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What Are The Biggest Problems With Linux?

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  • #31
    Linux scares people. They feel helpless.

    What do I do if I get no internet connection/ my printer does not print/ I don't hear any sound? Uninstalling and installing again usually does not resolve issues as on other OS. If something goes wrong you sometimes have to read man pages and edit config files. Maybe even in shell mode. Being in such a situation must be a horror to somebody who only wants to surf the net and read emails. Standard components like sound, internet, printing and graphics should behave themselves much better with much more testing. Danger spots should be cushioned by safe modes.

    Why not have senior citizens install Linux and see how they fare in comparison to other OS? I bet much could be learned from that. I believe Linux still has to become a little less rough around the edges to attract a wider audience.
    Last edited by gaunilo; 06-10-2012, 02:13 PM.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by e8hffff View Post
      Sorry but you don't promote the opposition. Use your own Cloud solutions if any.

      I'm against cloud computer btw, unless it's personal cloud run from your own home or business. I have no interest in storing personal files with Microsoft, or Amazon. I don't want to buy an mp3 and have MS store it. It's easier to have a storage device, like USB memory dongle or Secure Digital card. If we continue to not use cloud, Buyers promote personal technologies.
      Cloud is great. A USB memory dongle or a Secure Digital card may break or get lost while in the cloud your data has a lot of copies on different servers, if one brakes you don't loose your data. May be that is not be important for you but there are a lot of people that need to secure some data(me inclusively).
      And Cloud is not only for data backup. Cloud means doing all the operations you do on your computer on a remote structure(I say structure because you don't know on which server it is, it is just there, sometimes shared between a few servers, secured, with backup solutions in case of 1 system failure).
      I explained why would someone prefer a cloud instead of personal physical resources here: http://askubuntu.com/questions/10963.../110528#110528

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Alliancemd View Post
        Cloud is great. A USB memory dongle or a Secure Digital card may break or get lost while in the cloud your data has a lot of copies on different servers, if one brakes you don't loose your data. May be that is not be important for you but there are a lot of people that need to secure some data(me inclusively).
        And Cloud is not only for data backup. Cloud means doing all the operations you do on your computer on a remote structure(I say structure because you don't know on which server it is, it is just there, sometimes shared between a few servers, secured, with backup solutions in case of 1 system failure).
        I explained why would someone prefer a cloud instead of personal physical resources here: http://askubuntu.com/questions/10963.../110528#110528
        The cloud will mainly be for many, hosting warez, and those stupid enough to trust the likes of Microsoft to their purchased items, or hosting of business content. Do you think Steve Jobs would host Apple's business on Microsoft servers? If not, then why should any one else trust Microsoft stealing their concepts and projects.

        Cloud-computing is simply a manoeuvre from companies to lock users into a paid service. There's simply no need for the Clouds from corporations. Technology is supposed to progress giving the power to the Users, not handlers of users.

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        • #34
          The Linux ecosystem is far too shattered to build something that is able to compete with MacOS or Windows in terms of "general usability". Look at all those different desktop environments, window managers, package formats, audio and input subsystems, distributions with different look-and-feels, license and copyright implications and restrictions, unstable programming interfaces... I'm convinced that Linux would get far more support from end-users, software donators and hardware vendors if the whole thing wouldn't be so directionless, volatile and hostile.

          (Of course, this diversity is also a kind of a strength. Most Linux users are well aware of those strenghts and know how to benfit from the freedom-of-choice. But these are the two sides of the same coin...)

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          • #35
            Originally posted by gaunilo View Post
            Linux scares people. They feel helpless.
            Have to agree.

            One example is I install a Laserjet printer driver, and as soon as there is an update patch to CUPS or some other printer infrastructure, my printer stops working, usually. How on hell can a business depend on that. btw, I'm not running a business.

            There needs to be pressure to keep to standards and backward compatibility, else branch into new projects.

            Canonical has been a major mover into standardising and placing systems to allow upgrading a ease of changes. More need to adopt those systems or make their own. Example the PPA system is excellent. LaunchPad.net another good move.

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            • #36
              Right now I have 2 big problems under Linux.

