Linux notes from DarkDuck is a blog dedicated to operating systems. Mostly Linux-based, but I sometime deviate to other open source systems like BSD.
So, what was new in Linux world in 2011? What were greatest failures in 2011 from my point of view?
1. Mandriva 2011Mandriva 2011 was a cardinal turnover point for this distribution. This is the first release made under new management, currently led by Russians. In this new release Mandriva lost good part of its user base, those who liked GNOME interface. Basically, because Mandriva 2011 only has KDE version of it. Another reason to name Mandriva 2011 a failure is quality of this release. It grew in size almost twice, without bringing much of new functionality. Indeed, lots of expected functions became unusable or too complicated.
What is next for Mandriva? It will survive. Mostly because it has solid administrative resource and commitments from several states. But will it be still widely used in other parts of Linux community? I am not sure.
2. OpenSuSEOpenSuSE team released two versions of their operating system this year. These were versions 11.4 and 12.1. I name both of them as failures. To be precise, out of 11.4, I should only take GNOME version into this list. OpenSuSE 11.4 KDE was more or less workable operating system.
But OpenSuSE 12.1 is a failure in full. I have not written review of this OS, and I am not going to. It does not mean I have not tried OpenSuSE 12.1. I have tried, because I got orders for CDs with this Operating System from my site buylinuxcds.co.uk and from eBay. Each time I send a disk, I test it, so I booted my laptops into OpenSuSE 12.1 several time. And I dislike the result.
As I said, I won't review OpenSuSE 12.1 myself, but if you wish, you can read what was written by Deidomedo (64-bit and 32-bit) and Firestarter.
What's next? I am not sure of OpenSuSE at this point of time. From one point of view, it is "too big to fail". From another, this Linux distribution has recently changed management (again), and it is unlikely to improve the situation quickly, as you can see in Mandriva's example.
Enough about OpenSuSE.
3. Ubuntu 11.04Canonical also released two versions of their operating system Ubuntu this year. Version 11.04 was the first where new user interface Unity was used as default. And it was a failure point. Unity was still in very raw condition at that time. Instead of gaining users, it scared existing Ubuntu fan base. How many of Ubuntu users switched to other Linux distributions? And how many did use Ubuntu 11.04 with GNOME2?
To be fair, second release of Ubuntu this year, version 11.10, fixed situation a lot. First, Unity became much more usable in October 2011 compared to what was in April. Second, users got more acquainted with new interface, so they were less shocked.
What's next? I think next release of Ubuntu will be as good as any Long Term Support release of this OS is: stable, polished and likeable.
Do you want to know about Three greatest successes in Linux world 2011? Follow the link!