You feel safe, wrapped in that comforting blanket of Linux. It soothes you and protects you from the lumbering monsters that hide within your server closet. That innocent penguin has always been there to ward away the evil…it’s glowing red eyes peering through the Windows of a house made of glass. And you stand tall, knowing the open source platform will always have your back. Or, will it?
Zombies. Daemons. End users. Well-minded CEOs…beasts and creatures waiting in the dark, ready to drain away your very life force, your will, and run rm -rf on your soul. Don’t believe me? Have you been wooed into believing that nothing could possibly go wrong with Linux on your side?
Mu. Ha. ha.
You want fear? You want goblins and chaos and all forms of darkness to stare back from the mirror? Well then, open wide the windows of your eyes and feast on these Linux frights.
1. Hardware support
It’s exponentially better than it once was, but there are days when you attempt an installation of Linux, only to find your network card still not supported. All you can do is fall to your knees and scream to the heavens, “Why me!!!!???” No matter how loudly you shout, that network card still doesn’t work. Or, you manage to get lucky and the worst issue you face is that super-cool ultrabook you just purchased simply won’t hibernate correctly without your having to bash out a shell script from hell.
It’s everywhere, with an army of zombie analysts spouting buzzwords like “market share” and “dominance.” You have to sit back and accept the horror of the situation, because for years it’s been true. The only solace you have is knowing the paradigm shift in desktop usage, the rise of mobile, and the dawn of Chromebooks and other utility computing devices is slowly eating away at Microsoft’s dominance. One day, Windows and its hoard of zombie analysts will shamble into the sunset, leaving the computing world to rebuild in peace.
3. The inevitable Ubuntu Unity 8
At the moment, Ubuntu Unity is a thing of beauty…not only in design, but in function and stability. That will all be dragged into a pit (complete with swinging pendulum and, if you’re lucky, the ghost of Vincent Price) when Unity 8/Mir arrives. It’ll be a giant step backward for stability…at least for a while.
4. Dependency resolutions
Oh please, not that. For the love of all that is Debian, don’t make me manually resolve dependencies. The second one is solved, five others will appear and, somewhere along the line, the whole will be broken, and I’ll just wind up having to reinstall the OS. Oh sure, for the most part this is the thing of the past, but every so often, a dependency issue will show its demonic head, and I’ll spiral downward to that dark place where I curse the day I attempted to resolve OpenShot’s animated title transparency issue (before I realized it was actually a Python script issue).
5. rm -rf
There’s nothing more frightening than watching it all vanish before your eyes. Run that command as root (or with sudo) and that’s exactly what happens…the Incredible Vanishing Linux Box. Worst of all, there’s no recovering from that command; not without a full metal backup. I’ve actually run this command on a machine I knew I was planning on reinstall the OS onto. Your pulse will race, your flesh will flush, and you might decide it better to watch through fingers covering your eyes.
6. Flip-flopping CTOs
Dr. Jekyll’s transformation to Mr. Hyde has nothing on watching CTOs change their minds about supporting Linux. You see the idea flash behind their eyes…they finally realize how much money they could save and how much more secure their network would be. But, then, in the beat of a bloodied heart, they remember all those MS certifications and Exchange licenses they just recently purchased. The decision to make the switch fades like your chances at surviving a horde of zombies.
7. MS Office and open standards
I probably don’t really need to elaborate on this one. Why? Because the horror that is Office’s ability to follow standards is about as horrific as you’ll find in an office suite. The arrogance displayed by MS, with this regard, is on par with Freddy Krueger facing down Jason Voorhees.
Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt. Although this isn’t nearly as bad as it was in the late 1990s, it still exists. But, how could I possibly go without mentioning the infamous “Halloween Documents” that started spilling from the offices of Microsoft in 1998. Anyone who was following Linux at the time knows those documents kicked off a war between Microsoft and Linux. Why? Because Microsoft saw just how dangerous a foe Linux could be. The last of that descent into madness was Eric S Raymond’s response to MS’s “Get the Facts” campaign. A dark period.
9. Systemd vs. init
This heated war could have easily been the subject of a Hammer Horror film, complete with a river of fake blood, bad acting, false accusations, hissing and spitting vampires, and bad seventies music. This could, of course, be viewed as a Hammer Horror Dracula vs. Twilight vampires…minus the sparkles. Old school vamp vs. the new undead kids on the block. Both have their pros and cons; in the end, however, which camp you fall into might depend upon your age, your ability to tolerate change, and if you’re allowed out of the programming dungeon.
10. Apple fan boys/girls
Look at ‘em. Just look at ‘em. With their skinny jeans, moustachioed faces, sun dresses, and chukka shoes…ready to shout to the skies that iTunes, iWork, iLife, iEtc. rule multimedia/productivity, and that OS X is the single most secure and easy to use platform on the planet…all said without a hint of irony. Little do those hordes of zombies know that without BSD, OS X wouldn’t exist. Of course, without UNIX…Linux wouldn’t exist. So, both the zombies and the penguins owe a chant of supplication to the monolithic mothership.