Haters will hate until the end of time..

#48 +Majesticmerc

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 21:10

The problem with preaching Linux is that, for--what, 15+ years?--a long ass time, it's been the exact same mantra. For 15+ years, Linux, "with some work", could "do anything Windows can, and more". And for 15+ years, the claim has meant nothing to 99% of the ears its fallen on.

The same story that failed a thousand times isn't going to suddenly work. There's a reason why Linux is only interesting when people don't know it's there (Android).

It's cool that you're having a good time, but, you know, FYI, your attitude will never go further than preaching to the choir.


Linux is already capable of everything that Windows can do, it's just lack of software support in the few cases where it falls behind.

With this moronic "Linux isn't for you then" approach still heads on, is it really wonder that "teh year" has not, and will not for the foreseeable future, come? :rolleyes:

Until the zealous community pulls its head out of its ass, Linux will be a niche aimed only at a fraction of computer users.


The majority of people that pedal that BS about Linux and the year of the desktop are the haters. Most actual Linux users really don't care if Linux becomes the favoured desktop OS. Whether it's #1 or not, we're happy with our PCs running our OS of choice.

I have little allegiance either way. Linux works well for me, but if there ever comes a point that it doesn't, then I'll jump to OSX or Windows or whatever. I use whatever gives me the best experience at the time.

#49 Andre S.

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 21:27

Personally I don't use Linux because:
- I've always got Windows for free, so the money argument is moot
- Windows does everything I want and has the best software and hardware support by far.
- Linux doesn't run the majority of the software I rely on every day, at least not in any officially supported capacity: Visual Studio, Microsoft Office, all my games, my favorite music player (foobar2000), my favorite bittorent client (uTorrent), my favorite free paint application (Paint.NET), Fraps, Virtual Dub. Where the alternatives exist, they're more or less inferior, at least for my needs.
- All popular Linux distributions look terrible out of the box, and I have better things to do than trying to make it look good. I'm ready to pay for software if that means I don't have to work to make it work the way I want.
- I'm really not a fan of the package management approach to installing software: if the version you want isn't available, the only alternative is often to compile the code yourself

I don't use Windows because Linux is inferior or impossible to play games on, simply because the games I want to play are only available on Windows. If the games I want to play were available natively in Linux, I'd uninstall Windows.

Is there any Linux software you use that's not available on Windows or that doesn't have an equivalent or better Windows alternative?

#50 f0rk_b0mb

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 21:28

I use whatever gives me the best experience at the time.


THIS x a million

#51 +Majesticmerc

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 21:46

Is there any Linux software you use that's not available on Windows or that doesn't have an equivalent or better Windows alternative?


Applications, probably not, although I find a lot of decent Linux tools are crippled in one way or another on Windows (and vice-versa obviously). I mainly miss XFCE when I'm on Windows, since I can't quite copy my panel arrangement in Windows. A decent SSH daemon is valuable too, Cygwin SSH doesn't cut it on Windows.

For me though it's not the applications I miss, it's the various underlying and philosophical differences. I much prefer the Unix file system structure to Windows, it's not as obvious as Windows/Program Files/Users, but it make a lot of sense once you get your head round it. Being able to mount my home directory on a different drive is convenient (the various Windows hacks to do the same thing don't achieve the same effect) and configuration data is much more sanely organized in Linux (/etc/*.conf for global application settings and services, ~/.config/* for user-specific application settings, no screwing around with the registry, etc). I also miss centralized package management in Windows (although the Windows Store should hopefully fix this in time). 'yaourt --noconfirm -Syyua' is much easier than per-application self-updaters and regular trips to filehippo.com or whatever.

#52 @Leo

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 21:52

The majority of people that pedal that BS about Linux and the year of the desktop are the haters. Most actual Linux users really don't care if Linux becomes the favoured desktop OS. Whether it's #1 or not, we're happy with our PCs running our OS of choice.

I have little allegiance either way. Linux works well for me, but if there ever comes a point that it doesn't, then I'll jump to OSX or Windows or whatever. I use whatever gives me the best experience at the time.

I see. You are happy with your PC running Linux. Good for you. I guess you wouldn't be much happier with a much larger software library of professional-grade software. Or UI that is actually designed, not thrown together by developers who think they know design. Or play video games. Or have first-grade graphic drivers, etc. Guess what, until Linux becomes relevant, or "favoured", it would be stuck in this horrible state of bad UI and ugly ugly software.

#53 Joshie

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 21:59

Linux is already capable of everything that Windows can do, it's just lack of software support in the few cases where it falls behind.

For most people, 'capable' isn't enough. As an analogy: yes, many Android handsets are capable of having a full, clean install of the latest releases of Android, but the process is absolutely unacceptable from a UX pov. 'Capability' is a poor gauge of viability.

