Enthusiasm Lost For Linux On The Desktop


Recommended Posts

francescob

*Shrug* my daughter's 4890 runs like a champ, but again, different systems and all that.

It could also be a different OS. There were problems on all sort of cards last year (see this article), then new issues came out with one of the Windows 8.1 updates this year. And then again with the Firefox 33 release last month. It was so bad I almost considered permanently switching to Chrome since AMD supposedly had already blocked all legacy AMD drivers (< 9.10, legacy are 8.97) on Windows 8 yet the issues kept popping up. Anyway it's not just AMD, Intel IGPs had all sort of annoying rendering issues too, only nVidia managed to stay out of that mess.

This is a reason to avoid AMD - not Microsoft.

What? I never said it was a reason to avoid Microsoft.

Link to post
Share on other sites
123456789A

well hubby has a radeon 260 and it sucks. it's not even good enough for an HTPC

 

Get Nvidia GTX Titan and you will be set.

Link to post
Share on other sites
protocol7

Get Nvidia GTX Titan and you will be set broke.

 

Fixed that for you :)

 

The 970 makes much more sense nowadays.

 

As for Linux the last hurrah may be SteamOS. Valve have the resources and the profile to fix it. Time will tell I guess but gaming is often mentioned as a reason to keep Windows when people talk about trying out Linux.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
123456789A

Fixed that for you :)

 

The 970 makes much more sense nowadays.

 

As for Linux the last hurrah may be SteamOS. Valve have the resources and the profile to fix it. Time will tell I guess but gaming is often mentioned as a reason to keep Windows when people talk about trying out Linux.

 

They call it the Titan because after you buy one, you have to "tighten" your wallet.

 

Anyway, I know the card is nearly 2 years old now and there are more affordable solutions. Still, I like my Titans a lot, so sleek and quiet.

 

Back on topic, I don't think gaming is really what would drive Linux to be "successful" on the desktop in terms of market share. In my view, Linux already is successful for the simple fact that people are still using and supporting it for decades now.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
ToneKnee

The problem with Linux is that it's fragmented to hell.   I think SteamOS will help on the GPU side of things as it'll make nVidia and AMD push harder with it's drivers but Linux from a Desktop point of view (It's awesome as a server) is still years away from being viable.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
protocol7

Honestly I don't think anything will drive Linux to be a desktop success at this stage. But SteamOS should help widen it's adoption among gamers. Maybe even encourage some of the big publishers to start releasing their titles on it. And it should push AMD and nVidia to straighten out their drivers a bit.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision

I'm in the same crowd as the OP. I have attempted a couple of posts over the past month or two and couldn't hit the 'Post' button because I couldn't sum up what I was thinking and feeling like the OP did.

 

Linux Mint seems to be the ONLY major Distribution at this time that is getting much of anything done, and occasionally I've been reading that the people working on Cinnamon and Mate (including Clem himself) keep getting the Development Tools broken upstream because of changes that are made without a proper vetting process -- so Clem and the Gang have to do their work with sometimes-broken tools that don't always do the job properly.

 

This is one example of many in the FLOSS arena, and one of the chief complaints I have, Stuff gets broken way too often. Change for the sake of change is DAMAGE.

Link to post
Share on other sites
daorbed9

I've had the same revelation like the OP about 15 years ago. 

 

Back in the late 1990s I used to be one of those who thought Linux was the bee's nipples, and Windows sucked. Which to be fair it did back then - remember Windows 98 or Windows ME?

 

Then Windows 2000 was released and it didn't suck. On the contrary. It worked just fine, all the apps I needed worked fine, drivers weren't an issue anymore. The latter two were definitely an issue on Linux, and still are to this day. As an example: Run Firefox on Linux and on Windows on the same hardware. See the latter run circles around the former in terms of performance.

 

The Linux community had its chance on the desktop. They blew it by producing sub-par desktop experiences as well as not getting the applications up to snuff. 

 

Actually I think the real problem lies in the god complex most programmer have.  They all think they know better, which is why we have a million different distributions.  This is what really hurts Linux.  There should be one package for binaries.  There should be one software center.  There is just too much fragmentation in a very small world.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
simplezz

AMD user here (R9 270X). FOSS drivers work great. Virtually on par with the binary blob, but without all the stability headaches, slow updates, and bugs after an xorg update. Although to be fair, the Catalyst binary blob is pretty good these days as well. Haven't had any problems in a long time (years) with either.

