Is Linux ready for the Desktop?

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Is Linux ready for the Desktop?

Postby baron » Wed Nov 09, 2005 5:22 pm

The short answer is No!. I have been using linux since Suse 6.4 which I think was about 1998/9. I have generally used and i have just upgraded from 9.2 to 10.0.

While the installation when great it is only afterwards that I find that programmes that did work now do not.

1. There was no sound and the mixer was not configured (Blank). I had to run alsaconf to get any sound and initiate the mixer. Now there is sound from the cdrom but xine and amarok do not have any sound.

2. I have a second hard drive with Mepis on it and I was able to access it from the Suse boot loader but not anymore. I now get an error messsage.

3. My Python IDE Eric3 will not work. I am told I have dependency errors but these dependencies are earlier versions of software I have installed.

There are other minor niggles but to me this illustrates that Linux is not ready to meet the users who are nt prepared to read a few books, search the internet and geneally investigate.
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Postby Cogar » Wed Nov 09, 2005 8:34 pm

Although I tend to agree that Linux is not presently fully competitive with Windows XP as a desktop, I do believe it is a reasonable alternative desktop. The first problem you list can occur in Windows and does. Check out some Windows forums and you will see that although it is not common, it does occur with some regularity. The third example would be similar, since it is a configuration issue. The second problem has little to do with running a desktop. If you installed Windows on your computer, it would not care if Mepis was on your second hard drive or not. Therefore, if Windows is considered a good desktop (implied by your post, unless you are using a Mac) this criteria is not a determining factor.
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Postby jjmac » Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:12 am

>>
i have just upgraded from 9.2 to 10.0
>>

baron, sounds like you just need to add a reference to it in the upgrades config. I guess SUSE uses grub.

If you can't remember its dev name, just do -=-

]# cfdisk -P t /dev/hdb

Assuming thats your 2nd disk (ide). The output should provide the id for the device/partition of your mepis. The value in the first column will be the partition number. Mounting it should then reveal any other info you need, such as the kernels name etc.

Personally i think the big issue is the lack of courses on Linux desktop usability in schools and the like. All the ones i see advertised are really just advercourse on windows products. So that become all that folks come to know. Not really an even play-ground. But then, what ever is.


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Postby Rhakios » Thu Nov 10, 2005 7:47 pm

jjmac wrote:>>

Personally i think the big issue is the lack of courses on Linux desktop usability in schools and the like. All the ones i see advertised are really just advercourse on windows products. So that become all that folks come to know. Not really an even play-ground. But then, what ever is.


jm


<cough> Issue 74!</cough>
Bye, Rhakios
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Postby linuxgirlie » Thu Nov 10, 2005 7:59 pm

;)
My knowledge comes with no warranty...........

Server operating system designed for schools:http://www.linuxschools.com
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Postby jjmac » Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:35 am

Rhakios wrote:
>>
<cough> Issue 74!</cough>
>>

Will wait with anticipation, 71 is the latest over this way at the moment (.au). Quite a change too. It used to lag by one or two months. Then it seemed to disapear. Now its back but earlier ?, (grin)


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Postby ollie » Mon Nov 14, 2005 5:56 am

I too wait with great anticipation for my LXF74 subscription to arrive - the reason it is so hard to get Linux into education is the prices that Microsoft charge government education departments for all Microsoft software. Part of the deal makes Windows XP Pro, Office 2003 Pro, Visio 2003, Project 2003, Encarta 2003, Publisher 2002 and a number of other Microsoft products available for teachers, depending on the software installed on their work PC, available for $AUD35.00 each for CDs. The recent contract with Microsoft was negotiated asking for the 33% discount offered to Munich.

In some instances even the hardware is locked in to a single supplier (HP/Compaq) even though it might not be compatible with the software or applications being used. I know of one large area that has to change all HP switches to Cisco because the HP hardware isn't compatible with the VOIP solution being implemented - some of this hardware is less than twelve months old.

Until this "I'll but from my mates that I used to work with, like I have for the last 10 years" practice is stamped out there is not much chance of Linux entering education in NSW.
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Postby jjmac » Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:15 pm

Not surprised to hear that. I always thought that some manipulation would be involved but didn't think it would go that far.

I can remember that the "anti-trust" case MS were involved in a few years back noted the "variable" pricing scheme they employed as an issue. A hard weapon for a Gov dept to resist really. Seems change if it is to occure, needst to start at the top ... then it may have a chance to work its way down. LiveCDs are a usefull tool there. At least people are able to get the exposure without feeling their running a risk by installing something, that to them, is an unknown...