A head-on example is file management. For better or worse, Windows--following DOS tradition--has an extremely simplistic approach to arranging files across various drives. Each partition of each drive is assigned a top-level label that's been easy to find for over 25 years. Linux, and Unix-style OSes in general, have a much harsher learning curve to navigating storage. The root (/) doesn't fall into an easily visualized, human-friendly structure. The tree is inexplicably literal and virtual and relational in no apparent pattern to the newcomer. Desktops have gone to great lengths to hide everything behind a combination of libraries and--as if an admission of what the top level SHOULD be--drives and their partitions.

Recorded history shows a time when there was a movement to evolve *nix file management to something that could truly compete with DOS's simplicity, just to have the effort shunned and shelved. Whatever reasons were behind the rejection, the effect has undeniably been years of frustration and annoyance at an OS that seems obsessed with unnecessary complexity and apocryphal design.

File management doesn't irritate anyone on Android thanks to the fact that, out of the box, file management is from a simple directory structure within each mount point, no different from Windows, never exposing a user to the nightmare lurking at /.

The majority of people that pedal that BS about Linux and the year of the desktop are the haters. Most actual Linux users really don't care if Linux becomes the favoured desktop OS. Whether it's #1 or not, we're happy with our PCs running our OS of choice.

It's not so much that Linux users "don't care" if Linux dominates the desktop. Linux users believe it *already* dominates exactly what it needs to. The desktop is a triviality to them--a commodity for consumers. Toys for people who don't do "real" work. This perspective allows them to believe that, simply by using Linux, they are a member of an elite few who "get it".

Sure, none of that might actually be true, but if you're okay with speaking for a whole group of people, I might as well play along, yeah?

#54 Original Poster

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 22:09

I am using my linux right now its my full time work machine :D JAVA, PHP, kind of C# D: ect linux is the way forward sadly I have to keep a back up windows machine for any heavy windows limited programs wine just wont do it

#55 Haggis

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 22:10

I use linux as my main os and i do not have windows on there at all

the only time i use windows is at work and thats because they wont run anything else

I have been using linux 100% since March this year

Maybe if you need to use different forums to do the simplest of tasks on Linux then maybe you should be asking yourself "why the hell am i using this at all"

My dad is not very computer literate he used Windows at work for years and years and even he manages to use Ubuntu to do the stuff he wants so it cant be that hard

#56 B0mberman

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 22:54

I see. You are happy with your PC running Linux. Good for you. I guess you wouldn't be much happier with a much larger software library of professional-grade software. Or UI that is actually designed, not thrown together by developers who think they know design. Or play video games. Or have first-grade graphic drivers, etc. Guess what, until Linux becomes relevant, or "favoured", it would be stuck in this horrible state of bad UI and ugly ugly software.


Do yourself and everyone on Neowin a favour a delete your account please, I cannot for the love of god figure why you'd make such idiotic comments other than trying to look as if you know something. As for Linux, use it if you want to for what you want, just don't harp on and on and b*tch continuously, you aren't entitled to sqat..... jesus the level of ignorance on Neowin is starting to irritate me :crazy:

#57 Pupik

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 23:10

Tried to switch to linux many times and played with a lot of live cds and never managed to switch. Mainly because a simple reason that I'm just too good with Windows and to achieve something that's not possible on Windows, you need to put time into learning dozens of commands; something that I have no time for. And when I think about it, there's nothing that I need from Linux that I can't achieve on Windows.

#58 +Majesticmerc

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 23:13

I see. You are happy with your PC running Linux. Good for you. I guess you wouldn't be much happier with a much larger software library of professional-grade software. Or UI that is actually designed, not thrown together by developers who think they know design. Or play video games. Or have first-grade graphic drivers, etc. Guess what, until Linux becomes relevant, or "favoured", it would be stuck in this horrible state of bad UI and ugly ugly software.


Okay, fair point. However, this fact is also true of any operating system. Macs were, for a long time (still?) the go to desktop for creative designers for their good media editing software. Adobe favoured Mac OS over Windows for many years, and this shows in the UI designs in the likes of Photoshop. I'm a professional software developer, and most of my home/work projects can be done on either Windows or Linux. This might not be the case for many people, but it is for me, which is why I use Linux.

FWIW, I think you're concept of "bad UI and ugly ugly software" in Linux is outdated. Check out the Linux desktops threads and the likes of new Ubuntu or Elementary OS for a better picture of modern Linux. Things are much more pleasing to the eye these days.

I think I was a little hyperbolic with this statement. What I should have said was:

"Many of the people that I know who use Linux on a regular basis find it to be a perfectly viable operating system, and they do not really seek it to be the #1 operating system. The fact that it works for them is enough. The majority of people I hear/read making statements like "2013 will be the year of Linux on the desktop" are the clueless fanatics, or the haters whose only argument against Linux is that it has a minor market share".

For most people, 'capable' isn't enough. As an analogy: yes, many Android handsets are capable of having a full, clean install of the latest releases of Android, but the process is absolutely unacceptable from a UX pov. 'Capability' is a poor gauge of viability.

