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Ryan Westlund
Ryan Westlund

Posted on • Originally published at yujiri.xyz

The Unix world needs to get its shit together.

Hating proprietary OSes is fun and all, but the Unix world has serious problems and we should be embarrassed about the situation if we're trying to persuade people of the benefits of open source and free software. The problem? Everything in the Unix world is broken.

We don't complain about it much because we're used to it, but it's really a shambles. Daily life on Linux, let alone FreeBSD, is full of basic things like sound and X/Wayland not working. I'm sure we've all experienced this. You do a system upgrade and you can't start your desktop. Or you don't do a system upgrade and you can't start your desktop. Programs you install from the distro repository just segfault on start. Your package manager got confused and can't install anything nor fetch the repository; you have to search Google for the command to fix it. All the docs are 5 years out of date and worse than irrelevant. Installing a Unix OS almost never goes how the guide describes. You'll be on the recommended hardware, following step by step and get an error that isn't mentioned in the troubleshooting section. The Live CD's environment features a README file that refers you to commands that don't exist to get your WiFi working.

It might be better with one of those basically-open-source-Windows distros like Ubuntu, but outside of that, even "user-friendly" desktop distributions like Devuan have given me several of the above problems in one day of use.

Unix is a beautiful thing. The idea of a community-developed operating system where everyone can really own their computer is beautiful. But it's all broken, and that's not okay. Windows users don't need to understand their operating system to be able to use it more or less without problems. How can we ask them to switch to an operating system where they'll have to deal with this crap that makes even us turn to support forums?

Discussion (61)

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phantas0s profile image
Matthieu Cneude • Edited

I'm using Arch Linux btw.

I'll sound like a troll here, but I assume. I'm running Arch for 5 years now, and I never had the problems you describe, except having some program, out of the official repositories, just crashing at startup. Only python stuff, because of dependencies.

Don't mix your personal experience with everybody's experience.

That being said, I had the same problems with Ubuntu because it just updates everything every couple of years.

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greenroommate profile image
Haris Secic

Point is that I get Windows on a machine and use it for basic stuff no problems. Really, basic stuff no problems. Development stuff breaks like just couple of minutes ago I realised my upgrade to Spring 2.2.9 works on WSL but not on Windows which is host machine. Uberfunny but hey. I've used many distros on many machines, not 1 did work out of the box and I avoided Arc as I don't want to spend 30 years to install the system. Had Apple fanboys laughing but every meeting Mac guys had problems with either sound (hearing us) or mic or anything so... I really disslike Microsoft and their products especially Azure but in the end of the day I get PC up and running with Windows 10 in about 10min. Again BASIC stuff as I understood OP wants to target more non IT users which can never happen unless things are really simple.

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

I avoided Arc as I don't want to spend 30 years to install the system.

Last time I installed Arch, it took less than 10 minutes if you don't count the download time.

Of course, Windows is going to be the most "compatible" OS as far as accessories goes because those who develop the hardware develop the software for Windows as the major client. If more hardware stuck to the specs, then it'd work better across other platforms.

I don't think your experiences represent most people. There's a vocal community of people who insist that Linux crashes a lot or is difficult to use, but then people say that about anything and everything :)

Also, and I'm going to be picky, buy pitching "unix" as opposed to "proprietary" is going to ruffle feathers. Unix is a complex thing and is at least partly proprietary..

In the end, I don't think it's about getting anyone's shit together. Hardware compatibility especially is a moving target and difficult to hit when the manufacturers are often going as far as taking legal action against people who want to use their preferred OS.

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greenroommate profile image
Haris Secic

Can't agree. Most people that love OSS and Linux will defend it as "your personal experience doesn't matter". We'll I personally know 1 person that does that and rest of us, although using it daily, say it does make problems. No one cares if it's because MS has good connection to hardware makers. At the end of the day if you can't get it to run in couple of minutes it's not worth it. So no, not personal experience but actually experience of most of people around me.

