OMG! GNU/Linux Overtakes “7” As Top Desktop OS in Ethiopia

I just love statistics, even when they stretch credulity. Friends of M$ have been stretching them for years telling us that GNU/Linux was an OS for the 1% of us who be geeks… No longer. StatCounter reports that in the last few weeks, GNU/Linux overtook “7” and XP as top desktop OS in Ethiopia. I love it! Chuckle. This is the year of GNU/Linux on the desktop in Ethiopia.

Realistically, this probably represents a significant rollout of GNU/Linux in Ethiopian schools but it bodes well for the future of GNU/Linux in that country of 94million people. If and when they modernize and adopt IT everywhere, the youngsters will be ready.

Top 7 Desktop OSs in Ethiopia from 1 Apr to 23 May 2014.

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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50 Responses to OMG! GNU/Linux Overtakes “7” As Top Desktop OS in Ethiopia

  1. DrLoser says:

    I wasn’t being literal about the 12 floppie thing, oiaohm, I was merely making a point. But your various numbers from the 1990s brought back good memories: thanks!

    So what country is dougman.

    Ah, another link you have failed to follow, and in this case you did well not to. Dougie plies his snake-oil trade somewhere in Metro DC, roughly the Maryland side.

    Australia dropping duplicate installation media in shredder is permitted.

    I think it’s pretty much permitted anywhere at all. After all, that’s what the definition of “duplicate” means.

    Have ISO copies of installation media is also not a problem.

    And again, oiaohm, we are as one. Does Dougie quite understand what the ISO in ISO images means? Should we let him know that the image on an installation CD is precisely the same image that the little ignorant lad is banging on about?

    Now, here’s the thing. I would never wilfully destroy the installation image of a customer, whether it be a major corporation or an SME or a Mom’n’Pop.

    Robert has gone on record as stating that, much like he’d like to, he thought it was immoral and wrong and therefore he didn’t do it, even though it was basically wasted storage space.

    You, oiaohm, have gone on record as pointing out (correctly) that this is a really, really, bad thing to do, and that if nothing else you should make sure the customer still has a disk-based ISO image. (Not quite what you said: I’ll interpolate.)

    Dougman, on the other hand, has gone on record, on this very site, pointing out that when he leaves his customers’ premises, he literally destroys said installation media.

    Personally, I would call this Wilful and Malicious Damage. But, what the heck? If it makes the Snake Boy money for repeat business (because he’s just removed their choice), it’s probably a good idea in the seedier bits of Metro DC.

  2. oiaohm wrote, ” At 74 floppies it was almost never installable without at least 1 floppy failing.”

    I was at one school where I had no LAN so I used to walk around with a stack of floppies to distribute data I downloaded in the summer. It was 21 floppies, ISTR, and over six PCs there would always be one or another with a problem. Years later, I was in a school with that other OS but I had boot floppies to make them thin clients. I swear, I wore out two floppies just walking around a room of 24 machines. The drives actually wore grooves in them. I think that was about 2007, after the quality of cheap floppies and drives tanked. I’ve tried to avoid floppies ever since. I don’t even know where to find one in my home… We may have two drives still on working machines but I have no idea whether they still work. Of course, I have seen a few defective CDs and CD-drives but the failure rate was not even close to the failure rate of floppies.

  3. oiaohm says:

    Out of all the courses about Information technology in Australia only 2 have a moral standards section. The Diploma from the main computer body and the Advanced Diploma from the tafe system. All other courses including BA and above don’t include any requirement to be moral.

    Microsoft Installation media Australian Government Fairtrading ruling its optional. As long as the COA sticker is on the machine its fine. So what country is dougman. Australia dropping duplicate installation media in shredder is permitted. Lot of Australian X government machines come that way. Yep they opened the box of the computer took the discs out and straight up shredded them. Never even bothered storing them.

    Have ISO copies of installation media is also not a problem.

    Nothing non ethical about having windows 7 up stored as ISO images. Even XP you paid for an reinstall pack of discs from Microsoft here in Australia. Yes 1 copy every machine in the place way less storage problems.

    Dougman idea of store only the ISO is Australian Government IT Department standard policy and legal in Australia.

    Slackware first edition 17 July 1993 was 24 floppies. October 1994 74 floppies. November 1995 CD release. At 74 floppies it was almost never installable without at least 1 floppy failing.

    WIndows 95 first version came with 13 floppies. I would suspect the customer as lost 1. One was blank for the recovery disc. Windows 3.11 prior to Windows 95 came as 12 floppies. Yes how to tell the difference between a box holding Windows 3.11 and 95 in the dark count the discs.

