I know you don’t believe me, as we’ve had this conversation before. But there will come a time in your life when you will grow tired of fixing your tools. This will likely lead you to Windows or OS X — both of which, if you avoid tweaking, offer much more stability through updates and patches than Linux desktops do.
So again, let me restate my blasphemous claim:
Linux desktops are currently still for hobbyists and tweakers, i.e. those who enjoy tinkering constantly with the very platform that they work from. Those who wish to actually *work* — in an uninterrupted fashion through multiple, major updates — are left with the options of either installing an extremely stable, non-cutting-edge distribution and not updating any pivotal packages, or going with an alternative operating system. In short, I equate “fixing” my operating system with “repairing” a hammer: I might do it once, but the second time the head pops off while I’m trying to work — it’s getting replaced.
I know a number of Linux desktop fans that consider Windows and OS X to be the “dirty” options for a number of reasons, but virtually every time I speak with them I get another reinstall story. They’re constantly repairing this or that in order to get the experience they want. And again, if that’s what’s fun for them, and they enjoy hacking their system and making cool new features work, then that’s awesome. In that case I think Linux is the ultimate desktop.
But for those who just want to work, I find that even my friends who love the Linux desktop more than anything are constantly frustrated with it. You take something like Ubuntu — it’s designed from the ground up to be a stable desktop. I have a friend that uses it and complains constantly about the fact that if you update it enough it breaks. The solution, if you want stability from it, is to basically not touch the thing and wait for the next version to get new features.
So from me to you, I ask you to probe your own thoughts on the matter. Do you want to use your system as a transparent tool to accomplishing something, or do you want your system to be in the forefront — constantly requiring your attention because this feature isn’t working right, or that part just broke after an update? If the answer is the latter, I’ll just shut up, because that’s obviously perfectly legitimate. But if it’s the former I ask you to take another look at your OS choice on the desktop.
I know a guy who’s been doing hardcore C programming for 25 years, and is an absolute Unix GOD — but he uses Windows for his operating system. Why? Because he has work to do, and he doesn’t want his OS getting in the way.:
— Edit: I probably should have pointed out that I am an avid Linux advocate. I am a member of the Free Software Foundation and give to my distro regularly. The site you are looking at is running on Gentoo, actually — a distro I’ve been using since 2002. At work I use Ubuntu Linux as my primary operating system, and while I’m no super-guru, I’m decently versed in Linux in general. In short, my comments come from a familiarity and love for Linux, not from some random troll world.