Unpopular Opinions

Unpopular opinion:

Linux desktop isn’t ready for the mass adoption

Trust me, I want it to be, but with it being still a niche and the average desktop user expecting everything to work, IMHO, it isn’t ready. I know this is a topic which has been beat to death; however, the idea of it being ready for mass adoption is such a great one, and, also, one that is had by users which have taken on the task to learn Linux.

I also think that the time may be close, but not yet. Not yet. (read as if the character “Juba” from the movie Gladiator were saying it :wink:)

What unpopular opinions do you guys have?


Unpopular opinion:

Debian Stable has lots of bugs and it seems no one trying to speed up fixes.
I personally encountered 4, of which 2 I reported and 2 were already reported for several months.
Sometimes fix is as simple as updating the package (minor version).
At this point, there is no gain in using Debian Stable over Ubuntu 19.10 in terms of stability.


I guess what I really want to ask is… Define ‘ready’! If your of the opinion that it isn’t ready - then what does it need to do in order to be ready??

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I can chime in here. Most of my relatives and friends do not read or speak English.
When they need to use some older PC, I always put Linux on it.
I tried Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Mint Xfce - there are many non-translated strings in basic places, like context menu in a file manager.
Yes, I understand that as a person who speaks 2 languages, I should have taken part in translations.
But I did not, and neither did my English speaking fellows, so we have it here: Linux is not ready.


Let me try it, though not be be taken too serious.

Linux Mint is maybe the most polished Linux distro out there and I am not even using it. :slight_smile:

Gnome 3 is still a resource hog and damn slow even on modern hardware, sorry.

Plasma is still too complicated to grasp but yes, it is lightweight.

OpenSUSE is the slowest distribution I ever tried regardless the desktop environment and I used Leap for a while.

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Installing arch or using arch does not put you in any elite club. You’re just another Linux user.

Distro choice doesnt matter is it windows or MacOS if the answers no and the answer is any Linux distro than that is all that matters.

The year of the Linux desktop won’t ever happen. It is the year of the Linux desktop anytime a user can do everything they need to in Linux and not need windows or MacOS.


Right. Nevertheless, the mere fact that the Linux user is what it is is a grappling point to one way the desktop won’t hit mainstream. Ostensibly, the traditional Linux user may have more leniency to what is acceptable as “working” or “ready.”

To define “ready” is subjective to the user, IMHO. Still, the tough nut to swallow is the fact is that what the “ready” factor is determined by is the grouping of metrics by mainstream acceptance - the operating system which has been “ready” and utilized in most desktop usage. Which is why it is such a difficult term to define in this scenario. The other desktop OSs have had their initial entry into the market (long ago) with a track record longing the bumps in the road. Ours is still an infant when comparing adoption - including mainstream tread; meaning, the trials, tribulations, etc to mature* into a mainstream acceptable product [I use “mature” loosely in refererence to *mainstream* maturity].

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Electron apps are not inherently evil. Fire away.
But seriously–I’ve found many extremely useful Electron apps (Etcher, Mailspring, and Cpod, to name a few), and if using Electron makes it easy to do cross-platform apps, then there will be more native Linux apps. I do wish they wouldn’t use the Chromium engine, but that’s a different discussion.


Anyone who really loves Linux should try to contribute back to the community according to their ability – by first learning as much as possible about the system as they can, then contributing accordingly; even to the extent of learning as many of the nuts and bolts as possible using Linux from Scratch and Beyond Linux from Scratch / Gentoo / Arch (or similar) because that would provide the most in-depth knowledge and opportunities to contribute.

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My opinion is that it’s the wrong question, sort of.

Users don’t care about the operating system, they want to use applications, the rest is just there to support that. There could be no operating system (as the user perceives it), you could turn it on a get a list of programs and nothing else and they’d probably be fine with that, that’s kind of what tablets are after all.

If all the mainstream software companies only made stuff exclusively for Linux tomorrow what do you think would happen? People would go to buy a new laptop and say, okay, and it comes with Linux, right? I need to be able to use blah piece of software.

One can only hope :smiley:


Electron apps are big and sluggish. They ignore system look and feel. I don’t like developing them either.
That being said, I’m glad developers do have electron as an option. Still, when picking application to use, being electron based is noticeable con.


To define “ready” is subjective to the user, IMHO

And that was my exact point! To make such a broad statement as

Linux desktop isn’t ready for the mass adoption

You need to define (or metricize) what you mean by ready…
You also probably need to define mass adoption… because it may mean different things…

Let’s be honest, Windows 95 was not ready for mass adoption (since I was in my 20s and a computer nerd when it came out, I have a valid opinion on this) - to the point that Linux today (elementary, Ubuntu + Flavors [possibly other distros - but these are the ones I’m experienced with]) is much more ready for mass adoption than Microsoft Windows was in 1995 when Windows 95 premiered.