 

As for the bugs you listed Majestic, I thought you were using XFCE? Those are mostly Gnome 3 related. Gnome3 has always been glitchy for me. Conversely, XFCE's built-in compositor is solid as a rock. I get smoother flash performance on it than on Windows. 2D and 3D frame rates are consistent with the proprietary or the FOSS driver. That's the only problem with Nvidia. If their driver goes belly up, you're relying on the reverse engineered open source Noveau. In the long term, AMD's cooperative stance has yielded many benefits.

Link to post
Share on other sites
binaryzero

Instead of trying to find an Operating System that fits you best, why don't you just use the OS that fits the applications you use on a regular basis to best?

 

It's an OS, you're not suppose to know it's there - it's there to assist your applications in working. Linux, WIndows, OS X, OS/2, Unix, OpenVMS, MS-DOS - who cares? As long as the application you're using works. HOWEVER I completely agree with finding the right OS that helps your workflow, but to be honest, most operating systems are the same.

 

Face it, OS X and Windows will fit the majority of users. Then there's the users who like to tinker with their machines more than actually use them in a productive way - they'll spend all day trialing the best operating systems, and blowing their machines away time and time again. 

 

Enjoy computing in general, not arguing which OS is the best, because guess what? It's not gonna get you laid..

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
+Majesticmerc

As for the bugs you listed Majestic, I thought you were using XFCE? Those are mostly Gnome 3 related. Gnome3 has always been glitchy for me. Conversely, XFCE's built-in compositor is solid as a rock. I get smoother flash performance on it than on Windows. 2D and 3D frame rates are consistent with the proprietary or the FOSS driver. That's the only problem with Nvidia. If their driver goes belly up, you're relying on the reverse engineered open source Noveau. In the long term, AMD's cooperative stance has yielded many benefits.

The primary issue is related to how the Nvidia driver is handling GLX double buffering (I think), which affects most compositors that use hardware rendering (such as Clutter, and Compton). The XFWM compositor works fine, but I find the amount of tearing that I get is quite distracting, and any attempt to use V-sync comes up against this driver issue.

 

Instead of trying to find an Operating System that fits you best, why don't you just use the OS that fits the applications you use on a regular basis to best?

It's an OS, you're not suppose to know it's there - it's there to assist your applications in working. Linux, WIndows, OS X, OS/2, Unix, OpenVMS, MS-DOS - who cares? As long as the application you're using works. HOWEVER I completely agree with finding the right OS that helps your workflow, but to be honest, most operating systems are the same.

Face it, OS X and Windows will fit the majority of users. Then there's the users who like to tinker with their machines more than actually use them in a productive way - they'll spend all day trialing the best operating systems, and blowing their machines away time and time again.

Enjoy computing in general, not arguing which OS is the best, because guess what? It's not gonna get you laid..

Two things, first is that Linux DOES fit me best for most cases except gaming, and even that is improving. I much prefer the Linux way to the Windows way for most stuff, hence why I use it, the issue is that I've had to go back to Windows and retrofit Cygwin and such because my experience with Linux is so broken that it's become intolerable. If it was functioning correctly, I'd be back to using it as my primary in a snap.

Second, I'm not arguing which OS is best, they all have their advantages, I'm simply facing a hard fact that I can't work with Linux (and specifically Nvidia's Linux support) in it's current state, which is a shame. Part of my enjoyment of computing is that I like to tinker, it's why I became a programmer. I know it's not going to get me laid :rolleyes:, but it's a part of computing as a hobby that I enjoy :).

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
simplezz

The primary issue is related to how the Nvidia driver is handling GLX double buffering (I think), which affects most compositors that use hardware rendering (such as Clutter, and Compton). The XFWM compositor works fine, but I find the amount of tearing that I get is quite distracting, and any attempt to use V-sync comes up against this driver issue.

That definitely is strange. Most compositors should be limiting/syncing the frames automatically without the need for VSync. Is it not possible to revert to a previous driver version until the issue is resolved?
Link to post
Share on other sites
+Majesticmerc

That definitely is strange. Most compositors should be limiting/syncing the frames automatically without the need for VSync. Is it not possible to revert to a previous driver version until the issue is resolved?

