Almost every year end, most blogs – magazines – publications and so called “Linux gurus” makes mostly positive predictions about the future of Linux and it’s market share. Following this tradition, it’s only fair that I too share with you my Linux predictions for 2009.
- Linux will NOT take over Window or even Mac OS consumer desktop market share…
- However, it will most definitely will increase its own market share. Perhaps, not as drastic as we would like to see but significant nevertheless – compare to previous years.
- Increase in Netbook sales will continue to serve Linux well to help gain market share. As more distributors concentrate on keeping netbook cheap in a highly competitive market where there is demand for cheap computers in a failing economy.
- Ubuntu will finally improve its default ugly theme. Mark Shuttleworth has already mentioned his love for Mac OS X and how he wants Ubuntu to be just as good in desktop experience (his words, not mine). Canonical recently invested on hiring developers and designers for this purpose. Jaunty should be exciting.
Even though OS X is a Unix based operating system, you can not just take a Unix/Linux application and run it on OS X, you have to port it on OS X in order for you to use it. Since most of these applications are open source – this can be achieved fairly easily. Fink is a project that recompiles existing open source software and ports it on OS X and makes them available through a package manager called “Fink”, which is similar to Synaptic Package Manager for Ubuntu. Fink has a huge collection of some 2500+ packages.
Configuring and installing packages with Fink:
In my last browser test I was criticized, and rightly so, for running browser on different OS and compare results. The argument was that some browsers perform better than others on certain OS, regardless of the hardware. The assessment is right I have seen webkit powered browsers perform ~25% faster on Mac OS X, while Firefox nightly is ruthless on a linux distro. So in this round we added two more browsers and tested all of them natively in windows and as expected Firefox Minefield performed poorly.
Machine and OS used?
Intel Core 2 Quad q6600 @ 2.40GHz with Windows Vista SP2 v.113 Build 6002 (Screenshot).
Why it matters?
It doesn’t matter if your web use is limited to watching babies laugh in youtube; but as more and more application are getting web-based; heavy users, like yours truly, are spending increasingly more time on web-based applications. Which was one of the reasons behind the release of open-source Chrome by Google, “To make the web a bit faster” and why developers are spending more time trying to get every bit of juice out of their javascipt engine like “V8 for Chrome”, “SpiderMonkey for Firefox”, “SquirrelFish for Webkit” and “futhark for Opera 10 Alpha” (with presto 2.2 Rendering engine).
So you took my advice and installed Ubuntu with help from the best thing since LiveCD (Hint: Wubi), and now that you are happy with your experience with a “safe” install of Ubuntu, the next logical step would be to have a dedicated install on a separate partition or even better move your existing wubi install to a full fledged install of Ubuntu. (The third logical step would be to remove windows altogether and only have Linux installed in your computer, but we will take one step at a time to de-toxify years of windows usage). Purely performance wise you won’t see much difference when you move from a wubi install to a dedicated install – considering that you have a fairly fast hard drive and that your windows partition is not heavily fragmented. However, moving to a dedicated install does give a better safety net in case of hard-reboots or upgrading to a newer version of Ubuntu (I never had problems with upgrading, but some users did).
Transferring a wubi installation is possible with the help of LVPM (Loopmounted Virtual Partition Manager). It is advised that you create two new partitions prior to using LVPM to transfer your Wubi settings. One partition for your actual Ubuntu install and second one for swap, to avoid accidently writing over your root partition.