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View Full Version : Can linux be made to work as well as OSX or Vista eventually



Martiini
July 15th, 2008, 11:58 AM
Edit:
Does anyone think linux can surpass OSX or Vista technologically or has it become the "most advanced" operating system already? What would it take for linux to become the dominant OS in the world.
In my opinion linux needs more support from genreal public, hardware companies and political institutions.

quinnten83
July 15th, 2008, 12:12 PM
If other companies can do it, also Linux.
We need to set some standards that should apply to all distro's though.

Jim!
July 15th, 2008, 12:15 PM
I already think Linux is on par with Vista and OSX, but I don't think it's ready for the average user. In short, Yes - "Linux can become as good as Vista or OSX". In fact it can surpass them, In some ways it already has.

mehtdosa11
July 15th, 2008, 12:32 PM
Does anyone think linux can become as good as OSX or Vista or maybe even become the dominant OS in the world.

i think ubuntu is a good competitor against osx and vista. personally i would doubt that linux will ever be able to become the dominant force [unfortunately].

why? money talks!! i think microsoft/apple has such a stranglehold on the industry, as well as the companies that make/sell programs for windows/mac computers and also companies such as mcafee/symantec etc. how will they survive if everybody starts using free opensource os's and software?

i'm sure they would find a way to stop it happening.

Jim!
July 15th, 2008, 12:39 PM
personally i would doubt that linux will ever be able to become the dominant force [unfortunately].

I agree.

With the whole 'open source community' split in so many different directions the chances of Linux ever becoming a competitive OS on the market or even the dominant OS are very unlikely.

Lostincyberspace
July 15th, 2008, 12:46 PM
ANother thing is for linux there needs to be some sort of binary packgteing system that is compatible for all distrobutions that way the companys that do make software (non free) have aneasy to distribute version.

wrtpeeps
July 15th, 2008, 12:50 PM
You need the big software companies to come on board if linux is to become dominant, and with the amount of money they can make in windows systems, that's unlikely.

Barrucadu
July 15th, 2008, 12:51 PM
Linux works better than OSX or Vista, and no, I don't think it will become the dominant force in the market because most people distrust free software due to the plethora of virus-infested free programs for Windows.

lisati
July 15th, 2008, 12:55 PM
Who says that Linux hasn't done better in some ways than OSX or Windows? As long as we have a "poor cousin" mentality, we risk being stuck in a "poor cousin" place....

Jim!
July 15th, 2008, 12:55 PM
Why is the linux community so split up in the first place?, you would think that the entire community would be in unity but were spread around all over the place. It's like there all in constant competition to be number one. Its not just about Linux vs Windows vs Macintosh anymore. It's each Linux distribution fighting for the top as best Linux distribution to compete with Mac OSX and Windows Vista.

Look at it this way: Ubuntu vs OpenSUSE vs Fedora vs Debian vs Arch vs Whatever! Variety is good but there are over a thousand linux distros. Imagine if it was to merge all into one project? Microsoft and Apple wouldn't stand a chance. (Not hating on Apple or Microsoft)

zipperback
July 15th, 2008, 12:58 PM
Does anyone think linux can become as good as OSX or Vista or maybe even become the dominant OS in the world.

I use OSX on a daily basis at the college where I work, and I can honestly say that I prefer Ubuntu Linux over it for my personal needs.

As for Vista? Linux is already better than it in my opinion.

- zipperback
:popcorn:

mehtdosa11
July 15th, 2008, 01:01 PM
With the whole 'open source community' split in so many different directions the chances of Linux ever becoming a competitive OS on the market or even the dominant OS are very unlikely.

yes of course, good point as well, i agree totally.

Daveski
July 15th, 2008, 01:06 PM
Why is the linux community so split up in the first place?, you would think that the entire community would be in unity but were spread around all over the place. It's like there all in constant competition to be number one. Its not just about Linux vs Windows vs Macintosh anymore. It's each Linux distribution fighting for the top as best Linux distribution to compete with Mac OSX and Windows Vista.

Look at it this way: Ubuntu vs OpenSUSE vs Fedora vs Debian vs Arch vs Whatever! Variety is good but there are over a thousand linux distros. Imagine if it was to merge all into one project? Microsoft and Apple wouldn't stand a chance. (Not hating on Apple or Microsoft)

Oh God, no!
The reason Linux is the way it is is BECAUSE there is choice and freedom. Let's not take that away.

The 'internal' competition between distros is one of the things that drives innovation. It is the FLOSS equivalent of the market forces that drive innovation in commercial products which have competition, and exactly why nobody wants a monopoly.

Canis familiaris
July 15th, 2008, 01:11 PM
Linux kernel has some inherent flaws .. like loading modules manually vs. vista drivers autoinstall etc.

It is not the fault of the kernel, period. You have to manually insert modules for hardware whose companies do have little or no support for Linux.
In fact if Hardware companies treated Windows like that then even it would make things very difficult to install drivers.

blueturtl
July 15th, 2008, 01:13 PM
Look at it this way: Ubuntu vs OpenSUSE vs Fedora vs Debian vs Arch vs Whatever! Variety is good but there are over a thousand linux distros. Imagine if it was to merge all into one project? Microsoft and Apple wouldn't stand a chance. (Not hating on Apple or Microsoft)

If you follow this logic Microsoft Windows ought to be the best operating system in existence. Think about all those companies and products that Microsoft has swallowed and integrated into Windows:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companies_acquired_by_Microsoft_Corporatio n

This is not even a complete list.

