• The state of Linux in 2022

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    LINUX By Sandra Henry-Stocker Linux continues to play a major role in a number of market segments, from everyday embedded devices to supercomputers. W
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    • #2473264

      Always refreshing to read your Linux articles in the newsletter Sandra, Thank you.

      Just a tiny/ big? thing..paranoia levels disregarded of course..,the commercial and closed-source option supplied on devices is still worthy of a mention especially in regards to homeuser ease of use, security and simplicity.

      ChromeOS on Chromebooks is also a linux based OS that can run containerised android apps which appeals to many android smartphone users over alternative commercial options outwith the subject of the thread.

      No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT- AE
      • #2473490

        Ease of use has always been trumpeted by Linux naysayers as a reason to avoid Linux. That was before Mint and Zorin, among others. Today you don’t really have to go into the Command Line to use Linux. Certainly not to install and set it up. Your most common apps are right there, straight off the install. And updating is a Tray Application.

        That said, most Windows users would have easier to manage and more stable desktop environments if they would occasionally venture into the Windows Command Line (or Powershell).

        -- rc primak

    • #2473487

      You missed a recently forked branch of Ubuntu. Ubuntu-Unity has revived the Unity Desktop Environment. This has the benefts of allowing desktop icons and shortcuts without a Gnome Shell Extension, the old Unity sidebar launcher (preferred by many Ubuntu users) and easier creation of application launchers. All of this from a young fellow in India who is today 12 years old!!

      12-Year-Old Developer Brings Ubuntu’s Unity Desktop Back to Life

      Linux Mint is favored by some folks because of its renouncing of Canonical’s Snaps walled garden. RedHat’s Flatpak system works perfectly well in Mint. Both systems use apps which the end user has very little choice in configuring or modifying.

      Even on my Chromebook, I have installed alongside ChromeOS, XUbuntu with a few modifications, to use when being Web Centric just isn’t my thing. This is a true dual-boot, using the Gallium OS and MrChromebox scripts, but substituting XUbuntu 22,04 for Gallium OS, which has stalled in its development and currently is based on the deprecated Ubuntu 18.04 version. As I say, post-install, XUbuntu needed several modifications, for keyboard layout and internal device support, among other tweaks. Sound is still only available through the USB-C port, with a DAC used to allow analog output.

      It seems to me that Linux vs. the closed-source OSes is a bit like Quantum Physics vs. Newtonian Physics. For everyday life at our scale of existence, Newtonian mechanics is just fine. But for the very small world and for the very large Universe, quantum physics is needed to explain what is going on. Similarly, today’s Linux is mostly used in very small embedded environments (Does Tesla use Linux?) and very large supercomputers and Internet and Cloud servers. Enterprise and educational desktops sometimes also use Linux, and Chrome OS (a distro of Linux totally owned by Google) is used by many K-8 schools. Of course, Android is another Google-owned Linux distro, and it is used in 70% of the world’s smart phones, not to mention many Smart TVs. IoT smart hubs and devices also have a heavy Linux presence. As do routers and modems. And lots of medical and scientific equipment.

      A lot of invisible and low-visibility use cases, but taken together, Linux is really running the world in which we live today. Only Microsoft’s Azure seems to be an outlier, not using Linux for everything it does.

      I do worry about the hegemony between IBM and RedHat, and to some extent, the relationship between Microsoft and Canonical, makers of mainstream Ubuntu Linux. Things are getting too cozy there for my comfort. Fortunately, the GNU Public License insures that we can develop forks when our favorite distros get too heavily controlled by forces we oppose. Including the Gnome Foundation with mainstream Ubuntu and other Debian distros. That’s where Ubunntu-Unity came from.

      The “nonproprietary code” debate for Linux has implications for hardware support. Increasingly, hardware drivers have nonfree code in them. Excluding this code just because it isn’t GPL or simlilar open-source licensed has crippled recent Linux kernel updates. Those distros which eschew such nonfree code are shooting Linux in the foot or worse. Outside the kernel drivers are the present and future for Linux anyway, but excluding even these drivers will limit the usefulness of a “pure” Linux distro.

      Linux success cannnot be measured in dollars or other currency. The money has never been what Linux is about. Market Share is thus difficult to asses with Linux. So is installed user base, as freely distributed software is often shared outside of official download channels. There may be a lot more desktop Linux out there than is reported!

      -- rc primak

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