Will The Linux Desktop Ever Become Mainstream?

the-big-linux-question

Most tech-savvy people are aware of the fact, that Linux powers the majority of the servers on the world wide web (The Information and Technology experts use them because they are highly reliable).

However, when it comes to Linux on the desktop, the usage is dismal in comparison to Windows and macOS; it is as though a large percentage of people do not have faith in using Linux as their daily driver.

Now, I cannot blame people for their unwillingness to try out Linux, because most people are comfortable using operating systems that they already know.

At the moment, there are lots of people who do not know what Linux is (And, you cannot inveigle people to utilize what they are unaware of).

More Computers Need To Come Pre-Installed With Linux

If you walk into a store that sells computers, you will quickly come across computers with the following operating systems pre-installed on them:

Store owners would prefer to sell exactly what they know that the majority of people will buy. The last thing that they would want, is people refusing to buy a computer with an operating system that they are unfamiliar with.

The good news is that people can purchase a computer that comes with Linux pre-installed online.

System76 has a line of impressive desktop computers and laptop computers that were created specifically to run Linux (The only problem is that their line of computers is exorbitantly priced).

In spite of the high prices, some Linux enthusiasts do not mind buying a computer from System76, because they know that they are buying a premium product.

Star Labs also sells laptops with the following Linux distributions pre-installed on them:

This company stated that all of the pre-installed operating systems, run flawlessly on their laptop computers.

Station X also has Linux machines that come with Linux pre-installed on them (Simply let them know if you would like your computer to come preloaded with Ubuntu, Arch Linux, etcetera).

People who are based in the United Kingdom are also free to purchase an Entroware desktop computer or laptop computer online with Linux preloaded.

And, people who are a fan of Ubuntu (or its derivatives), can buy a Slimbook laptop computer online.

For the record, there are other brands that sell computers online that come with Linux pre-installed (The people who purchase computers online with Linux pre-installed are a select few; preferably the hardcore Linux enthusiasts).

What we actually need is more brick and mortar stores that sell computers with Linux pre-installed on them (The majority of people that I know would prefer to walk into a store, buy a computer and walk back out).

Also, there is a chance of someone buying a computer with Linux pre-installed on it, after they experienced for their self, the way in which Linux works.

People Will Need Good Reasons To Try Linux

People who have been using Windows or macOS for their computing tasks will need to be provided with good reasons for trying Linux.

Well, without further ado, here are some good reasons to try Linux:

  • It is secure out of the box.
  • It is free.
  • It is open source.
  • It is very customizable.
  • It is less demanding on hardware.
  • It has great community support.
  • It meets the needs of a lot of computer users worldwide.
  • It is easy to use.
  • It is easy to update.

By the way, you can try out Linux on an old computer at home or you can purchase one secondhand for the sole purpose of familiarizing yourself with Linux (If you do not have any of those things, you can boot up your chosen distribution of Linux via a USB flash drive without installing it on your computer).ย 

The good news is that there are many distributions of Linux that you can try (You will eventually come across one that you like).

Many Businesses Will Need To Utilize Linux

Most businesses are known to utilize either Windows or macOS (I cannot blame those businesses because they are entitled to use whichever operating system that they like and Windows and macOS are two popular options).

The chances of stepping into a work environment where Linux is the only operating system being used is rare.

If I were to choose a distribution of Linux for a company, I would go with Debian Stable.

Why?

Because Debian Stable is rock solid.

Back in 2017, NASA made the decision to replace Windows XP with Debian on their laptops on the International Space Station.

NASA claimed that the Debian operating system was more secure and easy to manage.

So, businesses could benefit greatly by utilizing Debian.

It is my opinion, that if it is good enough for NASA, it is good enough for any business.

People Will Need To See Linux Being Advertised On The Mainstream Media

Microsoft and Apple have spent lots of money on their products (And, due to the fact, that they were advertised on the mainstream media, Microsoft and Apple have become household names).

Unfortunately, many of the Linux distributions are unable to spend their money to advertise their operating systems. Many of them rely on donations from people around the world in order for their project to keep running.

However, companies like Canonical and Red Hat Enterprise Linux can advertise their operating systems via the mainstream media.

Why?

Because they both have the financial resources to advertise their products on the mainstream media.

The other Linux distributions will have to rely on being sponsored by some corporation (That is the only way in which I can see them gaining the amount of cash for advertising purposes).

