Oh-oh! Citrix Kills The Applications Barrier To Entry For GNU/Linux

“Citrix customers are asking for virtual desktop support for specialized applications built exclusively for Linux, particularly in the oil and gas industry, manufacturing, digital media, and entertainment industries…”
See Linux Virtual Desktop: Tech Preview Available for Evaluation
One of the lock-ins that protected the Wintel monopoly was the loyalty of ISVs. They had to produce software for TOOS or else they couldn’t sell it to people with deep pockets, business. That meant no software for competing OS like GNU/Linux. Well, that’s over. Even Citrix, the most loyal ISV, sees the future is without lock-in so they are intending to ship software that allows competition on business desktops. I like it, even though it encourages keeping TOOS. The more users of that other OS know about competing operating systems, the better. Competition is a gateway drug for GNU/Linux.

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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18 Responses to Oh-oh! Citrix Kills The Applications Barrier To Entry For GNU/Linux

  1. oiaohm says:

    Robert Pogson the problems don’t disappear 100 percent under GPL.

    When you are needing to get newer versions out for testing ahead of distribution support packaging up as independent become very handy.

    They are more efficient than having bloatware that operates like a “stand alone” programme.
    Its horses for courses. We do need a mixed solution. Distribution provide and bundled. Containers can provide a nice middle ground.

    ISV can also run into trouble where distro maintainers start adding non upstream patches that cause errors to be reported that don’t exist in mainline.

    I understand all the advantages and disadvantages of distributions. I also understand why distributions have to act the way they do.

    https://lwn.net/Articles/630216/

    Application sandboxing will bring increased security and at long last solve the bundling problems. Of course bundling will always have a high security risk than using Distribution provided applications and putting up with the niggles.

  2. oiaohm wrote, “Basically all the above makes a Distribution ISV incompatible.”

    Nonsense. All of these problems disappear under GPL. If a distro has the source code, they can make the application work. The ISV is freed from the task of making the software work with any number of distros. That’s why distros were created. They are more efficient than having bloatware that operates like a “stand alone” programme.

  3. oiaohm says:

    Basically the problem here for Linux Distributions is the balancing act.
    1) Security this means running old is a problem
    2) Mirrors keeping old files around will only be tolerated for so long.
    3) Finally application compatibility with each other.

    Basically all the above makes a Distribution ISV incompatible.

    Own Containers/chroot/loader with own runtime is what ISV should have done for a long time.

    Something here ISV under windows blame Microsoft when their application breaks because of a Windows security update. ISV get to ship security responsibilities off to Microsoft as well. So win win for the ISV.

    ISV want to use the Debian/Ubuntu provide code to keep the same advantages. Providing own runtime equals no means to play lets blame someone else for your programs problems.

    Linux is a lot tougher world for ISV as there will be no blame game around problems. Yes docker containers also put the problem straight back on ISV head.

  4. oiaohm says:

    DrLoser
    Even for mirror servers today building each application individually debian would not be able to be hosted.

    Utter crap. Failing anything else, you could link every single last one of them statically.

    http://atterer.org/jigdo is used to reduce size.

    https://www.debian.org/mirror/size

    Debian currently is over 1TB. This does not sound like much but lets say you redo that into individual applications with bundled runtime 5 to 20 times bigger.

    But that is not the big problem. https://ftp-master.debian.org/size-quarter.png Updates themselves are quite time consuming maintaining an archive.

    DrLoser Debian is the largest single item mass hosted on mirror servers and its using lots of tricks to keep its size and traffic requirements down.

    Mirror servers of debian are always complaining about its size and traffic requirements at current levels. Packaged as individual applications Debian would be unable to get agreements to host.

    Sourceforge has issues hosting. In fact it has to fragment host even that it has less applications than Debian. Sorry DrLoser this is a true nightmare when people say lets individually package applications.

    The trick is to get a balance between individually packaged and vendor supplied. Containers containing matching version of Linux for application many be the correct way forwards. Exactly half way in the middle.

    Application using intelligent installer that will using dpkg or rpm to create a chroot/container is a lot lighter on costs.

    The reality is Distributions have to keep their repositories as compact as possible or they will not get hosting. Yes this includes providing mirrors with options to strip out older files. Under debian you have the offical snapshot system to go back to a particular date and time at the Debian master repository to get a .deb that has been deleted from the mirrors.

    Its not just dependancy hell for end users. The requirement of Mirrors forbids keeping deprecated parts around.

  5. DrLoser says:

    Micro$oft just released an IDE for GNU/Linux: https://code.visualstudio.com/Download

    ayyyyyy lamo

  6. DrLoser says:

    Even for mirror servers today building each application individually debian would not be able to be hosted.

    Utter crap.

    Failing anything else, you could link every single last one of them statically.

  7. DrLoser says:

    How about FireFox or Chrome web-browser holding down more than 1gB for just a few windows open?

    How about nobody defining that as a “data set” and everybody defining that as “bloat,” Robert? Because that is what it is. Bloat.

