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So, the system was working fine out-of-the-box, but he wanted to use the really really weird "virtual screen" configuration, which is something only used by him and god knows who else and apparently was added back only to appease him, and he claims that something is wrong because such rare option is not well documented and not easy to use?
This is very true, I have been using Linux as my main OS for about 1 year now, but only out of necessity because windows was wigging out on me on both my desktop and laptop. Linux (Ubuntu specifically) has been treating me very well so far. The only time I have small little issues is when I try to customize the Compiz 3D things and even then it's only little bugs. I have noticed that in the past 2 to 3 years Linux has become MUCH bigger than it used to be. This charge being led mostly by Ubuntu and its various dirivitive distributions that have branched off of it. I CAN'T WAIT to see where things go in the next 2, 3, 4 or 5 years. Linux won't be the top dog in that time. But with out any doubt some BIG things will be happening. especially in the standardization for lots of aspects of Linux usage.
Back in the old days I used fglrx to drive my Mobility Radeon X1600 and Radeon 9550R graphics cards (R500 and R300). It didn't work perfect, but it provided me with 3D acceleration, video acceleration and power saving features. Stand by and hibernate operations had some issues, but it was fixed with time. Everything worked well.
Then came the famous April 2009 when AMD dropped support for these cards within their fglrx driver. Now I depend on Gallium 0.4 driver and newest X. Result: Bad 3D acceleration (insufficient for driving even Kwin's composition), next to none power management, instability after trying to play any of the 3D games that worked well before (even with UMS radeon driver - nexuiz, vdrift, Counter Strike via Wine) that results with system freeze that requires hard reboot (because for some reason if KMS driver fails I can't even switch to tty1) and the best of the best: the über-cool fast switching virtual terminals which doesn't work always.
Thank you X devs, thank you KMS devs and thank you AMD!
I'm glad I bought Nvidia card for my new desktop computer. Although their driver isn't open source, at least their driver works without problems.
I'd be the happiest person on the world if I found a way to make Catalyst 9.3 driver work with kernel 2.6.34 (which I need for my USB TV tuner to work), even for the price of installing some archaic version of X server - just to have a working laptop once more.
And I agree with Luc: this way of graphics support under Linux will never make Linux the desktop OS. On WinXP and earlier versions of windows we had BSOD, and now with KMS we have the system freeze because of poor drivers.
Linux used to be much more stable OS than it is today (in terms of graphics support).
Yes, but some are a lot easier to handle. The problem is that simple operations like i.e. installing a software are no longer simple if the package is not included in the default repository.
Linux fails to make simple things simple.
On Windows, installing the latest revision of a program from source is a daunting task that I've not yet succeeded at. On Linux, I simply apt-get build-dep x, get source from git, and compile the damn thing. Windows fails to make simple things simple.
Two deadly scenarios have to be addressed for Linux to reach masses:
1. Updating a 10.04 installed through Wubi causes "error: no such device" + "grub rescue". The average user commits suicide for less than this.
2. Configuring xorg.conf is like defusing a bomb. You cut the wrong wBOOMMM!!
I think at least 10% Windows of users could use Ubuntu nowadays, and that they would benefit greatly from its greater speed, much faster maintenance, much greater security, and quite easier use (for not bomb-defusing cases, I mean).
The reason for the current 1% instead of 10% is that Ubuntu was not pre-installed on their machines.
An additional 5% would be possible with more papercut fixing (progressing at good pace) and the damn Photoshop working seamlessly on wine (progressing at good pace also).
I'm very curious about what will happen with Chrome OS because I feel that is going to have great acceptance although "it does not have Photoshop nor games!".
Also there is a good layer of free apps for Windows: Firefox, VLC, LibreOffice, Pidgin, SumatraPDF, ... there are compelling apps for many of the most popular software desktop categories.
I can understand if someone gets angry when something does not work like it should or like someone think it should work. I have that also from time to time. But always this big categories if Linus is or is not ready for the desktop or not is bullshit.
Linux is a free system, if you think ok in Linux are one or two simple things then it becomes the major os in 2-3 years go ahaid change this 100-200 lines of code and bring your own version.
Then itīs always this linux has this and this small issue, but windows is perfekt (at least the much problems with it get not quoted). So Software is never perfekt it has always bugs in it. As least if it gets bigger then 100.000 lines. And for the one something is a bug for the other it is a feature. (sometimes)
If you really think windows does most of the stuff better use it. I think linux is today on the desktop. not in future, today. That not 99% of the users use it is no point. because most of the people who used both systems would agree that macosx is the better then windows but has also not that big market share.
Windows works on most computers, and it is installed on most computers you can buy and most people used it for several years. Especialy the last point is the point why they dont will change if windows will do their job in nearly enough as they want it.
I know its written to another context but it fits the problem here to:
"and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."
* United States Declaration of Independence
I will not over-daemonize microsoft here, and we donīt suffer that much from it but the point that most people is more willing to suffer than changing something is here true as well.
Btw. thatīs also the point why we have most of the other important problems on the earth. Unemployment is a big success but we see it as a problem. That caused majorly at least the second world war started from germany. (If there would be a basic income for everyone hitler would remained or become a painter). And with not always fixating on earning money just for the basic surviving nobody would be get black mailed on the work to as example destroy the nature.