Linux Sucks! Video from LinuxFest NW

Video and slides for my “Linux Sucks” presentation at Linux Fest Northwest are now available!

Chris whipped together the video, which you can see here:

And here are the super fancy slides in OpenOffice format.

Oh, and you can check out a highlight video from Linux Fest Northwest (which has a few “on the spot” interviews with the good folks there) over at

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169 Responses to “Linux Sucks! Video from LinuxFest NW”

  1. LinuxFest Northwest Video Coverage | Jupiter Broadcasting says:

    […] Find Bryan’s Slides Here […]

  2. Michael says:

    Don’t have time to watch the video, but nice slides. It’s always refreshing to see someone “stirring the calm waters” a little.

  3. Johnny bonelessmonkey says:

    Excellent presentation Bryan.
    So glad to see some pragmatism seeping into the Linux community.

  4. Christopher Fikes says:

    Fantastic presentation. You hit the nail on the head.

  5. Jeff says:

    Not a bad presentation, Bryan. There are some things I want to comment on, but some have been brought up in the Jupiter Broadcasting forum, and others… I’m waiting until I read the slides. I get the feeling you glossed over or ignored some things that you meant to talk about (what with the technical difficulties), but it’s too late for me to want to sift through them right now (2:30 a.m. out here).

    Anyways, I just want to say one thing: I want to punch every Linux user in the face who bitches about RPM. Developers can say whatever they want – I’m sure it has special needs that .deb’s, .ebuild’s, tarballs, and whatever else don’t have. That’s not the point. The point is, in this day and age, no desktop user actually uses RPM. If a desktop linux user bitches about RPM, I demand the next sentence out of their mouth be about how friggin’ awesome dpkg is. Not apt-get, not synaptic, but dpkg (bonus points if they sing praises about “./configure && make && sudo make install” instead). If they don’t do that, I want to punch them in the face.

  6. Nathan R. Hale says:

    Good presentation…it provides a lot of food for thought! I’m not completely sold on the idea that commercial intervention is required for the continued success of the Linux desktop (although I will concede that commercial activity is almost certainly necessary for the commercial success of the OS).

    That being said, I agree that it is important that we explore various ways for developers to make a living on Linux…although I think in the end it’s more likely that Linux developers will be funded by hardware vendors seeking to include Linux with their product rather than the general software consumer market.

    Speaking of commercial viability, any news on your own experiments via Radical Codex for Linux?

  7. Johan says:

    Great talk Bryan. However I have to say, RPM doesn’t suck. Not as a format, or a package manager. I’ve had far more deb hells than rpm hells the last few years. But I guess it’s considered cool to think rpm sucks. This isn’t directed at you personally, but all the people who think rpm is so shit it’s unusable. That’s just silly.

  8. Barius says:

    Clearly the author doesn’t understand how Free Software works and would like to shoot the golden goose.

    Free Software does not suffer a lack of focus. Anyone that thinks it does is just as ignorant as the author. What Free Software lacks is a locked-in market. Apple was in the same boat as Linux until they locked in a large market through their iPod success. Do I even need to mention Microsoft and it’s products?

    Consider these points:

    – How many new closed-source projects are created for the Windows platform each year? (very, very many)
    – How many of those live long enough to become financially self-supporting? (very, very few)

    – How many new open-source projects are created for/compatible-with the Windows platform each year? (several)
    – How many of those live long enough to become financially stable? (in relative terms, not any fewer than for closed-source. For those of you that can’t think of any examples: Firefox, PHP, Apache, and those are just the big well known names)

    – If there were a successful Linux Desktop, would there be more successful Free Software applications? (perhaps, but only because other closed source vendors haven’t already stepped in to fill that space)

    Clearly, the issue is not of quality or focus but of how to lock in a market when your source is freely available. This is why a commercial Linux Desktop has been so elusive.

    Fortunately, the solution is not so complex as to be impossible. The likes of Red Hat and Novell have found solutions in their respective markets. These companies are able to lock in business clients through the delivery of unique and valuable services mostly centering around two things:
    1 – Installation and servicing (i.e. support contracts).
    2 – Feature development and/or client-specific development.

    Unfortunately, these services are not valuable to the Desktop market because the average home user does not have the same critical needs as a business.

    Canonical/Ubuntu is doing well (in the sense that their userbase is growing) largely because they are applying the same principles, but in a way that is relevant for the Desktop. For example, Canonical isn’t telling the developers of KDE to stop working on new frameworks and to just join the Gnome crowd (how rude!) but rather, they have simply chosen a set of best-of-breed packages and in some cases invested to integrate them seamless and in other cases invested directly to improve the package itself. The Ubuntu community and new users alike recognize the value that Canonical adds in each new release and this keeps them coming back.

    With this strategy, Canonical may soon crack that elusive problem of lock in on the Desktop. As I see it, they are essentially trying to replicate the success that led to MS’s dominance of that market: they want to convince OEMs to pre-install. Pre-installation is a form of user-lockin in the desktop market. Once it’s on there, someone needs to support it and who better than the source?

    The issue then is how Canonical will direct their income to further development of the various library packages that make up their distribution. Will there be enough money to spend on things like better audio frameworks while also spending money on better interfaces and graphics? With a large enough audience, yes, but the road to getting there will be long and difficult. In the mean time, Mr. Shuttleworth is burning through cash like there’s no tomorrow and all I can say, as an Ubuntu user, is THANKS (also, I bought some merchandise ;)

    In conclusion, the problem is not that there are too many implementations of anything. More implementations is always BETTER (any one implementation will never be focused on by more than a small group of dedicated developers anyways, so more implementations actually creates a greater demand for such developers and increases the overall developer-knowledge in that discipline!). The underlying problem is the same one that all software packages face (open or closed) and that is ‘how do we get people paying for our product’?

    The solution for closed source is in the name (no money, no product…unless you like to pirate). The solution for open source has always been more complex, but it is not any less successful than closed source and the added value to users will inevitably make it the long-term winner. (sure, this is an opinion, but Steve Ballmer wouldn’t be sweating it if he didn’t agree with me ;)

  9. Barius says:

    Just a quick follow up (I wrote all that too fast)…

    Where I said “With this strategy, Canonical may soon crack that elusive problem of lock in on the Desktop.” should be clarified to mean that, by investing heavily in improving their product Canonical is gaining enough market and mind share to convince OEMs to pre-install. With OEMs pre-installing, the users that purchase from those OEMs will be contributing to Canonical’s bottom line through the support contracts bundled with the OEM product.

    Pre-installation is the key to a successful Linux Desktop, there is no doubt about it. When that happens, all this sillyness about ‘too many audio frameworks’ will suddenly disappear as the only framework that will matter in the commercial sphere will be whatever is included with Ubuntu. This will not mean that other frameworks will not exist or find success, but that the author’s sought-after standardization will appear of it’s own accord without forcing some kind of conformity on a community that thrives on diversity.

  10. mike says:

    thank you! i have been saying this for years linux is garbage it’s trash it is worthless and windows 3.1 is better than linux

    it’s complete shit

  11. Chantelle Tibbs says:

    Lol, “You see…that SUCKS!” Love it!

  12. lowell says:

    Um, I want to see the slides but I can’t open them in either Keynote ’09 or Powerpoint for Mac. I’m not a big fan of OOo, anyone care to recommend anything as a viewer, or am I excluded because I happen to not like the available FOSS presentation solution? :)

  13. Paulius says:

    I tried Linux more then 10 times and all the time I there was a problem with hardware and drivers.

    I just can’t understand why Linux people does not set standards for hardware or why they don’t sell they own computers that just works out of the box. Money from the profit could be used for research to improve the product.

    I wish they would think less about what to fix but more about how to make Linux to work at least on one computer.

  14. dmead says:

    you’ve never head of ardour?

  15. mfccmf says:

    how do you spell that distro that Stallman uses? wana check it out.

  16. Stephen Eilert says:

    The multi-monitor lady is ridiculous, utterly ridiculous.

    When was the last time she upgraded the Windows kernel? Or the OS-X kernel for that matter?

    And then complains she’s got to rerun the nvidia installer. Well, go figure! That’s exactly what’s required when you change the kernel.

    If she used a distro like Ubuntu, which keeps the Linux kernel and the proprietary drivers in sync, she wouldn’t have problems, as the package manager handles everything.

    You do stuff manually, you fix stuff manually.

  17. Jason says:

    Good Presentation. You hit upon a lot if things that I had noticed about linux recently. Ubuntu has a nice desktop experience right out of the box, yet I’ve been used to previous versions where I have to install the graphics driver manually and configure xorg.conf every time there is a new distribution. Ubuntu 9.04 threw me for a loop, since I was used to having to do this, then I finally noticed that I was able to install the compiz manager and configure the 3D effects right off. Good for ubuntu, but it speaks volumes about what we have come to expect as Linux users.
    We expect to have to hack this thing until it is working properly for us. Not good for the average user.

    You also brought up the point that there is not enough practical software such as Photoshop, or good audio and video editors like Pro Tools or Adobe Premiere or even a reasonably good cheap tool for average users.

    I’m not a developer (though I almost went down that path), but I have to agree that there seems to be a need for a new set of standards if we’re ever to see the Linux Desktop take off to the level of being a truly reasonable alternative to Windows or Mac OS

    Good presentation.


  18. JD says:

    Pacman in Arch Linux ftw.

  19. Mike says:


    “Free Software does not suffer a lack of focus. Anyone that thinks it does is just as ignorant as the author. What Free Software lacks is a locked-in market. Apple was in the same boat as Linux until they locked in a large market through their iPod success. Do I even need to mention Microsoft and it’s products?”

    You don’t argue a point successfully by turning around and changing the focus of the argument. Free Software most assuredly *does* lack focus. That’s both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because unlike a proprietary environment, Free Software folks scratch whatever itch bothers them – there’s no restrictions on what you can and cannot code. No marketing department to tell you which features to work on, etc.

    That said, there’s precious little direction – it’s like a herd of cats on amphetamines. Every programmer is running to scratch their own little itch. The result? No standard usability guidelines. Each app has its own dogs breakfast of a UI. Projects like Gnome and KDE grab UI elements from other operating systems and toss them into one big batch – hoping that somehow a coherent user experience will gel out of the mix.

    I love Linux and the Free Software community. But both need to get their acts together. There’s a reason that Linux, over 12 years after I started using it, is still *not* on the majority of desktops around the world. Stop playing the Microsoft/proprietary OS card and own up to your faults.

  20. Jeff says:

    Linux is rapidly approaching a paradoxical state, in which standardization will be forced upon a group that thrives on openness and more importantly, freedom of choice. When that happens, I expect to see the dominant distribution (Ubuntu) become the standard, and the others to splinter off into some “purer” form of Linux.

    There are some in the Linux community, who would rather have Linux never become widespread, and who are very vocal about that opinion. We must move on, past these critics to take on our real competition.

    Linux will never achieve widespread desktop penetration without dealing with the issues that Bryan has raised.

  21. Chris Cox says:

    Wow. I’m surprised so many liked this slanted and JUST WRONG presentation. It’s anti-FOSS, anti-Linux, well.. and pretty much anti-Freedom all around. F-

    If this is what the Ubuntu community is… leave me out. I can get this kind of garbage from Redmond.

  22. Chris A says:

    What really sucks is the constant ad pop-ups during the video.

  23. Clint Brothers says:

    @ Paulius > Asus eeepc, Acer aspire one, Everex, Dell mini, Dell inspiron 1420n, HP mini. All of these are computers that just work with linux pre-installed

  24. Mat says:

    Please learn to film a presentation. If the presenter is just talking and not using gestures I don’t need to have him fill 90% of the frame. If the Audience is not clapping cheering or doing anything interesting, don’t show them. Someone asking a question, show them for the 30 sec it takes to ask the question.

    Beginning of the video had the perfect set up for the filming of the presentation.

    Mic the presenter, people in the audience laughing is way to loud.

  25. Muammar says:

    I don’t agree with your talk. You are spreading bad information here. I think one of the best things about Linux is its diversity. You talked about package managers. You said they were “shit” (literally), and let me tell you that I haven’t seen a more shitty thing in my life that the way in which an application is installed either in Windows or Mac OS X. I think that if you want to talk badly about RPM, DPKG or whichever one you have to understand how they work first.

    I can understand that at the beginning in not easy for a new user to get used to some stuff in Linux. As I can see, you are talking as a real noob. If you can’t understand how Linux works you shouldn’t have to say things at your convenience. You have to understand that there is people who likes to have control on their machines, or see it fucked off and fix it by themselves. If you like to use the shit that 3 fuckers develops for you, that you cannot change how it is, and do nothing more that use it as it is, that’s your problem.

