Linux

The Canonical conundrum: Why the Ubuntu hate?

Jack Wallen offers his perspective on the Canonical and Ubuntu debate. Do you think Canonical should be thanked or shunned for their decisions? Take the poll.

I've been holding my tongue on this issue for quite some time now. I've sat back and watched as so many in the Linux community have bristled and argued that Canonical (and thus, Ubuntu) are alienating the majority of the Linux community with their actions. Canonical, Mark Shuttleworth, and Ubuntu are being vilified as if they no longer care about being a part of the Linux, FOSS community. It seems every blog, developer, pundit, and fan has had their say on the issue -- and most of those words are not kind.

Let me put this into a perspective that many of those exhibiting hatred have neglected to inject into their banter.

Canonical and Ubuntu have done more for getting Linux into mainstream desktops than any other distribution. Ubuntu has almost completely flattened the learning curve. Ubuntu has attracted companies that, otherwise, would never have considered Linux. Ubuntu has managed to put Linux on the precipice of a distribution that spans everything from servers to smartphones.

Canonical wants one thing for Ubuntu -- mass adoption. In what way can that be construed as bad?

Let me outline what I think has happened:

  • Ubuntu shunned GNOME for Unity -- outcry was heard.
  • Ubuntu decided they were going to go with the Wayland X Server and then realized it would be in the best interest of the long-term goals to roll their own X Server (Mir). Outcry was heard.

Unity was released in 11.04. By the time 12.04 came around, people weren't so angry about Unity. In fact, many of those that hated Unity, at first, realized it wasn't such a bad interface after all. I was one such user. It took very little time for me to realize that Unity was actually one of the more efficient desktops available.

This time around Canonical made a decision about which X Server would best suit the Ubuntu desktop going forward. They had their reasons; and to be quite honest, I trust their reasons. Above all, Xorg is way out of date and needs to be replaced. I don't care which X Server is used, so long as it makes Ubuntu work and work well.

Honestly, here's what I care about: I want to see Linux on desktops everywhere. I want to see Linux on desktops in the business world, at home, being used by kids, teens, adults, senior citizens, Vice Presidents, butchers, bakers, candlestick makers! If that is to happen, it will do so at the hands of Canonical and Ubuntu. Why? Because Canonical is the first company to make any serious headway on the desktop space. And, should the Ubuntu phone become a hit -- that's yet another inroad to mass acceptance.

I understand that there are people out there who feel slighted. The Wayland project would probably be at the top of the list. But there is one thing that everyone must understand -- Canonical is a business and their business is to get Linux on desktops. Businesses have to make hard decisions that do not always please everyone. What's important, however, is that we judge those decisions based on how effective they are at helping to achieve the end results. In this case, the end result for Canonical is creating a desktop Linux platform that can be used by anyone, on any hardware and still dwell within the auspices of open source.

As much as it pains me to say this, there is a lot of jealousy and bitterness out there. The success Ubuntu has had over the years has come at the price of other desktops and projects. That's the nature of business. Maybe it's hard for a good majority of the Linux community to accept the idea of "Linux" as a cog in the machine. But if you step back and look at the grand design, you should see that having Canonical and Ubuntu leading the charge, is probably the single best thing for Linux at the moment. Imagine where Linux would be without the foresight of Mark Shuttleworth and the user-friendliness of Ubuntu.

I would venture to say Linux would be closer to the precipice of complete obscurity and not success.

Of course, that is not to say there are other projects who have worked hard to help bring Linux to this cusp: Apache, Samba, KDE, Compiz, GIMP, LibreOffice... the list goes on and on. But one project stands above the rest with regards to pushing Linux into a seriously successful future -- that project is Ubuntu.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

100 comments
VeloriumIV
VeloriumIV

I'm still noob to GNU/linux. I'm still trying to understand all the distros, kernels, shells, etc. So far, I really like ubuntu, except for two things that annoy the crap out of me. One is their servers being bogged down. Even though I apparently picked the best server, I am downloading an update at 75kb/s. The second complaint, is if I were to cancel this apt-get update with ^C, find a new server, and then do another apt-get update, I will have a duplicate file that I will now have to track down in sources.list and delete. This blows my mind. WTF does cancelling a single update completely disable ubuntu? Other than that, I really enjoy it so far.

