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Does anyone else see the problem with Linux? I'll tell you what I see... too many distributions! I am not a programmer, and I tip my hats to you all ...
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  1. #1
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    Major problem with linux


    Does anyone else see the problem with Linux? I'll tell you what I see... too many distributions! I am not a programmer, and I tip my hats to you all as a community. I have always been a fan of Linux, as an idea, but never as an OS. I know I will get flamed for this, but at this point I dont care. It is frustrating to see Windows and Mac copy all the things that make all of the distributions unique while Linux remains an OS for the few. There are reasons for this.. Too complicated, even to install most software I have issues with, i could never imagine my mother able to use these OS's. Too few programs; real programs, not under developed indie stuff... good effort though. Too confusing! Imagine an average person with their PC at home, they here about Linux and want to try it out, then they find out there is like 20 different versions!! WTF!?!? "Hmmm I'll stick with Windows"
    I want to see unity. Linux needs to be unified. Combine your efforts and make 1...ONE!!!!!.... OS. go ahead, make it modular, make add ons for cool effects, or 3D desktops, I would love that in my OS! but what i would love to see more is a unified OS that more large developers will make programs for, that the simple masses can operate, navigate, and enjoy.

    I have read that Steam is looking at joining the Linux community, but most software developers wont touch Linux because there are soooooooooooo many variations that make it extremely difficult to make it 100% compatible with all of them.

    A unified Linux is the best thing that can happen to all of us. A free OS, made by the people, for the people. Wasnt that the original purpose of Linux?

  2. #2
    Just Joined! Sidekick's Avatar
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    Linux is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. Some of them try to be (Ubuntu and Mint, PCLinuxOS, Mepis, Zorin, etc), but most seek to fill a particular niche. Server, media, education, forensics, security, gaming, multimedia, little kids, home schooling kids, even Hanna Montana fans. It is these "niche" distributions that account for the vast numbers,

    And for each of those there might be one built on a Debian base because the developer thinks Debian's package management system is better; one built on Red Hat, another on a Slackware base, all for good reasons, personal preference, the developer's and maintainers' choice, etc.

    This is not a bad thing, it's a good thing! It means there's something for everyone! And because most distros are community-developed, everyone pitches in and a distro becomes more popular. Others pick up innovations and share them, and the entire Linux world grows better.

    The issue you find frustrating probably has more to do with OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) not writing drivers and making hardware for Linux. That is because the big money is paid to the OEMs for developing those things for use with the Windows or Mac OS. But not all OEMs are accepting those terms and playing the game. As Linux makes more and progress towards a competitive position (not purposefully, just naturally), more and more OEMs may see it as an opportunity to increase their own business.

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    Really, they are all the same.
    You have a universal package archive format; the tarball
    And a universal configuration interface; /etc

    I don't think the problem has to do with too many choices. I think the problem is that most people don't even realize that Windows isn't part of the computer. They don't understand what an operating system is and the thought of installing one seems scary. So when Microsoft pays big sums of money to OEMs to pre-install Windows on a huge percentage of computers, they effectively dominate the desktop market. Imagine what would happen to Microsoft's influence and market-share if HP and Dell cut a deal with RedHat or Novell and started pre-installing RedHat or SuSE instead of Windows? How many people do you think would run to the store and buy Windows install media and get rid of RedHat or SuSE; not many because it is what came with the machine they bought.

    What makes you think they are so different that it is hard to program for them?
    The only thing that really would make it difficult is that if you wanted to create proprietary software you would need multiple binary packages. And that is where dependency issues crop up.

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    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bleedingsamurai View Post

    I think the problem is that most people don't even realize that Windows isn't part of the computer. They don't understand what an operating system is and the thought of installing one seems scary. So when Microsoft pays big sums of money to OEMs to pre-install Windows on a huge percentage of computers, they effectively dominate the desktop market. Imagine what would happen to Microsoft's influence and market-share if HP and Dell cut a deal with RedHat or Novell and started pre-installing RedHat or SuSE instead of Windows? How many people do you think would run to the store and buy Windows install media and get rid of RedHat or SuSE; not many because it is what came with the machine they bought.
    I've had some personal experience of this kind of ignorance. I get a journal called The Pensioner, which has a computer advice section. It's always about how to get round this or that problem in Windows. So I wrote in and said Why don't you encourage people to use Linux instead? It's free of charge, it can run well on even an old machine, it's safe against all this Windows-oriented malware, and it's a community effort, highly suitable on moral grounds to retired civil servants like us.

