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Why i do not think Linux will become a pc standard for the masses.


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#26 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 06:02 PM

Well you know my problems with my dearly departed friend Lillian. When Lillian wanted to get a tablet I really encouraged her to go with an iPad. She would have driven me crazy with Android, even though I use that myself.
I just figured that the hardware would be good and iOS would suit her needs. She had the money.
She ended up with a 2nd iPad and aside from getting the usual fake "Windows" viruses in her browser she did fine. No regrets. She never did figure out how to set the clock though.
Lillian would never have purchased an Mac of any sort since for her Windows and Norton were the only PC combination that worked. Oy....
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#27 OFFLINE   Cluttermagnet

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 08:54 AM

Great thread, guys, I read through clear to the end. Enjoyed all your comments.
Well, at least 'security through obscurity' may still apply. All I know is, I am mighty
darned grateful I don't have to waste my life doing endless updates on multiple
platforms since I migrated to Linux in 2007. What a dang relief! That had gotten
soooooo old...

Oh, I said that so poorly... you know- updates to Linux OS's are generally so quick
and painless. Like I say, I have better things to do with my time...

Clutter

Edited by Cluttermagnet, 18 December 2017 - 08:56 AM.

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#28 OFFLINE   Peachy

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 12:02 AM

Think about this. In just over 5 years 14 million Raspberry Pi computers have been sold as of July 2017 and they have probably surpassed 15 million by now. Now, think about all the kids who have Raspberry Pi's and how many of them could potentially stick with Linux if they go into a STEM program in college. Ubuntu claims there are over one billion Ubuntu installs around the world, but I'm guessing 80% of those are probably servers. Will Raspian ever hit that number? Hard to say.

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#29 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 09:27 AM

I've thought about this some more and while there are still certain fora which have jerks who think new users are just getting in the way and/or have problems because they are idiots - this should not deter Linux from becoming more widely used.
I have a 91 year old lady client who rocks a 10 year old Dell desktop with Linux - she does everything any Facebook/Gmail user would want. My grandkids play Hot Wheels games on Google Chrome just like they would in Windows.
The distro of choice? Linux Mint. You can get it set up and do everything with a GUI.
The key is to have a few more people out here with the time and patience to set new users up properly. Maybe the kids of the Raspberry Pi generation will spawn a bunch of these folks. Once a naive user is set up with Linux they just go on and on without issues in 90% of the cases.
It also helps to have a friendly and non-judgmental place like this to come for help - a place where you can get quickly recognized as technically oriented even if you are not experienced with a particular Linux problem.

Edited by raymac46, 28 December 2017 - 09:30 AM.

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#30 OFFLINE   ebrke

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 03:17 PM

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The distro of choice? Linux Mint. You can get it set up and do everything with a GUI.
OpenSUSE also installs and sets up with GUI. I haven't had to resort to a command line in years.
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#31 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 05:26 PM

Even a more "advanced user" distro like Debian Sid or Arch can be used by a new person provided that some one knowledgeable is around to keep it up to date and running well. My wife used Arch on a netbook while at her mother's house and had no issues. It is very stable once installed properly.
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#32 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 05:34 PM

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OpenSUSE also installs and sets up with GUI. I haven't had to resort to a command line in years.

I am sure a new user would get along just fine with OpenSUSE as well. I suggest Mint to my folks because I find most Windows users relate well to the Cinnamon desktop. And I am most familiar with the Debian way of doing things.
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#33 OFFLINE   Peachy

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 07:05 PM

Another distro to try is the Debian-based Pixel. It's a spin of Raspian from the folks at the Raspberry Pi foundation for x86.

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#34 OFFLINE   saturnian

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 03:17 AM

Maybe Linux won't ever "become a pc standard for the masses," but I sure am glad I switched over to Linux from Windows several years back. Even running Arch, I try to bring in updates at least once a week, and often there are LOTS of packages to update, but for some reason it still seems less painful than what I remember with Windows.

Very cool -- and encouraging -- that with distros like openSUSE and Linux Mint, just about everything can be done via GUI. While I was running openSUSE, I rarely used the command line. Personally, I actually prefer CLI for a lot of things (that's how I'm updating in Debian these days, too), but I know that most people don't feel that way.

