In this article, I’ll explain why I think Linux based operating systems are terrible to run on a home/play/not-work computer.  Before we get into that, I think it’s necessary to state that overall, as a developer, Linux is impossible to go without in a development environment.  I couldn’t imagine screwing about with apache on Windows, or the way Windows handles certain programming languages.

Now, onto why Linux sucks.

 

1. Lack of support

When it comes to running a computer, you’re bound to have issues at some point.  Using Windows, a support center is no more than a 10 digit phone call away, always with slightly-accented employees, with an unwarranted smug attitude, but still.  It’s always there.  With Linux, especially starting out and learning Linux, you’ll be running into a lot more problems because the philosophy behind linux is ‘jump right in and break shit’.  Then fix it.  But if you’re still learning Linux, fixing things can be more of a challenge than you’d expect.  I remember my experiences with attempting to learn how to fix my EFI boot records.  What fun.

 

2. Terrible manufacturer support

With this one I mean one thing: drivers.  Most businesses operating in markets by catering to the largest groups.  Where Windows has a much higher market share, when it comes to hardware manufacturers developing drivers for their hardware, they’re going to make Windows operating systems a priority.  The same for many software development companies as well.  While the open source Linux community maintains a lot of wonderful drivers, with great documentation for compiling, drivers by the manufacturer will always be better.  Specifically, I’ve always had trouble with AMD drivers on Linux, which brings me to my next point.

 

3. Lack of games and gaming capabilities

With AMD, and Linux, gaming is just, and always will be, a no-go.  Until the open source drivers make an amazing breakthrough, or AMD smartens up and starts saying “hey, Linux guys.  We love you too!”  Now, video games themselves are for the most part, on either consoles or Windows, there are some companies trying to make gaming on Linux more viable.  Look at the steam catalog for Linux.  It wasn’t like this 5 years ago.

Another big problem with gaming on Linux is one of the most basic (and fundamental) pieces of software: the display server.  Not basic as in ‘super stupid code, easily written and maintained’.  Basic as in… a basic necessity.  X-Org is god-knows-how-old, with ancient code layered on top of more ancient code, and slightly less ancient code written on top, like icing on a terribly obsolete cake.  Which is why Canonical is developing Mir!  No, just kidding.  Canonical spent a few years writing a display server from scratch, only to scrap it in the end (like many of their other ambitious projects, like Ubuntu Phone).  We’re all hoping to jump to the new display server: Wayland.

 

Again, I absolutely love Linux, all it stands for, and how much fun developing software is when using it.  It just doesn’t work when you want to sit down and optically devour some entertainment.  Maybe one day.