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Linux: Now 400 Distributions Strong

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November 7, 2011 2:13:02 PM

Ugh too many Distros. There are probably less that are active though. The problem with so many Distros is that you have alot of people duplicating efforts resulting in the Community as a whole working harder not smarter.
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November 7, 2011 2:16:12 PM

Does android count as linux? I think it should... If others agree, Id image that the percent of internet users using "linux" will grow substantially in the coming year with all of the tablets and smartphones
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November 7, 2011 2:17:26 PM

I agree. I think they might be less then 10 distros widely used. I personally just run Linuxmint.
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November 7, 2011 2:20:55 PM

Linux: Now 400 Distributions to confuse the $h!t out of newcomers!!!!
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November 7, 2011 2:23:33 PM

i use Ubuntu, and i'm really happy :) 
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November 7, 2011 2:34:55 PM

Far too many. A smaller number should enable resources to be put to better use.
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November 7, 2011 2:38:01 PM

I prefer CentOS for my use...
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November 7, 2011 2:51:02 PM

Choice is good, but requires a lot more effort into it and we all know "people" is/are lazy.

I agree with you all that they should actually try and work on a common basis a lil' ahead of the kernel into X territory.

And where's Gentoo in all that? XD

Cheers!
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November 7, 2011 2:58:12 PM

400 distros? Whatever floats their boat.
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November 7, 2011 3:17:01 PM

Why can't they just make a concatenated Linux OS?

Call it something like, I don't know, Grand Unified Linux or something.

Which can install any package you throw at it.
Which works with most plugins and software out there.

If you can do that you can get some more adoption since developers know what they're developing for.
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November 7, 2011 3:20:19 PM

LuckyDucky7Why can't they just make a concatenated Linux OS?Call it something like, I don't know, Grand Unified Linux or something.Which can install any package you throw at it.Which works with most plugins and software out there.If you can do that you can get some more adoption since developers know what they're developing for.


There you all go making sense again. :sarcastic:  Its better the way it is...nice and scattered and somewhat disorganized. Just what most users are looking for. /sarcasm
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November 7, 2011 3:21:30 PM

The problem really is that anyone can take a distro change somethings and call it a new distro. Like the Hanna Montanna Distro, which just changes the background and some icons.
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November 7, 2011 3:38:18 PM

As far as I can tell, there is just one linux, and then four-six (more or less) DEs, then a handfull of WM, then hundreds of aplications and more than a few ways to package them... by saying 400 linux distributions it means there is 400 succesfull (more or less again) convinations of the just metioned data... and if you still don't see one that it fits you, just make your own.
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November 7, 2011 3:39:56 PM

Tell me again, what is Linux used for?
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November 7, 2011 3:44:39 PM

agreed people focus on taking a distribution , change appearance of desktop rename it instead of working on one distribution and optimizing it and for the hell get some decent game on it.
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November 7, 2011 3:46:06 PM

Raise your hand if you publish a linux distro!

p.s. This is the reason Linux is getting nowhere
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November 7, 2011 3:51:13 PM

I personally prefer to roll my own. www.linuxfromscratch.org. if you really want to know how linux works, this is a great place to start. it will walk you through compiling your own linux from source code. when your finished you will have a very limited linux system, which you can customize to you likeing by using Beyond Linux From Scratch.
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November 7, 2011 3:59:20 PM

officeguyTell me again, what is Linux used for?

Not only used for servers but to wreck havoc on your Wind0ze machine
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November 7, 2011 4:02:23 PM

I think the problem remains that Linux isn't mainstream. When Johny, heading off to school, says "I need a computer" he isn't thinking Linux. He's thinking Mac or Wintel. I would like to see that change. Is there no profit in making a version of Linux that has the device and technical support AND ease of use to be the preferred platform for the average user? Something with emulation built in so that folks could still, easily, run all their Windows programs without having to be computer enthusiasts to do so. A distro that can play at least some of the Windows games well enough to be a true alternative.

If they can get this together and MARKET IT TO THE MASSES using TELEVISION we might see a change one day.
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November 7, 2011 4:07:49 PM

Guy goes into a computer store and asks the guy behind the counter:-
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What version of Linux should I install?

...
Guy behind the counter thinks:-
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Should I really spend the next 3 weeks explaining to this r-tard the difference between 400 distros?