And, everyone knows that an effective advertising campaign helps to get the word out.ย 

People Can Continue To Disseminate Bootable Linux Distros On USB Flash Drives

People have been passing on bootable distributions of Linux on USB flash drives to their friends for years (The Linux community encourages this behaviour because it allows more people to try out Linux).

Now, if the person you intend on giving the bootable Linux USB flash drive to has never tried Linux before, it would be wise to make sure that it is a newbie-friendly distro; something like:

Please note: that it would be unkind to force a friend to accept a bootable Linux USB flash drive if they are not interested in using Linux.

The ethical thing to do is to disseminate those bootable Linux USB flash drives to friends who are willing to give Linux a try.

Final Thoughts

At the rate of which things are going, I do not think that the Linux desktop is going to be mainstream anytime soon.

The good news is that Linux will always have its unique crowd of people โ€” people who want nothing to do with Windows or macOS.

To put it all in a proverbial nutshell, more people could become interested in the Linux desktop if:

  • More computers came with Linux pre-installed on them.
  • People were given a good reason to try Linux.
  • People saw Linux advertised on the mainstream media.
  • People continued to disseminate bootable Linux USB flash drives among their friends.

The Linux desktop is amazing (And, if more people noticed that, it would have a much better chance of going mainstream).

59 thoughts on “Will The Linux Desktop Ever Become Mainstream?

  1. I used Linux Mint for my final 5 years in business, 2 laptops and an android phone, all talking to each other nicely. I had 8 staff in Kathmandu and gave them all laptops with Linux. It took a while, but slowly but surely they discovered the value, especially the freedom from viruses etc that were so prevalent in Nepal at the time.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. ๐Ÿ™‚ Linux Mint is also superb for small businesses.

      And, I am pleased to know that your staff learned that they did not have to worry too much about acquiring computer viruses (All thanks to having a laptop computer with Linux on it).

      Thank you for sharing that with me.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Computers get infected by virae via the www, and when handled incomptentely. Has nothing, I repeat: NOTHING!, to to with Kathmandu or any other physical place they occcupy. That is by definition what we have the internet for, so it won’t matter wherever you connect to the net.

      When the users are stupid and impulsive they catch virae. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Ah but it does have something to do with Kathmandu. I repeat it does! Because so many peoples computers from schools, businesses, ministries as well as personally, you were swimming in a very proximate shark infested environment. Computers were being sold already loaded with viruses, programmes were installed pre contaminated …. I have never seen anything like it, my own laptop was sounding off alarms, alerts hourly!

        Liked by 3 people

    3. “Computers were being sold already loaded with viruses, programmes were installed pre contaminated”

      Oh! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Oh my, ohmyohmy. :/

      I mean this should be the first thing, always. Wipe all software off any computer after aquiring it. Format the hard drive at least three times in a row, an then put a new OS and softwares on it. These were absolutely user errors. Happens everywhere, Kathmandu or not. And you let such blindos work for you?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I even do it with brand new computers, fresh out of the box. Don’t wanna see any Microsoft bloatware on my shiny new machine. Oh well, i do it anyway, since first thing for me is installing Linux. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 3 people

    4. “Now youโ€™re just being arrogant!”

      Hmmm, depends on perspective, don’t you think? I hardly remember school but what I do remember is that our teachers always appeared kinda arrogant. Of course I found them arrogant because they spoke with confidence and always knew whatbthey were talking about. While I knew fukall about shit and was just rebelious. So they could disect all my reasonings with their superior knowledge.

      So were they really arrogant? Or did they just know better and tried to help us avoiding tripping into illogical fallacies?

      I was an IT pro for years, Unix operator, Windows supporter, hardware guru and secretary to our department boss. After I left the company, retired and moved to South Africa, last thing I heard was that he was fired not even a month after I left. Turned out I was doing all his work. :/ So much for my credentials, as one of the very few female IT grunts. Needless to say that was long before the advent of Linux.

      So, before attempting but ultimately failing in a one-liner ad hominem, please try to think of better reasonings as foundation of your point. Going all personal in a purely technical discussion doesn’t help in any way.

      So, again: Viruses and malware aren’t a computer problem, neither one of geographic location, but of the person behind the computer! Thats all.

