What needs to change on the Linux desktop.

Posted: April 30, 2012. At: 2:24 PM. This was 5 years ago. Post ID: 3634

The Linux desktop needs a change badly. There is an article and a video here: http://lunduke.com/?p=2953&cpage=1#comment-40465. Talking about what needs to change with the Linux distributions of today to improve the experience for the desktop users. I think that getting rid of the stupid and useless Unity desktop interface and implementing something that is actually usable for everyone and looks more professional as well. That is important in a corporate setting where you need a professional looking desktop and not a stupid looking Macintosh OS ripoff like Unity. Cinnamon on Linux Mint looks better, it is a fork of the Gnome 3 code providing a more Gnome 2 looking desktop for modern Linux distributions. The Gnome Shell desktop can be modified with extensions that provide a bottom panel and many other features. More drivers in the Linux kernel for Wireless devices will also help greatly, the Broadcom chipsets have drivers in the kernel, more are needed so that Ubuntu and Linux Mint will have better support for the WIFI chips integrated into modern laptops. As the users of these devices expect their hardware to work out of the box without too much hassle, having to install firmware should not be necessary for all hardware that is to run the Linux distribution of choice. It is 2012 and things should just work. That is why people purchase Apple Macintosh machines instead of a PC.

It is necessary to overhaul the desktop interface, but the drivers should be working well too. Linux Mint has good driver support for modern hardware, and the DVD ISO comes with many codecs out of the box allowing users to just install and be able to play multimedia content right away. Ubuntu has many codecs available, you just need to type sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras to install the needed codecs and support for Macromedia flash content.That is a distribution that has won many fans worldwide. If you create a distribution with a nice desktop and good drivers and codec support that does not force a locked down tablet interface with limited customisation onto you, then you will gain more patrons. Are you listening Canonical? The Ubuntu distribution has an Android styled application store, with books available for download, but I prefer the Android application store, there are books available and many awesome applications. The Dolphin HD web browser is my choice for web browsing, and the 920 text editor, they both have tabbed interfaces. The 920 text editor even has a proper menu bar and icons for opening files, saving et-cetera. Sometimes it is hard to get the menu bar to appear with some Android applications, having it always visible is much better. I initially thought that the Google Android operating system would be available for PC as it was available for the Asus EEpc for a while, but it turned out to be a mobile phone and tablet operating system instead.

Still better than the slow and annoying Symbian operating system.

2 responses to “What needs to change on the Linux desktop.

Broadcom need to write good drivers to start with. Major manufacturers (nVidia and ATI) need to open source their drivers for inclusion in the mainline kernel. Flash needs to die and the next HTML standard needs true multimedia support, not the watered down indecisive codec commitment that HTML5 received.

Choice in desktop environments is good, it’s like natural selection in software. If Unity is inferior it will eventually fade. There are always alternatives such as XFCE, LXDE, Enlightenment, Ratpoison, Openbox, etc.

Canonical contribute but they do not drive. Ubuntu has served its part in driving adoption of Linux, now the heavy lifting is being left to others. Valve are making Linux a viable gaming platform. Many fundamentals are now stable and Linux is changing from a behind-the-scenes server to a power user cloud platform.

Ubuntu is the reason I switched to Debian Testing. It just suits me perfectly. Some people have had so much trouble with the Nvidia drivers and an open source driver that comes with the kernel would make so much sense. Once the open source drivers are in place, Linux will be a better contender on the desktop.

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