Testing the Faith of the Linux Masses

In a world with sky-high divorce rates and inconsistent church attendance, it doesn’t seem too big a stretch to say that fidelity is an increasingly rare virtue in the population at large.

Can the same be said of the Linux-using masses?

That, indeed, is just what the clever crew over at TuxRadar apparently set out to learn recently via a thought-provoking Open Ballot entitled, “Abandon ship?”

“Do you ever see yourself switching back to Windows or Mac OS X (or BSD, Solaris, MikeOS or any other OS) and leaving Linux behind?” TuxRadar’s query read.

“Are there some problems that just don’t get solved? Are the problems getting worse? Or is everything just peachy as you bask in the warm glow of software freedom?” they added.

‘Such a Nice, Fast Ship’

Linux GirlLinux Girl was basking in the warm glow of a double Tequila Tux cocktail down at the blogosphere’s Broken Windows Lounge when the news arrived. As the dishes began to rattle, she braced herself for the herds of Linux bloggers galloping forth to have their say.

“Some people say, ‘never say never’; others say, ‘I need to use what works for me — my job depends on it,'” began Google+ blogger Gonzalo Velasco C., for example. “I respect that.

“However, may God allow me to stay 100 percent GNU/Linux for the rest of my life,” he added. “I won’t abandon such a nice, cooperative, fast and working ship. It is not perfect just because nothing is. Besides that, it’s excellent.”

‘Abandon Ship? No Way!’

Similarly, “I am certainly not contemplating a return to Windows,” Google+ blogger Kevin O’Brien agreed. “Linux keeps getting better, and I think it is more advanced than Windows now.

“I don’t see any reason to give up my freedom to use a lesser OS,” O’Brien told Linux Girl. “I might switch distros every now and then, but not drop Linux.”

Blogger Robert Pogsonhad a like-minded reaction.

“Abandon ship? No way!” Pogson began. “An OS designed by people who care about freedom and performance beats an OS designed by salesmen any day.”

Mac OS “does not convey the right to run on the hardware of my choice, so it’s out,” Pogson explained. Meanwhile, “‘7’ or ‘8’ require agreeing to be a slave just to boot up the first time.

“Family and friends have no problem using GNU/Linux, even the youngsters,” he added. “It works for us, and we have never needed to re-install because of malware, slowing down or re-re-reboots. GNU/Linux just works.”

‘I Will NEVER Go Back’

Consultant and Slashdot blogger Gerhard Mack had a similar tale to tell.

“I can’t imagine leaving right now,” Mack told Linux Girl. “I have watched Linux improve a lot since I started using it in 1996, and my last few installs have been downright easy, with everything working right out of the installer without needing to tweak any settings.

“On top of that, we’re finally starting to get applications,” he added. “I have been using the steam for Linux client for the last month with no issues.”

Indeed, “I will NEVER go back to Windows,” Google+ blogger Rodolfo Saenz asserted. “It is true that GNU/Linux can sometimes be unfriendly when it comes to driver issues or software compatibility, but despite those facts, there are so many advantages: stability, openness and freedom, among others.

“I can definitely live with those minor issues,” Saenz concluded. In fact, “I welcome those issues because they keep my neurons busy — it’s good exercise for mental heath!”

‘Perhaps the GNU/Hurd’

Google+ blogger Alessandro Ebersol doesn’t see himself abandoning ship, either. At the same time, however, “what I see from the two big brothers — Canonical and Red Hat — is disheartening.

“They forget about the communities and try to advance only things that are in their best interest,” he explained.

“If I ever have to leave GNU/Linux, it would be for something with the same or better freedom to use, distribute, learn and copy — perhaps the GNU/Hurd, if it ever comes out someday,” Ebersol concluded.

“I could see myself switching to BSD,” offered Chris Travers, a blogger who works on the LedgerSMB project.

“I have found hardware support remarkably unreliable on Linux, and by that I mean that things that used to work sometimes break going forward for no apparent reason,” Travers told Linux Girl. “My current laptop lost ACPI support during an upgrade and I have had significant 3D graphics card issues over time of this sort.”