      BTW, I use ArchLinux. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Calling 8 young women from poor backgrounds who had never had a computer before, learned to use Linux well in a virus infested environment BLINDOS is more than arrogant…. its ignorant! Itโ€™s YOU who got personal, I donโ€™t doubt your technical credentials at all

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I used Linux about 15 years ago or so. My boyfriend at the time was a hardcore Linux geek, so he thought I should run Linux . I don’t remember the name of the distribution he installed for me, but at the time I remember thinking it didn’t seem all that intuitive for a newbie. Then again, I bet a lot has changed in 15 years.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, a lot has changed during that time.

      There are lots of newbie-friendly Linux distributions around (They not only look great, they work well too).

      Thank you for your participation, Ashleyleia.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for your honesty, Jim.

      It is currently mainstream in the sever sector, but not on the desktop.

      Hopefully, the mindset of people would be different in five to ten years’ time into the future.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. “I have heard great things about Linux”

      Heard? Just heard? How about installing Linux Mint on an old lappy and experience it yourself … and then see if you can help making it mainstream … if you’re so inclined. Many Xers, me included, like to live in our very own ivory tower and cut out the stupid mainstream.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Maybe for the same reasons most people won’t switch from Facebook and Google to safer, open-source alternatives – in spite of all the news about privacy violations, malware, spyware and all the rest of it, is the same reason people don’t switch to Linux from other OSes that don’t respect their privacy, cost a zillion and twelve dollars, and are prone to malware. “It’s too much trouble,” or “I’m not a geek,” etc.

    And then if they do join the Linux users community, and really like it, they’ll tell others and then look out: Other Linux users will go after them with stupid comments like, “My Linux distro is better than yours,” or “Yours is a kiddie distro. Be an adult, a ‘real’ Linux user and switch to Gentoo or Arch!”

    Linux is split into a whole buncha “niche” distros, and the one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work so well in Linux with all the different choices of desktop environments, window managers, package managers, etc. I don’t think Linux will ever get much of a share of the desktop before desktops become a thing of the past anyway. It’s all smartphones and tablets now for most people.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. ๐Ÿค” Robin, you have highlighted some valuable points.

      At the moment, there is a lot of fragmentation where the Linux community is concerned.

      In regards to Linux distributions, people should stop belittling other people for using a distribution of Linux that they believe is ridiculously simple to use.

      Why?

      Because if a person is just starting to learn Linux, the best move would be to take baby steps. It would be unwise for a newcomer to Linux to install Arch Linux with the i3 window manager. They are better off using something as simple like Xubuntu or Linux Mint.

      At the moment, professional content creators use desktop computers as well as laptop computers.

      Now, since the future, as you put it is all about smartphones and tablets, maybe, the Linux developers should focus a lot of their attention on creating compatible Linux operating systems that work flawlessly with those electronic devices.

      On a positive note, Purism released their Librem 5 smartphone; which runs PureOS.

      And, for the record, there are some distributions of Linux that work well with tablets.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. That’s absolutely true. And it demonstrates why Linux may never have a big desktop share, too. To me Linux Mint is a bloated, confusing mess, and Xubuntu is much simpler and cleaner! Not to mention faster. Yet you hated it! The differences between people account for all the diversity and choice in desktop Linux.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. Linux is very useful for people learning programming. Two of my children used this for their master level programming degree. But most common people are not even aware of its existence.

    Liked by 7 people

      1. Youโ€™re welcome. I just have bought a Microsoft surface laptop. But when I get time I will follow your advice and install Ubuntu on my old laptop.

        Liked by 5 people

    1. “I just have bought a Microsoft surface laptop.”

      Eventhough it carries the name of the common enemy in its very name?

      “Hold my beer while I go over there and ask that gnarling zombie if we can help …”

      Two cases of Famous Last Words.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Common enemy, enemy of the people and everything that’s good, and the reason for why we can’t have nice things: Microsoft. And with less impact, since mostly US-centric so no-one really cares, Apple.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Thar She Blows! and commented:
    Old topic in Linux circles, but apparently needs to be brought up from time to time. And our friend Renard does it with great care and knowledge. Enjoy his post:

    Liked by 4 people

  6. And, you cannot inveigle people to utilize what they are unaware of

    Debian servers may be “rock solid,” but their desktop has far too many hardware problems to be considered as rock solid, IMHO.

    Inveigling and fragmentation are two more problems that Linux suffers from. Don’t get me wrong, I love Linux, but it is not close to WIN10 (Ubuntu sells ‘Hot Dogs’ in the same Ball Park – that’s as close as it is right now). Heck, Linux can’t even beat a newcomer like Chrome!?!?!

