Is 2008 finally going to be “year of Linux on the desktop?”

On Saturday at the iPhoneDevCamp someone was showing me his computer. It was running Ubuntu. Linux. I noted to myself that it finally got over some of the ugliness that turned me off of earlier Linux-on-the-desktop attempts. He showed me, and a few other people some of the cool things (much nicer 3D switching than even OSX has, for instance). Damn, I thought to myself, it’s time to give Linux another look.

Then, tonight, I see another article over on ITPro about the future of Ubuntu and Linux as a desktop platform.

I should credit several readers lately for bugging me about Ubuntu. I forget them all, though, and don’t want to cause any hard feelings. Thanks for staying on my case. It sure is looking nice!

Anyway, it’s time to get an interview with Mark Shuttleworth. Anyone know him and want to introduce us?

Looks like Dell is seeing the same thing, too, Digg is linking to a report that Dell is expanding its line of Ubuntu-powered computers.

What do you think? Is this finally Linux’ time on the desktop? Is it getting good enough to get more than a tiny number of geeks to switch?

168 thoughts on “Is 2008 finally going to be “year of Linux on the desktop?”

  1. “getting better all the time and it sounds like you don’t really know much about it or KDE in general.”

    I haven’t used KDE since 2001 or something.
    But I do use apps that use the QT libs like Amarok for example, and qdvdauthor.

    As for the difference between KHMTL and Konqueror, I believe Konqueror was the only browser that actually used it, so the difference is negligible.
    Remember Galeon that used gtkmozembed?
    I don’t remember ever seeing one that used embedded KHTML before Safari.

    Of course the UI is going to be different because they developed those APIs on top of their display server themselves. The drawing and parsing engine is still KHTML/Konqueror. I heard the KDE developers had a lot of problems with Apple as far as re-contributing the forked code as they were supposed to.

    It’s only a matter of time now until Adobe and other companies walk the plank off the pirate ship platforms and release Linux products. Whether they are priced to sell or not remains to be seen.

    A platform free of piracy should be a 3rd party software company’s dream platform, but they are too short sited to be able to realize it.
    The revenue Linux generates from FOSS customization and Linux software application in manufacturing, web dev, retail, and systems management goes into the Billions with a B.
    Linux has always been a customizable software system for use in specific software driven solutions.

    Only in the past year or 2 have companies like Red Hat and Canonical packaged it up in the appropriate format for companies like Dell to be able to effectively use it as a premade stable Desktop solution.

  2. “getting better all the time and it sounds like you don’t really know much about it or KDE in general.”

    I haven’t used KDE since 2001 or something.
    But I do use apps that use the QT libs like Amarok for example, and qdvdauthor.

    As for the difference between KHMTL and Konqueror, I believe Konqueror was the only browser that actually used it, so the difference is negligible.
    Remember Galeon that used gtkmozembed?
    I don’t remember ever seeing one that used embedded KHTML before Safari.

    Of course the UI is going to be different because they developed those APIs on top of their display server themselves. The drawing and parsing engine is still KHTML/Konqueror. I heard the KDE developers had a lot of problems with Apple as far as re-contributing the forked code as they were supposed to.

    It’s only a matter of time now until Adobe and other companies walk the plank off the pirate ship platforms and release Linux products. Whether they are priced to sell or not remains to be seen.

    A platform free of piracy should be a 3rd party software company’s dream platform, but they are too short sited to be able to realize it.
    The revenue Linux generates from FOSS customization and Linux software application in manufacturing, web dev, retail, and systems management goes into the Billions with a B.
    Linux has always been a customizable software system for use in specific software driven solutions.

    Only in the past year or 2 have companies like Red Hat and Canonical packaged it up in the appropriate format for companies like Dell to be able to effectively use it as a premade stable Desktop solution.

  3. A couple of comments.

    Year of Linux on the desktop: I don’t think there will ever be a year where you will say “this is the year Linux adoption really took off”. Use of Linux on the desktop has been rising for years and will continue to rise in the comming years.

    Hardware: No OS has supported more hardware and platforms than Linux does. There are stuff that doesn’t work, one of the biggest problems have been Wifi but the situation is now much improved. Another problem is drivers for graphics cards from ATI and NVIDIA. They both refuse to work with the open source community to create open source drivers, which is sad. Intel is doing really well in that regard. If you got some hardware that doesn’t work with Linux, the right place to complain is to the hardware manufacturer and I hope you do complain when you experience any hardware that doesn’t work with Linux. If your hardware doesn’t work with Vista, do you complain to Microsoft about it? No you don’t. I recall that there has stability problems with NVIDIA’s graphics drivers for Vista and everyone critisized NVIDIA, but if it is Linux with a driver problem, then for some very strange reason it is Linux that is being critisized. I have honestly never understood that.

    Nero: Whoever it was that mentioned Nero should take a look at K3B – it is an amazing application for burning CD’s/DVD’s.

    Development rate of the desktop: I would suggest you take a look at KDE 4 which is under development currently with the first release planned for october this year. Saying that there isn’t any innovation or that the development rate is slow is certainly not true. It sounds more like a matter of not following the rappid progress that is happening. Of course, copying other desktops is being done, but then again, look at Vista and how many years it has taken them to release that. Is it more impressive than OS X? Some say yes, others say no. I have little experience with either, so I can’t comment, but the stuff I see happening in the open source desktops is not exactly stone age technology compared to them ;)

    Chris: Regarding Safari, it wasn’t based on Konqueror. It was based on KHTML, the web engine. It’s now also used on several Nokia phones and it works quite nicely too I must say. Safari is based on KHTML because it is a pretty darn nice engine and it is getting better all the time and it sounds like you don’t really know much about it or KDE in general. Not that I do either, but I do know the difference between Konqueror and KHTML :)

  4. A couple of comments.

    Year of Linux on the desktop: I don’t think there will ever be a year where you will say “this is the year Linux adoption really took off”. Use of Linux on the desktop has been rising for years and will continue to rise in the comming years.

    Hardware: No OS has supported more hardware and platforms than Linux does. There are stuff that doesn’t work, one of the biggest problems have been Wifi but the situation is now much improved. Another problem is drivers for graphics cards from ATI and NVIDIA. They both refuse to work with the open source community to create open source drivers, which is sad. Intel is doing really well in that regard. If you got some hardware that doesn’t work with Linux, the right place to complain is to the hardware manufacturer and I hope you do complain when you experience any hardware that doesn’t work with Linux. If your hardware doesn’t work with Vista, do you complain to Microsoft about it? No you don’t. I recall that there has stability problems with NVIDIA’s graphics drivers for Vista and everyone critisized NVIDIA, but if it is Linux with a driver problem, then for some very strange reason it is Linux that is being critisized. I have honestly never understood that.

    Nero: Whoever it was that mentioned Nero should take a look at K3B – it is an amazing application for burning CD’s/DVD’s.

    Development rate of the desktop: I would suggest you take a look at KDE 4 which is under development currently with the first release planned for october this year. Saying that there isn’t any innovation or that the development rate is slow is certainly not true. It sounds more like a matter of not following the rappid progress that is happening. Of course, copying other desktops is being done, but then again, look at Vista and how many years it has taken them to release that. Is it more impressive than OS X? Some say yes, others say no. I have little experience with either, so I can’t comment, but the stuff I see happening in the open source desktops is not exactly stone age technology compared to them ;)

    Chris: Regarding Safari, it wasn’t based on Konqueror. It was based on KHTML, the web engine. It’s now also used on several Nokia phones and it works quite nicely too I must say. Safari is based on KHTML because it is a pretty darn nice engine and it is getting better all the time and it sounds like you don’t really know much about it or KDE in general. Not that I do either, but I do know the difference between Konqueror and KHTML :)

  5. >Heck, look at the comments above, many of which are from hard core Linux advocates

    hey! I’m not “hardcore”, I’m soft-heart. and I work mostly on macintosh. please forget ALL yours olds bad linux “friends” and please, be open.