...
Guy behind the counter says:-
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Don't use Linux, use Windows, it does everything you need

...
That's the real reason Linux is a 'hobby' OS
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November 7, 2011 4:16:11 PM

400 distributions and yet not a single one I'd use over Windows XP.
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November 7, 2011 4:23:51 PM

back_by_demandGuy goes into a computer store and asks the guy behind the counter:-...Guy behind the counter thinks:-...Guy behind the counter says:-...That's the real reason Linux is a 'hobby' OS


Linux Mint for anyone new to Linux.

The biggest problem with Linux is that there is no standardized GUI viewpoint into the kernel. Whenever you have a driver problem, or some device isn't working, or a program crashes, either you interact with the kernel via command line or you use GUI applications like GNOME's task manager that are built on top of it and rarely compatible across desktop environments. The result is there is no standard device manager or way to fix hardware problems, so any software problem gets blown out of proportion by relation.

But really, Linux Mint for new people, non-Unity Ubuntu for the middle user, Debian / Arch / Suse / Gentoo for the hardware with a command line fetish.

I think we are generally heading in a single direction though. Debian has become the distro tree for consumer Linux, because its package system beats everything else at navigation. Meanwhile, Red Hat / Fedora wins at the server space, because it is so customizable down to the Kernel modules even at run time.

Everyone else, really, is just reinventing the wheel. It is better to start arguing with the people working on X or RPM or some other already built up codebase application than to say "well, they already spent 10 years on it, but I'm sure we can reinvent it and make it even better than the already at market product in a few months, because we are motivated!".
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November 7, 2011 4:27:21 PM

wow it is no wonder they are bad in the dektop world. anyone wanting to take the plunge wouldn't know which version to go with and which version will be able to work with all there hardware.
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November 7, 2011 4:30:55 PM

ZannyLinux Mint for anyone new to Linux.The biggest problem with Linux is that there is no standardized GUI viewpoint into the kernel. Whenever you have a driver problem, or some device isn't working, or a program crashes, either you interact with the kernel via command line or you use GUI applications like GNOME's task manager that are built on top of it and rarely compatible across desktop environments. The result is there is no standard device manager or way to fix hardware problems, so any software problem gets blown out of proportion by relation.But really, Linux Mint for new people, non-Unity Ubuntu for the middle user, Debian / Arch / Suse / Gentoo for the hardware with a command line fetish.I think we are generally heading in a single direction though. Debian has become the distro tree for consumer Linux, because its package system beats everything else at navigation. Meanwhile, Red Hat / Fedora wins at the server space, because it is so customizable down to the Kernel modules even at run time.Everyone else, really, is just reinventing the wheel. It is better to start arguing with the people working on X or RPM or some other already built up codebase application than to say "well, they already spent 10 years on it, but I'm sure we can reinvent it and make it even better than the already at market product in a few months, because we are motivated!".


Why would someone go through this when they can get a Mac/OSX or a PC/Windows? ...THAT is why Linux is not more successful. It doesn't compete in the way that is important for at least 90% (I'm being generous) of the users, who just want their computers "to work".

Its 2011, going on 2012. Computers have become commodities for most of the industrialized world. They need to work as well as your toaster or refrigerator for everything you want to do with them. The closer a computer is to that goal the more popular it will be with the non-enthusiast. This is why Windows and OSX do as well as they do. More features but easier to use...with each version.
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November 7, 2011 4:40:00 PM

400 versions strong, all pwnd by Windows 7 alone...

Thank you, Microsoft. I am eternally grateful to you for making me able to use that toy called "Linux" only at work.
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November 7, 2011 4:53:06 PM

mayne92 said:
Not only used for servers but to wreck havoc on your Wind0ze machine


Lol, I'd love yo see you try. Unlike your precious Linux, Windows machines are capable of existing fully isolated from any networks.
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November 7, 2011 5:00:54 PM

400 distributions my foot. It's more like 12 that are "borrowed" with a different theme or wallpaper. Heck, I could make my own Spider Linux if I wanted it. Start from Debian Stable, throw in a custom cursor with a little spider (a la SliTaz), add the first dark theme I find from gnome-look.org and turn it into a bootable ISO. There you go. Number 401.

Choice is good! If someone thinks of tampering with The Linux Community (insert thunder here) - a whooping 1% - they would have to jump through hoops to infect several hundred repositories, package it into various containers (Debian .deb, Ubuntu .deb, Suse .rpm, Fedora .rpm), then there are source-based distros... which anyone can inspect a package at any time. Really, it's just not worth it. It would be much more easy to go after the 90% Windows users.

Mac OS I hear is also gaining popularity (something like 5% if I remember correctly). It would mean that they have 5x more fish to bite (oh, and they'll bite... OS X users are pretty herp derp click click next finish. They seriously think that Macs can't get viruses).
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November 7, 2011 5:05:18 PM

I think the Linux advocates that promote the OS based on the large amount of choice being offered claiming that choice is a strength need to look at studies such as this: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/27/your-money/27shortcut... too much choice breeds indecision. I like linux, but I'd never use it day to day, and working in IT, I would hate to have to support 400 different distributions, it'd be a PITA!

Windows may not have ALL the power of linux, and it may not be suited to everyone, but by enforcing certain standards and giving almost no choice what-so-ever it has become the main stream. Plus of course all of Microsoft's efforts are focused on producing one OS, rather than multiple ones of lower calibre.
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November 7, 2011 5:12:04 PM

Holy moly that's a lot of distros!. at least Mac keeps under one and windows under one disc. This is crazy!.
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November 7, 2011 5:14:16 PM

icehotI like linux, but I'd never use it day to day, and working in IT, I would hate to have to support 400 different distributions, it'd be a PITA!

You don't have to support anything. A competent user would know how to browse the wiki, google the problem or ask for help on the forums or IRC channel. Heck if everyone used Linux (and RTFM every once in a while), you'd be out of a job. I recently talked to someone working in this "PC repair" sector and he was absolutely revolted by the idea of free software. I laughed my ass off when I got home. The man made a living fixing Windows problems, what can I say.

icehotPlus of course all of Microsoft's efforts are focused on producing one OS, rather than multiple ones of lower calibre.

Except they have like 5 different flavours (Starter, Home Premium, Pro, Enterprise, Ultimate), then they have to issue out patches for them, including for Windows Vista, and, if I'm not mistaken for Windows XP too. Oh, and they also have Windows Phone 7, and working on Windows 8. What the hell are you smoking? "One" OS ?? What would you call XP, Vista, Windows 7 Starter, WP 7 if not Windows of lower calibre?
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Anonymous
November 7, 2011 5:31:29 PM

I would say 400 distros weak. The sheer amount of non-descript distributions is the prime reason it will never ever strike as a mainstream OS. That and the total lack of plug and play software.

Setup.exe >next>next>finish is still pretty much the one thing I want to even remotely make me consider it as an OS on any of my pc devices.
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November 7, 2011 5:31:44 PM

Quote:
Except they have like 5 different flavours (Starter, Home Premium, Pro, Enterprise, Ultimate), then they have to issue out patches for them, including for Windows Vista, and, if I'm not mistaken for Windows XP too. Oh, and they also have Windows Phone 7, and working on Windows 8. What the hell are you smoking? "One" OS ?? What would you call XP, Vista, Windows 7 Starter, WP 7 if not Windows of lower calibre?


LMAO talk about a dumb linux fanboi

windows may have different flvors but they are essentially there all the same OS with just a few features cut from each one.

every distro of linux is not the same where there are different GUI's terminal commands . etc etc. and i bet there are some drivers out there for hardware that will only work with certain distros

my god kid research before talking out of your butt

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November 7, 2011 5:33:11 PM

The biggest problem I see is getting the OEMs to offer Linux on their consumer systems ...once you can jump that hurdle I would think the rest would be fairly easy.

I know that most ordinary folks will simply not buy a PC and then download a different OS.
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November 7, 2011 6:02:21 PM

DSpiderYou don't have to support anything. A competent user would know how to browse the wiki, google the problem or ask for help on the forums or IRC channel. Heck if everyone used Linux (and RTFM every once in a while), you'd be out of a job. I recently talked to someone working in this "PC repair" sector and he was absolutely revolted by the idea of free software. I laughed my ass off when I got home. The man made a living fixing Windows problems, what can I say.Except they have like 5 different flavours (Starter, Home Premium, Pro, Enterprise, Ultimate), then they have to issue out patches for them, including for Windows Vista, and, if I'm not mistaken for Windows XP too. Oh, and they also have Windows Phone 7, and working on Windows 8. What the hell are you smoking? "One" OS ?? What would you call XP, Vista, Windows 7 Starter, WP 7 if not Windows of lower calibre?


Yeah why spend 2hours installing a software, searching the software for your distro, make it work, installing libs for it , asking help in irc will give you answers stfu noob read manual but manual is so damn useless compared to simple 2 click in windows and software is installed. And you comparing windows xp,vista,win7 but its still better over changing / updating distro version/kernel that change almost each month.
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November 7, 2011 6:07:31 PM

400 distros is a good thing, but the community needs to focus on 2-3 of them and polish them up, get better hardware support. Most people that I know that use Linux are currently using Ubuntu, which is actually pretty easy for regular people to use.

Of course if I could have one wish for Linux, it would be for it to somehow support DX. Maybe someone needs to take M$ to court and get them to open up the DX libraries to other OSes. That would be awesome. I would ditch Windows in a second if it wasn't for gaming.
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November 7, 2011 6:12:47 PM

damm, the amount of bs (due to either ignorance or pure stupidity) that comes out of people's mouth here is undoubtfully amazing.

keep it up dudes!
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November 7, 2011 6:29:44 PM

I wanted to run Ubuntu on my living room PC, only reason I don't is that Netflix doesn't work on Linux.
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November 7, 2011 6:31:07 PM

The main distros I use are LinuxMint Ubuntu(server) CentOS, I do tend to favor the Debian based ones due to their ease of use, which makes it easy to convert people to the "Better" OS :p 
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November 7, 2011 6:42:15 PM

RogueKitsune said:
The main distros I use are LinuxMint Ubuntu(server) CentOS, I do tend to favor the Debian based ones due to their ease of use, which makes it easy to convert people to the "nerds" OS :p 



Fixed that for yea :) 


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November 7, 2011 6:42:23 PM

daggsdamm, the amount of bs (due to either ignorance or pure stupidity) that comes out of people's mouth here is undoubtfully amazing.keep it up dudes!

+1
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November 7, 2011 7:18:58 PM

daggsdamm, the amount of bs (due to either ignorance or pure stupidity) that comes out of people's mouth here is undoubtfully amazing.keep it up dudes!


+1
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November 7, 2011 7:52:34 PM

DSpiderYou don't have to support anything. A competent user would know how to browse the wiki, google the problem or ask for help on the forums or IRC channel. Heck if everyone used Linux (and RTFM every once in a while), you'd be out of a job. I recently talked to someone working in this "PC repair" sector and he was absolutely revolted by the idea of free software. I laughed my ass off when I got home. The man made a living fixing Windows problems, what can I say.Except they have like 5 different flavours (Starter, Home Premium, Pro, Enterprise, Ultimate), then they have to issue out patches for them, including for Windows Vista, and, if I'm not mistaken for Windows XP too. Oh, and they also have Windows Phone 7, and working on Windows 8. What the hell are you smoking? "One" OS ?? What would you call XP, Vista, Windows 7 Starter, WP 7 if not Windows of lower calibre?

Add together every version of Windows since 95 forwards including service packs and special edition like XP tablet and you have less than 30, in 16 years.
This is 400, so don't try and pull the "were all the same" card, if Linux distros had started in 1995 there would have been a new one every 2 weeks.
Linux people, for god sake get organised, I want serious competition as much as anyone else to drive innovation up and costs down for everyone, but this is just a joke.
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Anonymous
November 7, 2011 8:14:32 PM

OS's are like Golf clubs! There's one for every situation....
Some times less IS more.
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a b 5 Linux
November 7, 2011 8:49:06 PM

Considering the GLDT chart misses all 200-odd PuppyLinux derivatives, I'd say that there's a lot more than 400 around. To say that this is a factor stopping Linux uptake is silly though. Most people have not and will never hear of most of these. It's not like it's a great loss either, because the majority provide little value to anyone except the person who created them (which is perfectly fine).

Anyone wanting a "unified" distribution should promptly discard that idea. It has been tried before and the distro lasted 2 years (that wasn't the first attempt either). Linux distros are developed according to how one or more people think it should be done. It might be doable with some of the niche and unheard-of distros, but there is no way that the philosophies of the heavyweights are compatible enough to merge efforts into a single distro.
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November 7, 2011 9:11:15 PM

400 distributions wouldn't be so bad if they all used a unified system for installing programs that had everything needed in one package, and programs installed with just one click like FreeBSD. That way if a program wasn't in the distro's official repository, you wouldn't haft to add the repository or do with out the program and installing programs would be super easy for new Linux users.
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November 7, 2011 9:15:46 PM

Wow... Where to begin. I'll probably have to split it into two posts, and most people probably won't even read it. So prepare to downvote because you tl;dr out of ignorance!