‘Software Freedom Is Indispensable’

That’s “part and parcel of the constructive chaos that is Linux, but it also means that the stability and careful engineering of the BSD family of free operating systems is becoming more valuable to me,” he explained. “At the point all my hardware undeniably works on BSD, I will probably move there.

“Don’t get me wrong: That chaos is a good thing as it means that Linux is expanding into markets that the BSD OSes couldn’t really attempt,” he noted. “However, it can be annoying at times.”

What Travers can’t imagine, however, “is abandoning Free *nix operating systems,” he said. “Software freedom is an economic good for me, and is indispensable in what I do.”

‘How Much Is Your Time Worth?’

Slashdot blogger hairyfeet, on the other hand, has already abandoned the Linux “ship,” he told Linux Girl.

“To me it boils down to, ‘How much is your time worth?'” he explained. “If it’s not worth anything or if you find pleasure in spending your free time fiddling with an OS like gearheads fiddle with their cars? Then I’m sure the question never enters your mind.”

Not so for those who want things to “just work,” however.

“It doesn’t take too many updates borking software or drivers requiring forum hunts and CLI fixes to just get sick of the whole mess,” he said. “For me personally it was one time too many of my wireless getting trashed — so the only way it would work was with ZERO security — that made me go to Win 7, where I am happy to this very day.”

‘Heading Towards Exceptional’

Last but not least,Linux Rants blogger Mike Stone also said he’d abandon the Linux ship, but only hypothetically — and for a very different set of reasons.

“Of course I’d abandon ship with regards to Linux,” Stone told Linux Girl. “When I started in earnest with computers in general, it was mostly on Commodore and Apple systems, then I moved to DOS, and of course Windows from there. Since then I’ve gleefully moved to Linux.”

Nevertheless, “I would absolutely move to something else if I felt that it would provide more of what I need and want,” he explained. “That being said, I don’t see anything approaching that in the near future, and I won’t jump ship just to jump ship.

“The Linux market is just starting to take off, and I don’t use it to look cool and unique to my friends,” Stone concluded. “It was great before, but I think it’s heading towards exceptional.”


  • I’m a gamer. I go where the games are, and for the most part ‘nix doesn’t run the games I want to play, on the hardware I want to play on. I love ‘nix, I love how you can tweak it just exactly the way you want it, I love that it’s free, I love that it’s for the most part rock solid stable, but as far as I know, none of my newer games run on it. Hell, some day this old fart might be forced to buy a console… *shudders*

    • Ahhh, the classic "blame the victim" strategy. tell me…are you REALLY gonna say one of the largest OEMs ON THE PLANET can’t choose hardware?

      if one of the largest OEMs on the planet, who only sold Linux on less than a dozen devices, has to run their own fork just to make your stupid driver model work? Then you need to face facts its NOT the user, ITS THE SYSTEM and specifically a pathetically bad driver model.

      If you want I’ll be happy to wallpaper this page with citation after citation, but of course then it’ll just devolve into the circle of loon..

      • I’m gonna say that "the largest OEM in the planet" hasn’t put the slightest effort in complying with whatever deal they made with Canonical, that’s pretty obvious for anyone but little frustrated trolls like you. Of course they can choose hardware. They simply won’t do it for Canonical. Dell’s hardware (not just their laptops, but everything up to servers) is internally as non-mainstream as possible. I’ve dealt with them on every segment. You better don’t even change a PSU on one of their workstations if you want them working properly. But why would I have to explain that to you? You’re not here to understand or analyze things honestly, you’re here to play fortune-teller and give Katherine Noyes some "other side" story, no matter how poor and weak.

        You’re not a victim. You’re just an ignorant troll. The internet is filled to the brim with people like you. For some reason I thought you were serious before. Now I’m having a great time waiting for year 2016 and see you silently disappear from the internets, change your nickname, etc. The usual stuff.

        • Wow, lets see how many tropes you have managed in a single post. Well right off the back you used"you are using the wrong hardware"

          "Shills trolls vampires"

          I could throw in "You are using the wrong hardware" AGAIN, but you also imply two other tropes so I will use those just for the sake of variety, "Linux friendly hardware"

          And the classic "Linux supports more hardware than Windows"

          You know why I can wallpaper a site with citations while ALL YOU CAN DO is hurl insults? because unlike you I have TRUTH on my side, when you have TRUTH you don’t need insults, you can back up your words with citations.

          Oh and do you know why I can produce you argument ENTIRELY in tropes? because you and the various koolaid drinkers have been spewing the same. old.lame.excuses. so long they are cliches. It is ALWAYS the other guys fault, its ALWAYS "use Distro X!" its the same tired of bull. I can post links showing every major B&M, walmart, Best Buy, Staples, they have ALL tried your BS and found it to be that, but that is ALWAYS their fault, right? They didn’t "respect teh precious" and so it didn’t work. meanwhile billions of Windows users can update with ZERO driver breakage, can use software without needing recompiles or making sure they have kernel blah blah blah.

          You see I’m your worst nightmare…I’m a retailer. We have tried your junk but we will NOT drink the koolaid, instead we will put it through rigorous testing and guess what we find? Aww, Linux fall down and go boom! Again and AGAIN AND AGAIN, you pick the hardware, it will NOT survive the Hairyfeet 5 year challenge, it won’t. Oh and as for your great hardware support? I leave you with one of hundreds of citations, just ask and I’ll be happy to give you PLENTY more..

          • You’re my worst what? LOL Are you even for real??? You’re a retailer? You mean one of those who can’t tell a PC from a toaster? That might explain something. I’m a system builder. And my wife is a physical therapist. Nice to meet you. Now let’s leave the smalltalk aside.

            I can’t see any single truth in your claims. Not a single one. You don’t seriously mean that funny site you cite so frequently is some sort of a source for… err… something, are you? Have you ever asked yourself why are you given the same replies every time: because you’re always doing the same mistakes and making the same silly claims. Stubborn you. Ts, ts.

            The fact -the truth- is there are millions of happy Ubuntu users living a problem-free life (as problem-free as it gets with ANY OS on ANY hardware), no matter how bitter you get about all this. And now we know it’s personal. You’ve been there, you tried using Linux on some Windows-only hardware, it made you feel stupid and now you’re angry. Now it’s all Linux fault. LOL. I bet you aren’t brave enough to blame OS X for not running on your Windows-only hardware, are you? Of course not. Apple doesn’t claim it will. Surprise: neither does Canonical!!! System76 -a manufacturer- does guarantee their Ubuntu boxes will work flawlessly, though… (I also guarantee my workstations BTW). Oh, you haven’t tried one. There goes your "truth"… Too bad.

            It’s OK. There must be people like you out there. You might not even notice, but making a fool of yourself -like you always do here- actually helps sympathy for Linux grow among readers.

            Nice chatting with you.

          • You can’t tell a _physical_ therapist from a shrink. LOL. No wonder you have such difficulties understanding your so called "truths" (all of them have been debunked ad nauseam; you don’t really expect me to discuss them with you, do you?).

            I don’t have to insult you. You do a pretty good job at self-insulting yourself by trying to pass all that nonsense as "truths".

            All I’m saying is that’s pretty obvious you’ve had a bad experience with Ubuntu, while millions have a great experience with it or they would simply not using it (mostly non-geeks; as a matter of fact, most geeks hate Ubuntu as much as you. Not surprisingly. Extremism builds strange friendships…). That must have had a serious impact in your life. Nothing else could explain that amount of hate.