    On the other hand explain to me why Open Office has been downloaded 50 million times, and why firefox is kicking the ass of Internet Explorer? Or maybe why Windows looks like KDE now? or why Mac is just used by a minority? Or why some mac users install mplayer and use mencoder or ffmpeg?

    Now, problem related to hardware is due of the lack of help from hardware vendors. If Linux has developed its drivers from inverse Engineering and it works, could you imagine if vendors supported Linux community?

  26. Buchinanana says:

    What really sucks about Linux is that none of the problems mentioned are new, and that these are the same talking points of its critics 10 years ago. And the fact is that these problems will never be addressed as long as the distribution system exists. There will always be:

    > Different sound frameworks (The Phonon devs will argue why Gstreamer, a project more tied with Gnome, was picked over theirs. Then it becomes a question of ego and effort over the benefit of the community at large. Why should they belittle their own project and time spent and pick up and go with a rival effort? The time of an open-source developer is spent on what interests them, not on what needs to be done).

    > Different package formats. Probably the most pointless issue that shouldn’t exist in the first place, the fact that you still have to hunt for user-generated packages for your distro goes to show how unusable Linux really is. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether the extension of the package is deb or rpm, as long it it works reliably and fast, it is fine. In my experience RPM packages are nothing more than problems why Ubuntu and Debian distros make package management a breeze. There is simply no way why deb shouldn’t be used in all distros.

    > Hardware issues. Speak for themselves. Why anyone would still use Linux while admitting the usual occurrence of problems is beyond me. At the end of the day when people want to get work done, it doesn’t matter if the OS is proprietary or open-source – what doesn’t work will be shafted while what does will get adopted.

  27. Bunny says:

    This has to be the most intelligent thing I have seen from within the Linux camp. I had actually lost hope that any Linux people had any real intelligence, so thank you for that little sliver of hope.

    I would disagree personally that automatic upgrades are a great thing. I myself use a number of older programs because programmers redesign the UI and toolset from time to time, and sometimes specific tools are orphaned in older versions of software. Flash 4 is one of these programs. Though a program by program switch to select which tools you want static, and which you want upgraded, and which you want two or more versions installed would fix it for everyone.

    I also would have liked some discussion on bringing in inventors and designers to forge new directions for software. Copying Photoshop and other commercial programs is not a good long term strategy… Better programs with larger and more powerful toolsets would be a better long term goal.

    The hardest part of this video, and the ideas contained, is the stone wall refusal by 99.9% of ignorant and aloof Linux developers who know better than the rest of the world.

  28. Jack9 says:

    “Clearly the author doesn’t understand how Free Software works and would like to shoot the golden goose.

    Free Software does not suffer a lack of focus.”

    The whole point is that it’s NOT working in the way people want “some” to “most” of the time. Some apps work (if you have never seen load tested “name your favorite package”/apache, you’re not experienced enough to speak on the state of OSS) but that isn’t the norm and is still not rock solid. OSS has better penetration where there is better stability, but that isn’t consistently true. Relying on one vendor to standardize (you mention Canonical) provies lolwut? focus. Sorry, you’re just in denial.

  29. Gustavo Cabral says:

    I really like Java! Java Web Start RULES!

    For applications distribution we would have no problem if we could make JVM-like bytecode from any source out there. We could use the existing JVM too (easy!). In this scenario what are the problems we could face?

    – Legacy code and libraries migration
    – Performance ? (I dont think so!)
    – Hardware direct access

    In most of this cases, if would be the Programming Language maintenance teams problem to make it possible, not the Linux distro people. The would have to build the compiler to some VM we could adopt. And commercial tools could work for both Windows, Linux…you name it. But what is the problem with this approach?

    Anyway, to have a virtual machine creates a standard platform for developing Apps. Maybe we could move into something like this.

    Maybe the drivers issue could be also addressed through some solution like this! Why not use encapsulated Windows/Mac drivers solutions. Let pay more attention to these strategies!

    Lets reduce the cost of making OSS…..reuse! That way donations can be used to by food :D hehe. Of course, commercial approaches are well come too! :)

    (beyond bytecode -> MDE : models are us) :D

  30. Don (AKA seeker5528) says:

    Good presentation.

    Small nitpick on the packaging thing, just my personal opinion.

    I see it as a non-issue that some distributions use .rpm, some .deb, some slackware .tgz type packages.

    Also a non-issue that some distributions channel people toward yum or synaptic or whatever as the default package management utility.

    Also a non-issue that you can’t download a package from a Debian repository and expect it to work in Ubuntu, or download from a RedHat repository and expect it to work in Mandriva, etc…

    The only issues I have with packaging are….

    A: If you go to Adobe, Videolan, Mozilla, etc… they don’t have LSB compliant packages for download.

    B: Gdebi is great if you are running Debian, Ubuntu, Etc…, but where is the LSB equivalent that would allow you to download an LSB compliant .rpm, click on it, and have that result in some tool running that will use the distribution native packaging utilities to insure the proper level of LSB support is available and install the support packages if they available but not installed and then if the support is not available give the appropriate error message, if it is available install the package if .rpm is the native packaging format or use alien to convert and install the package if .rpm is not the native package format.

    Later, Seeker

  31. LIS says:

    Stop Shifting the blame. Linux sucks, and will probably NEVER succeed on the desktop.

    1. Hardware vendor have no obligation to create Linux drivers. There’s not enough demand (sub 1% market that requires ten times the effort? not worth it)-wasn’t the argument been that were the specs open, billions of FOSS developers will descend from the heavens and create perfect drivers? We all known it was proven to false.

    There will never be good HW support for Linux.

    2. Linux vendors have no obligation or resources to create consumer software. Most Linux vendors are server companies, many consumer software companies have resources than the entire Linux ecosystem. For examples:

    Adobe’s market cap is 14b $.
    Symantec: 14.2b$
    Autodesk’s :4.4b$
    Mentor Graphics: 0.6b$
    Electronic Arts: 6.58b$

    compare this to:
    Redhat’s is 3.8b$
    Novell’s : 1.2b$

    See the tiny little difference? Now consider that Redhat and Novell are the only remaining FOSS companies in the world, and accept that the war for the consumer software market is not winnable for lack of resources.
    When apple faced similar problem, they bought themselves a software ecomsystem, using billions of dollars.The Linux ecosystem cannot compete, since it does not have the required funds.

    Linux will never have the same quality / breadth of consumer software as competing platforms.

    Conclusion and addendum:

    The interest in FOSS and Linux was all but eliminated after the dotCom bubble burst, almost a decade ago. There is very little VC going toward FOSS based start ups. There is no market interest, and very little, if any, consumer interest in Linux on the desktop (outside of the crowd that wants toys for free), and there’s no viable incentive (aka money) to attract the thousands of developers needed to fill the gaping canyons in the Linux ecosystem.

    The war is over. Linux lost. Get over it.

    The war is over. Linux lost. Get over it.

  32. Angsuman Chakraborty says:

    Linux needs big infusion of corporate dollars to fix some of the problems like driver compatibility. In my experience the single biggest issue of Linux is that it is not well supported by device manufacturers. I just about convinced a business to switch to 100% Linux. The switch was made and then he discovered that his Wireless cards are not supported on Linux, not on Fedora nor on Ubuntu. Ouch!

  33. Angsuman Chakraborty says:

    I also echo the sentiments about multiple-monitors & nvidia drivers. A windows user doesn’t have to take a fraction of the hassle with multiple monitors as a Linux user.

  34. ben reyes says:

    I agree with the presentation especially about the distros. I also favor customization but even 30+ distros is too much. Windows has less than 10 editions, but they got large market share right? Too many distros just makes people confused especially that they are not substantially differentiated as perceived by most users.

    I am confused as to why some comments on this page use the word “ignorant” on people who they do not agree with. I don’t agree with censorship but do people really think they can make a decent/effective discussion when they try to use insulting words? How do they think people will judge their character? I feel like they are using intimidation to force their opinions/”knowledge”.

    Linux fails to deliver. The desktop market share is slowly moving. That means linux surely has shortcomings. So, what are they? My personal opinion is that, for linux to be popular, it has to address mainly the GUI. I know many linux users will not agree with me, I had read many posts. I install windows xp on lots of machines and even ordinary people are confused. So how will linux compare with its DEFAULT dark and lousy color scheme and unattractive graphics? Even important softwares are 10+ years behind. Open Office is the most important for me but it looks very awful and slow to load.

    Anyway, one day I know linux will be more popular enough; some things just take a long time to make. My aspired “useless” GUI features are slowly addressed; ex.

    By the way, the .odp presentation background looks bad to the eye. I think effective presentations minimize their use of colors.

  35. BodziO says:

    A very successful presentation but most of all great analysis of the problem! It gave me much to think and made me to consider even wider image than presented. Thanks for providing! :)

  36. Toby Adams says:

    Who filmed this??? I want to see the slides / presenter in the same shot!!!

  37. Linda Wright says:

    Great presentation! You’re dead right about most everything you say. But it will always be intrinsically difficult to direct money into FOSS. Altruism doesn’t sell. There’s the rub.

    So instead, let’s consider how we can change the problem from the other side of the equation. It might well take $300k and one year to produce a quality application as things stand now. But if you could change the timeframes, reduce the complexity and alter the economics of application development, then you wouldn’t need to find $300k at all.

    The way to do that is by creating stategic tools, standardized frameworks and Rapid Application Development environments for Linux. If I have tools that can generate a gorgeous looking application shell in 10 minutes based on a few parameters, then I can better concentrate on the real guts of the solution, which is where the real value lies.

    Unfortunately, in the FOSS world it seems we just keep reinventing low-level libraries, and disregarding proven application motifs. The interfaces for Gimp, Blender and so many other apps tell half the sorry story. The other half we can divine by strolling through the dead project graveyard that is Sourceforge. No frameworks. Poor tools. No strategy. NIH Syndrome. It all adds up to a criminal waste of collective effort. And of course even the best of these apps can’t really stand up to their polished Windows equivalents when viewed side-by-side.

    I’m a software developer, and my productivity essentially doubles every year. That’s because my tools and libraries are constantly improving. So depending on what I am doing, what took me $100k and one year to do a few years ago might take me only 1 month or $12k to do now. Those sorts of gains are only possible when you focus on the right strategy, and on leveraging your limited resources through standards and automation.

    Our focus should be on core OS problems, as you suggest. But it should also be on creating strategic development tools. Better apps and desktops will appear almost spontaniously when our efficiency as developers is on par with our comrades in the Windows world.

    Linda Wright

  38. vladimir poopen says:

    Stallman uses:

    That’s for mfccmf

  39. kris says:

    You know it’s funny, whenever someone claimes that they would switch to linux if only app X worked with linux it always increases to the latest revision. “oh if only latest version of X worked in linux i would switch” when whomever needs the absolute latest version of photoshop is like 1-2% of the people claiming it, the other 98% just say it as an excuse to resist change..

    a relatively recent version of photoshop have worked fine on linux for quite some time now through wine. if your company absolutely needs autocad you can get it working trough wine if you patch it(ok i’m not sure if you will get 100% functionality on this one).

    “Good-Enough” Videoeditors, graphicsapps and autocadlike apps for the _majority_ of users will get there soon enough because programmers now have a tool on their disposal which they didn’t have before:

    QT 4.5

    krita will take over gimp. kdeenlive will soon be “good enough.” aswell as autocad-like programs.

    in the meantime, you can use a vm for those apps that just doesn’t work in wine if you absolutely need them.

    Because opensource will win out in the end(although it’s slow). Proof of this is:

    Best video players: vlc and mplayer
    Best browser: firefox
    Best officesuite if people didn’t warez: OO (perhaps go oo)
    Best photomanager: digikam
    Best photomanipulation if people didn’t warez: gimp

    I rest my (albeit a bit chaotic, i’m making food at the same time :D) case.

  40. Ricardo Ramalho says:

    Question is: do you want a Toy or a Tool? I clearly want a Tool, more than a Toy.

    So I want to spend less time configuring and visiting forums for strange things that happen too damn often! The sound problem is terrible, the package formats are an insane problem in 2009 and some hardware problems are just stupid. Like that suspend/resume problem that *only* Linus could fix…

    And most people just want to get their stuff done. That’s it! They *use* computers! They don’t care if it’s Free/OSS/Closed/Proprietary, they just want youtube, mail and their work done.

