An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

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JSeymour
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An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby JSeymour » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:30 pm

I like Linux. Use it nearly exclusively. Been using it nearly exclusively as a desktop since Red Hat 5. Have never used anything but Unix, FreeBSD or Linux on servers. But sometimes Linux Really Annoys Me :evil:

My new keyboard is a case in point. Bought a nice Corsair K55 that suits me in every respect save one: The caps lock indicator doesn't light. Assumed it was defective. Requested a replacement from Amazon. They quickly satisfied my request, because, you know, Amazon. Got it today. Plugged it in. Still no caps lock indicator!

WTH, over? Rebooted my laptop into MS-Win 7 and the caps lock indicator magically started working. "Oh no..."

Sure enough: It turns out the fault is not with the keyboard, but with Linux. To add insult to injury it's a known bug, and it's been a known bug for quite some while.

*sigh*...

Managed to "fix" it for console logins, but then the num-lock key acted wonky, which is even worse. Never did figure out how to fix it for graphical logins (X). (Every path I went down turned into a dead end.) So I guess I'll just disable the caps lock key. At least that way I won't be left guessing. (Ironically, disabling it works.)

What makes this doubly annoying is that, because Linux devs can't be sussed to make even basic functionality work correctly, I've caused my vendor, Amazon, to unnecessarily turn a brand new keyboard into a used one; caused them unnecessary shipping expense and wasted a bunch of my time.

It's sloppy, it's lazy and it's irresponsible. And it's yet another one of the many examples I've encountered, in 30+ years of I.T., of why Linux was and is destined never to become a mainstream desktop system.

Jim

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Re: An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby MintBean » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:20 pm

From the Corsair website-

Compatibility:
Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista

I don't see Linux listed. So why is it Linux developers' fault you didn't observe the compatibility, or at least test it on a compatible OS before returning?
Last edited by MintBean on Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby wallyUSA » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:34 pm

Logitech wireless keyboard & mouse work just fine with my Ciinnamon :!:
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Re: An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby rick gen » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:46 pm

Some manufacturers simply don't bother adding Linux drivers for their products.
I'll avoid such products if it were me. Some graphics tablets, for example, don't have Linux drivers also.
But some users managed to come up with Linux drivers. Lesson to learn is make a little research first before buying.

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Re: An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby sphyrth » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:11 pm

I have come to the acceptance that Linux Distros won't win the Desktop War, and it doesn't have to.

The Keyboard Example, as stated, is mainly because of the monopoly other companies have on hardware. As long as the monopoly is there, the Vicious Spiral of HardwareSupport->WinnerOS->HardwareSupport->N will continue.
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Re: An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby Jim Hauser » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:27 pm

I have been running a Corsair K-55 on KDE for around 6 months and the CAPS LOCK works fine. I have been using Linux Mint for almost four years and it has won my desktop war.

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Re: An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby dark » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:45 pm

Wouldn't it be problem with Corsair for not working on Linux driver or not working with Linux kernel developers so it works out of the box?

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Re: An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby Portreve » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:06 pm

While I have never experienced this specific issue, I can certainly understand the frustration. One of the things we old-ish timers used to gripe about was, just like on the one extreme end of the spectrum you had the stereotypical "AOL User" mentality, on the other end was the "STFU RTFM" mindset. Fortunately, as the GNU+Linux community has both grown and diversified, one finds that sort of mindset is really relegated to the nether-reaches and isn't as mainstream as it used to be.

However, no matter how nice you dress it up, there still is the mentality of "if you want something, write it!" which, while I'm absolutely happy libre-licensed software greatly facilitates invention, innovation, and improvement, this isn't much of an answer for normal users who simply lack the background.

On the hardware front, while we're not anywhere near talking about keyboards, mice, sound cards, and the like, there are two companies doing there best to engineer and build hardware that's open and libre-software-supportable: Fairphone, and Purism. Beyond that, System76 also builds desktop and laptop systems specifically with GNU+Linux in mind.

I agree with a comment up-thread that you really have to do research before buying anything. I'd argue that it's become even more critical, if ethics and backdoors are subjects of any interest to you.
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Re: An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby Jim Hauser » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:20 pm

On my system (Mint KDE 18.2) the Corsair works as a generic 101 key.

The six programmable function keys do not work out of the box (actually they do but they just mirror the numeric keys 1-6.) The back light on the keys works fine and can be changed outside of the OS via keyboard commands. All of the multi-media keys, caps lock key and other keys work fine. The macro-record key (for the programmable function keys) works fine but it mirrors to numerical keys 1-6 and is not persistent after power down.

