More articles by Bruce Byfield

Why is the Number of Linux Distros Declining?
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published December 16, 2014
We're losing distros, and, as with the bees, no one knows why.
My Favorite Linux Applications and Desktops
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published December 9, 2014
Forget the headlines. It's the everyday Linux apps that make free and open source software something to celebrate.
Debian vs Ubuntu: Which is Best for You?
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published November 24, 2014
Choosing between Debian or Ubuntu depends on your preferences regarding platform support, ease of use, level of user control and other key issues. 
Free Software, Free as in Beer
By Bruce Byfield | Columns Article Published November 20, 2014
Being available at no cost may not define free software, but it is responsible for many of its ups and downs over the years.
The 9 Best Linux Distros
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published November 11, 2014
The best Linux distros, with a description of each distro to help you find one that’s best for you.
LibreOffice vs. OpenOffice: Why LibreOffice Wins
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published October 27, 2014
When comparing LibreOffice with OpenOffice, there are eleven clear reasons why LibreOffice is superior.
Can GNOME Make a Comeback?
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published October 13, 2014
GNOME has dwindled far from its former glory. Regaining dominance depends overcoming its image problem.
What Linux Users Should Know About Open Hardware
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published September 24, 2014
What Linux users don't know about manufacturing open hardware can lead them to disappointment.
Can Commercial Linux Gaming Succeed?
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published September 17, 2014
Whether commercial Linux games can succeed remains uncertain, but clearly it's not the road to sudden riches.
Why Linux Isn't a Desktop Alternative
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published August 27, 2014
It's not a matter of technology so much as one of attitude.
A Linux Desktop Designed for You
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published August 19, 2014
Looking for a Linux desktop? This roundup of the major contenders will help you find one that best fits your work habits.
Best Linux Desktop: KDE's Plasma
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published July 21, 2014
KDE’s Plasma earns best Linux desktop honors due to its design, customization and innovation.
Wanted: A Purpose for Open Source
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published July 7, 2014
Open source has come a long way -- but has it lost its original purpose?
7 Improvements The Linux Desktop Needs
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published June 17, 2014
What improvements to the Linux desktop would you add to this list?
KDE's Risky Gamble on New Interface
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published May 20, 2014
Will KDE's new interface defaults escape the problems of its other redesigns?
GNOME and the GIGO Principle
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published April 29, 2014
GNOME 3 has evolved according to design principles. The problem is, that's not how it was conceived.
Does Heartbleed Disprove 'Open Source is Safer'?
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published April 14, 2014
An open community is supposed to make software development safer – or at least open source adherents have always claimed so.
Ubuntu and the Unspoken Rules
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published March 25, 2014
Ubuntu's disagreements with the rest of open source are really less about issues than relationships.
What Happened to the Vision in Open Source?
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published March 18, 2014
Pragmatism seems to have replaced idealism in open source. Has corporate success ruined this once utopian branch of software development?
Nine Lessons Other Desktops Can Learn from KDE
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published February 25, 2014
Acknowledgement of KDE's recovery from its user revolt is long overdue.
What Makes a Classic Linux Desktop 'Classic'?
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published February 18, 2014
Why are classic desktops the most popular choice among Linux users?
KDE Desktop vs. GNOME Apps: The Great Paradox
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published January 27, 2014
Polls show that KDE is the most popular Linux desktop. Yet more users prefer desktops that use GNOME technology. What's the explanation?
2014: The Year of Free Hardware
By Bruce Byfield | Data Center Article Published January 20, 2014
The open source software market could have a dramatic effect on the tech hardware industry this year.
9 Myths about Free/Open Source Software and Feminism
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published January 16, 2014
An apparent backlash against women participating in free and open source software projects should be better understood.
Crowdfunding and Open Source
By Bruce Byfield | Applications Article Published January 7, 2014
A successful crowdfunding campaign for an open source project may be more difficult than you expect.
Why Do Users Choose KDE?