Dave Keays
Dave Keays

I'm a Fedora user and see no reason to play with a working machine right now. Later I'll take an old desktop or laptop out of the closet and play with different distros to see what I am missing. Ubuntu is on the list as a valid option. I preferred a minimalist GUI at first, but each time I hadn't done something for a while I had to look for it. So unless everything I do revolves around one task I'm more productive with a heavier desktop.

rduncan
rduncan

Why should the goal of open source software be mass adoption? I don't get it, and why, for any reason would you choose Linux as the platform for it, it traditionally runs with no GUI, is command driven, assumes you know what you are doing, is aimed more at computer scientists than grandmothers, will make novices feel totally alienated, and RedHat have already tried! -- Leave Linux for architects and developers and administrators to build public and private clouds like openstack, eucalyptus, AWS, use it as a load balancer, a firewall, a web server, a federation server, a proxy server. There is no good reason to give Linux to ordinary end users and it will never and should never be adopted as such. Why, Why, Why???

apotheon
apotheon

. . . for convincing more and more Linux users to consider more-Unix-like alternatives, just as MS Windows Vista and Win8 have convinced many MS Windows users to consider more-Unix-like alternatives. I even have Ubuntu, in some small part, to thank for the fact that I gave FreeBSD a real try as my primary OS, thus finding a much better OS for general use for myself; the example of how Ubuntu was running its operation caused the Debian project to start experimenting with changes to its project development model, which caused problems in stability and usability to start occuring, pushing me out of my complacency with Debian in 2005. So, yeah . . . thank you, Ubuntu, for being one of several forces driving the Linux ecosystem into the dirt. It may be more popular, but that's due to marketing more than anything else -- and along with the marketing, it has been making things worse for those who are used to stable, secure, highly usable systems oriented toward making it easier to get things done, instead of toward blinkenlights, swooshing noises, fire effects, and simulated bevels. Thank you, because without helping push the Linux development community in a direction that makes Linux-based systems harder and harder to use effectively, many people who have moved on to greener pastures may never have seen what was available to them beyond the Linux world. I suppose I should be thanking the GNU Project, the FSF, and Lennart Poettering (along with the rest of the Red Hat LNU (Linux is Not Unix) crowd), too. Honestly, the things these scourges in the face of the Linux world are trying to accomplish (apart from GNU/FSF, I suppose) could be good things if approached in a reasonable, rational, competent manner. If so, the Haiku project would be much further along. If the Haiku project makes serious progress in the near future, we could have two very good, very different OS types available to us in the open source world -- the BeOS-descended Haiku, and BSD Unix systems. Somewhere in the middle, the way things have been going, we'll have Linux-based systems, which combine the worst aspects of both, leaving out most of the positive aspects of them. Linux-based systems might still be more reliable than MS Windows by that point, at least.

CElliott316
CElliott316

I process workunits for SETI@Home (S@H). The advent of fast GPUs have revolutionized S@H allowing the user to process a workunit in 13 minutes that can take an hour and a half or more on a fast CPU, with much less energy use and heat exhaustion. But no one on S@H who uses Linux is processing workunits with a GPU. Until Linux fixes that problem, it is forsaking many users.

rich3page
rich3page

I've been using Ubuntu for a few years and it is becoming my primary operating system. I prefer the Unity desktop (as do a couple friends). When Unity was introduced, I reverted back to KDE for awhile, but I found Unity friendlier and more versatile. I think Unity is what Microsoft had in mind with their Modern Interface Formerly Known As The Metro Interface, but they fell way short. My wife prefers Windows, so I have Windows XP running in Virtualbox for her. XP is ready for her as the virtual machine is always running on my home server. Yes, Ubuntu has its problems, but it is far less exasperating than trying to get Windows configured and keep running. I was able to bring new life to an old laptop computer for an acquantance. It had Vista and only 1GB RAM. It went from an awkward doorstop to a fairly fast tool with Ubuntu 12.04. Her kids want to use that computer now instead of their XP desktop.

Nathan.
Nathan.

They forget that Canonical is a commercial company creating a product. Same thing happen to a smaller degree when they ditched gnome for unity. What people forget is Canonical is moving to create a unified mobile/desktop OS. Current X.org can't do it and Wayland is far from ready. The community is upset that they seem to have abandoned Wayland in favor of creating their own. Part of the reason is Wayland project hasn't progressed as far as needed and Canonical don't have the control over the project to produce the results they need within the timeline they've set for themselves to get into the mobile space. This project is a massive undertaking and it's still possible to fail, it might also get the those behind the Wayland project a shot in the pants to get things moving. You never know the project may share code down the track or even merge. This could also be Canonical's greatest contribution to the community yet and could even replace Wayland.

mueslix
mueslix

Let's first set a few things straight: neither Ubuntu nor anyone else is looking into developing another X server. There's also no such thing as a "Wayland X Server" or a "Mir X Server". The entire point of Wayland and Mir is to get rid of X and its protocols and to start freshly. Therefore they also aren't compatible to each other. They might both provide an X compatibility layer to ease migration, but that's merely a temporary work-around or hack. Back to the core issue. The real problem with Ubuntu right now isn't "jealousy and bitterness", but that Ubuntu is essentially spreading a lot of FUD and blatant lies about Wayland and other competing open solutions to gain control over the - still tiny - Linux market. Developing Mir behind closed doors and then presenting the semi-finished results to the community, trying to force them into adoption, is also simply not how this community works. Nobody hates Ubuntu, we simply don't care about them anymore. I'm happy if they succeed, but I couldn't care less if they don't. If they want KDE's or Gnome's or _any_ of the existing Qt/Gtk apps to support Mir, they will have to write and maintain Qt's and GTK's Mir-support-layer themselves (or forever rely on the aforementioned nasty X-compat-layer). I do understand that Ubuntu is a company with its own goals - but if I were Mark Shuttleworth I'd try to be aware that 99% of my product is developed by thirdparties and hence be more careful to not jeopardize my relationship with those people.

cpetit
cpetit

Personally, I have no religious attachment to any particular brand of X-server or interface, as long as it meets my needs. I'm sure 99% of the Linux users out there feel the same way, and probably 100% of the potential future Linux-users. The technical purists are likely already using what meets their needs. Most people, when it comes to desktops, just want a simple interface that easily allows them to bring up applications they know how to use. Ubuntu fills this bill very nicely. I've tried CentOS, the classic Redhat and straight Debian, but Ubuntu beats them all in terms of day-to-day ease of use. And that is what most non-technical users care about.

monsag
monsag

Speaking for myself, for the less technically gifted who needs something that is free, one that works and gets the job done and is "easy to sell" to end-users, Ubuntu is a logical choice. Whatever misgivings I may have for the changes I see is trivial compared to what I get in return. On another note, Ubuntu is somehow helping to peel off the "elitist" image (real, imagined or self-imposed) of Linux and its users. To me, this is another good thing.

jybumaat
jybumaat

I've been an Ubuntu Linux user for the past 5 years starting with 8.04LTS, 10.10LTS and now 12.04LTS. This is the distro that I became converted into the world of Linux. It works for my lifestyle without needing to use a pirate software/OS which is pretty rampant in my country (Philippines). I enjoy using this distro pretty much and now I'm currently using Kubuntu 12.04LTS and I like KDE now than it was. The only gripe for me is that today's Ubuntu Desktop is not to my taste anymore. It's hard to navigate and look for the programs. This is the reason I switched to Kubuntu.

brydon
brydon

While I am sure that the Ubuntu recognise that Linux is the bedrock on which it is built, the objective and duty of Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical must be to make Ubuntu the best product that they possibly can. So when they see a bigger picture and charge off in that direction good for them, even if the rest of the community are debating on the fact that they do not like the colour of the uniform.

tomofumi
tomofumi

Ubuntu was good up to 12.04 LTS. Then it is going 'my way' by introducing many things that people hate... Unity to replace Gnome, upstart to replace initd, amazon search lens...etc. And now they want to overthrown the good old X11 standard?

