What's your opinion on Linux?

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What's your opinion on Linux?

Postby Cacodemon345 » Thu May 31, 2018 8:59 am

This topic has been sticking around my mind for a while now.

So what's your opinion on this OS? I think it's pretty good, but I hate the lack of games for it. It is more stable than Windows, and breathable.
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Re: What's your opinion on Linux?

Postby lil'devil » Thu May 31, 2018 9:52 am

Positive. It's much faster than Windows 10 on my weak laptop, which is why I moved to it, since I got fed up with Windows 10's constantly stumping on nothing.
AND NO ANNOYING MANDATORY UPDATES!!

The downside is that it has much less software and games, but I don't really require much of those at the moment, so I'm OK with what I have. :)
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Re: What's your opinion on Linux?

Postby Rachael » Thu May 31, 2018 9:59 am

Linux can run at least 70% of the software out there made for Windows thanks to the Wine compatibility layer. That's certainly not perfect, and not good for newer games, but for what it does and what it works for, it's fairly solid and helps ease the transition to a different OS.

Beyond that, the important thing to remember about Linux is it is a software that emphasizes freedom: the ability to do what you want, when you want, and how you want, with your computer and your OS. That is something you will never get with Mac or Windows - ever. But that freedom comes at a price: Even with the "easiest" to use OS's, you get your hand held far less, and when something runs afoul many tech shops cannot fix it because not every tech knows Linux. (The ones that do, though, are typically very good with it)

So if you fully make the transition, expect to go it your own for a bit. Google helps a *LOT*. Many Distros also have a software manager that makes finding and installing software for Linux a lot easier than it is on Windows. And the same software manager can often be used to automatically update your system, which makes it easier to keep the majority of your software up-to-date at the click of a button.

And while we're talking about updates: Linux updates are not managed by the same utterly incompetent software engineers at Microsoft who to this day wonder why anyone would still want to opt out of automatic updates for the OS. Basically what this means is the update process on Linux is much faster and easier, even when there's a major kernel update (which, when that happens on Windows, expect an hour or two of downtime at the very least, if not more).

To be quite honest though - kernel updates in Ubuntu (not sure about other distros, but I would imagine the issues are similar) still could be improved - since package trigger scripts are run redundantly and can sometimes be slow, and updating the kernel means you have to update a lot of packages which depend on your specific kernel version. So while it's still better than Windows, it's still problematic.

If you're serious about making the switch, I might recommend TrueOS. It's a FreeBSD distro (which is not Linux, but very similar) specifically designed for people coming to Linux/Unix for the first time, and has compatibility layers for both Linux and Windows pre-installed, and also has a package manager of its own (AppCafe). The best thing about FreeBSD (and TrueOS) is that it's more lightweight (and therefore faster) than Linux, however it does have issues of its own that are not shared with Linux - so your mileage may vary. I'd recommend giving it a try, in addition to whatever Linux distro you choose, to see if it will suit your needs.

So - real talk, booboo: If the question is, "should I switch?" - the real answer is, it depends on what you do with your computer, and whether the target OS can handle those needs. There's still a lot of things Linux can't do (GZDoomBuilder being quite a prime example - at least not without some tech sorcery to get it working). The only way to answer the question is to install it as a dual-boot and give it a try, and see how it goes. If you can shore up what's missing with Wine, or worst case scenario - a Windows VM - then you might survive the switch. If you can't, then obviously you'll likely have to keep Windows as a primary OS.
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Re: What's your opinion on Linux?

Postby wildweasel » Thu May 31, 2018 11:11 am

What I'd say is worth noting, as an "other way around" situation, is if you're running Windows 10 and want access to the Linux environment with its somewhat nicer terminal support, Microsoft offers what's internally known as "WSL", or Windows Services for Linux - it's just called "Ubuntu" on the Windows Store, and setup is a little bit tricky (though there's instructions there too), but it's the start of a lovely thing. If you're willing to get your hands a bit dirtier, you can actually install a windowing environment and a Windows X server like VcXsrv, to where you can run a decent handful of Linux GUI apps within Windows (though, rather a lot like Wine, you're not going to be running most games or the more advanced OpenGL apps with it).

