Open Ballot: what was the biggest Linux event in 2010?


We're gearing up to record our last podcast of 2010, and in this episode we'll be looking back on a very eventful year for the Linux community. In our Open Ballot - which isn't really an Open Ballot this time, we'll admit - we want you to tell us: what was the biggest event in the Linux world for you? Maybe it was the Mageia fork of Mandriva, or perhaps it was the release of MeeGo 1.0. Or maybe Ubuntu's decision to transition away from X is your killer moment of the last 12 months.

Whatever it is, let us know in the comments, and we'll read out the funniest and/or most interesting and/or most Smiths-referencing on air in the show. Unless you're boring and just call yourself Anonymous Penguin, of course.

You should follow us on or Twitter

Your comments

FOSS advocate

This year continues the march of FOSS in many more areas and in a sense, the inevitableness of FOSS is clear. All those who have said that FOSS is not going to be a business model has Red Hat to point to (albeit, thus far, the only one). But then again, it is shows that you need imagination and courage to lead. The best moment for me was the launch of Fedora 14 (and subsequently Red Hat Enterprise 6) along with the efforts. They augur well for 2011 and beyond.


personally, moving all but the last remnants of my computers over to linux, leaving a laptop and gaming pc still at the dualboot stage, with win7 just for gaming

F/LOSS spreading!!

What could be bigger than Linux gaining an a dominance over Apple on the mobile market? Around here (Sweden) almost everyone has an HTC Desire, a SonyEricson X10 mini or other.

Now that people are getting used to the fact that they are using Linux despite not being stereotype hollywood nerds, there is a foundation set to build upon; and perhaps with a bit of help from ChromeOS widespread desktop adoption is nigh! We just have to be there and show people the alternatives and their benefits.


My FOSS advancement is personal and pedestrian. I ditched the *ubuntus. I jumped on the *ubuntu bandwagan, with the first Kubuntu release Hoary Hedgehog, on April 2005. Now I am running PCLinuxOS, and only regret it took me so long to make the move.

For slightly less personal advancement: I don't know about the year of Linux on the desktop, but for me 2010 was the year of Emacs on the desktop. It is almost every day that I re-realize its' awesomeness.(*)

(*) Feel free to insert any number of "GNU/s" infront of each word you like.

Unity and Gnome Shell

I believe it's Ubuntu's Compiz based Unity and the new, new Gnome Shell that looks pretty much like Unity.

Move to KDE completely

When I told my wife that the new computer would have a slightly different look back in 2006, we made the final switch to all GNU/Linux at home. At the time I chose Ubuntu. With the release of KDE 4, I have been meaning to switch the home computer to KDE, but the look was drastically different. In April I made the plunge and moved to Kubuntu on the home computer. There was a quick comment, "You should have told me that I get to my email from the bottom now" when I kept the KDE panel on the bottom. Beyond that everything has been smooth. I am very glad that I am all KDE now. The 4 year old computer runs it wonderfully.

With the changes now for Ubuntu to Unity, I am glad I made the switch now. Kubuntu is much more stock KDE than Ubuntu is Gnome.

Linux Mint 10

For me the biggest event in 2010 was the release of Linux Mint 10.
The improvements clem and his team made in this release were really great. I have gotten more people to linux than any time before that release. Just because it looks so simple and good!

On a side note, I want to say that it probably isn't the event with the most impact, but it was just the biggest moment for ME for linux :)


Well for the UK people we had a great time in Liverpool at OGG camp.

Ubuntu Software Center

Yes, MintInstall existed before it, but the Software Center brought package management on the mainstream linux desktop a critical notch upward. Other distributions, like OpenSUSE with Project Bretzn, are now following suit and making nice, intuitive, non-technical package managers for the good of newbies.

As these 3rd generation modern package managers continue to improve, more people will be comfortable with the linux desktop and switch to it.

BTW, yes, I know it was available since 9.10 but it was still kinda crappy back then so I'll count it as 2010 as it is the time it became proper.

Biggest Linux

Biggest Linux event?

Probably for me is the fact that we're finally dropping X for Wayland which I have being saying we should do for a while now. And the fact that compiz++ is default in natty narwhale along with unity. I've followed compiz closely for a long while and now that this is happening I am really happy!

It still won't convince me to use Ubuntu though, it's a great distro but I much prefer the simplicity and quite brilliance of Arch Linux.

I know the date, but

I don't know what happened. At 4:53pm on Feb 3 2010, 118 people were to be found browsing the LXF forums (presumably not all of them would-be spammers). I assume this must have marked some important occurrence in the world of Linux, but have no idea what it could have been. ;-)

The introduction of Android

I agree with "Awesome Pingu (not verified)"; which makes my pick for 2010 the introduction of Android.

His latest flame

Stop Me if you think you've heard this one before, but frankly Mr. Shankly this year Google proved that money changes everything, which caused many mobile users to oscillate wildly between Android and the unloveable iPhone.

Indeed, shoplifters of the world unite(d) in Apple stores everywhere causing panic, especially in London when the iPad was launched and desperate haemorrhoid sufferers mistook the name for a nice comfy rubber ring.

Some people even declared 2010 the year of Linux on the desktop, but Tux, you just haven't earned it yet baby!

Wayland - for less obvious reasons

I would say that the discussion started by the Ubuntu project about replacing with Wayland was the biggest thing. Not necessarily because of Ubuntu - while important, it is one of many - but because this is the first time after the demise of Xfree86 that people have seriously discussed the future of as an essential component in the system - and not just in the Ubuntu camp.

"I was just thinking about

"I was just thinking about how much I God-damned love Linux"

I have had that thought many times this year...

Mainly in relation to the N900 running Maemo my fiance got me this year, but also the incredible boot times I've gotten with Ubuntu 10.04 on my laptop, which is now 7 years old! Oh, and discovering that most of the software CERN uses to process their huge experiments are open-source. Or maybe the kudos Linux got when the LSE switched from Windows to Linux and instantly got improvements in speed and reliability.

New UI

Unity and Gnome Shell as they are bold new UI poised to replaced a decade old UI.

TLC and Evil Empires

Personally it's been creating the Toowoomba Linux Community (TLC); but its been the sad state of Emperor Ming the Merciless of Oracle and the Patent Wars it has waged on Open Source proponents.

Oh and Puppy Linux goes 'buntu! Everyone luv's a puppy.

A few things

There have been a number of things for me, so here they are:

1) Knowing that almost everyone I know has linux in their pocket thanks to Android. Sod the year of the desktop, Linux is powering the web, keeping people in touch, getting them from A-B and keeping people reading.

2) Ubuntu One Music Store, because now I can buy music from my media player, my wallet may disagree but I love it. And to a similar degree Banshee getting Amazon MP3 download capabilities.

3) The Humble Indie Bundle, some great games for Linux and it showed that we are just as willing to pay (if not more so) for good quality games as our proprietary cousins.

4) Panasonic Jungle, just kidding :)

5) Libre Office, despite the name I think this is a massive step forward and will hopefully see an increased pace of development for what is a great office suite.

6) Tux Radar Season 2, feel the love guys

My top three (in reverse order)

3. Meego - especially the recent announcement that AMD are throwing their hat into that particular ring. If you're an Ubuntu UNR user, then Meego 1.1 is worth a look. :D

2. Ubuntu Meerkat and Lynx - personally speaking the former was a big "meh", but other folks seemed to get quite excited. I use the latter on my work server and it does the job, and annoys me very little.

1. Android - kudos to Google at co for putting a penguin in more folks pockets than anyone else. Heck, it persuaded ME to trade in my old faithful Nokia for a shiny new SE Xperia.

Android again

It has to be android and that is the one that will last.

I have, for the first time in ages had a clean install of Ubuntu and I do love Ubuntu One but that seems more evolutionary than a revolution.

Wayland seems more like next year's big event, I have seen no actual product yet! Even worse, due to not listening closely enough to the podcast I was for some time under the impression that my graphical desktop would be provided by Mr Burns personal assistant.


...the fact that Ubuntu 10.10 ran practically 100% out of the box on a new HP dv7 laptop. After a lot of hassle with laptops before, this was a revelation!

It has to be OGGCamp 10 in

It has to be OGGCamp 10 in Liverpool. Met lots of new people, learned lots of new things, drank lots of not-so-new beer - a perfect weekend.

Not that I can remember any names

but wasn't there some serious monetary figures bandied about in last years news concerning Linux-ie thing's?

In other news though the London stock exchange now runs on Linux. That's pretty big news. It also means that the people that gamble with our money can do it at much greater speed.

Chrome OS & Android-based tablets...

Although the Chrome OS has not been finalized, it's noteworthy for this topic.

Android-based tablets...much like the netbook craze of a few years ago, have captured the attention of some of the industries biggest hitters. Competition in this market will yield some mighty fine devices!!!

Dumping all my windows for

Dumping all my windows for Ubuntu and putting Ubuntu on 8 public machines at our local library

graduate sudent

The 200 lines of code that makes the linux kernel about 60 times faster....

Brics and Ares put out Linux

Brics and Ares put out Linux versions of CAD software. To me, this is HUGE.

My Debian homeserver

After years of annoying myself with a Windows homeserver, i changed it's os to the Debian. Now it runs perfectly. Without glitches.


KDE 4.5. With that release I've moved back to KDE permanently for the first time since just before the move to KDE 4.


... didn't you come this year. you where so close

Bigest thing this year

- Blender 2.5
- Ubuntu 10.04 buttons (if you count how many times it was mentioned when it hit)
- H.264, WebM and the death of flash (urr....)
- 0 a.d (love the feel of AgeofEmpires again)
- Novel sues Android

oh and that job of your's, dose it have room for a dyslectic Norwegian Linux Lover (did'nt think so)

Agree with LT

The patch that will make Linux 10 times faster - Linus Torvalds said this was a 'killer feature' and I couldn't agree more... just a pity that the patch presumably won't make it into Debian Squeeze (which is feature frozen).

Girl Power!

The highlight of 2010 has to be when Caitlyn Martin put Graham Morrison in his place!

As Caitlyn herself said:

"Part of the arrogance inherent in articles like Mr. Morrison's is the assumption that the author knows what is best for the Linux community as a whole and that the author's preference should be the universal choice."

Right on Sister! Right On!

2010 The year of the fork and namechanges!

Open office!
Open solaris!

I say as the famous t-shirt says: Fork you!


the film AVATAR was rendered on a whole bunch of Linux blade servers (running Ubuntu) as well as Linux workstations (with some apples thrown in)

the software tools used were both Open Source and proprietary.

you didn't hear anything about it because of the powers that be.

if Windows servers/workstations/software had been used, we'd never hear the end of it.

A few things (previously mentioned)

KDE 4.4 and 4.5 - a couple more great strides for the popular Desktop (also the rebranding of KDE to KDE Software Compilation).

LibreOffice splits from Oracle

LSE moves to Linux

The Kernel Patch

Android hits it big on mobile phones (especially Apple's pockets from lost iPhone sales)

Moblin+Maemo=Meego - the new collaborative effort at a single distribution for all devices

Mandriva and Novell sold (Mandriva linux moves forward as Mageia)


Android on ARM may come close to converting more people to using GNU/Linux in 2010 than all other distros, projects, or migrations in the history of GNU/Linux. Next year I can see GNU/Linux making an end-around play against x86 on desktop and server because so many people are accessing the web this year on Android. There is no sign of that movement peaking yet. Tablets are exploding and smart-phones show no let-up.


The new Ubuntu interface is the next thing coming! It looks a lot like Mac OS X Lion but it is fine with me. Users like us are glad we don't have to pay for the Mac but can get a similar experience. The best part though is it is Linux!

Has to be

Finding my oldest PC's OEM disk for Win ME and just shaking my head. Only wifey uses windows for her embroidery software but open office and inkscape gets used often on those. Linux just works; every windows edition gave us hassles. (Sorry, dos 3.? on her old xt clone worked perfectly)

The Humble Indie Bundle

The best Linux thing of the year was the Humble Indie Bundle, which proves that Linux users are prepared not only to pay for games, but also to pay more than Windows and Mac users. And it can't have gone too badly, since they've just released a second bundle...

Android. definetly Android

For me the biggest Linux event was the total and utter domination of Android on the Smartphone-Market. It put the iPhone in it's place, stomped Windows Mobile and Symbian into the ground and seems to continue it's march on the tablet market. Also the fact that my Android-Smartphone managed to log into my University's wlan, while the Windows-Mobile-device of the guy next to me didn't :D

More people have a Linux box than you might think

Count up all the Linux boxes that live in Blu Ray Players, DVRs, routers, and other embedded systems. Looking carefully through those systems, most of my non-Linux associates have some kind of Linux box at home. I wish we could accurately count all those numbers towards Linux market share.

My getting a Kindle

Yep, they run Linux, though you have to look hard to tell.

Obviously this had no effect on anyone else in the world, but, um... pah!

Ubuntu One

I'm realizing the usefulness of ubuntu one. I will never loose my data again, even if my laptop blows up or gets stolen. I can buy inexpensive older hardware now because I no longer fear hard disk crashes. My little linux laptop cost $155 US and it's practically an extension of my body.


Another Ubuntu release (10.10) that installs in a breeze and 'just works' with absolutely everything on my PC out of the box. I'm no Ubuntu zealot but this distro's now getting so good it's almost embarrassing.

The iPAD!

With the iPAD, Apple has validated the tablet/pad device, which, in turn, has validated Android (which is Linux). Thanks, Steve!

Ubuntu Rolling Release

I love the flexibility that Arch offers and the updates. I also like ubuntu. Rolling them all into one. Excellent!

Quick Boot

For me, un-sophisticated user that I am, it was simply upgrading my Ubuntus to 10.04 (inc my Mythbuntu, and wife's laptop running UNR.

Booting in 20-30 seconds improves my user experience hugely. Makes me switch the thing off when I've finished a task, instead of leaving it on in case I need it again in a minute.

Also I don't switch it on, go off and do something else whilst its booting, and get distracted, thus leaving it on for hours before I come back.

Ubuntu 10.10

Best Ubuntu release ever and best Linux im ever gonna use! Finally Gnome feels really integrated and not just tacked on to Ubuntu.

10.10 is a pleasure to use, performance is great and the selection and maturity of software is always getting better!

Also for once im finding its not uncommon to come across an Ubuntu user. This means there is now a decent level of uptake on it.

Ahh the pain

There are a couple things that qualify as big events this year for me.

Sun being purchased by Oracle has to be on the top, with the loss of OpenSolaris and the fork of OpenOffice to LibreOffice. The trouble over Java and Apache stepping down from the board, bad news indeed. It seems to me that Oracle has turned into the Microsoft of the Linux world, but I digress.

One that I have not seen, is the loss of Songbird. Although a group of people have gotten together to keep in going in the form of Nightingale, I'm not sure that it will ever take off. The website has next to no traffic and updates are spotty at best. Here's to hoping that Nightingale will actual be a working piece of software, and to those that are working on it...Thank You.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Username:   Password: