Su Tech Ennui: Why Linux isn't ready for the desktop

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Why Linux isn't ready for the desktop

My Linux at work (OpenSuSE 10.3) stopped working for no apparent reason the other day - well, not entirely, but it wouldn't start X-Windows and gave me the totally content-free error message "The display server has been shut down about 6 times in the last 90 seconds. It is likely that something bad is going on."

This was a major problem because I was running another server on that system under vmware, and when I tried to start up the virtual machine from the command-line instead of the usual GUI, that failed too. (I suspect it never had worked, I just hadn't tried it before now.)

Fortunately I have some experience of unix and after much net research I finally found the solution:

touch /var/cache/fontconfig/stamp
/usr/bin/fc-cache -f

but can you imagine what would happen if a typical home user hit a problem like that? It would be "Honey, where's the WinXP install disk?"...

As much as I love unix, it just isn't ready for prime time on the desktop. Which is why I do all my own work from the command-line still...


No comments: