View Poll Results: What does "ready for the desktop" mean to you?

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  • Any person can install it on any computer without any problems

    1,609 34.95%
  • Anyone can use it once it's already been installed and configured

    2,414 52.43%
  • Every commercial application works on it

    453 9.84%
  • Nothing--it's a nonsensical term

    704 15.29%
  • It automatically detects most hardware without the need to hunt down drivers

    2,236 48.57%
  • It comes preinstalled on computers so novice users don't have to install it

    889 19.31%
  • It's suitable to the needs of most beginner users but not necessarily to most intermediate ones

    568 12.34%
  • Windows and nothing else... not even Mac OS X

    46 1.00%
  • Works on my desktop

    1,199 26.04%
  • Other (please explain)

    166 3.61%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Linux Desktop Readiness Thread

  1. #7871
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Edge of Time
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: Linux Desktop Readiness Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peyton View Post
    Nobody's arguing "against" Ubuntu or Linux. If I didn't like Ubuntu, then I wouldn't have an account in an Ubuntu forum.
    That wasn't directed at anyone in particular. Just a general observation. Perhaps "against" isn't the best word, but there are certainly a lot of posts here that, while usually well-meaning, take on the general tone of "Ubuntu is nice and all but just not ready" or "not as good as windows" and so on. To those of us who do think Ubuntu is ready, actually better than windows and use it every day these comments do appear as being a kind of attack - whether or not the poster intended that.

    And, yes, I know beans aren't a great way to measure time or involvement but they often give a good approximation. For example, many of the "Ubuntu just isn't good enough" type posts came from users who's accounts were only days or weeks old at the time of the post. Some of them start, "I've been using Ubuntu for 3 hours now and..." Conversely, it's pretty rare (though not non-existent) to find similar posts by users who have been here a couple years (at the time of the post).

  2. #7872
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Beans
    0

    Why Linux still fails as desktop...

    I have always been trying to find a use for Linux if for no other reason than to expand my base of experience. In the past, I have always found quite enough problems with various distros to eliminate it as a viable desktop OS. Mind you, for specific purposes there is no question that Linux excels, be it a file server or PVR like Myth or any number of purpose built uses - but as an all around main desktop it has always show itself to be grossly inadequate to me. Just FYI, I consider a desktop OS to be one that can install and work without advanced configuration - downloading and running some driver executables is acceptable, even necessary in todays more complex hardware world, but the Achilles heal of Linux has always been the ridiculous need for advanced processes needed to do even common things and the requirement that the more advanced things be done through an archaic command line.

    I am not an average user, I am quite technically proficient. I hold more than one computer science degree and have a number of computer certifications. I have worked with UNIX in the past in a commercial setting so am not afraid of a command line, I just understand the limitation of the command line is that you can ONLY do what you know exactly how to do with it. It is also more than a bit ridiculous how the many Linux distros to often insist on their own switches and formats for the most common of things.

    So, that is by background, my biases - here is my story with Ubuntu...

    Having heard allot about Ubunutu over the past months I have wanted to give it a try and see what people where talking about. I had been wanting to do something with it just to see for myself. I installed it pretty easily and have to say I found it impressive how many drivers it recognized without issue. I use a Promise HDD controller and a PCIe SATA controller (due to NVIDIAs crappy 680i SATA implementation) and I didn't expect it to auto detect both. I did expect issues with video and sound and that is where, ultimately, my previous experiences with Linux where confirmed. I did not expect to have Ubunutu automagically recognize my 8800 GTXs and have them running in SLi, heck, NVIDIA can barely get SLI working in Vista. But that being said, finding that after install the best I could get from the default video driver was a 1024x768 desktop, not even a WS option, was disappointing. No worries, I had to do a custom config on a PVR I built to host mythTV (running on fiesty) a couple weeks ago so I wasn't concerned.