jkm2a
jkm2a

My distro is Fedora, it's what I started with and what I'm comfortable with. I have tried Ubuntu a few times, but never seriously, because it doesn't feel like "home" to me the way Fedora does. I don't hate Ubuntu, don't even strongly dislike it, just not in love with it. In some ways I'm grateful that it has greatly increased the Linux user base. I must confess, however, that I do resent the fact that many people automatically assume that when you mention that you run Linux that you are running Ubuntu. I know that's what Canonical wants, but it is irritating to encounter that assumption when you're running a distro that's a) older and more mature than Ubuntu and b) the sandbox distro for the most prominent and respected commercial/enterprise Linux product available. One other thing that disturbs me is Ubuntu's readiness to head off in a different direction than the community mainstream. Nothiing wrong with that, on the surface, but it can be a "slippery slope" toward proprietary software.

kdpawson
kdpawson

If Ubuntu and/or even Canonical did not exist at all.... where would Linux be right now? I don't understand the hate at all, it doesn't make sense. I see some of these people who seem to have issues with Ubuntu and yet they are using an Apple MAC Laptop WTF. Strange world!

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Surely if you don't like Unity you can use Xubuntu, Kubuntu or any of the others that are forked from Ubuntu. After all the guy in question who runs the show got a very hard time here years ago when he asked for Techs to move to South Africa and work on an Exciting New Development. No one who responded had a good word to say and now they still seem to be the same way. [b]Apparently the more that things change the more that they stay the same.[/b] :D Could it be that those who complain the loudest are the ones who refused the Job Offer and are now kicking themselves? Of course Ubuntu gets a lot of complaints because it's made for Mass Adoption by Joe and Joanne Public who want Appliances that they can use off the shelf without thinking. In the past Linux was the province of Techs who liked to tinker and code to their hearts content which is not what the normal end user wants. After all if it was Windows would never have taken off and we would all be using Linux and tinkering about developing what suits each individual best. Sorry but for the Mass Market that's simply never going to happen and any sane person should never expect it to. Opening the Mass Market to Linux is what many see as a Bad Move as it brings End Users into the Realm of a Hacker who knows what it is that they are doing and some of these Hackers feel that they are somehow diminished if that was to happen. The reality however is if we get Mass Adoption of Linux it makes our lives better though it may reduce the need to Babysit Windows Systems there will be plenty of other work that needs doing and the Hacker will be required more than they are now not less. Col

Gayle Edwards
Gayle Edwards

I will admit, I dislike Unity. I personally have repeatedly had to jump through hoops, just to get the newest Ubuntu (running Unity) to do things that, previously, were so simple. Upgrades shouldn't diminish basic (or, very popular) functionality, in my opinion. And, though, I had mostly used KDE on Linux distributions (SUSE, REDHAT, etc.), before Ubuntu 10.04's Gnome-desktop converted me, I really liked the power and usability of the Ubuntu-10.04 distribution. For the record, I do also now use MINT (Ubuntu with KDE) as well as Ubuntu with Gnome, and Unity. And, I also use Windows-7 (and, even, Windows-8). However, "Unity" really seems like it just doesn't hit any real sweet-spots. And, further, it seems to be amazingly disliked by the vast majority of those that like any of the more traditional desktops (...not to mention many new-users who miss traditional desktop-computing UIs). But, that was merely disappointing for those of us that had happily watched Ubuntu (10.04) streak into being the top Linux-distribution in the world, and finally bring Linux to so many new users. My real concern is that the... throw it on, and go... nature of Ubuntu (while still having all the power of choice, and control, ...which helped create the amazing new popularity of Linux), was being thrown under the bus by Canonical's (and Shuttleworth's) "...new vision" for Ubuntu. We (more experienced Linux users) knew we could always put any desktop that we wanted on the Ubuntu-core for ourselves (or, do it for less-experienced users that wanted to run something other than the latest "MS-Windows" or "iOS"). However, now that Canonical has apparently decided to force Unity (through the additional imposition of a new, and basically proprietary "Window Manager"), we have become increasingly concerned that Ubuntu (as the face of popular Linux) is setting the entire Linux community up for a heart-breaking plummet back into small, Isolated, niche, distributions with no real market-traction (or, publicity) outside of dedicated enthusiast communities. I understand that "MIR" is supposed to have a measure of compatibility with other window-managers. However, I have serious reservations. Especially, considering MIR's stated purpose of better facilitating Canonical's "Unity" desktop... and Canonical's/Shuttleworth's recent open animosity towards both the Ubuntu user-base, and, traditional Linux-supporters. I -REALLY- hope I am wrong, but I -DO- feel, very much, like I am about to have my hopes... dashed.

