Great news freedom fans, everyone’s favorite big-hearted corporate monopoly Google have created dedicated software repositories for Linux. It means Linux users can add the web address to their chosen package manager and get all the latest and greatest Google apps delivered direct to their door… well ok their virtual door in this case. It’ll make installing things like Picasa, Google Earth and Google Desktop simple and quick on almost any Linux distribution, plus you’ll get updates direct from Google hassle free. Sounds to good to be true but hopefully it isn’t.
I have my reservations about Google’s world domination strategy as you may have guessed from my sarcastic tone earlier but I also have to say this is very cool. The greatest part is that a lot of effort has been put into actively supporting as many different Linux distros as possible, there are full instructions for Ubuntu, OpenSuse, Debian, Red Hat and Mandriva with support for Apt, YUM, urpmi, YaST2 and RPM package managers. That’s a huge chunk of the Linux using world you have to say and Google deserve great credit for this. If you want to get your hands on all the Google goodies check out the official page below:
As I mentioned earlier I have mixed feelings about Google, I use loads of their services: Gmail, Google Notebook, Google Reader and even Google Calendar now so I don’t want to sound like just another bitter whining open source evangelist who hates people making money, I’m not… at least I don’t think I am (checks pockets)… no I’m not. However, Google have built their business on Linux and open source and yet they continue to drag their heels when it comes to releasing Linux compatible products, while they can’t do enough for Windows users. The recent release of the Google Desktop for Linux is a good example of my point, it’s taken ages to get a Linux version and when we do it’s just a pale imitation of the Windows one. I thought Google were supposed to do most of their development on Linux machines? If that’s true then shouldn’t the Linux version be better than the Windows one if anything? They should be porting things to Windows not porting from Windows. Also, why are most of their products closed source? I know they have extensive API’s but that’s not source code. They’re feeding and getting rich (very rich) at the open source table while throwing us a few crumbs to keep us quiet. I should say in the interests of balance that Google do some really positive things such as allowing their employee Guido Van Rossum (the Python creator) to spend half of his time improving Python while on the clock. That’s great and again they deserve massive credit for it, I just think more could be done. Come on Google you’ve done a great thing in releasing these Linux repositories and I’m grateful, truly I am but you can do more to help the community that supports you. Remember your own company motto… don’t be evil 🙂
I just realised I’m typing this on Blogger and you may even be getting it through Feedburner both of which Google now owns, they practically own my ass, I really hope they aren’t evil or I’m f@&*ed!!!
Right I’m off to check my Gmail now see you later 😛