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published January 2, 2014
Users of the Linux desktop talk about why they prefer it over alternatives.
The Linux Desktop: 2013 in Review
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published December 10, 2013
The Linux desktop’s big trends included crowdfunding, the Ubuntu controversy, GNOME, Steam, and more.
The Burning Bridges of Ubuntu
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published November 26, 2013
Ubuntu and Canonical are still having community problems -- and at least part of the problem is their public statements and actions.
Apache OpenOffice vs. LibreOffice
By Bruce Byfield | Applications Article Published November 12, 2013
The two open source office productivity suites are similar, yet one appears to have a slight advantage.
Seven Things You Can Do in KDE (But Not on Other Linux Desktops)
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published October 21, 2013
If you don't know KDE, you don't know what the Linux desktop can do.
Are We Witnessing the Decline of Ubuntu?
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published September 24, 2013
Ubuntu and Canonical are looking as if they've peaked, with a string of questionable moves.
9 Features To Make You Reconsider GNOME
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published September 10, 2013
Two and a half years after GNOME 3 appeared, it's overdue for a second look.
The Current State of the Linux Desktop
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published July 30, 2013
It's a contradictory era on the desktop today.
Ubuntu Edge: Canonical's Big Gamble
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published July 23, 2013
Is the new limited edition phone cutting-edge or over the edge?
Selecting a GNOME 2 Successor Desktop
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published July 16, 2013
GNOME 2 is dead. Long live GNOME 2.
Giving GNOME 3 a GNOME 2 Look
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published July 9, 2013
It all comes down to choosing the right combination of extensions.
9 LibreOffice Features You Should Avoid Using
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published July 2, 2013
The keys to using LibreOffice? To start with, try avoiding features that make you look lost in the 1990s.
The Best and Worst Features of Linux Desktops
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published June 25, 2013
The perfect Linux desktop doesn't exist, though some come closer than others.
Linux Desktop: Change vs. Conservatism
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published June 18, 2013
Despite the conservatism of users, innovation hasn't died on the Linux desktop. It's just become very cautious in the last few year.
Linux Virtual Workspaces--How Do They Differ?
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published June 11, 2013
Here's how KDE, GNOME, Unity, Mate, Cinnamon and Xfce each implement virtual workspaces.
Linux Mint 15: Solid, But Unsettled
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published June 11, 2013
Linux Mint is maturing, which means that the question of what's next is starting to loom.
Ubuntu: Restoring the Community Link
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published May 21, 2013
The latest Canonical vs. community uproar has been defused, but for how long?
Ubuntu and the Missing Community Link
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published May 14, 2013
Small events can have big consequences.
Debian 7: The New Upstream
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published May 7, 2013
Just because the new Debian release isn't focused on the desktop doesn't mean it won't be influential.
Raving Ringtail: The Mixed Motives of Ubuntu 13.04
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published April 24, 2013
The latest version of Unity mirrors the increasing conflicts within Canonical and Ubuntu.
GNOME 3 and Unity Alternatives: Cinnamon vs. Mate
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published April 16, 2013
Looking for the GNOME 2 experience? Linux Mint is the obvious choice. But how do its two desktops--Cinnamon and Mate--compare?
GNOME or KDE? The Old Question Is New Today
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published April 9, 2013
Despite the growing number of choices, the question on the desktop today remains "GNOME or KDE?"
Nine Myths That Shouldn't Stop You From Trying Debian
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published April 2, 2013
Debian's reputation is out of keeping with what it actually offers.
The Incremental GNOME 3.8: Doing What the Project Does Best
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published March 26, 2013
GNOME 3 isn't for everyone. But for those who like it, the latest release is the most usable yet.
Ubuntu, openSUSE and the Definition of Easy
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published March 19, 2013
There's less difference between Ubuntu and a traditional distro than many often claim.
Ubuntu's Community Problem
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published March 12, 2013
Are the interests of Canonical and Ubuntu identical? Some Ubuntu contributors are starting to question that assumption.
