Has Linux Fallen into a Well?

khess 1 Tallied Votes 732 Views Share

Does it seem to you that Linux distributions have fallen into to a well or other deep support chasm that defies the space-time continuum? It seems so to me. Linux distributions are lagging behind Windows and Mac in significant ways.
Well, it doesn't work for this chipset. Well, it works but you have to tweak it. Well, it works but...is the common theme for many Linux installations. This generates frustrations for users old and new. It's hard to convince someone to use Linux when it's even hard for me to do something that would be impossible for a newbie.

For example, yesterday I had heard enough complaints from my kids about their shared Windows XP laptop's slowness, unresponsiveness and general lack of pep. I summoned them all from their caves (Rooms with TVs) and told them to save off their valuable documents, songs and other files of interest to a flash drive because I am going to reimage the laptop. They complied. I planned to reimage it with Ubuntu 9.04 Desktop. There began my problems that appeared to remain unresolved until I put Windows XP back on it.

Don't fret, I went ahead with the installation of Ubuntu 9.04.

The installation went fine. The updating via apt-get went swimmingly. Sound, wired networking, video--everything was just perfect--until I tried to use the wireless networking, that is. The kids have to use wireless because the only wired connections are in my office and I don't want them in that close proximity to me for extended periods of time. I have to work, after all.

Much to my disappointment, though, my built-in Broadcom wireless network adapter wasn't supported by default. Why does it seem like that Linux supports everything except what I have? This is why, as I told a friend of mine, Linux will never unseat Windows as the reigning desktop computer dominant force. Never.

Oh, don't think for a minute that I'm turning my back on Linux--I'm not. Quite the opposite, in fact, since it would be so much easier to simply reimage the laptop with Windows XP from the rescue disks.

It does seem though that I wrestle with configurations for laptops, desktops and sometimes servers when using Linux but I've never given up on it. I likely never will. It would be nice, however, if everything just worked right out of the box like it's supposed to--at least once in a while.

And, no, I don't check the hardware compatibility list prior to purchase. If I did, I might not have any hardware at all. I buy what's available without regard for compatibility because I know that mass-produced hardware will have support--or should.

Like many of you, when I install Linux for someone else, I'd like for it to just 'work' without any problems so that they can see how awesome it is. Now, my kids are wondering if it was really worth all the trouble. 15 minutes to install and 15 hours to troubleshoot is not a good showing for a basic service like wireless networking.

Late-breaking Update: Fortunately, just a while ago, I found this fix that worked for me. Now the kids have a fully functional laptop that runs like one with much more RAM and a more powerful CPU.
I'll update you on their adoption of Linux. Who knows, this could be the beginning of a whole new era of posts generated from the experiences of the cave dwellers in my house.

happygeek commented: Thought provoking post, thanks. +12
Member Avatar for dandart

Well well well.
Broadcom are the bad ones here. For the most part, Linux works just perfectly. Everything on all my PCs does. I recently bought a webcam. Just works. Now, the only thing I have found that doesn't work with modern distros is my mum's laptop's wireless. Yup, Broadcom. Linux just needs companies to support it more. That will happen when it has broader adoption, such as now when netbooks and smaller devices are doing well. We need more big companies to support it, then smaller ones will. Education is equally as important. For instance more and more young people are starting off with it. They buy a netbook, it works, they recommend it, it gets more popular, it gets more supported, it gets better.

aaln 0 Newbie Poster

Never say never.

Someone said "... not even God could sink" the Titanic, and there you have it. As for Linux on the desktop, it has certainly displaced Windows in the most important environment ever: Mine.

If we can use natural evolution for an analogy, we can be certain that it is just a matter of time before Linux displaces Windows everywhere. After all, who would not want to trade such a confounding piece of unreliable junk for a well engineered, dependable, fast, and secure OS?

ricegf 0 Newbie Poster

Yep, Linux has occasional problems with certain types of "trade secret" hardware like Broadcom - vendors who not only won't provide Linux drivers, but protect the data free software developers need to do the job themselves.

But Windows "just works"?? You've clearly never tried to install newer versions on older hardware. Do you *really* expect vendors to create new drivers for 7 to support older hardware? Why would they? You can't sell drivers except in a few specialty markets, and the XP driver model is not fully compatible with 7. Manufacturers want you to buy new hardware, not keep using what works!

But your XP restore disk works just fine, you said? Well, surprise, my System76 Ubuntu restore disk works just fine, too! Pre-installed, Windows and Linux (any version of either) work great.

