Linux (and FOSS) has gone beyond just an avenue to have a low-cost alternative to expensive proprietary operating system and software. Nobody (or maybe few people) would have expected that Linux would become relevant as it is right now in the tech world. There have been in recent years the warm embrace of Linux and the open source development model/philosophy from hitherto vicious enemies – Microsoft is a case in point. No doubt they didn’t have more of a choice because Linux took the enterprise tech world like a ravaging bull – the number of Linux-powered severs proves that. And to a considerable extent the mobile world and the powering of the internet of things. For me the only sphere of influence where Linux is still finding it difficult to penetrate and make a considerable mark is in the area of the desktop. Statistics as regards desktop operating system use is not looking pretty for Linux at all.
So I have compiled a couple of things I would like see Linux improve in as regards desktop use this year.
#1 Unification of application program packages for portability
This is in the top of my list because it is something that I yearn so much t see in Linux. A situation where I can simply download a software (binary) package and install it instantaneously without the hassles of dependencies. And I can still install same software in other different Linux distros (at least in the most popular ones). A lot in this regard has been started in the FOSS world like in Canonical’s Snap and Redhat’s flatpak packages, a lot of work is still needed to ensure that applications like them work towards the unification of software installation instead of becoming another form of distro wars.
#2 Desktop games applications
The steam is doing a lot to bring Linux users the ultimate gaming experience. Since over the years many gamers have seen Linux as a gamer’s hell. A lot is needed in this areas to. I know when the users base of Linux increases (as its gradually doing) many prominent and major games developers would see Linux as an alternative platform for their games.
#3 Device drivers
Every desktop user nowadays can not do any thing with their desktop computers today without connecting two or more peripheral devices to it. So I would want Linux to develop to a point where it works with commonly used devices out of the box. This is involve working with device manufacturers, with the manufacturers doing a large part by providing Linux software compatibilities in their device and reaching out to the FOSS community when it can not be developed in-house.
#4 Users! Users!! Users!!!
In this new world of tech and software, users now care less about the philosophies behind the design and production of any piece of code. it’s how you well that particular software can perform at the present time – how it solve the user’s need at the moment. This ranges from graphic suites, document creation and publishing, emails, video calling, printers, scanners, phones and tablets and so many more. Though has come a long way in powering these infrastructure, more user-friendly FOSS tailored for an average user is needed.
#5 Linux Mobile
Though the Linux powered android mobile operating system is making waves all over the mobile world it is very important that a full-fledge Linux distro should be ported or crafted for the mobile device market. I pretty loved the Ubuntu phone idea. I wish the project could e taken that serious and standardized in the FOSS world. It is the exact manifestation of what I want for a mobile Linux. An experience where on connecting a mobile device to a large monitor it becomes a desktop Linux system. Since most device manufactures tune their devices for the android OS by default there is need for canonical (Ubuntu’s parent) to work closely as with major device and component makers. And the mobile OS should be such that it can easily be ported to devices that currently run android – phones and tablets.
#6 Desktop security
One of the reasons people are attracted to Linux in Nigeria (including me of course) is the fact that the popular Windows operating system is easily infested with virus. And those that have suffered loss as a result of it do not usually think twice before using Linux after pitching the idea to them, as I have seen. Since users of desktop computer would always want to connect phones, flash drives, memory cards etc to their system, it is pertinent that defense measures against common malware infections are kept at bay.
If you too want to see some things improved in Linux this year, please tell us the comment section below.