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GNU/Linux Promises for 2014

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Linux

Windows XP

Summary: Why the imminent end of Windows XP is likely to lead to a lot of GNU/Linux adoptions, especially where it's required by state law or other rules/regulations

A writer at CNET, which is part of CBS, recently started an Internet-wide discussion when he wrote about "[h]ow to decide if Linux is right for you" [1]. This discussion reached as far as its competitor, IDG, where a distro reviewer and relatively new pundit addressed the subject, rephrasing it as a question [2]. Security experts in Holland are certain that GNU/Linux is suitable and worth considering for replacing Windows XP [3,4], which reaches its End of Life (EOL) in a matter of months. Evidence suggests, based on this new article [5] from ZDNet (also part of CBS), that old computers with Windows XP can be refurbished "on a budget" with fairly full-featured distributions like openSuSE and Fedora 19. Interesting times are ahead because as a matter of compliance with the law (for governments) or guidelines (in businesses) many people will soon have to throw away their computers (incapable of running Vista and successors) or simply upgrade to a modern distribution of GNU/Linux. Microsoft extended the life of Windows XP many times (for long periods of time) because it knows this. It also lowered (significantly) the cost of Windows XP when it needed to dump it onto the market to push back GNU/Linux, especially in sub-notebooks (better known as netbooks).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. How to decide if Linux is right for you

    This open-source operating system offers a Windows-like experience without all the hassles. Plus, it's free. Should it be your next OS?

  2. Is Linux right for you?

    Many folks using other operating systems sometimes wonder if Linux is right for them.

  3. Dutch Cyber Security Centre Points To GNU/Linux To Replace XP

    I wish my government pointed the way. I would suggest they recommend Debian GNU/Linux. I find it more reliable than Ubuntu GNU/Linux and less expensive than Red Hat GNU/Linux.

  4. Dutch cyber security centre: Linux suitable for businesses

    The Dutch government's cyber security centre says that Linux is suitable for business users, as well as for personal use. It points to the Ubuntu or Red Hat open source distributions as a viable alternative for those that are currently using a decade-old proprietary operating system.

  5. Upgrading on a budget: Running Linux on a refurbished laptop and docking station

    Buying refurbished systems can save a lot of money and produce impressive results: here's what I found when testing out openSuSE and Fedora 19 on a a refurbished Lenovo.

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systemd and DebConf16

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    At DebConf 16 I was working on a systemd backport for Debian/jessie. Results are officially available via the Debian archive now. In Debian jessie we have systemd v215 (which originally dates back to 2014-07-03 upstream-wise, plus changes + fixes from pkg-systemd folks of course). Now via Debian backports you have the option to update systemd to a very recent version: v230. If you have jessie-backports enabled it’s just an `apt install systemd -t jessie-backports` away. For the upstream changes between v215 and v230 see upstream’s NEWS file for list of changes. (Actually the systemd backport is available since 2016-07-19 for amd64, arm64 + armhf, though for mips, mipsel, powerpc, ppc64el + s390x we had to fight against GCC ICEs when compiling on/for Debian/jessie and for i386 architecture the systemd test-suite identified broken O_TMPFILE permission handling.)
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    If you go to the Debian video archive, you will notice the appearance of an "lq" directory in the debconf16 subdirectory of the archive. This directory contains low-resolution re-encodings of the same videos that are available in the toplevel.

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