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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  • Izkata

    …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…

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  • ora

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

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


  • David

    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.

  • AnonGuy

    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.

  • AnonGuy

    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…

  • Anono

    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.

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  • Travis

    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.

  • Si

    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.


  • Aleksy V Zapparov AKA ixti

    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.

  • mrmango

    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?


  • Mic

    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.

  • Eric

    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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