Brian Proffitt’s Imaginary Linux-Hardware Woes

Brian Proffitt who has been following the FLOSS scene long enough to know better recently repeated the lies:

  • “Linux’s market share on the desktop has always been very small.” Utter nonsense, GNU/Linux share is larger than Apple’s and no one calls that small. Linux also underpins Android/Linux and that’s huge. Linux is not too small for Nvidia’s attention. Even M$ claims only 50-60% of PCs shipped by OEMs. Apple only claims 5%. There are plenty of machines shipped with GNU/Linux or are installed with GNU/Linux. Then there’s Android/Linux which shipped on more personal computers than M$’s stuff.
  • Writing of problems with hardware drivers in Linux, “those situations are plentiful”. Again, GNU/Linux has tons of drivers and supports the vast majority of hardware “out of the box”. I have run GNU/Linux on thousands of PCs cranked out for Wintel and had very few problems with drivers. The last school where I worked had five kinds of PCs and a few other random computers without a single device not driven. A few students had WinModems but that was scarcely an issue in comparison to the ~100 PCs in the school. For $20 they could buy a nifty USB modem and were laughing. Naturally OEMs will ship GNU/Linux on machines for which all the drivers work and they ship many millions of them. That’s not woe. Canonical plans to ship on 5% of PCs next year. They are not worried about drivers. Why is Brian?

So, I don’t know what’s up but the pronouncement of GNU/Linux’s failure on the desktop or anywhere else are greatly exaggerated. There are still huge roll-outs taking place and every major and many minor OEMs are only too glad to ship GNU/Linux PCs if anyone wants them and many do. They usually ship no-OS so that folks can install what they want, too, and Many certify their hardware to work with Linux.

Once or twice a year a mosquito gets through and bites me. That’s no woe. That’s a mosquito bite. So are imaginary hardware issues with Linux.

see Linus Torvalds' Obscene Rant Highlights Linux’s Hardware Woes.

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.
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17 Responses to Brian Proffitt’s Imaginary Linux-Hardware Woes

  1. Mohammad Suhaimi says:

    Linux market share is big.
    How many user in this world converted from M$ to linux? that’s the real market share, not the box installed with linux before delivered to the shops or users.

  2. gert wrote, “those that revolutionnaries at IBM all wear Che shirts you know”

    Yes. I remember when I first dealt with IBM. They had an old mini-computer and a mainframe we used in the engineering building at the University of Manitoba. Those IBM guys all wore suits and ties, even the guys fixing disc/tape drives.

    Brazil is a special place. The country is large and sufficiently influential to make a difference even if NetApplications and other “partners” of M$ don’t count those machines. It’s really cool that Brazil is large enough to supply all of South America with PCs running GNU/Linux and there is retail shelf-space in Brazil for GNU/Linux. The fact that a country like Brazil exists doesn’t fit in the world-view of the trolls. What I find encouraging is that Brazil is not alone. There is a short but growing list of countries quite friendly to FLOSS and M$ and “partners” are having to change their game to play.

  3. gert says:

    I see that your ‘shadows’ are still as on topic as always.
    Must be some kind of sad life they lead. At least I hope they get paid for this. Still, its nice that some people arent whacking away 24/7 on the net.

    I got to admit, this guy is good. He knows how to deflect, bullshit, lie with the best of them.
    Knows how to seem reasonable using myths and other tactics.
    I mean, when was the last time you saw a MS lackey talk about Gnu-Linux being anti-capitalist? (those that revolutionnaries at IBM all wear Che shirts you know))
    Cmon, bring out ‘communist’ while youre at it! The old gems never stop being funny!!

    I like this piece of deflection where you are put to task by something the author makes a stand on:

    “I see you left the word “desktop” off of this portion of your comment.”

    I mean why bother use this graphic that Ballmer used in his presentation to investors:
    http://www.osnews.com/story/21035/Ballmer_Linux_Bigger_Competitor_than_Apple

    Yes, it does not say desktop it says only Home and Work PC’s.
    Bravo sir. You won with your own convulated logic.

    For people grounded in reality, this is nothing more than the same FUD that has been spread for over a decade.
    And better yet, the MS lackeys get to tear down old Steve in the process while the Linux people like Pogson have to protect Ballmer’s words.
    Not that Steve wouldnt lie but the presentation to investors didnt gain anything by him lying about which OS is ahead at #2 so you have to give credibility to this statement.

    But that wont happen because this troll has a job to do.

    And the school stats in Brazil Pogson are 52 MILLION students use Linux in schools (last I checked it was about 35,000 computer labs built on its way to 50,000 labs). That is huge in every sense of the word.

  4. Phenom wrote, “it is amazing how you put all your trust in BRIC to make the revolution and tear down evil capitalism and MS in particular.”