              1) Lack of Optimus support. Optimus is becoming very common in recent laptops (including my own) and is not (officially) supported under Linux.
              Under Linux I can't use my Nvidia card. Moreover, it is always powered on, leading to a very high temperature and power consumption. There are ways and workaround (acpi_call, bumblebee, ...) to use (or disable) the Nvidia card but it's still a big mess.



              2) Regressions. Way too often, updating a component leads to a regression. Last example I faced: My wifi connection is broken (random loss of connectivity) under Linux 3.3 while it had always worked fine before. KDE is also a world-class champion when it comes to breaking stuff (or deleting features, which is at least equally bad) after each update.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by aelo View Post
                Reduced complexity of the various distributions and software stacks.

                ...

                And the last thing I won't to mention is that it doesn't make sense that every linux distribution uses their own thousands of scripts. F.e. in the case of the start-up scripts the distributions could use systemd and write good scripts only once and use the same ones in ubuntu/lfs/gentoo/arch...? In the end they all do exactly the same job and this would reduce a lot of work.
                systemd and its dependencies are roughly 2 million lines of code. Gentoo's OpenRC is 20,000 lines of code. If you want to reduce the complexity of the software stack, it would make more sense for you to adopt OpenRC than systemd.

                With that said, OpenRC works with both Linux and *BSD, which systemd depends on Linux. Until systemd is portable, I doubt that it would be suitable for distributions that are not Linux-exclusive, such as Debian and Gentoo.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Alliancemd View Post
                  And Cloud is not only for data backup. Cloud means doing all the operations you do on your computer on a remote structure(I say structure because you don't know on which server it is, it is just there, sometimes shared between a few servers, secured, with backup solutions in case of 1 system failure).
                  Why would I need to use a cloud based spreadsheet, when I can edit one on a mobile phone linked to a VPN back to an office network. The move in technology means people have massive amounts of computing power in their hands. They don't need dumb terminal devices back to a cloud on a mainframe. Then to ask for people to pay for cloud, is ridiculous.

                  For cloud-computer to be successful would mean companies would force people to have less technology in their own control, or disrupt the stability of software so much so that people would want cloud manage therefore reducing maintenance. Both points are devious conduct toward Users.
                  Last edited by e8hffff; 06-10-2012, 02:53 PM.

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                  • #39
                    Better interop with OS X?

                    This probably isn't one of Linux's "biggest problems", but as someone who also uses a Mac, there are a couple of things where I'd like to see more interoperability between OS X and Linux:

                    * Support for Apple's RTFD document format. An RTFD is mostly just a directory containing an RTF file, along with some image files if the document includes pictures. Many OS X apps save documents in this format, and it would be nice if LibreOffice (for example) could work with them as is. Yes, you can open the RTF and import the image files, but the result is something very unlike the way the document appears on OS X.

                    * Outliners! This is an application niche which has been explored on Macs more than any other platform. OmniOutliner is awesome, but there's nothing like it on Linux. I'd like to have a program in the LibreOffice suite that could read & write OmniOutliner files in their native format (it's just XML), and edit them as outlines.

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                    • #40
                      If I had infinite money to throw at helping Linux become everything it could be, here's where I would start:

                      - Pay Adobe to port Creative Suite. There are vast armies of professionals who rely on these tools to do what they do. Some of them are AAPL converts for life, but many others would jump ship.
                      - Pay Unity Technologies to port Unity - not just the web player, but the development application. This engine is already a major force in game development and will only become moreso over the next decade. If we have Steam and Unity we will have Gamers.
                      - Send Valve a big pile of candy and flowers for doing what they are already doing

                      If Adobe or Unity have technical concerns about Linux as a platform for their software, work with them to fix those. (this will undoubtedly get into the issues with open source video drivers, etc, which in turn need to have resources and help poured onto them).

                      In a nutshell, work backwards from why we don't have the killer apps that keep people tied to the other 2 major operating systems. Swallow our pride and admit that Linux is already being used by people unlike us (programmers, nerds), and accept that the entire landscape will be better for this new blood, because choice (eg to use weird, power user configurations) will never go away as a core value of Linux.

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                      • #41
                        There is a number of big issues, but not all of them is known.