    My letter was published with a (fairly) crushing reply: practically all computers "come with Windows", only one or two specialist netbooks come with Linux, so there's not much point in teaching people about it. Now here was a self-styled computer expert and he didn't even know that what a computer "comes with" isn't necessarily what you want to run on it.
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
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    IBM jumped in and sided with Linux while Windows was trying to sue right? Thats where RedHat came from, but IBM just uses that for servers, with custom programs correct?
    I have seen companies offer Linux (still a few do) instead of windows. But i cant go to the store, buy software and install it on my Linux machine. For the most part, software developers dont want their stuff open source where it can be modified or copied. And until the software is available Linux is just a cool toy in my eyes. again i dont program.

    Thank you for not just deleting me

    so, is there any comity that helps organize the Linux community? Why not pick one kernel (is that the basic system?) and perfect it. Make it stable, help develop drivers for it. Get it ready for the world, then make those cool add-ons and maintain the open source community and indie software, while encouraging software developers to write for Linux.
    Is this possible? I hope so, with Mac suing everyone, Windows locking down their software, Linux can be the future! I have always been a fan of the Linux OS, but again it has only ever been a toy to me.

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    oz
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    It's highly unlikely that everyone would be satisfied if all distributions were to unify into a single distribution.

    Most seasoned Linux users like having so many different options they can choose from. In fact, it's almost always those that have no real understanding of Linux that complain about these choices being available to them. Certainly there are improvements that Linux could benefit from, but Linux is about freedom of choice, not about having a single option that is pushed off on everyone, then telling them that it's all they need. Several other operating systems already treat end users that way, causing some users (such as myself) to flee to an OS with more freedom and options.
    elija likes this.
    oz

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    I am not trying to suggest that you remove the open source aspect of the os at all. im sorry if i have trouble wording my thoughts. but if there was a OS for the masses. keep your specialized distros. but an open sourced OS to replace windows, one that will attract developers. like i said before, i like the modular design of Linux, being able to customize it and make it my own it very appealing. but as a regular consumer, Linux is not an option. to run my software, i would have to run a windows emulator or a duel boot.
    I am all for Linux, i really am. im just hoping to one day and use and enjoy a Linux system, not just try to figure it out.
    Will this ever happen? What distro work be that basis for such OS?

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    like Mint is a customized version of Debian... so why not tell the world, Debian is going to be the standard for a Consumer OS, allow the developers to go ok, if we only have to make it work for Debian, we will make programs for Linux. More people will at least try Linux, more will stick with Linux, and more will help improve linux!
    Just a Thought.

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    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
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    Ubuntu tried to be the type of system you are talking about. It did it pretty well for a time, but then mucked it up with 12.04. By trying to do all things for all people, cater to the latest and greatest eye candy, simplify by eliminating choice and control, and other "improvements, they made it a horror that is almost worse than Windows.
    As you explore linux you will see that there is a basic pattern of all distro's. First is which system it is based on, Debian, RedHat, etc. Next is the desktop environement, Gnome, Kubuntu, LXDE, MATE, etc. Once you have those selected the disto's mainly differ on what apps and codecs they come prepackaged with.
    To use a clothing analogy, it is like putting together an outfit. Windows approach is to say, "Brown loafers, no socks, Levi 501 blue jeans, black turttle neck sweater, hanes boxers and crew neck undershirt, with a Casio watch. All items sized Lg. Take it or leave it, doesn't matter if you live where it is -40 degrees or 105, or whether you are 98 pounds or 300 lbs.. Linux takes the approach of putting different outfits together, with different accesories, taylored to different climate, size, and color preference. You decide what you want and pick the distro that meets your needs.
    Registered Linux user #526930

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    i see. so then what exactly is keeping developers from releasing their software for linux as well?

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