I rant. I usually rant about that other OS messing up or GNU/Linux making great strides. Today I am going to do a counter-rant. Batsov has a rant up about how miserable GNU/Linux on the desktop has made him so he is “going back” to that other OS after 8 years. He gives a litany of failings of GNU/Linux to justify his actions.

Needless to say, I find a wholesale defect in his reasoning. His underlying assumption is that his experience is somehow representative of the “desktop experience” with GNU/Linux and it is not. He is a self-proclaimed geek, trying cutting-edge stuff and installing multiple operating systems. Normal users, the vast majority of users of PCs, are not going to do any of that. They will buy a COTS (Consumer Off The Shelf) unit and run it with the software that came on it. They will not buy extra fancy stuff with GPUs that shift loads from manufacturers that do not supply working drivers for Linux and expect an installation of a random distro to work. They will not install that other OS on anything either.

After recounting his current problem with a driver he goes on to list many problems he has endured in the past. Like being a lousy office suite when 100million users find it quite satisfactory. Like finding problems with Ethernet drivers when Ethernet has always been better supported by Linux than that other OS. I remember a time when XP would not work on the secretary’s computer because the installation knew nothing about rev C of some Ethernet card but Linux had no problems. XP has been around for ages and anyone with the original installation medium is SOL when it comes to recent drivers. Sure wireless was problematic for a while but I have not seen any devices lately that did not work. These petty problems have nothing to do with GNU/Linux on the desktop and everything to do with people outside of Linux or GNU/Linux or particular distros not doing their jobs or not having finished the job yet. OEMs around the world are cranking out perfectly usable installations of GNU/Linux on COTS hardware. More than 100 million ordinary folks are using GNU/Linux on the desktop and a similar number are using Android/Linux on smart phones and tablets.

It’s akin to an alcoholic drinking because he has a headache. The problem will not be solved by going to that other OS. It has more problems than Linux with drivers. It has more problems than Linux with malware. It has more re-re-reboots and zero-day threats. It has higher costs forever. It is slower. I would think a true geek would appreciate these things and come to a decision to carry on with GNU/Linux. There are few problems with a properly installed distro and, in my experience, there is almost always a way to do the installation. Last year, I was having problems installing Debian Squeeze on existing hardware but all those problems were fixed by the time Squeeze was released. I was using it before it was released and had only one driver problem on 4 different machines from 1 to 8 years old…

No. This FUD doesn’t wash. GNU/Linux is quite a reasonable OS for ordinary users. I have introduced thousands of all ages to GNU/Linux and few of them had any such problems with GNU/Linux. They use PCs. They don’t try to destructively test an OS. Even grandmothers and little kids can use GNU/Linux.

see Linux Desktop Experience Killing Linux on the Desktop if you want to see a logical train-wreck of an essay.

see this video from 2005. GNU/Linux on the desktop has been a fun-filled experience for a decade.

UPDATE Gene has another take on Batsov’s article. He writes that if Batsov were a true fan of GNU/Linux, Batsov would switch distros or move back from the bleeding edge if he wanted reliable software. That’s true. He also writes that 20XX is the “Century of the Linux Desktop”. I like that.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
This entry was posted in technology. Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Counter-Rant

  1. Quality of hardware is rarely an issue with PCs. The lowest bidder wins. Devices like hard drives are rated for 100K+ hours. The advantage Apple has is a restricted hardware subset gives them many times fewer driver problems and they don’t have to pay M$ per PC. Apple gets a huge margin compared to other OEMs and their end-users love Apple. Folks who use GNU/Linux or Android have similar love for a much lower cost.

  2. oe says:

    “That seems to be the case in USA where folks will pay a premium to get trouble-free computing on MacOS.” Very good point….about 10 years ago. Nowadays Crapple’s come form the same FoxConn plant to kicks out the Windoze boxes so all you paying for now at 2X the price is a stupid little Crapple logo that lights up with an LED when you flip the lid open. Fufu non-sense. As to Zarezen and System 76 they probably do source high quality components…they kind of have to as the OS is so stable the hardware may have to run for a decade or more as there is no upgrade treadmill pressure….