    Software is another problem that Linux suffers from, e.g. where is the Logitech driver/software that would allow a Linux user to โ€œcopy-paste contentโ€ between three computers using one mouse? A simple glance at any Linux Distro’s mouse setting and it becomes obvious why a Linux used mouse can’t even do basic auto scrolling. Still, Linux has overcome a lot of software (& hardware) problems in recent years, and some Distros reflect that improvement in their installations and desktop ease of usage.

    I believe that Ubuntu may be the last shot for the Linux Desktop to ever become “Mainstream.” Over 25 years, and some 600+ Distros with different flavors & DE offerings (adds up to over 2000)…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. ๐Ÿ™‚ Ironically, Chrome OS is a fork of Gentoo.

      I think that the reason Linux is unable to beat Chrome OS is because:

      โ€ข It is readily available on laptop computers.

      โ€ข It is not complicated to use.

      โ€ข Google saw to it that it was well-marketed.

      โ€ข Almost everyone is aware of the existence of Chrome OS.

      Linux is not in a position to compete with Chrome OS at the moment.

      In regards to the Logitech driver/software issue, kernel 5.2 provides additional support for a number of Logitech mice and keyboards.

      And, thank you for voicing your opinion.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. When I was at uni studying computer science all the hard core nerds used Linux but it never got a good representation because of the people that favoured it. It also doesnโ€™t get any time in the schedule so to promote it would require them to change the syllabus. I donโ€™t see this happening as itโ€™s not profitable.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. People generally see free as an inferior product. Most people are not computer literate enough to install Linux. I have had problems giving away for free – Linux computers. Who markets a free product?
    I love using Linux. I think unless Microsoft gets hacked world wide they will be the top players for a long time yet.
    Phones are Linux ( Android) windows never broke that market. Interesting read.

    Liked by 6 people

  9. In reply to
    In regards to Linux distributions, people should stop belittling other people for using a distribution of Linux that they believe is ridiculously simple to use.

    I pinned this post to the top of my blog as a rebuke to “Linux snobs” (which I admit I came close to becoming for a bit) and because I think it speaks for most ordinary mortals who use desktop Linux:

    https://technophobeconfessions.wordpress.com/2017/06/05/ready-for-what-exactly/

    Liked by 3 people

  10. A truly fascinating feed! I’ve been curious about Linux for a decade or so, simply because I’ve grown tired of the windows interface. And when you say Linux is so customizable, it looks juicy! Also that you can boot it up off a flash drive fills me with questions: Does this float over top of windows, or negate it altogether? Can I revert to windows if confused or uncomfortable with the result? If it’s free, why isn’t it in my mail program? LOL! I’d like to investigate this further… See the can of worms you’ve opened? Thanx for this :o)

    Liked by 5 people

    1. ๐Ÿ™‚ The bootable Linux flash drive does not affect or erase your current operating system unless you choose to wipe it and replace it with Linux.

      It simply works with your computer’s RAM when it is running in “Live” mode.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. “Calling 8 young women from poor backgrounds who had never had a computer before, learned to use Linux well in a virus infested environment BLINDOS is more than arrogantโ€ฆ. its ignorant!”
    No. Just no. Ignorant is to have these 8 young women working on computers, without giving them a thorough Do and Don’t Do-list, and cleaning their computers before handing them over.

    “Itโ€™s YOU who got personal”
    No, not at all. I didn’t know there were 8 poor young girls in your employ, ergo I wasn’t talking about them personally. I was talking about the general mindset of underprivileged, undereducated people. That’s hardly personal.
    I’m thinking grand. When I insult, I insult whole nations and countries and don’t waste my time with single persons. =^.^=

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No, But it’s the only way to answer, and this was a stone on my chest, that needed a response. Same as with my blog; no matter if anyone reads it, I said it, it’s out there. Dr. B or any other reader can do with it as they please. I’m a bit OCD in so far as I’m always looking for closure. Couldn’t live with myself hadn’t I responded.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. “when I get time I will follow your advice and install Ubuntu on my old laptop.”
    You could have downoaded and installed it in the time it took you to comment here, Sadje. Installing a Linux distro on your hardware isn’t a project, it’s merely a half-hour operation … at most. And please, don’t do the Ubuntu thing, it’s not for n00bs. Ubuntu is clunky, hard to grasp, slow and bloated with that new anti-humane Gnome3 desktop.
    Go with LinuxMint + Cinnamon desktop. It’s the best choice for beginners right now.

    Like

Comments are closed.

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: