Decades later & the Linux 'desktop' is still in alpha

I am writing this after another frustrating day using Zorin but my rant has more to do with the Linux "desktop" than Zorin OS.

I'm glad I paid for Zorin in order to help the developers. I really want to love Zorin OS 16 (and Linux in general) but I just can't. There are so many ridiculous UI/UX problems that I simply don't have time to list them all.

Every single day I am searching these forums, reddit, Linuxquestions, or other places on the web to overcome what are absolutely unforgivable issues.

Just a couple examples:

I just installed Spotify per the official instructions as seen here:

No issues with the install and the app opened up just fine but the fonts are so microscopic that I can't use the app. I had to scale to 200% to read anything and it was still tiny!

Maybe I should've installed it from the Software Store? Oh look, there are FOUR versions...

Let's install Joplin but use the app store this time. Oh looky here, there are also FOUR versions of the app to choose from -- 2.35 (flathub), 2.32 (snap), 1.0.224 (snap), and 2.35 (snap).


On and on and on these petty issues plague the Linux desktop that's it's no suprise that after more than two decades there is still only 0.x percent market share for a free operating system.

It's like Linux developers have never heard of or even seen a competing operating system to conclude "hey, there are things we can do better...". No, this ■■■■ was evident when I was distro hopping back in the early 2000's, and nothing has changed today.

I will continue to use Zorin or some other distro strictly for torrenting but nothing else. Maybe Linus Torvalds was right when he said the Linux desktop still sucks today? Maybe using an OS designed for servers as a daily driven desktop OS is asking too much?

All I know is using Linux on a daily basis would drive my productivity to zero.

1 Like

GNULinux is great, you may call me a hobbyist but..

You can install Joplin via Snap, Flathub and the APT because you have the choice.

We can help you, list your system info. And don't use Snaps and Flatpak if you can, there for things that you can't find in your repo or add as a PPA or a .deb. There are .deb you can install

How to List system info:
sudo apt install inxi ←(Installs Inxi)
inxi←(Tells Inxi to list basic system info)

Linux is designed for PC space, but it dominates in the server space because Linux is so flexible. You can tweak everything on Linux!

Linux is an operating system with the Linux Kernel, so Android developers working on Android was stupid? They clearly saw a very successful operating system.

You can tweak it, you don't like the workflow. Use another Desktop Environment or tweak it.

Linux is also supporting so many more software with WINE, steams proton is also getting games on Linux. Anti Cheat is also trying to work with Linux. This is a great era for Linux to gain market share.

Linux has improved a lot, you clearly don't see it.

I think you still don't see that Linux is very different from other operating systems, there are options which can be overwhelming, but that's what the forums for, right? Please don't cuss in this forum, pls. :sunglasses: Keeping your mouth clean is cool!!! :sunglasses:


I totally understand what you are saying. Regarding the small sized text, I have been dealing with that every since I started using Linux. So many apps refuse to abide by the system settings for font type and size. And most apps don't let you change the fonts within the.

Perfect example is Steam, can't read nothing in it without using the zoom function in accessibility. I also have issues seeing things in Kdenlive and Gimp, but I just deal with it because there is no better way. Like I said, if I really have to, I'll use my shortcut keys and zoom in on it.

I know what your going to say though, we shouldn't have to do that. Yes, I know your right, but it is what it is. You come from the Windows experience and you expect Linux to be as good. That is not a totally unfair assumption, given how long Linux has been around.

Part of the issue is, developers don't take Linux seriously and they never have. They refuse to code software and games for Linux, except the mighty few like Valve, who are a commercial organization. What we need is for the Microsoft and Apple exclusivity BS to end.

We need more commercial companies to take Linux seriously, so that Linux can get better. Cause right now, the only people coding for Linux are hobby'st programmers. Like those who made Gimp, Kdenlive, and lots of other apps.

I do agree with Kedric though, that one of the truly wonderful things about Linux, is it gives you the choice to choose what you want. The OS doesn't do it for you. Those who use Windows are used to buying software and installing it. You only got one choice, EXE file, which BTW, is how you get virus's.

Because of stuff like that, Microsoft claims that the reason why they made a huge change to the way you buy, download, and install software in Windows 10, forcing you to use the Microsoft store, was to combat against virus's from untrusted 3rd party sources.

But you know the beauty of what you don't get on Linux? Virus's. Oh sure, a Windows virus might get on your machine if your installing software made for Windows in Wine. But a virus coded for Windows, can't do anything on Linux because of the way the file system was designed, and they are easier to remove because of that too.

Software downloads from repo's and installations require your admin password, it prevents things like virus's or malware from being able to install itself without you knowing about it. Remember how easy it was to get a Trojan on Windows just by visiting a site? That can't happen on Linux.

Truth is, while things in Linux generally moves at a snails pace towards improvement, in comparison, things are getting much worse with Windows. The last awesome Windows OS was Windows7, it was very well made, and was practically just a newer OS extension of Windows XP, which was also a truly awesome OS.

But what I am seeing now from Microsoft leaves much to be desired, and much to throw out. What they did with the mandatory installation of telemetry in Windows 10 was inexcusable! If Microsoft tried to pull that in the 90's, our government would have shut them down. But our politicians are bought and paid for now, and won't shutdown their monopoly.

So just when I thought it wasn't going to get much worse for Windows users, oh boy was I wrong in that assumption. Then comes all the talk of the facts about Windows11. Oh you know, the OS Microsoft claim you didn't need, cause Windows10 was supposed to be the be all end all of OS's?

So why do they feel the need to release another OS then? Not only does it show that they are a bunch of freaking liars, every last one of them, but it also tells me that they weren't able to screw enough people over in Windows10. With all the new hardware and TPM based requirements of Windows11, I feel something more sinister a brewing.

Sure, they can claim all day that the new requirements are all for security reasons. Boy do I laugh my butt off, security reasons ha? Well, I tell ya one, I wouldn't feel safe and secure with MS sniffing up my rear behind in everything that I do. And I bet one of the new features of Windows11 is going to be, to lock you into that telemtry.

They finally admitted that Linux was better then the garbage they were pushing on everyone. So apparantly, word is, they based their new system off of Linux, thats right, at the center of the dang OS is Linux. But not just Linux, with all their greedy monopolistic garbage added to it to screw the user over.

And like I said, I bet you can't get out of that telemetry, they are gonna lock it on so tight, you'll never be able to shut it off. About the only choice you'll have with that OS installed, is to keep the computer off the net. But not even that will work, cause I heard you need an internet connection just to install and setup the pig.

So, I agree with you, Linux most certainly has its issues, I personally have some issues with it. But when you truly compare Linux with Windows, it is very clear that Linux comes out the winner here. I will always prefer Linux over them. And truth is, Apple aint much better then MS these days either, so screw modern Apple too.

Hopefully this helps put things in perspective for ya.


I agree, Linux doesn't have as many developers or funding as Microsoft. In my opinion, the pros out weight the cons. Linux is so customizable that I just can't live without it in this modern age of computers.


I could make a very long list of what make the Windows Desktop still in 'alpha' stage and how, in spite of being a Two Trillion dollar organization, they still are not ready from prime time.

That Linux has come so far, on some donations, volunteer work and open source is nothing short of amazing and an inspiring success story all of its own.


FOSS is amazing, it's the only reason that I can use my office suite, Image Editor, Video Editor for free.


The only reason windows 10 is still on my machine is because i do play some games. If i get them to work in zorin os i will trash windows 10. I hate all the spyware they added in 10 (telemtry). Als o the ridiculous specs for windows 11 is bs. My i7-7700HQ is 4 years old. Microsoft does not decide when i need to upgrade so i can use their new toy aka Windows 11. I saw a message a few weeks ago about zorin os 16 and i love the design.

I used linux in 2014 and 2016, tried Linux Mint 17.x, Arch (with alot of guides), opensuse, manjaro and even zorin.

My older laptop had a gtx 485m and the only reasons i didnt keep linux was

A) I could not install most of my games
B) My older laptop had random freezes (duo bad driver support from nvidia back then)

Now with zorin os 16 on my newer machine and a gtx 1070 i didnt encounter any freeze issues (yet).

As for games i have to sort it out first, steam has a good way of making things to work protondb which was back in 2014 not as good as how it is these days.

I think more users will swap to linux thx to ms and its awesome policy. Its time for something new, let linux live and let ms die.

I agree!

While there are a couple of games that I am unable to play due to DRM issues, that only allow you to play on Windows, a lot of games do run on Linux now because of ProtonDB.

Additionally, some games are made to run natively on Linux, games like Half Life 2, and Alien Isolation, which are AAA titles BTW. Things are much better in the gaming seen these days.

The more people switch from Windows10 to Linux as Windows11 gets rolled out, were going to hopefully see more developers get serious about developing on Linux. Lets hope!

And look, I got my issues with Valve because of how Gabe Newell runs things, that aint no secret. But I have to give credit where credit is do. Valve uses Linux on their developing machines, and codes their games to run natively on Linux.

So if we can just get more gaming developers to take Linux seriously, there will be less need for some people to stay on Windows, simply because of DRM concerns.

But I hate Windows so much, that there will be games that I never get to play again due to DRM, I won't go back to Windows just to be able to play those games. And since those games are so old, the project is long dead on them, so developers of those games will probably never update them.

There are awesome games that were made in the 90's exclusive to Sony, games like Twisted Metal 2 for example, that we will never see on Steam, because the company that made that game, Single Track, has been carved up so many times bought and sold and re-arranged, just impossible.

What I'd really love to see, is Linux becoming a huge game changer in the gaming world. Get rid of the exclusivity BS, and stop being like EA, where games are only made for their pocket book. Start making games for the people again.

You can still charge for your games, perfectly reasonable. But, make them for every platform, including natively for Linux. To me, that will go a huge step forward in the right direction IMO.

I have it on my computer because it's not mine.

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