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259

P: Provide support for Linux

LEGEND ,
Apr 26, 2011 Apr 26, 2011

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Lightroom for Linux - is it possible? Most my friends and I need it, because of not using Windows and current Linux tools can't get so great instruments for raw preprocessing and organizing...

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429 Comments
Explorer ,
Dec 02, 2010 Dec 02, 2010

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I know that this has already been asked... But I cannot start to understand why Adobe seems to dismiss Linux users this way. I've read some comments about Linux on this forum and please be honest. Linux is not for hacker only, Linux users do not expect free (as in free beer) software only. Many are ready to pay for GOOD software and Lightroom definitly fall into this category.

I've tried Lightroom on a VirtualBox, it is too slow to be usable!

I'm really looking forward for a native linux port. This OS is so much better than Windows (no I'm not a troll, for example the file system is lot faster and you have far more chance to get a virus) that we have all to win here.

Can we hope? There is a port of Lightroom under MacOS which has a BSD kernel not too far from a Linux one. The hard work is done on this side. I cannot speak for the GUI though...

I'm ready to pay today a Lighroom on Linux with a price tag 50% more expensive than the Windows one. I mean it!

Please if you want a Linux port, post a message maybe Adobe will listen!

Pascal.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 02, 2010 Dec 02, 2010

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I know that this has already been asked... But I cannot start to understand why Adobe seems to dismiss Linux users this way. I've read some comments about Linux on this forum and please be honest. Linux is not for hacker only, Linux users do not expect free (as in free beer) software only. Many are ready to pay for GOOD software and Lightroom definitly fall into this category.

Perhaps those aren't the reasons why Lightroom doesn't exist on Linux. Perhaps it has nothing to do with hackers, or dismissing Linux users.

Perhaps there aren't enough users of Lightroom on Linux to make it worth Adobe's time and effort ... you can say "Many" but do you really know for usre?

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Contributor ,
Dec 02, 2010 Dec 02, 2010

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I don't work for Adobe.  In fact, they probably don't even know I exist.  The fact that Lightroom runs slow in a Virtual Box might not be a Linux problem at all.  Lightroom just might be slow on your computer for other reasons.  Yes, I know, you probably have a killer computer.  But others who have high end computers are having performance problems with Lightroom, some of them very severe.  And it doesn't seem to be something that is associated with a particular operating system.  Both Windows and Mac users, different operating systems, are complaining about the performance issue.  I have two similar Windows computers, and on one of them Lightroom performs extremely well.  The other one really struggles in Lightroom.  And as far as Lightroom for Linux is concerned, I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.  No knowledge of anything, just my opinion.

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Explorer ,
Dec 02, 2010 Dec 02, 2010

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Right I won't say many... I don't know! What I know is that it is an egg-chicken problem. There is no many gamers on Linux because there is no game, there is no many photographers on Linux because there is no decent photograph oriented application on Linux. That's the problem in fact (otherwise I won't be posting there), Linux has many good applications except for handling pictures!

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Explorer ,
Dec 02, 2010 Dec 02, 2010

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Well Lightroom was running fine on this very computer on Windows. But sure VirtualBox could introduce some new problems...

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Guide ,
Dec 02, 2010 Dec 02, 2010

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They already support 5 versions of Windows (at least) and 2 versions of Mac OS.  There are many versions of Linux.  Which one would they support if they were ever to support any?  I suspect the most likely answer to that question wouldn't be whatever you are using, and it might even be "Android".

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Guest
Dec 02, 2010 Dec 02, 2010

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OS X kernel is not even the slightest bit a BSD kernel. OS X is basically the NeXt kernel. You might be thinking of the BSD subsystem, which provides basic POSIX compatibility.  At any rate, targeting a GUI app on OS X has nothing to do with POSIX or BSD, because you are targeting OS X APIs, which are very much their own thing.

A Linux port would be a completely different animal, with all the attendant costs and problems associated with a separate port.

