Check out our Monthly Survey Page to see what our users are running.
Major Linux Problems on the Desktop, 2017 edition
Creak commented on 3 July 2017 at 9:06 pm UTC

I've just found this web page:
https://itvision.altervista.org/why.linux.is.not.ready.for.the.desktop.current.html

Haven't read it entirely yet, but it seems well written and, most importantly, frequently updated.
Seems like a good, thoughtful introspection of the status of Linux on the desktop.

I especially like the disclaimer:

QuoteHere are a few important considerations before you start reading this article:
  • If you believe Linux is perfect and it has no problems, please close this page.

  • If you think any Linux criticism is only meant to groundlessly revile Linux, please close this page.

  • If you think the purpose of this article is to show that "nothing ever works in Linux or Linux is barely usable", you are wrong, please close this page.

  • If you believe Linux and Linux users will work/live fine without commercial software and games, please close this page.

  • If you think I'm here to promote Windows or Mac OS, please close this page.

  • If you think I'm here to spread lies or FUD about Linux, please close this page immediately and never ever come back. What are you doing here anyway? Please go back to flame wars and defamations.

m2mg2 commented on 3 July 2017 at 10:00 pm UTC

Parts seem to be well thought out but then it just falls apart.

"ALSA's audio mixer works differently than Windows' audio mixer causing an utter confusion".

So in the authors opinion being different then Windows is a "serious problem"?

"RPM package manager is broken"

I don't know what distro he is using but that smells like he broke it and not that it doesn't work. RPM is very breakable and also very fixable. Sounds like he force installed something or did something else he shouldn't have and didn't bother fixing it/learning how to fix it.

People not updating their operating system is not a security problem of the software it is a security problem of the users(administrators). The point is valid that updating complex software can be difficult and break things, however in my experience this is true of Windows also even though the author claims otherwise. I don't know what this person does for a living but I admin Windows machines (unfortunately) and many of the things the author claims are not problems in Windows in fact are.

The authors critique of Linux security was valid until he came out with this "In 2016 Linux turned out to be significantly more insecure than often ridiculed and laughed at Microsoft Windows." The author listed no basis or quantifiable way he came to this conclusion. Ransomeware anyone? Just because some big flaws in Linux got found, which hasn't happened all that often in the past does not suddenly make it the most insecure operating system of the year. These flaws were fixed quickly and any responsible admin had the opportunity to do something about it. Reading details from other sources about the Kaspersky report shows that many of the attack vectors had nothing to do with operating system vulnerabilities but instead insecure passwords, web app vulnerabilities and wireless sniffing. Embedded systems were also identified as a big problem. Embedded systems are often rarely if ever patched, which again is not a problem with the operating system but with the vendor.

A lot a valid info is there but there is also a lot of total nonsense.

Creak commented on 3 July 2017 at 10:17 pm UTC

What made me jump is actually that:

QuoteAMD and Intel graphics drivers can be significantly slower than their proprietary counterparts (for Intel that's their Windows driver) in new complex, graphically intensive games and applications. Luckily open source drivers reached parity in regard to old games and applications.
Unless he is talking about AMD's Windows proprietary drivers, on Linux, the open source have at least the same performances, as we can see here: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amdgpu-pro-1720&num=1

But anyway, it's interesting to hear some constructed criticism on Linux (it would be better if it wasn't flawed here and there, but there's still some good critics to think about ;) )

Also, when I read this kind of article about Linux on the Desktop, I don't think about an admin managing a complete park of Linux machines, I'm thinking more of the average guy wanting to try Linux.

slaapliedje commented on 4 July 2017 at 6:48 am UTC

This page (as in Gaming on Linux) made me realizes that THIS is indeed the Year of the Linux Desktop!

1) We recently had someone complain that there were TOO many bug reports from Linux users.
2) I can no longer keep up with buying all the Linux games. There are so many coming out constantly.
3) Everything is moving so fast that by the time the article gets put onto the Web, it's already out of date!

So he basically says don't look at the page if you think Linux can survive without proprietary software. With the exception of games and a very small set of utilities (mainly the video conferencing software I use at work) I still do all of my work with open sourced software.

I have in the past been able to easily argue that Windows isn't ready for the desktop. Hell, I had to use a 3rd party program (DisplayFusion) just to get my three monitors working correctly... Windows 10 just refused to turn the other monitor on.

slaapliedje commented on 4 July 2017 at 6:59 am UTC

He can update this one

QuoteMesa problems (Open source OpenGL stack):

This has become a distro specific choice, and hopefully we'll forget about it very soon: certain OpenGL features cannot be enabled in Linux due to patents (like S3TC texture compression and floating point textures).

