Sitting in my room at SNW (Storage Networking World) and and I thought I would blog about an interesting conversation from last evening about Linux on the desktop mostly because the person I had the conversation with seemed intrigued, so much that we have a follow-up conversation today in the hallway. The discussion was over Gubuntu the rumored Google flavor of the popular Ubuntu Linux Distro. As a huge advocate and user of Ubuntu I can honestly say it is by a large stretch the best desktop Linux distribution to date. I have been using Linux since the early 90s and started on kernel version 0.98 or 0.99, I can’t remember. I do remember downloading the 24 or so floppies @14400 baud that made up the Slackware distribution that I would then install on my 386. The entire process was laborious. Ahhhhh…. But once it was up and running what a feeling of accomplishment. I remember our dorm room network using NE2000 ISA cards and coax cable, I am starting to feel like a geek. The good old days. Since the early days I have tried just about every distribution, early on I flip-flopped between Slackware and Yggdrasil, then I moved onto Debian and even gave Corel Linux (now Xandros, which I have run as well) a shot, next was the likes of Caldera, RedHat, SuSE, Mandrake (now Mandriva). Caldera went away and RedHat/Fedora/CentOS, SuSE and Mandrake all became bloated, the thing I always hated about Microsoft. I then moved onto Gentoo and finally now Ununtu. I have to say the Debian based Ubuntu distribution is incredible. Returning to the topic of the post, Internet banter confirms that Google is working on a distro called Gubuntu, leveraging applications like Google Earth and Picasa which have already been ported to Linux and the Google Desktop which I am sure will be ported to the Gubuntu release and Internet based applications like Google Spreadsheets and Writely (Now Called Google Docs and Spreadsheets) and of course Gmail.
The Linux desktop push has begun, with titans like Google getting into the space and events like Eric Raymond joining the Freespire Leadership Board we may see an insurgence by Linux in the desktop market.