Think about all those people on Ubuntu forums complaining about the brown default color? Or maybe the choice of Gnome as the default desktop environment? Suddenly one Linux distro doesn't seem like such a good idea does it? :)

Canis familiaris
July 15th, 2008, 01:19 PM
If you follow this logic Microsoft Windows ought to be the best operating system in existence. Think about all those companies and products that Microsoft has swallowed and integrated into Windows:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companies_acquired_by_Microsoft_Corporatio n

This is not even a complete list.

Think about all those people on Ubuntu forums complaining about the brown default color? Or maybe the choice of Gnome as the default desktop environment? Suddenly one Linux distro doesn't seem like such a good idea does it? :)

+1

Choice gives Linux the killer edge.

stefanm
July 15th, 2008, 01:20 PM
I run a small business transferring people's music etc from vinyl and tape to CD or MP3. I need good applications to do that and to enable me to copy and print high quality CD case insets and labels. I've dipped my toe into the linux pool by installing Ubuntu on one of my PCs. That was a mistake. I have spent a couple of months trawling the net for all the available freeware/shareware, but I still can't get any software to do exactly what I want. Despite hours of tinkering, I also still can't get it to run my printers. Pretty basic stuff. Early on I also persuaded a friend to try it, but she too couldn't get it to recognise her all-in-one printer scanner fax machine so it was effectively useless to her. I have been very disappointed.

Drawing an analogy with motoring, I know how to drive a car pretty well, I can put petrol in, top up the oil and water and inflate the tyres, but I couldn't fix one to save my life. I look under the bonnet and haven't a clue what all the black boxes, tubes and wires do. Like the vast majority I buy mass produced factory made cars and have my local garage fix them if they go wrong. But some people are car enthusiasts who know about that kind of stuff and buy kit cars or customise cars. Their cars may be better because they are hand made, but you have to really know what you're doing and have to enjoy doing it.

It seems to me that with MS you are getting a mass produced car. I know how to 'drive' a PC, I can install software and do some basic stuff, but if anything goes wrong I take it back to where I bought it and they fix it. I found that with Ubuntu when I had a problem I had to look it up on forums where I didn't understand the questions let alone the answers. I was constantly being told to go into terminal and type in all kinds of gibberish which meant nothing to me.

E.g ies4linux says it can't find some mfc42.cab
I see the code for it in lib/install.sh but when I go to the page, no download box shows up and when I wget the link it doesn't work either. EDIT: And since the other links are down, do this in the terminal for the video.
Code:
sudo apt-get install youtube-dl
youtube-dl -o linuxvalidation.flv http://youtube.com/watch?v=OfwC1XAy3Sc

Unlike all of you, I haven't got a frigging clue what this is all about and am convinced that most ordinary mortals wouldn't either. This is totally intimidating to someone like me and usually didn't solve my problem anyway. Also, not being a computer enthusiast I, really don't like messing around with bits of code inside the system. A computer is merely a tool. Like the vast majority I just want the damned thing to work and do what I want it to do. I have reached the conclusion that you have to be an 'computer enthusiast' to use linux, you really have to know what you are doing to make it work properly. It is for all you people on these forums who constantly use all those technical terms, not for the untermensch of the computing world like me!

There seems to be a lot of stuff around in these forums about the superiority of linux over MS and a lot of knocking MS just because they are big and very successful. I'm not sure what that's all about but I sense a slightly anarchic anti-capitalist tendency is at work. I read one entry saying: 'microshaft is a joke, the only reason anyone would chose microshaft over ubuntu is that they are just plain scared of the revolution'. Maybe from an 'enthusiast's' perspective MS is not as good as linux (I have really no idea in what ways it is supposed to be better but that's what people seem like the one above seem to be saying), but from my perspective MS does the job very well, I can get all the software I need to do what I want to do and the support is readily available. Like most people I don't give a toss what my operating system is called or who made it, like I said, its just a tool and I just want it to work and do what I need it to do. In that respect, for me MS is far better than linux. Whether you like it or not, MS has set the standards for accessibility and user interface and therefore determined consumer expectations. Everything is now judged by the standards that MS has set and, to be successful, any OS has to meet and exceed those standards.

Some may throw their hands up in horror at this but it also seems to me that, if linux is ever to significantly gain in popularity (market share) and 'compete' with MS (and be the threat to MS that some people in these forums seem to want it to be), I think it has to go commercial and seriously take on board the concerns of people like me - ordinary, ignorant computer users - to make it more accessible and user friendly. Although I do of course appreciate that this goes against the whole principal of freeware (and the revolutionary spirit) so will never happen. But as long as that is the case linux will remain a very good, but nevertheless marginal, system and there's no use griping about how linux users are ignored by printer manufacturers, software producers and bullied by MS. The harsh reality, whether we like it or not, is that we live in a profit driven, global capitalist market economy, so what do you expect? If linux has a very small share of the market, there is no financial incentive to take it seriously and software manufacturers will never devote resources to developing versions that will run on linux, thus further deterring ordinary folk like me from using it. I don't know how serious this revolutionary talk is in linux circles, but historically all successful revolutions have been well led, well organised and have had a clear vision and strategy. They also respond to people's needs. I don't see that in the linux community. If you really want linux to seriously threaten MS and to become seriously popular, where is the strategy? Its not going to just happen because you think its a better system when most people would find it inadequate for their needs and intimidating to use and so prefer MS.