Possibly, I tried rolling back already and failed hilariously (ended up chrooting from a LiveCD and re-installing the latest version of the driver to get back to a working OS), and I got bored trying to figure out how to do it. Admittedly I'd given up on that option out of frustration more than anything.

I agree that the vsync thing is weird. I get serious tearing with scrolling Windows and stuff. The Nvidia drivers have a new option which supposedly forced vsync, but it only works on the primary monitor, which is no good since I run a dual-monitor setup.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hussam Al-tayeb

The issue with Linux is the fragmentation and duplication of effort. Fragmentation leads to rushed products and less man power per project since everyone is doing his or her own thing,

1) KDE and Gnome. Different developers with different approaches and ideas. I never had the chance to use Gnome3. Gnome2 was nice but it was stuck with old obsolete libraries such as bonobo/libgnome(ui). By the time things were ported to dbus and anything of important in libgnome(ui) was moved up to glib/gtk, the developers decided to redesign the desktop. In addition to that, there was the gdk/cairo thing and then gtk3 came out.

On KDE's side, qt3 was getting old and didn't support many new libraries. Qt4 came out and with it came KDE4. But there was still a lot of duplicated effort where Kdelibs contained better alternatives to functions in Qt4. Most of those improvments were upstreamed in Qt5. However, there are still problems in KDE. Akonadi framework still has some severe bugs.

 

Things just never had a chance to settle down and stabilize in the Linux desktop world.

Basically we are stuck in a state where we are always cleaning up our frameworks instead of concentrating on polishing the user experience.

2) I am one of the people who are really enthusiastic by systemd and wayland and that is because of the doors they open.

Wayland needs Qt5, gtk3, sdl2 or higher. older application can still run through xwayland. That means a lot of legacy applications won't have the full wayland experience.

nvidia's mainline driver right now only supports fermi cards and above with people using older cars on a long term support branch. That means if full wayland support in nvidia driver comes out now, only fermi cards and above will have it.

 

By the time wayland has replaced X11, we will be too busy porting applications to future gtk/Qt versions and there won't be many people fixing crashes and bugs appearing as a result of the switch to wayland.

 

KDE has a lot of potential if developers concentrate on fixing bugs instead of having to deal with the messy underlying framework. I am sure Gnome3 is as good too but I have no idea what kind of stability state it is in right now.

Link to post
Share on other sites
binaryzero

The primary issue is related to how the Nvidia driver is handling GLX double buffering (I think), which affects most compositors that use hardware rendering (such as Clutter, and Compton). The XFWM compositor works fine, but I find the amount of tearing that I get is quite distracting, and any attempt to use V-sync comes up against this driver issue.

 

Two things, first is that Linux DOES fit me best for most cases except gaming, and even that is improving. I much prefer the Linux way to the Windows way for most stuff, hence why I use it, the issue is that I've had to go back to Windows and retrofit Cygwin and such because my experience with Linux is so broken that it's become intolerable. If it was functioning correctly, I'd be back to using it as my primary in a snap.

Second, I'm not arguing which OS is best, they all have their advantages, I'm simply facing a hard fact that I can't work with Linux (and specifically Nvidia's Linux support) in it's current state, which is a shame. Part of my enjoyment of computing is that I like to tinker, it's why I became a programmer. I know it's not going to get me laid :rolleyes:, but it's a part of computing as a hobby that I enjoy :).

Well said :)

 

TBH, I was trolling abit lol.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Art_X

I know where the OP is coming from with his rant, I too have tried most distro's out there, but there is always something that goes wrong that causes me to have to fix it, or loot for a fix, be it an update to a library or something else out of my control and I spend more time fixing than using the system.

 

The main issue for me is lack of proper driver support, which to me is the number one thing holding Linux back, I to have decided to stick with Windows for the foreseeable future (even though I do not wish too) due to the latest Linux distro i tried locking up on me numerous times over a 3 day period, the only way I could fix it was to reboot the laptop.

 

From what I have seen Linux has a big issue with new hardware, again driver related and which is not Linux's fault but the hardware maker's, it has made rather large strides to be a usable OS, it just needs more support.

Link to post
Share on other sites
+Red King

Unless Microsoft allows xbox games on Windows...

Then SteamOS will die perhaps along with Steam

Gabe doesn't realise that Microsoft are still playing nice and keeping him around to promote gaming and healthy competition

I doubt Microsoft is capable of being this awesome.
Link to post
Share on other sites
Barney T.