    I went about playing around and trying to get some things setup to try it out and came across two issues that to me make Ubuntu totally useless as a real desktop PC OS. First, and the most ridiculous, was in trying to copy/paste a file from my home directory to the firefox directory (namely, my bookmarks). Yes, I know I could import it but I should have been able to just copy/paste my archived one over the profiles existing default one as well. The problem came from permissions as I don't have permission to the /etc folder. this I know being familiar with the Linux kernel and I don't find that a fault in and of itself. What I fault Ubuntu for is the complete lack of a way for me to trigger and privilege elevation to complete the operation. I mena I copy from one folder and then in the other I right click to paste and no option to do so exists with NO explanation of the problem. Being and experiences computer guy I realize the issue and complete the operation from the command line with about 10 times the effort. But explain to me how a regular person would do this? Command line to copy/paste files? No way - this behavior alone disqualifies Ubuntu as being usable by 955 of PC users.

    The next issue, the final straw really - was when I went to try to get the NVIDIA driver going. I tried to different ways of doing this - both from the standpoint of what a moderately informed average user would be able to do - and I tried with and with both 8800s installed and with only one installed, the results where the same so I will describe what happened with both installed. First, downloaded the driver from NVIDIA. Of course I cannot double click it and run it as 95% of PC users would try to do, I did find the "allow to run as executable" and check it under the file properties but when it went to run it still needed privilege and no dialogue or means of granting the privileged escalation existed. So, right here - dead in the water for 95% of PC users and for no good reason. Why no right clilck option to execute as root? Anyways, to the command line - run the file and it completes and prompts to reboot. Upon reboot - Xwindows fails to load and I am at a command line. For all practical purposes a DEAD PC. I can easily get xWindows back up and going but are you kidding me, such a routine driver installation can kill the GUI for the OS? No way this is ready for anyone but expert users. I got xWindows back and the default driver back and tried the alternate method using the 'restricted drivers' option. This seems to be an Ubunutu specifc thing, and I had no idea what it was other than ascertaining that it was installing the open source NVIDIA drivers that I know are out there. Anyways, it was easy enough to find and to start; definitely something any user could do. Upon completing a reboot was requested (don't Linux folk make fun of all the reboots Windows requires?) so I did. After rebooting I got back to the same problem as before - Xwindows crashes on load and the system drops to a command line - again, DEAD PC to anyone but an expert.

    All this just trying to get better than the base display driver - no mention of trying to get good performance or, god help me, 3d. I didn't even try sound either. Just one of the most basic things ALL computers need - display. How can Linux be taken seriously as a desktop contender with such critical failures on such basic and necessary elements. I really find it disappointing as I have used Ubunutu (running MythTV and MythWeb ona box in the garage now) enough to know it is a quality distribution and word on the street is of all the Linux distributions it is the most 'usable'. 'Linux for human beings' is far from what Ubuntu seems to be at this point - sure, if all you want is a cheesy resolution and a web browser and email then I suppose it works great, but heck - the damn iPhone does that and more. If Ubunutu, or Linux in general, really wants to take advantage of MS recent incompetence and their struggle to make Vista not suck then there is alot of work to do. First, driver support is worlds better but still not good enough - a bad driver install cannot kill the computer. Command line has to go - I know this will never happen and that because of it Linux will never be much more than it is but this is 2007, command lines are great for automated tasks, administration, and for servers and other single purpose machines but in the desktop world the command line should be NOTHING but an alternative to GUI for use when doing advanced maintenance or other such expert work. A regular user should be able to install, configure, edit, copy and paste files, remove files, etc, etc, etc without EVER having to hit a terminal.

    I am going to try SuSe next having played a good deal with Fedora a bit back and being even less impressed. I wish Ubuntu well, I find allot of good in it - and I will probably continue to use it for my PVR (where Linux really shines IMHO - those single purpose systems, proprietary services, etc). But it has a long way to go to compete with Windows for the desktop market, a long way.