    Piddle around with 20MB of system here or there, Robert, but today’s RAM is not taken up by OS bloat. It’s taken up by browser bloat.

    Specifically, obnoxious advertising bloat. But that’s the sort of bloat that appeals to a Blood Sucking Drone, isn’t it?

    Because browser bloat via advertising is the only thing that keeps Gnu/Linux free for Blood Sucking Drones, isn’tit?

  8. DrLoser says:

    Yes…yes…Robert, I see what you are saying, and I totally agree with FiFi… How could I have been so clueless?

    After all these years of pimping for Microsoft, Bill Gates owes me a decade worth of salary, as I am want to go on holiday and mow my green lawn, on the rare occasions we have sun here in the U.K.

  9. DrLoser wrote, “what sort of data set are we looking at, here?”

    How about FireFox or Chrome web-browser holding down more than 1gB for just a few windows open? It used to be that folks had a few K files on an x86 PC. Now, many PCs have more than a millions files and they use search engines/databases to find things. Here, The Little Woman has ~40K files, mostly images, that she’s constantly searching. I have 300K indexed several ways, mostly text/documents. That’s just on Beast. We have a mess of other machines: PCs, smartphones, servers, with hundreds of thousands more files. I have several databases greater than 100MB.

    Data in RAM is quickly accessible. That’s mostly what people want from IT, speed. Of course they want reliability but a system that’s slow and reliable is undesirable. These days, one can have speed and reliability at very reasonable costs if one uses GNU/Linux.

  10. oiaohm says:

    Then why didn’t you Linuxeros bundle all it requires so many years, and instead created elaborate dependency hells?
    kurkosdr number 1 it was not all Linux OS that did not bundle. You are forgetting apppackage and 0install of course you would say these are not OS but there is a Linux OS that includes bundling by default style called NixOS.

    So larger percentage of Linux OS have had and there are reasons.

    Yes Robert is correct about disk space being a issue. Even for mirror servers today building each application individually debian would not be able to be hosted. In fact most debian mirror servers don’t old debian iso images because that would be too large.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/04/27/ninety_percent_of_java_blackhats_now_finger_flash/

    Then you have to remember this security effect. One major cause of dependency hell is the reality that by getting rid of old flawed parts can reduce the number of Attackers coming after you platform down to 10 percent or less.

    This is why I call Android the anti-linux. Because it’s the exact opposite of what the graybeards want from an OS. It doesn’t require from the user to have the latest and greatest version to have the latest apps, everything works on all versions (4.1 and above). Also, everything is bundled in in self-contained apk’s, no repositories with old versions, no dependency hells, no nothing.
    But Android applications are not fully self contained. Not having a latest and greatest application you are running a security risk. Distributions that don’t have the dependency hell cannot sell the security card. Yes the independent application packaging has increased Androids attack rate as well.

    Next is a question you never think to ask kurkosdr can Linux Distrobution bundle package? the answer is a shocking yes.
    Dpkg from debian is in fact design to install into any targeted directory any version you want. Yes dpkg was designed with chroots and new OS level virtualization in mind. Also this is not the only what are called greybeards todo this. RPM and the other Linux common package formats in fact support this.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_Packaging_System Yes APK style packaging from Solaris developers that does work on normal Linux Distributions. What APK is for Android is nothing new to the Linux world at all.
    The question becomes why when distributions can bundle package can it not work?
    The answer is horible and why I wanted to skill most of the Anti-Linux people alive for pushing for binary driver support for Nvidia.

    Nvidia and ATI drivers back in the day are horible. Nvidia is still fairly horible.

    Everything from kernel space to userspace from the Linux kernel is define by a standard except for how closed source drivers talk to closed source user-space. Result is if you bundle an application into a image you cannot bundle in video card drivers as newer drivers will not work with old userspace or the reverse. Open source drivers and the new amdgpu drivers are multi user-space version compatible.

    Nvidia and ATI also come from a world where you had to buy a X11 server to have accelerated functions. So patching the living heck out of X11 so making it incompatible was quite normal to them. Yes this made matters worse

    The reality here is Linux Distributions would have provided container/chroot applications provide sooner for graphical if at every pass the closed source graphic driver providers had not been getting in the way.

    The break through for the Linux world has been those Linux nightmare laptops with 2 gpus. This has forced video card vendors to at least consider some gpu user-space compatibility.

    Nothing about android packaging is really that Unique. Few lower issue fixes that is all with Android. Of course a few issues remain like not being able to update Android due to broken video drivers.

    Wayland and Mir you should hear Nvidia complaining. Like Xwayland(the x11 server under wayland) When this was suggested that it would only have 1 generic interface driver using kernel documented IPC Nvidia got in a huge uproar because they want to use their custom secret driver version dependant IPC. Yes Linux has been having the same cat fight that Microsoft had with Vista year after year after year. Zero cooperation between GPU vendors makes it very hard to offer container/chroot based GUI applications.

    Stabilised API like Android provides have been provided by LSB for years that all major distrobutions have signed up for. About the only the Linux Standard base missed that seams to been critical was a Application store. Yes the difference between Steam Runtime and LSB runtime is not much but the fact it linked to the steam store has brought over 1000 applications in.