To make one thing clear I don't think I'm an expert, I've only been distro hopping on and off for about 4 years now and I've used Arch Linux as my main OS for about 2.

captaincharismawindows may have different flvors but they are essentially there all the same OS with just a few features cut from each one.

every distro of linux is not the same where there are different GUI's terminal commands . etc etc. and i bet there are some drivers out there for hardware that will only work with certain distrosmy god kid research before talking out of your butt

Those 400 distributions are the same. The basic, UNIX commands, that have been passed down through generations, are the same. You're thinking of package managers and that's about it. The rest of the programs that use the CLI (command-line interface) have the SAME commands for EVERY distribution. GUI's are different? How? It's still the basic shіt that you see in Windows, OS X. You have a minimize, maximize, close button, you have your basic File, Edit, View, Help, etc menus. The font used had a huge A-ha moment for me. Couldn't quite put my finger on it at first why I simply hated Ubuntu. The moment I changed the default system font to Arial or something else other than that fricken Sans I was hooked. Yeah it's different. Different is good. Means you can choose how you want it. You don't wanna choose? Fine, install full-blown KDE or full-blown GNOME.

Drivers. Oh, boy. Here's something to chew on, I bought a new computer last year, newest dual core CPU (AM3 socket, 64 bit, obviously), new motherboard with an integrated GPU, integrated audio. Switched the HDD from the previous PC, which was bought in 2003, AND EVERYTHING WORKED OUT OF THE BOX with minor tweaks, of course, since it was VIA HD audio instead of Realtek AC'97. That's it. I didn't install anything. I simply had to edit a file and replace "snd-ac97-codec" with "snd-hda-intel". Here, in case you don't believe me: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=859066

People over there were very helpful and I hear the Ubuntu community is even more so. It's true that it took me more than half a day trying to fix it (because it was the same install on completely different hardware. Had I reinstalled I would've probably solved it much faster). But you know what? It was worth it. I learned something that day. Most people would've pussied out looong before that.

If I think about it a little, I don't think there are drivers that work with only "certain" distributions. AFAIK, drivers are shipped with the kernel. You just need to update your system to a more recent kernel than the one that shipped with. And it's really not that technical as it sounds. It's a very short command.
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November 7, 2011 9:18:45 PM

asdasd999I would say 400 distros weak. The sheer amount of non-descript distributions is the prime reason it will never ever strike as a mainstream OS. That and the total lack of plug and play software.

Setup.exe >next>next>finish is still pretty much the one thing I want to even remotely make me consider it as an OS on any of my pc devices.

srgessYeah why spend 2hours installing a software, searching the software for your distro, make it work, installing libs for it , asking help in irc will give you answers stfu noob read manual but manual is so damn useless compared to simple 2 click in windows and software is installed. And you comparing windows xp,vista,win7 but its still better over changing / updating distro version/kernel that change almost each month.


OpenSUSE has a one click install feature. Can it get any more retarded than that? I don't know. The wiki says that it's very much possible to add it to other distributions. But, IMO, there's a catch: you should also inspect the file before installing, because you may just end up without a god damn bootloader. Brain-dead installs are the easiest way for people to get infected and then bitch about how Linux isn't secure. Well, yeah, dipshit. You walked over a manhole without looking where you were going. So you have to look at the install file and recognize a potential manhole when you see one. Most people can't and they have to TRUST that the button is safe to click, which is no different than Windows, really.

And I very much hate that approach. I think that compiling and installing from source is safer, even if it takes 3 extra commands instead of clicking "Next" 3 times, then click "Finish". It's safer because having the source code publicly available means that anyone can view and study it at any time and easily find any shady stuff in there. But that doesn't happen, EVER (to my knowledge at least). That's because the majority of developers use their Real names and don't want any mud on their track record. Their projects also look good on resumes, etc. And they're very knowledgeable people, most of them open to contributions and improvements to their projects. There's just something beautiful when great minds join forces (from all over the world). They make some pretty powerful stuff.
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November 7, 2011 9:34:09 PM

I know this is written in reference to industry standard proliferation, but I find this also applies well to the Linux problem.

http://xkcd.com/927/
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November 7, 2011 9:54:55 PM

More people cares about their Android / FF / Chrome update than Linux these day.

I hope linus updates can push to end customers like Wxxxxxs, so that we don't really have to worry about patching, or installing the new build.
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