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Dividing the Linux desktop
LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 13, 2013
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Well, Windows does that very well nowadays. If you prefer vendore-supported
binary-only drivers, why the hell would you install Linux anyway ?
Major systems vendors and Linux
Posted Mar 1, 2007 10:31 UTC (Thu) by dale77 (guest, #1490)
Posted Mar 1, 2007 13:17 UTC (Thu) by vonbrand (subscriber, #4458)
Linux itself (and the major distributions too) is 100% open. The "non-open" parts are not Linux.
You might well be happy now with the "0.1% non-open stuff", but just try to update the software on the machine (or migrate to another distribution), and you'll learn about pain. Then consider that the binary blobs will be abandoned (together with the hardware) in some 2 or 3 years time, and your perfectly working machine becomes a brick (or worse, is running obsolete, security-wise bug-ridden software).
Posted Mar 1, 2007 13:29 UTC (Thu) by lysse (guest, #3190)
That aside, maybe that's for your system today. What will you do when your next computer has 20% non-open parts? Or when the computer after that needs a binary-only SATA driver? Or when the one after that will only allow you to install a pre-approved operating system?
For by agreeing to compromise on the sufficiently useful bits, you're telling the industry that closed hardware is perfectly acceptable, so long as the returns justify it. It is your right to do so - but is that really the future you want to bring about?
Posted Mar 1, 2007 20:43 UTC (Thu) by wilck (subscriber, #29844)
When these new users have a good primary experience, they may actually stick with Linux, and after learning a bit more, actually prefer hardware that needs no proprietary drivers.
Hardly anybody (except for RMS, perhaps) has been totally anti-proprietary all their lives. You start out small, you grow. In the beginning, people will not be ready to accept that they have to pay more for their hardware, or to make do without important parts of the functionality (such as 3d).
Posted Mar 2, 2007 3:19 UTC (Fri) by liamh (subscriber, #4872)
Posted Mar 12, 2007 12:26 UTC (Mon) by lysse (guest, #3190)
Don't you think RMS would have been a good deal less tolerant of Solaris had Sun withheld details of how to make system calls on the grounds that it was "proprietary information"? (Or had Sun prohibited redistribution of any software compiled with their C compiler under GPL-like terms, for that matter?)
Posted Mar 12, 2007 12:14 UTC (Mon) by lysse (guest, #3190)
- hold it a second! I use Linux more or less exclusively, but I've never thought of myself as a Linux _customer_, and I never will; I think even the term entrenches us in a commercial-software mindset, where there's a sharp divide between producers and consumers of software.
Such a divide is both contrary to the whole nature of a Unix-like system (as well as to what RMS was trying to do) and anti-freedom.
Linux doesn't need customers. It needs _participants_. Leave the consumption to Windows.
Posted Mar 1, 2007 23:45 UTC (Thu) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
That's not to say that you are impure or unclean or any such nonsense if you use proprietary drivers; do as you like with your machine. It's only that they are not suited for beginners, and therefore a bad pick for preinstallation.
If you set up a system for beginners, what do you prefer? Tell them that they have no 3D at all, and they would need a different video card for that; or give them an unaccountable machine you cannot properly diagnose? It depends of course, but unless it was for a hardcore gamer I would choose no proprietary drivers. I think it is the proper course for the Dells of the world too; that road leads to using Intel integrated drivers, and if Nvidia and ATI want a piece of the action they will have to open their drivers. So we all benefit in the end.
Posted Mar 8, 2007 15:56 UTC (Thu) by robert_s (subscriber, #42402)
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