So if what you need out of Linux is mainly its more powerful command line interface, and useful tools like wget, WSL might be the way to go as a way to dip your toe into it.
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Re: What's your opinion on Linux?

Postby Matt » Thu May 31, 2018 1:33 pm

I'd recommend keeping at least one Windows box active at least for the first year in case you turn out (like me) to be constantly falling into that 30%* that WINE can't handle.

*EDIT: it's actually only really 2 programs, but they're both necessary for work...
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Re: What's your opinion on Linux?

Postby Kinsie » Thu May 31, 2018 2:36 pm

Linux would be pretty good if it weren't for the developers, hardware drivers, UI designers, limited native software or the users. As it stands, though, its place is on a server rack.
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Re: What's your opinion on Linux?

Postby Rachael » Thu May 31, 2018 8:01 pm

Kinsie wrote:Linux would be pretty good if it weren't for the developers, hardware drivers, UI designers, limited native software or the users. As it stands, though, its place is on a server rack.

I would have preferred to avoid going all moderatory in this topic - but I think a point needs to be brought up here.

I disagree with the content of this post - but this post was reported by someone as being inflammatory - a report that I disagree with. This is a user expressing their opinion, and to be honest I've phrased things in a far worse way when I talk about Windows. I think that this post is perfectly fine - it's a little bit passionate, yes, but itself that is not the crime, as long as it's not directly hurting anyone. And while, for the most part, I have nothing but good things to say about Linux developers, I know that not everyone agrees with me - AND THAT'S OKAY! So - carry on - and let's have a civil conversation about this. There was no malice or ill intent behind this post at all, and I have already talked with Kinsie myself about it.
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Re: What's your opinion on Linux?

Postby RexS » Thu May 31, 2018 8:37 pm

I like the idea of open source stuff. It just isn't for me. I do a lot of high-end gaming (4K, VR, of the newest games.) Windows 10 works fantastic for me, but I also spend a lot of time tweaking and customizing things to my liking. I'm in the "every other Microsoft OS" crowd. I skipped 8, I skipped Vista, etc. lol

But, if someone else didn't say this, why don't you just dual boot? Have the best of both worlds?
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Re: What's your opinion on Linux?

Postby leileilol » Thu May 31, 2018 9:55 pm

There is a misguided user experience issue with it all that keeps it from being "year of Linux on the desktop" though. In my case, there's barely any graphical shells that work nicely with keyboard-only operation. XFCE is my preference but that's not perfect either. If you're coming from anything since Windows 95 you just get this claustrophobic feeling... and given the fandom, i'll expect a manpage-sized rebuttal to this despite the fact I can't tab to the desktop to execute the shortcuts, or access the system tray to check network status and volume, nor plug in a mouse on how much of an oblivious linux-hater that I am.... or at least a post report for "flaming".

and then there's the nightmare that is wireless configuration @_@ either network or bluetooth. Pairin' ain't easy. So many different competing daemons that promise the world, etc.

and of course there's also always the biffs that happen from downstream maintainers (Debian and friends mainly). Not everyone can afford that ideal "format and reinstall" upgrade method to avoid unforeseen untested issues from doing a full dist-upgrade. god help you should you run out of disk space during the process to the point you can't even list directories or even tab-complete in the terminal anymore...

I'm also frustrated with Debian breaking the checksum on my game because having pk3s with cross-platform QVMs inside them is offensive to some DFSG value or something, and as a result Debian-and-friends can't play OA on standard pure servers. They also split the game data to multiple packages to try and make the 'mature models' optional (read: one slingshot bikini character and a swearing robot) which would autodownload itself back in should they connect to a pure server. Who knows what downstream would think of my reboot, i'd imagine Debian to take my creative quality control restraints as "censorship to Free Software" and make some ugly combined incompatible variation of my new data over the old just to feel "complete", as well as supplying incompatible engines that I can't support... in Doom terms, imagine if they packed <zdoom-based game like say Adventures of Square> on Debian, but use Vavoom instead because it can support Decorate and it's more Free because it doesn't have the word Doom in it.
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Re: What's your opinion on Linux?

