📌 5 de Outubro, 2023

Linux Desktop: A Collective Delusion

Informática · Linux

📌 5 de Outubro, 2023

Linux Desktop: A Collective Delusion

Informática · Linux

Linux has made significant strides, and in 2023, it’s better than ever. However, there are still individuals perpetuating a delusion: that desktop Linux is as user-friendly and productive as its mainstream counterparts. After a few discussions on Lemmy, I believe it’s important to provide a clear review of where Linux falls short as a daily driver for average users.

Here is a quote from the original post that started an entire thread:

Finally migrated from Windows to Linux. For anyone wondering, what is the state of Linux as your primary OS for home PC\laptop in 2023. I’ve finalised my Archlinux installation yesterday, I dropped of Linux more than 10 years ago and experience in 2023 in comparison is awesome and beyond even wildest dreams back then.

So overall my experience is great. Eventually I’m going to get rid of WIndows on other computers and laptops at howe. I can finally wave goodbye to Windows, with lots of ads and bloatware. Alway glad to help with answers regarding installation while my memory and history logs are fresh. ^^

I use Linux at work because Windows has too many “annoyances that will curb [my] productivity”. I can understand that it is not for everybody though.

~ Oikio to Linux@lemmy.ml

Linux desktop will, most likely, fail for:

  • People who need MS Office because once you have to collaborate with others Open/Libre/OnlyOffice won’t cut it;
  • People that just installed a password manager (KeePassXC) and a browser (Firefox/Ungoogled) via flatpak only to find out that the KeePassXC app can’t communicate with the browser extension because people are “beating around the bush” on GitHub instead of fixing the issue;
  • Anyone who wants a simple Virtual Machine and has to go thought cumbersome installation procedures like this one just to get error messages saying virtualization isn’t enable when, in fact, it is… or trying to use GNOME Boxes and have a sub-par virtualization experience;
  • Designers because Adobe apps won’t run properly without having a dedicated GPU, passthrough and a some hacky way to get the image back into your main system that will cause noticeable delays;
  • Gamers because of the reasons above plus a flat 5-15% performance hit;
  • People that run old software / games because not even those will run properly on Wine;
  • Electrical engineers as typical toolsets such as Circuit Design Suite (Multisim and Ultiboard) are primarily designed for Windows. Alternatives such as KiCad and EasyEDA may work in some cases but they aren’t great if you’ve to collaborate with others who use Circuit Design Suite;
  • Labs that require data acquisition from specialized hardware because companies making that hardware won’t make drivers and software for Linux;
  • Architects because AutoCAD isn’t available (not even the limited web version works) and Libre/FreeCAD don’t cut it if you’ve to collaborate with AutoCAD users;
  • Developers and sysadmins, because not everyone is using Docker and Github actions to deploy applications to some proprietary cloud solution. Finding a properly working FTP/SFTP/FTPS desktop client (similar WinSCP or Cyberduck) is an impossible task as the ones that exist fail even at basic tasks like dragging and dropping a file.

Linux desktop is great, I love it but I don’t sugar coat it nor I’m delusional like most posting about it.

If one lives in a bubble and doesn’t to collaborate then native Linux apps might deliver a decent workflow. Once collaboration with Windows/Mac users is required then it’s game over – the “alternatives” aren’t just up to it. Proprietary applications provide good and complex features, support, development time and continuous updates that FOSS alternatives can’t just match.

To make things worse the Linux development ecosystem is essentially non existent. The success of Windows and macOS lays in the fact that those systems come with solid and stable APIs and other development tools that “make software development easy” while Linux is very bad at that. The major pieces of Linux are constantly and ever changing requiring large and frequent re-works of apps. Linux is also missing distribution “sponsored” IDEs (like Visual Studio or Xcode), userland API documentation, frameworks etc.

Windows licenses are cheap and things work out of the box. Software runs fine, all vendors support whatever you’re trying to do and you’re productive from day zero. Sure, there are annoyances from time to time, but they’re way fewer and simpler to deal with than the hoops you’ve to go through to get a minimal and viable/productive Linux desktop experience.

It all comes down to a question of how much time (days? months?) you want to spend fixing things on Linux that simply work out of the box under Windows for a minimal fee. Buy a Windows license and spend the time you would’ve spent dealing with Linux issues doing your actual job and you’ll, most likely, get a better ROI.

You can buy a second hand computer with a decent 8th generation CPU for around 200 € and that includes a valid Windows license. Computers selling on retail stores also include a Windows license, students can get them for free etc. what else?

They hated him because he spoke the truth. I can’t even get “simple” distros like mint or popos to run on my work laptop because the keyboard will just not work on boot 19 out of 20 times and no amount of googling or chatgpt was able to fix this. It just won’t work.

On my gaming rig with an Nvidia card there were no fan controls and no VRR on wayland and x11 doesn’t have proper multi monitor support. This sub is delusional, if they think that Linux is usable for the average Joe and I’m coming from an IT background and it’s still too much of a hassle for me. I just want to get things done.

~ @RaketenRonny500@feddit.de

Do you still thinking that 2023 is the year of the desktop Linux? Think again. Linux will only be a viable desktop option whenever big vendors and software developers start making software for Linux.

TL:DR; the Linux experience might be great but it isn’t for everyone and anyone. If you need to do your job without small annoyances that will curb your productivity it isn’t, most likely, for you.