                        If your looking at the Kernel only... The list would be...
                        1. The absolute biggest would be that there is No stable Driver API between kernels. The Driver API constantly breaks between releases, and this drives away Device makers that wish to support linux. Most device makers want to write a driver once, and then expect it to work for the major version. A Good example of this would be to write a driver for linux kernel 2.6.x where the driver binary would work up until at least version 3.0.0. However, as it stands now the drivers constantly have some form of api breakage between kernel releases.
                        2. ACPI/Power Management issues taking battery life from consumer laptops.
                        3. Microsoft, and the UEFI Secure Boot. Vendors are likely to support only Microsoft and lock out anything else.

                        If your looking at Graphics drivers:
                        1. Constant fighting between graphics drivers. It's impossible to have a system configured to have a mix of graphics cards without serious technical knowledge. Mixing and matching the Following graphics cards are guaranteed to have major problems arise.
                          • Radeon Series ( Open Source Driver, Current )
                          • Radeon series ( FGLRX/Closed Source driver, Current)
                          • nvidia (Open source, nouveau )
                          • Nvidia (Closed Source, Any model)
                          • Intel Graphics
                        2. Switching between graphics cards without modifying Sessions with ease. For example, I would want to be able to Switch from the integrated graphics card to the dedicated graphics card when I play games, but when I am done, Switch back to the integrated to save power.
                        3. Incomplete device Support. No support for OpenGL 4.x in open source drivers.

                        If your talking about Software and Open Source in general, the issue is below...
                        1. Software Patents that prevent implementation of Specifications. For example Mesa had a lot of issues with the patents over the S3TC patents
                        2. lack of commercial video games ( Like Unreal Tournament 3, Halo, etc ) being Released natively on linux. Iinstead these games are increasingly being released on Mac OSX using libraries that are cross platform. Generally Speaking, This is a major issue because a lot of these games use libSDL, OpenAL, OpenGL, and a few other libraries that are also on linux.
                        3. Digital Rights Management demands by major content creators/providers. This on It's own is inherently incompatable with GPL, but is manditory if you want anything to do with consumer media ( Video Games, eBooks, Blurays, DVDs, etc). This is also why there is no decent HDMI capture cards that work on linux that users would want to use. For this, A good example would be wanting to capture a high definition stream of a video game you are playing on a Playstation 3, Xbox 360 or other major console.
                        4. Even though this is not Linux Specific, it is key... The GPL Compliance is abismal, and companies within china are usually the main instigator. This issue will only increase, and any action to corect this will only hinder linux overall because it'll scare companies away. While I mention china, there are also amarican companies that develop and release successful products that use Linux ( for example, Android tablets and routers) and then fail to comply with the basic license agreements involved. In any case, If you compare Linux and most other Open source products to the closed source alternative you wind up with a reliable comparison of the Open source product being a Reliant Robin, and then the Closed source product could be a Lamborghini Diablo.

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                        • #42
                          Lack of standardization

                          The main problem in my opinion is the lack of standardization, not only between distributions, but also between desktop environments.
                          And Linux needs a common way to install/remove applications.

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                          • #43
                            What made me put Windows in addition to Linux on my (convertible) tablet pc: Handwriting recognition (both in quality and in the number of supported languages), and there doesn't seem to be anything similar to Onenote. And using it I noted that even Intel's open source driver is much slower than the windows driver (but at least power usage is pretty similar).

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                            • #44
                              I would say that the biggest problem is the common belief that Linux is "hard to learn". You know how to use a mouse to click on icons and menu items? You know how to type words with a keyboard? If the answer is yes to both then you will probably be fine.

                              Besides that, I also agree with what Michael said in the article. Huge lack of documentation to attract more developers into the platform. I tried developing an app from scratch for Gnome a few months ago but that adventure didn't last more than a few days until I realized that there was NO documentation for PyGI. The answer to that was that I could use the C documentation and just convert as necessary to Python... I have no C knowledge and even with the few tips on how to do the conversion I still stumbled in a few exceptions to the "rules" of conversion, so I gave up.

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                              • #45
                                i think package management is one of the best things in linux. there is a standardized way to install software and track dependencies. instead in windows every installer does it its own way and a broken install is a major headache. this makes updates on windows utterly annoying. most crappy FOSS apps make you uninstall, go to a browser link and then install again. absolutely ridiculous. i also love how adobe apps are too retarted to jump to the latest version and update incrementally (9.1-9.2, instead of jumping to acrobat X)

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