I was just reading a blog post on this very topic on ZDNet and it reminded me that I’ve felt this way for a long time.
UnixUnity™ is needed if a Unix-like Open Source OS is ever going to really catch on with the masses.
What Linux (er “GNU/Linux”) has going for it is that when it comes to Desktop users, no other Unix-like OS can compete. But there are too damn many flavors of it (distributions). But Linux has the most apps, period. It also has the most users and therefore the most resources available to it’s users.
After all, the FreeBSD “ports” are named so because most of them really are ports – of Linux apps.
And OpenSolaris has a long way to go to catch up with FreeBSD in terms of the number of available applications.
And maybe just maybe, if we narrowed it down to a handful of Unix-like operating systems (instead of dozens), and got focused on really being the best, we (notably the Linux community) could stop wasting time bashing other Operating Systems.
Regardless of the outcome, I’ll use any OS. I never used one that I didn’t (dis)like. But for the time being, most of my time will be spent in (Ubuntu) Linux.
In the meantime, I just learned of the release of OpenSolaris 2008.5. It’s the first official release of the new and improved “Ubuntu-like” version of OpenSolaris. And compared to previous incarnations of Solaris, it rocks. The difference is like night and day. We can thank Ian Murdock (and many others) for this. It’s long overdue.
Anyway, I gave it a shot and I was very impressed. Unfortunately the availability of software is very limited, but at least this is a start. In addition, it won’t run on my computer. Apparently my hardware is too strange/old for that. I’ve got it running in VirtualBox (for the most part). It’s a great start, I look forward to it getting even better.
Anyway, if you’re a Linux user (or even if you’re not) with an open mind, I’d recommend checking out OpenSolaris, DesktopBSD and/or PCBSD. They are all Linux alternatives focused on ease of use and are (generally) as easy to set up as the the most user-friendly Linux distros are now.
Me of course, I’ve got 3 Linux distros and Windows Vista (!) installed on my hard drives and 3 more Linux distros, OpenSolaris & FreeBSD running in virtual machines.
Why? Because I can. 🙂