I know that this topic has been discussed all over the internet for a few years now, especially since ubuntu became that popular. There are a lot of great comments and thoughts out there on what linux is and what it isnt, and especially on what it tries to be. But some weeks ago I got a comment on my post “setting up a bridged network for virtualbox on ubuntu linux” which I can’t leave uncommented:
Appreciate the effort and answers but ….
this is exactly the type of thing that will keep linux/ubuntu from ever achieving a significant portion of the mqarket. As long as users have to spend a day searching and patching every application that was not built into the OS distribution then the OS will never make it to the mainstream and it will remain in the realm of hakers, nerds and others that have more time than money.
First of all I am a little bit offended by that. I actually have loads of money and no time at all, if I do something with my linux boxes, then because I choose to do so (some people might call that a hobby). I only have the time to write this comment, since I’m home sick and can’t go to work. And second of all: The Commenter is just so plain wrong, that I can’t say nothing to it (it’s definitely a duty call)! He may be right in one thing though: gnu/linux (any of its various distributions) will never achieve a significant portion of the market. (But hey: who knows!?) But the question here is: who said linux ever wanted to do such a thing. As far as I remember no one ever claimed that portion for linux! Why is that? Well, this is an easy one: nobody is even able to claim a significant portion of the market, because linux itsself leaves you the freedom of choice, so linux will certainly claim for nothing (eventhough it could for a lot!). It’s as simple as that: Take it or leave it!
The one thing people still don’t understand is that linux won’t replace windows, it’s an alternative! The magic about it, is that it does what you want it to do and becomes what you want it to become. There are just so many scenarios in which a running gnu/linux does just plain different things. And the most important things about gnu/linux are the evaluation it takes, the freedom it spreads and the people behind it. But it won’t just replace windows! It’s different. I won’t count the various advantages of linux and disadvantages of windows (in my point of view, for the gamer it’s quite the opposite), but as the author of the comment above pointed out: if all “hackers” and “nerds” are using it, it’s gotta have something. I know there are various scopes with various arguments for and against an operating system, so there is no universal answere. Also there is still a lot left to say, but I’m sick and tired of everyone comparing linux to windows and other systems. The discussion is old and boring. Besides: there is no need for any kind of discussion. Any user, if it’s windows, mac, *nix or whatsoever doesn’t need to justify his choice of OS, because it’s his choice, and not a one someone else should make for him!
Decide for yourself, but never complain about what linux is and what it isn’t, because in the end it’s just what you want it to be!