Make the Linux Desktop Great Again: a Year Later!

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A brief recap

When I started this blog I was pretty upset with all the Debian situation, mainly because the lacking of vision and identity of what Debian should be and where Debian should go, rather than just follows what the corporations that gravitate around Linux decide.

Unfortunately after one year the situation hasn't changed very much but what is changed is my enthusiasm toward POP!_os, completely precipitated way more below the 0 degree...

One man show

Despite all the good critics that POP!_os has been gathering around itself like this one I found recently:

https://www.androidguys.com/reviews/hardware-reviews/system76-lemur-pro-review/

This year with POP!_os has been very depressing, I don't know how this has been depended by Gnome, Ubuntu of the combination of both. But POP!_os tries to fix the mess up of Ubuntu toward Debian and the mess up of Gnome toward UI/UX principles with a mixed result of positive and negative outcomes.

Positive outcomes are a polished theme, polished and personalized extensions, OS upgrading inside the Gnome settings. Negative outcomes are a crazy personal repo that installs and uninstalls kernel and drivers as it was a game, you won't notice if you use the POP!_shop (name more idiot couldn't ever found) but I use the terminal to upgrade the system and I saw everything; own components, like POP!_Shop, that hide everything can be associated with the command lines output and input, a selection of default extensions arguable, for example is missing the one for handling properly a multi-monitors environment.

Indisputably this has been the wrong distro I ever used, it is not just tailored for me, for example:

The system is designed to stay out of your way.

While I found myself stay away from the system as much as possible, it is extremely focused on keyboard users, I used a mixed mode that change in base at the application in use, therefore to make Gnome comfortable for me I had to install other ten extensions:

Extensions are one of the weakest point of Gnome Shell, are in javascript, the quality is inconstant and are constantly broken.

No more lies

I have two big critics toward POP!_os, the first is shared with all the others distros that target the same audience: New Linux Users. All the distros that target this audience behave in the exact same mode:

  1. are polished were is unnecessary;
  2. put all the effort to hide anything that is related with the command line;
  3. have a low grade of customization;

And rather than promote an active learning by the user prefer a passive attitude where the imperative is “get your job done no matter what” or maybe “no matter how”; this attitude is not for me.

The second critic is System76 is trying to create an ecosystem and tying its own customers to such ecosystem. As a matter of fact using my System76 laptop (which is basically a customized Clevo laptop) had been lesser polite on Debian than POP!_os; and System76 provides a decent support only for the official distros rather than providing agnostic shell scripts that works everywhere. I am fine with that, I was been naive believing that a company that supports Linux would also support the four freedom and the freedom to install, without pain, on your hardware, whatever distro you want. I am quite prone to think that all these companies that sell Linux specific hardware will act the same, hence, next time I will buy only hardware that is compatible with Linux but has installed Windows so when you wipe out it no company will be able to track you down to tie you on their ecosystem.

Don't forget about Ubuntu

I'm still grateful the day I installed Debian... For me Ubuntu is that distro that have bugs fixed if are in the radar of Canonical otherwise those can be unfixed forever no matter what their severity.

What's next?

#Devuan or #EndeavourOS will be my next target but #Debian is still my plan b.

#PopOS #Gnome3 #GnomeShell #LinuxDesktop #OpenSource #Linux #FreeSoftware

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