The future of the Linux desktop and a look back.

Posted: February 9, 2012. At: 11:23 AM. This was 6 years ago. Post ID: 2647

GNU Workspace Manager.
GNU Workspace Manager.

The year of the Linux desktop seems to be getting further and further away, the Linux/UNIX operating system being a super secure alternative to the leaking and insecure Windows operating system. The powers that be want to make all computers an appliance instead of remaining a fully fledged desktop workplace. Sure, the tablet computers are very popular, that is why Canonical have pushed the the Ubuntu Netbook interface as the main interface for the Ubuntu Linux distribution, which resulted in the fall of the Ubuntu distribution on the Distrowatch charts. That is their fault, instead of developing a proper interface for the Ubuntu distribution, or staying with Gnome 2.32.2, they instead decided to use the Ubuntu Netbook interface and create a horrid desktop with the Unity interface that is not uniting Linux users after all, it is driving them away. At least the Linux Mint developers are actually interested in gaining more and more users by outshining the competition with a superior interface. Enlightenment E16 is a far superior interface than the Unity desktop, it has been around for countless years and it always has provided a quality user interface experience that other desktops can not match.

Just create your own desktop if the standard desktop provided with Gnome does not appeal to you. The .xsession file is the place to define your custom desktop, the GDM and LightDM login managers both detect this file and they will offer an option named User defined session, just select this option and the custom desktop will be loaded. The Kubuntu KDE 4.8.0 desktop is the best alternative for a Windows user that is wanting a familiar desktop to use on their computer. I made an error in an older posting of mine, concerning KDE 4.8.0 on Debian Testing, this is not the case, you will have to wait until the release. The Ubuntu distribution is based on Debian, so it really is just a glorified version of Debian experimental with slightly newer packages, but the package management system is the same. I first used Linux with the Red Hat 6.2 distribution, that came on one CDROM, today the Linux distributions like Fedora come on a DVD image. There is a live CDROM available, but I prefer to download the full DVD ISO and install from that. Here is a web page I found with instructions on how to install Red Hat Linux 6.2. these show how old this distribution is.

I found that when I was using the Mandrake Linux 9.2 distribution on my Dell Optiplex G1 that when I was using the integrated ATI graphics chipset, that the Linux drivers got slightly higher refresh rates and resolutions than the drivers shipped with Windows ’98. That is a good result indeed. Mandrake Linux 9.2 was a perfectly good distribution for the time, the Red Hat Linux 9 Gnome desktop seemed to be bloated to me, running it with 192 megabytes of RAM was not fun. Now that I have 2 gigabytes of RAM running a Linux desktop is much easier and faster. I have built a custom kernel on my machine, with the PREEMPT option enabled, a 3.2.5 kernel and it is a little faster to work with on the desktop. I used the make-kpkg command to build a custom kernel image and create two *.deb packages with the kernel source headers and the kernel image ready for installation. That way you can upload the kernel images to the Internet for others to use. I have heard that the Windows 8 operating system will use a different kernel than the Windows 7 operating system. I think that the Windows OS will still suffer from the same security issues that it always has, even though it is more secure than the early versions were.

The need to run software such as Norton security suite and anti-spyware and and anti-virus software is the downside of running such an insecure and virus prone operating system. Redmond have done the computing world a great disservice by continuing to release this software, they never learn. Bill Gates used to be a hobbyist hacker, now he is like Emperor Palpatine. Or the Borg. The Borg Gates icon on Slashdot that represents Bill Gates is right on the money. I have gone Linux only and I am loving it. This website explains the differences between Linux and Windows very well indeed. Well worth a read for any user wanting to use Linux. Linux is not Windows, but it can replace Windows in many cases, serving websites is best done with the Apache HTTP server and not the Windows Server 2008, and IIS combination, that is what I believe, this website is running on Linux and is proud of it too. The Apache web server software is powering countless websites and is quite secure and reliable. With the WordPress software installed, you can have a quick to set up and SEO friendly blog ready to go. That is the strength of the Linux operating system and the open source software that comes with it.

The world would be very different without open source software to power websites and supercomputers around the world. Just the same old proprietary software instead. But what sort of world would it be without the UNIX operating system developed by Bell Labs, would we be running some kind of BeOS styled operating system instead, there is an interesting thread here about this very question. There would have been some kind of Windows operating system. But it would have not included a command line function like the Windows XP, 2000 and Vista operating systems included. The concept of piped output and redirection came from the UNIX command-line interface, without the UNIX systems in existence, and no MINIX that Linus Torvalds would make a free copy of to create Linux. That would be a great shame, the Linux and UNIX operating systems are extremely, powerful and the world would be a horrid place to live as far as information technology evolution is concerned. Would there be no command-line interface, would the Graphical User Interface rule the world, I mean the modern Windows operating system has a command-line Interface hidden underneath the GUI gloss, and it is very useful for using FTP and pinging websites.

Using this command to copy files to one folder to another is faster than using the GUI. Ccp *.jpg ../folder2 that is faster to copy thousands of jpg files to the parent folder than dragging to select the files and then right-click on the files and select copy, then click to the destination folder and select paste.

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