back to article Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can

Linus Torvalds released issued Linux 3.17 rc-2 on Monday. Linux-loving readers will note that releasing on a Monday is not Torvalds' style. He usually releases on Sundays. The reason for the change is detailed on the Linux kernel mailing list as follows: “So I deviated from my normal Sunday schedule partly because there …

  1. jake Silver badge

    And about 2 years later ...

    ... I started using the Slackware distribution at home, when it became obvious that Mark Williams Company's "Coherent" wasn't going to be around much longer, sadly. (Coherent was a really nice take on the UNIX concept, but written in assembler instead of C ... bloody fast on a 386SX33 w/math-co, 8 megs & 80 meg Maxtor). 21 years later, I'm still using Slackware as my desktop. I never even notice the OS anymore. It just works.

    Thank you, Linus and PV, and all the coders around the world involved.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      Re: And about 2 years later ...

      Interesting. I first installed linux when my boss refused to let me spend £99 on Coherent, and said I would have to negotiate the use of a licence with the service guys to use the expensive Sequent. I thought a unixy future to PC-style computing was likely and wanted to examine what it would look like; I didn't necessarily want to learn Korn on an expensive mini-computer. So I slowly started wrapping me head around it all in my own at home. I still remember the feeling of helplessness when I duly got an "X" on a graphical screen but didn't know what to do next - unixy layered thinking took a while to get through to my monolithically trained brain.

      Two years after that, a startup for which I worked had a linux infrastructure.

      Cheers, Linus.

      1. david 12

        Re: And about 2 years later ...

        We spent the $199 on Coherent, and found that it had no virtual memory manager. If you had 8MB, that's what you got.

        Which made the whole thing pointless for us -- why bother with the overhead and limited documentation of *nix, if you didn't get a large virtual memory space?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And about 2 years later ...

          should have added -himem to the autoexec.bat

        2. jake Silver badge

          @ david 12 (was: Re: And about 2 years later ...)

          Coherent was US$99, as advertised on the back cover of BYTE.

          Swap was properly implemented. I used the typical "twice RAM" swap file of the day.

          Limited documentation? Eh? Ever see/comprehend the Coherent Lexicon?

    2. Steve Graham

      Re: And about 2 years later ...

      I remember using Yggdrasil, which a quick check on Wikipedia suggests would have been 1993 or 1994. I don't remember paying $99 for it though!

      Early Slackware as well. And then Debian -- I definitely remember the version numbers being in the 0.x range -- which I've stuck with for 20 years. Seems to work.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And about 2 years later ...

        "I don't remember paying $99 for it though!"

        No - Coherent cost £99 at that time. Linux was easiest to get via a book which came with a CD, then in the UK the Linux Emporium made access to cheap CDs simple. Dial-up downloads were pretty much unworkable in the days when per minute dial-up costs were high.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    23 Years

    And still waiting for it to hit the mainstream.

    Which isn't a troll, but there always seems to be, from Linux advocates, the assertion that it will soon find its way onto more consumer desktops.

    Granted a huge part of that is the inertia that people have when buying a PC from, say, Dell or PC World that they use whatever is pre-installed.

    But Dell offered Linux (do they still?) as an option so I'd have expected more consumer penetration by now.

    And yes, I appreciate this simple observation will undoubtedly attract a vast number of downvotes.

    1. David Austin

      Re: 23 Years

      At the moment, I think SteamOS Is the best chance of *nix breaking through to mainstream desktops, which is a mixed bag: Yay because it will have done it and SteamBoxes will get units out there, Aww, because it'll be used to just run Steam by most people who will never drop into the desktop, and SteamOS Does not matchup on an idealogical level to what most Unix coders and users want.

      1. FrankAlphaXII

        Re: 23 Years

        >>I think SteamOS Is the best chance of *nix breaking through to mainstream desktops

        Well if its a UNIXlike that you're looking for, Apple's pretty much got OS X in the mainstream even though I believe you could consider it a true blood UNIX and get away with it. As far as Linux goes, for the desktop SteamOS may wind up being pretty good, but Valve has its work cut for them. Going from game development to developing an OS is a pretty big leap.

        1. asdf
          Mushroom

          Re: 23 Years

          >Well if its a UNIXlike that you're looking for, Apple's pretty much got OS X in the mainstream even though I believe you could consider it a true blood UNIX

          Arguably at least from a CLI only perspective Mac OS is more true blood UNIX these days than most Linux distros since RedHat shit all over the Unix philosophy of modularity and doing one thing well with the clusterf*ck that is desktop.borg and systemd.

        2. asdf
          Megaphone

          Re: 23 Years

          And while I am ranting what is up with the broken ass old stdlibc++ the steam runtime insists on trying to run on my debian testing box causing it to bork itself? Not elegant. It should be able to detect much better when it should or shouldn't use what's available already on a Linux system. Requiring users to have to delete shit it its own runtime to run on their system is garbage.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 23 Years

      >And still waiting for it to hit the mainstream.

      No downvotes. no snarky remarks, just one simple serious question

      Why ?

      1. P. Lee

        Re: 23 Years

        >>And still waiting for it to hit the mainstream.

        >No downvotes. no snarky remarks, just one simple serious question

        >Why ?

        Probably because its been asked a thousand times and is a boring troll.

        That, and linux people mostly don't care - they have their own desktops and if someone else wants to use something else, that's ok. Linux is free - there's no commercial imperative to to push it. If you don't use it, we don't lose. If you do use it, we don't win. The fact that KDE or Gnome or LXDE aren't mainstream is not relevant to Linus and the article - he doesn't manage them. Linux is very much mainstream, from phones to tablets to STB's to GPS' to Intel86/AMD64 servers, supercomputers, Raspberry Pi's.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 23 Years @ P.Lee

          "That, and linux people mostly don't care - they have their own desktops and if someone else wants to use something else, that's ok."

          Er, no. Just no. Perhaps you've missed the last few years of posts here? Such as Gene Cash's little troll above?

          "Linux is free - there's no commercial imperative to to push it. If you don't use it, we don't lose.If you do use it, we don't win."

          As far as I can see the motivation is more about ego than anything else. Persuading someone else to do things the way you do is a vindication that Linux zealots seem to need very strongly. Sadly, the zealots seem to be in tha majority amongst Linux users.

          "The fact that KDE or Gnome or LXDE aren't mainstream is not relevant to Linus and the article - he doesn't manage them."

          The relevance would be that they run on Linux.

          "Linux is very much mainstream, from phones to tablets to STB's to GPS' to Intel86/AMD64 servers, supercomputers, Raspberry Pi's."

          That much is true, though I'd query supercomputers and Pis as mainstream. I think people here are latching on to the "mainstream" statement and ignoring the "desktop" bit - I'm guessing they're perfectly aware that he meant desktop PCs as a replacement for Windows/Mac and was a bit careless in his phrasing. Still, use of semantics as an evasion is another common thing around here. (At the time of writing I haven't seen the others - accuastions of shilling, crying FUD and AC posting straw man.)

          1. Chemist

            Re: 23 Years @ P.Lee

            AC - I think you are wanted more urgently on the forum about how crap Word is. Oh - I see you've been there.

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: 23 Years @ P.Lee

            "Sadly, the zealots seem to be in tha majority amongst Linux users."

            No. That's just squeaky wheel syndrome. The majority of Linux users just get on with life.

          3. Robert Grant Silver badge

            Re: 23 Years @ P.Lee

            Persuading someone else to do things the way you do is a vindication that Linux zealots seem to need very strongly.

            You've obviously never been around iPhone users. They make Linux users look like disinterested judges.

      2. fandom

        Re: 23 Years

        "Why ?"

        In order to troll successfully you need to have, at least, a grain of truth in your comment.

        The idea that the Linux kernel isn't mainstream is so detached from reality that instead of being trollish it is funny.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 23 Years

        Two for one - a downvote and a snarky comment.

        I'm just waiting/wishing/praying that a virus ala 'Pluto's Kiss' is designed for Winblows and released into the wild...

    3. jake Silver badge

      @ AC "15 minutes ago" (whatever that means, ElReg) was: Re: 23 Years

      Commercial desktops are meaningless fly-by-night manifestations of marketing.

      I'll bet your TV runs Linux. As does your "high speed" internet connection box. And possibly your phone, unless it runs BSD instead.