  3. In most of the world people will pay less to get trouble-free service. Here, that is true. Price matters. Trouble-free with GNU/Linux is a huge bonus.

  4. Contrarian says:

    “the build quality of the System76 laptop will probably be much better”

    System 76 is buying the same white boxes from the Asian manufacturers as Dell and the others do. They just don’t get as low of a price due to a restricted volume.

    “folks will pay a premium to get trouble-free computing on MacOS”

    Exactly, and that sort of perception, regardless of any fact, is important on both ends of the spectrum. By casting Linx as a part of the low end, OEMs maintain the image of Linux being a cheap substitute for Windows.

  5. That seems to be the case in USA where folks will pay a premium to get trouble-free computing on MacOS.

  6. Anon says:

    Though, to be fair, the way Dell’s quality has been declining over the last several years, the build quality of the System76 laptop will probably be much better.

    Didn’t you say something about a well-to-do, sophisticated buyer shunning the cheap model and moving up the line to the top in another post?

  7. Contrarian says:

    “sure is nice before the customary paveover”

    Exactly right. If you love Linux and buying a Dell with Windows is a much better deal than buying a similar spec from System 76 with Linux pre-installed, then you should be happy for the opportunity to do so.

  8. Just Me says:

    Linux isn’t perfect, but it works. The latest updates from MS have totally crippled my work computers. Both XP and W7. Only a few months old with 3 Gigs of RAM and they run like they’re P-3s with 512.

  9. oe says:

    You gotta admit though, that from Dell/HP and the other big OEMS that that CrapWare subsidy, to include the Other OS, sure is nice before the customary paveover….

  10. I read the docs and did the best I could. You try and find on M$’s site where imaging is allowed for XP Home… I did the updates for one computer of each type and distributed those images.

  11. Anon wrote, “I have never understood why Windows can’t just put out all the updates in one batch so you can do all the updates at once.”

    It’s the registry and lack of modularity. Since they connect everything to everything, they can only guarantee non-breakage at each update point. That is, they have too many dependencies to allow changing one thing without messing up everything else. The updates have to go in sequence or there is a disaster. This is failure built in since the early 1990s.

    For example, last year, I was updating machines from SP1. There was no local WSUS server so I went to their website to get started. I had disabled ActiveX, under their advice, for security. Guess what? I needed to enable ActiveX to use their site. Then I had to jump through several other hoops before the first update could be downloaded. Pathetic waste of time. After doing that for several PC-types in the building and distributing them, I still ended up going to GNU/Linux because it just worked and XP kept quitting. It was easier to convert the whole system than to try to keep XP running.

  12. Anon says:


    It may be that Win7 is much improved in this regard, but I was talking specifically about helping friends restore their personal laptops–many of which still run XP and do not have Win7 licenses.

    So if the situation is better for Win7, that’s great; less hassle all around. But there are still a lot of people running XP out there.

  13. Contrarian says:

    @Anon Jun 13th, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I don’t quite understand why you are starting with XP and then going through all those gyrations, complaining all the way. Things seem to be a lot more easy these days and perhaps you should look into it unless you take some delight in doing things the hard way.

    I don’t have the vast experience that you claim to have with this, so maybe I am missing something. All I ever did was replace XP Pro with Win7 Ultimate on my home workstation and replace Vista with Win7 Ultimate on my wife’s Dell. The latter was the touch screen model with the computer built into the LCD screen and even the touch stuff worked without any manual intervention or selection.

  14. Anon says:

    @ oldman: That great. Hopefully the printer, webcam, and anything you want to use with it work just as well sans-discs.