  3. #7873
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Beans
    50

    Re: Why Linux still fails as desktop...

    Linux fails as a desktop for you. Just because you're not used to how it works doesn't mean that its broken or not ready for the desktop. Maybe you should stop and think that maybe we like how linux is now and we dont want it to be more like Windows. I don't care if average joe can't use ubuntu or any other linux distribution, thats not my fault. The point is that I can and it opens me up to a world of free software, a stable, tweakable, free operating system that works for ME.

  4. #7874
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Beans
    Hidden!

    Re: Why Linux still fails as desktop...

    Quote Originally Posted by SWBgHz View Post
    I am not an average user, I am quite technically proficient. I hold more than one computer science degree and have a number of computer certifications. I have worked with UNIX in the past in a commercial setting so am not afraid of a command line, I just understand the limitation of the command line is that you can ONLY do what you know exactly how to do with it. It is also more than a bit ridiculous how the many Linux distros to often insist on their own switches and formats for the most common of things.
    Welcome to the Internet!

    By the way, does anyone care that I hold at least 3 PhDs, worked in the Manhattan Projekt and that I earned a fortune selling turnips? Oh, least I forget, supermodels keep going in and out of my bedroom!

  5. #7875
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Indiana
    Beans
    1,933
    Distro
    Hardy Heron (Ubuntu Development)

    Re: Why Linux still fails as desktop...

    Yeehaw, I got in this thread before it got merged with the megathread!
    Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. - Dr. Seuss

  6. #7876
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Beans
    1,563
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Why Linux still fails as desktop...

    G'bye!
    Bye-bye
    So long
    C-ya!
    Adios!

    Amazing how many people are technically adept and incapable of getting Ubuntu to work while an even a larger number of people saying "I'm a noob", ask their questions, get answered and stick around and accumulate a large number of postings/replies (at least more than "0"!!)
    Friends don't let friends wear a red shirt on landing-party duty.
    DACS | Connecticut LoCo Team | My Blog
    Ubuntu User# : 17583, Linux User# : 477531

  7. #7877
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    /usr/share/beer
    Beans
    1,316
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Why Linux still fails as desktop...

    That copy/paste files with no interaction (hey, everyone's an admin, right?) is one of the many many ways virus' propagate through a Windows system like gang busters.

    I don't know. Anyone w/ *nix experience that I know of (whether AIX, HP-UX, BSD, RHEL, etc) seems quite impressed how far desktop Linux has come along.

    For the money, which is what I base everything on, I think desktop Linux (Ubuntu, SLED, etc) is far superior to Windows.

    Registered Linux User #419773, Ubuntu User #8473 ("It Is What It Is")

    If you type rm -Rf / as root at command line you will get herpes... then die... (okay, it'll erase ALL your data)

  8. #7878
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Beans
    1,563
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Why Linux still fails as desktop...

    Quote Originally Posted by SWBgHz View Post
    Just FYI, I consider a desktop OS to be one that can install and work without advanced configuration - downloading and running some driver executables is acceptable, even necessary in todays more complex hardware world, but the Achilles heal of Linux has always been the ridiculous need for advanced processes needed to do even common things and the requirement that the more advanced things be done through an archaic command line.
    huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by SWBgHz View Post
    I am not an average user, I am quite technically proficient. I hold more than one computer science degree and have a number of computer certifications. I have worked with UNIX in the past in a commercial setting so am not afraid of a command line,
    Aren't we all?

    Quote Originally Posted by SWBgHz View Post
    It is also more than a bit ridiculous how the many Linux distros to often insist on their own switches and formats for the most common of things.
    Feel the same way about cars. Why aren't they all made exactly alike? Everybody needs a Mini Cooper, even large families! It's got a trunk, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by SWBgHz View Post
    First, and the most ridiculous, was in trying to copy/paste a file from my home directory to the firefox directory (namely, my bookmarks). Yes, I know I could import it but I should have been able to just copy/paste my archived one over the profiles existing default one as well.
    I tried doing things the hard way at first.. then I decided to try it out the proper way and it worked! Silly me, maybe developers DO have brains!