      Votes ("thumbs", in this forum) are a useless measurement.

      1. RAMChYLD

        Re: @ AC "15 minutes ago" (whatever that means, ElReg) was: 23 Years

        If you use an Android phone, it runs Linux.

        Have a DD-WRT, OpenWRT, Freetz or Tomato router? Linux. Even some proprietary firmware routers like AzTech and D-Link uses Linux.

        TV? Many new TV sets, even dumb ones, runs Linux.

        Chromebook? Linux

        Linux has went mainstream. It's just that it's mainstream in a inconspicuous way. After all, what we refer to as Linux is just a kernel, and that's just a small (albeit significant) part of a full system.

    4. plrndl
      Linux

      Re: 23 Years

      "And still waiting for it to hit the mainstream."

      Over 85% of smartphones sold in the last quarter are running Linux. You can't get much more mainstream than that.

      I could go on about super-computers, set top-boxes etc etc, but I can't be bothered.

      1. maxregister

        Re: 23 Years

        > Over 85% of smartphones sold in the last quarter are running (a kernel which was forked from) Linux.

        1. Rebecca M

          Re: 23 Years

          Over 85% of smartphones sold in the last quarter are running (a kernel which was forked from) Linux.

          And what proportion of households bought a smartphone in the last quarter? Remember it has to be "pretty hard" NOT to find a Linux device in a household, so even if ALL smartphones EVER made ran Linux it wouldn't by itself fit the bill.

          I've not really looked into this myself but yes, the Unix = Linux assumption seems very prevalent among the Linux community, even to the extent that is a given tool is available on say Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora it can be considered portable and even a Unix standard. Yes, I've seen that exact claim made on these very fora. Seeing a Linux-style filesystem (or even a tool such as OpenSSH) could easily be enough for some of that contingent to make false claims.

          1. jonathanb Silver badge

            Re: 23 Years

            Does the smartphone have to be purchased in the last quarter to count? Most people have smartphones these days. If it isn't an iPhone, it is probably an Android.

            Most people have a TV, that almost certainly runs Linux, I don't know of any that don't. The only popular set-top box that doesn't run Linux is the Apple TV. Most routers run Linux.

            1. Rebecca M

              Re: 23 Years

              Most people have a TV, that almost certainly runs Linux, I don't know of any that don't. The only popular set-top box that doesn't run Linux is the Apple TV. Most routers run Linux.

              Sources please. If these devices are all running Linux you'll be able to point to e.g. the source for them. That simple measure instantly excludes most routers, TVs etc. I know for a fact my router doesn't and of five TVs only one runs Linux.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Sources please

                I've had several consumer devices (satnav, router, digital TV recorder, ...) that presumably run Linux, but in some cases the only evidence I have is that there was an obscure reference to the GPL in some small print on a bit of paper that was once in the box with it.

                If there's an easy way of establishing what operating system is running on these devices, then I don't know what it is, though if it has a network connection then you might be able to recognise the networking stack by examining the packets it issues: http://nmap.org/book/man-os-detection.html

                On the other hand, one of my TVs takes so long to "boot up" I'm wondering whether it might run on Windows ...

        2. CFWhitman

          Re: 23 Years

          "Over 85% of smartphones sold in the last quarter are running (a kernel which was forked from) Linux."

          No, the Android kernel is not a fork. It is just a branch. A fork splits from the original code once and is developed separately from that point onward. A branch is a recent version of the original code which gets its own tweaks. Then when its creators want to come out with a new version, they take a newer version of the original and patch it for their tweaks again. They continue to rely on the original project for most of the code development. In Android's particular case it seems likely that the tweaks will eventually become part of the regular Linux kernel once they have been modified to conform to the kernel coding standards.

    5. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: 23 Years

      Eh, most people just are not that bright, and need major hand-holding to do the most basic of tasks on their computer, like copying files. So they can't handle Linux as a daily runner.

      For me, when I fix something on Linux, it *STAYS* *FIXED* unlike Windows or Apple where the problem may pop back up a couple weeks later. That's enough payoff to put in the time to learn things.

    6. LosD

      Re: 23 Years

      You got one from me, simply because it is a wrong statement.