A head-on example is file management. For better or worse, Windows--following DOS tradition--has an extremely simplistic approach to arranging files across various drives. Each partition of each drive is assigned a top-level label that's been easy to find for over 25 years. Linux, and Unix-style OSes in general, have a much harsher learning curve to navigating storage. The root (/) doesn't fall into an easily visualized, human-friendly structure. The tree is inexplicably literal and virtual and relational in no apparent pattern to the newcomer. Desktops have gone to great lengths to hide everything behind a combination of libraries and--as if an admission of what the top level SHOULD be--drives and their partitions.

Recorded history shows a time when there was a movement to evolve *nix file management to something that could truly compete with DOS's simplicity, just to have the effort shunned and shelved. Whatever reasons were behind the rejection, the effect has undeniably been years of frustration and annoyance at an OS that seems obsessed with unnecessary complexity and apocryphal design.

File management doesn't irritate anyone on Android thanks to the fact that, out of the box, file management is from a simple directory structure within each mount point, no different from Windows, never exposing a user to the nightmare lurking at /.


To carry with your example, as I replied to Dr_Asik, the Unix file system is a philosophical choice. Personally, I mostly prefer it to a Windows file system. The way a Unix system mounts drives allows me to have an entire directory as a separate partition. So this means that I can (and do) have my /home directory (Unix equivalent to C:\Users) on a different drive. This means that I can reinstall my entire OS, and at the end simply remount the /home partition and get all my files and settings back. There are rough hacks to do similar things in Windows, but the results are uncomparable to simply mounting a drive inside a folder.

The Unix directory structure stems from the idea that very little can be assumed about the state of the system. It's a file system that scales from single user machines right to thin clients and dumb terminals. This is a disadvantage on the desktop because, as you rightly said, it complicates things, and it results in having to search different directories for files that should be kept together. I find the likes of /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, /usr/sbin to be an annoyance, why are there four directories for binaries? But then at the same time, how is Windows any better? We already have two directories for Program Files, and to make things worse, it's possible to install a 64-bit application into Program Files (x86) (and vice versa) without issue!

Peripheral media does pose a problem for the Unix-style abstract file system, although most distros have this solved. Most (all?) Linux equivalents to Explorer can see external storage just fine as devices that are mounted in the /media directory (or in the case for Arch /run/media/Majesticmerc), this still isn't as easy to use as the Windows C/D/E/etc, but it's largely a solved problem these days.

If we're getting into a discussion on the specific flaws of file system structure though, what about the cluster**** that is Windows application settings? First you have to determine if settings are kept in the registry or a file. If it's in the registry, where abouts? HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE? HKEY_CURRENT_USER? What about if it's a file. It could be in: C:\ProgramData, C:\Users\Me\AppData\Local, C:\Users\Me\AppData\LocalLow, C:\Users\Me\AppData\Roaming, C:\Program Files\ApplicationName\, etc, etc. Conversely, in Linux, config files are either kept in /home/me, home/me/.config, or home/me/.ApplicationName; that's it. Oh, and /etc for system-wide configuration.

It's funny that you should mention Android, as the Android File system is a complete mess as it stands. It's one of my biggest criticisms against the platform. It's a completely arbitrary mess. I can very rarely find something in there without using a search tool. My phone keeps it's photos in ~/mnt/DCIM/MEDIA100, and my ~/mnt/DCIM/Camera folder remains empty. Incidentally, the only reason the Android filesystem can work the way it does is because of the way that Unix filesystems can be mounted arbitrarily. Android users are locked out of the system root directory (/), and everything actually happens in the pre-installed user's home directory. External SD cards are actually mounted as directories inside your home folder. This is why all the great Android mods require rooting, in order to gain access to the system root partition and overwrite system files.

All that said though, the way people choose to perceive a file system is very much a matter of taste. the Unix filesystem carries a lot of legacy crud as baggage, but at the same time much of the filesystem makes a lot of sense once you realise what directories files are kept in, and more importantly, it's consistent.

That is of course only my opinion, and you are free to disagree :).

#59 Tuishimi

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 23:44

I run Linux on my netbook. But I can't play Skyrim on it (Linux, not the netbook) and since we don't have TV we stream Netflix and amazon, and I cannot do that on Linux either. Otherwise I would definitely use it as a primary OS... since everything else I need to do I CAN do on Linux.

#60 firey

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 00:07

I see. You are happy with your PC running Linux. Good for you. I guess you wouldn't be much happier with a much larger software library of professional-grade software.


I use Monodevelop, and QTCreator.. they feel professional grade to me. Thunderbird is an awesome mail client that I can skin to match my theme. Everything I want I can find.

Or UI that is actually designed, not thrown together by developers who think they know design.


Hmm.. my Arch linux install looks 1000x better than the **** that "the actual designers" made Windows 8 look like.

Or play video games. Or have first-grade graphic drivers, etc. Guess what, until Linux becomes relevant, or "favoured", it would be stuck in this horrible state of bad UI and ugly ugly software.


Right, Linux = NO VIDEO GAMES.. Steam doesn't run on it, Nvidia and ATI Didn't make any drivers, No one has ever written their own drivers, no video games will run at all like.. not even pong. /s


Get over yourself.