    Linux did not “failed” to have a simple interface before “compiz” (of course not, the interface is Gnome). but linux failed to have MANY simple and integrated APPLICATIONS for all the common needs of people.

    the problem is not “linux”

    linux is _Very_ fine. put it on a good computer and it’s rock solid, easy and all.

    Applications are the problems. we need More apps, more more more. stuff pretty as Delicious Library, easy money stuff, a kitchen receipt program , stuff as good as Omnigraffle, a better openoffice (better gnome integration) …

    it’s why os X is still a lot better : the _applications_

  6. >Heck, look at the comments above, many of which are from hard core Linux advocates

    hey! I’m not “hardcore”, I’m soft-heart. and I work mostly on macintosh. please forget ALL yours olds bad linux “friends” and please, be open.

    Linux did not “failed” to have a simple interface before “compiz” (of course not, the interface is Gnome). but linux failed to have MANY simple and integrated APPLICATIONS for all the common needs of people.

    the problem is not “linux”

    linux is _Very_ fine. put it on a good computer and it’s rock solid, easy and all.

    Applications are the problems. we need More apps, more more more. stuff pretty as Delicious Library, easy money stuff, a kitchen receipt program , stuff as good as Omnigraffle, a better openoffice (better gnome integration) …

    it’s why os X is still a lot better : the _applications_

  7. ubuntu has a music player which manage the ipod.

    in an itune like style. very nice.

    (you can drop music in the ipod AND DRAG from it ! )

    so many things marvellous to say about Ubuntu Linux.

    but still, I’m very happy with mac os X and my mac. but I could change my mind in a few month, even with leopard.

    there are exciting developments in linux desktops these days.

    the interface is more and more nice and polished and _simple_. now we need Great Desktop Applications. (free, commercial, libre, closed, open, whatever , I want them all).

  8. ubuntu has a music player which manage the ipod.

    in an itune like style. very nice.

    (you can drop music in the ipod AND DRAG from it ! )

    so many things marvellous to say about Ubuntu Linux.

    but still, I’m very happy with mac os X and my mac. but I could change my mind in a few month, even with leopard.

    there are exciting developments in linux desktops these days.

    the interface is more and more nice and polished and _simple_. now we need Great Desktop Applications. (free, commercial, libre, closed, open, whatever , I want them all).

  9. My little sister (16 years old, and have no interest in computers what so ever – except designing homepages and LJ-avatars) switched to linux and have never looked back at windows. If she can, you can too.

  10. My little sister (16 years old, and have no interest in computers what so ever – except designing homepages and LJ-avatars) switched to linux and have never looked back at windows. If she can, you can too.

  11. My year of Linux on the desktop has been 2000 :-)

    But then it was freedom as an everyday labour, toil and strife.

    The difference to Linux in 2007 is, that the freedom Linux offers, is becoming more and more and faster and faster a commodity and a convenience for its own best.

    Amarok is a very good example for this
    http://amarok.kde.org

    as is KDE in general also as GNOME.
    http://kde.org/whatiskde/
    http://www.gnome.org/about/

    Beryl and Compiz have recently joined forces again for Compiz Fusion driving the whole free 3D desktop idea even stronger.
    http://www.opencompositing.org/

    Getting people to switch to Linux is less and less a matter of hunting down bugs and more a question of getting the word out.

    Thank you very much Robert, for having made that just a great bit easier! ;-D

    Best Regards

    Werner

  12. My year of Linux on the desktop has been 2000 :-)

    But then it was freedom as an everyday labour, toil and strife.

    The difference to Linux in 2007 is, that the freedom Linux offers, is becoming more and more and faster and faster a commodity and a convenience for its own best.