david.tredinnick
david.tredinnick

Errrm...Apple Mac [b]is[/b] a Linux desktop and shows/leads the way for Ubuntu and others

threebirds
threebirds

I just switched Linux Mint Cinnamon and am happy as can be. I've looked at Unity again and it still seems slow to me. If it ever improves, I'll be back. That's the beauty of Linux.

preobrazhensky
preobrazhensky

Whenever anything gains popularity and grows beyond the indie and hobbyist user it is open to criticism. Popularity breeds contempt. it is the price of your own success. I just prefer to use tools fit for the job. Macbook for iphone app, php/zend app development, linux (opensuse 12.2) for other tools with a windows VM for Visual Studio when I take on bill paying corporate work. Though these days Xamarin studio with iphone and android (mono) development is better supported on the mac. I spend more time using it than linux. Opensuse was a matter of which distro supported mono tools best and allowed me to plug in to AD based corporate networks with as little fuss as possible. Being Novell it was a simple choice. I used ubuntu since the warthog oinked out and only swapped over from Ubuntu when it became a pain to use on client sites, plus I didn't like the Unity interface and the compromise between feature/bug fixing and meeting release cycles let it down for me. Each to their own, there's plenty to choose from and my advice to anyone looking at trying linux is to start with Ubuntu (or derivative thereof) then have a look around to see which suits you best, if you do wish to change. No matter how much people berate or complain about Ubuntu it has done a lot in promoting and raising the awareness of Linux. The Raspberry PI is doing the same thing, all of which can't be a bad thing.

Magalaan
Magalaan

The goal of Linux is not mass adoption, but freedom of choice. So there can be totally private distributions, distributions for small groups, experts, heavy users, special interests, etc. but also one for ordinary users that want to use something easier,more safe than Windows. Something that is simple, reliable, easy to use without much learning. The question rather is why people want to restrict Linux to an in-crowd? They already have their own distro's they can make as barren as they like. Why so much resistance to allow common people to use Linux too? Linux is about free choice, why are people suggesting we should restrict free choice? I think this goes against the very idea Linus Thorvalds had when he created Linux. Linus is very happy with Ubuntu. He totally supports their mission. He wants to make something that is used by as much people as possible. I suggest these people make their own distro and make it as closed as they can. Only for people with the same mindset. They may want to use initiation rites as well. This mentality has been holding back Unix on the desktop for decades. We could have had Linux instead of Windows on the desktop. When 25 years ago as I was multi-tasking with Sco Xenixs I said, man this so damned good, why don't they develop a decent gui? But these guys were objecting to that. A gui is not for real man, and that sort of crap. Ten years later I again asked the same question about Linux. The same stupid answer. Today the same fundamentalist mentality still exists with a number of people. Well if you are a real man you should stick to programming in assembler, place your machine opcode directly in stack, peek and poke memory addresses directly. And only in hexadecimal number of course. Don't be a wimp and use a higher command languages. Lets do it the hard way to prove we are men. It is just as utterly stupid as trying to break stones with bare hands instead of a hammer. These are cavemen with an attitude. They try to prove they are geniuses while sane people understand they are not fully sane, what the French call "idiot savants" (learned idiots). Alas Linux is a resort for these bragging loners who are incapable of normal social behaviour and want to hide it behind misplaced disdain. Solitary developers maybe wizards with code but they are often more a pain in the ass than a asset, because they are much to single minded for social cooperation. They do something good and when they feel in charge they create big rows over nothing to draw attention to themselves, wasting precious energy and time of every one concerned. In the end they always run away leaving unfinished business and broken projects. The biggest danger to any organisation and project are the people that want to make themselves irreplaceable. I think that the greatest challenge for any project, is keeping these big ego's in check and preventing them from destroying the project from the inside. I have seen enough distro's that are ego-projects. In the end everybody gets a burnout because they do not have enough hands. They blame other distro's but it is the other way round. All these silly forks by single minded people trying to reinvent the wheel are a gigantic waste of resources. If they would support similar distro's instead, that would amount to something. But they are to busy raising a statue for themselves. And when they do not get praise they start to break down other peoples work, because they are jealous. There is enormous amount of jealousy towards others that are more successful. I think it is good that a Linux distro's like Ubuntu is moving away from that. Let the Gnome and Wayland people create their single minded master pieces. It must be such a great relief for the developers of Ubuntu not having to deal with these people any more. I still witness that such developers simply ignore the repeated requests of the majority of users for a simple easy to realize feature, because they feel it is unnecessary. You can not get a message across with these people any more than you can press water out of a stone. They live in their own fantasies of grandness. They make users utterly frustrated. Then you often catch a glim that they are secretly enjoying this power to frustrate others. If makes them feel important. In real life they are a nobody, but here they can feel powerful by denying people what they want. After Linus Thorvalds I like to give them the middle finger. Ubuntu is for group players. Let them live in cave and use Cave-Linux-OS in stead, it was specially made by them for them, install gnome 4.0 on that, it only features a black full screen terminal without any controls disturbing the design. The only people that are an asset, are the ones that want to be an asset. We can only be so glad that the people bashing Ubuntu are not, or no longer, a part of Ubuntu. They often write emotional comments full of vermin why they no longer use Ubuntu. Who cares? Good riddance. You made the right choice, the community is equally delighted you chose to say farewell. No really, we do not miss you. No, you do not need to give it another try. Please do, not come back. No not ever. ?hy is it called Ubuntu? Well exactly to make a distro that is not for people like you Ubuntu definition (by Archbishop Desmond Tutu): A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed. See? That is everything these people fail to be.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Not really sure where you got that from as I have not seen any Linux Distro other than things like DSL and Puppy which don't load a GUI by default. What you are saying here is exactly the same as implying that Windows is a CLI Driven Platform because DOS was. Other than some very specialist Minimalist Linux Distros you are talking total BS. ;) Col