Postby Rachael » Thu May 31, 2018 11:15 pm

You can dock panels in XFCE to make it very Windows 95-like.

This is an example of how I have XFCE set up:

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/ ... nknown.png

Maximized windows never go on top of the docked panel.

As for the copyright issues - that's really something only the copyright holders themselves can address.
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Re: What's your opinion on Linux?

Postby kodi » Thu May 31, 2018 11:34 pm

I think I wanna try a dual boot setup again, now that Krita is a thing. I have a weird rube goldberg machine setup for both monitors and audio though, so we'll see how that goes.
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Re: What's your opinion on Linux?

Postby Kinsie » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:37 am

Rachael wrote:I disagree with the content of this post - but this post was reported by someone as being inflammatory - a report that I disagree with. This is a user expressing their opinion, and to be honest I've phrased things in a far worse way when I talk about Windows. I think that this post is perfectly fine - it's a little bit passionate, yes, but itself that is not the crime, as long as it's not directly hurting anyone. And while, for the most part, I have nothing but good things to say about Linux developers, I know that not everyone agrees with me - AND THAT'S OKAY! So - carry on - and let's have a civil conversation about this. There was no malice or ill intent behind this post at all, and I have already talked with Kinsie myself about it.
I suppose I should elaborate on my thoughts since the one-liner version was controversial. For reference, I've used several distros in the past for a number of reasons, ranging from coursework on server-side nonsense through to trying to get some form of use out of a basically-dead laptop. So while my thoughts may be kind of outdated, I'm not completely oblivious.

DEVELOPERS: While I'm certain that Microsoft and Apple have a fair share of socially-stunted assholes beavering away in their repos, they're at least kept hidden away from the general populace through the comforting blanket of PR teams working overtime. With the *nixes they can kind of get to take centre stage and in some cases a sort of royalty status, and actively effect development by forcing bad decisions down the pipe (Did anyone REALLY want the Unity shell?) or generally stinking up the joint with poisonous attitudes (Stallman, ESR etc.)
HARDWARE DRIVERS: I don't think this is controversial. GPU drivers on Linux are kind of a clusterfuck due to the divide between "open" and "proprietary" drivers. Shipping with crippled drivers by default sucks and probably doesn't help developers of graphics-centric software debug things, even if there is a political reason for it. I don't know enough to know whether Vulkan will improve matters here or make them worse. Any thoughts?
UI DESIGN: Open-source software has a long-standing problem with UI and UX, I'm guessing most of the experts in the field are occupied with commercial products on other platforms, where users are less likely to spend their days in VIM. Things aren't as egregious as some programs have been in the past (I will never stop complaining about Blender. Ever.) but it's still something where things are lagging behind. Sure, UI/UX isn't as much of an issue if most of your usage of the platform involves being knuckle-deep in terminal tools, but for the system to really spread its wings there needs to be a greater focus on not making the UI get in the way of the user.
LIMITED NATIVE SOFTWARE: Sure you can use Wine or its ilk, but compatibility wrappers are never quite going to be the same as native code, and when it comes to stuff outside of development tools, *nix tends to be sorely lacking in this department. It's kind of a chicken-and-egg problem - what homegrown native programs are there (GIMP etc.) aren't as good as the stuff on other platforms, so that stuff gets Wine'd, meaning there's no incentive to write native code versions, meaning...
USERS: Linux customer support is probably pretty good if you have some expensive corporate support package for a distro, but if you're just a home user or a freelancer or whatever, you have to descend into user-run support forums, which are generally worse than useless due to terrible attitudes and a strange aversion to actually helping people. Unless you just want to be told to read the manual 50 times. Even if you already said you read it.

