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Lightroom and Linux

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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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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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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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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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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Explorer ,
Dec 17, 2015 Dec 17, 2015

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> There are many versions of Linux.  Which one would they support if they were ever to support any?

Typically, binaries built for Linux work on a variety of flavors and versions.  But if Adobe had to pick one, I'd say, Mint.  It's the most user-centric version and the easiest for a non-geek to install and use.

In fact, since Mint is free, Adobe could include it in the installer, and allow the user to optionally do a bare metal install of the OS and applications.

Lightroom (the Windows version) already demonstrably runs on Mint 17 under Wine 1.7.  (Do a youtube search for "Lightroom on Mint".)

Whether to port to Linux has always been a chicken-and-egg problem.  I run Windows only because my tools run on Windows.  The tool makers only provide a Windows version because that's the OS I have.  Someone has to decide to do something different to break the vicious circle.

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Advisor ,
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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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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Advisor ,
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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Advisor ,
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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New Here ,
Jan 12, 2013 Jan 12, 2013

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I been a keen linux user for over 13 years now. Remember what linux is for though, hacking and the server room. Its never going to make it on the desktop (even though I have been hearing, for more than 10 years now, that THIS year, is the year of the linux desktop). Its never going to happen though.

My suggestion, get a KVM switch and a Mac I did this and never looked back, its the best of both worlds

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Explorer ,
Jan 13, 2013 Jan 13, 2013

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@justdanyul, thanks for the advice! Don't know what you are trying to say by "not going to the desktop", you must probably be living in another planet.

But I'm not going to follow your advice, my move has been to join the Darktable project and coding many functions to make it work for my workflow. I'm going to move to Darktable only this year for sure. I'm already using it for many of my work except my studio work. This year, with the local adjustment I'll probably move to Darktable only. I'll also stop to be a Lightroom teacher on my free time. I don't see the point helping Lightroom whent Lighroom has failed me.

So MY advice to people following this forum, register to the Darktable project and help the project by coding, testing, translating the user's guide...

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LEGEND ,
Jan 13, 2013 Jan 13, 2013

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Pascal O wrote:

you must probably be living in another planet.

Could you at least try to be less wilfully obnoxious?

But I'm not going to follow your advice, my move has been to join the Darktable project and coding many functions to make

Great - when can we look forward to a Windows port? Fair's fair, after all - and the Darktable devs don't have any commercial constraints getting in the way of developing a Win version, do they?

Or is it one rule for the FOSS communuty, and another for everyone else? You seem to have a lot to say about your expecation that other people should be helping you, so are you going to help others by encouraging its devs to get Darktable out to the biggest OS platform out there?

I can guess the answer...

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Explorer ,
Jan 13, 2013 Jan 13, 2013

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> Could you at least try to be less wilfully obnoxious?

Sorry but I'm really annoyed by earing the same thing again and again. Linux is going to the desktop, it has a

very little share on the desktop, right, but it is gaining more user everyday. Ubuntu is mainy for the desktop

and I have plenty of user's around me using Ubuntu (and no they are not computer scientists just regular

user's (office, web, e-mail and instant messaging).

> Or is it one rule for the FOSS communuty, and another for everyone else? You seem to have a lot to say about your

> expecation that other people should be helping you, so are you going to help others by encouraging its devs to get

> Darktable out to the biggest OS platform out there?

Step in and do that port. I think the Darktable devs have nothing against big OS platforms just that the team is small

and this will needs some energy to come to light. There is a win branch in the project BTW, because someone started

this some time ago.... BTW, there is a MacOS port of Darktable today, working and supported by some users.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 20, 2013 Feb 20, 2013

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You have gimp available on windows, you'll get darktable when someone can be bothered: we don't hate windows users (although they can be a pain when they ask us to fix their crap), we more pity them...

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 20, 2013 Feb 20, 2013

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Darktable..... mmmm I'll have a quick play, and prob contribute to that.... looks good

http://www.darktable.org/

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 20, 2013 Feb 20, 2013

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/robin48gx/8492274548/in/photostream

Got dark table. Had always had probs with this digital photo getting the rell to stand out. First time with the gamma/intensity curves on dark table and I got what I wanted. I have  a new toy to play with, thankyou Mr. Pascal.

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Participant ,
Feb 02, 2013 Feb 02, 2013

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I’m going to have to put my foot down here. It’s not “NeXt”. It's “NeXT”. Sheesh.

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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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Explorer ,
Jan 30, 2013 Jan 30, 2013

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The main reason I'm running Windows, is just for Lightroom and Photoshop.  It does look like some people are running these apps on linux using WINE, but I don't have the time to play around with trying to get that working right now.  I've installed cygwin to have some familiar tools, but I would love to run linux most of the time.  If Adobe ported these applications to linux, I'd be VERY tempted to switch back to linux on my main system.

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Explorer ,
Feb 02, 2013 Feb 02, 2013

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 20, 2013 Feb 20, 2013

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I saw someone at Brighton and Hove camera club extolling the virtues of light room. I do not have a Mac

and I do not run windows at home (I refuse to now esp after steam has ported stuff to linux).

But I would pay for Lightroom on linux. I pay for steam games on linux.

I pay for other digital content. I just don't want to pay for an operating system

where it is easily hi-jacked by time wasting viruses and the like which applies

slightly more to Windows than it does to Mac.

Also, I need linux for work, I need bash scripting, gcc, awk, sed, latex

and make files, stuff that windows does not do very well.

Come on adobe, I will willingly pay 100 quid for light room on linux.....

I am sure there are thousands of others who would too....

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