    What is moral depends on the countries own standards. Original installation media destruction is acceptable in some countries. I just happen in one of those countries. Destroying the documentation of license on the other hand is not acceptable. Yes print the COA on the installation media then we IT officers cannot destroy it. Some software vendors in Australia are that smart.

  4. dougman says:

    Windows and AOL CD’s made great drink coasters.

  5. DrLoser says:

    Ok Nancy-boy wanker, ISOs are far better then CD’s you see, did you lose the plot??

    No, but I appear to have hit a nerve. Nancy-boy wanker indeed. I look forward to the next instalment of weedy playground invective.

    Installation media is installation media, Dougie. You spend a fair bit of time at the bottom end of the IT food-chain, so I imagine you are aware of this.

    Disregarding the identity, for practical purposes, between “ISO images” and “CDs,” you are as always incapable of focussing on the issue at hand. If for some bizarre reason I were to deal with a customer whose original OS came on twelve 3 1/2″ floppies (I think that was both Slackware and Win95 way back then), I would never take it upon myself to throw that original installation media out. But then again, I’m not a snake-oil salesman. In Robert’s words:

    My last school had nearly 100 PCs and we didn’t even have space to store all those damned CDs. The ones we needed, the backups or distribution media, we couldn’t find at all and they were all useless garbage when we migrated to GNU/Linux but they weren’t mine so I couldn’t throw them out.

    I might disagree with Robert’s methods, but I would never question his professionalism or moral standards.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to be a professional with moral standards, Dougie? High School Equivalency optional, of course.

  6. Whoo!Hoo! 6 days in a row GNU/Linux is higher than “7” in Ethiopian desktop-page-views. I like it! Now to finish planting my garden which has dried enough to walk around.

    May 28 is a national holiday in Ethiopia. I wonder if certain civil servants took the whole week off.

  7. dougman wrote, “Perhaps you enjoy staring at stacks and stacks of AOL CD’s, driver CD’s and installation media stacked around your office you Muppet.”

    My last school had nearly 100 PCs and we didn’t even have space to store all those damned CDs. The ones we needed, the backups or distribution media, we couldn’t find at all and they were all useless garbage when we migrated to GNU/Linux but they weren’t mine so I couldn’t throw them out. Every monitor, PC, keyboard, whatever came with a CD for that pathetic OS from M$ yet GNU/Linux could just use them out of the box. Save the planet! Use GNU/Linux!

  8. oiaohm made a reasonable request. Done. see OMG_GNU-Linux_Overtakes_7_in_Ethiopia.svg. There could be another update in a few hours for today’s date… Can’t wait… 😉

    It looks like a huge washout for M$’s desktop OS but it could be simply the schools frequenting a site that is a client of StatCounter.

  9. oiaohm says:
    Robert mind redoing the graphic on this article. The statcounter here is showing a migration with parties switching between old and new most likely. Its showing as a Windows 7 to Linux migration.

    Speed of this migration is something to be aware of. Us Linux people have said for a long time when Linux gets market share it might be insanely fast.

    Next watch is really China. Them banning Windows 8.x The question is how much migration will happen.

  10. dougman says:

    Loser, is a Billy no-mates tosser, this is why he resorts to trolling on this blog.

    Ok Nancy-boy wanker, ISOs are far better then CD’s you see, did you lose the plot?? Perhaps you enjoy staring at stacks and stacks of AOL CD’s, driver CD’s and installation media stacked around your office you Muppet.

    Me?..nope, I prefer a clean and tidy office Peter.

    -Written from his Chromebook, that suffers no malware or other Windows malfeasance.


  11. DrLoser says:

    Limey would do, Dougie. It’s hardly an insult, is it?

    As opposed to “know-nothing bigoted snake-oil seller who purposefully destroys the original media of said salesman’s customers.”
    Say it ain’t so, Joe.

  12. Mats Hagglund says:

    Solar panel + mobile technology are great things for coutries of Africa, Bangladesh and other developing nations helping local business.

  13. oiaohm says:
    Google is the pure example of why IDC numbers on servers are questionable.

    Yes Google kinda correct did not start in the garage. Google server case the first one is Lego. And that is what they used in the prototyping stage because . The production is not much better. Yes the production has a expensive network switch and rackcase(history is a dropped off back of truck on way to tip). The motherboards are stock desktop and bought as motherboards.

    Basically if someone was building a new google today they would not show up in IDC numbers. Google still does not show up in IDC numbers. Google does not buy servers they buy parts and have their staff assemble so every part can be QA by someone the company choose.

