Friday, August 2, 2013

Making Linux on the Desktop Mainstream

I've now been using Linux Mint for 5 months and I love it!  Yes, I have had some issues when running multiple graphics intensive applications simultaneously like a screen recorder, a webcam and google chrome all at once.  However, I know this is due to my graphics drivers either not being optimized for Linux Mint or needing to be updated.  What usually happens is the screen either freezes or the windows lose their minimize/maximize (-/+) buttons.  I know how to remedy those situations now, which I will explain in a later post.  This is similar to pressing the <CTRL><ALT><DEL> keys to bring up the Task Manager in Windows to end the CPU intensive process causing the locked screen.  So stay tuned!

Other than that, my experience with Linux Mint has been awesome.  I can do everything that I've done with my Windows 7 laptop and more.  That's why my Windows 7 laptop just sits in my room as a backup, collecting dust.

Given that I've pronounced Linux ready to go mainstream on the desktop (and not just on the smartphone and tablet markets via Android), here's what I feel needs to be done for that to happen:

1.  Linux needs to be showcased live - Brick and mortar stores such as BestBuy, Staples and Walmart allow potential laptop customers to play around with models of what they have on stock before they purchase a laptop.  Since Linux is not present, the average customer has no idea that Ubuntu or Linux Mint laptop's even exist.  If retailers won't carry Ubuntu laptops or Mintboxes on their displays, then they need to be showcased on kiosks in malls where there is the foot traffic to see that "Linux does exist on a desktop and is a viable option to Windows or MAC".  To supplement the live demo experience, live Linux USB's or CD's could be handed out for free or for a minimal fee (cost of USB stick or CD) to allow the consumers to try the Linux OS at home.

2.  Linux needs to perform well out of the box - There are now many Linux vendors who will provide your Linux distro of choice pre-installed and configured on laptops so that the average consumer does not have to deal with figuring out what needs to be done to get a software app working on their Linux laptop.  They make sure you do not have to concern yourself with issues I've run into such as codecs or drivers.

3.  Linux needs to be well supported - Canonical, Red Hat Linux and Novell Suse Linux all provide paid support for their Linux distributions Ubuntu, Red Hat Linux and Suse Enterprise Linux Desktop, respectively, so that users have the option of calling them for technical support.  Also, some of the Linux hardware vendors such as System76 and ThinkPenguin provide paid technical support for both their hardware and the Linux OS pre-installed on it.

4.  Linux needs to be well advertised - You do not see adds on TV about Linux here in the US.  At least, I haven't.  All I've seen is either Apple or Microsoft commercials about MAC and Windows.  If TV is too costly, advertise at schools and universities with fliers and on people's smartphones and tablets via notifications. A lot of potential consumers are on social networking or shopping network sites quite often so those are good sites to advertise Linux on too.

Hopefully, some Linux enthusiasts out there will take my suggestions into consideration and bring more demand for Linux desktops.



  1. Linux needs to have the same abilities to display fonts and without a hassle. I am linux fan myself. After couple of years I resignes from linux as desktop system. All the tools I use look much better under windows. Fonts are the core reason for that.

  2. If you were using Ubuntu, here are instructions on how to install Microsoft Fonts so that you can view them on Ubuntu.


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