2012's 5 Most popular Linux stories

2012's 5 Most popular Linux stories

Summary: From Goobuntu to Mint to Windows 8, the un-Linux, here are the year's most popular Linux stories.

2012 was another great year for Linux.

Taken as a whole, 2012 was a great year for Linux. The most popular stories, however, were more about the day-to-day happenings of Linux than the big picture.

2012's top Linux story was The truth about Goobuntu: Google's in-house desktop Ubuntu Linux. The title said it all. We'd long known that Google uses its own house-blend of Ubuntu on its PCs, but it wasn't until this summer that Google finally revealed exactly how its workers use Ubuntu,

The next most popular tale was about the popular Linux Mint distribution. I declared that 2012's Best Linux desktop was Linux Mint 13. I've changed my mind since then. Now, I think the best desktop Linux is Linux Mint 14.1. I'll be telling you more about it in the next few days.

One story from 2011 remained popular throughout 2012 and that was my how to install Google Chrome OS feature. This Linux-based operating system with a Chrome Web browser interface powers Chromebooks. As I explained though you don't need a Chromebook to try Chrome OS out for yourself.

Another article that a lot of people liked was The 5 most popular Linux distributions. The most popular Linux in 2012 was, by the by,  Linux Mint. See, it wasn't just me who liked it.

Finally, my Ubuntu 12.04 vs. Windows 8: Five points of comparison also had tens of thousands of readers. My point was, and still is, that Ubuntu is a better, more secure, and flexible desktop operating system than Windows 8. That said, if you want to move from Windows 7 or XP to a system that feels more familiar than Windows 8, Mint, with the Cinnamon desktop, is my personal recommendation.

In 2013, I expect these themes to continue to expand. Desktop Linux isn't going to knock Windows off the top of the desktop heap, but on all other platforms--servers, cloud, supercomputers, tablets, and smartphone--Linux and its mobile cousin Android, are going continue to dominate.

What will be interesting is to see how exactly it all plays out. I hope you'll join me for 2013's journey.

Related Stories:

Topics: Linux, Android, PCs, Ubuntu, Smartphones, Servers, Operating Systems, Microsoft, Laptops, Google, Cloud, Windows 8

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  • Required Subject Field

    "My point was, and still is, that Ubuntu is a better, more secure, and flexible desktop operating system than Windows 8."

    I have to respectfully disagree. They are more similar than they are different. Both went with radical new interfaces that people either love or hate, yet BOTH can be customized to bring back features people are familiar with. Ubuntu is more secure, but Windows has a bigger software selection.

    I use Windows 7/Windows 8 CP (plan to upgrade to full version soon) and Linux Mint 13/Lubuntu and I can honestly say that I like all these OSs equally but for different reasons.
    • RE: "Ubuntu is more secure [than Windows 8]

      Why do you believe that Ubuntu (and desktop GNU/Linux in general) is more secure than Windows 8?

      I do, personally, believe that Ubuntu (and desktop GNU/Linux in general) is SAFER than Windows 8.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • Clarification

        Well, when I said 'secure' I meant it's not exploited as much as Windows (Windows in general, not just Windows 8). However, I do like how you put it because I'm in no way implying Ubuntu is impenetrable.
      • Nope

        There is no other GNU/Linux than GNU development platform run by Linux operating system.

        There is no "GNU/Linux" desktop any kind as GNU doesn't belong to Linux operating system.

        Linux operating system is more secure than NT. And even CIA and NSA has made own (open source) addons for Linux to make it even more secure to be used in their own missions and systems.

        But it isn't just enough that operating system is secure, so needs to be programs and libraries what are used (and NSA version "fix that").
        • Tell The Debian (my favorite GNU/Linux distro) and GNU projects

          "A large part of the basic tools that fill out the operating system come from the GNU project; hence the names: GNU/Linux, GNU/kFreeBSD ...

          "GNU is typically used today with a kernel called Linux. This combination is the GNU/Linux operating system. GNU/Linux is used by millions, though many call it "Linux" by mistake.

          P.S. I use the term GNU to acknowledge the contributions made by Richard Stallman and The GNU project.
          Rabid Howler Monkey
        • GNU is a large part of any Linux distro...

          ...making the term "GNU/Linux" appropriate. I think it's somewhat stilted, which is why I don't use it, but I understand why RMS (the father of GNU) prefers it.

          Confusion between Linux the kernel and Linux the OS family is rife, but I don't know how best to deal with it.
          John L. Ries
          • Linux kernel vs. Linux the OS family...

            "Confusion between Linux the kernel and Linux the OS family is rife, but I don't know how best to deal with it."

            Why deal with it at all? For all intents and purposes, the people who know the difference are the only people who really *need* to know the difference. For the general public, an operating system is the sum of its parts, making the distinction between the kernel and the OS pointless.
          • Not exactly

            Linux is a kernel; Fedora, Debian, Slackware, Ubuntu, Android, etc, are all different OS' based on that kernel. Are they the same thing? Not at all though they are related and they do run much of the same software (assuming the same processor).
            John L. Ries
      • Linux is completely different. It's just a completely different philosophy

        ...from the beginning and that hasn't changed over the years. It's always been a network centered OS.

        I've never seen Linux become infected from external sources, without user intervention, like Windows does and to me, that makes all the difference.

        I don't like the idea of using Windows for secure transactions, especially after being hit with Auleron.DX. It's unnerving to have the AV throw up messages that you have 5 infections while just running Critical updates on a dual boot machine.

