Thursday, March 17, 2016

Irony, sweet irony

The Linux operating system has been dominant for servers for years and years because it's fast, stable, secure, and free.  It formed the core of the Android operating system and so it's all over the place now - fast, stable, secure, and free are winners in the mass market as well.  The fact that you could keep around old server hardware that was too under powered to run the latest Microsoft server software, and the old nag would still be useful meant even more savings.

But it was always a niche OS for desktops, pretty much only used by nerds like me (confession: I've used a Linux desktop since 1994, and the 0.99 kernel).  The issue hasn't been with the Internet "killer apps" - email and web browsing.  These work great.  It's not even that the office apps (OpenOffice and the newer/better LibreOffice) don't work.  Microsoft keeps changing the data format of the data files in their Office suite to keep out the competition, but the Linux apps provide 95% of the functions.

But Linux has something like 1% of the desktop market.  It seems that fast, stable, secure, and free just isn't enough when there's one killer app that has really not been supported well: gaming.

Linux has always been pretty bad here.  It's been a chicken-and-the-egg problem: the graphics board companies haven't invested in Linux device drivers because the market was too small, and hard core gamers wouldn't install Linux because they couldn't use their uber graphics hardware (for that extra frisson of excitement during the post-explosion splatter).  Game over, dude.

Except nasso fast:
Making the rounds on the Internet today is a rumor that NVIDIA Corp is allegedly working on their own Linux distribution.

Generating interest on Reddit and elsewhere is that NVIDIA is supposedly developing their own Linux distribution / operating system. This Linux OS would supposedly be suited for gamers.

The premise isn't really different from Valve's OS and the only "proof" is an alleged screen capture of an installer screen for this operating system supposedly going by the "NLINUX" codename at NVIDIA.
Sure, this is a rumor, but SteamOS is built on Linux, and Steam is pretty quickly becoming the gaming platform of choice.  nVidia is ging to have to support Linux drivers anyway, and so this is actually plausible.

Sure, if we're doing chicken metaphors we should remember not to count this until it hatches.  But the irony of Linux coming to the desktop to support Power Gamers is pretty rich.


Old NFO said...

That's an interesting proposition... But not surprised, NVIDIA is building some pretty fast processing and need some 'tweaks' to the OS to actually make use of them.

bluesun said...

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SiGraybeard said...

Back in December, I started trying to switch computers in the house over to Linux, but it ended up that every box had something that I couldn't find a way around. The ham shack figured to be easy, but after a month of trying to get it to do everything my Windows programs could do, I gave up. My main desktop has CAD/CAM programs that I can't get around. Every machine has a few things I can't get around.

To borrow a phrase I first heard about eBay, everyone uses Windows because everyone develops for Windows because everyone uses Windows because everyone develops for Windows ...