  11. Dr Loser says:

    Absolutely none of that made any sense whatsoever in terms of Kurk’s proposition, Robert. To start with, there’s no great hit on bandwidth, because a svelte lean non-bloat app will only require a svelte lean non-boat set of shared libraries.

    Which is a bit of a problem with Linux, really, because the typical Linux app (I’ll use a trivial example like iconv) drags in about twenty largely irrelevant shared libraries.

    Storage? Terabyte disks are practically free these days. You are not going to run up against a storage limit unless you are unconsionably cheap.

    But, hey! Linux is Modular! And the more modules the better, apparently.

    By caching there is a lot more RAM available for what we really care about, data. Software can grow in size and complexity in GNU/Linux without requiring upgraded RAM and storage.

    Two things occur to me here, Robert:

    1) Data sitting in RAM is pretty much worthless on its own. Did you mean “data sets?” In which case you should have said so. Now, given the typical base RAM of today’s desktops, conservatively estimated at 4GB, what sort of data set are we looking at, here?
    2) What makes you think that the typical app on any OS whatsoever is going to chew up RAM? As always, there is a Power Series here. At the top of the Power Series (ignoring vital components like the kernel and services and so on) we’re looking at the browser.

    Any browser.

    And browsers basically chew up RAM because they are serving nonsensical advertising crap on a continuous stream.

    And nonsensical advertising crap on a continuous stream is pretty much the fundamental reason that the Blood-Sucking Drones on this site can enjoy their free software, Robert.

    You want to examine “bloat” and “freeing the Gigabytes of RAM?” Don’t look to the code.

    Look to the browser.

  12. kurkosdr wrote, “why didn’t you Linuxeros bundle all it requires so many years, and instead created elaborate dependency hells?”

    While it is possible to distribute software that way, it certainly wasn’t optimal in the days of sub-40 gB hard drives. Also, much FLOSS is installed over the network so it’s just more efficient to reduce the size of installations. FLOSS is the right way to do IT. Having to package a bunch of bloat which replicates what’s already on a system is one of the big negatives of non-Free software. Basically, it’s essential to ship non-Free software that way while it’s optional for FLOSS.

    I have 4000 packages installed on Beast. The average downloaded size is about 1MB. Imagine my pain if the average size were 100MB.

    There is another way in which packaging separately from dependencies makes a lot of sense. By caching there is a lot more RAM available for what we really care about, data. Software can grow in size and complexity in GNU/Linux without requiring upgraded RAM and storage. That increases the lifetime of hardware. I care about that. At one point, Wintel was needing an upgraded hardware every three years or so while GNU/Linux was quite comfortable with 6-8 years.

  13. kurkosdr says:

    all it requires so many years = all it requires all those years

  14. kurkosdr says:

    Yes simply bundle you application with all it requires and it magically works on all Distributions.

    Then why didn’t you Linuxeros bundle all it requires so many years, and instead created elaborate dependency hells?

    This is why I call Android the anti-linux. Because it’s the exact opposite of what the graybeards want from an OS. It doesn’t require from the user to have the latest and greatest version to have the latest apps, everything works on all versions (4.1 and above). Also, everything is bundled in in self-contained apk’s, no repositories with old versions, no dependency hells, no nothing.

  15. oiaohm says:

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Microsoft-VS-Code-IDE-Linux

    Really its going to get harder for GUI Application makers to argue that Linux is too complex to release on when Microsoft is successfully doing it.

    Yes simply bundle you application with all it requires and it magically works on all Distributions.

    MSBuild on Linux will make migrating applications to Linux a little simpler. The question I have is how long until someone uses the new VS on Linux in combination with QT/GTK to make a graphical application.

  16. DrLoser says:

    One of the lock-ins that protected the Wintel monopoly was the loyalty of ISVs.

    Really, Robert? Is that provably true?

    Was there some sort of Masonic organisation with Bill Gates “Riding the Goat?”

    Perhaps the Elders of Zion were involved, or the Jesuits?

    Can you name these tainted ISVs? For the sake of History alone, I think you should. Borland springs to mind as an obvious candidate. Ashton-Tate!

    How about Oracle? I mean, Larry is provably Jewish. Easily connected to the Protocols.

    Was this loyalty written into the legal constitution of each ISV concerned, or was it something enforced later by a combination of the Mafia and unidentified particle guns from outer space?

    Or might it just be that Independent Software Vendors sold products based on Windows because … horrors!

    Selling products based upon an Operating System that people actually choose to use is a very profitable business?

  17. dougman says:

    Citrix was nice when I first deployed it, being able to work remotely over a landline at or a sat connection dial-up speeds, on an oilrig was amazing.

  18. oiaohm says:

    Yes this is one of the highly odd changes. For a long time its been Windows provision to Linux desktop. Reality there are getting enough key applications making Linux provision to Windows desktop required.

    Of course the MS Trolls have been arguing the non existence of Linux only desktop applications that is not truly reality.

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