Christmas Comes Early For Linux Operating Systems

GNU/Linux as itself and as Chrome OS is growing and Android/Linux is taking off like a rocket. It looks as if many could not wait for Christmas to buy something shiny and new.

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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14 Responses to Christmas Comes Early For Linux Operating Systems

  1. dougman says:

    This is why I say WEBRTC will supplant Skype in time. Just fire up your browser, hand off the link to your friends and off you go.

  2. YesMan says:

    k,

    ChromeOS is a another way to buy cheap mass market hardware without perpetuating the endless Microsoft monopoly over desktop OSes. Competition is sorely needed in desktop OSes, we’ve gone for like 20+ years with a single company dominating the direction of this sector internationally. That’s *ing crazy when you think about it.

    Also I think the processing model of ChromeOS is a genuinely good idea. Web browsers are the huge app everyone uses. So why not use the web browser as the master framework and build features people need into the framework of the web browser?

    That’s what Google is doing, in one hand, ChromeOS is a web browser with a Linux kernel. But Chrome also continues to get APIs (many of them W3C standards) that converge onto what desktop apps normally do.

    So there is this blurring between the web app and the desktop app. It’s good because it will lead to a more sane experience for non-technical users. They don’t need to know the difference between an app that exists on the Internet and one that is on their computer. They work the same.

    Most of the stuff Chrome is exposing is standardized or in the process of being standardized so it’s not like some closed source API that only one OS will ever implement properly. So you know, you can write your app once and really support like anything with a W3C compliant web browser, which these days will be like every web browser (newer versions). That’s really powerful and will make life easier for developers.

  3. oiaohm says:

    You have two Windows laptops same model 2 different firmware versions. Result 1 can work with Linux and one can be a complete brick with Linux.

    kurkosdr like it or not a chromebook for a entry level abusable laptop to convert to Linux is not bad. Thinking the Windows laptops near to the same price range are very much loto if Linux will work.

  4. oiaohm says:

    kurkosdr even that some chromebooks are low end parts a lot of them have 8+ hours run-times between charges at full load. This is in fact what you want when attending conferences.

    The big problem with running Linux on lots of laptops is broken power management resulting in bugger all battery life. Ie 1 to 3 hours. This suxs at conferences that are 8 to 12 hours a day with possibly no where to charge.

    A chromebook has working powermanagement a Freedos laptop might not be same with a Windows laptop. If you are planning to run Linux chromebooks are good.

    kurkosdr it might be too much effort for you to switch to developer mode on a chromebook or even more swapping the signing keys. Please look up bipassing UEFI. Now think Linux person planning on converting. Chromebook is simpler. Its topped off with working power management so the resulting laptop has decent runtimes.

    Lot of the Linux world like of Chromebooks is after the time converting it you get something usable compare to possible brick a Windows laptop might be.

    kurkosdr google play services is result of end users asking Google to deal with the fragmentation. Sorry you cannot have you cake and eat it too.

    Google does listen some of there responses are not always the best. Like CM fork of Android is working into the process of being allowed. The process of the CM phone has altered a lot of things. Android devices are not required to lock from replacement firmware being used. Yes they are required to lock root access by default. They are not required to make it impossible to root.

    So yes Google is listening the rules of the Google Play Services is not set in stone yet. Samsung wants the source to audit it. Lets see how that plays out.

    kurkosdr RMS also pushes for open spec hardware. Sorry you state about RMS is wrong with hardware designers. RMS is more worried about security side. Not audited hardware is a problem.

  5. kurkosdr wrote, “I don’t believe in the four-freedoms, mainly because it’s silly to demand from software houses to adhere by them, when everything from movies/music, books, hardware, fpga designs, pharmaceutical drugs etc does not adhere to the four freedoms (no “source” and no right to redistribute).”

    That’s the view of many but if other forms of revenue than selling licences like selling subscriptions for support or advertising, FLOSS works. One should not expect the market for software to avoid FLOSS just because some people don’t like it. There is a cost to businesses developing FLOSS no doubt: paying programmers and some loss of licensing income but there are benefits too: $free licensing costs for libraries, $free licensing for other software tools, very low cost of distribution, no hassling users over “illegal copying”, and so on. In balance, FLOSS might be negative for the big guys only selling licences and positive for the small guys/startups/innovators, but looked at overall FLOSS works for everyone. Look at Google and Samsung. They are spending a ton of money developing FLOSS and using FLOSS and they are making a ton of money. What’s it worth to Google to double the user-base in a couple of years? What’s it worth to Samsung not to have to pay M$ ~$100 or so per unit to use M$’s crapware? Samsung would much rather hire Koreans to write FLOSS than pay M$ exorbitant sums. That’s just good business. On the other hand, M$ decided to do everything (almost) in house and are paying much more than Samsung or Google to accomplish the same transactions with users. M$ is using an obsolete business-model. Bet on Samsung and Google to leave M$ in their dust.

