Linux: Not Ready for the Big Time

The Other Issues

Of course, these larger issues do not even begin to cover all of the minor issues that need to be resolved before Linux hits the Big Time, including device support, an overall more responsive and fast windowing system, lack of big name applications like Microsoft Office (even Mac has Microsoft Office), or the Adobe Creative Suite. Not to mention lack of big name games. Not to mention a different, and also exposed, notion of libraries. Not to mention the plethora of branding applied to the community (distribution branding, flavor branding, etc). Not to mention the rapid-release cycle of new applications and updates. Not to mention the lack of a single entity to go complain to (people like to have targets). I am pretty sure I could continue this list. But I think we get the point.


It’s obvious that Linux is not ready for the Big Time. The reasons spelled out above, and by almost all of the articles on the web regarding this same topic, are fairly conclusive, even if only in an anecdotal sense. The common user is a picky creature, wanting certain things, expecting certain capabilities from their computer, and intolerant of that which does not provide per spec. Yet there exists a thriving Linux community, and somehow Linux is making its way into the public perspective.

In spite of all mentioned above, the real problem with Linux is not sound or GUIs or crash reports, but a much bigger one: we, as a Linux Community, don’t know where we want it to go. Many of us joined because we disliked Microsoft of Unix and wanted to beat them at their own game, which means taking over desktops and servers. We are at a time in the software’s life where we need to decide, what do we actually want? Do we still want simply to beat Microsoft and Unix? Stay tuned for Part Two of this series next week: Linux, Do We Want To Go Big Time?

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2 responses to “Linux: Not Ready for the Big Time

  1. Excellent article. We have a Linux (Ubuntu 9.10) box stand as our FOG imaging server, web server and Samba server (because of a lack of hardware). Seems as though every day I come into the classroom and have to wrestle with it just to make it cooperate throughout the day. I am learning Linux as I go, which is fun, but considering sustainability, I’m not sure how my counterpart will handle keeping the thing going after my term here.
    So, reading between the lines of your article, I have to whole-heartedly agree that Linux is not ready for deployment in the developing world. However, there is one keen advantage and that is that people in the developing world are not as reliant on proprietary formats. +1 for Linux.

  2. Glad you agree. The issues you described about your servers are very common place amongst new sys admins, but I promise you, once it gets up and running, it just works (a point that comes up next week).

    As for the developing world, I actually tend to disagree a little bit. I think Linux is ready enough that with proper instruction, we can teach more abstract computer use scenarios without locking people into the Windows mindset. It is what I am slowly trying to do. It just takes, like a server, a lot of setup to create situations where your students do not fall into the common pitfalls of Linux based distributions.

    I wish I could say the same about proprietary formats in Kenya, but this country is deluged by mp3 CDs and the most hideously encoded VideoCDs and DVDs I have ever seen. Even VLC has trouble handling most of them. Trying to convince some local artists I know to switch off of their illegal Fruitloops and MP3 was like trying to milk a bull: it just wouldn’t work for so many reasons!

    My third article in the series will hopefully be the most development oriented, so stay tuned and thanks for reading!