Linux is both the world’s best and worst operating system. If you’re running a server it’s the best. Linux gives you control, sort of. On the desktop however it totally sucks, and over time it’s getting worse.

Linux also, like the Mac is more of a religion where Linux followers praise new features that actually make the user experience worse. The community behaves more like a cult and seems completely disconnected from the reality of making something productive.

Linux is free and is actually not even worth what you pay for it. That’s why people actually are willing to pay for something else. If Linux paid you to take it it wouldn’t be any more popular than it is now.

I’m currently running 12 Linux servers. I have 20 years of Linux experience. And I’m currently running Linux on my desktop. So you might ask, if I hate Linux so much, why do I run it.

  • Windows is too insecure. Too easy to end up with ramsomware encrypting your drive and demanding money to release it.
  • Apple is insanely expensive and doesn’t give me the ability to build my own hardware. I hate their menu system and they are still stuck with one button mouse world (laptops). They go out of their way to be incompatible.

I do run Windows in a virtualbox when I need to run stuff only windows can run.

Currently running Centos 6.7. Yes – Centos 7 is out there – but it sucks. It runs Gnome 3 which is a huge step backwards from Gnome 2.

About 10 years ago I was running Fedora 8. I could customize it any way I wanted. The most customizable versions go back to 2001 with Redhat. I could do anything I wanted. Now Linux is more licked down than Windows XP.

I spent the last 2 week trying to change to some other “better” version of Linux. I chose Linux Mint because it was supposed to be the user friendly version that focused on actually working. In the Linux community the feature “actually works” is of very low importance. I tried 3 flavors of Mint. Mate, Cinnamon, and KDE.

The KDE was the shortest test. KDE used to be my favorite desktop. I spen an hour just rying to change the wallpaper and gave up. I figure if I can’t even change the wallpaper it’s not worth the effort. In any other OS I just right click on the desktop and it gives me an option to set wallpaper.

Cinnamon was also very restrictive. I like having a launcher bar at the top where I can launch anything I want including my own script files. In Gnome 2 you can do that. In Gnome 3 you can’t. Cinnamon is Gnome 3.

The Mate desktop was more flexible but still wasn’t as easy as Gnome 2 on my Centos 6 install. It created tiny icons any couldn’t adjust the size. It didn’t have as many widgets to put in the task bar as Gnome 2 did. And I was looking for more freedom – not less. And compared to Redhat KDE 2 of 15 years ago it had nothing!

Besides the looks the real killers were the removal of functionality. I’m a programmer and I do real work. 2 things I really need are:

  • The ability to open a tabbed SSH client where it start 30 some SSH clients all logged into different servers so that I click one button and I’m into everything I run. Fedora removed it from their Konsole app about 9 years ago and after running Fedora 8 for many years I switched to Gnome 2. With a shell script I could open their terminal program just the way I wanted to.
  • The ability to start editors (Gedit) with a choice of several lists of files to automatically open depending on what project I’m working on. When I went to the Mate desktop they had removed that feature and I couldn’t find a compatible plugin that worked.

Another reason I’m not upgrading was that Grub2 is far more complicated than Grub and Grub is far more complicated than it needs to be. I never managed to get the text mode on boot up to be anything other that 80×25 which is a something that I was stuck with back on text mode DOS.You would think that after 35 years and 1080p being the cheap monitor we can get beyond 80×25? Come on!

Then there’s the new systemd which took something that just worked and turned it into something that who knows what the hell it does.

It also took me a year to upgrade my workstation from Centos 6.6 to 6.7 because of video driver issues. Using AMD drivers and it barely works. Just got that working yesterday.

But – the Chrome Browser (I use because of Chromecast) doesn’t work on Centos 6 anymore. Not to worry because the latest chrome was broken in Mint because of known video tearing bugs, so the latest isn’t what I want anyway.

I’m not the only one who thinks Linux desktops are heading in the wrong direction. Even Linus Torvalds complains about the removal of features. you would think that when Linus complains people would listed. But they don’t. Meanwhile Linux as a desktop continues to become less popular and is getting worse even in an environment where Windows is getting worse too. I used to have the illusion that software was supposed to get better over time. That’s not what is happening. In many ways the Internet was better 15 years ago when you could get free music on Napster and you could get laid on Craigslist.

One advantage to commercial software is that you can call up and complain and people in the marketing end are actually interested in adding features that customers actually use. They also realize they can cut support costs if the software actually works. in the open source world no one take responsibility. The attitude is (and there is a lot of attitude in the Linux community), here’s the source code – customize it yourself.



  1. Bill Smells says:

    Not a single mention of Ubuntu.

    Mac’s single-button mouse? Who uses a mouse anymore? I have a multi-touch track pad which supports not only right-clicks, but also has multiple gestures I can use for variety of controls.

