Linux is evolving into a great desktop option. The future is bright if free software is allowed to prosper.

Posted: December 3, 2013. At: 9:34 PM. This was 4 years ago. Post ID: 6646

Why desktop Linux is getting better and better all the time.

The Linux desktop has evolved so far from the olden days of computing; the days of Gnome 1.0 and Red Hat Linux 6.2 are gone, but we have Ubuntu 14.04 and Linux Mint 16 Petra that are powering modern computers. Red Hat Linux 6.2 was the first Linux distribution that I was exposed to in the early days. I loved using it. There is an i386 ISO image of Red Hat Linux 6.2 if you want to have a look at this Linux distribution for yourself in Virtualbox. The first Ubuntu released was 4.10 Warty Warthog. This was the first official desktop release of Ubuntu for general desktop use. This may be downloaded for use if you wish. The Ubuntu desktop used in 8.10 was the Gnome 2.24 desktop environment. This used the classic two panels, one on top and one on the bottom. I loved using this Linux distribution. In the old days Windows `95 and `98 were very bad and a Linux desktop was quite a contrast to the virus and crash prone operating systems that Redmond WA put out. Windows 8.1 is out now and it still has annoying crashes. So nothing has really changed there. I noticed when watching the movie Elysium that when the main computer re-booted, it was using IDE hard drives.

Would a computer in the future really be using IDE? I use all SATA II hard drives. And Solid State Drives are becoming more and more popular. But the mainframe was running a UNIX based operating system, much like the computers in TRON Legacy. They ran a UNIX Solaris based OS. They were using a UNIX kernel to create a proprietary operating system. But I would love a copy of the OS if it really existed. Linux came about due to the existence of UNIX, which was a proprietary operating system and Linus Benidict Torvalds wanted to create a free alternative. Here is the famous newsgroups posting in comp.os.minix that started the whole Linux thing off. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/comp.os.minix/4995SivOl9o/GwqLJlPSlCEJ. This is the most famous newsgroups posting and shows what a hobbyist programmer can create if they have the time and dedication to create a free alternative to a paid product. The old TurboLinux distribution was another one that I used to use as a recovery disk. It had cfdisk on it that I could use to partition disk drives. That was(is) a good program. Standard Linux fdisk is not very intuitive when using it as a partitioning tool. The modern Linux desktops are quite different from the older Gnome 2.28 desktop. I made a custom desktop with Windowmaker and Tint2. That is perfect for me when I am using a dual or single monitor system.

But Cinnamon and Gnome 3 have their fans. I am using the Unity desktop on Ubuntu 14.04 frequently. I have no problems with it at all. As log as the Modern UI from Windows 8 does not show up on Linux, I do not think that we need that. Someone will make it eventually, but I am not interested in Metro for Linux. A better and faster windowing system for Linux is a better wish for the desktop. If we could speed up the display of windows and create a better backend to the rendering of windows, that would make Linux even better. That is what Wayland is trying to achieve, but I have not been able to have a look at that yet. If we had proper open-source drivers for all NVidia and ATI hardware, this would make setting up a Linux system much easier. But we have to install the fglrx drivers instead. In the future this should be alleviated. On the topic of the Elysium movie, there is a posting that shows all of the shell action and UNIX commands that are used in this film. This is becoming quite a habit in Hollywood. Using realistic “hacking” scenes in modern movies. More realistic than the old Angelina Jolie movie “Hackers”. This might get more people interested in Linux and open-source software.

There is usage of the Nmap port scanning tool as well as scp. This helps make the command line look very cool indeed. Modern command-line shells do not have dialogs that pop up when a command is successful, but the rest of the command-line scenes are very cool looking.

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