The usability and enthusiasm for any Linux (desktop) distros is totally based on the user. I have used Linux since RedHat 7 and, while I appreciate anyone's choice for their own OS, my distro is completely satisfactory to me. Can  I do everything? No. Can any distro do everything with all sorts of software? Probably not. But for 9/10ths of the things that I need to do, it is satisfactory for me.

 

That said, I use OS X as well as Windows 8.1. All have their strengths and weaknesses. I appreciate this opinion post from the OP. Hopefully this thread will not degrade into another immature "my distro is better than your distro" or a Windows vs. Linux bashing. In those posts, no one ever gets convinced and everyone leaves with hurt feelings.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision

The usability and enthusiasm for any Linux (desktop) distros is totally based on the user. I have used Linux since RedHat 7 and, while I appreciate anyone's choice for their own OS, my distro is completely satisfactory to me. Can  I do everything? No. Can any distro do everything with all sorts of software? Probably not. But for 9/10ths of the things that I need to do, it is satisfactory for me.

 

That said, I use OS X as well as Windows 8.1. All have their strengths and weaknesses. I appreciate this opinion post from the OP. Hopefully this thread will not degrade into another immature "my distro is better than your distro" or a Windows vs. Linux bashing.

I'm in this club. It mirrors what I said recently in another thread on that same topic.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
simplezz

I don't view drivers as a major issue any more on Linux. These days 95% of systems work OOTB without any user intervention. There will be bugs here and there, and things may break from time to time. I don't see that as a problem exclusive to Linux though. Software is imperfect.

The good news is, GNU/Linux has come on leaps and bounds from its earlier years, and like the other major OS', is now very user-friendly, requiring little to no technical knowledge to get up and running with distros like Ubuntu, Mint, SuSE, Fedora, etc. Without the headaches of OS rot, malware, viruses and other nasties, this makes Linux very reliable and stable. Not to mention the fact that it's highly customisable and has a great selection of easily accessible and high quality free software.

In summary, I disagree with the contention that GNU/Linux on the desktop is any more difficult or problematic to use than other OS' these days.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
Shiranui

I used to like Compiz's wobbly windows.

Link to post
Share on other sites
(Account no longer active)

If you want a 'classic' Linux experience, forget about GNOME and KDE. Use LXDE. GNOME and KDE have just become eye candy.

 

Modern Nvidia cards and Linux are still a bit flaky. I'd suggest Intel graphics for Linux. Release the source Nvidia!

 

Being able to manage other PCs via SSH is awesome. That's why I prefer Linux when it comes to networking.

Link to post
Share on other sites
JustGeorge

If Linux Mint could seamlessly join a Windows Domain/Active Directory and run MS Office, I'd switch a boat load of high risk PC's @ work to it in a heartbeat. When I say "high risk", I mean PC's used by mindless people who love emoticons and carry a towel to wipe up the drool they leave on the floor wherever they go. Just the thought of eliminating virtually all malware threats on these machines is a religious experience for me. Office online is nice, but you can't browse and open a file locally. You have to upload to OneDrive.

 

Something I've noticed in playing with Linux is that it doesn't seem to tolerate a hard shut down very well. On the machines that its happened, its dog slow on boot afterward and suffers from other little problems here and there. I'm sure this could be fixed, but I've not spent the required time to learn much troubleshooting/repair of Linux because its not a viable option at this point.

 

I'd give it a serious long term whirl on my personal machine if it ran...(don't hate) all my favorite console/arcade emulators as good as Windows. Silly I know.... Dual boot wouldn't work for me. If I'm going to learn something, I gotta live it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
COKid

Well, to each their own. I'm more than happy with Debian running Xfce. When I need a Windows program, I simply crank up VirtualBox within Debian. I couldn't imagine going back to Windows full-time. Ugh!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
TruckWEB

A long developpement delay between XP and Vista and the flop that it was as given Linux Devs plenty of time to give us something that "just work".  Instead it's the adoption of OS X that grew in that period.  Then we got Windows 7 and it was bliss again, until Windows 8...  

 

I guess Linux had lots of time to become good.  But the lack of interest of the what, 92% of Windows users?  Is not forcing any devs to bring good apps to Linux.  The only major thing that happened with Linux is SteamOS but even that is a little bit stale...