    Linux for the Desktop must be a PRODUCT. We don’t have a PRODUCT – we have lots of spare parts, not a complete “car” for a “road trip”.

    Sorry, but this is the truth…

  41. Martín René says:

    Audio Systems.
    I don’t think that one size fits all, you do have different requirements, real time audio, networked audio, gapless, and so on.
    The primordial standardization required by Linux is at API level, so every implementer do whatever sees fit for its framework.
    The effort to package is massive, and currently redundant, I don’t see why you cant use without mayor surgery packages (and repositories) between distros. It should be at least wrapped. It shouldn’t matter if you are using Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, Slackware, SuSe, Mint or any other distro
    To force only one implementation i don’t think its the best way.
    The applications they may be not there yet, but they are not as critical as getting a good experience out of the box.
    You cannot ship a distro with performance regressions, reduced functionality (compared to the last version).
    We are not ready for the mainstream of users, but we are going to be there (someday)
    Its good to see someone to step up and take the hits, Linux right now needs critics more than users.
    (These topics always seem to start a flame war. :P)

  42. Linux Sucks! — WhoCares? says:

    […] yes. And Bryan Lunduke can tell you why Linux sucks. I don’t agree with everything but with a large part of his […]

  43. Russell Martin says:

    The thing that’s really being discussed here is that Linux hasn’t got a good balance between open source and closed source. Ironically, because many FOSS projects want to eventually lure users away from proprietary OSes, they end up producing Windows and/or OS X versions of their products and this means that both OS X and Windows now have a better balance between open and closed source offerings. The question (and I don’t have the answer) is how to create an environment where commercial developers and FOSS developers can compete on the Linux desktop the way they do on those other two desktops? You could call this the “How do we get Photoshop on Linux” question- as long as you understand that what is being said is not that Photoshop is the only thing we need on Linux, but that that one app is being used to illustrate a point. (After thought: you might even call it the “How do we get MS Office on Linux (without WINE)” question.)

    The presenter in the movie brings up some very valid points- even if some of them are antithetical to the traditional tenets of FOSS. He’s right that for commercial developers, there needs to be a simpler, more focused way to deliver their apps to desktop Linux users. If one is developing for OS X or Windows, the choices are much simpler and direct than developing for desktop Linux. Pick your dev tools, learn to code to a (more static) set of APIs defined by each OS vendor, develop, and then deploy.

    It’s also very true that most consumers don’t actually know they are paying for software- they get what’s bundled with their hardware and then mostly just use that. I don’t have actual research to back this up, but from my own experiences, most users that I support just use the OS that came with their system and some free software that can be downloaded (Firefox, Picasa, OpenOffice, Audacity, HandBrake, VLC, Avast, etc.) or web based services and never purchase any software with the exception of games. (And, then there’s piracy.)

    So, in my mind, the thing that needs to happen is that a nice user friendly distro (think Ubuntu) needs to start becoming the pre-installed OS on lots of hardware (maybe the netbooks are making this start to happen) and then it needs to become easier for commercial developers to offer their wares for that platform. Maybe Canonical really does need to build an iPhone-esque App Store so that game devs can easily deploy for that one Linux distro.

    Maybe the question really is- how do you get Dell, HP, Gateway, Toshiba, Lenovo, etc. really excited about promoting and selling machines with Ubuntu on them instead of Windows. It seems like an easy proposition because it seems like Canonical could sell them copies of Ubuntu and/or support for far less than Microsoft sells them Windows licenses and support.

    At any rate, Stallman is wrong. The world of software doesn’t need to be completely free. It doesn’t need to be completely closed source as well. The world of software needs a balance between the two. Like the presenter said, ‘developers need to eat.’ Until a desktop Linux distro arrives, and is embraced by the FOSS community, that does this, desktop Linux will never be anything other than a pipe dream or an teeny tiny also ran against OS X and Windows.

    In fact, I would even argue that in many ways, Apple has already done this with OS X. Because OS X is built on BSD and you can therefore compile and run FOSS projects (see Fink and MacPorts) along side OS X apps- a copy of OS X is very much like a Linux distro for which you can get PhotoShop. I know this part of my post might provoke controversy with some readers- I’m fully aware of all the ways that OS X is un-Linux-like. However, I can (and have) run X11 apps side by side with OS X apps. I can run GIMP or I can run Adobe PhotoShop. It’s no longer true, but at one point, I could run IE or I could run Firefox. And, for quite a while now, I’ve been able to run MS Office and OpenOffice (for a while, I was using NeoOffice). Also, even though there are not as many commercial games for OS X as there are for Windows, relatively speaking, there are infinitely more commercial games that run on OS X than there are that run on desktop Linux.

    There was a point, when I was going to school, when my iBook was dual booting between OS 9 and Suse Linux. I needed that Linux partition to do my school work. I needed gcc, perl, and a Unix shell. In fact, my dual booting between MacOS 9 and Suse was giving me a far better experience than my Windows using classmates. (I was also able to run Visual Studio, very slowly, in Virtual PC or RealPC back then.) I would listen to their Windows woes and kinda chuckle to myself about how much better of a computing experience I was having with my other two OSes. But, when OS X came out, it was like a revelation- I would no longer need to dual boot. I could run all of my Mac apps and all of my Linux apps on one OS. I almost cried tears of joy the first time I wrote a standard C++ tool with Project Builder (I think that’s what XCode was called back then). It was so liberating to be able to do any shell scripting assignments without needing to reboot to check my email or surf the web. Yes, there were mail clients and browsers on Suse in 1998-2000, but they frankly sucked in comparison to the software I was using in Mac OS 9 back then. With the release of OS X, I had everything I’d been needing from Suse and OS 9 all bundled up into a single OS- and I could still run Windows through an emu when necessary.

    So, maybe, Canonical (or some other promoter) of desktop Linux needs to emulate more of what Apple has done- take an FOSS distro, refine it by building a more unified app framework with easier deployment strategies on top of it (if you know that most OS X apps don’t have installers and are just copied to your Applications folder, you’ll understand what I mean) and bundle this great new distro with hardware in order to subsidize the cost of developing great iLife type applications- while still allowing for standard X11 apps to be installed and run if the user so chooses. The problem with this idea is that it would not be embraced by enough of the current FOSS community. Too many people have given in to Stallman’s hard line thinking about free versus closed software. I used to subscribe to his vision as well, until I realized that it’s not the executable code that must remain free, it’s the data that you manipulate with it that must always be stored in a format that is accessible and manipulatable by any program you would chose to work with. We should be clamoring not for all software to be free, but for all document formats to be free so that closed and open source can be used on them and can compete against each other for that privilege. There are places where closed source does indeed make just as much sense as there are places where open source makes the most source. Until desktop Linux and the people developing it and promoting it understand this, desktop Linux is going nowhere. And, that sucks.

  44. Steve Dorsey says:

    How about a PDF of the slides? Not all of us run Openoffice. I’d install it, but we do not need it at work, and this is the only time this year where it would come in handy. I have nothing against OpenOffice, but I just don’t need it very often at all. (I’d settle for a ppt version of the presentation, but I HATE ppt!)

  45. Steve Job says:


    > On the other hand explain to me why Open Office has been downloaded 50 million times

    It hasn’t. Sun is inflating these numbers and they have never been verified by neutral parties.

    > and why firefox is kicking the ass of Internet Explorer?

    It’s not. As of today, it’s stagnating at about 10% market share with IE still way over 80%.

    > Or maybe why Windows looks like KDE now?

    It’s KDE that looks like Windows, they started emulating Windows as soon as Windows 95 came out. Besides, have you actually seen what Vista and Windows 7 look like? Gnome and KDE are light years behind in terms of looks and functionalities, but they will probably copy some of the ideas soon, like they always have.

    > or why Mac is just used by a minority?

    Hey, I actually agree with that! This minority is still larger than the number of people using Linux on the desktop, though.

    > Or why some mac users install mplayer and use mencoder or ffmpeg?

    “Some”, indeed. Very few of them, the majority are using iTunes and VLC. Not sure what your point is here anyway.

  46. jt medina says:

    - Give it to me a standard setup installation affordable even to my mom.
    – Ease of installing new drivers, like on windows.
    – Eliminate stupid issues with root privileges when installing new applications from websites or even burning a dvd.

    – In short make linux as easy to use for the daily work as windows is.

    As we speak there is no linux distribution fully made for the ordinary user. We can find something as much friendly user as windows is on ubuntu but even that has a lot of work to do in usability.

  47. Adam Lebsari says:

    This makes for a good presentation to and from normal user perspective. And by presentation I mean rant. It works well as a rant but I don’t see for much more. See what I mean by this.

    Who is this supposed to persuade? Normal users already know Linux sucks in many ways. Telling them “we all wish developers would collectively just standardize amongst themselves and make our experience better don’t we?” accomplishes what? Maybe it’ll send more users to forums ranting at developers for making application/framework X instead of collaborating on application/framework Y. That won’t impress developers. They’re making X precisely because they’re not sufficiently happy with Y. And rather than merely rant, they do something about it (not to imply that “Bryan Lunduke” merely rants – I don’t know). Unless groups of developers are ‘forced’ in some way to work on your favorite project Y rather than X, you’re simply going to be left to their own personal incentives of what they want to do. Don’t misconstrue “community” to mean you’re entitled to everything you want on a silver platter. The world doesn’t revolve around the ranting user, unfortunately, in the world of (non-payment) OSS development. Being subjected to even daily frustrations isn’t enough to make developers “owe” them a better experience (I wish it were actually since I myself have plenty of complaints). That sort of mindset in my opinion does more harm ultimately.

    If a normal user wants to be “owed” for their personal experience, I believe they should rather put themselves in a better position to be owed. Pay for the software. Call the customer support. Then rant. In that scenario, the livelihoods of developers actually stand greater chance of being determined by customer satisfaction. But if you get the software for free from someone working on his or her own personal time, what do you think that kind of ranting is more likely to do? Hurt or help? In terms of funded software projects, companies already know how much absence of standards helps things to suck. Put that way, much of everything outside of monopolized industries suck very much.

    Now as much I can understand the desire for greater standardization, who is going to decide what is the best application/framework/etc route to standardize around? No offense to Bryan Lunduke, but I sure hope that person isn’t going to be some guy who can’t even spend five minutes of his life looking up the proper pronunciation of the “Ubuntu” distribution (or the worse case: knows the proper pronunciation but purposefully mispronounces it out of disrespect). In terms of OSS, I’d rather have a ‘market’ decide than have it dictated from up top some invisible mountain (a market of software choice: feature completeness, usability and such). I’d rather see the greatest collaboration for a better personal experience, but if a group of people decide they think they can do better, who am I to selfishly try to dictate to them what they should be doing in their free or paid time?

    If a user is so bent on standardization, why not take up an even greater cause of calling for standardizing operating systems altogether? “Hey you Linux developers, stop wasting time / duplicating efforts. Just write Windows programs to make Windows better for all of us.” I know that’s an extreme analogy but there’s a point in there somewhere I think still warrants consideration.

    I also notice some comment about ‘altruism’. The fact that some developers take work done in personal time and give it way, source and all, may not necessarily be altruistic in all cases, but let’s get real: it certainly is altruistic in many cases. To the same comment: If you want to direct a group of self determined individuals to do what you say rather than what they want: put your money where your mouth is. It’s been shown people will do what they otherwise wouldn’t, so long as you pay them to. But to expect them to do it simply so you have one less thing to thanklessly complain about in your personal life? Rather naive. Don’t confuse ‘altruism’ with catering to every person’s desires.

    I have no problem with project managers and CEOs dictating to employees how to develop their software. I have a problem with self appointed managers dictating to otherwise unrelated groups of people working on their own time (or as part of a different company) how to develop their software.

  48. Collin says:

    @Chris post#21: You state Bryan’s views are, “…pretty much anti-Freedom… (I noticed you used a capital “F”). WTF?
    So by your standard Ubuntu supporters are Terrorists (note the capital “T”). Comments like that are what make the Linux community look so, well… crazy.

  49. Mike says:

    Yes, it does suck…. but you get what you pay for right?

  50. SM says:

    There are many distros of Linux, that’s where the compatibility problems came from

  51. Eric says:

    It was mentioned that RedHat vowed never to go into the desktop market again. Then the point was made that the major players weren’t about to implement ANY of the proposed steps toward making Desktop Linux successful.

    That’s it in a nutshell– Desktop Linux simply will not achieve anything beyond “toy” status.