GNOME Classic Repeats History
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published March 5, 2013
Considering the discussion that preceded its creation, GNOME Classic looks likely to disappointment users.
How Ubuntu Turned Search in the Dash into a PR Crisis
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published February 26, 2013
Sometimes, how you handle a feature's criticisms is as important as its specs.
Ubuntu Pros and Cons
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published February 19, 2013
Is Ubuntu the last, best hope of Linux? Or the betrayer of everything that open source stands for?
Seven Features I Fantasize About Seeing on the Linux Desktop
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published February 12, 2013
Which innovations might improve the free desktop without scaring users away?
Why the Linux Desktop Needs More Usability Testing
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published February 5, 2013
The open source community often neglects usability testing—and projects can suffer as a result.
Nine Improvements Overdue in LibreOffice Writer
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published January 29, 2013
The latest version adds some welcome new features, but LibreOffice Writer has some legacy issues that should have been addressed years ago.
9 Things That Are Never Admitted About Open Source
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published January 22, 2013
What are the taboo subjects in open source today? You might guess some of them, but others might surprise you.
Can the Ubuntu Phone Succeed?
By Bruce Byfield | Mobile/Wireless Article Published January 8, 2013
The Ubuntu phone faces significant challenges on its way to market.
9 Major 2012 Events That Will Influence the Linux Desktop in Coming Years
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published December 27, 2012
2012 was a lively year on the Linux Desktop, with the promise of more to come next year.
10 Linux Live Disks Worth Exploring
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published December 18, 2012
Live Disks are an essential part of open source culture.
Top Linux Trends 2012-2013
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published December 11, 2012
What stories trended in 2012? Which ones will affect open source next year? The answer is not always obvious -- and some stories have been under-reported.
GNOME's Next Step
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published December 4, 2012
OK, GNOME has listened -- once. But that is only the beginning of the recovery process it needs to go through.
The Cost of Ubuntu
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published November 26, 2012
It seems unlikely that the Ubuntu desktop will ever turn a profit.
Dropping GNOME Fallback Mode: The Right Decision, Wrongly Handled
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published November 13, 2012
In dropping fallback mode, GNOME made the right decision -- and utterly failed to communicate that fact.
Experimentation vs. Tradition: The Future of Innovation on the Linux Desktop
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published November 8, 2012
The new diversity of Linux desktop choices could actually hinder innovation.
Choosing a Desktop: Mate vs Xfce
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published October 31, 2012
Trying to decide between Mate and Xfce as your Linux desktop? Although both come from a similar tradition, the two are more than just equivalents.
State of Sexism in FOSS
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published October 23, 2012
Women's issues have become accepted concerns in open source. What is there to show for all the effort?
Ubuntu 12.10: The Controversies Continue
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published October 16, 2012
The latest version of Ubuntu is showing the first signs of conflicting design goals.
Desktop Linux: Diversity is the New Reality
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published October 9, 2012
Diversity on the Linux desktop? It's extensive and it's here to stay -- and it's just what the desktop needs.
45 Free Android Apps for Productivity
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published October 2, 2012
Free Android apps can turn your tablet into a mini-office.
Desktop Dis-Unity: Ubuntu Adds Web-Search to the Desktop
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published September 25, 2012
The problem isn't that Ubuntu introduced an affiliate program. It's the program's implementation that is attracting criticism.
Desktop Linux: Has Ubuntu's Unity Surpassed the Mac?
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published September 18, 2012
Shuttleworth claims to have made good on his challenge to provide a better desktop than OS X. Can his claim survive a close scrutiny?
Desktop Linux: The GNOME 3 Release Series Extensions
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published September 11, 2012
The GNOME Shell Extensions may be just what the Linux desktop needs to end its user revolt.
Desktop Linux Revolt: How KDE Survived Its User Backlash
By Bruce Byfield | Open Source Article Published September 5, 2012
How does a Linux desktop survive a user revolt? The recent history of KDE suggests some answers.




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