Start Talking About the GNU/Linux Desktop

Linus just mentioned that he thinks GNU/Linux could succeed on the desktop and folks come out of the woodwork dumping on the idea…“The briefest glance at market share data suggests that I’m not alone, either. While hundreds of millions of people want Linux powering their smartphones, and millions of businesses are content to let Linux run their servers, virtually no one wants Linux running their laptops and desktops.” The quotation to the right is from an article wherein the authour in a circular fashion argues that GNU/Linux on the business-desktop won’t succeed because of consumers’ needs… That’s laughable. Business is all about work, after all.

Further, business has no need of “consumery” things to use GNU/Linux for servers. Neither do Google, Munich, Largo, India, Spain,… You get the picture. These folks are assuming nothing is happening with GNU/Linux desktops despite things happening. That puts their entire thesis in the garbage.

If you look at global web-stats for GNU/Linux desktops, you see steady growth in a declining or stagnant market for legacy PCs. That means GNU/Linux is becoming accepted on the desktop by many more than just we geeks. Dell and Canonical have actual salesmen delivering it in China and India. OLPC is delivering it to schools in emerging markets around the world. Governments in Europe are adopting it at a great rate. And yes, even businesses are seeing that GNU/Linux works for them on desktop as well as server.

Shortly, I will be going to a meeting where one participant has asked me for help with GNU/Linux on a notebook. She doesn’t like what M$ does for her there. I’ve made up a bootable USB-drive with the Debian installer and a repository of stuff the typical desktop user will need, including Synaptic and gksu so she can customize her notebook when she gets home. I will start her off with a basic installation of Debian GNU/Linux and add the XFCE4 desktop environment with a selection of a few typical applications: FireFox browser, VLC media player, GIMP image editor, and Ristretto image viewer. XFCE4 is similar to what she liked from M$: XP. If M$ won’t give her what she wants, I and the FLOSS community will. When random people you meet are interested in desktop GNU/Linux, this is no time to abandon this thriving technology. It works for ordinary people.

Nope. If you haven’t already started talking about GNU/Linux on desktops, get going.

See (Or Not) Can we please stop talking about the Linux desktop?.

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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6 Responses to Start Talking About the GNU/Linux Desktop

  1. ram says:

    At risk of redundancy, check out:

    And yes it runs Linux! Combined with Steam for Linux and NVidia dual SLI cards, Linux will be the choice of gamers — the only profitable part of the desktop market.

  2. oiaohm wrote, “IGnatius T Foobar I am really sick of your no such thing.”

    I guess we should not be feeding the trolls but IGTF may be a sad character who craves the attention. I can spare the time out of my busy day.

  3. oiaohm says:
    IGnatius T Foobar I am really sick of your no such thing. History FSF and GNU suggested a horible name Debian rejected. Then RMS pointed to older names that had been used being GNU/Linux and GNU+Linux.

    Debian may or may not be Linux. Netbsd and freebsd and other kernel options exist for Debian. Yet all of those options still run a GNU userspace. Sorry like it or not GNU/Linux exists as a classification.

  4. IGTF wrote, “We should not talk about “the GNU/Linux desktop” because there is no such thing.”

    Sure there is. I’m using it now. It’s real. If you’re running anything more than some small bit of hardware, your need much more than the kernel to do anything. My car isn’t named after a four-cylinder engine, for instance. It’s named after the whole package.

  5. We should not talk about “the GNU/Linux desktop” because there is no such thing. Our favorite operating system is simply called “Linux.”

  6. oiaohm says:

    Really I do expect the Linux Desktop to keep on improving. Most people are not aware that Nvidia is kinda on board with Wayland.

    Nvidia and their kinda on board. Why is Nvidia kinda on board with wayland is they don’t have a choice. is the home of wayland. Wayland project in time will replace direct X11 server for Linux and Unix platforms leaving behind only xwayland on top of Wayland for X11 support. Yes wayland alterations are driving Nvidia internal developers with nuts with the fact their black box code is not going to work.

    Ubuntu with Mir is going to be like upstart vs systemd the result will be in time Ubuntu will follow the main projects because it will be too hard not to.

    Really stop talking about the Linux Desktop when it is at its most findable ever. Really Linux Desktop is not going away.

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