    I use it and love it as a desktop OS, but I’m just not a typical user. I’m not even convinced that I want Desktop Linux to appeal to the masses. Historically, things I used to like became either unappealing or simply unusable once the masses joined in. eg. Usenet.

  52. theoreilly says:

    Nice presentation, but Jesus, couldn’t they have edited out the first 6 minutes of the video? Not the most concise presentation I’ve ever seen. But the info was appreciated nonetheless.

  53. derChef says:

    I gave up trying to watch this after a few minutes. The audience clapping and assorted noises / outbursts were obnoxiously loud.

  54. derChef says:

    I forgot to add: I watched the slide show; I completely agree with the points being made, I just wish the video were more tolerable so I could have watched it.

  55. Glen Turner says:

    The question I’ve got which you presentation didn’t answer is is “why is desktop so bad when compared to other parts of Linux with similar challenges”?

    There are seriously good niche programs on Linux. The EDA suite and GRASS GIS are up against seriously established alternatives and you can see the day when they’ve surpass them to become the market leader. Linux is the standard for high performance computing and for many areas in science. None of the commercial competition touches Wireshark or Nagios — the expensive commercial alternatives are just a waste of cash.

    So what attributes make the desktop the laggard?

  56. Alexander Teinum says:

    I’m writing an university paper about desktop Linux and why it has problems reaching 98% of the market.

    I’ve observed the debate for many years on Slashdot, Digg, Linux Hater’s Blog etc., and Bryan’s presentation is a breath of fresh air in the discussion.

    It really gets me wondering if it would make sense to start re‐writing the operating system every fifteen years or so. It almost seems like it would be faster than hacking further on what to me seems broken in many ways. Desktop Linux in its current form–Ubuntu 9.04 on a brand new HP laptop–has issues with simple stuff such as re‐drawing.

    A fresh start would mean that we could focus on making one way to install and remove software, that the OS is resolution independent and built around scalable vector graphics from the first second when it boots, that there’s only one low‐latency audio driver and–what Linda Wright says in her comment above–that productivity can be increased drastically if great a great developer environment is provided.

    If open source has learned us anything the last 15—20 years, then it is that choice for the sake of choice is worthless. And the open source movement will benefit from understanding its surroundings—money isn’t necessarily bad. Starving is.

  57. G. Threepwood says:

    The emperor has no clothes. I doubt the Linux community as a whole is mature enough to realize this fact, but it’s good to see that there are some sensible people who do not believe the myths and the delusional claims that Linux fanboys make up all the time.

  58. Andreas says:

    Nice presentation in general.

    I would also like to see more unification of the linux distros. But seriously, why RPM? Take a hint from the BSD’s who went with pkgsrc and use some based on portage. That would allow for both binary and source based packages. Distros will never be able to share binary packages, since no two dists have the same set of libs etc.

    There is also to many developers with linux blindfolds on, please code for UNIX (POSIX) and not only linux.

    And it is sad to see that people proposing to use gstreamer over phonon :(

  59. Giampiero says:

    Hey Bryan,

    I love the presentation. I think you nailed a lot of the pain around Linux. But I am worried that attack you propose is only to the symptoms. More development that is dedicated on specific projects is the right way to solve the problem of specific applications or drivers, etc. But Linux as a whole has what I understand to be a “natural tendency for fragmentation.” In other words, a disintegrated nature.

    To a paraphrase a good friend of mine “every strength comes with an equal weakness.” The biggest strength about Linux is the freedom of the code, the freedom of the community to change it the way they want. But this causes things like forks. Now many will argue that forks are great. They promote competition, almost capitalism at its best. While I agree with that notion, I try to think about what customer they are competing for. The primary customer is the developers that build it. The community that maintains it. The secondary customer is the end-users that have no idea how to change the linux code, as you discussed in the early part of your presentation. I am not fixing a bug in OpenOffice anytime soon. So I am not part of the true “customer” base of Linux.

    Before I get flamed, I want to say that this is still a good thing. This is why Linux exists. It is a community owned software, and it is as democratic and free as it can be. But there lies the problems that seem unfixable. Any company could take Linux and turn it into Mac OS X. I mean this in terms of the way the project is structured and ownership of decisions is exercised, not in terms of comparable feature-sets. But it will end up being like the OpenDarwin project, DOA. That is just the nature of the Linux community, true freedom and democracy cannot live together with totalitarianism they are mutually exclusive. But to fix the underlying problems you speak of, there needs to be this evil introduced. It is a catch-22. To get the thing you want from the thing you love is to change the thing you love to the thing you hate.

    This is the thing we must always be aware of. The weakness that Linux needs to fight against to overcome its limitations. It will never be a perfect match and there will be tension between the opposing forces. Just like pure capitalism doesn’t work. Some government is required, but there needs to be checks on it so it doesn’t get too big. Ubuntu has so far been my biggest hope for this kind of thing, but after three releases I haven’t noticed anything that wowed me. Let me say this differently, there is not 1 feature that I could point in any particular release that I cared enough about to make me want to recommend it to all my friends. Ubuntu is still too deep in the community and not being bold enough to push the cohesiveness of the system as a unit.

    My hope now is on netbooks and some innovative hardware vendor that would build a finished computer that they would sell to end users. This would be a possible catalyst for the “little evil” that is necessary to make linux not suck.

    If you got this far, thank you for reading.



  60. Justin Time says:

    WOW. Linux does suck. About time u guys figured that out.

    Go buy a copy of Vista and upgrade your peice of crap Linux box so you can run some real software. Not some half-baked still working out the bugs junk that comes with Linux. Yes, this is very true and u know it.

    And I swear one of you will start Windows blah blah.

    Redmond is not evil I know I live there. (No I do not work at M$)

    Windows runs circles around your low end bubble gum sticky back tape OS.

  61. arkanoid says:

    what sucks is your flash video player. it consumes several times CPU compared to youtube- almost impossible to watch on 600MHz netbook and definitely impossible to watch on a 250MHz smartphone.

  62. Linux Sucks. « PC Tips and Tricks says:

    […] Original link – […]

  63. Barius says:

    Wow, the best argument anyone can come up with to counter my post is “you used a nasty word so you suxorz”.

    When someone bothers to actually read and digest my arguments before commenting, I’ll be here. In the mean time, the author is still just as out to lunch as ever. His arguments have been presented so many times it hurts and they are *still* wrong.

    You cannot artificially restrict the open source community to development of a single library or software product.

    For one, the developers would simply laugh at you for even suggesting that the thousands upon thousands of volunteers stop working on their pet project just to satisfy your demands.

    Second, even if you could restrict a community of thousands to a single standard set of packages, you would have killed the golden goose. You, and others like you, don’t seem to understand that ‘standardization’ does not, and should not, happen at the development level. Standardization happens naturally at the distro level, which is why Ubuntu is different from Fedora, and both are different again from Suse. If you use Ubuntu, and only Ubuntu, then you get a very clean and standardized setup. When it comes pre-installed by Dell you get a computer that has been tested against the hardware and which ‘just works’.

    The decentralized nature of open source development means that anyone can create another audio library if they find reasons to dislike the already existing ones. This is GOOD. What people like the author don’t see is that every new audio library/office suite/window manager/etc represents an increase in total community mind share. If these community members weren’t working on their own project, they likely wouldn’t work on *any* project and so their talent and energy would be lost (which is why proprietary software costs so much: you have to pay to get even the simple things like typos fixed). So you see, having multiple versions of things is absolutely not a waste of resources but in fact represents an increase in resources that would not have been available otherwise. If 10 audio libraries are created, then great, we simply choose the one that works best for our distro’s purpose and that becomes the standard for that distro. If the distro is popular, the library will probably become more actively developed (perhaps a paid engineer might even get involved) and from there it simply becomes the defacto standard. BUT, the other libraries still exist; they are not discarded but rather they remain small projects with their own dedicated following that will keep improving them. If one of them develops something amazing, then it’s always possible for a distro change to that library, or even attempt to merge the features into the more popular library (this is Open Source after all). Evolutionary development like this is what makes Open Source so much more adaptive compared with proprietary products. Take away this adaptability and you destroy the whole thing.

    Third, the nature of open source is that developers anywhere in the world can come together to implement an idea without worrying about someone stealing it for profit. Your suggestion to restrict/standardize the entire community on a single product is essentially exactly what Free Software advocates are fighting against. You are trying to monetize other peoples’ work, without having done jack shit yourself.

    Conclusion: STFU.

    @LIS – April 30th, 2009

    Your argument that the Open Source economy is tiny in comparison to it’s competitors is flawed. You cited many proprietary vendors, but only 2 of the many Open Source vendors.

    Among the Open Source vendors you forgot:

    – SugarCRM
    – Zimbra
    – Funambol
    – Mozilla (how could you forget Mozilla??)
    – Apache Foundation
    – Xandros (think EeePC, Linspire)
    – MySQL AB
    – Android (you know, Google, that giant behemoth that overfloweth with money)
    – PHP/Perl/Ruby/Rails/etc. (yes, these guys have an income and real engineers too)
    – ExtJS
    – etc/etc/etc

    Would the profits of all of the above come even close to a fraction of the proprietary market? No.
    Does that matter in the slightest? No.
    Open Source is healthy and prosperous. Many companies have found a way to monetize their open source products profitably.

    It makes no sense at all to compare market sizes and then conclude that Open Source doesn’t stand a chance. Once upon a time a tiny two man company named Microsoft came out of a dirty garage with nothing more than a simple command-line OS (DRDOS, relabled as MSDOS) and took on the behemoths of it’s time (IBM, Apple) and conquered the software world. Had you discounted them because of their diminutive market share, you’d still be the dirt-poor fool you are today…oh wait you are.

    Kind regards to anyone that actually reads this and responds with an intelligent counter argument.


  64. Niklas says:


  65. Chris Perry says:

    First off, I enjoyed the presentation. The author really did spot-light issues with the multitudes of distros and package managers. I have played with a multitude of distros and the two that I like the best is Ubuntu and Fedora. Not because of things inherent to either distro, but because of the community support on the forums. I am not a “linux guru” and do not claim to be. Now I am sure that I am going to get flamed for this, but there is really not differentiating the distros, expect package managers and included software. No matter the distro, there will be things that need to be installed and configured to suit my needs. That is fine, I don’t expect a fat bloated pig like windows that tries to shoebox everything and ends up missing the mark. Windows and Apple have created a user base of lazy people, most are just end-users. Most people that use Windows can use linux, the basic needs are supported and if you don’t need to go passed basic needs, it doesn’t really matter. It is when you get into special needs that separates the linux distros from each other and from Windows. My biggest gripe with Linux is the lack of support for major game titles and it happens to be the only time that I boot into Windows. Linux has grow a great deal in the past 8 years that I have been using it and so have the programs that go along with it.


    @ Barius:

    Learn to condense. No one–including me–cares enough about you to read your MASSIVE walls of text, so dont take it personally.

    And the author isn’t talking about changing the FOSS nature of Linux because FOSS is broken or bad, he’s talking about Linux viability as a consumer desktop OS. Or lack thereof. And that if you want consumer desktop viability from Linux, FOSS isn’t the way to get it. Evidenced by the fact that Linux, via marketshare and common-sense-analysis by anyone with an IQ > 50, SUCKS as a desktop OS for the average consumer.

  67. The Usability Blog » Blog Archive » Linux Sucks says:

    […] out this, not so skillfully produced, video from Bryan Lunduke that  walks through common issues that anyone who’s dabbled in Linux has […]

  68. Alexander Teinum says:

    Barius, so this is what this debate is all about. Some argue that it is good to have hundred people working on ten different audio libraries. Others are saying that those hundred individuals should be working on one single audio library.

    I think what would drive the project–that is Linux forward–is if we instead of saying that either A or B is the right way to do it; is to realize that both ways exist and have their cons and pros.

    But there has to be a huge problem somewhere, when there’s a need to work on ten concurrent audio libraries. Especially when the goal is to get some noise out of the speakers and record a song or two–preferably with as little latency as possible.

  69. Syntropy says:

    Would you happen to work at a Staples branch in Prince George, BC, Canada?

  70. Uranium says:

    Linux has many shortcomings when implemented at a desktop level. The example being getting applications or games to work on linux. Wine is great but this is not the answer as likely I have a system with a lot of hardware which I will have to spend many many hours getting to work with linux.

    The main point im trying to make as a full featured desktop linux does not cut it for me because I have several applications I must have working. Every time anyone in the linux community points any of this out the inevitable replies come out pointing out that their argument is not valid, and that they just need to shut the hell up etc etc.

