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Searching for the Linux of Mass Appeal

Filed under
Linux

As a computer service volunteer and Linux advocate, how can I get the average computer user to adopt Linux?

This has nothing to do with what I happen to like, but what I find actually doing the job. Having to work around minor issues is no sweat for me, but the average refugee from Redmond isn’t gonna like it. Just getting past the inertia of moving away from what comes bundled on the PC from the store means we have to be significantly better. Gamers and hobbyists already know what to do, but most home users have too many other concerns in their lives. We want them; we need that mass appeal to overcome hindrances we have faced since the days Linus first posted his ideas on Usenet. We have to offer a compelling reason to switch.

Simple security is not enough. Everybody knows Linux is better at security, if they even know what Linux is. I remain firmly convinced neither the Russian Mafia nor NSA will find a typical Linux home PC an easy target for cracking over the wire.

As I compare what they see with what I experience in the Land of Linux, here are some observations:

1. GNOME is slightly ahead of the game over KDE and others. More stuff works, more consistently, right out of the box. They include things like the default CD player, screensavers, applets, and frequently font rendering.

2. Hardware detection is everything.

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today's leftovers

Linux and Graphics

Security Leftovers

  • Cockpit 0.104
    Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. There’s a new release every week. Here are the highlights from this weeks 0.104 release.
  • FFmpeg 3.0.2 "Einstein" Multimedia Framework Released with Updated Components
    Today, April 28, 2016, the development team behind the popular FFmpeg open-source and cross-platform multimedia framework has released the second maintenance release in the stable FFmpeg 3.0 "Einstein" series. FFmpeg 3.0 was a massive release announced in mid-February, which brought in numerous existing changes, including support for decoding and encoding Common Encryption (CENC) MP4 files, support for decoding DXV streams, as well as support for decoding Screenpresso SPV1 streams.
  • Using bubblewrap in xdg-app
    At the core of xdg-app is a small helper binary that uses Linux features like namespaces to set up sandbox for the application. The main difference between this helper and a full-blown container system is that it runs entirely as the user. It does not require root privileges, and can never allow you to get access to things you would not otherwise have.
  • Build System Fallbacks
    If you are using Builder from git (such as via jhbuild) or from the gnome-builder-3-20 branch (what will become 3.20.4) you can use Builder with the fallback build system. This is essentially our “NULL” build system and has been around forever. But today, these branches learned something so stupidly obvious I’m ashamed I didn’t do it 6 months ago when implementing Build Configurations.
  • Node.js version 6 is now available