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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Fri Dec 16, 2005 10:37 pm

As we are comparing linux with windows, it seems:

>1. There was no sound and the mixer was not configured (Blank). I had to run alsaconf to get any sound and initiate the >mixer. Now there is sound from the cdrom but xine and amarok do not have any sound.

Sound driver issues are also a comon problem when upgrading form one version of Windows to another.

>2. I have a second hard drive with Mepis on it and I was able to access it from the Suse boot loader but not anymore. I >now get an error messsage.

Have you ever tried setting up multi boot from Windows? -Don`t bother.

>3. My Python IDE Eric3 will not work. I am told I have dependency errors but these dependencies are earlier versions of >software I have installed.

It doesn't work on windows either, I expect, and windows has just as many problems with different versions of shared libraries (DLLs).

Upgrading from, for example, Windows 2000 to XP is quite likely to produce similar, and often worse issues, for example, moving from win2k to XP on one machine at my place of work:
The sound card did not work at all (actually, it still doesn't-we gave up)
The CD burning software did not work anymore, nor did a flatfile Database program, or network browsing.(these have now been solved by reinstalling from scratch instead of upgrading)

All in all your post seems to say that Suse Is as ready for the desktop as Windows is, if not more ready :)
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Postby alloydog » Sat Dec 17, 2005 10:24 am

I think the question should not be "Is Linux ready for the Desktop?", but rather "Is Linux ready for the general public?".

Linux is ready for the desktop. However, as in most cases you still need to do some tweaking (more so that installing Windows, I'm sorry to say...), to make it work on virually any desktop, it still requires a level of user expertise, or some sort of expert support. Linux for corporate desktops, schools, and other organisations that have IT support, sure Linux is ready.

I would say, though, less than half of the individual Windows users, that is, home users, could have hassle free usage. A real few, such as my mum would have no problem, as she never altered, or added to her PC in nearly ten years - yup, she had nigh on a decade of trouble free usage with... Windows 95. Because she just left it as it was and didn't fiddle.

However, the middle-ground users, who install/uninstall programmes and harware themselves will soon learn how fractured the Linux world is.
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Linux on the desktop

Postby baron » Sat Dec 17, 2005 2:28 pm

Hi

I did not realise what I was starting when I referred to my problems with Suse 10.0. I have managed to resolve all my problems except amarok will either crash immediately I ty to play an mp3 file or only play one in a playlist then crash.

Upon reflection I agree with Alloydog. Linux users tend to be fiddlers or generally inquisitive and willing to go through the dependancy hassle. We will moan and complain about it but are quite pleased with ourselves when our investigations of the man pages, Linux Docs, forums, websites etc. results in a successful resolution of our problem.

I love Linux and use it continuously since Suse 7.4. The variety and quality of the software now available is astounding and I have only one reason to use Windows. I have Windows 98se on a partition for one piece of software that I need (golf handicapping software) otherwise it would be deleted completely.

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RE: Linux on the desktop

Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Sat Dec 17, 2005 3:58 pm

Exactly, windows can be as bad at upgrading or installing as linux.
People who install windows often have quite a lot of expertise in windows, so installing linux is different, but they have no experience with it, so they have problems..
Most users never install or upgrade ANY OS.
My wife and my work users who use linux never have any problems with it, but then they never do anything to it, they just use it.
As a comparison, my windows users have more problems, although comparatively less than a home user tweaker, because I look after the network and their PCs, and I have the problems, most of the time they are not even aware that there is a problem!
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RE: Linux on the desktop

Postby jer1ch0 » Sun Dec 18, 2005 12:25 am

Is Linux ready for the Desktop?
Hardware drivers would go a long long way to making it more "Ready for the desktop".
My (expensive when I bought it) ATI Radeon 9800 (256 mb) is fully suppported in Windows. In Linux I may as well be using on-board graphics.
Ready for the desktop has to mean ready for everyone's (Windows) desktop, if we want to really compete with it.
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RE: Linux on the desktop

Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:42 pm

The problem with hardware drivers is that the hardware manufacturers won`t waste effort producing linux drivers until more people use it, and more people will use it when hardware drivers are more readily available.
Fortunately some companies (e.g. NVidia) do support it, and more hardware works "out of the box" now than ever.
Often cheaper hardware that isn`t supported in linux doesn`t work very well even with windows.
For example winmodems, winprinters, etc are cheap substitutes for the real thing, and their performance is usually so much poorer that you should avoid them anyway.
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