    I just want my software to install and work and I just want my hardware to install and work. Therefore I use windows.

    In short there is no easy way to get Linux working 100% of the time.

  71. Villa Libre»Archivo del blog » Linux y el estado del arte: ¿apesta Linux? says:

    […] menos ésa es la opinión de Bryan Lunduke, uno de los artífices del Linux Action Show (más información en […]

  72. GNU/Linux: the bad and the ugly… « the triangulator’s weblog says:

    […] […]

  73. Barius says:


    Half the post was directed at a second poster. If you can’t take the time to read a reasoned response, then you aren’t interested enough to have a reasoned opinion yourself.

    As to your actual point, as short and pointless as it was, you essentially just blew off OSS without having given any thought to my original point. Here it is again spelled out for your limited IQ:

    Without some form of lock-in, no software proprietary or otherwise, will gain and maintain a significant market share.

    Now, before posting again, why don’t you consider examples in the market place that both support me, and do not support me and try to formulate a response based on that. It would work a lot better than the ignorant post you made previously.

    @Alexander Teinum

    “But there has to be a huge problem somewhere, when there’s a need to work on ten concurrent audio libraries. Especially when the goal is to get some noise out of the speakers and record a song or two–preferably with as little latency as possible.”

    I disagree. There is no problem with this at all. There are a million ways to write ‘hello world’, but we don’t all follow a single tutorial.

    The fact is, every new way of doing it draws in an ever wider developer crowd. Each new developer lends strength to OSS overall. While developers are not ‘average’ users, they are the most important users for a project that is starting up (even for proprietary ones) because they have expertise that is more valuable at that stage.

    What is missing is the ability to lock-in a market, and thus no single audio library can easily ‘take off’ over the others the way they do in the proprietary world. I explained how I believed this to be a non-issue in my first post.


    If you cannot accept a different set of tools, then you will never accept Linux. That’s just the way it is. I’m not saying you’re wrong to want to stick with what you know, but it’s no fault of Linux.

    Further, Linux ‘just works’ better than Windows does when it is playing on a level playing field. For example, you likely didn’t install Windows yourself, it probably came pre-installed. That’s not fair to Linux which does not have a lock-in with the OEMs (Dell/HP/etc). When pre-installed, Linux is more stable and less problematic than Windows (as evidenced by it’s popularity in the server market).

  74. Alexander Teinum says:

    Barius, I think it makes sense to try different ways of implementing a possible solution when the problem is unknown–especially in an open source environment.

    As computing matures, we know more in specific about what the user wants out of his/hers computer. The sad reality is that the ten audio libraries aren’t helping solving even the simplest use cases.

  75. Barius says:

    Alexander, who is we? Is we you? Is we some audio library specialist consortium? Who specifically are you talking about that knows so much about what is needed in the audio sphere?

    Many people liken OSS to a community, but that’s an over simplification. OSS is a community of communities. Each sub community has it’s own ideas of what the best way to achieve a goal might be. As I’ve stated before, standardization in the OSS world happens at the distro level, not the development level. It is good to have 10 different audio packages. If one stands out, then most main-stream distros will ‘standardize’ on it and further it’s development, but the others remain viable alternatives with their own development time lines and focus.

    Contrast this with the proprietary world where only one solution is developed at a time. The moment interest dwindles in that program/library/sphere of development, then all development essentially ceases.

    Microsoft’s audio stack did not significantly improve between Win2k and WinVista. Further, the only real reason they put work into the Vista upgrade was due to industry pressure to add DRM and other anti-user ‘features’. Microsoft had to implement some improvements just to take the bad taste out of the mouths of their users. This is not at all what users should want or expect, but it is what you get from proprietary development practices.

  76. Alexander Teinum says:

    Barius, sorry, I haven’t figured out a way to clone myself yet.

    My intent was to sell the perspective of “Average Joe”. I don’t know if he’s mentioned anywhere in the community’s communities’ goals, but from my observation, his needs are not yet fulfilled when it comes to everyday stuff that Windows and Mac users have been doing for years.

    Linux doesn’t cut it for editing audio, photography and video. And if getting those three things working are not a goal, then we–the “Average Joe” and those intererested in an open desktop OS, would probably be better of by either creating a new open source OS with some clearly defined goals; or spending time on a project like Haiku.

  77. Barius says:

    “then we–the “Average Joe” and those intererested in an open desktop OS, would probably be better of by either creating a new open source OS with some clearly defined goals;”

    So your solution to too many solutions is to start a new solution? Hmm…I’m afraid that went over my head.

    The simple fact of the matter is, you ‘the average joe’ would be best served if a model could be found in which paid engineers were engaged to select and improve a particular audio library. While OSS development is often characterized by it’s volunteer efforts, very few of the large and successful projects are volunteer-only. The question is how to afford such engineers. As I’ve stated several times, you need to be able to lock in a market. The only way to do that on the desktop is through pre-installation via OEMs. When that happens, all your fantasies will come true ;)


    No, you just continue to invent your own topic and arguments for it which makes you look like an ass, not intelligent.

    I don’t give a damn about OSS–you can sit in your dungeon and get off developing the 40000th audio framework codebase for Linux all you want. That won’t change the fact that as far as a desktop OS goes, Linux has failed to execute. Which is what the entire presentation was about, and which is something you are dancing around and spinning into your own argument of “OSS vs. proprietary: OSS wins.”

    “So your solution to too many solutions is to start a new solution? Hmm…I’m afraid that went over my head.”

    Apparently I’m not the only one with a “limited IQ,” because that’s not what he said at all. You already know what your answer to a post is going to be before you read it and so you’re reading what you want/need to read to keep yourself in your sandbox.

    His (hypothetical) solution to an opensource OS with too many “solutions” to achieve functionality as an end-user OS is a (hypothetical) new opensource OS with well-defined, standardized solutions upon which (further) opensource software can be created which actually works due to the presence of underlying, cohesive, unified, opensource “solutions.”

    “So your solution to too many solutions is to start a new solution?” is not even close to being the same statement; try: “So your solution to an OS with too many battling, half-functional solutions is an OS with fewer, more unified solutions?”

    Where “solutions” = audio framework, package management and distribution, and anything else which makes Linux, in its current execution, unaccesible to the end-user.

    I’ll simplify it once more just in-case you’re still puzzled and watching things fly over your head. His solution to an OS with too many solutions is an OS with fewer solutions. Which is a logically valid statement, as much as you might try to turn it into something else.

    Maybe you can understand that without it going so far over your head.

  79. Badcam says:

    Your spelling Sucks: Marketting?

    Or is it that the Linux spellchecker you were using sucks?

    You have a point though and the generated comments have been very thought provoking. I enjoyed the presentation.

  80. Does Linux Suck? -TechGeekNews | says:

    […] efforts of Bryan Lunduke, cohost of Jupiter Broadcasting’s Linux Action Show. Lunduke’s presentation made quite a splash at LinuxFest Northwest a little over a week ago, and the waves are still […]

  81. zelrikriando says:

    The presentation was ok, not great though.

    Several comments :

    – Yes, regressions suck.

    – Standardized packaging: as ubuntu is becoming more and more popular, standardization around ubuntu will be enforced, I am also confident that Mark Shuttleworth will give it a little push.

    – Kino is much better than windows movie maker IMO. I would still agree that some apps need to be backed up by corporates.

    – Your video output issues are lame, presentations work fine with my laptop. :p

  82. Linux Sucks (and developers need to eat) | Blast from the past says:

    […] was the quite inflammatory topic of a now quite famed talk, given by Bryan Lunduke at Linux Fest Northwest, about a week ago. While the topic implies that it was an all-out flamefest […]

  83. Alexander Teinum says:

    Barius, please answer me why you think standardization should happen at the distro level? Why not by The Linux Foundation?

    It’s a simple question, but I it addresses issues that’s rarely talked enough about; how everything is organized and if good decisions are made at the “top of the system”.

    And by the way, I think Mark Shuttleworth has done some great work when it comes to organizing releases. The releases are flowing much more evenly, in the whole Linux ecosystem.

  84. maloki says:

    Really nice one! :)
    Too bad it was only 40min tho :(

  85. Barius says:


    “I don’t give a damn about OSS…”

    I stopped reading there. If you don’t give a damn about OSS then please go back to using MS/Apple/whatever because you don’t belong here.


    I explained in a previous post why I do not believe it is feasible to enforce standardization further upstream. Please re-read post 63.

    Further, what ‘top of the system’ are you talking about? You’re talking propriety now. That’s the wrong language. There is no ‘top of the system’ in the OSS world. The Linux Foundation is most certainly not the top of any system, they are merely an enabler to help the various OSS communities interact and combine resources where it makes sense. However, they do not, and cannot, enforce standards. They do try to ‘talk up’ the LSB, but that is different from what you propose. First, the LSB is targeted mainly at distros (not upstream), and second I can’t think of a single distro that implements it fully. This just comes back to my point #1, you can’t force a decentralized set of developers to standardize on something through force. The LSB attempts to do it through volunteerism, but that’s about as successful as it sounds.

    This is not a bad thing (I keep saying that, I wish people would listen). Not having a standard base is not what is holding Linux on the Desktop back. Ubuntu is very standardized within it’s own framework, and it is also very popular. I am sure it will continue to become more so. That doesn’t mean Red Hat and Suse should drop their implementations to clone Ubuntu’s standards. On the contrary, neither of them is even targeting the Desktop so why should they?

    Linux on the Desktop will happen when someone figures out how to lock in a market. Ubuntu is getting closer all the time. Had they managed to convince more netbook manufacturers, I think they would have exploded in growth and taken their standards with them. Unfortunately, MS is not a corporation run by fools. There is a reason they are giving XP away for free on netbooks and why Win7 has had millions poured into stripping bloat out. MS knows exactly what I’ve been trying to explain here. Linux is more than capable of being a great Desktop OS. It is the lack of a lock-in market that holds it back. If/when a Linux distribution gets a foothold with a number of large OEMs it will have a chance to grow a market that becomes dependent on it’s software stack and that’s when the magic will happen. To some extent we’ve already seen it start with the few small steps taken by Dell and certain netbook manufacturers.

    In other words, you don’t need to kill the golden goose while waiting for the golden eggs to appear. MS will make it damned hard for those eggs to come out, but out they will come none the less.

  86. James says:

    Yay, you used my multi-monitor suggestion. :-)

    The presentation was clearly a success, if only for the controversy it’s generated.

  87. Alexander Teinum says:

    “The Linux Foundation promotes, protects and standardizes Linux by providing unified resources and services needed for open source to successfully compete with closed platforms.”


  88. David Goemans says:

    Many of the points you raise about hardware support regressions are why i stopped using ubuntu and moved over to openSUSE. One of the points that i often make in my blog ( and hence on the linux developer network blog ) is that the Linux toolchain is NOT developer friendly. As a commercial game developer, the Windows toolchain is ideal, and makes any form of development simple. The Mac toolchain is somewhat weak, but still it isn’t overly complicated. The Linux toolchain is painful. We need a decent, non resource heavy IDE that can compete with Visual Studio. Monodevelop is by far the best, but its C++ support is pretty poor, which defeats the point.
    Otherwise, well said! I’m glad that there are ppl out there fighting against this primevil urge of users to cling onto broken drivers and command line apps.

  89. Celeron says:

    Only pick a specific package format and standarize it is not enough.

    My first contact with Linux, many years ago, was with the preinstalled Suse with KDE in a machine I bought (this PC is in use yet, but with another OS). Off course, I really wanted Linux from before, because I wanted to port some projects to it. The first thing I did when turning on the pc for first time was to search for something to code (something like an IDE) and I ended using one of the multiple text editor that distro had. At that time I had no internet connection, even via 56K modem. So I went to cyber and tried to download some software for make my Linux more usable for what I wanted. Trying to install software on any Linux distro, when you have no internet connection, is a true pain… yes, if you have internet then do apt-get or equivalent and needed dependencies will download automatically along with the software you specified, but… see, no all people in the world have internet access. Due to this I had to format that time and install XP (expensive for me at that time). You know, the same story again.

    Now I have a PIII machine with Vector Linux in my bedroom, with 384/128Kb internet connection and I have installed the software I need from the repo. Note: I have the same software but in newer versions in my Windows XP PC.

    Pick a package format will not solve anything. Linux needs a standard and stable installing system, one allowing you to distribute your software in a CD or DVD (that you can buy if the software is proprietary) and not only trough repos. If you want software like Photoshop to be developed/ported to Linux, you need to address this problem.

