Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Linux: OS for the masses?


I had my audio cut out on my Ubuntu 10.04LTS install - this happens quite frequently and it's annoying. A reboot solves it usually - my attempts to restart the audio server just don't do anything.

Anyways. I seriously wish I could use OSX as my main OS instead of just for my musical endeavours. But there is no way I can tolerate the osx user interface full time. I can get stuff done with gnome way faster, and for most of the stuff I do (surfing, email, raw photo conversion) and more technical bits on the side (houdini, arduino, processing) - linux makes more sense (colour management in linux though. IS ANNOYING). Especially with houdini, since it parallels what I use at work.

But I'm frankly getting tired of maintaining an operating system. That's what I specifically updated to when the LTS came out, because I'm not that kind of person who enjoys tweaking config files. Sure, I did. Like a decade ago, but no longer. Now I'm more interesting in using my computer as a means to get things I want done, done. Figuring out which nvidia driver to use or tweaking my xorg.conf is not something I care to spend time on.

Hence, if I could marry up the underlying system of OSX, with a nice, interface like gnome (I'd settle for KDE, honest.... well... maybe :P ). Googling gnome and osx brought up an interesting blog post.

"What Killed the Linux Desktop"

The title is sensationalism, in my opinion. I know at least 4 people who run various flavours of linux out of work, in addition to myself. But I know down the road a few of us may trod on a more well trodden path; windows or osx. The reasons are laid out exactly in the blog post above.

For me, there are simply no native applications on linux that run at the same level as those found on win/osx. For example, I use VSL as my main sample orchestra, and that does not run natively on linux. Some have told me to try running it virtualized, but I hardly see the point.

First, high end audio libraries are copy protected by either iLok or Elicenser. I really do not want to deal with copy protection designed for Win/OSX on linux. Running the VM server is not only overhead in terms of memory and cpu, but also in terms of time required to set it up, and maintain.

Many anti-apple people will hate it but I will say it. My OSX experience (10.4 to 10.68) has more or less been... "it just works".  OSX in particular has LOADS of issues in terms of usability - in my opinion - and I really dislike the app store - but when it comes to loading up Finale to write a score, and getting it over to Logic and getting it all done. Nary an issue. This is of course, not 100% true for everyone - just see various forums and people having issues with osx.

Gaming! Gaming is at least somewhat possible on OSX. Linux? Good luck... my osx box has less capable gpu and cpu compared to my linux box, but because the same game runs natively on osx but emulated (wine) on linux... guess which one works better?

The bottom line is, I use what works best for me.


Unknown said...

Have you tried Mint? Its pretty the same as ubuntu but comes with more bells and whistles.
In terms of games, Valve is coming to linux which is a bit of a game changer. Personally got bored with installing games along time ago and just changed to my xbox.

Gallen Wolf said...

Nope, I have not tried mint, heard and read good things about it though. If my current install goes downhill, I'll be sure to give that a go, as well as medibuntu. Cheers!