DEV Community


Discussion on: Why is Linux Not More Popular on the Desktop?

thomasjunkos profile image
Thomas Junkツ • Edited

Perhaps you could contrast your question with another question: why is linux on the server so successful? Viewed from that perspective every reason why linux doesn't work on the desktop seems like a shallow excuse.

Take for example fragmentation: Hell we have servers running on Ubuntu, Debian, Redhat, suse etc. seems no problem here.

The point is: Linux filled on the server side the need of having an alternative operating system which was cheap and tuneable.

The same goes for android.

But do we have the same need for the desktop?


And that for two reasons:
1) Your consumer product comes with a desktop operating system pre-installed. You e. g. gain no monetary advantage if you choose Ubuntu over Windows. So it's more of an ideological choice.

2) Desktop - or should I say - stationary computing is on the decline. Aside: I am writing this with my tablet lying on the sofa.

So my expectations are, that there will be no alternative desktop operating system an the near future.

@ben Halpern
As much as I would like to see a more "grass roots" type of OS,I am well aware that the main part of the success story of linux incorporates names like Redhat, IBM etc. (even ironically Microsoft is nowadays a big contributor) so that I see that that is not going to happen any time soon.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

All good points

rhymes profile image

I wonder if Google Fuchsia will amount to anything in the future...

link2twenty profile image
Andrew Bone • Edited

Fuchsia is a whole new start, and not Linux based. If Google wanted to flex their hardware muscle we could see any of Fuchsia's layers on any number of devices from the Home product line, future would be "chrome" books or Android devices.

I like the layers idea a lot, it means you can pick as much of the core OS as you want and then build on top of it, hopefully, circumventing the traditional fragmentation issues associated with custom Android builds.

I just noticed the Wikipedia article doesn't mention the layers here's 9to5google's take on it

Thread Thread
thomasjunkos profile image
Thomas Junkツ • Edited

I am not seeing how Fuchsia is an improvement in terms of the shattered ecosystem Google produces. Reading sentences like

Most[?] phone makers customize the Android user experience to differentiate themselves from the competition, instead of using Google’s default aesthetic. The ability to replace a layer further shows that Google is learning from their experience with Android. They’re making it easier for vendors to use their customizations to the UI without affecting the rest of the system. Samsung, for example, can replace stock Topaz with a TouchWiz themed version

make me sick: If phone makers are able to mix and match everything up to their pleasure, they are just going to do that. Not only comes your next phone with preinstalled crap, it is higly incompatible the rest of the "Fuchsia"-ecosystem.

Coming up next:

App developer's hell

»Your App doesn't work on the recent Fuchsia 1.32.3-HUAWEI-t-mobileEDITION«.

From a consumer's perspective are they doing unwanted marketing for iPhones. Until now, I was not willing to buy wholly into Apple's ecosystem; but dropping Android and coming up with that mixed bag will help.

Thread Thread
link2twenty profile image
Andrew Bone

Think of Fuchsia as a set of building blocks.

|  UI-layer |
| app-layer |
| low-layer |
|  Kernal   |

They have to always be in that order. If you want to replace the app-layer you'd also have to replace the UI-layer.

Companies like Samsung want to look distinct but don't want to put in all the effort of making an app-layer. In Android they replace parts of the code with their new UI meaning at update time we have a stream.

Google engineers -> Samsung engineers -> End user

But with this new way of doing things we have 2 unrelated update streams.

Google engineers (`app-layer`) -> End users
Samsung engineers (`UI-layer`) -> End users

It might not end up being that smooth, but I'm an optimist 😉

Thread Thread
thomasjunkos profile image
Thomas Junkツ

You are missing my point:

Samsung ist going to pee as early in the stream as possible - the same goes for your phone providers in case you are buying a branded phone. You as the customer get only dirt all the way down.