Have you ever wondered why Linux OS even after being so awesome is not very popular and mainstream? Or you might have not known much about Linux yet. In both cases, you need to read this.
If you don’t think Linux is awesome then surely you have not seen the actual beauty of Linux. And I am not saying Linux is awesome just because it’s free and available for almost any computer hardware. But there are a lot of other things about Linux, that seriously makes it one of the best desktop OS available right now.
But there are also some flaws even with Linux. These flaws combined with some other things are holding back Linux. Stopping it from becoming mainstream or even the best OS on the market.
Note: Now someone might say its just a kernel. Yes, Linx is just a kernel and not an OS. But its also generally referred to Linux distros that are the full-fledged operating systems. That’s also what I am doing here, referring Linux to Linux distros.
So let’s now see what are the main reasons behind Linux distros not being mainstream yet.
Variety in terms of Linux distros.
The first reason due to which Linux is not mainstream is also it’s one of its greatest strengths.
Linux distros are the operating systems that use Linux as a kernel in its core. Now as Linux kernel is open source, operating systems based on it, are also generally open-source. There is a huge variety in terms of Linux distros, as every now and then a new Linux distro pops out. Either based on a popular Linux distro or as a completely new project.
This happens because the open-source code allows anyone to create a new distro. Now, this is a very nice thing for anyone who already uses Linux as it offers a huge variety of options. One can easily find a Linux distro for every use case conceivable.
But for a person who is the first time using a PC, it confuses. Unlike macOS and Windows, which are the general options from which anyone chooses. These both are considered as one size fits all. Although there are some areas in which one is better than the other. Still, in general, both the operating systems are considered suited for almost any task.
Now it’s not that any single Linux distro would not be able to do everything. But you need to customize it, which beginners might find difficult.
Games and popular software are still not developed for Linux.
Today also most of the popular games and apps are not available for Linux. Now reason behind this can vary, but in general it can be associated with two main things.
One of them is the user share of Linux. Linux is present on about 2% of desktop PC’s which is very small as compared to about 77 % of Windows and 18 % of OS X as mentioned on stats counter.
This makes the development of apps and games for Linux not as important as for the other two major operating systems. Because companies might not even recover the development expenses of apps and games.
The other reason is there is no one single OS. From these 2% also users will be subdivided into various distros. Then each distro has its own software base and release cycle. So development will need to be carried out separately for almost every OS. Due to these reasons, there are lesser mainstream apps for Linux.
But this should not stop you if you want to use a Linux distro. As you have various open-source apps available as an alternative to the common closed source ones. And if you are not satisfied with open source apps, you can also use Windows apps using PlayonLinux or Wine. Now games are also supported as more than 6500 Windows games are now supported on Linux.
Lack of backing from any major tech company
As Linux distros are community-supported, there is no one to promote them. Although there are some companies involved like Canonical and Red Hat (The developers behind Ubuntu and RHEl(Red Hat Enterprise Linux).
They mostly promote their premium packages and not Linux as a whole. This can be seen in the Computer manufacturing industry. Since most manufacturers have already partnered with Microsoft, a lot of Laptops and desktops come preinstalled with Windows.
This automatically grants Windows the benefit of being used as a first OS by beginners. Which makes them habitual to the Windows apps and environment.
Although this is changing now as Linux distros are getting more popularity. This year certain laptops have been launched that come preinstalled with Linux distros like Ubuntu.
Installing Apps and other features
Installing apps and features is a different story on Linux. Apps and features require some knowledge of Linux Terminal to install. Although this has changed a lot recently, now every major distro comes with its software store and a proper GUI. But still even today, one needs to have some knowledge of terminal to use any Linux distro efficiently.
This is not the case with the Windows and macOS as both are mainly designed to be used by Graphical interface. And beginners generally seem to prefer a simple GUI interface than the Terminal one.
Missing drivers for hardware in Linux
This is one of the worst things when it happens. Suppose you just installed Linux on your system and WIFI is not working. In such cases, you have to go find an ethernet cable first. Then only you could fix such problems, and problems like this happen quite often.
Hardware manufacturers, make the drivers primarily for widely used Operating systems first. Then later on release drivers for Linux or might not release at all. The reason is the same as why popular apps and games not developed.
Then in such cases, users have to rely on open-source drivers. Open-source drivers are not always available, as their development takes some time after the release of any new hardware. Even if you got an open-source driver it might lack in terms performance.
This is also the reason why users avoid using Linux. Although in recent years manufacturers have started taking note of this. And now big players like Nvidia have started relesing drivers for Linux also.
So these are some of the main reasons stopping Linux from becoming a mainstream OS. What do you think?
Do you use Linux, Which distro? If No, so why don’t you use Linux? do tell us in comments.