Where is consumer *nix?

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Where is consumer *nix?

Postby PLan » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:06 pm

In the 90s I ran Linux(SUSE) as my desktop OS. I thought it was great compared to Windows and it could only be a matter of time before this powerful, free, OS took over the world. Now it's 2013 and the same fractured, bickering, Linux distro world still hasn't managed to make significant inroads into the consumer desktop.

AFAIK the most popular desktop *nix is OS X, which is what I use myself. But the problem with OS X is that it's tied to Apple hardware(let's ignore Hackintoshes for the time being). After seeing what Apple have done with the new Mac Pro it seems they simply can't be trusted to do much more than try to increase their profits and fleece their army of iSheep. Now I really want to move away from OS X/Apple hardware onto commodity hardware/*nix...but I don't see an obvious solution.

How many more decades are we going to have to wait before we see a polished, consumer friendly, *nix that can compete with OS X? Is it like football teams where we're going to have to wait for charitable billionaires to throw money at a specific distro? :?
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Postby Dutch_Master » Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:50 am

If you want the " charitable billionaires" way, try Ubuntu or any of the spin-offs. But Canonical has recently made clear that the "charitable billionaire(?)" who owns it, is turning in the same road that M$ and @pple have trotted to death and what you want to steer clear from. The alternatives include, in no specific order, Linux Mint, Debian, Fedora, Mageia and OpenSuse, among others. See Distrowatch for more details.
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Postby johnhudson » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:07 pm

I thought so too at one time but it is not the desktop but the applications and the other interfaces that have won out.

For example, it is perfectly practical - I have a friend who did it - to buy a Windows computer and then add free software. He doesn't have the hassle of upgrading his desktop every 18 months but he has all the other benefits of FOSS.

Most people now experience FOSS through smartphones and embedded Linux where devices far outnumber desktops. For the younger generation, the desktop is irrelevant. They are adopting FOSS for their everyday IT needs without even knowing it is FOSS.
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Postby ajgreeny » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:02 pm

I ran my last desktop computer (Sempron 2400+, ATI9200SE graphics card, 2GB ram) when I bought it with Windows XP, entirely on FOSS, with OOo, GIMP, Firefox, Thunderbird, and many other applications I can't now remember, and apart from XP which came with the machine, never bought any software. So yes, I agree with you about the applications having in some situations won the battle for supremacy.

I tried Ubuntu 5.10 way back whenever, and from that time only ever booted to Windows to update AVG Virus checker and ZoneAlarm firewall, so eventually it became obvious to me that WinXP was superfluous to my needs; all the apps I used were already on my Ubuntu by default or easily available. About two years ago it went from my machine and I ran Ubuntu 10.04 exclusively. After all those years of Ubuntu it never occurred to me that the Linux experience was anything other than user friendly; when I had to use Windows I always found it to be much less user friendly than the Ubuntu I knew so well.

My point is simply that user friendliness is much more down to what you know than any subjective judgment of an OS by someone who does not know it well, nor know how to use it.

I now know Ubuntu (actually Xubuntu 12.04) extremely well, but have no idea at all how to deal with Windows versions after XP. I'm sure I could do basic activities reasonably easily, but if I had to do anything complicated I would find it much more difficult than in Xubuntu
Xubuntu 12.04 user, and loving it!
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Postby guy » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:15 am

Asking about when we will get Linux on the consumer desktop is like asking when we will get fluidised bed furnaces in steam locomotives, or carbide-tipped stone axes.

The consumer desktop is a dead technology. Consumers want smart tablets, desktop folks are doing work not consuming.
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