10 things the Linux desktop can be proud of

My recent post about KDE 4.8 got me thinking about the state of the Linux desktop. Despite the popular cries of havoc and war, I believe the Linux desktop is in a very good place at the moment. Here’s are some reasons why we should all be enjoying a true renaissance on the PC desktop, thanks to open source and Linux.

1: Innovation

Just look at the landscape. Look at GNOME 3 and Ubuntu Unity. You may not like those particular desktop metaphors, but you can’t deny that the developers of those desktops are bringing the best in innovation to the Linux desktop. Couple that with desktops such as Enlightenment and XFCE, and you have more innovation going on around the Linux desktop than any other area.

2: Variety

This is where no one can deny that the Linux desktop is in a place of pride. What other platform has so much variety to choose from? Think about it. If you want something somewhat traditional, go to KDE. Want a more multi-touch friendly, completely different desktop? Have at either GNOME 3 or Ubuntu Unity. What about something in between? You can go with the eye-candy rich E17 or the insanely lightweight and reliable XFCE.

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Is Linux About to Take Off On Tablets?

At this point, there’s no denying that Linux — despite high hopes early-on — is a late-entry to the world of tablets. But that doesn’t mean open-source enthusiasts have written off this segment of the hardware market. On the contrary, a number of initiatives to make Linux a viable choice for tablet users are in rapid development. Read on for a look.

In a lot of ways, Linux’s relationship with tablets is comparable to the open-source ecosystem’s experience with netbooks several years ago. When netbook hardware first began hitting the market in droves, Linux seemed like the perfect companion: It was inexpensive, highly customizable and well suited to new devices where users started out with fewer preconceptions than on traditional PCs.

Yet we all know how that story ended. Linux retained some share of the netbook market, but the Year of the Linux Netbook remained, and remains, quite elusive.

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Unknown Bash Tips and Tricks For Linux

Familiarity breeds ennui, and even though Bash is the default Linux command shell used daily by hordes of contented users, it contains a wealth of interesting and useful features that don’t get much attention. Today we shall learn about Bash builtins and killing potential.

Bash Builtins

Bash has a bunch of built-in commands, and some of them are stripped-down versions of their external GNU coreutils cousins. So why use them? You probably already do, because of the order of command execution in Bash:

  1. Bash aliases
  2. Bash keywords
  3. Bash functions
  4. Bash builtins
  5. Scripts and executable programs that are in your PATH

So when you run echo, kill, printf, pwd, or test most likely you’re using the Bash builtins rather than the GNU coreutils commands. How do you know? By using one of the Bash builtins to tell you, thecommand command:

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Windows 8 may drive me to Linux

I have been a Microsoft defender for decades. “No, MS-DOS 4.0 isn’t really that bad,” I pleaded to friends almost 25 years ago. “Give Windows 98 a chance” I begged ten or 11 years later. Heck, I extolled the virtues of Vista (which I did believe in, by the way) to anyone willing to listen. But in the wake of last week’sintroduction of the Consumer Preview edition of Windows 8, I can say only this: Microsoft, you’re on your own.

Never — and I’m going to repeat this for additional emphasis, never – have I been as horrified by one of the company’s products as I am by this one. (Yes, I used Microsoft Bob.) Every choice seems to have been made for a sketchy reason, and the full collection of them bears the haphazard feel of the morning after a particularly raucous college party. Scratch that: Even at my most inebriated, I’m pretty sure I would never conceive of something like Windows 8.

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