Now, a good chunk of the UI is a modified Lua VM, so some of that work might not have to be duplicated, but this is really besides the point. One of the main reasons you don't see a lot of commercial ports for Linux is that, well, there isn't a single Linux to target. There are very specific challenges necessary to solve to make your app work in a reasonable fashion across all or most common distributions. You either make it behave and look like every other ugly X11 app, or you target a specific toolkit that you now depend on.

Not to mention additional QA, R&D costs, &etc.

Take the problems you are seeing here in these forums and multiply them by some factor, because running Linux does not automatically solve all problems. It just creates a different set of problems.

Add to this that the reason Linux is so successful is because it offers a free operating environment, with free tools, for everyone. This is great, except that few Linux users would be willing to pay $300 for an application. Not when many will convince themselves that they can cobble together a solution that uses F-Spot and Rawstudio and Gimp that works just fine. It isn't that Linux users are cheap; it's that the standard operating philosophy is to make do with what you have, for free. And this is a fine and noble thing. You are in the minority if you want to pay for Lr as a Linux user.

And let's face it: most strong open-source fans hate Adobe, because of how things like Flash are perceived. I hear expressions of this hatred daily.

It really doesn't make any business sense to target Linux, at least at this juncture. It is a hostile, high risk and high cost endeavour with very little proven benefit.  Bad fit all around.

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Contributor ,
Dec 02, 2010 Dec 02, 2010

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Whether the OS X kernel is BSD is really immaterial.  The kernel isn't really important as the compiler abstracts that completely.

Linux doesn't have Mac OS X's Cocoa APIs (or the Objective-C language!), nor does it have Windows' libraries.  It would be a fairly difficult port.

Couple this with the extreme fragmentation of Linux and the fact that it's nearly impossible to ship a closed-source product (because there are 100+ targets), and you're pretty much SOL.  There can't be a "Linux version," but rather you'd have to target a number of specific distros with a number of GCC versions, each with as much support requirements as a the entire Windows or Linux version.

Maybe if Linux would work properly with closed source binary distributions it would have a chance... but unfortunately that's ideologically impossible.

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Guest
Dec 02, 2010 Dec 02, 2010

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I really don't mean this to sound obnoxious, but your own posts answer why it doesn't exist and almost certainly will not happen.  There is not a viable market to support development.  Adobe is a commercial operation and does need to make money - fact of life in this world.  I must admit, your post more readily raises to me why someone would say they have the right operating system for their needs if it lacks application(s) they need.  I have nothing against Linux (or Linux users) and I like some of the current implementations, but if you need to use certain types of software that are going to have to come from the commercial world, the user is volunteering to run into a brick wall they should already see.  

Stephen

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Explorer ,
Dec 02, 2010 Dec 02, 2010

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Sorry but what you are saying is just plain wrong.

All low level part of MacOS are derevied from FreeBSD and what you call the "NeXt kernel" is plain non sense. NeXt was a GUI. The kernel in MacOS-X is actually derived from the Mach micro-kernel.

Ok for QA and R&D costs...But a software well designed won't be that hard to maintain on multiple platforms. And softwares tested on many platforms is more likely to be of good quality (some bugs are more visible on some platforms, like memory corruption where Windows is far more sensistive I found - which is good BTW).

I just found Linux more pleasant to work with. No fear of viruses, not anti-virus software that screew-up your whole system, no long and painful defragmentation... I'd like to concentrate more on my photos than trying hard to keep my system working fast!

I could go to MacOS-X, but I need Linux for other works!

Pascal.

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Guest
Dec 03, 2010 Dec 03, 2010

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Yes, of course you are correct being more specific.  It is the Mach kernel (developed as part of the NeXt project) that the main part of the OS X kernel was derived from (with none of the microkernel capabilities.) I didn't use it by its proper name.

Still, I was rebutting your assertion that BSD was anything like Linux (in terms of library support and porting) which is anything like OS X. Neither is true. The are similar only in regards to POSIX support and a few other bits.  As most Unix like platforms tend to be.

But this all academic.  In this case the import bits are the APIs necessary to make a high performance GUI app on a platform, and that fact is that a native Linux version would be a new porting effort with a lot of unanswered questions about which toolkit to use, and which distros to target.