"Linux on the desktop" is a regularly scheduled bust outside of command line and development stuff like Ruby on Rails, and even then, a good chunk of the development stuff can run on other platforms in one way or another (native support in MacOS, that wacky Linux-in-Windows stuff in Win10). Of course, its qualities as a server OS are well-documented and undisputed, and it sits quietly in the heart of billions of smartphones in one way or another... but if you're not a programmer or generally doing Web Stuff, it's probably going to be an awkward, painful fit for whatever you're trying to accomplish.

I don't plan on going back to it because it doesn't really fit my needs. Although, if someone were to point to a multi-platform alternative to Same GNOME...
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Re: What's your opinion on Linux?

Postby Chris » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:40 am

Kinsie wrote:DEVELOPERS: While I'm certain that Microsoft and Apple have a fair share of socially-stunted assholes beavering away in their repos, they're at least kept hidden away from the general populace through the comforting blanket of PR teams working overtime. With the *nixes they can kind of get to take centre stage and in some cases a sort of royalty status, and actively effect development by forcing bad decisions down the pipe (Did anyone REALLY want the Unity shell?) or generally stinking up the joint with poisonous attitudes (Stallman, ESR etc.)

To be clear, there's a difference between distro maintainers (those who say what gets into the distro's repository), package maintainers (people who get things into the distro repository), and developers (people who actually write the software). Often, these are completely separate groups. Things like forcing Unity or PulseAudio onto people comes from distro maintainers. The actual developers had no say in Ubuntu deciding Unity or PA would be installed by default or required.

HARDWARE DRIVERS: I don't think this is controversial. GPU drivers on Linux are kind of a clusterfuck due to the divide between "open" and "proprietary" drivers.

While the situation isn't great, it's not really a "clusterfuck" these days. For Intel or AMD, it's not a question; you want the open drivers, unless you know you need the closed ones for a specific reason (which is vanishingly small; Intel and AMD even help with the open source drivers). For nVidia, unless you really care about software freedom (in which case, you shouldn't be averse to researching this stuff), you get the closed drivers. It's been years since I ever heard of it being an issue to get the appropriate gfx drivers installed.

It's not great on Windows either though, where you have the "fun" of Microsoft-provided driver packages that come with missing or altered components (*cough*OpenGL drivers*cough*), which causes issues with some apps unless you get the other package direct from the hardware manufacturer.

UI DESIGN: Open-source software has a long-standing problem with UI and UX

I would agree with this. Software developers aren't UI designers, and even though bigger projects do get some people dedicated to UI/UX design, you don't generally see the same quality of results. Though I wouldn't say Windows and other commercial devs are particularly great here either, as they tend toward the lowest common denominator (phone/tablet interfaces) and try to retrofit that onto a desktop). This is particularly an issue on the web, where everyone and their mothers want to override the default system UI controls and make their own thing, which ends up being worse than the default.

USERS: Linux customer support is probably pretty good if you have some expensive corporate support package for a distro, but if you're just a home user or a freelancer or whatever, you have to descend into user-run support forums, which are generally worse than useless due to terrible attitudes and a strange aversion to actually helping people. Unless you just want to be told to read the manual 50 times. Even if you already said you read it.

It's a double-edge sword. With Windows, unless you're a high-paying business partner, Microsoft will get around to helping you when they feel like it. If you then look for help from other users, you're more likely to be told they don't know how to help you, or to ask Microsoft even though you already did. With Linux, the information tends to be available to help you, and you can find people who are willing and able to help you, but plenty of people have also had to deal with users who won't take any initiative and want them to do everything, which sours them even when encountering people who are willing to pull their own weight.
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Re: What's your opinion on Linux?

Postby Cacodemon345 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:48 am

What's holding Linux from gaining popularity, through?
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Re: What's your opinion on Linux?

Postby Rachael » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:07 am

Check leileilol's and Kinsie's posts. They detail the majority of problems in Linux nicely.
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