#35 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 08:39 AM

Well my 91 year old client would never want to learn about the CLI but she does manage to keep her machine updated because she can spot the applet in the panel with the little "i" on it. Then she launches the updater. I have it set to do the minimum updating needed and not to install a new kernel for example without my supervision. So far it's worked.
Linux really has to work at two levels to be successful - provide ease of update and security to the naive user and the CLI / other tech tools for the enthusiast. I know Linux Mint does this pretty well.
I do my best work when I fix up an old Core Duo for a senior who can't afford a new Windows 10 machine and should not be running Vista or XP. I never dual boot in this situation. It's Linux or nothing.
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#36 OFFLINE   saturnian

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 09:27 AM

There's still very little demand for computers and laptops that ship with Linux preinstalled, so manufacturers and big box stores can't really profit by putting them out there. Does anybody think that situation is gonna change anytime soon? Doing Linux installations for elderly clients is great, but the market impact of doing that seems negligible, doesn't it? Young folks I know, only a few of them have even heard of Linux, or of Raspberry Pi, even; they're buying Macbooks, smartphones, iPads, and Windows laptops. That's what's happening.

#37 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 09:44 AM

Yes but a lot of people are buying Chromebooks now which run the Linux kernel so it is getting out there but people are not aware of it.

In all actuality, Linux has already dominated most markets except for the desktop market. Linux owns the server market, mobile market, supercomputers, smart appliances, smartwatches, cable boxes, smart cars, etc.
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#38 OFFLINE   saturnian

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 10:30 AM

View Postsecuritybreach, on 29 December 2017 - 09:44 AM, said:

Yes but a lot of people are buying Chromebooks now which run the Linux kernel so it is getting out there but people are not aware of it.

In all actuality, Linux has already dominated most markets except for the desktop market. Linux owns the server market, mobile market, supercomputers, smart appliances, smartwatches, cable boxes, smart cars, etc.

Yeah, but of course it's the desktop market that we're talking about in this thread, I guess. I'm gonna start asking people, especially younger folks, a few questions: How much use do you have for a computer or laptop? Would you purchase a Chromebook? Would you purchase a computer that came preinstalled with Linux (not a Chromebook)?

#39 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 10:45 AM

View Postsaturnian, on 29 December 2017 - 10:30 AM, said:

View Postsecuritybreach, on 29 December 2017 - 09:44 AM, said:

Yes but a lot of people are buying Chromebooks now which run the Linux kernel so it is getting out there but people are not aware of it.

In all actuality, Linux has already dominated most markets except for the desktop market. Linux owns the server market, mobile market, supercomputers, smart appliances, smartwatches, cable boxes, smart cars, etc.

Yeah, but of course it's the desktop market that we're talking about in this thread, I guess. I'm gonna start asking people, especially younger folks, a few questions: How much use do you have for a computer or laptop? Would you purchase a Chromebook? Would you purchase a computer that came preinstalled with Linux (not a Chromebook)?


Well my point was that no one is really pushing Linux to the desktop market as most of the focus is on other things. Most people only use the browser so they could be on any platform/OS. Heck you do not even need a window's computer to use Microsoft Office as it is now available via the browser. We are in the minority as far as actually using the computer for computing. Nowadays computers are simply gateways to the net.
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#40 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 12:19 PM

I agree that converting one user at a time won't move the needle much when it comes to market share. I'm just happy that we do have options to restore old hardware and make it available to someone who otherwise wouldn't have anything. Knowing what I do now, I doubt even I would buy a computer with Linux pre-installed. Just as easy to build your own desktop or get an older Thinkpad if you want a laptop.
A lot of young people just use a smartphone but that wouldn't work for me ( screen too small, fat fingers.)
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#41 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 01:22 PM

The demand for desktop systems in general has been lessening more and more each year. Nowadays, only gamers and geeks used desktops. Most folks have gone to mobile (phones, tablets, and laptops). In another few years, you won't even see a desktop system at the big box stores.

#42 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 01:25 PM

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 29 December 2017 - 01:22 PM, said:

The demand for desktop systems in general has been lessening more and more each year. Nowadays, only gamers and geeks used desktops. Most folks have gone to mobile (phones, tablets, and laptops). In another few years, you won't even see a desktop system at the big box stores.