    Amarok is a very good example for this
    http://amarok.kde.org

    as is KDE in general also as GNOME.
    http://kde.org/whatiskde/
    http://www.gnome.org/about/

    Beryl and Compiz have recently joined forces again for Compiz Fusion driving the whole free 3D desktop idea even stronger.
    http://www.opencompositing.org/

    Getting people to switch to Linux is less and less a matter of hunting down bugs and more a question of getting the word out.

    Thank you very much Robert, for having made that just a great bit easier! ;-D

    Best Regards

    Werner

  13. 2 myths I also want to debunk.
    The first is that piracy is obscure and that most people are good honest computer software buying users that own Windows and Mac.
    http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details?url=thepiratebay.org/
    ThePirateBay.org is 264 on the entire internet and it’s traffic is rising by the hour.
    Most people are bit torrent stealing software pirates, who’s only experience with photoshop and adobe products involves keygens and serialz with a z.

    Linux so far has managed to avoid this type of consumer.

    2nd, No major brands develop Linux software.

    Though proprietary and free, Google is fast becoming one of the major closed source Linux software companies.
    Desktop Search
    http://desktop.google.com/linux/
    Picasa
    http://picasa.google.com/linux/
    Google Earth
    http://earth.google.com/download-earth.html

    And they are said to be developing many more closed source Linux software titles as binary RPMs. Annoying to Stallman, but useful for the rest of us. OK with Linus.

  14. 2 myths I also want to debunk.
    The first is that piracy is obscure and that most people are good honest computer software buying users that own Windows and Mac.
    http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details?url=thepiratebay.org/
    ThePirateBay.org is 264 on the entire internet and it’s traffic is rising by the hour.
    Most people are bit torrent stealing software pirates, who’s only experience with photoshop and adobe products involves keygens and serialz with a z.

    Linux so far has managed to avoid this type of consumer.

    2nd, No major brands develop Linux software.

    Though proprietary and free, Google is fast becoming one of the major closed source Linux software companies.
    Desktop Search
    http://desktop.google.com/linux/
    Picasa
    http://picasa.google.com/linux/
    Google Earth
    http://earth.google.com/download-earth.html

    And they are said to be developing many more closed source Linux software titles as binary RPMs. Annoying to Stallman, but useful for the rest of us. OK with Linus.

  15. @Colin

    “Downside: lack of support for itunes is about the only gap I have seen.”

    yum install amarok

    Amarok will synch to your ipod or music device and pretty much take the place of iTunes completely. Some even say it’s better than iTunes. It works fine for me.

    http://amarok.kde.org

    Give Amarok a try and see if you miss iTunes.

    “… because linux had nothing going for it before compiz…”

    Beryl is much nicer for now. I dunno if that will stay the same though, because they are constantly battling against each other.

    “Why do linux companies always have to gravitate toward enterprise or business to survive?”

    http://www.newzbin.com/browse/cat/p/apps/
    http://thepiratebay.org/browse/302
    http://thepiratebay.org/browse/301

    Do we really want to repeat this mess for Linux?
    Nero has been doing it right. Make a commercial Linux version and sell it for 4 times less than the other platforms. That keeps people happy.
    The same thing happened with CDs in stores. They lowered the price and people started buying again.
    Companies producing commercial software have failed because they tried to transpose their Windows approach or Mac approach onto Linux and it doesn’t work too well.

    On the other hand plenty of companies are making a very good living off of Linux and FOSS customization. Where FOSS and Linux is the solution to an web, engineering, retail or manufacturing problem. IBM being the shining beacon of our Industry.

  16. @Colin

    “Downside: lack of support for itunes is about the only gap I have seen.”

    yum install amarok

    Amarok will synch to your ipod or music device and pretty much take the place of iTunes completely. Some even say it’s better than iTunes. It works fine for me.

    http://amarok.kde.org

    Give Amarok a try and see if you miss iTunes.

    “… because linux had nothing going for it before compiz…”

    Beryl is much nicer for now. I dunno if that will stay the same though, because they are constantly battling against each other.