However - Microsoft pushed it on to every platform - to the point where it was used, whether it was ready or not…

Like I said, I feel today’s Linux OS('s) are much more ready for Mass adoption than ever… And I’d bet that if 60% of the Windows users (especially Win8 and back) were to instantly have Linux Mint, or Zorin OS, or any Ubuntu flavor installed ‘magically’ on their computer - and they had the ‘instant’ knowledge of how to do the same stuff on their new OS as they did on their old OS [ie: Launch Web browser, use the office suite, access email, play some music, etc] - they would be very happy with their Linux experience and feel it was ready for them.


I agree, they are sluggish and have their cons. I just think that having Electron as an easy option may lead to more native Linux desktop apps. I prefer non-Electron apps, but not to the point that if an Electron app best suits my needs, I still won’t use it.

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Before continuing, I want to iterate that I believe in what you are saying and that it is valid. Considering all sides of the argument should be honored (while playing a bit of devil’s advocate).

Since we are using “mass adoption” collectively, we can assume it’s interpreted to a working definition. However, the fact is that the Linux desktop has not penetrated the market. If the sense of the word “ready” is all encompassing, the comparison of operating systems introduced to a starved market and introducing Linux desktop into a saturated market are divergent.

The Linux desktop not only has to meet a fundamental “ready” requirement, but has to offer the penetrating factor which sets it apart. And to be clear, this may seem obvious to a lot of us (including myself), but to the market, the Linux desktop needs to adapt.

If we are using speculative assumptions based on a theoretical situation, I want to reiterate that if this were to be the case, then I do not disagree. But to address reality, as much as Windows 7 users (and Windows 8 users for that matter) are still apprehensive to upgrading to the Windows 10 environment, Microsoft is maintaining the offer to a free upgrade to Windows 10 for all users of previous Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users.

With that, they’ve already got the customer in the bag with the original product purchase with an arguably better iteration. Microsoft ends support for Windows 7 in less than a month, and, as we all know, Windows 7 market share does more than hold it’s own, and that’s the most penetrable target audience for Linux desktop based on this situation alone. Without a unified movement, how is it that Linux desktop can penetrate this market?

Thank you for challenging this Unpopular Opinion, as having a network such as this makes it a treat to have intelligent conversations on valuable topics.

That is by design, assuming the bugs you have encountered are not severe.

Stable in Debian is not the same as stable in other distributions. In Debian, stable means that it does not change, not that the packages will work perfectly. The only updates Debian Stable will receive after release are security fixes and severe bugs (see here and here).

Edit: grammar


Thanks for explaining this to me.
Still, I am kinda frustrated that both LXDE and LXQt file managers (pcmanfm and pcmanfm-qt) made it to 10.2 Stable without being able to Compress files via context menu. This is such a basic functionality.

The issue lies within the default GUI - xarchiver and caused by upstream basically saying “I do not care about LTS distros”, but I still think it should have been tested and patched (or even more simple - xarchiver deleted from repos, apt will just choose another one) before release.

I use Debian Testing with Gnome on my main laptop, and so far happy with it (1 minor bug, waiting for package update). The other laptop has LXQt - that is where I had to work around 3 bugs.

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This might be a hot take, especially with the new DL that just release, but Ubuntu Cinnamon is everything that Linux Mint should have been

Just a themed desktop based on Ubuntu. That’s it. That’s all you need and all I want.

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Hey, it’s not Festivus for another 3ish days (Dec. 23), depending on your timezone! I was hoping we could have a grand “Airing of the Grievances” thread then…

Please, everyone, save up your Grievances for 3 days, then Air them! It would be sort of like when Lunduke does his “Linux Sucks” speeches, but we all get to have our say.

My unpopular opinion, BTW, is this: people who repeat the ill-considered platitude “I have nothing to hide”, are effectively saying the following, as far as I’m concerned:

“Being everyone’s bitch has its upsides, you know”.


This actually may be a pretty good idea! If not for this particular reason, but for another content idea for the show.

Perhaps a “Linux wish list for 2020” based on a list such as this?

  • Maybe what we can do as a community to help make them happen

I have no objections for such a wish-list thread, but maybe wait until the Festivus brouhaha has died down before starting such a follow-up thread. :wink:

Maybe Dec 26th or so?