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yujiri8 profile image
Ryan Westlund Author

Also, and I'm going to be picky, buy pitching "unix" as opposed to "proprietary" is going to ruffle feathers. Unix is a complex thing and is at least partly proprietary..

I've been using "Unix" as an umbrella for Linux and BSD. I know Linux isn't technically a derivative of Unix, but... not sure what a better convenience term is.

In the end, I don't think it's about getting anyone's shit together. Hardware compatibility especially is a moving target and difficult to hit when the manufacturers are often going as far as taking legal action against people who want to use their preferred OS.

Hardware compatibility issues are certainly understandable, and I don't blame open-source developers for not supporting hardware by companies going out of their way to make it difficult. But most of the issues I have aren't with hardware compatibility, but with documentation and lack of stability. In fact, my memory is that 5 years ago, when I was new to Linux, hardware compatibility was a huge issue, half of the WiFi cards weren't supported and if you had the wrong one, you were stuck. But either it was never actually that bad or the situation has really improved, cause nowadays I never have issues getting WiFi working on Linux or BSD.

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yujiri8 profile image
Ryan Westlund Author

Fair enough. I'm very surprised to hear one of the "hardcore" distributions going that well. Everyone else saying they haven't had much problems is on Ubuntu.

But if you read the other comments, you'll see I'm far from alone. Here is another dev.to user who has such problems and is wondering if Linux isn't really productive because of it.

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dealloc profile image
Wannes Gennar • Edited

Arch is pretty much a kernel and a package manger at it's core (at a high level overview), so you're basically building a custom system.
Not to mention that the Arch documentation is VERY extensive.

I think some more "mainstream" distro's have those problems because they're designed to work for everyone, while an Arch is build by you, for you.

I'm personally using Manjaro (Arch based, but preconfigured and custom repositories etc) and while I generally have few problems, last week one of my headsets just stopped appearing in the audio log, so that's to be fixed for me

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phantas0s profile image
Matthieu Cneude

I used Windows for 10+ years. When I had a problem in the register, it has to be fixed by me. Little difference for me here between any OS.

That's very true for Arch. I've build my custom system, and I even wrote scripts to just install everything I need. It's here if somebody's curious: github.com/Phantas0s/ArchInstall

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dealloc profile image
Wannes Gennar

Instead of having to curl the script in, you could use mkarchiso to build the ISO which includes your scripts and runs them on boot.

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phantas0s profile image
Matthieu Cneude

That's true, but I don't think one solution is better than the other (or faster)

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dealloc profile image
Wannes Gennar

Simply more convenient ;)

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csgeek profile image
csgeek

There is a LOT in this post to address, and I'll try to respond to what I can.

The crashes/etc post upgrades I've rarely if ever ran into. Especially for Ubuntu based distributions. Usually things do just work.

Device Drivers: Those will always be an issue. Windows has their issues with those as well but they represent a what 90% market share? So every manufacturer will work hard to make drivers available. Linux has on a good day a 2% market share, so yeah nobody cares. It's a wasted effort by most hardware manufacturer so the drivers are all either reverse engineered or someone released specs and the OSS community did the best they can with the unpaid volunteers they have.

Btw, Apple gets around this because they control the hardware and software. It's much easier to have stable drivers when they only support a limited number of devices.

Documentation can vary. I've run into 5 years dated documentation but that's also an issue for anything that's been around for a while. I used to code in java, finding how to do something in spring is incredibly difficult partly because it's been around for 20 years. There are 100 different ways to do things. It's the same for linux. You can get better results by pinning the distro/release.

That being said, the issues I have with BSD and Linux:

BSD:

  • when a service fails, print an error. I hate the echo $? to see if something worked.

Linux:

  • Fragmentation. Ubuntu is the biggest culprit of this. It keeps re-inventing the wheel, realizing that everyone else is doing it differently giving up and refocusing efforts. That happened with Unity and Upstart.
  • Power Management especially with laptops needs work. I always have issues with that. You need way too much work to get those working.

the biggest issue with Linux and its strength is the fact that there are 20 different ways of doing everything.