    “Why do linux companies always have to gravitate toward enterprise or business to survive?”

    http://www.newzbin.com/browse/cat/p/apps/
    http://thepiratebay.org/browse/302
    http://thepiratebay.org/browse/301

    Do we really want to repeat this mess for Linux?
    Nero has been doing it right. Make a commercial Linux version and sell it for 4 times less than the other platforms. That keeps people happy.
    The same thing happened with CDs in stores. They lowered the price and people started buying again.
    Companies producing commercial software have failed because they tried to transpose their Windows approach or Mac approach onto Linux and it doesn’t work too well.

    On the other hand plenty of companies are making a very good living off of Linux and FOSS customization. Where FOSS and Linux is the solution to an web, engineering, retail or manufacturing problem. IBM being the shining beacon of our Industry.

  17. @robert
    “to get users like me to switch you’ve got to offer them something more. A better experience, etc. So far Linux has absolutely failed to do that.”

    So doing everything I need it to do for several hundred odd bucks cheaper is absolute failure. Man, you are tough to please. But then again, maybe to you several hundred bucks is nothin’. ;)

  18. @robert
    “to get users like me to switch you’ve got to offer them something more. A better experience, etc. So far Linux has absolutely failed to do that.”

    So doing everything I need it to do for several hundred odd bucks cheaper is absolute failure. Man, you are tough to please. But then again, maybe to you several hundred bucks is nothin’. ;)

  19. JMC: to get users like me to switch you’ve got to offer them something more. A better experience, etc. So far Linux has absolutely failed to do that. Heck, look at the comments above, many of which are from hard core Linux advocates.

  20. JMC: to get users like me to switch you’ve got to offer them something more. A better experience, etc. So far Linux has absolutely failed to do that. Heck, look at the comments above, many of which are from hard core Linux advocates.

  21. I love it… “(much nicer 3D switching than even OSX has, for instance). Damn, I thought to myself, it’s time to give Linux another look”

    … because linux had nothing going for it before compiz…

    damn, man.

  22. I love it… “(much nicer 3D switching than even OSX has, for instance). Damn, I thought to myself, it’s time to give Linux another look”

    … because linux had nothing going for it before compiz…

    damn, man.

  23. I don’t care either about THE year, but here are the facts: My sister doesn’t know how to install Windows. Neither Linux. She uses the laptop for simple tasks like web/mail/gtalk, ocassionally uploading photos to Picasa or using Google Earth.
    She is able to do it on both platforms, but thanks Ubuntu devs because she just CAN’T break my laptop any more.
    Oh and Ubuntu it’s prettier as Robert points out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abWn4QrlzRI

    If my sister can use it, it’s a true desktop platform.

  24. I don’t care either about THE year, but here are the facts: My sister doesn’t know how to install Windows. Neither Linux. She uses the laptop for simple tasks like web/mail/gtalk, ocassionally uploading photos to Picasa or using Google Earth.
    She is able to do it on both platforms, but thanks Ubuntu devs because she just CAN’T break my laptop any more.
    Oh and Ubuntu it’s prettier as Robert points out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abWn4QrlzRI

    If my sister can use it, it’s a true desktop platform.

  25. Boy, I may have come off sounding like a bummer.

    How could we make 2008 the year of the linux desktop? Is there something to learn from the failure of Eazel? Are there any good examples of user focused companies in the linux space? Why do linux companies always have to gravitate toward enterprise or business to survive? How can we get the same level of control, attention to detail and technical excellence in both the OS and application space that people seem to admire in Apple and perhaps Microsoft?

  26. Boy, I may have come off sounding like a bummer.

    How could we make 2008 the year of the linux desktop? Is there something to learn from the failure of Eazel? Are there any good examples of user focused companies in the linux space? Why do linux companies always have to gravitate toward enterprise or business to survive? How can we get the same level of control, attention to detail and technical excellence in both the OS and application space that people seem to admire in Apple and perhaps Microsoft?

  27. I installed Xubuntu 2 months ago, and am very happy about capability, stability, and speed. Its not unusual to run for over a week with no performance hit. OpenOffce launches literally instantly – zero delay.