    Google first production system was built on someone’s garage at first due to the simple fact that is where the tools were. Yes its a 100 percent custom google rack shelves.

    The 100 000 Google got mostly went into hardware to build the most powerful server they could.

    Google still operates on a fairly tight hardware budget on amount of require performance per area.

    That first production server of google is mega scary. Each tray design. Join 2 motherboards at edge put shelf sliders on the outside. Yep there is your structure of the shelf. The 2 motherboards were being used to support the weight of 2 full hard-drives. There are no under supports.

    The first production server was only meant to have a short operational life. But it worked so well ever since google has made their own servers.

    Facebook and Amazon…. the major web-servering companies are doing the same.

    If I remember correctly google first production server contains 40 motherboards. So how do you define a server. Google either build 2 or 41 in the garage all depend on your define of server.

    Where is the extra 1 don’t forget the lego beast.

  14. dougman says:

    Ok, how about I call you Limey instead?

    Amazing, Douchebag actually read my link, quotes from it and then denies stating that Google originated from a ‘garage’. Hahaha..

    Nice synopsis of the link I posted, btw.

    Now regarding picking on someone. It must truly bother you enough or pique your interest to even respond to my counter-trolling.

    You need to get back to work with your embedded work as Pebbles would be a tad upset and develop more Linux drivers.


  15. DrLoser says:

    “You … bloke?

    Feisty stuff, Dougie, feisty stuff.

    Also rather sad.

  16. DrLoser says:

    Hilariously credulous, Dougie. “Google set up in a garage?”
    Well, maybe. Jesus set up in a crib. But he didn’t go through the Stanford Comp-Sci department first, and he lacked one other relevant advantage:

    Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim writes a check for $100,000 to an entity that doesn’t exist yet—a company called Google Inc.

    That was in August 1999. In September 1999, according to the standard-brand Company Hagiography, they moved into “the garage.” Because that’s part of Silicon Valley mythology — you kind of had to do that, back then.

    Wonder how many dozens of lash-up servers they built in that garage? Wonder how many world-beating page-ranking algorthms they cranked out?

    Not many, I’d guess. They “moved out” of the garage, which for all intents and purposes was nothing more than a post box, in February 1999.

    That’s five months, Dougie. Five months, you credulous fool.

    If you’re going to pick a fight with somebody, pick somebody at your own level, will you?

    Say, a guppie. Guppies have had more evolutionary success than you have, but there’s no denying that your brain is marginally larger.

  17. pogson says:

    wolfgang wrote, “Here is Ethiopia’s chance to lead the world”

    Amen! Quite a lot of IT in Africa is skipping a lot of mistakes like spreading copper over the land and using that other OS for everything. Wireless, small cheap computers and */Linux will be the norm, not the exception. Just think of it, 90million people who have no IT but having a generation of kids immersed in FLOSS. Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling about the future.

  18. dougman says:

    Hey Loser, perhaps you prefer ‘douchebag’ or even ‘Queef’??

    Google started in a garage, learn to read for once.

    In fact, Google still uses this concept, ‘The Garage’ to actualize R&D.

    Credibility? Haha…like I care what you think.

    Go bugger off and drink yourself a toddie you bloke.

  19. wolfgang says:

    …very interesting…

    Here is Ethiopia chance to lead world. linux…for when you cannot afford anything else…

  20. DrLoser says:

    Everyone knows TOOS is losing its grip and OEMs need an exit strategy. I think they should all have a meeting and decide to standardize on GNU/Linux.

    Thank you for inadvertently proving my point, Robert. Anything that “everyone knows” — and in Search, that covers a broad spectrum on issues of popularity — turns out to be a very dubious proposition when you actually look at Big Data. The first thing that “Everybody should know” is that prejudging the numbers is a sure-fire way to statistical perdition.

    Now, to Dougie:

    Hey Bing-A-Ling

    Haven’t worked for them in more than a year, Dougie. Good to see that you’re still stuck in the same old rut, though. Will an original thought ever penetrate your brain? I have my doubts.

    Bing would be never have come into existence, if Larry and Sergey never grew outside of their garage.

    >b>A garage? That’s an odd way to describe the post-graduate department of the University of Stanford, Dougie. Although, since you’ve never been to college, I can understand that you might fail to understand how academic research conducts itself.

    M$ only knows monkey-see, monkey-do and even then it fails to generate anything.

    Maybe, maybe. If you consider roughly 15 – 20% of the market in question to be “nothing.” In which case, what would the optimistic view of the Linux desktop market (twenty years and still going) at 5% represent?

