Year of the linux desktop

by Sam on September 16, 2021

For those not familiar, there’s this meme within the linux community that one day there will come a “year of the linux desktop”, referring to a period in which your average person will comfortably use linux on their desktop computers. With all of the developments surrounding linux lately I wouldn’t be surprised if 2022 was that year.

Gaming on linux

Recently linux has been blessed with a compatibility layer known as “Proton”, developed by steam in the interest of making windows games work on linux, and it’s VERY close to perfect. Proton works by translating windows commands to something linux can understand. While most games work, there are a few games that have restrictive anticheats preventing proton from working, these are mostly “first person shooters” as they tend to be more competitive with more cheaters. With Steam announcing the Steam Deck, which is set to use Proton extensively, there might be a good chance that these anticheat games see some sort of compatibility with linux in the near future. Gaming is an excuse I’ve personally heard from a lot of people, so I think this would be a massive gap to bridge.

Software on linux

Regardless of what you need to do, there’s a good chance you can find software on linux that can satisfy your requirements. Now I will admit, especially when it comes to a work environment, there are some programs that are exclusive to Windows or Mac. That being said, I think the gap is slowly closing, and people are learning that they can still get the same job done on a system running linux. Progress is slow, but steady.

The “linux community”

An underrated part of running linux is the community. If you can really sink your teeth into it, there’s a lot to get out of it. Lots of interesting people, interesting small communities, and fun events. A great example of the linux community is Fosstodon, my local mastodon instance, which is FILLED with interesting people doing interesting things with linux and free software. I have a few hours of entertainment daily by following my local timeline.

Windows is getting worse

While I’m a bit biased, and I haven’t used windows in well over 5 years, from what I’ve seen and heard, windows seems to be getting worse and worse as times goes by. With windows continuing down the path of self destruction, there will always be new users for linux, and as long as that continues, it’s safe to say there’s a future in the “linux desktop”.