Is CentOS ready for the Linux desktop?

Today in Open Source: Should you use CentOS on the desktop? Plus: Linux and the Nest Labs acquisition by Google, and the openSUSE forums are online again

CentOS on the desktop?

A ZDNet writer has moved from Fedora to CentOS as his preferred desktop distribution.

Recently, I decided to try CentOS on the desktop. Why? My first reason is its support life, which is 10 years from the initial release date. The other reason is that there are a handful of third party repositories for CentOS that have updated packages of software.

CentOS also has other advantages as well. It is not cutting edge, and that can be a good thing. It still uses the 2.6.x kernel, and its core packages are older which means that bugs have been worked out and the software should be relatively bug-free overall.

In addition, regular releases of CentOS do offer seamless upgrades in case you do want to do a complete refresh of a system.

More at ZDNet

CentOS is a very interesting and different choice for a desktop distribution. I haven't heard of many people using it that way. Whenever somebody brings it up it's usually within the context of running a server.

I can understand the desire of the writer for longer term support, and also his disenchantment with GNOME 3. Both things can be a problem for certain kinds of users. GNOME 3 has caused quite a bit of controversy debate among many Linux users.

But I think Linux Mint Debian might have been a better bet for him. The Linux Mint developers provide some useful tools for desktop users that improve the overall experience, and Debian works extremely well as the base for LMDE. Plus, it is a rolling distribution so you don't need to reinstall the system to upgrade it.

On the other hand, if CentOS is working well for him then more power to him. Choice is one of the best things about Linux. Nobody is stuck using a desktop distro that they don't like or that doesn't work well for them. So maybe CentOS' time on the desktop has finally arrived for some users.

LinuxBSDos did a review of CentOS 6, trying to assess its suitability as a desktop distribution. Their conclusions about it seemed a bit mixed though.

This was just an excursion to determine whether CentOS 6 could be a good candidate as a desktop distribution for non-experts, or new users. The verdict: Unless you do not mind getting digital grease on your hands, there are better RPM-based distributions available. Fedora or any Fedora Spin, makes a better desktop distribution than CentOS 6.

More at LinuxBSDos

Linux User had a more upbeat take on CentOS on the desktop.

CentOS 6.3 isn’t fancy, it doesn’t come with crazy Compiz effects on by default, it has a very solid and classic package list, and GNOME 2 is the standard interface. For some people, though, this is all that they require. CentOS is as stable as you could need, yet offers a very workable experience for desktops without the fear of running into some of the more exotic problems associated with Linux use. Of course, this translates extremely well to server and enterprise use if you don’t fancy spending the support money just yet on Red Hat.

More at Linux User

What's your take on CentOS on the desktop? Are you using it? Please share your thoughts in the comments. It will be very interesting to see if there's a larger community of CentOS desktop users out there than I thought.

Linux and the Nest Labs acquisition by Google points out that that the Nest thermostat is powered by Linux, and that the value of Linux has gone far beyond desktop distributions.

Google this week announced it would acquire Nest Labs, which makes the wildly popular Linux-based, Wi-fi enabled and programmable Nest thermostat and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. A $3.2 billion deal, this acquisition demonstrates how hot the connected home market is becoming and how big the promise is of the Internet of Things. It also demonstrates the value of Linux and how open source impacts the biggest business decisions being made today.

By using Linux as the foundation for its products, the Nest Labs founders were able to innovate faster, build better and deliver better value for its customers. Google, among other big technology companies, know the value of Linux and open source development and are taking notice of the work entrepreneurs are doing with Linux.

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