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

user. Two major impacts from it are the vast improvement in Linux installers, and the equally vast improvment in windows security. Would they have happened without the drive for an appliance user distro. I seriously doubt it... The thing I object to is people in the appliance user market space telling me I should confine myself to being just an appliance user. I don't care who says it or why, they can jog on...

Magalaan
Magalaan

Ubuntu is not forcing Mir on anyone into adoption. They will simply adopt Mir. What the rest does is their own business. This kind of thinking in which people place themselves in the role of martyrs is typical for people attacking Ubuntu. Ubuntu is just one distro doing her own thing, which is what Linux is all about: Freedom of choice. If you do not like it, create or choose something else but stop wining. I will make prediction, in the end all the complainers will adopt Mir, not because they must, but simply because of the advantages. Developers like in Gnome3 and Wayland do things the way they see fit and in their own time, but get offended if others want the same freedom and no longer want to be dependent on them and wait for them to finish there product. Then they get pissed off. Well to bad for them. That is what free choice is all about. In its essence open source is a free market. The best will win out. If Mir is shit, it will be replaced by Wayland or something else. Every time Ubuntu makes het own choice, people are blaming her for exercising her right to make her own choices. Why? because some Linux advocates have turned software into a fundamentalist religion in which all sheep must listen to the pastor.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"This is the distro that I became converted into the world of Linux. It works for my lifestyle without needing to use a pirate software/OS which is pretty rampant in my country (Philippines)." Thank you for your honesty. I often wonder why people pirate an OS and application software when there are free alternatives.

preobrazhensky
preobrazhensky

Linux would still be around and still as strong, if it wasn't Ubuntu it would be A.n.other. Canonical are changing their focus to provide a single distro for all computer types and devices. Inevitably the offering will suffer, all questions can't have a single answer so one their offerings will stand above the rest to the detriment of the others. This isn't a Canonical only problem, it happens all the time within most things. As for Mac, try getting Xamarin Studio to work on Linux or any of the iOS dev tools for that matter. Monodevelop on Linux doesn't support the Touch/Droid mono stack. The good (and bad) thing about a mac is that it is built on the console paradigm. The hardware and software are tuned for each other making it faster and more stable than most other hardware/software combos, Apple don't need to support hundreds of potential devices and an infinite hardware combination. These days there isn't one solution for every problem, just the right tools to help solve them.

apotheon
apotheon

There's no Linux kernel in MacOS X. It is built out of Mach, BSD Unix, GNU, and Apple-proprietary parts (much of which was originally NeXT stuff, but Apple bought out the company and absorbed its resources).