Sorry this is so long. Anyway, its back to MS for me, I'll leave linux to the real computer enthusiasts and revolutionaries who know what they're doing and enjoy tinkering. But I genuinely wish you all the very best. I don't expect any replies as I'm signing out.

Canis familiaris
July 15th, 2008, 01:35 PM
.
Sorry that your printer did not work. Which printers do you use? Mine worked out of the box. In fact I had to tinker and install drivers in XP.
If your are willing to help yourself we are ready to help you.
Anyway if you are not willing to ask for help, then fine but come back to try Intrepid (next version of Ubuntu, due in October) though.

Another thing:
Difference b/w Windows and Linux is not like two cars but rather a car to a motorbike. And as we all know one who can drive cars may not be able to drive motorbikes.

Giant Speck
July 15th, 2008, 01:43 PM
I believe that it would be beneficial to the Linux community if the collaborators of the major Linux distributions came together to make one fully-functional, polished competitor to Windows and OS X.

And here is my reasoning for it:

Say an average Windows user wants to try a different operating system. He doesn't want to try OS X because that would require him to buy an expensive computer. So, he is left with Linux. He starts researching it online and gets confused when he sees all the different and separate distributions of Linux.

Arch? Gentoo? Ubuntu? OpenSUSE? GNOME? KDE? Compiz? Conky? -- These questions run through the person's mind. What the heck do they mean?

So finally, he settles with a distribution. Say he chooses Ubuntu for example. He uses it for a few months and realizes that doesn't like it after all. Now, considering he is an average computer user. Is he more likely to go try another distro, or is he more likely to go back to using Windows? There is nothing wrong with either choice, but I think that he'd be more likely to go back to using Windows because it is something he is already familiar with.

Here is what I think the Linux community needs to do:

1. Create a distribution that answers the needs of average users switching over from other operating systems. Make it easy to install. Package programs with it that are familiar to the user, such as an office suite (OpenOffice), an internet browser (Firefox), and a photo editor (GIMP). Give it a layout and style that is familiar to either the average Windows user or the average OS X user.

2. Get rid of the Linux Youth. These people are the most annoying people on the internet. One mention of Windows being better than Linux in even the slightest way sends them in a typing rage and frenzy ("Windoze sux! Down w/ M$ OMG LINUX FTW!") and it sets up an image that Linux users are full of themselves.

3. Work with and not against Microsoft and Apple to port programs from those operating systems to Linux. Also, collaborate with major computer manufacturing companies to make computers specifically for this new operating system.

Canis familiaris
July 15th, 2008, 01:53 PM
.
Sadly the developers of various Linux distributions would never come together, because:
(1) They have seperate aims. Ubuntu aims at desktop, Novell and RedHat aim at server, mostly.
(2) Few of them compete among themshelves. Novell and RedHat compete in server space.

Also you must understand that Linux is kernel not an OS.
Ubuntu is an OS, OpenSUSE are OS and they are different.

As for your points:
(1) Ubuntu already does that. If not Ubuntu there is PC Linux OS, MEPIS and Linux Mint.
(2) Yes thats true. But in every community there is good or bad, tolerance and extremism. But yeah many geeks need to refrain themshelves(ahem... me?).
(3) Linux developers are open to work with MS/Apple. Sadly they are are not willing to work with.

Jim!
July 15th, 2008, 01:57 PM
Think about all those people on Ubuntu forums complaining about the brown default color? Or maybe the choice of Gnome as the default desktop environment? Suddenly one Linux distro doesn't seem like such a good idea does it? :)

For some reason when I imagined all the linux and FOSS projects being combined together as one an image of a "perfect" OS popped into my mind:D. If they were all merged I'm sure they could have more then one GUI, kind of like how you can have GNOME and KDE installed in Ubuntu at the same time and choose which session you want to log in to.

Of course choice does remain an important factor, but if they at least made it so that any linux application/package could be installed on any linux OS then linux would definitely have an edge over Windows Vista and Mac OSX.

the_darkside_986
July 15th, 2008, 02:03 PM
I would vote if there were an option for "It already is." I don't understand the question: Ubuntu doesn't require me to manually load kernel modules, it sounds like you've been using Fedora or something.

Ubuntu is far more usable on an old blue G3 than OS X because while both OS can't use the gfx card properly, at least Ubuntu isn't rendered in plain black and white. And notwithstanding the fact that Vista is not available on PPC, its hardware requirements are too high to be used in any serious manner.

EDIT:
Yes, it may be difficult to run a very old Linux binary on today's distributions, but I'd prefer lean, shared library files over the Win32 security-hazard bloated mess of being able to run outdated Windows 95 programs. I mean, OS X for example dropped OS 9 support quite some time ago. Dropping backwards compatibility and support for old junk is one of few things I admire about OS X.

Daveski
July 15th, 2008, 02:10 PM
Early on I also persuaded a friend to try it, but she too couldn't get it to recognise her all-in-one printer scanner fax machine so it was effectively useless to her. I have been very disappointed.

Or to put it another way - let's assume she was running Linux quite happily and bought an all-in-one printer scanner fax machine. Oh dear, this device doesn't work - I'll exchange it for a different one. In this case the result would be that the all-in-one device was effectively useless to her would it not?

Does this device work on a Mac? Possibly.

It depends how you look at these things. Yes, switching from a highly supported (by third parties) system like Windows to Linux does throw up all sorts of problems. Linux is not a commercial competitor to Windows - heck, it doesn't even cost anything. However, I bet you'll get pretty good support from the community.