  15. Anon says:

    You know, Other Dave, I feel exactly the opposite way. I’ve seen enough shenanigans from Redmond (see Nokia, Novell for recent examples) that I count prior direct ties to that company as a black mark on a prospective hire. If anyone has ever worked for or in close association with that company in the past, how can I be 100% sure that he will have my company’s best interests at heart, instead of his former paymasters’? How can I be sure he isn’t a “fox” or “fox” wannabe? (Fox is their term for a company insider, look it up).

  16. Anon says:

    Uh, no, Contrarian, it isn’t all that automatic. I’ve had to fix many friends’ “broken” computers for them. First you have to install XP. That’s almost automatic, except for a point midway though where it holds up and waits for you to do some time and network settings.

    Then you have to load all the drivers off of the CDs. Now, 9 times out of 10, they don’t have CDs (lost or never got them in the first place). So then you have to spend some time at the manufacturer’s website tracking down all the drivers. Good thing you have another computer to do it with, since often the ethernet/wireless drivers aren’t included in the OS.

    Then you download updates and install them. Then you reboot. Then you download more updates and install them. Then you reboot again. Then you download even more updates and install them. And reboot again. Rinse and repeat at least 6 or 7 times, total. And you have to be there after every reboot to go back into the software updates program to get the next batch of updates. And these are all “critical” updates that come in batches; I haven’t even started with the optional stuff yet. I have never understood why Windows can’t just put out all the updates in one batch so you can do all the updates at once.

    Then, after maybe 3-5 hours, you have a base, fully patched XP installation.

    Now, it may well be that in enterprise use there are some tools and techniques to improve the automation (like just keeping a semi up-to-date image around and flashing the drive as necessary), but that’s still just an effort to mitigate Windows hassles, and isn’t something a home user would usually have available anyway. Thankfully, my job doesn’t involve the Sisyphean task of supporting and maintaining Windows installations.

    For reference, I can get a base Ubuntu install going in 15-30 minutes at most–and that includes some programs like an office suite that would still need to be installed on Windows. I always install a flavor of Linux (usually Ubuntu) in dual-boot mode for people whose computers I fix so that they can recover their files/keep working when Windows dies again. The nice thing about it is that I have never had to fix a person’s computer more than twice: the first time to fix a broken Windows installation, and the second time to remove Windows entirely and make the PC Ubuntu-only.

  17. oldman says:

    “oldman, here’s a little game to play”

    I’ve already done this will a Lenovo Think Pad and the vanilla windows 7 Professional x64. The system came up and was totally functional, including wireless BTW.

    The portable originally came with windows XP pro.

  18. oldman says:

    “oldman, here’s a little game to play””


  19. oldman says:

    “Last year, I updated a raft of XP SP1 machines to current. It took ages to get to SP2, then the SP3 update was pretty swift and then it was hours longer before the updates were complete. GNU/Linux just replaces packages with current ones and it’s done promptly. With that other OS you have to replace updates with updated updates updated.”

    If you insist in only doing things the long way, you are correct, however it is relatively easy to slipstream the XP3 update on to even an OEM disk. One need only google the internet for this.

    Windows Updates can be taken care of by a local WSUS server, Of course you have to actually purchase a windows server license. As an educational institution you can get a discount.

    Any vedor packages can be server up centrally via a CIFS share.

    One can even Image systems on the network using a number of free tools.

    I suspect your real problem Pog, is that because you want to have as little as possible to do with windows, you turn a deaf ear to knowing anything about substantial pile of free tools that could make your life better in those situations where you have to deal with windows.

    Your solution is to pave over windows with Linux, and thats all you want to know about.


  20. but it is many hours before you have a current installation.

    Last year, I updated a raft of XP SP1 machines to current. It took ages to get to SP2, then the SP3 update was pretty swift and then it was hours longer before the updates were complete. GNU/Linux just replaces packages with current ones and it’s done promptly. With that other OS you have to replace updates with updated updates updated.

