Linux on a desktop is terrific because
a) It’s free
b) All the important software is open source, you can just install it from a repo. Like an app store where everything is free and trustworthy and you never have to go elsewhere.
3) No ads, no spying on you, no bullshit, constant updates.
4) The fastest and most stable.
5) It’s the best development environment.
6) Lots of choices. You can choose what desktop you like best, etc.
Linux on the desktop fails for two reasons.
- Drivers. Sure. Just about all the common PC hardware works on Linux. There’s even that guy who made drivers for every webcam ever. The problem is that that all the fiddly features won’t work. Sure, your webcam shows video, but good luck getting the Logitech autofocus face detection thing working. Sure, your sound card plays sound, good luck with surround sound.
Consumer peripherals are the only things that fail here. There is a chicken and egg problem. Manufacturers aren’t going to make Linux drivers unless it reaches critical mass. It won’t reach critical mass if they don’t make drivers. Even if it does reach critical mass, many companies don’t want to include free open source drivers in the kernel itself. That’s how you get NVidia drivers shenanigans.
Apple solves this problem by not letting you choose your hardware. Windows solves it by having support from an entire industry.
- The benefit of choice is also a curse. Part of the reason we have operating systems in the first place is so you can write software once and create a binary that will run on many different machines that are just similar enough. Remember when you had to choose your sound card from a list when installing DOOM? Nowadays you have things like DirectX abstracting away that nonsense, so you can write one game that runs on every Windows machine with every sound card.
On Linux, those sorts of things are user choices. A game that runs on Debian might not run on Fedora because there are subsystems that are different. It’s not a problem for a simple application, but anything fancy like a game or a web browser is a large effort to make it work everywhere. The distributions themselves put a lot of work into making working builds from source distributions. They can’t do that for Counter-Strike, so Valve has to do it themselves, or only support a limited set of Linuxes.
For Linux to succeed on desktop they have to standardize and lock in the userland APIs and get broad support from the industry. The window where that could have happened has long since closed. The desktop Linux is now only useful as a platform for developers. It is also OK for a computer that doesn’t need to do much (grandma’s PC) where you want to save money on a Windows license.
All of this is 10+ year old news. When Windows 7 was released I think that was the final final nail in the coffin for desktop Linux being a thing. There really is no reason to discuss it anymore.