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTAxNDE

Creak commented on 4 July 2017 at 1:47 pm UTC

slaapliedjeI have in the past been able to easily argue that Windows isn't ready for the desktop. Hell, I had to use a 3rd party program (DisplayFusion) just to get my three monitors working correctly... Windows 10 just refused to turn the other monitor on.

But as he says, there are some stuff that Linux does really well. He's not here to say that other OSes are better, but to point out what Linux is doing wrong. Even if Linux had 95% of the marketshare, it would not be perfect and this kind of exercise would still be relevant.

slaapliedjeHe can update this one
QuoteMesa problems (Open source OpenGL stack):

This has become a distro specific choice, and hopefully we'll forget about it very soon: certain OpenGL features cannot be enabled in Linux due to patents (like S3TC texture compression and floating point textures).

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTAxNDE

Your link doesn't give much. It says that S3TC might be invalidated, potentially. And it was in 2011 and I haven't seen anything saying that the patent is over now.

Edit: that being said, I'm not really defending him since he seems indeed quite mind-oriented toward his thesis as he's saying that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Serious Sam 3 and Mad Max are not graphics intensive games (see comment)

qptain Nemo commented on 5 July 2017 at 5:05 am UTC

It's important to keep track of serious issues to improve, but I strongly disagree with the timid and ambiguous wording of "isn't ready for desktop". What does that mean? It's certainly no less "ready" than Windows. The Windows desktop experience is abysmal compared to Linux and I dread the mere idea of going back to it.

Furthermore, close examination reveals serious issues with the list itself. Ranging from "evidence" being links to posts made 10 years ago (alsa) to questionable accusations with zero evidence ("Linux distributions do not audit included packages" ), straight up falsehoods ("There are no antiviruses or similar software for Linux"; "It should be possible to configure pretty much everything via GUI (in the end Windows and Mac OS allow this)" — the latter is painfully false! The last time I checked Windows doesn't have a GUI for half of the things you can accomplish or tweak on Linux in a terminal or otherwise), extremely ambiguous criticisms linking to outdated sources (alsa again), hopeful assumptions / no true Scotsman ("most Windows 95 applications still run fine in Windows 10" as a gaming enthusiast, yeah RIGHT, clearly you haven't tried to run games from that era, those can be some of the most difficult games to get to run in the history of gaming), confusing self-contradictions (the paragraph about games goes from claiming too few games to admitting it's actually 25% of all steam titles to implying indie games somehow don't count because... ???), unrealistic demands (systemd should never crash. I mean yeah, it would be truly great but if it was possible to guarantee that something would never crash we would be living in a perfect world), non-points ("This is so freaking "amazing", you absolutely have to read it" ), "Random ramblings or why you may hate Linux" (speaks for itself).

In other words, there are some valid points there that should really be moved from there to relevant todo lists but they're drowned in subjective negative wishful thinking, poor sourcing, countless outdated claims (2017 edition my ass) and strong bias towards the intended point (and in favor of Windows, really). It doesn't matter how much you claim to care and want to help if your tone and quality of information remain unconstructive.

I would very much appreciate a list similar in concept but with good up-to-date sources (and criticisms themselves), a more level-headed attitude and a clearer concept of priorities.

MayeulC commented on 5 July 2017 at 4:17 pm UTC

Creak
slaapliedjeHe can update this one
QuoteMesa problems (Open source OpenGL stack):

This has become a distro specific choice, and hopefully we'll forget about it very soon: certain OpenGL features cannot be enabled in Linux due to patents (like S3TC texture compression and floating point textures).

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTAxNDE

Your link doesn't give much. It says that S3TC might be invalidated, potentially. And it was in 2011 and I haven't seen anything saying that the patent is over now.

88 days to go... http://www.patentcountdown.org/

This page is a classic, it has been around for a long time. It would be great if we could send pull requests, though. It looks like it needs a complete overhaul/update.

Creak commented on 5 July 2017 at 6:37 pm UTC

MayeulC88 days to go... http://www.patentcountdown.org/

This page is a classic, it has been around for a long time. It would be great if we could send pull requests, though. It looks like it needs a complete overhaul/update.
That is a great idea, we could make a markdown page synced on a github repo, it would prevent from having links that are way too old.

You need to Register and Login to comment, submit articles and more.


Or login with...

Livestreams & Videos
None currently, submit yours here!
Popular this week
View by Category
Contact
Latest Comments
Latest Forum Posts