  21. Contrarian says:

    “the process of updating serially is incredibly painful”

    I suspect that you are being deliberately obtuse here and actally know better. The update/re-istall process is 100% automatic and consists of inserting the DVD and selecting the clean install option. Go away for a while and when you come back the deed is done. For updates click on Windows Update and then OK the prompt to install critical stuff. Fuss about with the rest if you must, but then click OK and come bace to a totally refreshed machine. If you have a bunch of them to do, then start them all off and go take a short nap.

    No bother.

  22. That’s not a game. Many users of PCs never received a CD from the maker or have lost it or did not generate one when they first fire up. I have converted many of these to GNU/Linux after they become unusable because they are malware infested or will not boot. Where I have encountered PCs with a CD, the process of updating serially is incredibly painful. It can take many hours, especially if downloads are slow. Many users of PCs have no idea how to make a backup of a recently modified system so they have to relive years of updates. Instead they can spend half an hour installing GNU/Linux and they are good to go with a current system fully updated.

  23. The Other Dave says:

    The company I work at we refuse to hire open sores types due to this zealotry and idiocy.

    When we get a resume we look people up online. If we see that they have a page like this one we avoid them like the plague because they’ll attempt to destroy the company with their open sores religion.

    Open sores zealots will always put their religion before rational thought and will even send death threats.

    Personally I think laws should be passed against open sores making it illegal.

  24. Anon says:

    oldman, here’s a little game to play”

    Take a modern, Windows 7 era laptop and an XP era laptop. Wipe both hard drives completely clean. Now do a dual boot on each (Win7/Ubuntu and XP/Ubuntu).

    You must start from a completely clean hard drive, and you are only allowed to use one disc per OS (i.e., only a Windows OS install disc and an Ubuntu disc) You are *not* allowed to use any other discs that came with the computer or any discs that come from the manufacturers of the peripherals, nor are you allowed to download the contents of those other discs from the manufacturer’s website, nor are you allowed to use a method that flashes the hard drive to some factory default image. You only get to use the OS disc to do a clean install.

    Now tell me again which OS has better driver support. (Here’s a hint, you’ll probably have to be booted into Ubuntu to even do so.)

  25. oldman says:

    “Batsov is going to find himself much less comfortable in Vista/Vista 7 which are both terrible. I just added this story of file copy taking for ever on Windows 7 to my Windows 7 failure log. ”

    I’m not exactly sure what OS vista is 7 Mr. twitter, but on windows 7 I just transferred 42Gb of files from one disk to another, in about 10 minutes (averaging 75Mb per second).

    This would suggest that what you call a fail is not as clear cut as you attempt to portray. Better luck next time!

  26. oldman says:

    “Not even close, oldman. I was at one school where XP was installed from CD and the Ethernet driver did not work.”

    On the flip side of this, I have so far been able to use with windows 7

    An 8 year old HP scanner.
    A 6 year old netgear USP network Print Server
    A 6 year old Creative MP3 player.

    But in the end I would not have been all that surprised if Windows 7 didnt support them. They are all well out of support for the vendors who sold them. To be frank , I have gotten my moneys worth out of them and would easily have gone out and replaced them .

    The above aside, the fact that Linux will support the obsolete equipment that is long out of manufacturer support is in the end not enough to warrant its use. People run applications not operating systems. And faced he fact that an old card or peripheral doesnt work on a new system, people just buy a new peripheral.

  27. oldman says:

    “It seems that Richard Chapman feels he has won an argument, but I’ve no idea what it is.”

    Neither does Mr. Chapman.

  28. Linux Apostate says:

    “So, inux apostate, you prefer to use a windoze pee cee, just like most of the people you know – and that somehow makes you special? Nobody cares, my friend.”

    You only think that, that’s what’s so funny! Actually I use Linux at home and work, am using it now, and develop software on Linux for a living. You think I have not “seen the light”, but in fact I saw the light many years ago, became a major FLOSS advocate, and subsequently got fed up with the whole thing and just became a pragmatist.