    BRIC is just the cutting edge. Many other countries are gradually shifting, like UK, Germany, France, etc. Several other South American countries are using a lot of FLOSS, not just Brazil. Brazil actually exports GNU/Linux PCs all over South America. There is nothing anti-capitalist about GNU/Linux. There is plenty that’s anti-capitalist about that other OS. Capitalists in Brazil should be able to make the lion’s share of what they build without having M$ rip off the cream.

  5. Phenom says:

    China – 1300 million
    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2007/07/23/100134488/
    It’s been only five years ago, and there’s no signs that things have changed.

    Russia – 138 million
    Same story there. A quick walk over russian torrents will tell you that.

    Anyway, Pog, it is amazing how you put all your trust in BRIC to make the revolution and tear down evil capitalism and MS in particular.

    Unfortunately, BRIC is no where that powerful:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-24/brics-biggest-currency-depreciation-since-1998-to-worsen.html

  6. Pfft wrote, “Thousands of millions, really?”

    China – 1300 million
    India – 1200 million
    Brazil – 200 million
    Russia – 138 million
    total 2800 million

  7. Pfft says:

    “Brazil is one country of a couple of hundred million people. Brazil exports GNU/Linux PCs to all of South America. There are thousands of millions living in countries whose governments promote GNU/Linux. Do the maths.”

    Thousands of millions, really?

    There are billions of people that live in countries that are using and promoting GNU/Linux?

    That must mean they ALL use GNU/Linux then.

    You are on some seriously good drugs, Mr. Pogson. 🙂

  8. Pfft wrote, “That isn’t millions, that is half a million.”

    Brazil is one country of a couple of hundred million people. Brazil exports GNU/Linux PCs to all of South America. There are thousands of millions living in countries whose governments promote GNU/Linux. Do the maths.

  9. Pfft says:

    “Pfft demanded to know where Apples’ unit shipments were. Check the damned quarterly report.

    Mac quarterly unit sales: 4 million units. PCs? 90 millon. What’s the share? 4/90=2/45=2/9/5=4.44%. Do your own work. I have done mine. Show us your numbers that deny reality.”

    No, I certainly didn’t. You are twisting my comment to mean something that it doesn’t to try to gain ground in your rediculous argument.

    The original comment was: Apple claims less.

    I replied with: “Do they now? Link please.”

    Full context: “Look at W3Schools.com stats, for example. They are M$-centric with their ASP stuff etc., but even they show GNU/Linux at 5%. Apple claims less.”

    At no time did I ask for Apples actual shipments, because they aren’t necessary.

  10. Pfft says:

    “You want proof that Brazil, Russia, India, China, Malaysia and others have millions of PCs and are ramping up GNU/Linux in schools and government offices? Use Google and find out. Brazil rolled out 500K in schools.”

    That isn’t millions, that is half a million.

    “See Userful.com. Thailand recently decided to roll out a million tablets running Android. It’s all good.”

    Android tablets are not Linux desktops, but you know that.

    “Ballmer was presenting about desktop OS, twit. Servers were not part of the picture or the share of GNU/Linux would have been huge.”

    Ahh yes – name calling. The signal that you have lost the argument. Your statistic is from a single slide shown at a shareholders meeting that showed Linux to be a competitor. There were no numbers, just a pie chart.

    The chart was designed to sell the shareholders on the idea that there was competition in the segment. Thanks to people like you who latched on to it, it lends to their argument that they don’t have a monopoly.

    Bravo for perpetuating their false numbers, you’ve done them a favor at our cost.

  11. Pfft demanded to know where Apples’ unit shipments were. Check the damned quarterly report.

    Mac quarterly unit sales: 4 million units. PCs? 90 millon. What’s the share? 4/90=2/45=2/9/5=4.44%. Do your own work. I have done mine. Show us your numbers that deny reality.

  12. pfft wrote, “if you fudge the numbers by including servers you might have a statistic”

    Ballmer was presenting about desktop OS, twit. Servers were not part of the picture or the share of GNU/Linux would have been huge.

    Pfft wrote, “I’m so glad you didn’t link to any evidence of this, perhaps because you don’t have any. If you had said thousands, you would have been close to accurate but you said “millions” which is a lie.”

    You want proof that Brazil, Russia, India, China, Malaysia and others have millions of PCs and are ramping up GNU/Linux in schools and government offices? Use Google and find out. Brazil rolled out 500K in schools. See Userful.com. Thailand recently decided to roll out a million tablets running Android. It’s all good.

  13. Pfft says:

    “In 2003, IDC said GNU/Linux and Apple’s desktop shares were comparable.”

    9 years ago, that might have been true.

    “In 2009, Ballmer said GNU/Linux’s share was greater than Apple’s.”

    I see you left the word “desktop” off of this portion of your comment. That’s because you know it to be factually false in regard to desktop market, but if you fudge the numbers by including servers you might have a statistic. If we don’t notice anyway.

    “Apple shows units shipped at a few million per quarter.”

    How many desktop units are Linux shipping? Oh, Linux is a kernel you say?

