Excellent article about Linux's biggest problem: https://hackaday.com/2019/10/31/linuxs-marketing-problem/
You want to make sure someone NEVER uses Linux? Start by telling them about all the different distros, all the different DEs.
The current Linux ecosystem would confusing af for anyone starting in 2019. I started in 1997, I had a book, 2 Slackware CD-ROMs and that was it. Now we have systems far superior than the proprietary equivalents but also carry around all this nerd shit from the past. This nerd shit is actively pushing people away.
Just look at how Pop!_OS went from "oh it's just an icon theme for Ubuntu" to "OMG, this is the best shit ever" in a matter of months. System76 doesn't only ship computers, they ship complete systems with an OS that has to be usable and appealing. This involves the work of product designers, community managers and the like. For some reason, Canonical always have stayed a touch too nerdy, maybe because they don't sell computers?
@strider If Pop ever has the number of users and shipping devices Ubuntu has, maybe they'll get too nerdy. Turns out being popular means accommodating a wide range of user types. Also, having a long history of those users means change is not as easy as for a very new distro.
@popey Ubuntu is in a trickier space because it's the most popular OS on servers but it also has to ship a desktop version. Even with System76 growing, I believe they would stay focused on desktop only while Ubuntu has to juggle between server space, IoT space and desktop space.
@strider Don't believe all you read in the press about our commitment to the desktop. The desktop isn't a side-project for us. We know millions rely on us for it. It's important to us, just as cloud and IoT is. :)
@popey this is mostly from personal experience, not from what can be read in the press. The Ubuntu desktop team already does an amazing job. System76 takes this desktop experience just a notch higher and for me at least it makes a huge difference.
@strider Be interested to know (candidly) exactly what that special sauce is. I hear people rave about the theme, and that up to date nVidia drivers are easily installed. Also, the pop shop having pulled together applications from a bunch of repos / ppas is appealing to many. What else?
@popey all those points are valid and I admit I'm biased toward an OS that ships my own piece of software whereas getting it into Debian is a journey through hell and back.
One other thing I did appreciate a lot is how the installer doesn't ask you a bunch of question about partitions and file systems and just does the correct thing. Also, the UEFI integration is flawless but maybe that's the case for Ubuntu as well too now. Haven't tested in a while.
@strider Yeah, I'd honestly love to ship your software in the snap store. But it's problematic given our store security policies. I'd love us to re-visit that, but it's hard from a security perspective to have an effectively unconfined application which downloads arbitrary binaries and executes them. We need to re-visit this internally to see what we can do. I want nothing more than to have Lutris front and centre in GNOME Software. I'm hopeful we can get there.
@popey I understand the concerns. I've never been sold on the whole confinement thing. I've been running unconfined software all my life and never felt the need to do otherwise. I just prioritize binary distribution over security because I've ended up I had some piece of software a lot more often than wishing some piece of software was restricted in what it could do on my system.
@strider @popey Hello 🙂 I've recently taken on the role as Director of Engineering for Ubuntu Desktop; a role I would not have considered if I believed (for a moment) that the Ubuntu Desktop was at risk of being deprioritised. Ubuntu Desktop is a profit centre for Canonical 💰 and I intend to increase our market share as a pre-installed OS on tier 1 hardware vendor devices 💪 Something our hardware partners are also asking for.
@Wimpy @popey I didn't mean in any way that the Ubuntu desktop is bad. Pop has a few differences but for the most part both desktops are equally solid. Both represent a fully fledged product that is so much more polished than what is usually available in the Open source world. Really hope to see Ubuntu ship on more devices!
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