I am using the K-55 because it was a gift to me and I like the feel and the back lighting. I only use the keyboard for typing and entering commands, not for entertainment.

If Mint or any other Linux system had to adapt to every piece of hardware ever made it would be just like Windows... and who needs that? But if you must show off, I can see your point.

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Re: An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby phd21 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:28 pm

Hi "JSeymour",

I just read your post and the good replies to it. Here are my thoughts on this as well.

That is a ridiculous and inflammatory statement in your post's subject, why don't you relax and change it to something that actually fits the issues you have, like "Having a problem with Corsair K55 keyboard."

+1 for the comments like Linux and specifically Linux Mint have certainly won the desktop wars for me and oh so many others.

It would help to know more about your system setup. If you run "inxi -Fxzd" and "lsusb" from the console terminal prompt, highlight the results, copy and paste them back here, that should provide enough information.

First, you might resolve the issue simply by updating the Linux Kernel to the 4.11 series or higher using the Mint Update Manager or the Ubuntu Kernel PPA, or Ukuu, and reboot afterwards...

New Corsair Mice & Keyboards Supported By The Linux 4.11 Kernel, on 21 March 2017
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Corsair-HID-Late-4.11-Updates

Second, There is this:
ckb-next is an open-source driver for Corsair keyboards and mice. It aims to bring the features of their proprietary CUE software to the Linux and Mac operating systems.
mattanger/ckb-next: RGB Driver for Linux and OS X
https://github.com/mattanger/ckb-next



Hope this helps ...
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Re: An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby Jim Hauser » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:10 am

phd21 wrote:Hi "JSeymour",

I just read your post and the good replies to it. Here are my thoughts on this as well.

That is a ridiculous and inflammatory statement in your post's subject, why don't you relax and change it to something that actually fits the issues you have, like "Having a problem with Corsair K55 keyboard."

+1 for the comments like Linux and specifically Linux Mint have certainly won the desktop wars for me and oh so many others.

It would help to know more about your system setup. If you run "inxi -Fxzd" and "lsusb" from the console terminal prompt, highlight the results, copy and paste them back here, that should provide enough information.

First, you might resolve the issue simply by updating the Linux Kernel to the 4.11 series or higher using the Mint Update Manager or the Ubuntu Kernel PPA, or Ukuu, and reboot afterwards...

New Corsair Mice & Keyboards Supported By The Linux 4.11 Kernel, on 21 March 2017
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Corsair-HID-Late-4.11-Updates

Second, There is this:
ckb-next is an open-source driver for Corsair keyboards and mice. It aims to bring the features of their proprietary CUE software to the Linux and Mac operating systems.
mattanger/ckb-next: RGB Driver for Linux and OS X
https://github.com/mattanger/ckb-next



Hope this helps ...


Thank you phd21! The 4.11 kernel does not include the K-55 keyboard. Same with the ckb-next driver. But this could change in the future as you well know. It has been my experience that Mint works well with most mainstream hardware. There are, of course, exceptions. Most modern day hardware is designed with Windows in mind (especially the gaming stuff.) To say that Linux will never win the desktop war can only be based on speculation. I can remember when 64K was all the memory that anyone would need. And why would anyone need a 2 megahertz CPU when 1 megahertz was plenty fast not to mention the speedy 1200 baud modems.

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Re: An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby ArtGirl » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:07 am

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01NCNQKI2/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I've just checked mine, and numlock works. Only £10 and I've had it since April; worked on MS previously too, and no issues on Mint 18.1 or 18.3. Looks great, as well.
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Re: An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby michael louwe » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:27 am

To win the Desktop, Linux has to "copy" the "Open-source" Business model of Google or M$, ie have enough revenue from ads sales or license sales to hire full-time developers and OEM liason personnels = a very user-friendly OS that is well-supported by hardware OEMs, like Android and Windows = significant world marketshare.
... Linux's miniscule 2% world desktop marketshare results in the vicious cycle of lack of support from hardware OEMs and software developers, eg most Business and professional software are not available for Linux.

Hence, Intel's latest 8th-gen Coffeelake processors are not yet supported by the latest LM 18.3 but is supported by Win 10, and many non-mainstream hardware devices are not supported by Linux but supported by Windows.

Linux can be considered as on a life-support system because OEMs like Intel and tech giants like Amazon and Google, make use of free Open-source Linux software for their products and services, eg in Cloud servers, in order to avoid paying the M$ tax.