Do I NEED 20 different package managers and text editors? Probably no. But I love that people are still working on better ways of doing things. I love the nix package manager that's taken a completely unique approach to dependency management.

I love snap and other package managers that are platform neutral.

I think Linux is an amazing platform for a developer that smokes everything else for ease of use. Is it perfect ? hell no. Still i wouldn't run anything else. I find windows crippling for my day to day use. Though you use the tool for the job. If I was working on a windows desktop app.. or an ASP service. I'd be running windows, writing an iphone app? Apple of course... I need to manipulate logs, compile, automate and use a terminal and an IDE, I'd use linux 90% of the time, and a mac as a fallback if I'm on a laptop.

Anyways, just my 2 cents. At the end of the day you use the tool that works for you. If Linux is failing use something else. If windows is your tool. Awesome! Also it's all OSS so we can always improve the Linux experience if you find it lacking... especially as a developer. Just a thought.

--
csgeek

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Matt

I have been running nothing but Linux systems at home for the last 8 or 9 years and haven't had many issues. Sure in the beginning things were rough, but that was mostly due to my own inexperience with the OS and the state of the Linux desktop at the time. For the past 5 years I haven't had any real out of the box issues with the OS.

Sure some of my devices were not fully supported, but were functional enough with the standard OS. I blame most of those issues on the manufactures since they don't port their drivers to Linux. Examples: Logitech extra keys on mouse and keyboard didn't work out of the box. I had to install community packages to get the same functionality that would be on Windows.

Anytime I run in to issues it is most likely related to me screwing around with things and borking the install or my system. I have Manjaro, Ubuntu, and Raspbian.

Sure there are areas for improvement with Linux, but it is not all broken. Things have gotten much better in the past few years and hopefully that trend continues. We just need more manufactures understand that there is a market for Linux and if they supported it more people would use it.

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Jérémie Astor

I install and maintain ubuntu on friends PC for 5 years now and its a no-brainer.
I've been running arch for more that 10 years and would only switch for a no-systemd/pacman-based distro.

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Alain Van Hout

Just curious, but if it's a no-brainer, why are your friends not maintaining their own PCs' OS?

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Jérémie Astor

Good catch :-)
I just sometimes write a few (very simple) scripts to automate their workflow.

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yujiri8 profile image
Ryan Westlund Author

Well yeah, Ubuntu has focused heavily on being easy to set up and get into for new users, and it's paid off. I think it's the main reason for Ubuntu being so popular. I haven't dealt with Ubuntu in a while, but I do have recent experience with Devuan, Void Linux, FreeBSD, TrueOS, and Artix.

I've been running arch for more that 10 years and would only switch for a no-systemd/pacman-based distro.

That makes me wonder - have you heard of Artix? It's no-systemd and pacman-based. It's what I'm using right now, and I quite like it. The only serious issues I'm having are with Wayland (Sway WM).

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fennecdjay profile image
Jérémie Astor

have you heard of Artix?

Only today in this thread 😄
Do you see improvments with wayland? (I'm running X and monsterWM).

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yujiri8 profile image
Ryan Westlund Author

I'm not really qualified to judge the architectural quality of Wayland versus X11, but it has brought some improvements for me: trackpad tapping was disabled (I always wanted to disable it but couldn't find out how in X), and (I think) it's the reason video now plays in 60fps for me.

Most of my enthusiasm for Wayland is just because X11 is ancient, so I tend to assume something trying to replace it deserves to. But after I switched I did a little more research and heard some negative opinion on it. Some people say it doesn't simplify X11 so much as shunts the complexity to other layers of the stack. A Hacker News discussion shows a lot of opinions on it, but it's hard to know who's right without being myself an expert in this stuff.

A big point of criticism people raise is that things like screenshooting and recording aren't part of the protocol (and one of Wayland's selling points is that applications can't do things like see each other's windows or read keyboard input while unfocused, so it's more secure), so each compositor has to make arrangements for features like that. It sounds like it could be a big problem, but other people are saying that's only partially true.

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phantas0s profile image
Matthieu Cneude

Most of my enthusiasm for Wayland is just because X11 is ancient, so I tend to assume something trying to replace it deserves to.

That's interesting. To me, an old software is not necessarily bad. I mean X has definitely some problems (mostly security problems if I understood right), but if it's used for so long, it's maybe because it's pretty stable and modular?

I don't know, just thinking out loud. I tend to have the same thinking about Vim and many CLIs.

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fennecdjay profile image
Jérémie Astor

From testing on my machine, I'd say X uses less ressources (and that was a surprise).

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Tomas Fernandez

I don't know what kind of bad experiences you had in the past. I've been using Linux distributions for work for more than 15 years and never had any major issues. I started on Mandrake, then Red Hat, Debian, and finally Arch Linux. I have to say Linux had always been rock solid for me. I had some issues here and there, but I never had to "reinstall" the OS like I sometimes had to do on Windows.

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Ryan Westlund Author

Impressive. I've never personally those distributions, though I've used related ones (like Artix which is Arch with openRC instead of systemd). I wonder if that's owed to systemd? I don't really see how though since most of my issues haven't been directly related to init systems or services. Or maybe those all just have bigger communities / more maintainers than the OSes I've been using (like Void, Artix, Devuan, and FreeBSD).

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pj profile image
Paul Johnson

I wonder if this is at least in part a hardware thing? I've definitely dealt with my share of Linux BS, but mostly when using random x86 computers. In comparison getting stuff working on a Raspberry Pi 4 with Raspbian was pretty straight forward and I don't remember any random shit breaking.

tbh, if your going to run Linux and you want a smooth experience I suspect you have to do a bit of research on the hardware you want to use or buy from a vendor like system76 or one of Dells supported models.

That said, this is part of what keeps me on Mac.

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yujiri8 profile image
Ryan Westlund Author

Actually, most of my issues haven't been hardware-related. For the last 5 years, I've been exclusively on Intel x86-64 computers with supported graphics cards and wifi. Most of the issues have been things like updates getting messed up by doing the obvious thing and requiring substantial technical knowledge to fix; installation instructions being really unclear or outdated; etc.

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Pavel Morava • Edited

I like Linux, in virtual machines like servers or development environment. But for desktop, no. I tried and failed several times. Desktop is not that important after all. Especially today. I got my HP notebook with Win8, Win10 was for free. After 10 years of usage it works still fine, just added RAM and SSD.

Other installation than in virtual machines kept failing for me. Now I use WSL happily and could not complain. In my opinion, with emerging Android nobody would focus on desktop anymore.

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Tyler V. (he/him)

This comment is going to be a bit long - I've been kicking this around in my head for a few months now - I'm glad someone with Linux experience brought this up so that it doesn't feel like I'm seeing things this way as an outsider to the OS.

I'm not sure why, but recently I've been seeing a few people piping up about "Linux taking over Windows in (some number less than 10) years" or "Linux is going to be the average person's OS in just a few years". I think these statements indicate a failure by the community to acknowledge how rough the onboarding process is.

Maybe Ubuntu and Arch are 90% stable - that's still less stable than the average person will want to deal with. Especially for something that requires moving from something they're familiar with to something new.

If you look at people talking about the messaging app Signal almost every article that talks about the experience moving to the app includes something about how hard/impossible it has been to get others to change so that the privacy features work.

And swapping messaging apps is a much lower barrier than swapping Operating Systems.

Windows users don't need to understand their operating system to be able to use it more or less without problems. How can we ask them to switch to an operating system where they'll have to deal with this crap that makes even us turn to support forums?

The last two lines in particular do a great job of summarizing my experience with Linux as a fairly technical person (at least I'd like to think so). Even trying to use Ubuntu was so much effort that by the time I had it working, I decided I was going to just shell out the money for a new laptop instead of trying to save my old one.

Great write up and analysis!

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Tomas Fernandez

I think the problem is that everyone has a different experience because there isn't any single Linux. Taking aside the great number of distributions, we also have a lot of alternatives for the desktop environment. I switched to KDE from Gnome because it had some stability problems. But KDE has been rock solid.

I have a Windows and a Linux system and I choose the latter for work because I find is more stable and easy to use. Installing programs and updating is easier on Linux than on Windows for me. But I understand that a non-technical user will find the Windows experience more easy and familiar.

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Ryan Westlund Author

Yeah, I haven't used GNOME/KDE recently because I'm too much of a minimalist. My window manager was DWM for most of my time on FreeBSD, and now that I'm running Wayland on Artix, I'm using Sway. My issue with desktop environments is that (and trying DWM was what made me realize this) I never really wanted a "desktop environment" - I just want a window manager, terminal emulator, browser, and whatever other orthogonal apps I need. When I was on XFCE I never used the actual desktop. But the most popular window managers are all full-blown desktop environments.

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tomfern profile image
Tomas Fernandez

Well, if you go the I-want-to-build-my-own-desktop route then you can't really complain it's not stable/streamlined, you're building your own system after all. I enjoyed tinkering around "unortodox" environments such as i3 and dwm, it's great, but in the end I decided it was expending too much time and effort customizing my system instead of getting actual work.

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Martin Häusler • Edited

We have several remote workers in our team at work. For the daily standup, we connect a microphone/speaker via USB to an Ubuntu machine. In 90% of the cases, it doesn't work on the first try, and the fix is always something else. A colleague of mine uses Ubuntu on a laptop with a second monitor, and the lock screen sometimes just keeps showing whatever was on the second monitor before it was locked - talk about privacy and security. When a program goes into an endless loop on multiple cores, Ubuntu just lets it run; even if you can't move the mouse anymore, freezing the entire desktop in the process.

As for first-hand experiences, I'm using a Linux Mint machine at work. In general I'm not unhappy with it, but a kernel update wrecked my sound output once, and the only way to fix it was to set a kernel flag, after a long search of what's going wrong in the first place. I can do this, but I'm pretty sure my grandma can't. Sometimes when I leave the system on the lock screen for a while, it freezes and I can't log back in. 15 pages worth of forum thread, all having the same issue, with no solution in sight. sigh

Linux is fast and easy - when it works. Unfortunately that's not always the case. Mock and hate on windows all you like, there are certain things it just gets right where GnuLinux is miles away. I like both Windows and Linux, and I do hope that Linux will get even better, but the general community consensus I feel is often that it is "good enough as-is". Which it isn't. I'm missing a real drive for improvement on the desktop front in Linux.

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33nano profile image
🇵​​​​​🇰​​​​​🇳​​​​​

What a very pessimistic post, but that's exactly the type of content that sparks civil discourse. Bloat, spyware and restriction are words reserved for MacOS and Windows. The Unix philosophy is a work of art that is truly embodied in all unix distributions, with the exception of those with that daemon called systemd, absolutely hopeless. The process of installing a linux distro is a beauty in of its own, whether you use a gui installer or a cli installer. Using linux distributions allows people to learn, grow, solve problems, you know the things your brain was designed for. Ricing your machine offers granular, efficient control over your system, the very act of ricing is form of catharsis. The only place in this world that has no problems is the cemetery, so dont hold these proprietary operating systems to a higher standard either. Ultimately its a matter of choice. Those who wish to go down the path of growth use Linux distros, while the simple minded sheep stick to Windows and MacOS.

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Lucas Arantes • Edited

I can't totally disagree with that, I've installed Ubuntu on my wife's computer once (maybe nowadays it's better), she used it for a couple weeks and a program that she used before was not starting and not a clue on why, I had to launch the program from the terminal, see the logs and google it.

I ended up finding a command to fix it, but she was very frustrated that she could not fix these problems by herself without using the terminal.

On Windows, she would see a popup with an error message and Google it to fix by clicking on things, on Mac it never happened. On Ubuntu, you see a stack trace if you know where to look.

I can't remember the program neither the solution, but it was something very common, like Skype or Google Chrome.

I don't see a problem with that, but I'm a programmer, I see a stack trace and immediately see the error message and even maybe the reason behind it in the stack trace alone, my first action is to look at the logs too, but she is not computer technical.

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Donovan Hutcheon

I put Xubuntu on my 70 year old mother's laptop because Windows kept getting viruses. Anti-viruses are a joke - just ask the family of that guy McAfee had killed. Microsoft created a whole antivirus industry out of incompetence to button their stuff down.

With Xubuntu my mother has never had any issue. Google docs being in the browser it's basically cutout the need to have Microsoft at all.
Occasionally I have issues with Bluetooth headphones not pairing, but on Windows I've occasionally had Windows restart on me while doing something important.
Windows is better than MacOS though, I give you that. It doesn't come any where close to the developer experience on Linux though.

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alexc957

I installed at least 4 Linux distros, but I found PopOs the most stable and user friendly, I have been using it as my main OS. I could recommend it for new Linux users.

BTW yeah maybe the docs are irrelevant but you can still find information in forums to resolve many of the issues you could encounter with Linux.

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Ryan Westlund Author

Forums do help sometimes, but the results you get from Google are just as likely to be from 2010, or they're from a different distro even if you specify the one you're looking for, or it's people who had seemingly the same problem but found success with a solution that doesn't work for you, etc.

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Mirko Vukušić • Edited

My experiences (and my first distro was Slackware 3) are far from this. Let's forget the old days, last 10 years my PCs are on Linux Mint Cinnamon and lately Arch/Xmonad. I switched all my family and employees (light users) to it and allways lifespan of the laptop was shorter than the lifespan of the first installed distro. Yes, absolute beginners should stick to Ubuntu, Mint and similar. But for anybody a little more experianced there are many equaly stabile distros.
Actually, my only frustration with PCs in last 5 years was installing and configuring Windows gaming PC for my son

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pomfrit123 profile image
***

It's free for a reason :)
I just had problems installing zoom on Ubuntu and now the whole software "store" wont work. And yes sure its a fixable problem, but when I install simple program like zoom I expect it to work from the first try. Im kinda disappointed in Ubuntu, maybe there are better distros..

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Fernando B 🚀 • Edited

A minor correction all Linux distros today have very little to do with Unix. So if you're having issues is most likely with a free open source distribution. Linux became Linux because Unix was a closed source commercial product. So these are two entirely different operating systems no matter how much Linux borrowed from Unix.

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Ryan Westlund Author

I understand the difference between Linux and Unix, but I normally use "Unix" as an unbrella for Linux and BSD, for convenience.

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Ryan Westlund Author

The problem with think-pieces like this is that they are lacking considerate thought. It reads like you got frustrated with something, gave up on an idea, and decided to publicly lash out against an entire ecosystem of software you failed to clearly define or understand, while piling on heaps of exaggeration. Have you tried rebooting your attitude and trying again?

Sure, I did get frustrated - but over many years. This wasn't the result of some single frustrating experience that I got over. My experience with all of Linux and BSD has been this way for all of the 6 years I've been using them.

If anything, this article is an argument for systemd. Yet, I see in one of your comments that you take issue with that solution as well. You ask us to "agree to disagree" on this. I ask you to consider these words on the topic:

It may be true that systemd helps resolve some of these issues. But it isn't true that systemd is needed to solve them; many of the issues I raise are more issues with documentation than with technical architecture. If you want to know why I dislike systemd, I openly admit that I'm not well-qualified to judge technical architecture, and it's mostly because of what I've heard about it from people I trust and respect. I have read pieces like Problems with Systemd and Why I like BSD init (written by someone I know personally) - and note that he admits there are some good things about systemd - and the Suckless.org criticism of it, which links to systemd release notes to prove its claims.