        I removed the infections myself, including the registry components and ran rootkit scans repeatedly to insure the Auleron.DX was gone. Additionally, I had to turn off the Proxy and remove the Russian IP address. Not a pleasant task and something that never occurred in 11 years of Linux use.

        Unfortunately, contrary to MS advertising, it was a high end Acer netbook utilizing 64-bit Win7 and the advanced 64-bit driver signing. Which, BTW, turned out to be inadequate protection in this case.

        "In November 2010, the press reported that the rootkit has evolved to the point that it is able to bypass the mandatory kernel-mode driver signing requirement of 64-bit editions of Windows 7 by subverting the master boot record, something that also makes it particularly resistant on all systems to detection and removal by anti-virus software."

        -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alureon

        I never have reservations using Linux (Now, LinuxMint 14.1, 64-bit Cinnamon) for FAFSA, online banking, credit card purchases or any activity that requires confidential or SS# information.
    • Re: I have to respectfully disagree.

      Disagree all you want. Then try to explain why Linux has become the world's fastest-shipping OS, and Microsoft's market share has fallen to 29% and still declining.
      • Uhm, no!

        I was disagreeing with SJVN and his statement that Ubuntu is better than Windows (did you even read the article or my original post?). It has nothing to do with market share or Linux being fastest-shipping OS.
  • Linux Mint 14, the best desktop Linux

    Will have to read that article.
    • It's Distrowatch.com information, which may be questioned,

      ...But the difference is so substantial that there's no doubt. Ubuntu is a great OS, but Mint is Ubuntu, just further refined and taken many steps further by including non-free drivers and codecs. It easily has taken over the No. 1 spot.

      That, in a nutshell, makes for a much better experience than Windows. Windows will always have the stigma of botnets, rootkits and infections no matter how many shill bricks ZDNet puts in the spin cycle.

      Installl Mint, and you can instantly play DVD's and copy them for backup purposes (handy with 10 year release Disney videos coupled with young or handicapped children). LibreOffice runs great and can save and be adjusted to save in the MS Office formats. It also has many other free players and utilities, plus 61,000+ free, trusted applications installed by a couple of clicks from the included Software Manager.

      Things are so well thought out that in using the Update manager, it not only updates the OS, but any software you have installed.

      If you want the equivalent of say, Microsoft Publisher, Google it, and it reveals a program called Scribus, which can also be installed for free from the software manager. Many consider it better than MS Publisher.

      You just have to try it and experience it. -- All available at no cost.

      "Scribus is an open source desktop page layout program with the aim of producing commercial grade output in PDF and Postscript, primarily, though not exclusively for Linux."

      "Scribus can be used for many tasks; from brochure design to newspapers, magazines, newsletters and posters to technical documentation. It has sophisticated page layout features like precision placing and rotating of text and/or images on a page, manual kerning of type, bezier curves polygons, precision placement of objects, layering with RGB and CMYK custom colors. The Scribus document file format is XML-based. Unlike proprietary binary file formats, even damaged documents, can be recovered with a simple text editor.'

      "Scribus supports professional DTP features, such as CMYK color and a color management system to soft proof images for high quality color printing, flexible PDF creation options, Encapsulated PostScript import/export and creation of 4 color separations, import of EPS/PS and SVG as native vector graphics, Unicode text including right to left scripts such as Arabic and Hebrew via freetype. Graphic formats which can be placed in Scribus as images include PDF, Encapsulated Post Script (eps), TIFF, JPEG, PNG and XPixMap(xpm), and any bitmap type supported by QT4."

      "Printing, PDF and SVG creation are done via custom driver libraries and plug-ins, giving Scribus inventive features: the abilities to include presentation effects with PDF output, fully scriptable interactive PDF forms, SVG vector file output. The internal printer drivers fully support Level 2 and Level 3/PDF 1.4 postscript features including transparency and font embedding."

      "When run from KDE, Drag and Drop, for example from desktop to the canvas, is enabled. There is easy to use drag and drop scrapbook for frequently used items such as text blocks, pictures and custom shaped frames."

      Linux software is just "free", but in no way inferior to Microsoft.
      • Ditch ZDNet and their twisted lies, just give Mint a try yourself + decide.

  • Oh, goody!

    Another "5 Most...." piece.
  • 2012's 5 Most popular Linux stories

    "My point was, and still is, that Ubuntu is a better, more secure, and flexible desktop operating system than Windows 8."

    No its not, not when you have the telnet port so wide open you can drive a mack truck through it. I have yet to read anything that backs up what you are saying about ubuntu. Go to the forums and you can read just how many problems people are having with linux. Not better in any way shape or form unless you like spending your time compiling the kernel and constantly configuring the OS.
    • Why?

      After all, you're not even witty or charming.

      Ah well, keep calm and keep on being a zombie.
      • Why what?

        Zombie? I guess because I like to think for myself instead of doing whatever Linus tells me to do that makes me a zombie. That's a strange way of thinking you got going on there.
        • Loverock-Davidson as usual

          Me a Zombie? I guess because I like to think for myself instead of doing whatever Microsof allows and tells me to do that makes me a zombie. That's a strange way of thinking you got going on there.

          I enjoy recompiling the Kernel...oh gee I haven't a clue on how to do that........Gee I guess that does make me a Microsoft Zombie after all.
          Over and Out
        • Zombie?

          Wasn't it several million **Windows** computers that were taken over by TDL4 and turned into zombie PCs?