    You’re not thinking, Dougie. Way back when, you could come out with elegant and polished insults. When did you start repeatedly bringing up the same tired old retreads?

    Besides, I went to great pains to explain that I was talking about Search in general, thus my reference to Company X.

    I’m trying to frame the discussion of an orthogonal issue (the use of large-scale statistics in general) in a non-confrontational, non-prejudiced way.

    You, Mr Dougman, are trying as usual to divert the topic into your own narrow personal obsessions, whilst simultaneously looking down the wrong end of the kaleidoscope.

    Robert has credibility here. He is a physicist, and in fact as I recall a particle physicist, which means he has been trained in statistical and numerical methods.

    You, Mr Dougman, have no credibility whatsoever. You would appear to be self-trained in the dubious arts of squeezing oil out of the back end of a snake. Nothing more numerate than that, I am afraid.

  21. dougman wrote, “The next iteration of Windows, Window NEIN or perhaps Windows 365 will determine M$ fate in the long term. “

    I don’t think that’s true. The next billion users of IT are at the door and M$ has nothing for them. All the growth will go to */Linux. That happened on servers a year or two ago. All the green-field develoments went to GNU/Linux. Most of the cloud is running on GNU/Linux. The desktop disintegrated underneath M$ in 2013. The desktop, as evolving, will give M$ a much smaller share. Many businesses are using thin clients and they can switch OS in an instant. Many have most of their applications accessible by browser making that other OS irrelevant. The folks who have locked themselves into Exchange, M$’s office suite and IE are finding the exits. That makes M$’s OS the odd man out even if the desktop/notebook PC market recovers growth. Chromebooks are selling very well and consumers and organizations large and small are loving them. That’s why M$ is advertising like mad. The best M$ can do is delay matters and they are losing the ability to do that. I wrote years ago that M$ was facing the “perfect storm”. The storms are all upgraded to EF5 today and they are occurring one after the other as far as the eye can see. M$ has no upside at all. Businesses are seeing the cost of IT rise if they stick with M$ either on the desktop or in the cloud. Meanwhile everything else costs less. Consumers are not interested in supporting M$’s lavish life-style. They know they have alternatives. They didn’t know that even a couple of years ago.

    The world won’t wait for “9”. Why should they?

  22. dougman says:

    Hey Bing-A-Ling,

    Bing would be never have come into existence, if Larry and Sergey never grew outside of their garage. Bing is twelve-years too late!! M$ only knows monkey-see, monkey-do and even then it fails to generate anything.

    M$ trying to be hip-cool with Surface, it blew-up in their faces while Chromebooks keep chugging along.

    Nope on Windows Phone and Nokia.

    Today I read about, “Windows 8.1 with Bing designed for low-cost hardware platforms”and “Microsoft has confirmed that it will offer Windows 8.1 to hardware manufacturers at a lower cost” and “Windows Phone 8.1 users can now rack up Bing Rewards”

    Seriously, that’s the best they can do with a failing hegemony?


  23. dougman says:

    Google stops caring, only when it is advantageous? Please….At least they are trying to bring the Internet to the masses, more then I can say about a lot of other IPs.

    Linux is growing in every market and the only real foothold that Windows has is the mind-share of its existing and future user-base. The existing users are upset over the closure of XP and they hate ‘8’, the new users hate ‘8’ for obvious reasons and love their Android OS.

    Ten years ago, M$ was the top-dog having 95% of the entire market, but in less then 10-years, they lost significant ground in practically every market. I mean, who would ever thought that one could play Half-Life 2 on a non-windows OS back then?

    If you consider all computing platforms, including mobile, than Windows has only 20 percent and Linux has 42 percent – and that would be in the form of Google’s Android alone. See, M$ is on the down and out and will need to start competing in the real-world.

    The next iteration of Windows, Window NEIN or perhaps Windows 365 will determine M$ fate in the long term.

    Long Live Linux.

  24. DrLoser wrote, “this information from Bing would be valuable to Google”.

    I doubt that’s relevant either way since both search engines have the same data from the same or similar samples. Google is searched from GNU/Linux and M$’s OS and MacOS etc. So are Bing and Yandex and Baidu. However, OEMs would probably be willing to pay for such information because it would allow them to estimate shipments. All major OEMs ship some GNU/Linux and this data might give them an idea of their share of the GNU/Linux market. Everyone knows TOOS is losing its grip and OEMs need an exit strategy. I think they should all have a meeting and decide to standardize on GNU/Linux. POOF! There goes Wintel. All it takes is for OEMs to realize they are in the driver’s seat, not M$.