 

I've tried many distro, but with my dual monitor setup, sound card, video, ... I've ran into problems like all the time.  Enough to make me WANT Windows back on my PC.

 

To each their own.

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By +warwagon
      I've noticed a trend in messengers in Windows, even the new version of Skype is doing it too. They aren't letting us detach chat windows allowing us to have separate chat windows per person. I know they are probably trying to be all hip emulate mobile OS'es, but it's annoying as ######. 
       
      Not sure about anyone else but on a few occasions I've sent the wrong message to the wrong person because I thought I was on their window but I was on someone else. Doesn't help that in the case of Facebook Messenger it lets you know which person is the active one by using a dull hard to see light gray. Who the ###### designed that UI, how about a bright easy to see color? Maybe blue?
       
      Before anyone suggests an option such as Trillian, yes Trillian is great, but for some reason when someone shares something by clicking the share button it never comes through. Anyway, that's my rant for the day! 
    • By n_K
      No disto is perfect, I've been using arch for a number of years now and generally find it to be quite good, but for a rolling release distro that claims to be for power users and for system reconfiguration and the like, there are some things in it that really ###### me off and I just feel like getting them off my chest:
      The pkgbuild system: I actually like how the system works, generally, but if you want to change how things are configured there's some scenarios where you're stuffed; Static packages: The great thing about the pkgbuild system is you can edit your /etc/makepkg.conf file and stop it removing the static library (.a) files from packages and just build them... Right, RIGHT!? Wrong. Each package's pkgbuild generally includes '--disable-static' lines in the configure, heck glibc removes all .a files in it's package part of the build script. If rules were followed and none of this bad behavior happened in pkgbuild files then it'd be great but this really annoys the heck out of me. Building packages not cleaning up after themselves: so you're trying to build a package from source and it's failing multiple times, it also so happens you're patching files in the pkgbuild... Each time you try to recompile you get the interactive patch come up saying a change has already been applied do you want to remove it. Either the patch should be reverted if an src folder is detected or (and I don't know why it doesn't do this) the src directory should be cleared first "Invalid PGP key": Whilst trying to build packages with a fresh install using pkgbuild, half the time it download and gives an error saying the PGP key isn't valid (needs a .sig or whatnot file in the pkgbuild). I understand why this might be useful to some people, but if I want to recompile a package from a pkgbuild I've downloaded off the arch site, why should I have to go in, manually remove the .sig file and the MD5/SHA checksums for it? Missing dependencies: This is generally only an issue with the AUR, but a large number of pkgbuilds are actually missing dependencies required to build them in the pkgconfigs. Surely there must be a better way to generate the require dependencies... Overwriting files: I like how you can specify some files when building packages that the user can change which won't be overwritten, however it'd be nice if you could apply that globally to a system. Audio support in kde5 for example, like gnome3 kde decided to remove a fundamental feature allowing you to specify what the volume step would be, (sigh, every time I see a group do this I really do get a mental image of sheep just jumping around underground having absolutely no idea what they're doing), so you have to manually change a file and reboot - great it works! Only when you update the package, it goes back to the default of 10 steps, so then you have to go search what file it was, go and edit it and reboot - this is a hassle. Packages pulling x11/mesa dependencies in for no reason: x11/mesa is absolutely not needed on a server, it's a complete waste of space and inefficiency in libraries/programs, but as time goes on more and more packages have just had mesa added as a dependency - I'm really not sure why. If I go to my server and try to update (it's running a very old release of arch) it wants to download over a gig of mesa crap which has been pulled in by an update to a package I have installed. Syslinux install script: I like the syslinux install script, but surely it wouldn't help to, gosh I don't know, not automatically have "root=/dev/sda3" in the command line? I've never installed arch linux to /dev/sda3, it should instead see what the mounted drive is or (preferably) use the UUID. The documentation: the wiki can be a great source of knowledge, but there's also some incredibly outdated information there too, some pages for example still refer to openrc which was removed... I can't even remember how many years ago. Removal of ifconfig in default install: yes net-tools is old and outdated, but it's simple, powerful and easy to use. I can setup or change my network configuration in a matter of seconds, compared to ip which is just an un-intuitive mess. Every other distro I've seen still included net-tools by default except arch, and if you install arch, reboot having forgotten to install net-tools then it's a pita to try and work out how to use ip - some great guides on the internet but for that you need an active network device....  
      Anyone else got similar nagging issues with arch?