    Definitely a Dvorak-approved article. Mostly click-bait drivel.

    • Goober says:

      Ditto.

      Dvorak is the original troll. But the lack of 2 buttons on a Macbook? Its like he’s not even trying anymore in his old age. The Macbook trackpad is lightyears ahead of any other laptop device the Goob has ever used.

      Dvorak needs to uncrustify his troll-rants.

      The Goob hath thusly ruled on this issue.

      • McCullough says:

        Who uses a mouse? I do, and I guarantee I am much faster than you are with a track pad.

        Just plug in a regular Logitech 2 button mouse. Right clicking works just fine, scrolling works as well.

    • Benjamin says:

      I am not convinced people want newfangled things like computer mice. The mouse will never catch on.

    • Benjamin says:

      I love Linux. I am running Xubuntu. I can do my writing using Scrivener or LibreOffice, I can write programs, and even customize my own keyboard layout to be able to type the most used characters.

      I’m not going back to Windows and I am only booting into my Mac to run Quicken or do iPhone development.

      It boots faster, doesnt bog down on Windows updates, there are no viruses, and I really don’t have the problems I had with Windows. I use hardware longer than I should, so Linux helps there.

      Yes, Xubuntu is set up like Windows 7, but it without the headache. Most things can be done on the commandline as well.

    • Chuck says:

      Here, I’ll mention Ubuntu since the author didnt:

      Ubuntu is what happens to Linux projects when too many hands are in the pot. It’s a sub-enterprise class Linux operating system that gives developers the belief that they are deploying secure, well thought out infrastructure implementations. Forgot a critical deployment piece in your 100 server development build? Don’t worry, someone made a workaround application that masks the root problem so you don’t have to deal with it correctly– and its only one aptitude command away from making you think you know what you’re doing, right out of the box.

      Ubuntu, however, is perfect for the many users that you want to keep away from enterprise class projects, such as RHEL, CentOS, and the many. Be lucky that it exists, or you would be swimming with them in the city pool, instead of enjoying the private hot spring meant for the small group of users that still respect the communnity’s original goals.

  2. KiraK says:

    Personally, I don’t use Linux because the model is too much like Windows. Were Linux modeled after OS X instead, I would gladly use it. Warts and all.

    • Marc Perkel says:

      Actually 10 years ago you could set it to be like the Mac. But not any more.

    • Krispy says:

      Have you tried Elementary? It’s based closely on Macs. It certainly looks good

    • Penguinned says:

      What?! “Linux is too much like Windows”?!!! How?

      Perhaps you have confused a particular (bad) “distro” like Zorin with being like Windows. However, Zorin only looks like Windows but appearances are where it ends. In fact, Linux’s very close cousin is BSD which is what MACS are based off of — NOT Linux!

      In anything! Linux is more like a (more functional) MAC!!!

      … Even so, I agree. Linux is NOT for everyone. Especially certain “programmers” (who’s idea of “programming” is how to configure a coffee pot to automatically turn on at 6AM).

  3. Mr Diesel says:

    Looking back at the 30 years I have been using UNIX/Linux I can sagely say I never thought it was designed for the end user in mind. One of my employers made some awesome Unix workstations (think back to the Silicon Graphics days, no, not us) and they were like that. They usually front ended a larger system running finite element modeling or CAD systems.

    Our larger UNIX systems were switchable between Berkeley or ATT Sys 5 flavors from the command prompt.

    I use Ubuntu for any desktop work I want to do but mostly I’m still at command line after these years the way nature intended.

  4. A non pro says:

    I have been using Linux for years. I was on Ubuntu for much of that and have now switched to Manjaro because I like to rolling release. Although I have been a Linux user for sometime now, I am still quite the novice, for I just use it for everyday tasks (word processor, browser, etc.) I will say that it is not very friendly to the non technical user. It’s not bad, for me, until I need something that isn’t in the ‘software store’, or in the repositories. I needed to get a printer running and had to download the Linux driver from the manufacturers website. I, being the novice, had no idea what to do with it. Thankfully, there were instructions that someone posted on their blog. I was expecting to just ‘double-click’ the file and there it would run, much like a Windows .exe file would.

    If it wasn’t for the communities surrounding Linux distributions, I don’t think I could get much functionality out of my old laptop. But, to install Windows on a new machine sometimes isn’t any better. Neither isn’t very novice friendly.

  5. ECA says:

    I believe an OS, is the beginning and the Shell/GUI is what you add for yourself..
    I find it Impossible for a Program(Chrome) to Break an interface because of a video driver..AND IT SHOULDNT..

    What is happening to Linux?
    To many Cooks in the Kitchen?
    Major corps STILL dont think about it?? for drivers?

    I find it funny that the Graphic Utilities ARNT in 1-2 Utility..

