Linux Today article: When Will it Really Be the Year of Linux?

Rikki Kite

ROSE Blog: Rikki's Open Source Exchange

May 18, 2009 GMT
Rikki Kite

Linux Today's Carla Schroder asks When Will it Really Be the Year of Linux? Her answer is: It already is. It already has been. It will continue for the forseeable future.

I couldn't agree more.

My daughter Cleo has been running Linux at home for quite some time now, although she didn't go out and pick it as her operating system – Mom did. I told my daughter that she was ahead of her time and soon all her classmates would be familiar with – hopefully even thrilled with – Linux and open source.

At first Cleo was annoyed about learning to use fonts and programs that weren't the same as what was offered at school. Then she got used to her new system and programs and warmed up to all the games featuring penguin characters. Now she never even thinks about what runs on her netbook because it just runs. In fact, our home printer worked flawlessly when Cleo plugged in her Jaunty netbook the first time, whereas my husband downloaded drivers to get the printer to work with his new Mac. Now Cleo proudly sports her "Peace, Love, Linux" shirt I brought home from LinuxFest Northwest. And the future?

The future never looked brighter for the first girl at her school to use Linux: At the beginning of the 2008/2009 school year, not a single school computer ran Linux; by the end of the 2008/2009 year, every single computer in the lab dual-boots with Ubuntu. What a year of Linux!

By the 2009/2010 school year, the IT director plans to run a Linux server and have enough Linux laptops running open source programs for every student in the school. In fact, the goal is to acquire enough new and used donated laptops over the summer to meet his needs. His modest annual IT budget never saw a better year.

Carla sees the last link for Linux as the OEM desktop Linux. She says, "We should be able to go to any computer store, whether online or in meatspace, and see good-quality fairly priced Linux machines sitting side-by-side with Mac and Windows." As Carla points out, independent Linux vendors ZaReason, System76, and Penguin Computing are already setting good examples.

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