    “No country has a national policy supporting MacOS.”

    A non-important stat that doesn’t add to your argument.

    “GNU/Linux has half a dozen countries preferring/supporting/installing/donating FLOSS in millions of units.”

    I’m so glad you didn’t link to any evidence of this, perhaps because you don’t have any. If you had said thousands, you would have been close to accurate but you said “millions” which is a lie.

    “Oh, and Apple’s stuff is on the high end of prices. There are more poor people in the world than rich, eh?”

    I didn’t realize we were discussing Apple. I thought the discussion was about Linux desktops. Lets pause and attack Apple though, it’ll throw me off the sent.

    Sorry, try again.

    “Look at W3Schools.com stats, for example. They are M$-centric with their ASP stuff etc., but even they show GNU/Linux at 5%.”

    They do, and they show Apple at 9% currently, almost 2x that of Linux desktops.

    http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_os.asp

    “Apple claims less.”

    Do they now? Link please.

    “Look at Wikimedia stats which are heavily biased to English: 1.6% GNU/Linux. They show MacOS at 8.2%”

    More stats that show Linux desktops to be struggling. Make up a sob story about how the site is biased so it looks like they are lying, that helps. 🙂

    “I have shown NetApplications downplays GNU/Linux counts unless they come from a business like Google, so their numbers by and large represent share in business.”

    Really, did you use the same nonsense you used to show Linux ahead in this comment? I think so.

    “M$ only claims 50-60%. For the sake of argument, let’s give them 60% for sold licences, and 15% for illegal copies and 5% for MacOS. Do the maths. That’s 20% for GNU/Linux in units shipped.”

    Make believe math with fudged numbers FTW!

    “In the installed base, GNU/Linux has to be much more than Apple’s few percent.”

    It has to be, because I believe it so! Our feelings dictate it, to hell with real science and maths!

    “The world is much bigger than English, rich, USA/Europe, etc.”

    Can’t defend your argument, so deflect!

  14. Pfft wrote, “the Linux desktop market is no where near the size of the Apple desktop market.”

    Let’s see. China: Dell alone has 1000 stores, Apple just a few. In 2003, IDC said GNU/Linux and Apple’s desktop shares were comparable. In 2009, Ballmer said GNU/Linux’s share was greater than Apple’s. Apple shows units shipped at a few million per quarter. No country has a national policy supporting MacOS. GNU/Linux has half a dozen countries preferring/supporting/installing/donating FLOSS in millions of units. Oh, and Apple’s stuff is on the high end of prices. There are more poor people in the world than rich, eh?

    Look at W3Schools.com stats, for example. They are M$-centric with their ASP stuff etc., but even they show GNU/Linux at 5%. Apple claims less. Look at Wikimedia stats which are heavily biased to English: 1.6% GNU/Linux. They show MacOS at 8.2% thanks to the bias towards richer countries in love with Apple. I have shown NetApplications downplays GNU/Linux counts unless they come from a business like Google, so their numbers by and large represent share in business. M$ only claims 50-60%. For the sake of argument, let’s give them 60% for sold licences, and 15% for illegal copies and 5% for MacOS. Do the maths. That’s 20% for GNU/Linux in units shipped. In the installed base, GNU/Linux has to be much more than Apple’s few percent. The world is much bigger than English, rich, USA/Europe, etc.

  15. Viktor wrote, “hardware is claimed to be “supported” in GNU/Linux if it shows up during “lspci” etc.”

    Nonsense. man lspci shows:
    “-nn Show PCI vendor and device codes as both numbers and names.

    -q Use DNS to query the central PCI ID database if a device is not
    found in the local pci.ids file. If the DNS query succeeds, the
    result is cached in ~/.pciids-cache and it is recognized in sub‐
    sequent runs even if -q is not given any more. Please use this
    switch inside automated scripts only with caution to avoid over‐
    loading the database servers.

    -qq Same as -q, but the local cache is reset.

    -Q Query the central database even for entries which are recognized
    locally. Use this if you suspect that the displayed entry is
    wrong.”

    lspci lists stuff that answered probes regardless of whether or not there is a driver. How else do you think the right driver gets loaded? Do you think Linux is stupid enough to try to load hundreds of drivers to see if they are the right ones?

  16. Pfft says:

    Oh come on, the Linux desktop market is no where near the size of the Apple desktop market.

    This article is a fairy tale written to try to make Microsoft look like it isn’t the market leader, and Apple isn’t huge also.

    Go outside, for nearly every Linux server deployment you’ll find an admin running OSX or Windows. Few of us use Linux desktops.

  17. Viktor says:

    A certain piece of hardware is claimed to be “supported” in GNU/Linux if it shows up during “lspci” etc. It doesn’t actually have to work. And half of all hardware that’s supposedly “supported” in GNU/Linux just doesn’t work.

    I recommend Windows. With superior driver support.

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