Here, we will talk about Linux’ weaknesses. We want to be honest with you. We think that the number of distros is a major hindrance for Linux’ adoption on desktop computers. The sheer number of options overtaxes beginners and the choice really matters. If you chose a distro that looked good and was recommended in forums like Manjaro, you will later find out about the lack of available software. You cannot easily change it, since you have installed a complete OS, which is not easy to fix.
Scaring newcomers away only happens with the desktop distros. For special-use distributions, you do not have a hard time finding the right one:
That was easy, but finding a simple desktop distro is pure torture and leads to distro hopping. Websites like DistroWatch.com blow up unmaintained mini distros and do not help here!
Have fun deciding whether you want to install…
MX Linux Manjaro Mint elementaryOS Ubuntu Debian Solus Fedora openSUSE Zorin deepin antiX KDE neon ReactOS CentOS Arch ArcoLinux PCLinuxOS Parrot Mageia Kali Lite Puppy Pop!_OS Lubuntu Peppermint Alpine Tails Slackware SmartOS SparkyLinux Xubuntu Ubuntu MATE Ubuntu Kylin Archman Endless Kodachi Kubuntu Q4OS Trident Red Hat Netrunner Void Gentoo Voyager 4MLinux ArchBang OpenMandriva ClearOS Ultimate Android-x86 TrueOS Devuan Condres Bluestar DragonFly KaOS ROSA Sabayon Fatdog64 Bodhi Feren NuTyX Slax Ubuntu Budgie KNOPPIX NixOS LXLE MakuluLinux BackBox Ubuntu Studio ArchLabs Emmabuntüs SwagArch BlackArch Robolinux Clonezilla Septor Chakra Tiny Core BunsenLabs ExTiX Artix Qubes AV Linux SteamOS Oracle Raspbian Trisquel Haiku Whonix Clear Vector LibreELEC
Those are the top 100 distros in July 2019 on Distrowatch!
Even more complicated is that there are countless versions of a single distro, e.g. Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Studio, Ubuntu MATE…
Let us now go into greater detail with why this is such a mess.
One of the worst things is that there are thousands of websites that recommend beginner distros, like UbuntuPit and reddit’s “Find me a distro”. They recommend only good looking distros, because they never installed them and only tested the live version on a virtual machine. Therefore, they suggest things like elementaryOS. If they ever tried to install software on this bullshit distro, they would know how restrictive and useless it is. With a 5 minute test in VirtualBox, you do not see that and give people bad advice! This is not directly a Linux weakness, but it contributes to the problem.
They are only looking for the flashy, new-kid-on-the-block distro to generate clicks and ad revenue, so they promote distros like feren OS. feren OS is another pointless distro that tries to do everything and fails at all tasks. feren OS has macOS, MacOSX, Windows 3.1/XP/Vista/7/8/10, Linux Mint/Ubuntu and feren themes, they all look like a cluttered mess! Just like feren OS cannot decide, whether it wants to be based on Debian, Ubuntu or Linux Mint, those idiots on the flashy Linux websites will also tell you about the other “awesome” distros like Solus (now Evolve OS), Manjaro (it is fucking Arch Linux), Remix OS (Android), Papyros (Android clone based on Arch), Ozon OS, Antergos (Arch), GalliumOS (Chrome OS clone, Xubuntu-based) and Cub Linux (a discontinued Chrome OS clone, based on Ubuntu).
They are just short-term trends, until the world finds out that they suck and moves on. To know what we mean, just look at this site, “HowToUseLinux”, which recommends distros for laptops. The list includes discontinued distros, Antergos (Arch!), Peppermint OS (it is a cloud distro FFS!), ReactOS (it is for server protection, not for laptops FFS!), Parrot OS (it is for pen-testers not notebook users FFS!) and of course, of course elementaryOS. The retard that wrote that site did not even have the decency to give it another name than www.howtouselinux.net.
Another issues is that beginners are told that Linux is so stable and perfect. Everything just works like magic! That is not true. The kernel is stable and for the most part PERFECT, but not the distros, not at all! There have been major releases that were published in a horrible state. A recent example is Ubuntu 19.04. It simply removed the ability to drag and drop files to and from the desktop. That has been a comfort feature in any OS ever, since the original 1984 Mac OS, which popularised the GUI.
Why did the Ubuntu developer Canonical think it was a good idea to remove it? 19.04 also made it incredibly annoying to create desktop icons for your programs. You have to browse to a software folder hidden in the middle of nowhere in the file explorer and find a .desktop file and copy it to the desktop. Even that does not work all the time.
All current Ubuntu users hate these changes and are praying that it will be fixed by the LTS release a year later, version 20.04 in April 2020.
For your information: We know that the missing drag and drop is not directly Canonical’s fault, since it was developed that way by the GNOME Project. They caused the issue with their GNOME desktop environment in version 3.32. Nonetheless, Canonical could have fixed it. Other GNOME users like the Zorin OS team had no problem with that at all and their team is only a fraction of the Ubuntu team’s size. Canonical and their 600 employees should have solved the issue, instead of throwing this buggy systems at millions of disappointed Ubuntu users.
We would argue that 99% of GNOME and Ubuntu users do NOT have a touchscreen. Changes like this make the life of 99% of users harder, just because the GNOME team does not want to write a different version of the DE for touchscreens. By the way, Ubuntu Desktop is not even available for ARM processors, so it is not supported on tablets at all. It is therefore completely pointless to create a tablet computer-friendly version of a DE that is NEVER used on tablets anyway! Such lack of a clear strategy is a major Linux weakness.
Yet another disaster is at that there are multiple package formats. Software is not available for simply Linux, but instead as an RPM file for RHEL/SUSE and as a DEB file for Debian/Ubuntu and the many more there are for smaller distros. They could at least use the same package format if they do not want to reduce the number of distros!
Luckily, there are also Appimages and source code that you can build yourself, those are actually useful!
We are not finished yet! To learn even more about Linux’ weakness and distros, head over to the second part, “Linux’ Weakness 2 - Commands, Translations and Verdict”.