Desktop Linux is Dead. Again.

Here we go again. Without fail approximately every six months someone proclaims that Linux on the Desktop is dead (not to be confused with the other perennial favorite: BSD is dead). This time it’s Miguel. And there are plenty of rebuttals.  Not content to sit on the side lines, and seeing as I have this brand new blog to populate with fascinating, insightful, thought-provoking, captivating content I thought I might give you the tl;dr version:

Linux (especially the Desktop bits) is built by hackers for hackers.  Hackers needed a gui so it got a gui. Hackers needed to play music so it got a sound system. Hackers needed to download pr0n on their neighbor’s wifi so it got a wifi stack.  Now, when I say “it got a gui and a sound system, etc”, I mean it in the sense that a Formula 1 race car may have a steering wheel and brakes but it ain’t for your average driver.  Almost everything (mostly) worked most of the time, but you still had to set aside at least a few days to play around with alternate drivers and patch files every time your distro-of-choice upgraded to the next minor release (for my sanity– and yours– we won’t mention upgrades to major releases).  Then OS X happened. Suddenly, the hackers didn’t have to futz with alternate drivers and source patches anymore. And they found they could actually do useful work with all the time this freed up.  So, most of them bought Macs and got on with their lives.  The rest of us can’t afford Macs.  Ergo, Desktop Linux is not dead.