  25. DrLoser says:

    That was at least half my point, Robert.

    No doubt these have commercial value which it why Google does no longer gives them away.

    I don’t actually remember Google ever giving them away, although I have to admit it sounds ever so much more comforting, the way you put it.

    As for the other half of my point:

    Let’s not focus on Google or Bing or Baidu or Yahoo (yup, they’re still big in search) or whatever. Call the guys in question “Company X,” to avoid prejudgement.

    Now, I have worked, for 2 1/2 years, in Company X. (Nobody else here has, to the best of my knowledge.) I therefore have personal knowledge of the way that the employees of the search engine in Company X use their data. And in fact this is all they do, day in, day out, every day of the year. They don’t have anything else to distract them: no kernel stuff, no apps, nothing.

    And Company X still makes a pig’s ear of it, because it’s a terrifically difficult task. We’re talking about dedicated teams of the cream of Machine Learning PhDs here. I was by far the worst educated of the lot.

    It turns out that the reason you “experiment” on a market such as EN-IN is because you can, brutally, afford to blow it up. And now and again you are going to do just that. It’s amazingly easy to make erroneous suppositions when you are dealing with petabytes of data. And those petabytes of data take tens of thousands of servers and several hours to process.

    Yes, this information from Bing would be valuable to Google. And yes, this is true the other way around.

    But a lone crusader such as you or I, armed with their trusty Libre Calc or M$ Excel, isn’t going to do anything more than confuse themselves.

  26. DrLoser wrote, “Would search engine numbers make things any clearer? You won’t be surprised to hear that my answer is “almost certainly not.””

    Almost certainly “yes”.

    • Google’s market share of search is huge outside China
    • Google gets a sample of most searches for resources on the web regardless of purpose
    • Google is used by many users or many operating systems

    I think web-stats collected from Google, Bing, Yandex and Baidu would be quite informative. No doubt these have commercial value which is why Google does no longer gives them away. 2004 was when M$ was at the height of its power and got only 91% of Google’s volume. They showed GNU/Linux at 1% and it’s been growing ever since. Others counted it about 3%, neck and neck with MacOS, then.

    Quick e-mail to Google:
    Up until 2004, Google Zeitgeist provided this information. e.g. June 2004

    A lot has changed since then. The power of M$ has declined greatly and Android/Linux and ChromeOS and GNU/Linux are found on many retail shelves and there have been huge rollouts of */Linux in many organizations. StatCounter, for instance, shows GNU/Linux hit 7% in Canada yesterday after languishing ~1% for years. In USA, StatCounter shows GNU/Linux at 2% on weekends and 1.5% weekdays. The record-holder is Ethiopia with 47% last Wednesday.

    I’d like to see Google provide information on OS usage again. Thanks.

    Their bot replied: “Hi there,
    Thanks for your message. Please note that Google offices in the US are closed until Tuesday, May 27 in recognition of Memorial Day.
    We are monitoring this inbox, but not as frequently as usual. If you are a member of the press, you can expect to hear from us as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience.”

  27. DrLoser says:

    Better web-stats would be available from major search engines but they aren’t talking.

    Of course they’re not talking, Robert: these numbers represent a commercial advantage. Funny how Google stops “caring and sharing” when commercial advantages poke their nose in, isn’t it?

    You bring up an interesting point, however. Would search engine numbers make things any clearer? You won’t be surprised to hear that my answer is “almost certainly not.”

    Back when I worked for Bing, we used to test all English language products on the EN-IN market as a matter of routine. Why? Because the page hit ratio against EN-US or EN-GB was microscopic: under 1%. And that’s India. (The other twelve official languages might have added up to another 1%.)

    Now imagine how uselessly small a sample Ethiopia would be.

    I’m pretty sure the numbers are similar for Google, btw, because a “control” sample is collected through the browser, which means that M$ can see Google’s audience pattern, and Google can see M$’s audience pattern.

  28. Good find…

    Rank Country Internet Users 1 Year
    Growth %
    1 Year
    User Growth
    Total Country Population 1 Yr Population Change (%) Penetration
    (% of Pop.
    with Internet)
    Country’s share of World Population Country’s share of World Internet Users
    103 Ethiopia 1,636,099 16% 224,689 96,506,031 2.56% 1.70% 1.33% 0.06%

    So, Ethiopia is fertile ground but mostly too poor to afford Wintel. I like the odds for GNU/Linux.

  29. Mats Hagglund says:

    Above vital and important link helping understand the fast growth in Africa… some 15-20% in many countries there while 1-7% amoung OECD-nations…

    Internet is becoming more African, more Muslim, more southern Asia, more Latino and LESS Windows.