    Downside: lack of support for itunes is about the only gap I have seen.

    PS … the trigger for me to switch – After 12 years of Windows, I cannot imagine installing Vista. And I have a core duo fast Thinkpad X60s.

  28. I installed Xubuntu 2 months ago, and am very happy about capability, stability, and speed. Its not unusual to run for over a week with no performance hit. OpenOffce launches literally instantly – zero delay.

    Downside: lack of support for itunes is about the only gap I have seen.

    PS … the trigger for me to switch – After 12 years of Windows, I cannot imagine installing Vista. And I have a core duo fast Thinkpad X60s.

  29. Gene,

    If it’s statically compiled in your binaries, please pull it out and make .a and .so’s out of the functions and document them.

    I hope PDI/Dreamworks aren’t jerks about it.

    Just putting out the .so’s for the quartz-like functions doesn’t necessarily mean that other studios will instantly be able to capitalize on their work instantly.
    That type of API can be used for so much.

    I hope you can convince them.

  30. Gene,

    If it’s statically compiled in your binaries, please pull it out and make .a and .so’s out of the functions and document them.

    I hope PDI/Dreamworks aren’t jerks about it.

    Just putting out the .so’s for the quartz-like functions doesn’t necessarily mean that other studios will instantly be able to capitalize on their work instantly.
    That type of API can be used for so much.

    I hope you can convince them.

  31. Chris,

    Contributing something back would be nice, wouldn’t it? I’ll have to keep you posted on that. Nothing to say right now.

  32. Chris,

    Contributing something back would be nice, wouldn’t it? I’ll have to keep you posted on that. Nothing to say right now.

  33. My post timing sucks, I posted right after you.

    “PDI/Dreamworks”

    So are they contributing this great Quartz clone API back to the community or are they keeping it in the vault?

  34. My post timing sucks, I posted right after you.

    “PDI/Dreamworks”

    So are they contributing this great Quartz clone API back to the community or are they keeping it in the vault?

  35. “every conceivable extension and trick to squeeze out the same level of performance, ease of use and sophistication that Mac developers get for free with Quartz and CoreAnimation.”

    By ease of use, I guess you are writing an API.
    Assuming this is FOSS, can you put a link up of the SVN or CVS so we can take a peek at a snapshot?
    Did you DOxgenate it?

    Thanks for any info. I would love to try it out if I can.

  36. “every conceivable extension and trick to squeeze out the same level of performance, ease of use and sophistication that Mac developers get for free with Quartz and CoreAnimation.”

    By ease of use, I guess you are writing an API.
    Assuming this is FOSS, can you put a link up of the SVN or CVS so we can take a peek at a snapshot?
    Did you DOxgenate it?

    Thanks for any info. I would love to try it out if I can.

  37. Chris,

    Hollywood stuff! Oh yeah. PDI/Dreamworks.

    We use both Xlib and OGL.

    Moving to Mono or some other framework isn’t in the plan as of now. I’ll take a look at Anjuta just to be informed.

    Thanks!

  38. Chris,

    Hollywood stuff! Oh yeah. PDI/Dreamworks.

    We use both Xlib and OGL.

    Moving to Mono or some other framework isn’t in the plan as of now. I’ll take a look at Anjuta just to be informed.

    Thanks!

  39. Gene,

    Have you tried Anjuta 2.2?
    Glade 3 is now embedded inside Anjuta.
    What about the embedded forms designer in the newer builds of Monodevelop?

    “es. I am working with all of that right now. I am working on some serious apps for creating feature length animated films and am using every conceivable extension and trick to squeeze out the same level of performance, ease of use and sophistication that Mac developers get for free with Quartz and CoreAnimation.”

    Are you a developer on the Cinerella project?
    http://heroinewarrior.com/cinelerra.php3

    Or is this hollywood stuff for films like Shrek?
    http://www.linuxjournal.com/issue/159

    As for performance, I guess it would help to know if you are drawing and rendering with Xlib or if you are using OGL. That would make all the difference in the world. Animation and polygon drawing with X could be a bit slow I would imagine.