Martiini
July 15th, 2008, 03:57 PM
Im thinking, what does it take to make GPL operating systems the most popular OS-s in the world? how can a GPL os (linux kernel or any other) become the most popular os used in the world. it is a bit like catch22 .. hardware developers dont support linux because it is not the dominant one and linux cannot become the dominant one when it has poor support

34.50
July 15th, 2008, 04:17 PM
I don't think it will. Microsoft and Apple will dominate the market, but Apple will gain more market share.

Linux is just not "polished" enough. Not only that, most people have never heard of linux or don't know what it is. Having said that, I think Linux will gain more market share in the future, but it can only happen if it gets easier to use (for newbies), more hardware comptability, and most importantly, becomes more "polished."

I think if one "open source" company can do what Apple does, that is create computers and devices (from printers to mp3 players, wireless router, etc) that works altogether without problems, then it might become popular.

BDNiner
July 15th, 2008, 04:22 PM
If other companies can do it, also Linux.
We need to set some standards that should apply to all distro's though.

The only standard that matters is there are no standards. This makes the OS flexible and able to run on all kinds of platforms. Linux may never make gains in the home desktop market, but that is a very small slice of the pie. Corporate desktops and embedded systems are where Linux can make a big impact. in fact the embedded market is already going Linux's way.

Jim!
July 15th, 2008, 04:27 PM
The only standard that matters is there are no standards. This makes the OS flexible and able to run on all kinds of platforms.

It's also limiting at the same time, there are so many different packages available out there but they are all limited to there own derivative of linux. Imagine if the repositories for every single linux distro was compatible with every single linux distro (or at least the ones meant as a modern desktop OS).

run1206
July 15th, 2008, 04:29 PM
I think GPL OSs are already better than Windows (not sure about Mac cuz i haven't used Mac yet), though i doubt Linux will overrun the market. Microsoft and Apple are the highrunners of the market and i don't think that will change for some time to come. I do agree that not many people know about Linux or its capabilities; if more people learn about free software and the ability to run programs the way they want, Linux will gain more publicity than ever before.

miggols99
July 15th, 2008, 04:31 PM
I don't think it will. Microsoft and Apple will dominate the market, but Apple will gain more market share.

Linux is just not "polished" enough. Not only that, most people have never heard of linux or don't know what it is. Having said that, I think Linux will gain more market share in the future, but it can only happen if it gets easier to use (for newbies), more hardware comptability, and most importantly, becomes more "polished."

I think if one "open source" company can do what Apple does, that is create computers and devices (from printers to mp3 players, wireless router, etc) that works altogether without problems, then it might become popular.
What exactly do you mean by "polished"? It looks good?

Barrucadu
July 15th, 2008, 04:47 PM
Imagine if it was to merge all into one project? Microsoft and Apple wouldn't stand a chance. (Not hating on Apple or Microsoft)

It would fail horribly due to attempting to compromise between hundreds of different ideologies.

aaaantoine
July 15th, 2008, 04:57 PM
Many OEM PC manufacturers would -- ideally -- rather ship a derivative of Linux than have to pay licensing fees to Microsoft. This gives them the flexibility to configure the OS how they want to configure it. And currently, the manufacturers are tethered to the quality of Windows. What happens when most customers don't like Windows? They go buy an Apple. The OEM loses a sale.

Also, for those of you who think Linux will never dethrone Windows or Mac OS, look at the market share trend for the past two years, now. Linux share has consistently been climbing, while Windows share consistently falls. It's a slow process, but Linux share has doubled year over year for the past few years.

mkrahmeh
July 15th, 2008, 05:16 PM
its true that i use linux (not long time ago) and i love it, but with a heavy heart i would vote against linux about being the dominant OS in the market..
couple months ago..when i started using linux i heard one side of the story..from linux enthusiasts and forums across the net, but recently i attended a provoking debate about this very issue between business people, the guys defending proprietary products in general made pretty good points, for example; business wise MS provides full fledged packages for the IT industry with enormous support, from end user to the developer himself. Furthermore, they mentioned smthn about open source features for the .NET developers..just what is expected from MS in fighting against any potential competitors, to give u the alternative.
as for end user's perspective; with all the difficulty and patience, once i absorbed all these tweaky concepts on how to deal with my machine, i rarely use windows, but i emphasize here upon the long time it took me to do so.

lets not forget that about 70% of the servers in the world are running linux (or as i have been told) and that is a breakthrough on its own. I like to think about it as linux being another option, along with windows, OSX and others, so u can choose whatever suits ur needs, but the ultimate perfect OS will remain a myth

BDNiner
July 15th, 2008, 06:20 PM
It's also limiting at the same time, there are so many different packages available out there but they are all limited to there own derivative of linux. Imagine if the repositories for every single linux distro was compatible with every single linux distro (or at least the ones meant as a modern desktop OS).

This statement is false. The source code is always available, so if you need some software or a package then you can compile it yourself. there is not a single package that will only run on one derivative of Linux.

i understand that most people will never do this. they want an easy one click to install method, but other users can help out by helping to package software for their respective derivatives.

myusername
July 15th, 2008, 06:25 PM
i personaly wouldn't want a linux that works as "well" as vista

Redrazor39
July 15th, 2008, 06:29 PM
Anyone who says no has just given up. If people do that, then no, it will never. As long as you think it will, people will have the motivation to do so, and it will.