I think you also might think I'm a "freeloading" user, one who uses Linux without ever "doing the work". While I'm not knowledgeable enough or have enough time to do things like write window managers and fix bugs in Xwayland, I do contribute to the FOSS projects I use. I have worked on FreeBSD ports and base system tools, GNU Nano and Micro, a few lesser-known libraries, and once to GTK.

I don't know who needs to read this, but rants like this will come and go. For every person who posts these kinds of sentiments, there are tenfolds more who have persisted beyond the tipping point of the author. This is the real "*nix world", and they do not need to "get their shit together" any more than they need Windows users to migrate while holding onto their wild expectations of how software should behave.

This implies that I reached a "tipping point", but I did not. I am still using Linux and always will. I only reached an understanding that I shouldn't be trying to get Windows users to migrate until the situation is improved.

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Ian Wijma

Personally I don't have often issues with my install. I used to have lots. But as I know what and what not to do. I have less issues with my system.

Personally I give any hassle that I have for the privacy and ease of use over Windows. MacOS is not an option for me because apple.

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leob • Edited

Ubuntu never gave me any serious problems, reliable, flexible, and easy to use, and works with most hardware (it even works on a Mac if you want to!).

What I really love about Linux (in my case, Ubuntu) is its customizability. Don't like the "new" Unity GUI ? Just install gnome-classic and get it over with. Just do anything you want, and not what Apple or Microsoft prescribes!

I say the problem of Linux is fragmentation and endless distro wars, so let's just get off our nerdy "my distro is better than yours" high horse, and declare Ubuntu the de facto standard ... problem solved!

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Pacharapol Withayasakpunt • Edited

I don't hate specifically proprietary OS's, but I hate hardware drivers' lock-in with non-POSIX compliant OS (that is, Windows).

macOS is also Unix, but it only has a specific set of hardware, not allowing custom hardware.

What not make hardware drivers run on VM, or some kind of like Snap that runs on multiple *nix? (And Snap is proprietary.)

The problem here is not proprietariness, but rather incentives. Copylefting might not be the solution.

What I wanted is actually, a big guy, like macOS, but allows a lot of customizability (and no need for Xcode, for non-native devs).

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Mundo

I recall having that kind of problems teying to install linux for the first time, I tjink it was ubuntu 10.10, a friend of my gift me a 08.04 and I discovered Incould order the latest disk for free online.

Anyway, fast forward to now, I have never seen such problems, sjre I formated rhe wrong partition, or deleted the os core package, or edited a config file wrong, but hey, I can olay with that.
Can I play with that on Windows? Have you ever found a oroblem ok windows that requieres to edit the regex?

That is way worse than editing a few text files.
For instance, let's say you misstyped the your "home folder" nsme on windows a.k.a. your user name, you will hace to find every occurences on that wrong name on your regex and rename it, god forbbid you miss a single occurence

Or hey, windows decided to delite your documents folder on an update, things happen right?

No software is bug free, everything you chose has a consequence, have fun.

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Ryan Westlund Author

deleted the os core package

That this is possibly to do by accident is just silly. The bare essentials required to use the OS should not be a package, or at least show some kind of warning when you're about to uninstall them as part of a pacman -Rscn. I wrecked a Void Linux installation doing this because I was removing things I'd installed as dependencies to build things from source that I didn't end up going through with, and apparently I misremembered having installed something that way that turned out to actually be a dependency of the base system. I didn't notice "linux" in the list of 50 things to be removed, and trashed my installation unrecoverably.

On FreeBSD you can't do things like this.

Can I play with that on Windows? Have you ever found a oroblem ok windows that requieres to edit the regex?