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Apple Mac is not a Linux Desktop it is a BSD Desktop and while BSD is a Unix Like Operating System it most certainly is not Linux. So Apple leads nothing at all when it comes to Linux though it does lead BSD maybe depending on who you speak to. Incidentally BSD = Berkley Software Distribution not Linux. ;) Col

preobrazhensky
preobrazhensky

It wasn't Unity that moved my Ubuntu usage. As with all distro's the DE can be changed post install and I've developed a kind of fondness for gnome shell. It was the support for the tools I need to do the work that pays the bills (without reverting to Windows which I haven't used since 2000). Committing to a bi-annual release does mean things will fall down the cracks and I found necessary tools lagging behind or broken dependencies. Sure there'll be a ppa to fix it but I'd rather spend time developing than fixing. Plus, I haven't really got time to do a full install every 6 months, especially not on a bread winning machine. I tried Debian but stable hangs behind, especially on the mono stuff that I need to be fairly up to date. Fedora was just a pain in keeping the libs in sync with the required tools, the evil shadow of bleeding edge. Unity does look interesting, though some of the "features" won't appeal to everyone and it certainly does need to mature. As you say, it can be can be changed along with the distro itself. I'm happy with OpenSuse (for now) and the lack of faff it takes to plug in on corporate networks. I probably tried all the main distros before settling on what worked for me. If I dumped the corporate work, apart from being broke, I'd probably give Fedora another go or play with Debian unstable. Bottom line is that I couldn't tow my boat with my smart coupe and I wouldn't like to pay the petrol bill for the Subaru Tribeca on the daily 80 mile motorway crawl. There's a Linux for everyone (tm)(c) GPL2 :-)

ddalley
ddalley

...the easier it is to focus on your target. Ubuntu certainly isn't unique in the regard. I see it frequently regarding other "targets", too. When other distros "do their own thing", it pops up again and again. No worries.

apotheon
apotheon

The next time you want to share with the world your crudeness of thought, do it in one line of insulting obscenities, rather than so many paragraphs and words of intolerance of anyone who thinks differently from you.

rduncan
rduncan

that's not what I am saying at all, and DOS is a total red herring. What I am saying is - where Linux is concerned (not as a desktop because -who cares?) it's used command line, because the GUI doesn't actually do anything worth talking about except use resources, if I saw anyone working on a Linux server with the x service started, I would have to ask them what they where doing. As for DOS (sigh). Windows server core is command driven and more administrators will go this way with PowerShell as it can manage everything. I can't say what DSL and Puppy install because nobody actually cares what nerds put on their laptops. haha - specialist minimalist - Like Red Hat enterprise, Debian, Ubuntu server. BusyBox, CentOS or are you talking about what you installed-Ubuntu desktop- you know there's other Linux distributions right?