Canis familiaris
July 15th, 2008, 06:31 PM
Anyone who says no has just given up. If people do that, then no, it will never. As long as you think it will, people will have the motivation to do so, and it will.

I said no because Linux is better IMO. If I had voted yes, it would had been a backward step.

madjr
July 15th, 2008, 06:36 PM
This statement is false. The source code is always available, so if you need some software or a package then you can compile it yourself. there is not a single package that will only run on one derivative of Linux.

i understand that most people will never do this. they want an easy one click to install method, but other users can help out by helping to package software for their respective derivatives.

thats exactly the problem, a zillion formats

distro A needs software packaged in A format ; distro B needs packaged in format B, distro C in format C and so on.

and always there are packages missing because the packagers are humans too and very few.

1000 different packaging systems wars are the most fragmented part of linux and the stupidest thing ever done.

t0p
July 15th, 2008, 06:45 PM
Does anyone think linux can become as good as OSX or Vista or maybe even become the dominant OS in the world.


Man, what a crazy question!! Can linux become "as good as" Vista? Linux is better than Vista, right now!!

I've never used OSX, so I can't comment on which is better... but one thing I know, Ubuntu is the best OS I've ever used.

Canis familiaris
July 15th, 2008, 06:47 PM
1000 different packaging systems wars are the most fragmented part of linux and the stupidest thing ever done.
I agree. I wish all distros used APT.

jespdj
July 15th, 2008, 07:00 PM
Linux kernel has some inherent flaws .. like loading modules manually vs. vista drivers autoinstall etc.
Is that an "inherent flaw" in Linux according to you?

Linux automatically detects far more hardware automatically than Windows.

I've installed Windows Vista and Ubuntu on my laptop a few months ago. Installing Windows was much more work: I had to manually install drivers for the audio, WiFi, bluetooth, webcam, video etc. On Ubuntu, all those devices work out of the box. The only thing I had to do on Ubuntu was a few mouse clicks to activate the video driver.

I've never had to manually install a module on Ubuntu.

t0p
July 15th, 2008, 07:05 PM
1000 different packaging systems wars are the most fragmented part of linux and the stupidest thing ever done.

Dude, it's called choice. And having a choice ain't stupid!!

Barrucadu
July 15th, 2008, 07:35 PM
Choice is the best bit. can you imagine how boring Linux would be with only one packaging system, one window manager, one desktop environment, or one distribution? I'd use BSD or something instead...

cardinals_fan
July 15th, 2008, 07:50 PM
For me, it already works better. For the "average user"? I really don't care.

cardinals_fan
July 15th, 2008, 08:00 PM
thats exactly the problem, a zillion formats

distro A needs software packaged in A format ; distro B needs packaged in format B, distro C in format C and so on.

and always there are packages missing because the packagers are humans too and very few.

1000 different packaging systems wars are the most fragmented part of linux and the stupidest thing ever done.
I see that this has become a bit of a cause for you. Here's something you could do: volunteer as a packager for your distro of choice! More packagers are always needed!

RiceMonster
July 15th, 2008, 08:38 PM
I'm going to say what I've said a million times before for everyone making the same complaint we've heard over 9000 times: If you hate that there's many different distros and different software for "the same thing", then you don't know what Linux is about in the first place. Sounds like you'd like Windows or Mac OSX more.

run1206
July 15th, 2008, 09:50 PM
^^
true, to each his own.

some like Ubuntu, others like Gentoo, and maybe Kubuntu or edubuntu. whatever makes you happy, go for it.

and x2 for Linux being better than Vista...anyday!!! :D :D

VitaLiNux
July 15th, 2008, 10:18 PM
Why is the linux community so split up in the first place?, you would think that the entire community would be in unity but were spread around all over the place. It's like there all in constant competition to be number one. Its not just about Linux vs Windows vs Macintosh anymore. It's each Linux distribution fighting for the top as best Linux distribution to compete with Mac OSX and Windows Vista.

Look at it this way: Ubuntu vs OpenSUSE vs Fedora vs Debian vs Arch vs Whatever! Variety is good but there are over a thousand linux distros. Imagine if it was to merge all into one project? Microsoft and Apple wouldn't stand a chance. (Not hating on Apple or Microsoft)
I'm really sorry to disappoint some people, but I don't think the community is divided. Everyone is doing what it's meant to be with free software: modifying, sharing, using the software they way we like it! GNU/Linux' (globally talking) goal is not about market share(even though I'd be na´ve to think they don't need money!), its goal is to make good software available to everyone to suit the needs of everybody. Granted, Linux may not be every person's choice, though most of the people I know would use any OS you put in front of them because they don't care if it's Vista or OSX or GNU/Linux, what they want is that just works for them! As long as it works and makes what they need it to do, they don't care of stability or anything. People should always pick what's useful for them, no more, no less.

karellen
July 15th, 2008, 10:26 PM
Does anyone think linux can become as good as OSX or Vista or maybe even become the dominant OS in the world.
Linux kernel has some inherent flaws .. like loading modules manually vs. vista drivers autoinstall etc.
I think ,, it may be possible if linux gains enough momentum and starts getting support from hardware companies and European Union and support of the biggest software developers.

you assumption is flawed: good doesn't mean dominant. market share is not measure of quality, but of financial power, monopoly, anti competitive policies and an whole software ecosystem build around a dominant OS (Windows, maybe Mac OS X soon)
so my answer to your, no, I find it hard to believe that Linux will become the dominant OS anytime soon. but nevertheless, it's a good OS by itself, even without huge market share

BDNiner
July 15th, 2008, 10:27 PM
Yes the community is not divided. The main goals of open source software enable users to create their own flavours of applications to suit their own needs. unlike Windows and OSX that force one generic flavour to fit all needs. which doesn't work.

spupy
July 15th, 2008, 10:41 PM
Dude, it's called choice. And having a choice ain't stupid!!