  40. Gene,

    Have you tried Anjuta 2.2?
    Glade 3 is now embedded inside Anjuta.
    What about the embedded forms designer in the newer builds of Monodevelop?

    “es. I am working with all of that right now. I am working on some serious apps for creating feature length animated films and am using every conceivable extension and trick to squeeze out the same level of performance, ease of use and sophistication that Mac developers get for free with Quartz and CoreAnimation.”

    Are you a developer on the Cinerella project?
    http://heroinewarrior.com/cinelerra.php3

    Or is this hollywood stuff for films like Shrek?
    http://www.linuxjournal.com/issue/159

    As for performance, I guess it would help to know if you are drawing and rendering with Xlib or if you are using OGL. That would make all the difference in the world. Animation and polygon drawing with X could be a bit slow I would imagine.

  41. @seshadri

    “Why? Why hasnt open source with millions of passionate users come up with a better free photo editing software.”

    For what 98% of people do with their photos, it already has http://www.linuxjournal.com/issue/159 – and there is more than one alternative and they’re not all free. And while no software is perfect (no, not even Photoshop) there are lots of people improving open-source software all the time. Further again, you’ll have to explain to me why I should pay $750.00 CDN for a photo editing application when I can get one that does everything I ever need with my digital photos for absolutely nothing.

    I can pull the RAW files off my camera, process them, edit them, upload them, and print them all within Linux, for nothing. No command line, no fuss.

    Maybe the fact that I didn’t pay a cent for all of this makes it a better system – for me.

  42. @seshadri

    “Why? Why hasnt open source with millions of passionate users come up with a better free photo editing software.”

    For what 98% of people do with their photos, it already has http://www.linuxjournal.com/issue/159 – and there is more than one alternative and they’re not all free. And while no software is perfect (no, not even Photoshop) there are lots of people improving open-source software all the time. Further again, you’ll have to explain to me why I should pay $750.00 CDN for a photo editing application when I can get one that does everything I ever need with my digital photos for absolutely nothing.

    I can pull the RAW files off my camera, process them, edit them, upload them, and print them all within Linux, for nothing. No command line, no fuss.

    Maybe the fact that I didn’t pay a cent for all of this makes it a better system – for me.

  43. @disenchantedtech:

    “I went to a website recently that asked for a new version of Java. Under Windows I would have received a pop up asking if I want to install it yes / no.
    On Ubuntu it took me to a site with about 2 pages of installation instructions including a few manual tweaks on various files.
    Maybe next year”

    Ubuntu comes with a GNU Classpath version of Java. You want Sun Java (sun-java6-bin and sun-java6-plugin), which is in the universe repository which you manually enable in System->Administration->Software Sources. THis is MUCH better than Windows packaging and updating, trust me, b/c security vulns only need to be updated once because of how apps depend on only one lib instead of each shipping their own, and because apt manages updating _every program_ by itself so you’ll always have the most secure version.

    BTW, Java is soon to be fully GPL’d so hopefully Java 7 from Sun will be included directly in Ubuntu Gusty +1.

  44. @disenchantedtech:

    “I went to a website recently that asked for a new version of Java. Under Windows I would have received a pop up asking if I want to install it yes / no.
    On Ubuntu it took me to a site with about 2 pages of installation instructions including a few manual tweaks on various files.
    Maybe next year”

    Ubuntu comes with a GNU Classpath version of Java. You want Sun Java (sun-java6-bin and sun-java6-plugin), which is in the universe repository which you manually enable in System->Administration->Software Sources. THis is MUCH better than Windows packaging and updating, trust me, b/c security vulns only need to be updated once because of how apps depend on only one lib instead of each shipping their own, and because apt manages updating _every program_ by itself so you’ll always have the most secure version.

    BTW, Java is soon to be fully GPL’d so hopefully Java 7 from Sun will be included directly in Ubuntu Gusty +1.

Comments are closed.