  30. kurkosdr wrote, “Desktop Linux is popular where users can’t make a choice, like schools or universities.”

    Don’t limit that situation just to education. Almost every business supplies employees what they supply. Many retailers used to offer only that other OS. Where was choice then? What we have now is more choice not less and GNU/Linux is thriving on desktop and server. Google offers employees choice of MacOS or GNU/Linux. ~90% chose GNU/Linux.

  31. Rhumpi wrote, “hitslink doesn’t show similar stats”.

    I suspected that but I get “requires geolocation upgrade”. I suspect the schools in Ethiopia happen to depend heavily on some educational site that happens to be a client of StatCounter. That shows how sensitive “page-views” can be to sampling methods. Of course, StatCounter could be “right” and NetApplications could be “wrong”. Web stats are not good tools for deciding such things as OS-usage. They are great at showing change, however, either in StatCounter’s universe or user-base. Better web-stats would be available from major search engines but they aren’t talking.

  32. kurkosdr claiming we owe M$ a living, wrote, ” Give them the choice of MS Office vs Libre/OpenOffice, the choice between some Linux GUI and Windows 7 or Windows8 + Start8 and report back.”

    That’s stupid. FLOSS and GNU/Linux competes with that other OS. Offering a choice means one must pay M$ just to do that and M$ laughs all the way to the bank. That’s what’s wrong with this Wintel monopoly. Being “fair” to it is capitulation. The only way to stop a monopoly is to cut it off at the knees by not buying the damned licences. You can offer lots of choices to users with FLOSS. There is no need at all to give M$ a platform for lock-in.

  33. ssorbom wrote, “If you could convince your sysadmins to use KDE instead of GNOME you will find it has much more windows-like behavior”.

    That was true when I first used GNU/Linux back in the day but lately, KDE and GNOME have both gone crazy with change for the sake of change.

    I will never forget that KDE had a hole in it’s “gear” icon and if you clicked in that hole, you got no response… I don’t know any other OS that ever pushed such nonsense on users, not even M$. On the other hand, M$ was out to get us and I don’t think many distros had that psychopathy.

  34. ssorbom made some sound observations and wrote, “Wouldn’t it be better to use Debian’s official solution (up-to-date repos)”.

    That depends a lot on the particular package. Debian is unlikely to be as up to date with fixes as updates from the supplier for key applications used by many millions of users like FireFox, Chrome browser or LibreOffice. Relying on security updates from Debian is just delaying updates. Any organization with large numbers of Debian GNU/Linux installations would likely monitor those kinds of applications and push them locally. For instance, it may take hours or days for a particular mirror to update or the security guys/gals at Debian to push a fix, while the supplier could have a fix in minutes. There are also other reasons some professional or organization might want some applications direct from the supplier such as the latest features. I’ve done that a few times for my blogging because some applications only lately have features I wanted like better use of SVG. Currently, I get Linux, MariaDB, LibreOffice and a couple of other apps direct either because Debian does not have some feature I want or Debian does not have such an app in the repositories. For Linux, I build my own kernel for my own hardware with mostly built-in drivers so my kernel is smaller and thus likely to be more secure and faster to load. Of course, I could do everything I need done by sticking with the repositories of Debian but I have enough expertise to improve things a bit and enjoy the tinkering.

  35. dougman wrote, “Debian, something that is very stable and will never suffer the Woes of Windows”.

    Of course Debian is not perfect. We have had serious problems with openSSH and openSSL, but those are nothing compared to ~1k new malwares per day with that other OS, an endless stream of critical vulnerabilities and a reluctance to fix anything that is not being publicly exploited. That other OS is designed to be flaky right from DOS until now. M$ is much more interested in creating lock-in and forcing upgrades/relicensing than producing great IT.

  36. oiaohm says:

    ssorbom note I mentioned zeroinstall. Yes there is a risk operating out side the main repository packages. Firefox from mozilla installed in a directory does in fact check for updates every time it run. So the firefox tar.bz2 does not in fact leave it to your own devices to remember to update. So installed in user-account compared to system there is a difference in security but not much. The major issue is not updates but tampering.

    ssorbom a lot of people are under the mistaken impression that operating out side package manager is a large risk. It is higher risk at time but it depends on how you manage it. But over all its about the same as a Windows third party installed application if it in your user account. Administrator could decide to provide latest firefox in the opt directory and there is a cron job you can add to auto update it.