    Actually, this is even more important to me than lack of drivers (you don’t need 3D Acceleration to run Photoshop). Actually, Linux only allows you to install the software you can get from your distro repo. If you use a popular distro, like debian, ubuntu, etc, maybe a noob user can do: ./configure, make, make install; and it will work from the start. But if something more needs to be done, the major part of users are not capable, so the major part of users are limited to what they can find in the repo, and if they have internet access. It is freedom?

    The decision is: how do you pay for get to work the tools you need in order to do your work? 1) By losing many time trying to find/develop what you need. 2) By paying with money for what you need. In Windows or MAC you have both options, in Linux only option 1. I hope this will change and, if I can, I will help this to change.

    Sorry for the bad English and thank you for read.

  90. Ziggyfish says:

    It’s funny to see some of you go on about the viability of Linux from a marketing point of view. However Linux is not a product you can sell. Because it’s free. if we want things like Photoshop, to run on Linux. We create alternatives like GIMP. That is open source, and possible to contribute, not only as a user but a developer.

    The reason why people aren’t using Linux is not because it “sucks”, it’s because people don’t have the opportunity to get Linux pre-installed. Go to you nearest shop and buy a computer. 100% of the time it will run Windows.

    The funny thing is because Linux is free, no matter how much Microsoft discounts their products, Linux will always cost less to OEMs, and OEMs use the money spent on Windows licenses and increase their profit margins, without any effort. So why don’t they because Microsoft has illegal deals with OEM, that prevent them from selling something other than Windows. Microsoft has a history of doing such things.

  91. amusing_pseudonym says:

    I’m guessing the people that are saying “Linux doesn’t suck” have never had problems with their hardware on upgrades. Having just lost sound on a kernel upgrade because some dolt wanted to change how the driver behaved even though it worked fine, even delivering clear 5.1 sound, I am forced to agree. Linux needs improvement or at the very least better QA at the upstream level.

    A simple reboot into the desktop for the developer of the driver should have caught the audio problem.

  92. Does Linux Suck? : pc technology asia says:

    […] efforts of Bryan Lunduke, cohost of Jupiter Broadcasting’s Linux Action Show. Lunduke’s presentation made quite a splash at LinuxFest Northwest a little over a week ago, and the waves are still […]

  93. » Talking about Linux Sucking says:

    […] response to my “Linux Sucks (and what can be done to fix it)” session from Linux Fest Northwest has been… […]

  94. aussiebear says:

    Title should be changed:
    => “Linux sucks for the consumer desktop”

    As a business desktop or technical workstation, it works well. (As it also does for a technically competent enthusiast, who’s willing to roll their sleeves up).

    Linux needs to thrive on its own rules. It shouldn’t be using the proprietary world as a role model or a reference point to base on. (Things like using marketshare as a measurement doesn’t quite make sense when the open community is NOT a business, while Apple and Microsoft are).

    Open source is NOT a business model. Its a software development model. (Sure, you can create a business that supports it, but the idea is that its a model for development.)

    If you treat, expect, or try to make Linux as just another Windows, its guaranteed to fail you. Isn’t it obvious? Linux isn’t Windows, and Windows isn’t Linux.

    If Linux doesn’t work for you, don’t use it. If it does, good for you.

  95. » Confirmed: Bryan Lunduke hates puppies says:

    […] I put together the “Linux Sucks” presentation… I knew I was asking for […]

  96. linuxnetzer says:

    Interesting presentation. As the author states, the responses are surprisingly positive – at least in relation to other linux-critical articles/presentations. There seems to be some kind of reflex among (not a few) linuxers, who will jump at anyone who dares to criticise Linux, the greatest operating system in the world (not ironically). It really sucks, to spend hours after every Ubuntu-upgrade to fix things that have run properly on the previous version. So why not address it? It sucks! Ok,ok,ok – it`s developed by volunteers, open source is great and makes the world a bit more just – I love it. But then: Does that mean one cannot pick the critical stuff and put it on a plate? SOME linuxers obviously believe they are the keepers of the holy grale. They blindly attack anyone, who criticises Linux.

  97. » Can Valve’s Steam Make Linux Suck Less? says:

    […] you disagree with the author of that post, or you disagree with my basic premise, and you have a good idea of how to address the […]

  98. revdjenk says:

    Here is an answer to your wonderful needed presentation…
    I think it is an answer…

    …I am a Linux user (and Linux Action Show listener!) but not a programmer….and some of “the grumpy bunny’s” comments are way beyond me…but here is a type of solution which also helps developers eat!!!

    God Bless

  99. Martín says:

    I felt like I wasn’t the only one having a lot of problems on my absolute favourite OS.

  100. Linux Sucks - a presentation | Mike@ipHouse Blog says:

    […] at Bryan Lunduke’s blog is a presentation on why Linux sucks.  No no, no operating system or distribution bashing, he […]

  101. Barius says:

    @Alexander Teinum @post 87

    Thank you for hammering home my point that the Linux Foundation does *not* serve the purpose of enforcing standards. They attempt to provide a framework in which the various communities can interact. In case you missed it, refer back to my point that the foundation serves as an ‘enabler’, not an enforcer.

    The presentation by the author specifically suggested focusing the community on a single audio library. This would require enforcement. That’s the whole issue here. You can’t enforce standards in the OSS world, you can only work with the various communities to try and guide things a bit. This is the purpose of the Foundation, as you’ve seemingly just discovered.

    Further, as I’ve stated several times, standardization in the OSS world happens at the distro level and the Foundation, through the LSB, understands that and is focused at that level.

    How hard is it to understand that Linux on the Desktop is not held back by standards (in fact, just by following POSIX Linux is arguably more standardized than Windows with it’s incredibly bad Win32 and it’s increasingly difficult to manage .NET 1,2,3,3.5,etc.)

    Linux is held back by an inability to monetize. It comes down to economics. Canonical has the best chance of overcoming Microsoft’s monopoly by leveraging the low cost of Ubuntu with OEMs. If/when that happens, all your fantasies will come true (even the one with the naked Penguin). Just try not to let your ignorance of the problem kill the golden goose before it can lay it’s eggs.

  102. Mustang says:

    I work with open-source everyday. I make money with opensource everyday. Ubuntu, Tomcat, Eclipse, Amarok, Pidgin, Firefox, Hibernate, Spring, Grails, Gimp, and the list goes on forever.

    What I’d like to see is a way that I can easly pay open-sourcerers(within my possibilities) because there are tons of problems in all those softwares and I’d like to contribute to get them fixed/improved given that I’d be able to direct my funds to problems that affect me the most.

    Kinda like a Jira where you buy votes to distribute or something like this:

  103. kristian says:

    Is there one simple way of installing and removing software on Windows or OS X? You know, an appstore where you can get all the latest and greatest applications for either of the operating systems? If no, Windows and/or OS X sucks!

    Something else that sucks, btw, that you need Steam to install games and ITunes to download content. Well, that sucks! Why can’t they standardise on one of them? Because it’s always one way to do something, right?

    I just need to figure out how to get this squared piece of wood into this round hole. Gee, I wish someone will standardize on the squared shape instead of the circle. One shape must fit all…

  104. buy search engine says:

    Nice video. A guy who knows what he is talking about, and hopefully some of these problems will get fixed soon.

  105. Take another look at Linux « Limulus says:

    […] a year, its time to try it again.  It’s like watching a child growing up (there is of course room for improvement, but it’s getting excellent grades here and there […]

  106. » Linux Hater: I’m Calling You Out says:

    […] latest response to my “Linux Sucks” video is from Linux Hater’s […]

  107. private label rights products says:

    It was a good presentation but he really just stated the obvious. Linux hurts so good.

  108. link building says:

    install alsa sound drivers. install latest nvidia video drivers assuming you were smart and got an nvidia card. problems solved.

  109. Luca says:

    I think that Linux is terrible system! I even up site to show that Linux is even worse than Win98

  110. Joe says:

    I liked this talk better when Miguel de Icaza gave it at OLS 9 years ago.

  111. realsifo777 says:

    why you hate linux?, because you are so rich :)

    i am just poor boy, and didn’t have any money to buy super expensive os.

    i am using computer for browsing the web, sending email, typing paper. So i prefer using Linux Ubuntu instead. Why ? Because it’s free and legit / legal.

    So why i must hate Linux Ubuntu ?

  112. somebody says:

    Linux in its current state is useless for the desktop.

  113. betanumber says:

    Very and very well done, Bryan! It was so interesting to listen your comments about linux in this video! Go on – let’s say “linux sux!” together again and again! I am gonna wait your new video.

  114. noone says:

    Some of your points are valid, I’ll admit that. However, there is one major point that I strongly disagree on. Both the O.S. and the Software that runs on it should be libre AND gratis.

    I love and use Linux. There are many reasons why I do this but, the main reason is that Linux and the software for is free of charge. I would never buy Photoshop, Counter Strike, or any other piece of commercial software regardless if it were ported to Linux. I switched because I got tired of “fixing” XP’s activator every time I reinstalled. If the distros went commercial, either *BSD would get a new user or I would do Linux From Scratch install.

    To summarise, developers may have to eat. However, I would rather an application that only somewhat works but doesn’t cost anything than have an application that did everything but charged even 1/10th of a cent.

  115. Linux Sucks (Part 1) « The Unctuous Rants of Leif Andersen says:

    […] In a recent lecture, Bryan Lunduke claimed that Linux sucks. You can see the video here: […]

  116. x1598's status on Monday, 18-May-09 22:37:40 UTC - says:

    […] watching "linux sucks!" […]

  117. Sunil Datta says:

    The presentation is based on truth and is good. But I don’t think all will agree with this truth. Rather many will criticize on, what you said.

  118. mickeysix says:

    “To summarise, developers may have to eat. However, I would rather an application that only somewhat works but doesn’t cost anything than have an application that did everything but charged even 1/10th of a cent.”

    Great idea. Now go edit 500 images and have them ready for professional pre-press using only GIMP and Krita. Next create a catalog of music featuring dozens of live instruments using only Ardour, Audacity and Hydrogen on Linux. And then design a 50-story building using any of the CAD programs on Linux and create files that other architects can open and manipulate.

    With a few exceptions most of the people here completely miss the point of Linux. The question “Is Linux ready for the desktop?” is the wrong question; the right one is “Is Linux ready for you?” I use Debian/KDE3 at home (with XP available in a VM when I need it) and it’s perfect for me. It’s not perfect for my buddy down the road who has to use specialized apps that have no *nix/FOSS equivs. And no, WINE is not a magic bullet for Win32 usability issues — many times it’s more like a plastic sword.

    As for sound on Linux, it usually works great* with common hardware, but God help you if you want to use even an entry-level low-latency audio controller. You’re almost completely screwed if you need to record live instruments and aren’t a geek with time to kill setting up your enviro. Real-time kernels, bizarre driver hacks — I’ve been there. It ain’t pretty.

    Now on the other side of the coin, if you don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty and you don’t have to rely on OS-specific apps, installing and learning Linux is by far the most rewarding thing you will ever do with your computer. I cannot live without my command line; it’s far, far too useful and powerful. And there is much more software available than you might think, and a lot of it is more advanced than Windows equivs. I would be absolutely inconsolable if Amarok ever went away.

    Linux is much better than its detractors claim it is, and quite a bit worse than its hardcore zealots would have you believe.

    * – (great) unless you “upgrade” your distro and things break for no apparent reason, which has happened quite a bit recently with Ubuntu users.

  119. Jarige says:

    Hmm, I do agree on some parts of the presentation.
    Linux is IMO not ready for the Desktop yet (with Linux, I mean Ubuntu, the most user-friendly Linux).
    I use Ubuntu, and for me, it worked out-of-the-box (really, no driver problems, Wifi worked fine).
    If you want Linux, you’d probably want to buy an HP desktop/laptop, because as far as I know, HP comptuers will be able to run Linux properly.

    The only thing I didn’t got working (yet) is my build-in mic. (Webcam works flawless, and IMO even better then on Vista)

    Most ppl say Linux has hardware problems, but I didn’t have any exept for the mic (which is a known problem, and is being worked on).
    What about GPU drivers? Both NVIDIA and AMD, and even Intel have proprietary drivers available for Linux. Are there any other GPU makers?
    Sound problems? Didn’t have any. I only have a little weird sound in the background when I play something, but thats because I fucked up my config.
    Wifi drivers? I installed Broadcom STA wireless drivers (far more easy than on Windows), and I have never had any problems with my Wifi. In comparison to Vista, where it would take a reboot to switch from cable to wireless or visa versa. In Vista you can’t use both cable and wireless at the same time. A few days ago, it took me 7 minutes just to get wifi working (I was too stuborn to reboot).

