Linux Video Support Sucks

Let me be fair – when a Windows XP update blew away my video driver a few years ago, causing me to struggle for a couple of days then reformat and reload, I complained. Now that Ubuntu, the leading Linux operating system according to many observers more knowledgeable about the inner workings of that market than I, blew away my video driver and caused me to struggle then reformat and reload, I proclaim loudly that Linux video support sucks.

My Linux complaints go beyond Ubuntu, and beyond just driver issues. Multiple different Linux distributions have a terrible time handling my wide screen LCD monitor in 1920 x 1200 mode. Ubuntu worked great during installation and early use, then looked so solid I was about to make version 8.10 my primary machine, then the updates sank that boat. But Mandriva Spring 08. DreamLinux 2.2, and ForeSight all refused to play properly with my 1920 x 1200 monitor.

Each one required me to try and trick the system to accept the resolution shown in the configuration screens. Hey, Linux developers, when your Screen Resolution Preference dialog says “1920 x 1200” then your monitor driver should set the screen to that resolution. Far too often, it didn’t. Sometimes I could trick it into working, but that just makes me nervous about the next reboot and certainly next update cycle. Sometimes I could never make it work.

Novell’s SuSE Linux and Fedora 7 worked reliably (as has Ubuntu 7.10 for months, which is why I looked forward to Ubuntu 8). DreamLinux, an interesting distribution that acts like a Macintosh in many ways, has an update I need to try for more than just video support reasons.

I’m putting Ubuntu 8 on again right now and will see if I can keep that stable. But if any Linux video driver developers want to tell me why Linux video support is so random and aggravating, I’d love to hear about it.

Yeah, I can go into terminal mode and play with the xorg.conf file, but guess what: that doesn’t always work either. And you’ll never gain market share if your configuration files don’t work without playing in the text editor. You’ll lose ground if the text editor sessions don’t work either.

One Response to Linux Video Support Sucks

  1. jgz says:

    If you have a ATI or Nvidia card
    Google EnvyNG install it and let it set up your video card.
    Its in the university repository
    It worked for me.

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