      It's getting pretty hard to find a home without a Linux device _somewhere_. If not your phone, it's your router or access point, if not there it's your TV (even my old Pioneer plasma TV runs Linux). Hell, even many Windows based laptops has a quickboot that runs Linux... Not that I ever used mine, and they are probably disappearing now that SSDs made any OS boot quickly.

      Desktop? Probably not in the near future, if ever, unless Steam OS revives Linux gaming and people actually become interested.

      1. the spectacularly refined chap

        Re: 23 Years

        It's getting pretty hard to find a home without a Linux device _somewhere_. If not your phone, it's your router or access point, if not there it's your TV (even my old Pioneer plasma TV runs Linux). Hell, even many Windows based laptops has a quickboot that runs Linux... Not that I ever used mine, and they are probably disappearing now that SSDs made any OS boot quickly.

        There's certainly some truth in that but it's also true that Linux isn't as frequently used as is often made out. I know at a previous employer we'd get occasional demands from customers along the lines "I see you're using Linux in your firmware so I want the source code." Those turned into tremendous times sinks since the response was simply a) you're not getting any code and b) you are wrong in any event because it isn't running Linux.

        They'd then inevitably come back with the "evidence" which was usually along the lines that they'd found a Unix filesystem and a pared down set of files on it - in some cases simply the presence of /dev and /etc/init was all that the claim it ran Linux was based on. Most of our fully hosted stuff was NetBSD although some older products were Mach based. Neither gives source rights but for most of our appliance-style products we weren't really predisposed to talk about the internals of our firmware or what they were based on. We were far from alone - I looked at an old console server a few months back to see if it could be hacked for SSH and IPv6 support. That had a Unix filesystem on it too but a proper investigation showed it to be QNX based.

        My point is that if even legal demands are being made on such sketchy and easily dismissed reasoning then more casual studies and/or assertions that "so and so is Linux based" are even less likely to be reliable.

    7. jason 7

      Re: 23 Years

      I have offered Linux to cash strapped customers that just want a basic PC with the usual internet type capability plus a little more. Essentially it knocks £100 off the cost.

      I've told them it will do everything they need but they always turn down the offer and pay for Windows.

      Shame cos I'd like to start supporting some Linux machines on occasion. Then I might be able to expand my Linux desktop usage from novelty value VMs.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Different stream

      You can't get much more mainstream than Android, it's just not the mainstream everyone expected.

      Having said that, if MS were restrained from abusing the market I'm pretty sure that Linux would be as common on the desktop as it is on phones. I work on a Linux desktop all day every day and there's nothing that I miss from Windows, and if there was (Adobe CS springs to mind) I would use a Mac. There's just no reason to bother with Windows any more.

    9. sisk

      Re: 23 Years

      But Dell offered Linux (do they still?) as an option so I'd have expected more consumer penetration by now.

      It was offered as an option for a while, but it wasn't pushed nor, really, advertised at all outside of the IT community. Most people took the default Windows, and even those who looked mostly ended up thinking "Hmm, XP or Vista, and what's this Ubuntu thingy?" It also didn't lower the price any, so even though you were buying a Linux computer you still felt like you were paying the "Windows tax"* .

      In order for Linux to make a significant impact on the consumer desktop Dell or HP or Lenovo or some other big brand will have to offer it as a default OS choice on a popular model or push it heavily in their marketing, which, face it, is never going to happen. I've long since accepted that running Linux as my desktop OS puts me in a small niche and always will.

      Not that it matters. Linux owns the networking equipment, server appliance, TV, BluRay player phone, car computer, programmable coffee maker and dead badger markets. There's no need to own the desktop too.

      Also....

      Sadly, the zealots seem to be in tha majority amongst Linux users.

      Vocal minority != majority.

      *Even though the way Microsoft gets Windows to the big manufacturers means the consumer doesn't really pay for it on pre-built machines most people, even geeks, don't seem to understand that so the perception of the Windows tax remains.

    10. Christian Berger

      Re: 23 Years

      "But Dell offered Linux (do they still?) as an option so I'd have expected more consumer penetration by now."

      Yes they offer it for the intersection of their models that are neither suited for Linux (as they use overly exotic hardware) or are utterly undesirable (as they have shiny displays, non-replacable batteries and/or no Ethernet).

    11. Maventi

      Re: 23 Years

      "And still waiting for it to hit the mainstream."

      On desktop PCs, yes. Otherwise it's one of the most prolific kernels out there today which is pretty incredible considering its rather humble beginnings.

      "Which isn't a troll, but there always seems to be, from Linux advocates, the assertion that it will soon find its way onto more consumer desktops."

      Not a troll - it's a sensible point, and I say this as a Linux advocate. I really don't think we will see any huge inroads on the desktop any time soon. I really don't mind that either, as long as there is still sufficient support to keep Linux viable as a platform. At the moment the situation isn't too bad, although situations like Adobe dropping Flash development (whatever you think of Flash, it's sadly a necessity for some of us) do make me twitch a little.

      "Granted a huge part of that is the inertia that people have when buying a PC from, say, Dell or PC World that they use whatever is pre-installed. But Dell offered Linux (do they still?) as an option so I'd have expected more consumer penetration by now."

      I wouldn't; every page on Dell's website displays "Dell recommends Windows", even when viewing their Linux offerings. It's pretty hard to compete when the incumbent OS vendor sponsors such messages. Dell really just offer it as a token - they probably fear that prompting it heavily would compromise their OEM licensing agreement with Microsoft. It's a sad state of affairs really - I don't wish for Windows to go away at all but I'd love to see its market share chopped back a bit so that we had a more level playing field.

      That said I've purchased quite a number of Dell machines with both Windows and Ubuntu preinstalled and I hope that they continue to provide the choice.

      I think it's almost ironic that Windows and Linux see somewhat inverse popularity between desktop PCs and mobile devices, despite Microsoft's persistence and marketing muscle. Maybe the year of the Linux desktop will also be the year of the Windows phone? ;)

      "And yes, I appreciate this simple observation will undoubtedly attract a vast number of downvotes."

      Not from me; you raised a fair point. However we are here in this thread to celebrate the very real success of the Linux kernel. Let's raise a glass to Linus and see that this continues long into the future!

    12. Uffish
      Pint

      Re: 23 Years

      "And still waiting for it to become mainstream" is a bit of clapped out stupidity. Microsoft based software was a huge industry when Linux was born. There has never been sufficient reason for business and private interests to drop Microsoft and invest in a new (and different) system. So why expect any other result than the continued success of Microsoft software? This is a race that can only be lost by Microsoft, not won by an outsider (and an outsider with almost no budget for advertising and market management, to boot).

      The wonder is that from 'amateur' beginings Linux + GNU has matured into a world class entity, chosen on its merits the world over. That is something truly remarkable.

      Beer for all those who contributed to a brilliant acheivement.

    13. Sven Coenye

      Re: 23 Years

      Dell offered Linux boxes in name. You just could not order one. Trying to get one in the shopping cart was like trying to close the Click Me dialog box...

    14. itzman

      Re: 23 Years

      I think there are two things to say,

      1/. The consumer desktop is a thing of the past anyway

      and

      2/. The mere fact that it was free meant there was never any drive to push it onto people.

      I think the professional workstation is where it will end up as a user oriented device. What is needed is a quantum leap in thinking to make it possible to load paid for software on it that is copy protected.

      Although I have to say I am down to only 3 programs that I occasionally use that demand a commercial OS to run on. But by bit the freeware is emulating the functionality (and some of the bloat) of the things that made us all buy PCs and Macs in the first place..

      There never was a year of Unix, nor a year of linux, but both advanced steadily until apart from the consumer and commercial workstation, they simply outnumbered everything else.

      The point being if you need an OS Linux is pretty much always the best thing around if you are building a custom artefact. And pretty good if you are not.,

    15. CFWhitman

      Re: 23 Years

      "And still waiting for it to hit the mainstream."

      Well, that's only the case if the desktop is the only computing platform. Pretty much everywhere else Linux is at least popular enough to be considered mainstream.

      "Which isn't a troll, but there always seems to be, from Linux advocates, the assertion that it will soon find its way onto more consumer desktops."

      That really is too much of a generalization. There are at least some advocates of almost anything that has advocates who predict great success. Of course as a general statement of fact Linux has fairly steadily found its way onto "more" consumer desktops. More just means an increase; it doesn't have to be a big increase.

      "But Dell offered Linux (do they still?) as an option so I'd have expected more consumer penetration by now."

      Yes, they still offer it, but it is clearly aimed at developers. Dell have never really made an effort at expanding the Linux market, they have just tried to discover and provide for any market that might exist. Since a significant amount of developers use Linux, they currently try to cater to that market.

  3. Gert Leboski
    Pint

    Never knew that.

    Although I've been a Linux user for about 12 years now, I didn't realise it was 'born' read release announcement on August 25th.

    I thought sharing a birthday with Sean Connery was kind of cool, but to also share it with Tux is an honour! :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Never knew that.

      >but to also share it with Tux is an honour

      Sorry to be a party pooper but Tux is actually younger than the kernel. Linus' book "Just for fun" is a good read (details the logo choices..) if you haven't read it.

  4. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    Can't help himself

    I noticed he couldn't help having a dig at Tanenbaum and minix

    1. fandom

      Re: Can't help himself

      What dig?

      1. jake Silver badge

        @ fandom (was: Re: Can't help himself)

        You wonder: "What dig?"

        When it comes to those two, in any one conversation, it's implied, if not actually blatant.

        Torvalds & Tanenbaum need to pinkie-swear (hopefully witnessed by ken & dmr!) that FOSS is more important than ego.

        1. fandom

          Re: @ fandom (was: Can't help himself)

          Yes, I do wonder.

          I reread the article and Linus' post to look for the dig and I still couldn't see it, so I asked, I am kind of curious.

    2. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Can't help himself

      Linus made a Minix free kernel and abandoned the micro kernel and that disturbed Tanenbaum. Tanenbaum was the big guy with a big voice then. They settled years ago.

    3. david 12

      Re: Can't help himself

      You don't have to read it as a dig. It could be a friendly little in-joke for those of us who, like Tanenbaum and Linus, were there at the time.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linus

    Grattis - Onnittelut

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Happy birthday Linux!

    Thank you very much for giving me my computer back!!

  7. smartypants

    I wish there was a Linus of the Desktop-userland

    Linux is incredibly successful, and it's at the heart of everything we do at work, and Mr Torvalds is largely responsible for it, so he deserves the praise he's received.

    I just wish there had been a similar character to drive the userland experience, which has been a constant source of frustration throughout the history of linux as a desktop environment... and I don't think it's just me.

    My mother isn't especially stupid, but she isn't technical, and I wouldn't dream of inflicting any linux desktop on my mother, which is largely the problem that would need to be fixed for Dell or any other company to have any chance of success selling desktop machines running linux to ordinary people.

    Microsoft has shown that you don't have to be an open-source community to screw up the user experience, and if you have the time, you can trawl through the many linux desktop options to try to craft an environment which is good for you, but it would be brilliant if there were an opinionated, capable and respected designer who could take the linux desktop by the scruff of the neck and result in something which would actually be a no-brainer for Dell and the other companies to offer as the default operating system for ordinary people like my mum, because it was simply *easier*, and *better* by all measures.

    (Alas it won't be me... Nobody ever does what I want!)

    1. RAMChYLD

      Re: I wish there was a Linus of the Desktop-userland

      Depends on the distro of your choice I guess.

      I've inflicted two of my computer-illiterate uncles with Xubuntu. They both love it because it does everything they need to do well, XFCE is easy enough to learn for them and works fine on the weak hardware they picked up from second hand shops. Also, Aisleriot is more fun compared to solitaire. It only took them minutes to learn the minute changes. Everything else like Firefox and Flash is there and works.

      You need to start them off easy with distros meant for simpletons like Mint or any Ubuntu flavor.

    2. itzman

      Re: I wish there was a Linus of the Desktop-userland

      "something which would actually be a no-brainer for Dell and the other companies to offer as the default operating system for ordinary people like my mum,"

      Linux Mint.

      Out of the box easier than XP.

      Designed for noobs who just want a pleasant interface that works in expected ways.

      Used by professionals who want a computer that just works, because they have better things to do than installing linux..

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