    Yes I do have Vista (dual boot) because of the games. I hate it, it doesn’t really do anything I want it to do. Constant notification about updates, sudden shutdowns during gaming because Windows Update has another fucking update.
    Windows 7? No, that one doesn’t really exist for me; its Vista SP2, for which of course, you need to spend some money. Its all part of M$ chains.

    I left Windows, and I have never been happier on my computer. Ubuntu was exactly what I wanted, but what I thought would be impossible.

  120. » Video Editing On Linux: Looking Up says:

    […] as has been discussed, this is a big challenge.  Developing a solid, usable video editor is no simple task.  It’s […]

  121. Jamon Terrell says:

    I agree completely on Audio, drivers, regressions, etc. Other than that, this is just purely wrong. We have a huge library of software that runs natively, and a lot more than runs in wine. The right answer here is not to duplicate effort like you’re suggesting. The right answer is to fund Wine and Virtualization. That way we don’t port each program individually, we make it so that we’re binary compatible with windows.

  122. Valent Turkovic says:

    Bryan where do you check and how which Linux has how many percents of total Linux marketshare?

    I don’t agree with you that we need only one package system, but here is a better answer than I could explain:

    Bryan have you checked out ? It might be what you are looking for for distributing software.

    ps. sorry for posting comment to wrong post previously :)

  123. SolveIt says:

    All the discussion here is about what we need to do to fix the problems with Linux.

    Turn it like you want, driver support, focus, lock-in, whatever: Linux is no market and so too few people or companies can make money using Linux. And thats because FOSS fanatics block it. No commercial app on a GPL os! Not even a closed source driver! Can’t even use GCC to compile it!

    Most FOSS people hate Microsoft, but Microsoft has created a market and gave an army of companies and independent programmers a marketplace to feed their families. Linux can’t – until the torture by the FOSS Freaks comes to an end. Put Linux under BSD or any other non-dogmatic License and things may change.

  124. Deus says:

    ..I use Kubuntu…and I don’t have any problems….linux is not good like windows but it’s free , stayble and don’t have problems with virus . And of course , You can learn too use linux in 3 days …and you mast be very stupid when say ” I can’t do anything with Linux ” … no , you are just stupid when say this .

  125. Pseudonym says:

    I read the slides, some of the comments, and while most of the slides make valid points about problems with the linux ecosystem, the solutions just aren’t likely to work.

    At least one other commenter has pointed out that these problems are not new, and that the same reasons why they have not been solved already still apply,

    I want to add a couple more reasons to that:


    – Xorg may be old and cumbersome and also riddled with bugs, but there’s no viable alternative, since basically all graphic Linux programs are reliant on X11 at some level, and there is no better (Anyone still using Xfree86?) window manager that implements enough of the X11 standard (anyone running Wayland behind GNOME/KDE yet?) to use. Sure we could start over from scratch, but that means rewriting or scrapping too much other software.

    Package Management:

    – Linux does not maintain any sort of binary compatibility between versions; this means that commercial software distributed “binary only” has a high chance of breaking on a kernel or glibc upgrade; while this can be a problem on other platforms, it’s much worse on Linux.

    – Also, let’s imagine the world standardized on .deb or .rpm as a package format, it still wouldn’t solve the packaging problems because different linux distros use different libraries and different file system hierarchies.

    For both of the above reasons, source code level installation is still the most reliable means of installing third party software on linux, and relying on binary-only software is an accident waiting to happen. Also, binary drivers are bad.

    Hardware Support

    – See above for why binary-only drivers are bad, also:

    – Sure, if distros didn’t update things like Xorg or the Kernal as often you wouldn’t have as much trouble with drivers that used to work breaking, but at the same time, you wouldn’t be adding in support for new hardware that’s just had drivers written since the last kernel release; you can have one or the other, but not both.

    – Also, I don’t think Canonical, or anyone else for that matter, has enough hardware to do adequate testing to find out what’s going to break when they do kernel or Xorg upgrades. Even when you factor in the community doing alpha/beta testing, there will be enough untested hardware configurations when a new release is made that there will be breakage.

    Developers Need to Eat:

    – I make less than $24,000 a year and live in relative comfort. It would be different story if I had kids, but I don’t. The issue is you could make much more than this working on commercial software development.


    So I think the point is that some of these things are just things that you’re either going to live with, because either you like enough other things about linux, or you’re going to have to use Windows/OS X and deal with their shortcomings. It’s not reasonable to expect any of these problems to be resolved in the near future and, honestly, it’s not reasonable to expect linux’s desktop userbase to start growing at an increasing rate any time in the near future either. I’d love to be wrong about this, but I don’t think I am.

    Random other things I would like to note:

    – Canonical has never actually turned a profit.

    – OEMs like Dell will not provide software support for Ubuntu and they do not even provide an option to pre-purchase support from Canonical for you. I do not believe that Canonical is receiving any significant amount of money from the sale of Dell computers with Ubuntu pre-installed. Ditto for Novell from HP, replace Ubuntu with Suse. I don’t know about Linpus or Xandros.

    – Red Hat, Canonical, and Novell are all largely dependent on community projects in order to provide their products, while they fund SOME development and hardware companies fund SOME development, a huge amount of development is done be people on a solely voluntary basis, and as such these developers are under no obligation to listen to anyone’s suggestions as to what they should or should not work on. The point is that even if the major distros wanted to see some standardization or focus on particular areas of development, they don’t necessarily have the authority to do so.

  126. Joost Ruis says:

    I must agree with the point that we (distros) should pick certain projects as the “standard” for the Linux Desktop and shoulder this.

    Kind Regards,

    Joost Ruis
    CSO Sabayon Linux

  127. Blogging from the Linux desktop - Planet Sabayon Linux says:

    […] updated a 4.2 will be visable when you startup your machine. Last but not least, I came across a nice video about why Linux sucks. Check it out because its all true! (ok most of […]

  128. » The Perfect Linux Distro says:

    […] talk a lot about what I think is wrong with the current state of Desktop Linux.  And I spend a fair bit of time talking about what I […]

  129. AB says:

    The developers that write Linux applications are intelligent people, and they assume that people using their applications are also intelligent. This is one of the reasons that Linux has failed to gain hold in the consumer OS market. While it may seem that your average desktop user is spoilt by “Aero” and “Aqua” glossy interfaces, compare the usability of said platforms to Ubuntu and other distros. Upon being presented with the desktop of a default, out-of-box install of Ubuntu for the first time my initial reactions were:
    1. What the hell are those 4 boxes in the lower right of the screen?
    2. Why is my “Show Desktop” button in the lower left, but my quick launch icons are at the top?
    3. What is this Places menu item?
    4. What the hell is a “launcher” and why do I want to add it to a “panel”?
    5. Why do I have to go to the “System” menu to shut off my computer? Oh wait, I can also do it by clicking the little icon beside the system time – but this means now that everytime I look at the time I’m tempted to shut off my computer?
    6. These dull, pastel GUI colours are depressing and remind me of that Howard Johnson I stayed at last week.

    We need to focus more on creating applications that are useable and aesthetically pleasing if we want to increase our consumer adoption rates.

  130. Hoqenishy says:

    THANK YOU. I raised similar points recently! Linux still horribly blows as a desktop, and with the looming release of Windows 7, I predict people will be even less interested in Linux now that MS might finally have their crap together.

    Seriously… I could plug my wireless USB in back in Windows 2000 and it installed automagically. Why the hell doesn’t it in Ubuntu 9.4?

    FURTHERMORE – stop being so damned petty about open-source vs. free software. CONSUMERS DON’T CARE! Hell, as a “power user” who does some development on the side, I honestly couldn’t care less whether a driver/app is truly and purely open source or if it’s just free/proprietary. JUST INCLUDE THE DAMNED DRIVERS. Just because it’s a moral dilemma to YOU doesn’t mean that anyone else cares, so just do the right thing and be as interoperable as possible!

  131. Moin says:

    1. audio problems

    On my home PC there is AC’97 sound and XP can not work properly with it (some driver problems, that made driver to use software-distortions that I was not able to turn off) it was the first of reasons why I started to actually use GNU/Linux.

    2. wifi problems

    I actually switched all PC-activities where is been possible to switch for me to GNU/Linux after I had a lot of problems with windows, that could not find my home-wifi-g_class network.

    3. broken updates

    Have not yet seen any in GNU/Linux. But I`m sure I can handle to install older package or load older kernel, that works without regresses. What I`m also sure, that this kind of update has killed mine windows pretty much times and twice i even lost all my data.

    4. lack of software

    Well yes, there is lack of cracked software. It`s too bad that without game-devs wine would not implement their DRM properly, and in the mean time there will be a lot of this kind of software.

    Also I have used A LOT of projector-devices with my gnu/linux@laptop without any problems (it even plays video on second projector-display, while windows does not). And while I was learning in my university, my friend that has worked in multimedia@university support has not allowed anyone to use their laptops with projectors if this laptop has not been personally tested by him a day before and locked in safe until event.

    p.s. I know that is not windows-related topic (not mention that there is more than 50 times said “windows” and even some times “windows 7″ in thread already), but you know: “cognition comes through comparison” (proverb, sorry don’t know how it actually to say in english).

    And one more last thing: I’ve seen you trolling.

  132. n says:

    ODP!? Are you serious? Yes, I know. Open standards and all that, but could you please be a bit more realistic? Having to read slides in is just stupid…

  133. Johnny Come Lately Linux Heroes « Ubuntu Syndrome says:

    […] The last idiot wore me out and I’m not going to waste my  time on this guy.    Anyone want to take a shot giving a brief critique of this guy, be my guest in the comments.. I’ll pick the best one to include here. This entry was written by snowcrash5, posted on June 23, 2009 at 6:09 pm, filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « Karmic Krapola […]

  134. Innercr says:

    Linux is a religious obsession with a limited use OS and is followed by fanatics. Linux sucks in every aspect of desktop, whether that be visual rendering, GPU drivers, bluetooth or otherwise, however it duly shines on the server side just like Unix does. That’s where it has to remain because web servers predominantly don’t run on Windows.
    For me, as a business owner, it will never work unless it simply works outside the box. I’d much rather spend a $200 on the Windows OS that never needs tweaking (don’t confuse with maintaining) or figuring things out.
    Sorry Linux, maybe in 10 years we’ll give it another chance

  135. Kenneth Aar says:

    Hi Bryan. Great talk. I love you and Chris. I agree on most points, but do you know about the OpenSUSE buildserver? It will package software for all major Linux distributions for you! Just thought to mention it as nobody else did. Go to now.

  136. Linux Mint 7 Gloria « How to … on Linux says:

    […] surfing the web. However, from a user end perspective, it’s no Windows killer, sadly. I found this link, that says it all […]

  137. NovaTech Solutions | Blog says:

    […] Linux and Open Source software, yet they have some pretty serious opinions about how Linux… Sucks (note the presentation is about the short falls in Linux and how to make Linux […]

  138. Ubuntu 10.10 Needs A Solid, Functional Video Editor says:

    […] certainly isn’t the first to bemoan the lack of a go-to Linux video editor.  You can find essays on this same topic going […]

  139. Peter Trumpickas says:

    “a relatively recent version of photoshop have worked fine on linux for quite some time now through wine.”
    please…wine has so many problems that most aps won’t run or run properly. This is why die hard fans duel boot into windows.
    I use streets and trips for work, this will not run in linux. There are no options but duel boot and that is if you can get by all the driver issues, open gl and webcams won’t work for me.
    So you have to duel boot to play games and get work done.
    why bother just stay in windows it works fine.
    Linux is a form of insanity.

  140. Simon says:

    I could only watch about half of the video because I’m using Linux and my video is choppier than a… well, it’s really choppy!

  141. The things I like and love about OS X « The Wheat Field says:

    […] on a projector can still be an issue for Linux users. This can be seen in the opening of the “Linux Sucks” by Bryan Lunduke from the Linux Action Show (now renamed to the Computer Action Show to […]

  142. Alexander Ewering says:

    Heh. “We have to look at it really pragmatically”… in a fully ideologically blinded environment like the Open Source Community?

    You’re optimistic :)

  143. Filemon says:

    If Linux hasn’t get a decent share of the user cake at this stage; it is most likely it won’t ever get it.

    Even the iPhone seems to have greater share than Linux according to statistics based on internet access.

    We basically have two OS in the market: Windows and MacOS. The rest are just toys.