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Re: An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby Pjotr » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:34 am

Well, it won my desktop in 2006. Never looked back. :lol:
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Re: An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby Pepi » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:38 am

Pjotr wrote:Well, it won my desktop in 2006. Never looked back. :lol:


+1 million

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Re: An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby Hoser Rob » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:04 am

JSeymour wrote:... Linux devs can't be sussed to make even basic functionality work correctly, ...


I don't disagree with the hardware support issues in Linux but you have NO idea what open source devs are up against. And I'm not referring to some conspiracy. You cannot expect good support for a small user base which doesn't even have consistent APIs or even packaging systems.

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Re: An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby JSeymour » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:04 pm

You know what they say about "assumptions." E.g.:

rick gen wrote:Lesson to learn is make a little research first before buying.

I read every Q&A on the Amazon product page. The keyboard is all locally-configurable (incl. creating and saving macros). Didn't care about the media keys.

It would never have occurred to me in a million years the caps lock indicator would be b0rk3d.

Secondly: You'll note I referred to a bug. Please see caps lock led not working on Linux console

In short: As to the caps lock indicator: This is not a compatibility problem, but a bug. And the Corsair K55 is far from the only keyboard to fall victim to it.

phd21 wrote:Hi "JSeymour",

I just read your post and the good replies to it. Here are my thoughts on this as well.

That is a ridiculous and inflammatory statement in your post's subject, why don't you relax and change it to something that actually fits the issues you have, like "Having a problem with Corsair K55 keyboard."

Because I've been dealing with Linux systems since RH5 and this has been a recurring problem all along. This is far from the first time I've run into silly, unnecessarily broken functionality. I am relaxed. That OP didn't come close to the rant I would liked to have spewed ;)

It was not meant to be provocative or flame bait. It was meant to express a POV. I went back and re-read it a couple times. I re-read it again this morning. I stand by it.

phd21 wrote:+1 for the comments like Linux and specifically Linux Mint have certainly won the desktop wars for me and oh so many others.

It has, for me, too. (Well, up until recently.) But it has about half the desktop market share of Apple, which, in turn, has a tiny fraction of MS-Win. Not a particularly good showing considering the cost of and flaws in its competition. (I refer, of course, to Apple and Microsoft, respectively.)

I don't know how much time y'all spend on-line outside of Linux and other "tech geek" forums, but, aside from app availability, the nature of my complaint is the main reason I see non-tech users cite for trying, and discarding Linux.

phd21 wrote:It would help to know more about your system setup. If you run "inxi -Fxzd" and "lsusb" from the console terminal prompt, highlight the results, copy and paste them back here, that should provide enough information.

Certainly.

Code: Select all

$ inxi -Fxzd
System:    Host: jimsun Kernel: 3.13.0-100-generic x86_64 (64 bit, gcc: 4.8.4) Desktop: N/A Distro: Linux Mint 17 Qiana
Machine:   System: ASUS product: All Series
           Mobo: ASUSTeK model: Z87-A version: Rev 1.xx Bios: American Megatrends version: 1707 date: 12/13/2013
CPU:       Quad core Intel Core i5-4570S CPU (-MCP-) cache: 6144 KB flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 23202.7
           Clock Speeds: 1: 800.00 MHz 2: 2901.00 MHz 3: 800.00 MHz 4: 800.00 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel Xeon E3-1200 v3/4th Gen Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller bus-ID: 00:02.0
           X.Org: 1.15.1 drivers: intel (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 2560x1080@60.0hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Haswell Desktop GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 10.1.3 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card-1: Intel Xeon E3-1200 v3/4th Gen Core Processor HD Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:03.0
           Card-2: Intel 8 Series/C220 Series Chipset High Definition Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture ver: k3.13.0-100-generic
Network:   Card: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
           driver: r8169 ver: 2.3LK-NAPI port: e000 bus-ID: 03:00.0
           IF: eth0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 979.5GB (20.7% used) 1: id: /dev/sda model: INTEL_SSDSC2BW24 size: 240.1GB
           2: id: /dev/sdb model: INTEL_SSDSC2BW24 size: 240.1GB 3: USB id: /dev/sdc model: My_Passport_070A size: 499.4GB
           Optical: /dev/sr0 model: N/A rev: N/A dev-links: cdrom
           Features: speed: 48x multisession: yes audio: yes dvd: yes rw: cd-r,cd-rw,dvd-r,dvd-ram state: N/A
Partition: ID: / size: 19G used: 5.9G (34%) fs: ext4 ID: /boot size: 453M used: 87M (21%) fs: ext4
           ID: /home size: 158G used: 86G (58%) fs: ext4 ID: /var size: 9.1G used: 6.9G (81%) fs: ext4
           ID: swap-1 size: 8.00GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap
RAID:      Device-1: /dev/md1 - active components: sda1[0] sdb1[1]
           Info: raid: 1 report: 2/2 blocks: 234298176 chunk size: N/A bitmap: true
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 28.0C mobo: 32.0C
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: 438 fan-1: 789 fan-3: 755 fan-4: 0 fan-5: 0 fan-6: 0
Info:      Processes: 250 Uptime: 24 min Memory: 2158.4/7669.6MB Runlevel: 2 Gcc sys: 4.8.4 Client: Shell inxi: 1.8.4
$ lsusb
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 8087:8000 Intel Corp.
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:8008 Intel Corp.
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 003 Device 002: ID 1058:070a Western Digital Technologies, Inc. My Passport Essential (WDBAAA), My Passport for Mac (WDBAAB), My Passport Essential SE (WDBABM), My Passport SE for Mac (WDBABW
Bus 003 Device 004: ID 1b1c:1b3d Corsair
Bus 003 Device 003: ID 046d:c52f Logitech, Inc. Unifying Receiver
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub


phd21 wrote:First, you might resolve the issue simply by updating the Linux Kernel to the 4.11 series or higher using the Mint Update Manager or the Ubuntu Kernel PPA, or Ukuu, and reboot afterwards...

For a caps lock indicator? Yeah... I'm thinking not. This system is also the our home network's "everything server." It's mostly vanilla, but it is running mdraid and hosting the Ubiquiti UniFi controller software. If it goes tango-uniform, we have nothing. 3.13.0-24 is the latest recommended kernel. I felt I was taking enough a chance on 3.13.0-100, but there were security issues (no longer recall what they were) that necessitated that.

phd21 wrote:Hope this helps ...

It does not, but I sincerely appreciate the attempt.

Add'l info:

The caps lock indicator works correctly in the BIOS. Linux booting is breaking it.
The suggestion of putting "dumpkeys | sed s/CtrlL_Lock/Caps_Lock/ |loadkeys" into /etc/rc.local fixes the caps lock indicator, in console logins, but breaks the num lock indicator. (It starts out lit, even though the keyboard is not in num lock.)
The suggestion of putting "keycode 58 = Caps_Lock" in /etc/console-setup/remap.inc does nothing, as does the suggestion of putting "dumpkeys |sed -e 's/keycode 58 = CtrlL_Lock/keycode 58 = Caps_Lock/' |loadkeys 2>&1 >/dev/null" into /etc/default/keyboard
All of the graphical interface suggestions have been dead ends.

I expect to eventually resolve the problem by moving this system into a server-only role (at which time I'll probably upgrade it to the latest Ubuntu LTS server release) and sticking it into a corner somewhere, then moving my wife and I over to Apple desktop systems. In the interim I'll simply disable the caps lock key. I retired after 30+ years in I.T. earlier this year. I've entirely lost my appetite for fiddling with contrary software.

Thanks for the reasoned responses, everybody, even if we do not agree.

Jim

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Re: An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby rick gen » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:23 am

MintBean wrote:From the Corsair website-

Compatibility:
Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista

I don't see Linux listed. So why is it Linux developers' fault you didn't observe the compatibility, or at least test it on a compatible OS before returning?

Yeah, if Linux is not in the list, then don't expect things will work out fine just because you think it's supposed to work and blame Linux.

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Re: An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby JSeymour » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:49 pm

rick gen wrote:
MintBean wrote:From the Corsair website-

Compatibility:
Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista

I don't see Linux listed. So why is it Linux developers' fault you didn't observe the compatibility, or at least test it on a compatible OS before returning?

Yeah, if Linux is not in the list, then don't expect things will work out fine just because you think it's supposed to work and blame Linux.

I truly don't wish to offend, but, as I cautioned, earlier: It's always a wise to actually read what people write before launching into responses based on pre-conceived notions.

Again: It's a bug. A known bug. Here's another reference: Re: [PATCH 0/4] TTY: fix Caps Lock LED

I've a work-around for when I'm in X, at least: Lock keys panel indicator for MATE Desktop:

Code: Select all

gsettings set org.mate.peripherals-keyboard-xkb.general duplicate-leds true

gave me on-screen indicators. (Does no good for consoles or login, but I'll take what I can get, for now. [I really like this keyboard.])

Interestingly: The keyboard media volume and mute buttons work. (The media "track change" and others do not.)

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Re: An Example Of Why Linux Has Not Won and Never Will Win The Desktop

Postby lmuserx4849 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:41 pm

...and is destined never to become a mainstream desktop system.


Am I the only one that hopes linux never becomes a mainstream desktop system. :wink:


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