    From the programmer’s perspective there are many ways to be paid for writing FLOSS rather than selling licences: per contract, learning and developing marketable skills, developing a product given away for $0 that the developer is paid to support for years to come, and for fun at minimal expense. The low cost of entry for FLOSS is very attractive to young/poor people who don’t have a ton of money but have the smarts to do it. Very few can work for M$ but millions can write FLOSS and make their lives and the lives of millions more better.

    Sticking on the low cost of licences when evaluating FLOSS is extremely short-sighted. Most governments and large organizations can produce all the software the world needs while spending less on licences and more on programmers’ salaries. That is better for everyone than sending money to rich guys in Redmond, WA. They already have enough money and don’t need any more.

  6. dougman says:

    Current Chrome devices are shipping with Haswell.

    http://www.ubergizmo.com/2013/12/asus-and-toshiba-expected-to-launch-intel-haswell-powered-chromebooks-in-2014/

    kurkosdr sounds to me to be a pseudo-troll; he does not understand Linux, thinks ChromeOS is crap and thinks Windows should maintain its status.

  7. kurkosdr says:

    “That’s RMS’s view, I believe. It’s essentially non-free software on the server and the client if the user isn’t in control and have the four freedoms.”
    I don’t believe in the four-freedoms, mainly because it’s silly to demand from software houses to adhere by them, when everything from movies/music, books, hardware, fpga designs, pharmaceutical drugs etc does not adhere to the four freedoms (no “source” and no right to redistribute). I do like the Pirate Party, which pushes for a total copyright reform, but demanding from software houses to give away source and redistribution rights without demaning the same from book publishers, hardware designers, pharmaceutical companies and movie/music studios (aka what RMS proposes) is silly.

    I just want the freedom to use the stuff I bought, aka that nobody can yank the software/content under my nose (that’s why I will never get an Xbone or Amazon e-book reader).

    “I don’t know that for sure but so far they have not been caught doing anything sinful.”
    Sinful? Maybe not. But they do have a history of yanking services under the nose of users (like Buzz, Wave or Reader) and leave said users in the cold (aka with no alternative). How many of the services Chrome OS links to now will be active after, say, 4 years?

    “Google has done a lot of good on Earth but they do things that arouse suspicion”
    They do good only when and for as long it suits them. When it does not suit them anymore, they will reverse/take back the good they did with the same ease. Like how they broke app compatibility with Android flavors which don’t cary the Google proprietary apps, by introducing “Google Play Services”. Yes, Android is partially open-source now, Google Play Services is a system component (and is proprietary under strict terms), and you need it to run many apps (not just the Google apps).

    “to risk the whole infrastructure of the world becoming servile to the likes of M$.”
    Let’s become servile to Google, which is even worse. Just ask people who relied on Wave. Or the people who where forced to create Google+ accounts (“ad super-profiles” as I call them) just to rate apps on the Android Play Store.

    “I guess you missed that all chromebooks ship with a useable developer mode.”
    I looked around Chromium.org regarding developer mode, looks too much work for something a computer OS should be doing out of the box. At least TiVo and PS4 don’t pretend to be computers.

    “if you read more most of the excitement is about Chromebooks not ChromeOS.”
    At last, an admission Chrome OS sucks. You either care about the hardware, or you care about the fact the particular computers don’t ship with Windows. I think it’s the latter, because most Chromebooks either ship with low-end Intel CPUs with integrated GPUs (nothing noteworthy, you can get many PCs with such specs) or ship with some ARM chip, which may or may not be supported “out-of-the-box” by Ubuntu/Mint whatever (but hey, you can do some geek-fu and use the Chrome OS drivers somehow).
    I don’t understand Linux fans. Let’s assume that tomorrow, all laptops stopped shipping with Windows, and started shipping with some lame OS like FreeDOS or ChromeOS. How does this makes things better? I understand getting excited about computers shipping with Ubuntu or Steam OS, but I don’t understand getting excited about computers shipping with terrible worse-than-Windows OSes like Chrome OS.

  8. dougman says:

    Link length is ugly, here is a shortened version.

    http://goo.gl/kz40rC

  9. dougman says:

    Toshiba is coming out with 13″ Chromebook now.