Agreed  :thumbsup:

I will continue to build my own desktop systems... That said, I have mobile devices as well... 4 laptops, 2 smartphones, 2 tablets, etc.
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#43 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 09:16 PM

Maybe I'm just crazy (nice word for paranoid?), but am I the only linux desktop user who doesn't even want linux to become a "pc standard for the masses"?  I'd like to see it grab a market share that's competitive with OSX....large enough to no longer be ignored, or brushed aside...but not large enough to be a viable target for hackers, phishers, scammers, and the like.  Somewhere around +/- 10% seems like a sweet spot to me.  JMO...

#44 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 09:49 PM

View PostHedon James, on 29 December 2017 - 09:16 PM, said:

Maybe I'm just crazy (nice word for paranoid?), but am I the only linux desktop user who doesn't even want linux to become a "pc standard for the masses"?  I'd like to see it grab a market share that's competitive with OSX....large enough to no longer be ignored, or brushed aside...but not large enough to be a viable target for hackers, phishers, scammers, and the like.  Somewhere around +/- 10% seems like a sweet spot to me.  JMO...

I think the same way..
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#45 OFFLINE   saturnian

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 04:52 AM

View Postsecuritybreach, on 29 December 2017 - 10:45 AM, said:

Well my point was that no one is really pushing Linux to the desktop market as most of the focus is on other things.

Good point.

View Postraymac46, on 29 December 2017 - 12:19 PM, said:

Knowing what I do now, I doubt even I would buy a computer with Linux pre-installed.

I would consider doing so, under the right circumstances, and if the price was right.

When we talk about "Linux on the desktop," I'm actually thinking of laptops/notebooks as well, not just what we've always called "PCs" or "desktop computers." Partly because I've actually been using my laptops as desktop computers for some years now (and that isn't normal, I guess) -- my laptops almost never leave home, and most of the time I refer to them as my "computers." I don't have a real desktop PC at this time.

In my situation, I don't really need anything more mobile than a phone (which I mainly use only for phone calls and texts). Lol, when I take one of my little road trips, which I've been doing a few times each year, I leave my laptops at home, and I'm actually kinda happy to be "off the grid" for a few days, so I don't even go online with my phone on those trips (which usually consist of short jaunts around New Mexico and Arizona, especially the northern parts of these two states -- lovely!).

When I was first getting started with Linux, my first two "Linux computers" were a notebook and a traditional desktop PC, both of which came with Linux preinstalled -- Linspire on the notebook, Xandros on the PC. Those computers gave me an introduction to the Linux world at a time when I had neither the time, the inclination, or the knowledge to install Linux myself. Also, they were both fairly inexpensive.

I played around with those for several months while continuing to use my Windows PC for more serious stuff. Then I finally got around to replacing Linspire and Xandros with other distros, which went very well since those two computers were, of course, quite Linux-compatible.

So it's sad to me that when I walk into a big box store around here, I don't see any laptops/notebooks that come with Linux preinstalled. I mean, except for Chromebooks. I wonder how a Chromebook would compare, as an intro to Linux, to that old Linspire notebook; I'm not so sure that it's quite as easy to install a different distro on a Chromebook, although I know that it isn't too difficult to do.

But I'd like to see something else like that, and in that general price range, for folks who might want to sort of test the Linux waters kinda like I did at first. Something that ships with perhaps Linux Mint or openSUSE instead of ChromeOS, and that's a little bigger and better than a Chromebook, but being sold inside a big box store alongside the Chromebooks. Not gonna happen, I guess.

#46 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 09:19 AM

My initial forays into Linux were on old hardware - my first Linux desktop was about 6 years old and the laptop I got at a thrift shop was about 10 (though built like a tank.)
I have some experience with pre-installed Linux on netbooks - these were made around 2008/9.
  • Acer - great Linux hardware, bad distro.
  • Dell - bad Linux hardware, bad distro.
So my pre-installed experience is quite negative. Back 10 years ago the OEMs put a totally dumbed down non Windows like interface on their Linux models and then wondered why everyone thought they sucked.
I don't have easy access to System 76 / ZaReason machines here. I am now totally sold on older Thinkpads as a Linux platform. They work great if you avoid the switchable graphics models and just stick to Intel. These machines are pretty easy to find locally. As for a desktop I agree with Josh - just build what you want. The fact that Linux extends the life of hardware means a good desktop will keep going a long time. Mine is now over 4 years old and it still runs fast and does everything I want.
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#47 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 09:57 AM