    Linux USED to be #1 for Game design…for reasons..And all of them are gone.
    MS wont let them make a PORT for DirectX, Not to say anything about its OTHER programming..

    I remember the Old days when the Major PLAYERS in computers Made programs to work on EVERYTHING…
    I could get Multiplan on Any machine..

    But, its coming down to the ‘Atari War’ again..and the Loser will be the consumer.

    The DOD is going to upgrade to Win10…STUPID..
    The military has been TRYING to use windows in Fighter jets…Wish I could say this was a good idea..insted of making a STRAIGHT SIMPLE INTERFACE, they complicate it…and every time it lands, it wants an UPDATE..(waiting for it to happen inflight)
    What happened to GWBASIC??
    GET PYTHON WORKING ON WINDOWS…

    What do you think of a OS, with its OWN interface, Runs its OWN programming language(Vbasic, VC++, DX, Netframework,…,…)(makes things confusing)…
    AND STILL isnt safe…

  6. John Hart says:

    Linux does suck.

    I’m a Mac user since 1986. Every version of Windows looked 6 years dated compared to Apple. I despised Windows.

    But I also resent Apple’s markup. Especially under Mr. Cook where prices have climbed further and spec has dropped lower.

    So the last 4 years I’ve been all about Linux in VBox. The idea being that one day I’d finally buy an inexpensive PC laptop, install Linux, and have a killer ‘netbook’ as a secondary option.

    Like this articles says I kept hearing how ‘easy’ and ‘amazing’ Linux was. The problem is every last popular distro lacked.

    Mint? They have an army on the net claiming it’s solid as hell. It isn’t. And it looks dated.

    Ubuntu? What’s more unstable than KDE? What’s uglier than plain Ubuntu? Mate was kinda interesting. Key word: kinda.

    My hopes were on the con that is eOS. It was clearly trying to engage Mac users. But eOS took ages to come out with Freya and as the boards made perfectly clear — GARBAGEWARE.

    So Windows had all these new faces talking about Win10. “It’s this, it’s that!” Yes, I thought. Just what you said about 8 and that made Linux look interesting. (I briefly dabbled with 8 and couldn’t believe what a bunch of suckers Windows users are.)

    Then I tried 10. Wow. Overnight Windows made Linux irrelevant and made me question which of my computers need to be a Mac or iPad. My base computer will always be an iMac because you can turn your back on it and it will work fine when you look back.

    Windows? Close enough as a secondary computer. I use iCloud to connect to my ‘Mac’ world from my PC and it works great. Instead of paying $1199 for a laptop I paid $599. Instead of my wife paying $1699 she paid $799.

    Linux? Maybe if Ubuntu sold ‘Chromebooks’ and had to offer service and make things work I’d bite.

    Otherwise the Linux desktop is so dead.

  7. raintrees says:

    Happily using Linux for the last 8 years, and I am not going back. I am converting more XP boxes to Linux for my clients, as well. I am now slowly converting servers, too. Unfortunately, the people who pay me to solve problems for them are still using apps that mainly work on Windows (QuickBooks, AutoCAD, custom systems written against Access and OfficeBasic, etc.).

    I am either at the command line or in FireFox. I am happy I no longer have to reboot daily to get Windows resources back, I now have to reboot monthly, usually due to Flash in the browser finally dying (I use a remote access platform that was written in Flash or Java and Java keeps getting denied for security reasons too often). I couldn’t wrap my mind around a third way of having to do everything, so I put the Mac Workstation back in the box.

    And I write my own utilities as I need them, so I am not your average huckleberry (Shell, Python, or C).

    • Markus says:

      “I am happy I no longer have to reboot daily to get Windows resources back”

      Wow, you have been gone a long time.

  8. Hmeyers says:

    Linux has the foundation (err — well mostly, supposedly systemd interferes with sleep/wake up).

    The desktop environments are my main complaint.

    Without a “for profit” desktop environment, Linux will remain where it is.

    Free projects hit “The Tragedy of The Commons” Wall too easily.

    And with the development of the various desktop environments, you don’t have a supply/demand/reward — just volunteers and various opinionated loud mouthed users.

    If there were a commercial desktop environment for Linux, they could attract someone in the UI sciences (user interface) and get a properly architected desktop. (Windows 95 was designed by a usability architect and was a fine piece of work in the user interface).

    As it is: Linux desktop environments are kind of like GIMP and the other free Linux apps in the sense they are always half-baked applications compared to the type Windows has to offer or even the Mac.

    • Ah_Yea says:

      Wow, you beat me to it. “Tragedy of the Commons” was where I was going as well. Linux is the perfect example.

      • Hmeyers says:

        Yeah it’s sad.

        Often in open source, a successful project becomes a doomed project due to that.

        Commercial success: More money, hire more help. More money, hire talent.