No. I've never had a problem like that at all on Windows.

Or hey, windows decided to delite your documents folder on an update, things happen right?

Never heard of that either. Closest thing I've seen is a Windows installation becoming unbootable for seemingly no reason after months of disuse but not tampering with my drives. But then I'm not 100% sure I didn't do something to wreck it, especially since the same happened to my Ubuntu installation at the same time.

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Ryan Westlund Author

I've read some of that on the internet. It was fairly interesting, but my favorite critiques of modern Unix/Linux (and everything else in the software world!) are at harmful.cat-v.org/software.

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According to that link, everything is evil and I should never turn on my computer again :)
Why are Ruby and Python harmful?

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Ryan Westlund Author

Yeah :D That site (and suckless.org, which I think has some of the same people behind it) are a bit unreasonable with their "primitivist" attitude, but some of the critiques are really fun to read, especially the GNOME one. It was also the place that introduced me to the arguments against dynamic linking, and even to Plan 9.

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Seeing that other software beside mine also sucks is giving me comforting feeling lol

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Lex

I'm a GnuLinux user and lover, and Linux isn't broken, is fast stable, and any person can use without problems without technical knowledge, I don't know about your experiences using GnuLinux, but I recommend you to use Xubuntu, you will gonna see that Linux isn't so broken rather is very, very cool😁😉👍✌️

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Ryan Westlund Author

Well I did it say it might be better on a distribution like Ubuntu. But (I know this is a separate argument, and don't want to start it) IMO Ubuntu sacrifices too many of the benefits of Linux/GNU to be worth recommending: regular reboots, bloat, even desktop ads, and of course systemd ( I understand systemd is a hot topic, so we can agree to disagree).

For the record, I think I should also repeat that I still love Linux and BSD both and want to see them gain wider adoption. I'm not hating on them, just saying what I think needs to be improved in order to help them gain adoption.

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Drew Knab

I agree with you to an extent. Running desktop *nix is a hobby. For sure it isn’t for everyone. But, honestly, I haven’t run into many of the issues you describe in a very long time.

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Marcell Cruz

Just use Arch Linux bro! thank me later

I use arch btw, two years without any problems and counting

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Ryan Westlund Author

Switching distributions isn't really an answer. Distributions have a lot of technical differences and there can be good reasons to favor one over the other. Personally I'm using Artix right now, which is basically Arch with OpenRC instead of Systemd.

Especially since I've tried out even distributions that bill themselves as relatively user-friendly and desktop focused and still have these issues. Devuan was the one where I encountered the README referring me to commands that didn't exist (I was able to get it working anyway because I know how to work with wpa_supplicant and dhclient, but part of the reason I tried Devuan was because I was looking for a distribution I could recommend to beginners, and if the setup requires technical knowledge like that, it's off the list).

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Marcell Cruz

You clearly understand a lot more about the subject than me, I just installed arch linux with i3wm and I fine with it, I don't care about upgrades I usually just want to use the thing, maybe you're being too picky or changing too much stuff, I don't know, with great freedom comes great chances of breaking stuff, a lot of junior developers on my team use ubuntu and it's very hard for them to have any problems, usually the windows users have a lot more problems.

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Ivan Pozderac

I only had issues with linux distros when I f-ed up something myself, mostly back in the days when I was linux newbie. My experience is that it just works.

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TJ Holowaychuk

Most Unix APIs are kind of crap, I don't know where this "unix philosophy" stuff came from

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Jim Montgomery

Probably Berkeley TJ, little composable units of discreet behavior, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_philosophy from Ken no less. Not so much crap as unable to rise to the occasion. I'm just today digging through trying an actual supported 64bit arm distribution for my rpi3 and rpi4 to work with deno and support moving forward and when I do apt update etc it fails to work with ipv6 and https. Simply consider Nodejs which you're familiar with and contrast with Deno, or React with LitElement, or whatever else and it's a remarkably consistent pattern.