Choice is good, but not always. Choice for a window manager = good. Choice for a program distribution package = bad.
"Huh? Should I click rpm or deb? Or tar? What does this things mean?"
"Should I enable Xgl or AIGLX? Which one is supported by my video card? What is compositing?"
"Should I search with find, slocate, tracker or beagle? How does these things work? Which is fastest?"

These questions are not interesting for a normal user. They make his head hurt. He don't want to loose time making these decisions. These questions drive him to OS X/Vista.
The rising success of Apple comes from the fact that they make a lot of the hard choices instead of the user. The user don't have to loose time to ponder on questions like the listed ones, and can start using the product for what he wants. But this strategy has a negative effect - Apple leaves too few choices for the users.

EDIT:
Offering choices is hard. Linux offers perhaps too much. Apple offers too few. In order for Linux to become more successful, the right balance must be found.

Daveski
July 15th, 2008, 11:14 PM
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=120489

Not exactly what the OP raised, but I can see this thread heading in the 'not ready for the desktop' direction.

Barrucadu
July 16th, 2008, 12:26 AM
These questions are not interesting for a normal user. They make his head hurt. He don't want to loose time making these decisions. These questions drive him to OS X/Vista.

That is why easy distributions like Ubuntu exist that make many choices for the user. Also, I have never been unable to install something due to it not being available in whatever package format I am using at the time.

spupy
July 16th, 2008, 12:42 AM
That is why easy distributions like Ubuntu exist that make many choices for the user. Also, I have never been unable to install something due to it not being available in whatever package format I am using at the time.

That's why Ubuntu is successful. ;)
I did realize my point about the packages was not very valid.

madjr
July 16th, 2008, 04:41 AM
That's why Ubuntu is successful. ;)
I did realize my point about the packages was not very valid.

no, your point about the packages is very valid:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=857052

apt is fast and stable but has many deficiencies (http://0install.net/matrix.html)

jnw222
July 16th, 2008, 11:52 AM
2 things

1. there is so distrust with "free" software because of devolpers for windows

2. if there were only four distros (xbuntu, kubuntu ubuntu all together with all varints) MIcroSoft would go down (hopefully)

stefanm
July 16th, 2008, 01:12 PM
Having said I'd be signing out I decided to come back and check how the discussion is going - not sure why. I don't understand a lot of the stuff that has been said about distros, binary packaging, GUI, GPL, platforms, kernels etc. But I do understand the difference between desktop and commercial applications. As the original question was, 'Can linux be made to work as well as OSX or Vista?', I understood the debate was about DESKTOP use of linux, therefore (even though cardinals_fan doesn't care about us) aimed at the ordinary average user who just wants to switch on and use the PC. The key question for me is what does 'As well as' mean in the context?

For us average users the PC is, at the end of the day, just a metal box with some wires and stuff inside. As Vitalinux said earlier, most of us really don't care what the OS is called or who made it - it is simply a tool which we want to work and do the job with no fuss. In that sense Windows is just fine, it does everything I want it to very well, it runs the printer and I can get all the software I need - unlike for Ubuntu. As Jim! said, its not ready for the average user, and as 30.50 said, its just not polished enough. Mkrameh makes some highly relevant points about the time and effort he had to put in to tweak his system to his satisfaction - something beyond ordinary users.

As a computer untermensch, having used Ubuntu for a few months, I can't see how it can be called 'better' than Vista or OSX. Jim! and others have said that linux can surpass them. They must be using different criteria to me. Maybe someone can tell me what I'm missing, I'm assuming its something to do with the technical details of how the OS works, or maybe the kernel - whatever that is. But as I say, what matters to ordinary users is the 'sharp end' - what they can see and use. Jespdj said that when he installed windows he had to install all the drivers seperately, maybe, but most people (ordinary users) buy PCs with windows already installed and never do it themselves, so that wouldn't be an issue for them.

Karellen argues that market share is not a measure of quality. There must be many millions of people in the world, probably a billion or more, who use Windows. Can they all be wrong? If is was THAT bad it wouldn't be so dominant, if it didn't meet their needs and do what they wanted MS would never have gained such a huge market share. If it didn't do what they wanted they could go for a Mac or for a linux system which has the huge advantage of being free! A free OS is not subject to the same market forces as a bought one, but also does not have the 'selling' or distribution power of a comercial company - it has no advertising capacity, no sales force etc etc, so its advantage is to some extent outweighed by its disadvantes.

In my humble opinion linux systems - whether or not they are 'better' than other systems - will remain a small part of the domestic desktop market, and despite what the many 'Ubuntistas' would like to see, will not be able to compete with the likes of MS and Mac. Maybe that is best as if it did become so successful it would lose the pioneering, collaborative (dare I say, revolutionary) spirit which is so evident in the Ubuntu community. Just a thought.

regomodo
July 16th, 2008, 02:00 PM
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Canis familiaris
July 16th, 2008, 02:15 PM
Karellen argues that market share is not a measure of quality. There must be many millions of people in the world, probably a billion or more, who use Windows. Can they all be wrong? If is was THAT bad it wouldn't be so dominant, if it didn't meet their needs and do what they wanted MS would never have gained such a huge market share. If it didn't do what they wanted they could go for a Mac or for a linux system which has the huge advantage of being free! A free OS is not subject to the same market forces as a bought one, but also does not have the 'selling' or distribution power of a comercial company - it has no advertising capacity, no sales force etc etc, so its advantage is to some extent outweighed by its disadvantes.


I understand your point but the fact is that you are used to Windows and to you the technical terms of Windows seem simple and easy. I guarantee you if you started you computing with Ubuntu, you wouldn't have felt so and in fact would have found Windows technical and difficult to use. Now since due to constraints to time and resistance to change you are unable to switch your mind to the way Linux works. Linux is not Windows. To you Computing means the way Windows works which is um... flawed assumption since Windows way is not the only way. Things are implemented differently in Ubuntu. The method of implementation is neither good or bad only different.
As for commercial backing, Ubuntu has Canonical, though it has not the marketing might of MS, it has a powerful community and resourcefullness.

stefanm
July 16th, 2008, 05:10 PM
But what is 'computing'? To me, and most users, it is simply using the software that I can run on my PC to perform a range of tasks. In that sense Ubuntu was actually not so different, you install the software then you use it. It has a similar windows type appearance, you find your data in a similar way etc. I could use it very happily. The real difference was that I had to work much harder and put a lot of time in to try to get it to do what I wanted, and in the end, after a lot of time seeking support on the forums, and a great deal of frustration, failed due to lack of available software or drivers for the printer.

Having now looked into this a bit more I see that linux started from a completely different basis to Windows, and in general terms (i.e. the only ones I can get my head around)from a commercial application called UNIX, originally used on servers etc. It was therefore designed for, and used by, computer specialists and programmers who know how to input code and amend programmes. I understand that the popular application of linux on desktop machines with a graphic user interface is a relatively recent development. From the outset Windows was aimed at the popular market.

It may be that from a technical expert's point of view the design of linux systems is in some ways better than Windows, I wouldn't know, but I repeat that, whether it is or not, that is of no interest to your average punter like me. Does it work? Yes. Can I get software to do what I want it to do? Yes. Does my printer work? Yes. Can I get it fixed easily if it goes wrong? Yes. Thats all I need to know.

It may be that my needs are too specific (audio and graphics - small business transfering music from tape and vinyl to CD and MP3 and copying the covers and inserts). It might be more suitable for general domestic use, but even there, looking at what my children use their PCs for I don't know. Can it run all the games they use? No. Can it run iTunes for their iPods? I don't think so. Can they communicate with all their frineds on MSN messaging? I'm not sure? Can you use BBCi to watch programmes? Again I don't know. If it can do these things (and easily, without messing about in terminal) then maybe I should use it at home rather than at work. I'd be grateful for guidance on that. I do recognise that a big advantage of Ubuntu is that you don't need anti-virus spftware which can be a right pain, and OpenOffice is truly excellent - I use that on my PCs. The printers however may still be a problem.

Any thoughts or advice?

Barrucadu
July 16th, 2008, 05:37 PM
Can they communicate with all their frineds on MSN messaging? I'm not sure? Can you use BBCi to watch programmes? Again I don't know. If it can do these things (and easily, without messing about in terminal) then maybe I should use it at home rather than at work. I'd be grateful for guidance on that.

Yes, and yes. I use BBC iPlayer regularly to watch things I've missed due to not remembering the time, day, month, or year (yes, once I forgot what year it was, that was very embarassing)

Yes
July 16th, 2008, 05:47 PM
You can use other programs other than iTunes to put stuff on iPods, I used Amarok and it worked perfectly. Here's a guide on it: http://www.simplehelp.net/2007/07/04/how-to-use-amarok-to-manage-your-ipod-in-ubuntu/ (Gee, isn't Google helpful?)

Both Pidgin and aMSN lets you use MSN on Linux, Pidgin is installed by default.

The BBCi demo worked for me, I dunno if the real thing works. Is it the same thingn as BBC iPlayer, or is that something else?

You don't need to go into the CLI to install Pidgin, aMSN, or Amarok. I'm not sure why you wouldn't, though. Isn't sudo apt-get install amsn amarok a lot faster than having to open Synaptic?

joshdudeha
July 16th, 2008, 05:50 PM
I'm sick of these threads....

And my opinion is - linux is far better than those two already.

RiceMonster
July 16th, 2008, 07:04 PM
Can it run all the games they use?

Probably not, though you may be able to play a few in wine (though wine is not nearly as reliable as running in natively on Windows).


Can it run iTunes for their iPods? I don't think so.
There are many programs like Amarok and gtkpod which can be used to sync iPod. I don't own an iPod, so I can't tell you how well they work (though I've heard they work well).


Can they communicate with all their frineds on MSN messaging? I'm not sure?
Of course they can. There's multiple programs. Pidgin can be used, which comes installed by default on Ubuntu, and it doesn't take any tweaking to get it to work. However, there's aMSN and emesene which are much better choices because they have more MSN specific features available. I personally use emesene just because it looks nicer. aMSN has more features though.


Any thoughts or advice?

Just stay with Windows. Ubuntu/Linux didn't seem to work well for you, so why bother then?

YaroMan86
July 16th, 2008, 07:05 PM
My opinion is that Linux has far surpassed these operating systems in terms of quality years ago.

Shippou
July 16th, 2008, 07:09 PM
I think so. Linux (in its many flavors) has already proven to the world how stable and how secure it is, despite the security flaws occasionally discovered.