Referencing the discussions regarding OEM linux installations on hardware...I'd like to see a VirtualBox computer, where VirtualBox is a "shim" layer on top of UEFI/BIOS and the end user chooses their OS.  If they want to spend $120 on a Windows license, so be it, but I imagine a LOT of folks will look into Linux distros at that point.  And a VirtualBox machine would make it very easy to backup, export your machine to new hardware (exactly as it was before), beef up the "virtual hardware" as the real hardware allows it, or even (GASP....) try something different with no risk whatsoever.

Not sure of the practicality of that idea, but I think that would be a MONSTER hit!

#48 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 12:18 PM

The only problem I see with VBox is that the simulated graphics / Internet connection can be a little glitchy. Otherwise a great idea. You would need something to run VBox on though would you not?
Also count me in as another paranoid user who really doesn't care that much about massive Linux market share. I honestly think Linux desktop will continue as a DIY operating system by and large. Younger mobile folks will continue to use Chrome O/S and/or Android and be none the wiser.
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#49 OFFLINE   Peachy

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 01:54 PM

View PostHedon James, on 30 December 2017 - 09:57 AM, said:

Referencing the discussions regarding OEM linux installations on hardware...I'd like to see a VirtualBox computer, where VirtualBox is a "shim" layer on top of UEFI/BIOS and the end user chooses their OS.  If they want to spend $120 on a Windows license, so be it, but I imagine a LOT of folks will look into Linux distros at that point.  And a VirtualBox machine would make it very easy to backup, export your machine to new hardware (exactly as it was before), beef up the "virtual hardware" as the real hardware allows it, or even (GASP....) try something different with no risk whatsoever.

Not sure of the practicality of that idea, but I think that would be a MONSTER hit!

Actually, you can sort of do this now, but not using VBox particularly. Most modern boot loaders allow you to multiboot virtual disk files. Even Windows-based boot loaders. Think of Canonical's old WUBI setup where from Windows you'd install Ubuntu as a second OS but it was really an .img file. Some Windows SKUs allow them to be installed to a .vhdx file and then you can choose to boot from that. Sure you could have multiple partitions and do a true multi-boot installation, but this sort of installation dispenses with that requirement. The cool part is that you still get the advantages of full access to hardware and not a virtual hardware layer abstraction as with running a hypervisor. It makes backing up your OS easy as copying the disk file.

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#50 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 02:19 PM

View PostPeachy, on 30 December 2017 - 01:54 PM, said:

View PostHedon James, on 30 December 2017 - 09:57 AM, said:

Referencing the discussions regarding OEM linux installations on hardware...I'd like to see a VirtualBox computer, where VirtualBox is a "shim" layer on top of UEFI/BIOS and the end user chooses their OS.  If they want to spend $120 on a Windows license, so be it, but I imagine a LOT of folks will look into Linux distros at that point.  And a VirtualBox machine would make it very easy to backup, export your machine to new hardware (exactly as it was before), beef up the "virtual hardware" as the real hardware allows it, or even (GASP....) try something different with no risk whatsoever.

Not sure of the practicality of that idea, but I think that would be a MONSTER hit!

Actually, you can sort of do this now, but not using VBox particularly. Most modern boot loaders allow you to multiboot virtual disk files. Even Windows-based boot loaders. Think of Canonical's old WUBI setup where from Windows you'd install Ubuntu as a second OS but it was really an .img file. Some Windows SKUs allow them to be installed to a .vhdx file and then you can choose to boot from that. Sure you could have multiple partitions and do a true multi-boot installation, but this sort of installation dispenses with that requirement. The cool part is that you still get the advantages of full access to hardware and not a virtual hardware layer abstraction as with running a hypervisor. It makes backing up your OS easy as copying the disk file.

That's what I'm talking about!  I'd like to see THIS become a "pc standard for the masses".  Whether is a VirtualBox OS, VMWare OS, Box OS....or whatever nomenclature is chosen...same concept applies.  I think this would be a huge hit and could possibly gain quite a bit of traction.  JMO...




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