        Open source success:
        1) More users, some of which are assholes and basement nerd “know it alls”.
        2) More feature requests. Some of the “requests” are demands, from serial harassers.
        3) More stress on the developer(s) , who did it for free.
        4) Inability to attract talent.

        Linux is good as a server because big corps invest in that part. IBM is one major example, many other internet service oriented companies.

        Desktop? Megacorps have no skin in that game.

  9. MikeN says:

    >The community behaves more like a cult and seems completely disconnected from the reality of making something productive.

    You would know…

  10. Artstone@toast.net says:

    Worked on Motirala 68000 Fortune UNIX in the 1980s, started on Redhat around 2000 to run Apache, migrated to Fedora when two forced failed upgrades left me with with an unbootable system, I moved to Ubuntu LTS about a year ago.

    The business model of Linux seems to be the authors create no documentation, then sell $75 books to explain how it works. I was perfectly content with /etc/rc.d/ for startup and grep and syslog for logging.

    It is one thing to create new/improved stuff but quite different to demand you change everything you do because someone with an ego demands it. I don’t want Systemd, I don’t need a better logging subsystem. Is there a human alive who actually knows how SELinux actually works?

    I reformatted my hard drive on my newest machine to kill Win10, but I am perfectly content to spend 95% of my retirement poking at an iPad. I’m no Apple fanboy, but it just works. Sysadmin work is not the end product of computing.

  11. 3arn0wl says:

    Well at least we agree that Linux’s greatest strength is it’s customisability! It’s second (or joint first) greatest strength is Open Source. There’s really no place for pieces such as this: if you can’t find a distro you like; BUILD ONE YOURSELF.

  12. Rex says:

    I’ve been running Linux for about 6 years. I would never go back to Windows. I used to run Ubuntu but then they changed for the worst. Switched to Mint Cinnamon but I had too many problems. Now I run Mint MATE and everything works great.
    One of the problems that I see is that there is a constant call for change. When I was in college they changed the system every year. Every place I’ve worked they would change things just for no good reason that I could see. Windows 7 and Gnome 2 both reached a high point but some people feel that we can’t we can’t leave well enough alone. My guess is that they need to justify their existence. I’m not against change but sometimes things are good enough that there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

  13. Penguinned says:

    The problem with Linux is just the opposite — Linux is NOT like Windows. And as such, people who used to use Windows and then try Linux need to change their HABITS!!! Otherwise, it’s going to be a bad experience.

    Throughout this whole article, all I could hear was a bitch fest where the author seems to be saying, “wa wa, I can’t think for myself (since Microsoft brainwashed me).”

    Here’s a bit of advice for any of you “programmers”, especially those of you advancing into your golden years: LIFE CHANGES — GET WITH THE PROGRAM!

    But yes. systemd along with KDE, GNOME 3 and most other desktop GUI’s really are abominations (as if the “thing” in M$ Windows isn’t). That may be why Mr. Shuttelworth is poised to include MIR in Ubuntu’s next major release as opposed to continuing to use the ancient X window system that everything else uses, and which has been around since the stone ages. But we’ll still have to deal with Unity and probably still deal with having the windows buttons on the “wrong side” too. 😉

    • Marc Perkel says:

      When software keeps getting worse over time then it’s heading in the wrong direction. We don’t want to change to suit Linux – we want Linux to change to suit us. I would think that when you can’t get people to use it for free then something is very wrong.

  14. MikeN says:

    Why solar sucks and will never compete with coal or natural gas or nuclear.

  15. mojo says:

    My first words on booting up Mint Cinnamon and poking around a bit: “Jeez, who’s been fiddling with the init system?”

  16. NewFormatSux says:

    Is this like how Trump will never be a serious candidate…

  17. flatwombat says:

    Well, I started with linux when I retired some 12 years ago and haven’t looked back since. I’ve also installed it on friends and family computers when problems with Windows finally frustrated them. In all, that’s probably a dozen or more installs, including one public computer that’s been operating without a problem for 4 years.

    In reality, it’s fine if you’re Joe Typical and only use your machine for emails/chats/facebook/taxes/office software. In fact, the last install I did was for a guy who is not into computers at all and was frustrated that two Windows 10 installs quickly filled with malware. He was shocked at how easy it was to use Mint. BTW, most of these folks are 70+ years old, although a couple are in their 40’s and, as a bonus, I haven’t had to stop back to fix issues. When I was the Windows Guru, it was a daily chore.

    At home, I use Fedora, however now that I’m away for the winter, I prefer Mint since there’s generally no chance of anything borking.

    To each his own.

  18. moose says:

    If Linux paid you to take it it wouldn’t be any more popular than it is now

    your a doucebag, 20 years experince and you cant edit grub file , get the f*ck out of here

    you douchebag trolling d*ckhead


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