    It seems that Richard Chapman feels he has won an argument, but I’ve no idea what it is.

  29. twitter says:

    GNU/Linux works more hardware than any other OS ever made. Windows, even when the picture is limited to x86, is pitiful in comparison. GNU/Linux works with hardware that is a super set of the hardware individual versions of Windows might have once worked with. Often, that other OS forces users to hunt for drivers on vendor web sites. I’ve even seen XP install an older and broken driver over the version a user had carefully downloaded. If a user is successful setting the thing up, they are mostly deprived of COTS hardware because they don’t dare make changes. Each change, hardware and software, threatens previous devices and system stability. The reality of Windows is that users have to buy systems from a vendor like Dell and then use it without changes until they can’t stand it any more. Free software works out of the box and can be upgraded without much worry. There are a few pieces of hardware that are still difficult, especially for purists who refuse binary blobs, but the bigger free software picture is one of hardware bliss. Things just work with gnu/linux.

    Batsov is going to find himself much less comfortable in Vista/Vista 7 which are both terrible. I just added this story of file copy taking for ever on Windows 7 to my Windows 7 failure log. Freedom has important functional and feature benefits that are everywhere on display.

  30. JohnMc says:

    “OEMs can make the choice for people buying pre-installed. The geeks among us can make the choice if buying for their own use. The OEMs who do not cooperate will lose some market share.” — Pogson

    Personally I don’t have a problem with your observation. But it does pose the problem the wrong way. You decide to upgrade the stereo in your car. All goes according to install, `cept it won’t play. Now who you going to point the finger at, the car or the stereo? (perish the idea you blame yourself, that’s human nature, we’re all perfect right?) The stereo of course.

    Well give or take some exceptions, Linux gets installed over Windows in 90% of all installs. Most of them done by a complete noob. So when the stereoLinux OS does not boot its OUR fault regardless. Perceptions become reality.

    As far as the marketshare loss. The vendors think Linux is so low on the radarscope most probably don’t care they lose the sale. That is what I mean by gamesmanship Chapman.

  31. Uhh.. The guy says he use “bleeding-edge” stuff. That’s not representative of IT generally, or ordinary consumers. That’s all I’m writing. My experience has largely been based on COTS PCs from Dell, HP, Acer, etc. randomly selected by schools etc. without my input, so I think my experience is more representative of mainstream PC usage by ordinary folk who shop.

    Where I was last year, a single image of GNU/Linux would work on all the PCs we had in stock except one 15 year old thing while that other OS needed a different image for each machine-type. No consumer is likely to install that other OS or GNU/Linux but if they did they would have fewer problems booting with GNU/Linux than that other OS for desktop purposes. OEMs have no problem producing good systems running GNU/Linux. Ordinary people have no problem using them. Here is a video on YouTube with random kids walking into a tent at a conference and using GNU/Linux on the desktop with no one holding their hands at all. That was in 2005… I have been seeing similar results in schools for a decade. GNU/Linux is ready for the desktop and works better than that other OS.

  32. Zombie Chan says:

    Just going to pop in here really quick..

    Just because you’ve had zero problems with GNU/Linux on the desktop doesn’t mean everyone has zero problems with GNU/Linux.

    Just because I have zero problems with Windows 7 doesn’t mean that everyone has zero problems with Windows 7.

    Calling this guy’s criticism about GNU/Linux FUD is like calling your criticism of Windows FUD.

  33. Not even close, oldman. I was at one school where XP was installed from CD and the Ethernet driver did not work. Installing GNU/Linux, it worked like a charm. Linux’s inclusion of tons of drivers with the OS is a huge advantage. XP could not find a driver with no network connection…

    At another school, XP SP2 sneaked in one night and the old driver for our scanner never worked again.

    With printer drivers I have had ME fail to drive a printer which it used to drive. The reason? M$ withheld a USB driver that was needed. They wanted to move people to XP so they killed the driver for ME. What nonsense. No one wants M$ to dictate how and what hardware they can run. While CUPS keeps getting easier to use that other OS just cuts people off at the knees whenever M$ wants more money.