  144. Duncan White says:

    Bryan makes a number of excellent points, well done for making them. I’m a long term Unix (Solaris and Linux)
    lover and M$ hater. His main underlying theme seems to be: after a period of experimentation, the linux community needs to standardise on a single way of doing each thing,
    and then make it work in a rock solid way which doesn’t
    break later under an upgrade.

    For example, software should only need to be built and packaged ONCE for all linux distros. But this requires a single packaging system (whether RPM or DEB, I know both, they’re both fully functional, I don’t care which is
    chosen) along with a standard package naming and numbering scheme to hang dependencies on. This would make it easy
    for companies to port software to Linux, making Linux a
    single market. The dependency problem is as important
    as the packaging system, btw – noone seems to ever
    mention that!

  145. David says:

    In all honesty Linux without the religion of “Free” is just a collection of crappy software. There is a small group of people who will use it because it matches their philosophy regardless of the broken functionality.

    The world has not rejected Linux, they have rejected the crazy religion that goes with it.

    And make no mistake the world has rejected it. You can stop hiding behind the tired excuse that people don’t know it is available, they know and they are running from it.

  146. » Linux Fest Northwest! says:

    […] year I presented a session entitled “Why Linux Sucks (And What We Can Do To Fix It)” at the Fest.  And the response was… […]

  147. Linux fa schifo? Ma anche no!!! says:

    […] ho trovato un articolo intitolato “Linux fa Schifo” in cui viene citata una presentazione di Bryan Lunduke in cui l’autore critica linux dicendo che per lui fa […]

  148. Jerad Jackson says:

    Maybe that’s the atmosphere they prefer, but in my opinion, when someone is trying to give a presentation, you need to let them have their time to speak.

    I’m only 10 minutes in, and there’s way too many audience interjections.

  149. Pem says:

    Ubuntu app store? (Or, some cross-distro Linux app store?)

    Look at stuff like (the mobile market, including iTunes / iPhone OS) and (Steam for games, or XBox Live)… The important things are… It’s simple / easy / fast. You only have one account, and only the central place has your credit card, and you trust that central place. A lot of the apps are cheap (as low as $1 to $10), and you feel confident/secure, auto-updates etc.

    I’m sure there’s cheapskates that disagree… You’d have to be an extreme cheapskate (or someone who is actually jobless and poor) to make a big deal about paying $1 to $10 for something that you’d get much more than $1 to $10’s of enjoyment or usefulness out of.

  150. :: Jupiter Broadcasting Linux Tech Stuff :: LinuxFest Northwest schedule! says:

    […] is a (highly) updated version of last years session (of an almost identical name).  We’ll be covering how far Desktop Linux has come over the […]

  151. :: Jupiter Broadcasting Linux :: Linux (Still) Sucks Video says:

    […] the first day of the show I gave an updated version of last year’s “Why Linux Sucks.  (And What We Can Do To Fix It)” session that I know many of you wanted to see (the room got pretty crowded, and I know many […]

  152. » Google Ads vs Apple Ads (and why I don’t care) says:

    […] yes, I know developers need to earn a living.  That is a topic I tend to talk quite a lot about.  And if including embedded advertisements within mobile applications is a way to do […]

  153. Izkata says:

    …Projector issues? Ubuntu GUIs don’t handle it well, and granted the terminal isn’t an every-person thing, but I’ve found that xrandr works perfectly, near instantly, and has never, ever given me problems…

  154. Blogging from the Linux desktop « LECTORI SALUTEM says:

    […] but not least, I came across a nice video about why Linux sucks. Check it out because its all true! (ok most of it) Comments RSS […]

  155. ora says:

    AMEN BROTHER! Preach it! Especially when it comes to AUDIO.

    Jesus does audio on Linux piss me off : Gstreamer, use it STFU.


  156. David says:

    I have tried Linux 2 times,OK Install Linux completely 1h43m this includes all drivers and configuring software.
    Windows 23m full install and no configuring.
    wake up Linux does suck literaly.

  157. AnonGuy says:

    Someone talked about Developer tools upthread.

    No one cares about the crappy Linux Development Environment. Borland made Kylix for RAD and the Linux fanatics were too hooked to C++ to use it.

    So Borland made a Kylix for C++ and they were too hooked to emacs/GCC/make/etc. to use it.

    Trying to market commercial software on Linux is a surefire way to lose money.

    Also, binary drivers on LINUX are bad. They are not bad, per se. They work for Solaris, Windows, and MacOSX because those platforms provide decent backward compatibility (yes, many XP drivers ran flawlessly on Vista, like the Nostromo N52 Driver and Creative WebCam Instant driver as well).

    The issue is that the Linux Kernel ABI/API can change on a whim, and this forces manufacturers like ATI to drop Linux support for hardware up to YEARS before support is dropped on other operating systems. The fact that Linux is not backward/forward compatible (Windows and Solaris I know for a fact are) means that the user either has to upgrade their hardware (which can cost as much as a Windows License in many cases) or simply not upgrade their OS.

    Also, distros pretty much forbid users from installing clean systems, and the installation defaults are so bloated. If you do a custom install and remove all the cruft, installing Linux takes significantly longer than Windows. Hell, I can do a System Restore on my PC (which reinstalls a ton of appliations as well) and it will probably be done before I’m finished doing a custom install and unchecking the useless packages in something like OpenSUSE..

    XOrg is terrible and something needs to be done about it. The fact that applications use X11 is terrible. Developers should be using decent Application Frameworks like Qt or (ugh) GTK, not linking directly to X11 libraries. That way the only layer that needs to be modified is he Application Framework – the applications will still work as expected, the AFX will just use X00 to do the display magic.

    Productivity applications should not be linking to X11 Libs. The AFX and Desktop Manager abstracts X11 for these applications, so they should theoritically be able to run unchanged as long as the AFX and Desktop Manager have been updated to work with the new display underpinnings.

  158. AnonGuy says:

    Addendum: “Trying to make commercial desktop software for Linux is a surefire way to lose money, in 99% of situations.”

    There does exist many domain-specific Linux ports of software, but those aren’t the types of applications most of use encounter frequently, if at all.

    There are more of these apps ported to Solaris and HP-UX than Linux, though…

  159. Anono says:

    If you have problems with windows updates bugging you, turn off the service. I’ve been using Win 7 and before that supported a few Vista systems, and it was a huge pain in the bum to put up with all of that. but then I disabled it. And found that the fewer updates, the fewer wacked out occurrences. Win 7 is consistently good, in this regard however. So I don’t really have (much of) a beef with it.

    With Linux, what I think sucks (as a relative noob, been trying to get it to be my primary for a long time) is that it seems these discussions, while often focusing on completely real world issues, also miss what needs to be done in order for someone else to adopt the system. And I don’t care that it looks like so and so, or has a cube or whatever…that’s fulffy to me…what I care is that I don’t have to be on the internet 24/7 to try and find at least one source of help.

    For instance, if I’m trying to run terminal…it would be nice if in the distro itself there were something about running basic terminal commands…of course, they all protest, “there ARE!!” But I’ve looked and that help content that I have doesn’t tell me how to do what I (as a user) would want to know. Like, how do I install something using terminal? Is that in the help? I don’t think so…does it tell me where to find more information? I mean real information, not just a forum, where I have to register and be part of a community, etc. Because I’d rather get to know the system, see if it’s for me and then see if I want to be part of a community.

    Oh, and right now I’ve been looking for how to add something to my start programs/applications…depending on which dialog you’re working with….and I can’t understand where to find the command. Lo and behold the command is apparently the same as the program name…but we’ll see. Anyway, if that is in fact the case, then why not state that exact thing in the help…ie, “The command may very well be the actual name of the program”…because it says to browse for it, if you don’t know it. Well, I have no CLUE where to browse for it.

  160. Linux Fest Northwest 2011 This Weekend! at says:

    […] to Linux and the greater FOSS culture. The big session of the last two years was undoubtedly the Linux Sucks! and Linux (Still) Sucks presentations. With that said, there are many, many interesting topics for […]

  161. » Why Linux Sucks (Less Than Before) says:

    […] of presenting my third anual “Why Linux Sucks” presentation (which I also presented in 2009 and […]

  162. Travis says:

    This has probably been said before as I haven’t had time to read all the posts that are there. Right now there are many projects that are out there that are sponsored by big companies and they are completely free.

    What about a new foundation. The compatibility foundation. Were the foundation could go to Intel, Canolical, Novell.. oops i mean Atachmate.. What ever. Where you could promote leading edge software to make sure there platforms have something else to do than run LibreOffice and Sudoku stably.

    As far as the package formats. There is already programs like alien that you can make a .deb file into a .rpm. Let them have their own packages, but build in the ability to install from where ever they want.

    That is it. Cheers.

  163. Si says:

    Nice presentation (:

    Re one of the previous comments. I don’t think at all that diversity is the best thing about Linux. On the contrary, it’s the worst.

    I think only desktop distros that are worth mentioning these days are Mint, Ubuntu (just because it has so many users) & Debian. Everyone else should stop wasting time and creating confusion & frustration. Go and write high-end apps that match or are better than MS Office, Photoshop, Final Cut, Logic Pro etc.

    Rpm, deb, whatever.. a central Linux App Store is what people need.

    Then perhaps Linux won’t suck for too much longer.


  164. Aleksy V Zapparov AKA ixti says:

    My first reaction was on the topic was really close to fanboy’s WTF. Then I have read slides. Sad, but you’re absolutely right in my opinion.

    The only thing would like to mention, is that I believe that the main driven force is games. So one of the main aims, I believe is to have more games on Linux.
    Once Linux will have lots of (even proprietary) games (even with higher cost than versions) whih would be easy to install and run (at least on Ubuntu – I don’t like this distro, but let’s agree it’s the best one for home-users, and that’s great) – then Linux will be able to get big portion of desktops pie. Once it will happen – all other proprietary companies become interested in Linux as host platform for their products.

  165. mrmango says:

    Hi Bryan, found this by search for “without linux we could have have..” :)

    So I think 2012 sees us out of some of the problems here.

    With some cool video editing software appearing this year and some already available for low end editing like Open Shot, video editing should be at least in most parts full filled.

    Audio really a problem now? I’ve not seen any issues, until I hit Wine applications now. Don’t know about this one, other than I know I don’t have audio problems, agree on a single API though.

    Packages, I so agree on. I think software developers and packagers are talking with their feet. When you go to 3rd party developers, I see more and more giving our .debs instead of RPM’s. Irrelevant of who says RPM is the standard, .deb packages are winning and being Ubuntu and Debian are one of the biggest “consumer” upstream distros, lets get people working on .deb. But maybe just a tool that spits out any package like RPM and DEB? That’s the answer maybe?

    Games this year is gonna be huge, Steam is coming, Desura is here and more indie developers port to Linux with Kickstart or other projects getting loads of cash over their original requirements. People are voting with their wallets and it proves Linux owners are ready to pay more cash than most !

    2012 is a great year, we have some new and innovative desktops, irrelevant of whether people like them. I’d say they all beat Win8 ghastly look and feel.

    I’d love to see a LAS re visiting this?


  166. Mic says:

    I have to say i have tried Linux a few times and every time have been disappointed and put windows back on, for instance trying to change a simple theme took an hour with live help with no prevail (seems a slight difference in version i.e 3.1 or 3.2 f’s everything) I totally agree that there needs to be a standard, too many people contributing with too many different takes on a problem. I get the freedom idea and what not and the freedom to choose that is most important. But look at things like i dont know the vid player for web sites in full screen in windows the screen saver stays back. in linux the screen saver shows it’s ugly head. (i’m a linux noob), i’ve always thought maybe we just need a scrapping and rewrite from the bottom to the top fresh and to a standard.

    Great presentation diverted my raging hate of linux lol.

  167. Eric says:

    I didn’t understand most of what he was talking about, but I’ve always been a Windows user, and I’ve been curious about Linux, so I tried out Ubuntu, but I was just turned off. I wanted to try installing Eclipse and the android development sdk, and it took me forever to just install those few things. Anytime I wanted to install something I had to use google to look up instructions. You have to enter your password to do ANYTHING. Everyone ridiculed Microsoft for introducing “user account control” in Vista, but at least that crap can be turned off. Microsoft pisses me off, they’re the big OS company that I have no choice to use, when users report bugs in their software they deny that they exist (just google: “windows won’t auto-refresh” if you want to see an example)…which is really frustrating considering that its not free. Unfortunately as a developer, gamer, and casual computer user I don’t see any viable alternatives.

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