So, drivers can be a problem for either Windows or Linux, and if you don't want to deal with those issues, either check for drivers before you buy, or get the OS version you want pre-installed. HP, Dell, Zareason and of course System76 have reasonably broad and growing product lines of computers with Linux pre-installed.

dorkwad -10 Light Poster

Well well well. Typical Linux Freetard excuses for a crappy 90's desktop OS that less than 1% would EVER want. face it, Linux Desktop is CRAP. it is a cesspool of failed projects, all reinventing the same freaking wheel and going nowhere with the same 5-6 apps that run better and faster on Windows and OSX.
OMG MS is eBIL! HAHAH You freetards make me laugh.

Everything from ItsAConspiracy(TM) to "WorksForMe(TM)" to "It'sJustYou(TM)"

And the author is right, why SHOULDN'T' 2009 Linux work while 2002 XP does on Standard hardware like Broadcom, which has been the standard like..forever. Remember the Intel GMA driver issue? What excuse was that?

Why don't you freetards come over (I triple dog dare you) to:

"Linux Hater's Blog"

just Google it, you should be good at looking up Esoteric workarounds and solutions to problems that don't exists in Windows or OSX.

NicAx64 76 Posting Pro

when I installed the OS X X86 in my intel computer it works fine with the every hardware that , even some are without the drivers on the
windows ( ex - my sound card ) . and do not remember that OS X is
also a *nix.

and this is typical , linux drivers can made into the kernel or compiled as a separate module. that is why some distros are support you're driver and some distros are not.

when the boot process of the linux kernel there is a miniroot file
system , inside it you can find those modules , they are some seperate story , they can be use until a real root fs will be mounted.

and again Linux kernel isn't a crazy thing as a deep well. No it isn't
it's more hierachial architecture than a monotonic mess.Everything
are just modularized well , you can't see shuch brave modulaziation
in the windows environment. windows is a mess not Linux kernel itself.

I think a good configuration skills will cure you're all problems. And
Linux is the operating system that supports huge number of
hardware device drivers.

RJFoertsch 0 Newbie Poster

In my experience, Ubuntu doesn't ship with Broadcom wireless drivers because they are proprietary, not open source. Which is the same reason it doesn't ship with Adobe Flash, mp3 support, etc. And even so, Ubuntu generally will give you a couple buttons to click to download the proprietary drivers (of course it's a pain to download drivers when you don't have wireless.....).

I've also ran into situations where a Windows XP installation on a newer desktop didn't have the drivers for the wired ethernet card. To detect what type of card it was, I slapped in a Ubuntu Live CD, and I was able to identify which drivers I needed for Windows and download it right then and there, while running the Live CD. Ubuntu had the drivers and Windows didn't.

Lesson learned: driver support is always a crapshoot, no matter what OS you use.

dorkwad -10 Light Poster

Hey RJFoertsch,

If you need to know what driver it is, run siw.exe, it will tell you in the device manager.


NicAx64, I have tremendous respect for osx, it doesnt matter what it's roots are, it is a polished desktop OS built by a centralized paid group of programmers that work closely together.

No take Linux kernel, even when you disable compiz to reduce video tearing (yet it still exists), and when x server crashes it takes down everything else. In windows, if one app crashes or explorer.exe, it doesn't take down the whole graphical stack. All the other applications are fine. i can;t tell you how many times enabling compiz would hard lock the PC, and how many times X server crashed, bringing down all my work. yes I used Linux Desktop, I know what I'm talking about. I wasted my life on that POS OS. All the dist-upgrade that broke my system I can't take anymore.

Like I said, I triple dog dare all the linux Zealots to come to linuxhater blogspot.

thePuppeteer 0 Newbie Poster

I have personally never had problems with Ubuntu. I have been using for the past 3 years. There is nothing wrong with putting down any OS, as long as you provide a legit reason other than "just because." Btw, I am referring to certain posts, not the main thread. The first few posts have expressed my opinions, so i see no reason to repeat others.

necrolin 94 Posting Whiz in Training

"Much to my disappointment, though, my built-in Broadcom wireless network adapter wasn't supported by default."

What you're saying is that you had to install the driver. OK... big deal? What I like about Linux is that you can install the Broadcom drivers from the repository. No CDs required. Have you ever tried to re-install Windows for a friend who "thinks" he has all his original CDs for the computer just to find out that he's missing the one that has drivers for the MOBO (built in network card, etc)?? So, you search the manufacturers website just to find out that it has all the drivers listed except the one you need. Now that's a pain in the behind. It's not that I disagree with you on the tweaking part. Linux has been given me it's fair share of stress, but I do think that your example is rather weak.

jaanu123 0 Newbie Poster

that doesnot happen actually.
linux is still working good
<Snipped "fake" signature. check the rules.>

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