The costs of maintain such a slippery port would outweigh any advantages you mention regarding cross-platform testing.  Given how Lr is constructed (using a VM and byte code), a porting effort is probably not all that difficult, but is also the very reason cross-platform testing is of limited value.

Linux is just a poor ecosystem for some sorts of applications for technical, legal and philosophical reasons.

Modern commercial operating systems and modern file systems actually have few of the problems you mention, and many people run w/o add-ons like real-time anti-virus services with no problem (I'm one of them.) I've never defragmented a modern file system since the mid-90s as it is usually not needed, and has become one of those magic operations (like "repairing permissions" on OS X) that folks do as a panacea.

Linux has come a long way to being a viable desktop for some kinds of users, at least in the last 10-15 years.  It just never got much traction among creative professional and amateurs, and this is unlikely to change for a variety of reasons. And those that choose Linux will often choose the Linux Way, and use the freely available tools that dedicated folks maintain for Linux.

As attractive Linux is for some uses, in this case it is a poor match. At least, right now. There are a lot of reasons that close interfaces are a good idea, and being able to deliver software to a large population that works reliably (inasmuch as any commodity hardware and software is reliable) is one of these reasons. A close interface controlled by one company (i.e., Apple or Microsoft) means a better experience on the desktop for most of us.

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Explorer ,
Dec 03, 2010 Dec 03, 2010

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Of course you are probably right when opposing "Linux is just a poor ecosystem" and "Modern commercial operating systems and modern file systems", so I won't continue to reply to you as you've shown how biased your view on this issue is. If you are happy with current situation fine, I'm not and looking for a better choice.

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Guest
Dec 03, 2010 Dec 03, 2010

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"Biased" does not mean what you think it means. On the other hand, your inability to quote my rather inoffensive comments in a fair manner suggest that you are unable to keep your feelings about open-source platforms from clouding your judgement. This would actually be an example of bias.  Please, re-read my comments and pay close attention to why I suggest that Linux is not the best place for Adobe to be spending time and money on right now.  I refuse to get dragged into some FOSS holy war. The world just doesn't work that way.

I have an opinion based on decades of experience in the business of enterprise software development, and I use and promote open-source software. I have for years.  I also work on a variety of platforms, including Linux and many you might not have even heard of. Supporting enterprise, commercial software on Linux is a very specific challenge, and one that you have to put some very important parameters around. In my case, over the years we have seen interest in Linux as a commercial software platform wax and wane, but never really get the traction that some people wanted.  There are too many reasons to enumerate why this might be so, and some are fair and some are not.  But the world is not fair in these assessments, unfortunately.  The net result is an ecosystem that is not particularly well-suited for certain kinds of commercial software interests.

This is not bias. It is merely opinion, and one that I have earned over the years.

I also have the ability to separate hopes and dreams from realities. Close-source environments make better ecosystems for certain user bases and certain type of applications.  Every platform offers a number of trade-offs, and closing your UI makes for a very stable and easy to target platform for developers looking to grow the widest audience with the least amount of surprises. Linux has a lot of advantages in other respects, but these very advantages make it less than ideal for certain kinds of audiences and certain kinds of commercial applications.

Platform chauvinism is silly, but just as silly is shoehorning an application into an ill-fitting environment.

[Edit]

BTW, no one is more supportive of a Linux version of Lr than me. As much as I would love to see it (however they end up solving the particular technical problems) I do realize that it is not a very good strategic move for Adobe.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 27, 2011 Apr 27, 2011

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Hello!
It's a question that has been asked many times in other venues about Photoshop, and the message I always heard is that the market research hinted that there might not be enough Linux users that would want to pay for the software. Not enough versus the cost of porting, and maintaining a Linux version (Quality Assurance, for instance), and also that the linux market is too fragmented, and that the necessary groundwork might not be there. (color management, etc.)

But I guess that we'll hear from engineers.

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Contributor ,
Apr 27, 2011 Apr 27, 2011

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I work on the LR team and actually tinkered a bit (back in the 1.4 - 2.0 timeframe) with making some tweaks to LR and Wine to make it run that way, but never had enough (personal) time to throw at the job.

