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Discussion on: Is using Linux really productive?

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tnolte profile image
Tim Nolte • Edited

I think what people don't really understand about the stability differences between Windows, macOS, and Linux all have to do with the drivers that have been developed to support those platforms. If you try installing any OS on hardware that it wasn't intended for you are going to have problems. I spent many hours attempting to install Windows 10 on an older MacBook Pro only to be stuck in the end because of the lack of Windows support for the dual video card setup in the MacBook Pro. The macOS works great on Apple hardware, Windows works great on PCs because the OEMs have invested the time to develop solid Windows drivers for their hardware. Unless you are using a machine that the OEMs have invested time in to provide solid support for Linux you are going to have problems.

I run Ubuntu on a Dell XPS 13 that has solid OEM support for the device. Dell & Lenovo sell devices pre-installed with Linux which means they have invested time into supporting that hardware. However, that also doesn't mean that they have invested that time in every hardware combination they produce.

Before choosing Linux as your OS you have to ensure you are picking the right hardware with OEM support. If you purchase a System76 device you are in the realm of Apple because System76 is controlling both the hardware and the Linux distro it's running on.

And as we all know it doesn't matter what OS you are running Microsoft, Apple, etc can still put out bugs that cause their OS to have problems on their own hardware.

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frnco profile image
Fernando Cordeiro

You make a good point but I think it should be added that stuff isn't always so black-and-white.

I use a Dell, didn't come with Linux, still the Dell with the worst Linux support will be 200% easier than something actually hard, such as your experience with the Mac, or, God forbid, my saga to install Linux on a PowerMac G5 (Nobody supports PowerPC anymore, still it runs Gentoo pretty nicely, took me a couple months to make it work though).

It's a trade-off, Ubuntu is especially bad but for most distros, there are many levels of hardships depending on the hardware.

OEM not supporting Linux is not a reason to drop Linux, is just an indication that you may have some degree of troubles masking it work, but it may be actually pretty easy.

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tnolte profile image
Tim Nolte

Well, my point was more about those that struggle with getting a Linux distro working on their machine. And their concern that the time required to get things working was not worth it. If they want it to be easy, and just work, then they can't expect this for a Linux desktop with just any hardware. If they don't want to invest the time to get it working then they need to choose their hardware wisely.

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attilakincsei profile image
attilaKincsei

Couldn't agree more. First, choose your hardware wisely: certification.ubuntu.com/.. I switched to Ubuntu after 20 years of using windows and never looked back. It's true that you have to invest more time in the beginning to operate it, but you get greater control. Plus you'll learn shell scripting on the way, which you'll benefit from when you're code ends up on a Linux server, which will inevitably happen.

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tnolte profile image
Tim Nolte • Edited

The Ubuntu hardware certification list is pretty telling when you look at HP's 12 certified laptops, none of which are certified for 20.04, compared to Dell's 300+ certified laptops, only 5 of which are actually certified for 20.04.

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attilakincsei profile image
attilaKincsei

I guess it is not updated yet. Both Dell and Lenovo go at great lengths to make their laptops Ubuntu ready. I just upgraded to 20.04 on an Inspiron 5000 series laptop and it works like a charm

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tcarrio profile image
Tom

Being able to run 20.04 and actually being certified for it are different things.