It’s 2020, and linux still can’t do a desktop for humans

So, I’ve been trying linux mint, and Ubuntu. First in virtual machines, then in an actual partition on my desktop for the last week.

It still sucks. At least the XWindows clipboard thing is (mildly sorted out, but not quite).

After a few VM installations, which got me quite excited since it seemed slick, I resized a partition and installed Mint, (Mate edition) first. Fuck me, could I not get some basic shit done, like creating a custom hotkey for running a shell prompt with some arguments. Cue hours of googling, and once again having to edit files and all kindsa shit.

Clipboard is better, but still fucked. Try and find a way in Mint to just select text in a terminal, and have it automatically copied to the clipboard. gnome-terminal can’t do it. mate-terminal can’t do it. All the stuff I take for granted every day on a windows desktop. Several googles later, nah brah…

Realistically, it’s still just not ready. Ok, let’s try again…

Gave up on Mate…

Then installed Mint Cinnamon edition, which was a bit more successful, at least I could edit keyboard shortcuts consistently. My base requirement being Windows-R to run something, Windows-S to snip a screenshot, etc, etc.

Then install wine, to be able to run winbox. All cool, it works. Try and change the icon for the shortcut. Jesus christ. Install scan tools, extract .PE executable icons, finally have a working shortcut. With the icon I wanted…

Great, start installing vscode, whatsapp, telegram. All swimmingly. Perfomance is amazing, until my taskbar tarts running out of taskbar space, so right click the panel and “Edit”

I can change everything except create more taskbar space (e.g doubling up the number of open windows/icons in the panel). Apparently it’s not supported, and the bugs are closed as WONTFIX by <whomeverthefuckdevelops gnome/cinnammon/mate/whatever the fucking branch is>

Several annoyed hours later.

Boot back to windows, I run putty, resize my taskbar, and do all the shit that I normally do. It’s been a decade of fucking X11/Xorg/KDE/Gnome/Mate/Cinnamon/Insert_Your_name_and_desktop_manager here.

And Linux still can’t even come close to beating the Windows 95, or OS2 desktop experience.

I love Linux, just keep it the fuck away from my desktop thank-you-very-much.

Author: roelf on June 9, 2020
Category: Uncategorized
4 responses to “It’s 2020, and linux still can’t do a desktop for humans”
  1. Robby says:

    I’m thinking you may have some more advanced requirements but for the majority, Linux works pretty well as a desktop. I’ve done hundreds of desktop installs specifically for business over the years and for the most part, it works very well.

    Certainly in terms of productivity, I find Linux desktops to be a cut above Windows. Updates are slick and (almost) never break anything. Security is better. And customisation out of the box is a step above.

    I’d agree that doing some things is harder than it should be but that’s the exception rather than the norm.

    My 2 cents …

    • admin says:

      I don’t think wanting a clipboard to work, and having a taskbar that allows more than one line of tasks is “Advanced”.

      Out of the box, neither of the mentioned distributions gave me an experience where I felt productive. The worst/best part is that it is possible to get these things working. Just no “out of the box”. And getting copy and paste to work is a rule, that shouldn’t be an “Exception”, with millions of tweaks.

      In windows, I use the snipping tool, select a part of the screen, and copy it straight into a forum, or blog post. That’s hardly advanced. Try doing that without ending up with gF4hal)#v(aZzRZ6$PAKXvY( like I just pasted: or file://home/roelf/Desktop/screenshots/xxxx.png in the post.

      That’s basic shit man. I pasted a picture, not a link to a file. The clipboard can contain multimedia, and Chrome happily supports that. Unless you’re on a linux desktop. In which case refer to developers that feel it’s not required, goodluck-with-that-bugreport-wontfix style comments.

  2. Regardt van de Vyver says:

    Maybe give a poke at WSL2.0 on Windows 10 – gives you ‘most’ of a full Linux experience on local machine.

    Been using it this side and has pretty much made my dev efforts in vscode ‘native’.


    • admin says:

      Have been using WSL for a while now, but considering how good the built-in Win64 stuff such as SSH, etc, has become, I’ve not really required WSL, since most of my work (as always) is remote.

      VSCode on win64, with the remote-ssh plugin is the way to write code! What that has done for dev’s is fucking amazing.

      Also, I’m still surprised how this decades old blog still gets hits and replies on posts, like a few days after a post ? How does this happen? I thought everything was facebook these days ? Are things like pingbacks and that sorta thing still working ?

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