Why Linux is forging ahead on the desktop

Why Linux is forging ahead on the desktop

Summary: The PC desktop has made significant strides, thanks in no small measure to open source and Linux, says Jack Wallen


 |  Image 8 of 10

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • Thumbnail 8
  • Thumbnail 9
  • Thumbnail 10
  • Linux Mint

    7. Linux Mint
    If it weren't for Ubuntu Unity, Linux Mint would not be where it is today. And Linux Mint is one of the finest desktop distributions available. They have taken GNOME 3 and stretched it to include a number of extensions to make GNOME 3 a mashup of Classic GNOME and GNOME 3. It looks great and is one of the most user-friendly desktops you'll ever use.

    Image credit: Linux Mint

  • Ubuntu

    8. Ubuntu Unity
    Some may be surprised to see Unity included here, but it deserves its place because it proves Canonical is still committed to pushing boundaries. I also include it because its rise has really taken the Linux desktop to a new level, making designers and developers realise that they can't sit back on their reputations. Now every desktop in the Linuxverse is enjoying new life and development. Even if you hate Ubuntu Unity, you must give it credit for rejuvenating the Linux desktop.

  • GNOME 3

    9. GNOME 3 libs
    Another achievement of the modern iteration of GNOME are the underpinning libraries known as GNOME 3 libs. Although they may not be of interest to most end users, these libraries are worth mentioning because they have dramatically helped increase performance and simplify development. Ubuntu Unity is making the migration to the GNOME 3 libraries — greatly increasing the reliability and performance of the Unity desktop.

Topic: Operating Systems

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • You're an excellent ambassador for Linux, Jack, and have put a great spin on all the recent trials and tribulations.
    The Former Moley
  • This article points out that GNU/Linux is more than capable on the desktop which it is. However, it can be confusing for newcomers in deciding which desktop to go with. Gnome, KDE, Xfce are the leaders, and they are all somewhat different. The problems that we also face with migrating others from Windows to GNU/Linux is the time and effort needed, since most Windows customers are locked in to it by Microsoft's clever schemes. But, it is a one time move and can be done. Many Windows users simply aren't aware of GNU/Linux and the feature rich desktops and enormous list of software available. Spread the word!
  • After seeing Windows 8, and just today reading about how MS is charging people extra to enable DVD playback on Windows 8 machines, I'm now really glad I ditched Windows and went with Ubuntu. To be fair, Windows 8 would be okay for a tablet/phone environment, but not for a full desktop or laptop PC. It butchers the PC experience pretty much. You can only view one application on the screen at once in Windows 8, having to slide across panels of "tiles" looks like a pain in the arse, and it's totally different from what people were used to before with the Start menu and taskbar. Why change what worked before?

    I say, if you're looking to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8, just do yourself an enormous favor and don't. Go with Ubuntu 12.xx instead.
  • Tommy O'Neil :

    Interesting that you bring this up, as David Meyer just posted an article about this as well:


    No surprises here, Microsoft is up to the same old games as always, to try and get users on Windows then force them to pay more once they are "hooked". The numerous editions of Windows is ridiculous. At a minimum they could at least do like Apple and just charge one price and enable all of the features.

    Thankfully you've been able to dump Windows so that you no longer have to re-buy Windows over and over. Spread the word as we need to let others know how to save money as well.