Lightroom probably has a lower porting effort than (say) Photoshop since it is smaller in general and many of the pieces are very portable (the Lua interpreter, SQLite, and much of the app is already in platform agnostic Lua scripting code), but it's still a pretty big undertaking.

My home laptop is dual booted with Windows 7 now for Lightroom and Netflix watch instantly...

P.S. I'd encourage your friends to cast their votes as well. If there's any way to ensure it doesn't happen it'd be for this post to have only a couple of votes!

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LEGEND ,
Jul 10, 2011 Jul 10, 2011

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it has my vote. I have been an adobe customer for a very long time and am very disappointed that none of my apps run properly under Linux. I am 100% Linux now on all my machines at home and work, and miss the features of Lightroom and Elements for Photo editing. I hate to think of looking at other products, but Adobe doesn't work well in wine.

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Explorer ,
Aug 11, 2011 Aug 11, 2011

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Count me in as disapointed. I'm a Lighrroom customer since version 2.0 and keep a Windows partition just for handling my pictures. This is just bad as it break my workflow, each time I want to handle my pictures I need to reboot!!!! I've been asking about a GNU/Linux Lighroom version, always the same answer not enough potential client... I just bet this is wrong and reading post from different forums it seems that the port should not be that hard and that many people are asking for it.

So yes count me in! I've even said that I'm ready to pay twice the price for Lightroom on GNU/Linux, I'm not joking, I'd pay that and right away!

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LEGEND ,
Oct 31, 2011 Oct 31, 2011

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Another vote from me too.
I have paid for my home banking application on linux and I would pay for Lightroom too.

Best regards
Stefan

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Explorer ,
Oct 31, 2011 Oct 31, 2011

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Right, I do think many people are ready to pay... Not sure Adobe seems to be interested though 😞 I've never read a NO or YES from Adobe, seems like they are just ignoring this from years now!

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2011 Oct 31, 2011

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Adobe would be interested if "many people are ready to pay". Does 6 comments in 6 months indicate that many are?

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LEGEND ,
Oct 31, 2011 Oct 31, 2011

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You can't go by "6 comments in 6 months". Many people sitting and wishing for a Linux version don't sit around and post about wanting it.

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Explorer ,
Oct 31, 2011 Oct 31, 2011

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Exactly, there is many people on my photo club ready to buy a GNU/Linux license. Of course GNU/Linux is a smaller (far smaller) market now, but well why should I be forced to use Windows!

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2011 Oct 31, 2011

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Well, it says a lot if they can't be bothered, even when an Adobe employee shows the door is open....

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Contributor ,
Oct 31, 2011 Oct 31, 2011

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If you know folks that would be interested in a Linux version, I'd really encourage you to have them jump on this thread and at least add a vote for it. I subscribe to all replies on this thread and read all of them. See my post above, I'm a developer, LR team member, and home Linux user myself.

I can't speak for how many votes it'd take to inspire action for a full native port (that decision is not mine to make), but if I saw the vote count on this thread start climbing enough (lets say 50+, enough to get it in the top 5 most popular Lightroom requests), I might be inspired to resurrect my personal side project of getting LR to work respectably under Wine as a starting point. Since I have access to the code, I may even be able to make tweaks that make the app more portable if time permits, especially if it turns out the misbehavior under Wine turns out to be an Lightroom side bug that Windows just handles more gracefully.

The testing and development cost of a full port would be high enough that it'd be hard to make a business case for it. However, if getting it operational under Wine could build some momentum and demonstrate a paying customer base, it might give me more to work with to make the case.

Just my 2 cents.

DT

P.S. I've also purchased all the Humble Bundles as my own personal way of supporting developers that support desktop Linux, too. Well, that and there have been some really nice indie games that have participated that I was thinking of picking up anyway.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 31, 2011 Oct 31, 2011

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I have used LR since v1.0, skipped 2.0, then continued from 3.0. I have also purchased LightZone for my Linux box. LR does most things faster!

I would willingly pay again if LR was ported to Linux or at least stable under Wine.

John

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