I do think that Linux has already surpassed Windows in terms of security and reliability. Although Linux is commonly associated with system admins, I do think it is ready for desktop users, though,as they say, there is a lot of room for improvement.

As for Mac, I agree that it is a cool OS. And also like Linux, it has gained wide popularity, specializing in the laptop and notebook world.

stefanm
July 16th, 2008, 09:52 PM
I understand your point but the fact is that you are used to Windows and to you the technical terms of Windows seem simple and easy. I guarantee you if you started you computing with Ubuntu, you wouldn't have felt so and in fact would have found Windows technical and difficult to use. Now since due to constraints to time and resistance to change you are unable to switch your mind to the way Linux works. Linux is not Windows. To you Computing means the way Windows works which is um... flawed assumption since Windows way is not the only way. Things are implemented differently in Ubuntu. The method of implementation is neither good or bad only different.


I'm not actually resistant to change, if I was I wouldn't have tried Ubuntu in the first place. I went into it enthusiastically and really wanted to give it a good try. And its not "the way Linux works" compared to windows that was my problem, just that it wouldn't do what I needed it to do.

Anyway, enough from me. "So long and thanks for all the fish"

cardinals_fan
July 16th, 2008, 10:23 PM
Having said I'd be signing out I decided to come back and check how the discussion is going - not sure why. I don't understand a lot of the stuff that has been said about distros, binary packaging, GUI, GPL, platforms, kernels etc. But I do understand the difference between desktop and commercial applications. As the original question was, 'Can linux be made to work as well as OSX or Vista?', I understood the debate was about DESKTOP use of linux, therefore (even though cardinals_fan doesn't care about us) aimed at the ordinary average user who just wants to switch on and use the PC. The key question for me is what does 'As well as' mean in the context?

I don't care about the "average user" because there is no such thing. Each user is individual, and they use what works for them. If what works for them is Windows, so be it. I don't have any stake in what OS anybody else uses. That's their choice, and I don't care what they use.

LaRoza
July 16th, 2008, 11:13 PM
I don't care about the "average user" because there is no such thing. Each user is individual, and they use what works for them. If what works for them is Windows, so be it. I don't have any stake in what OS anybody else uses. That's their choice, and I don't care what they use.

I am the average user.

cardinals_fan
July 16th, 2008, 11:15 PM
I am the average user.
So the average user is the user who has been assimilated by the Borg...that makes sense...

LaRoza
July 16th, 2008, 11:17 PM
So the average user is the user who has been assimilated by the Borg...that makes sense...

The average user:


Prefers Slackware or Debian based distros
Uses Opera
Uses wmii
Uses Vim
Prefers exteme simplicity
Does most things in the terminal


Anyone else is a deviation and should change.

YaroMan86
July 16th, 2008, 11:19 PM
I would have thought the average user would have used Firefox more than using Opera.

I have to agree, though, I don't think there's an "average" user.

madjr
July 17th, 2008, 12:08 AM
Having said I'd be signing out I decided to come back and check how the discussion is going - not sure why.

Welcome back Stefanm

that is because just like the majority of us, you want linux to get better and work 100%


also, because it's community driven, so you too can make a difference and shape it to your liking (or whats best for everyone) with the help of other users who think the same way as you (again the majority).

that why there is brainstorm (http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/)

i know i will see you more often than you think. :)

it can be rewarding and addictive making a project better.

and i know you had trouble with your printer, i had too with a few of my Windows-made devices when i switched.

i booted up in windows to use them till i got a new one that works on linux. After this i rarely boot in windows anymore.

To use linux you just need to learn 1 rule: Get compatible Hardware. or do you see mac users purchasing windows hardware?

once you get all your hardware working on linux you get something windows will never give you: real security (no viruses, malware), almost zero maintenance, a community working for you and piece of mind.

ps. the developers are not such hard headed as some of the "opinions" of some of the forum members, which are old unsensitive linux nerds (gladly they have nothing to do with actual development :)).

wrtpeeps
July 17th, 2008, 12:26 AM
Customer walks into shop.

Assistant: "Want linux instead of windows?"

Customer: "ok"

Assistant: "What distro?"

Customer "Whats the difference?"

Assistant: "Errrr, <insert technical jargon here>"

Customer: "Riiiightt, I'll take windows, kthnxbi".

I'd imagine that is pretty much how it usually goes.

Martiini
July 17th, 2008, 01:09 AM
Customer walks into shop.
Assistant: "Want linux instead of windows?"

Dell Inspiron 1420N comes with ubuntu preinstalled and its an excellent laptop. There should be laws that prohibit to sell laptops with operating system preinstalled, so customers had choice.

I was really hoping the discussion would go in the direction of elaborating on the competitivness of GPL compared to proprietary operating systems and devolpment of software and comparison of kernels.
I also think European Union should set up funding and reasearch for GPL/linux ... once linux has become the dominating force, it cannot be overlooked and hardware manufacturers would be forced to recognise the demand for linux by general public and consumers.
but, nevermind , everyone express their opinions

cardinals_fan
July 17th, 2008, 04:26 AM
Customer walks into shop.

Assistant: "Want linux instead of windows?"

Customer: "ok"

Assistant: "What distro?"

Customer "Whats the difference?"

Assistant: "Errrr, <insert technical jargon here>"

Customer: "Riiiightt, I'll take windows, kthnxbi".

I'd imagine that is pretty much how it usually goes.
And this matters because...?