  34. JohnMc wrote, ” the outcome is we end up with subpar drivers vs our Windows competitors”.

    There are plenty of OEMs who make hardware for which there are perfect drivers. Choose them. Use them. Those who refuse to produce drivers for Linux or keep secret how to make such drivers do not deserve our business. I know that doesn’t work for installation on existing equipment but there is plenty of factory-built COTS stuff now. OEMs can make the choice for people buying pre-installed. The geeks among us can make the choice if buying for their own use. The OEMs who do not cooperate will lose some market share.

  35. Richard Chapman says:

    Thank you all for participating. You gave the only answer you were capable of giving. By the way, since you are telling the Linux community it hasn’t learned gamesmanship, would you care to define “Linux community”?

  36. Jake says:

    So, inux apostate, you prefer to use a windoze pee cee, just like most of the people you know – and that somehow makes you special? Nobody cares, my friend.

    You’ve made a common choice, nothing particularly wise or courageous about it, but you’ve got lots of company, and I suppose that’s the most important thing.

    Meanwhile we’re happy with our own, rather different choice.

  37. Linux Apostate says:

    “The best solution is more important than whose solution it is.”

    How right you are.

  38. JohnMc says:

    Except for 1 netbook and 2 VM’s all for testing I run a M$ free zone both at work and at home. I have also posted on the OP rant. But I will say, Linux is not perfect.

    * Graphics drivers. The MFR’s still play the secret sauce game. Not Linux’s fault, but the outcome is we end up with subpar drivers vs our Windows competitors. This is an issue related to NDA’s. The Linux Foundation needs to step up here, develop NDA’s with the MFR’s then manage downstream NDA’s with the developers. The Linux Foundation acting as the clearing house and 3rd party repository. Sorry but it will still end up as a binary only package.

    * Consolidate package management for all distros. Way too many dev cycles spent reduping packages. Better those resources apply themselves to the userland app space.

    * We still suck at graphics and video. GIMP has much going for it, but it is not Photoshop. At a professional level, GIMP does not cut it. On the video side, we have nothing like FinalCut. Piviti and OpenShot are fine. But both lack a lot of features. Yet we have Ardour. As a sound tool it rocks, its professional if a bit hard to install. We need that level of professionalism across the board.

    * Linux needs to develop a facility for regression testing of hardware for and about Linux. Vendors pay M$ big bucks to have their products regression tested. We need a similar capability. But not only that we need to develop the market acumen that has meaning that a product is `Linux certified`.

    Linux is great, but the community still has not learned the gamesmanship necessary to win the desktop. Linux is ready, but it requires more than just tech superiority to win.

  39. oldman says:

    “Which OS has better driver support, Linux or Windows.”

    Windows Mr. Chapman.

  40. For notebooks, that might be true, but I bought my last ATX system about 1992. Since then I have built them from parts. We have a couple of GNU/Linux systems in the house that came from the factory with GNU/Linux, routers and such, but everything else was built from parts. My son built most of the boxes in our home and I built the ones I take to the North. The last machine running that other OS had XP on it and it died for about the fifth time so I installed GNU/Linux over the protests of my wife. She has adapted… 😉 I guess, in my extended family, XP was probably the last bought by anyone from M$. There are a few Apple machines in the college students.

  41. Contrarian says:

    “System76 is a small company which doesn’t get discounts for high volumes”

    Too bad for them, eh? All that I am saying is that the best way to get a Linux computer is to buy a Windows computer and replace the OS. That gives you a lot more choice.

  42. I have ranted on this blog, a very public place, about a few problems I have had over the years as have oldman and others. I didn’t notice many firestorms resulting. FLOSS is open. You can see criticism on , for instance. People read, respond and life goes on. The best solution is more important than whose solution it is.