rduncan
rduncan

we run RHEL HPC with nVidia PCie GPU's

apotheon
apotheon

It's as easy to pirate MS Windows as it is to acquire Linux distribution installers legally. They just choose what they prefer, then. The difference in attitude between those who prefer MS Windows and those who prefer something open source and (still at least slightly, in the case of Linux-based systems) Unix-like, is summed up in two points: 1. capabilities vs. unthinking convenience 2. Humble Indie Bundle pricing In case you aren't familiar with Humble Indie Bundle, it offers software (and at times music or ebook) bundles for downloalds. You pay whatever you like, and you decide how much of the money you pay is going to the Humble Bundle guys, how much to the creators of what you're buying, and how much to charities (even getting to divide up how you like between creators and between charities). The end result every time is that the people buying for "Linux" pay more on average than the people buying for "Mac", who pay more on average than the people buying for "Windows". In short, people don't choose open source software because they're cheapskates, on average. They choose it for the freedom and functionality they want. The people choosing MS Windows do so for the convenience of not having to think about anything. When something doesn't work, the MS Windows users think that's just the way it is, and don't worry about it, while the open source software users figure out how to make it work, and help make it better, supporting the things they like so they can have more of it, and have it better. I speak of demographic trends as demonstrated by a number of statistical cases, such as the Humble Bundle numbers, of course -- not of absolutes. There are always outliers. The more technically well designed a system, the more pronounced this valuation of the quality received seems to get. I've seen greater meaningful support and expertise in the BSD Unix realm than in the Linux community, more in the Linux community than the Apple faithful, and more amongst the Apple faithful than in the world of MS Windows users. It makes perfect sense, of course, that the more someone cares about the quality and capabilities of a system, the more that person will gravitate toward technical excellence in the systems chosen, and the more that person will be willing to contribute to the continued improvement of the system. (edit: typo)

Slayer_
Slayer_

There is a program you want, but you don't want to pay for it. So you pirate it. Said program only works on 1 OS, so you pirate that as well.

neil.haughton
neil.haughton

To be clear, Mac is not a BSD Desktop either. It uses the BSD 'Mach' microkernel, and the rest above it is pretty much Apple proprietary stuff.

rduncan
rduncan

check out the waffle spewing from you, why don't you make a point? what is signal:noise damage when it's at home? - you sound like a snob :-)

apotheon
apotheon

Magalaan is no worse informed than the person to whom the comment responds, apparently -- but far wordier, which means a longer time spent skimming for actual content. In short, the signal:noise damage is greater, and more of my time is wasted.

Gabriel Sharp
Gabriel Sharp

@rduncan i'd say your biased. It is clearly obvious you had a bad experience with linux and are just using this as an excuse to browbeat it. Spewing out names and specs does not validate anything you have said, as far as anyone can see.

apotheon
apotheon

Your bar for definition of "understand" with regard to MS Windows is very, very low. You might as well say someone "understands" WordPad better than vi, but when you ask the guy to write a text file, A) giving it "hard" line-breaks at word endings for lengths under 75 characters and B) saving as a plain .txt textfile, and he can't figure out how to do one of these things (A) in WordPad in under three hours or the other (B) at all, you suddenly have a problem on your hands with your definition of understanding. Then you have the problem of asking him to edit a hundred different textfiles in the course of the day. With WordPad, a memory leak that has existed since its ancestor Windows Write in 1993, eventually crashes the computer.

rduncan
rduncan

I actually did write a driver recently for my Samsung smart TV wifi dongle, just so I didn't have to buy the incredibly over-priced Samsung one, I certainly don't feel superior because I can use Linux - but I remember feeling VERY intimidated by Linux users when I started, I just except the scientific nature/roots of Linux, people for the most part understand Windows without going near Powershell, if you are a Linux adopter and a non technical person you are very much on the fringe - I have never meet a Linux user who wasn't technically minded enough to build their own webserver, the vast majority of computer users do not want to know what a driver is, what DNS stands for or how to kill a running process, there are already operating systems out there for these users, OS X and Windows- so before the Linux community develop a road map for mass adoption I would still ask ..why?

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

He's a Linux purist who still writes his own drivers... or ...the idea of mass adoption of Linux makes him feel inferior

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

then the desktop is the issue and the GUI actually does something worth talking about. I don't see mass adoption happening, at least not until OEM vendors offer more systems with Linux pre-installed, However, I don't see any technological reason to limit it to the server room. If people want to run it on a desktop, who are they hurting? What do you see as the harm caused by their choice?

apotheon
apotheon

I've been busy, and have far less cause to frequent the place these days than I once did, unfortunately.

apotheon
apotheon

The kernel has some significant BSD Unix stuff merged in (embiggening the kernel to a destinctly non-micro form), and initially pretty much the entire low-level userland was lifted from FreeBSD. Significant chunks of that userland have since been replaced by GNU crap, and of course there's the massive, heavy carapace of proprietary Apple stuff welded onto the outside, as you point out. So . . . no, MacOS X is not a "BSD desktop", but it does have some BSD Unix stuff in it.