    For items like firefox there is no exact requirement to use distrobution provided package. The fact that debian default is named iceweasel and mozilla firefox is firelfox installed side by side is not a major issue.

    ssorbom with debian they have a very long QA process. So you want the latest firefox, Libreoffice and so on you will be installing these using methods outside using the debian package manager will happen.

    kurkosdr valid complaint would be installing outside package manager is harder than it should be. Just because it harder than it should be does not mean you have to upgrade your complete OS to get the latest firefox. I really don’t think its that hard when its download a tar.gz/tar.bz2 and extract it somewhere and run the script to have latest straight way. Ok that bit is easy. If this is extracted into the users home directory it is the same security level as portable applications under Windows. Yes people use portable firefox in windows machines from USB keys because business only as IE installed.

    Autoupdating for third party installs for all uses resulting in having to add a manual cron job and also having to add own dependency check tool is horrible. Yes those are the list of things tar.bz2 of firefox could do better for people system wide installing. Yes firefox lacks a good generic system wide firefox installer so system admin has to use some brains to maintain security.

    But windows applications not checking for updates at all are not uncommon. /opt /usr/local directories exists or a reason. Applications installed in /opt and /usr/local don’t have to be listed in package manager. In fact no application in /usr/local will be listed in the distribution package manager. This is Linux and unix filesystem standards. Yes the filesystem standards of Linux and Unix expect you to install applications that not contained in the package manager.

    Reality is most of the issue kurkosdr complained about that updating firefox causes full OS update is mostly myths caused by people not knowing LInux or Unix. So not understanding that third party application installation is possible just not in the heavily done.

    This is the biggest problem of kurkosdr is the fact most of what is complained about is myth or just plain ignorance not real issues.

    Yes the splitting of preferences and system administration complaint is just plain ignorance not noticing that Linux has to operate differently to support Linux world current dominate desktop markets.

  37. dougman says:

    I highly doubt that Kuku is in attendance with any CS degree and DOES NOT use any sort of Debian. He seems to be filled with much hate and vile disregard for Debian, something that is very stable and will never suffer the Woes of Windows.

  38. ssorbom says:

    I am not a seasoned sysadmin, but I was under the impression that operating outside of the package manager is a security risk, because you are left on your own for security updates.
    Wouldn’t it be better to use Debian’s official solution (up-to-date repos)?

  39. Mats Hagglund says:

    Likely that “one laptop per child ” project has something special effect there…?

  40. oiaohm says:

    kurkosdr I guess you university is running a squid proxy. As most large places do to reduce Internet traffic. The result is reduced count on Statscounter. So no it will not be every site you visit counted.

    kurkosdr what do you mean you cannot update just the browser. You not aware firefox is provided by Mozilla as a tar.gz file that runs on all distributions independent to the package manger and from inside user accounts. How big of a user account do you have. The major reason you will be stuck to a old version of firefox is mostly that you don’t know better. Then there is zeroinstall option as well. Sorry the complaint about not being able to update the webbrowser is the same as complain there is no other browser than IE on Windows because its not include in the default install solution. Its like users complaining that the cannot run the latest IE on windows 7. Yes you cannot have the latest version of Internet explorer with all features on Windows 7 without doing one of the following 1 running a virtual machine running windows 8 or 2 buying a new copy of windows. Sorry the issue of having to update complete OS to get latest browser is a Microsoft problem not a Linux one as such.

    kurkosdr are you not aware that you can chroot on Linux so use the newest packages with the old kernel and x11 server. Really having to effect your closed source drivers is your choice.

    Userspace and kernel under Linux are fairly well split.

    kurkosdr really still cannot find page magins in Libreoffice and openoffice. It where it always has been. Format->page. Logic tells you that page formatting should be in the menu formating. That right MS Office layout does not obey logic. It is possible to customise Libreoffice menu and add page formatting under file menu. But then it disagrees with every-book written on how to use Libreoffice or Openoffice or StarOffice. Its not like Libreoffice does not have its own user-base that it cannot upset.

    The separation between system administration and preferences is based on Logic. An alteration in preferences if it goes south only effects your account. Alteration in system administration effects everyone.
    Schools and Universities and other places are running hundreds of users to a system. Not knowing the difference between a everyone effecting setting and a own user effecting setting is not something those system can have.

    Yes your complaint about the separation between system administration and preference compared to control panel in windows is the difference between a OS designed for multi simultaneous users and one designed for a single user.

    Cntrl-alt-del action is configurable under KDE and Gnome and most Linux Windows managers.

    kurkosdr changing OS’s and expecting everything to be the same you deserve to be kicked in teeth. I am not saying Linux could not do some thing better. But you do need to step back and remember Linux systems dominate usage is multi user. So some-things have to be done differently. So some thing will be seperated differently.