            You have yet to mention a manufacturer who has actually given Linux a real choice instead of just "throwing it" at whatever hardware they were running Windows on before. Asus definitely didn’t have a clue when they put some Linux on their netbooks… Or did they? Because, you know, they got free Windows XP licenses for replacing Linux on those netbooks. I’ll leave it to you to understand what exactly went on there… I’ve mentioned one manufacturer that will guarantee your Ubuntu machine to work properly: System76 (besides myself, of course, and lots of small local builders). You may know another one: ZaReason. Zero problems running Ubuntu on those machines. Why? Because they just cared that all the hardware was properly supported.

            I’m running Ubuntu on a Dell Studio 1537. Dell stopped supporting Windows for that laptop at Vista. It’s a nightmare making it work for Windows 7 (although with a lot of hard work, I was able to trick it into it), and Windows 8 is completely out of the question, even when the hardware should be perfectly capable of running both. Is Dell "an ignorant Windows partner"? Obviously not, but they decided not to support anything beyond Windows Vista on that laptop. Their Ubuntu laptops get even less than nominal support for Ubuntu. I wouldn’t blame Microsoft for not supporting my Dell Studio 1537 when its hardware is perfectly capable of running Windows 7 and 8. That’s Dell’s fault and it’s Dell who I blame (the same I blame you for being incapable of finding the right hardware for your Ubuntu installations, when it works perfectly well in millions of systems out of the box…). In the same way, I don’t blame Canonical/Ubuntu for not running on unsupported hardware or "nominally supported hardware", which is basically a scam by Dell. Ubuntu 12.04 and 13.04 (I haven’t tried 12.10) happen to run flawlessly pn the same 1537 without any manual intervention from the user (no drivers installations needed whatsoever), but that’s just a, let’s call it "happy coincidence". That laptop wasn’t built for Ubuntu. Amazingly, that sort of "happy coincidence" happens very very often, that’s why millions enjoy Ubuntu on hardware not designed for Ubuntu. You do get that far, don’t you?

            That’s why you look so silly whining about Ubuntu not running _for you_. Seriously: who the hell cares? Who the hell are YOU in the middle of millions of happy Ubuntu users? A retailer? So what? Most haven’t got a clue and you obviously haven’t either.

            Don’t waste your time with more silly links that show nothing but your bitterness, stupidity and obsession. Try using your brains instead and apply a few simple logical rules. You’ll get much farther than playing with that crystal ball of yours.

            Oh, and BTW, quick, pack you bags and go save those 8 mobile carriers that just signed agreements with Canonical. Get them to know all your silly links and how they "prove" they’re committing suicide, because Ubuntu will be -LOL- dead -LOL- by 2016… (Poor soul.)

  • Now I’m starting to understand. The usual suspect in your list of chosen bloggers -yes, the one with the most proper troll name- doesn’t know how to find the right hardware for his software, so he moves to a preinstalled* OS (Win 7). Then he goes on to name calling the OS he couldn’t grasp, when it really "just works" for everyone capable of making sure the hardware is right, while being both fisher-price easy to use and power-user friendly at the same time. If that wasn’t enough, he pompously predicts the death of the most succesful desktop Linux company there is five years -no less, LOL- after his petty frustration!!! So this was all personal and out of sheer bitterness in the end.

    As I said, now I understand.

    Oh, and BTW, I wouldn’t go back to Windows or OS X (although I’m forced to use both every now and then). Not a few years ago and much less now, when Ubuntu is making huge steps in the right direction. It really is an easier and more useful desktop OS than Windows now, and they have nailed the design of device convergence Microsoft and Apple are struggling so much at. Even if I didn’t care for freedom and price (which I do), I would move to Ubuntu just because it’s easier, more productive and doesn’t force me to pre-configured hardware (Windows) or a single hardware maker (OS X). AND it is about to offer a true common user experience on different devices. All this in spite of being owned by an obnoxious millionaire nerd.


    *No one with more than two brain cells can say any Windows version is easier to install than Ubuntu when it doesn’t come preinstalled. Just try installing Windows 7 on a Core 2 Duo mainstream laptop, where most manufacturers EOLed their products at Vista and don’t provide any current drivers.

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