    Quote Originally Posted by SWBgHz View Post
    The problem came from permissions as I don't have permission to the /etc folder. this I know being familiar with the Linux kernel and I don't find that a fault in and of itself.
    Not being familiar with the Linux kernel and given 10 minutes or so I would have figured this out too!

    Quote Originally Posted by SWBgHz View Post
    What I fault Ubuntu for is the complete lack of a way for me to trigger and privilege elevation to complete the operation.
    Yeah, me and 995 hackers across the world wish to too.

    Quote Originally Posted by SWBgHz View Post
    Being and experiences computer guy I realize the issue and complete the operation from the command line with about 10 times the effort.
    If you're so experienced, (with Unix and Linux and blah. blah.. blah..) then WHY would it take so much effort? You should be able to do it in your sleep.

    Quote Originally Posted by SWBgHz View Post
    But explain to me how a regular person would do this? Command line to copy/paste files? No way - this behavior alone disqualifies Ubuntu as being usable by 955 of PC users.
    Don't worry, I think there are more than 1,000 people in the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by SWBgHz View Post
    The next issue, the final straw really - was when I went to try to get the NVIDIA driver going.
    So buy a Dell and you shouldn't have this problem.


    Quote Originally Posted by SWBgHz View Post
    DEAD PC to anyone but an expert.
    Good thing you just sooooo experienced!
    Last edited by Dragonbite; July 5th, 2007 at 08:05 PM. Reason: (finger hit "Enter" too early.
    Friends don't let friends wear a red shirt on landing-party duty.
    DACS | Connecticut LoCo Team | My Blog
    Ubuntu User# : 17583, Linux User# : 477531

  9. #7879
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Beans
    258
    Distro
    Gutsy Gibbon Testing

    Re: Why Linux still fails as desktop...

    Yay another thing to be merged. You, my friend, ****** your computer up through your own incompetence. You don't go to the nVidia site to download the driver, that's what a Windows user would do, in Ubuntu you can download the said driver from the repository and have it 100% setup for you. Of course X was dead, you destroyed it with the driver from nVidia. No need to blame the OS.

    Pasting a file outside of /home is not something for an average user (w/e that happens to be) to know or be able to do. Just because you can do it in Windows doesn't mean it's a good idea. By the way Vista FINALLY remedied that problem. You might also want to consider that no average user I know (or even an advanced one like me) has a clue of where Firefox keeps the bookmarks file so we just import/export it.
    NOTE: Firefox, like ALL applications in Linux, holds user data in the user's /home folder not /etc. Why you went there I got no idea, perhaps you should have enabled viewing hidden files (something Windows hides by default as well).

    a bad driver install cannot kill the computer.
    ROFL, if we go with that line of thinking then Windows is the LEAST ready OS for the desktop. At least in your case on Ubuntu you wouldn't need to reinstall the OS, just reconfigure the X server. Also you might want to note that the next release of Ubuntu will include something called Bulletproof X that will safeguard against just such a thing.

    You claim to be an expert but you obviously have not a single clue about the OS. You failed to go through the proper channels to accomplish what you wanted and ended up with a "broken" system. If you try to import bookmarks into IE by messing with the registry in Windows you won't be getting very far either.
    Since I get asked alot, I am originally from Ukraine but am Russian by nationality. My nick means specter in Russian.

  10. #7880
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Beans
    64
    Distro
    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: Why Linux still fails as desktop...

    WOW Another one of these threads....

    EDIT: I always wonder if these people invest as much time and energy into trying to get (insert software/hardware being complained about here) to work as they do in writing this novel of a thread about how it didn't work
    Last edited by matthinckley; July 5th, 2007 at 08:04 PM.

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