The Year of the Linux Desktop

February 17, 2012

Most Linux users probably recognize the “year of the Linux Desktop” as being a bit of a joke, as it sometimes seems like each year someone claims that this year is going to be the year of the Linux Desktop. So much so, that there is even a section dedicated to it on wikipedia.

However, I had a pretty neat experience yesterday.

I got a call for a computer repair, where the computer was basically shutting down after about 30 minutes of use. The guy largely diagnosed the problem himself, indicating that it was really hot and that it seemed like most of the heat was coming from the power supply. By the time I got there, he had cracked the case and checked all the fans in the case, as when he called, I mentioned that this seemed like the most logical problem and a good place to start troubleshooting.

When we went to boot the computer, I got a pretty neat surprise, as he booted PC Linux. I totally was not expecting this, as he was an older gentleman and I live in a rural area, so having him boot up Linux was the last thing I expected. We got to talking and it turns out he has been running Linux for years and said he had tried a lot of Distros.

Having never used PC Linux, I did a little playing around and it seems pretty solid.

Thanks to this cool infographic, it looks like it is based on Mandrake, which is based off of Red Hat. Although I am not a fan of KDE, it looks like it is a pretty smooth and easy to use Distro.

This ended up being a very cool repair, because even though I could tell by talking with him he knew his stuff, I still was not expecting him to be running Linux. It is quite refreshing to be able to have a conversation with a client about how cool Linux is and totally out of the norm for my standard Windows virus removal or hardware repair jobs. Totally shattered my preconceived notions too.

While “year of the Linux Desktop” has become a bit of a joke, it is nice to see it being adopted! And, given that this is the first time I have done a computer repair for a residential customer that was already using Linux, this is at least the year of the Linux desktop for me!

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