    “Toshiba Chromebook specs leak well before CES

    Toshiba appears ready to re-enter the Chromebook sector, as what appears to be an advance hands-on profile of the device has leaked before its expected unveiling at the coming Consumer Electronics Show. PC Magazine on Friday posted a piece dated for January 6, 2014, detailing the look, feel, and functionality of the Toshiba Chromebook. ”

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2428671,00.asp&oq=cache:www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2428671,00.asp&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i58.8668j0j4&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8

  10. kukosdr wrote, “I am geniuely worried that so many people buy Chromebooks. Being locked-in to web-apps makes the lock-in to windows apps look like total freedom in comparison”

    That’s RMS’s view, I believe. It’s essentially non-free software on the server and the client if the user isn’t in control and have the four freedoms. OTOH, from the standpoint of efficiency, it is far better that Google’s experts keep their software tuned up rather than the run of the mill consumer run that other OS unpatched. It saves energy, downtime, pain, etc. It helps if you believe Google is benign. I don’t know that for sure but so far they have not been caught doing anything sinful. M$ OTOH should be locked up in the deepest dungeon and given little air or water. Google has done a lot of good on Earth but they do things that arouse suspicion like keeping some of their code secret and using personal information for their benefit. In the long run, I think non-profit organizations or governments should cooperate to create a new Internet where the services that Google provides would be provided gratis just as we use roads and healthcare. Search and e-mail are essential services too important to risk the whole infrastructure of the world becoming servile to the likes of M$. Just as M$ is not and never was essential, neither is Google. Both of them do provide some important services but those could be provided by Free Software running on standard hardware using open standards. I think this NSA thing will eventually force governments to provide some of the IT infrastructure as a public service in a secure and reasonably open manner. There’s nothing magic about Google. The world can and does make its own software.

  11. Mats Hagglund says:

    ChromeBook is good choice. Especially when you can when ever install other Linux distributions on it.

  12. oiaohm says:

    kurkosdr converting a chromeos device is simpler than some of the UEFI boot devices out there.

    Chromebooks are decent convertible hardware.

    kurkosdr a TIVO you cannot custom mod. TIVO is full secure boot.

    kurkosdr if you read more most of the excitement is about Chromebooks not ChromeOS.

    At the wine project we do have people turning up using crouton. So Ubuntu on ChromeOS.

    kurkosdr PS4 has a locked boot loader.

    Sorry kurkosdr PS4 and TIVO are not the same as a Chromebook. You could put a Chromebook in the same class as a WIndows Laptop a Linux user is planing on converting. You hear Linux users say XYZ Windows Laptop is great because it runs Linux well and is easy to convert.

    kurkosdr also I guess you missed that all chromebooks ship with a useable developer mode. Find me the TIVO or PS4 useable developer mode outbox.

    Finally kurkosdr are you aware that you can replace the core firmware in all chromebooks with your own version with your own signing keys.

    Chromebooks are convertible and securable hardware. So even if Google and All the companies making chromebooks drop support the hardware is not bricked.

    Steam OS and Chrome OS are not that much different. Steam OS will be fairly heavy on the lock down.

    Chromebooks have more Linux compadible bios than most other laptops out there.

  13. kurkosdr says:

    I don’t understand why Linux fans get so excited about Chrome OS. What aspect of Chrome OS is “linux-y” exactly? There is no user-visible way to launch a terminal (it requires some geek-fu to achieve it) you can’t install any Linux apps (without geek-fu again) and the UI is just a bunch of shortcuts that open a browser. The only thing Chrome OS does is lock you to web-apps (“that would be 200 bucks, thank you”). Sure, technically it’s linux, but from the user-perspective, it’s not, because it doesn’t do anything a linux distro ought to do.

    What’s next, counting TiVo as “linux”? Linux fans claiming Chrome OS and TiVo is “linux” is like BSD fans claiming the OS PS4 runs is FreeBSD.

    Also, I am geniuely worried that so many people buy Chromebooks. Being locked-in to web-apps makes the lock-in to windows apps look like total freedom in comparison (at least I can keep using a windows app if the company making it goes bankrupt).

    PS: I understand getting excited about Steam OS, but Chrome OS? Com’ on

  14. YesMan says:

    ChromeOS was a real winner this holiday season, smashing all analyst estimates and taking a whooping 21% of all laptop sales. Nobody took away this much marketshare from Windows in the laptop market since the early 90s. Of course, Android continues to increase its lead in smartphones and tablets. This was really a special year for Linux.

    https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/u-s-commercial-channel-computing-device-sales-set-to-end-2013-with-double-digit-growth-according-to-npd/

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