  43. or, it could be that other OS has negative value. Ten years ago, M$ used to get $60 for that other OS but now they are down to $50, average. In particular situations the difference could be much more. In particular, for the difference to be that large, perhaps M$ is paying Dell for the installation.

  44. Amen. One can find flaws in anything if one looks and differences of opinions on everything. A healthy human can go with the flow enough to ignore the noise.

  45. Linux Apostate says:

    Drivers are irrelevant anyway. The issue is not even problems with Linux, as I said in paragraph 2 of my first post above, and entirely about the behaviour of FLOSS zealots.

  46. Richard Chapman says:

    Not even a good dodge LA.

  47. Bender says:


    Take into account efficiency and lower prices from suppliers DELL gets. System76 is a small company which doesn’t get discounts for high volumes.

  48. Rich Hunn says:

    I’ve been a Linux hobbyist since the beginning and
    thankfully I’m not an expert. I bought an inexpensive
    Acer laptop to run LMDE on and for some reason I have
    zip, zero, nada problems. I’m running LMDE on a desktop
    over an AMD 9950 Black and again, zero problems. I’m
    beginning to think, based on the quality of the rants,
    that’s it very easy to over think all this and start
    looking for flaws. Plus, I’m dumb about all this, I run
    AMD and Nvidia and don’t know I should have issues. The
    laptop had Win 7 Home Premium on it, I tried it a bit
    and couldn’t wait to dump it. Guess I’m just not as
    sophisticated as required to be anything but dumb but

  49. Linux Apostate says:

    Better drivers for what purpose?

  50. Richard Chapman says:

    Using your real name is a personal choice. Those who do, discuss the same issues as everyone else. It’s understandable why you would not choose to use your real name LA. You don’t have to resort to excuses.

    You set yourself up as the ultimate unbiased Linux user LA. Yet you accuse Robert of zealotry and hatred. Here’s a test for someone who says he is truly unbiased. Which OS has better driver support, Linux or Windows. You know the answer and you know how you must answer and you know we know your dilemma.

  51. Contrarian says:

    ” OEMs around the world are cranking out perfectly usable installations of GNU/Linux on COTS hardware.”

    It seems to me that this is poor economy. Every time I look up details on one of these Linux-preinstalls, the numbers do not add up. For example look at the System 76 Pangolin laptop. A plain jane configuration with i5, 500GB HD, 4GB ram and Ubuntu sells for $780 and is $20 more to ship. An identical spec Dell 15R Inspiron with Windows ships free for $649. That’s like a $150 Linux tax applied to anyone who dislikes MS and/or cannot fathom how to overwrite Windows with Ubuntu.

  52. Linux Apostate says:

    Maybe you should try criticising Linux and see what happens. Do it in a public place frequented by FLOSSies such as Slashdot or OS News. You will be modded down and abused by freedom-loving zealots who have decided that while information may want to be free, inconvenient information definitely shouldn’t be.

  53. Wow! That’s a new definition of paranoia. I use my real name. Have for two decades. People are out to get me, but I don’t care. 😉

  54. I am too busy using GNU/Linux. Sorry…

  55. Linux Apostate says:

    Wow, look at all the hate that poor guy has got. This is why I don’t criticise anything to do with Linux using my real name.

    Not that I’m really interested in criticising Linux per se. If it was so bad I wouldn’t use it. My beef is really with the sort of people who are outraged that anyone might ever dare to say anything bad about FLOSS. They think any criticism is always unfair, even when fully justified by the facts.

    FLOSS is either already perfect (and the critic is too stupid to understand it). Or it’s only imperfect because of “M$” (and the critic is too ignorant to get that).

    See, this is why I’m an apostate. If FLOSS wasn’t like a religious cult, and insulting FLOSS wasn’t like publishing a picture of Mohammed in a Danish newspaper, then there would be no need to denounce it as such. And critics of free software would speak freely without fear of the mob.

  56. ray says:

    I guess the best thing to do at this point is to address the problems in linux

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