    Really explain the logic why page formatting was under file in MS Office. The answer is there is not logic. It first appeared there because their was no formatting menu. So why do we have to keep a interface illogical.

    Of course you are going to say ever other application has it under file. Next question check how many of those have a format menu. Its just like programs that have printing menus they don’t have print under file. File is file operation and any other option that does not have a menu to own to. In fact that is what written in the MS windows interface creation guide lines.

  41. ssorbom says:

    This will solve at least one of your libre office woes,

  42. ssorbom says:

    I just tested Ctrl+Alt+Del under KDE. it brings up the shutdown/logout dialogue by default.

  43. ssorbom says:

    PS, If you could convince your sysadmins to use KDE instead of GNOME you will find it has much more windows-like behavior

  44. ssorbom says:

    Iceweasel can be upgraded in all supported versions of Debian via the repositories if you have root or could convince your sysadmin to do it.

    I dont know why gnome devs divided the control functions but I THINK the stuff under system administration requires root whereas preferences stuff usually does not.

    Out of curiosity, what would break if you tried to upgrade to Wheezy? Has any testing been done?

  45. kurkosdr says:

    “My family uses Linux without problems” So what? Your family could use an old CRT TV or even use a broom instead of a vacumm cleaner. Or a Zastava Yugo for a car. People adapt and get used to things.

    What does this prove? Give them the choice of MS Office vs Libre/OpenOffice, the choice between some Linux GUI and Windows 7 or Windows8 + Start8 and report back. And play fair. Don’t pet their PCs, let them do the upgrades themselves (muahaha…) like a non-tech-knowledgable dad would do.

    When there is choice, people choose Windows, sorry. Just for MS Office, the GUI and back compat with proprietary apps and drivers. Among other reasons.

    Also, when there is choice, people choose Android over Windows Phone.

    Funny how the free market poops on both ends of the fanboy spectrum.

  46. Mats Hagglund says:

    For me, for my five and for our 3 children (now adults) using Linux as desktop OS is natural. Besides we all 5 adults have adopted Android mobiles as most suitable for most off network action. Our daughter is using mobiles (tablet+smartphone) and find no reason to use her laptop. Young generation all over the world is abandoning Windows ecosystem. Microsoft is The Neanderthal Of IT.

  47. Rhumpi says:

    @kurkosdr: I am happy to see that your problems with LibreOffice/OpenOffice are very easy to fix:
    – Page margins: “Format” -> “Page”
    – Internet links: “Tools” -> “AutoCorrect options” -> URL recognition
    – Spell-check and grammar: Writing aids in LibreOffice (scroll to English):

  48. Rhumpi says:

    Such an increase would be nice in Ethiopia, but I don’t believe these changes. From my experience, Ethiopia is highly MS Windows-dominated.
    Also hitslink doesn’t show similar stats:

  49. kurkosdr says:

    (and then there is the pain that is OpenOffice. When I type the address of a site, it automatically converts it into a link, underlying it and turning it blue, and you can’t just right click to remove the link. Where do I set page margins? These problems still exist in the newest versions of Libre and OpenOffice, but Libre also has a lame dictionary whuch doesn’t have all the tenses of all verbs for some languages, yay!)

  50. kurkosdr says:

    Desktop Linux is popular where users can’t make a choice, like schools or universities. I am forced to use Debian in the university I am in (CS UOI). I didn’t choose it over Windows, but everytime I visit a site, statcounter logs me as a Debian Squeeze user.

    And I hate it. We are stuck with an ancient version of Firef… I mean Iceweasel, because with Desktop Linux, you can’t just upgrade the browser, you have to upgrade the whole OS, breaking the proprietary apps we use (such as VMware) and any proprietary drivers.

    And I HATE the UI among other things. Why doesn’t the process monitor pop-up when I do a ctrl+alt+del? Oh I see, this is how Windows does it and Desktop Linux has to be different, muscle memory be damned. Where is my Network Center, like the one Win7 has? What’s the point of putting half of the settings under “preferences” and the other half under “system administration”? (what kind of idiotic seperation is this? When I search for a setting, whether it’s a preference or a system administration task is not the first thing that comes to mind)
    Seriously, if Gnome 2 is the “familiar standard”, I don’t want to think how it is using Unity and Gnome3 on a daily basis…

    Where I can vote with my wallet, I ‘ll buy Windows, with it’s Control Panel, Network Center, and useful apps (PowerDVD Ultra, PowerDirector, MS Office etc).

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