November 7th, 2016

Linux Foundation ‘Fails’ Linux Mint: Suggests Upgrade to Windows or Mac

Those using Linux to register for a Linux Foundation webinar are told to try using Windows or OS X instead.

Linux Foundation webinar system test

Excuse me if I have a little fun at the Linux Foundation’s expense.

Linux Foundation failed textThis morning while perusing the day’s tech news, I ran across an article on Linux.com about a free webinar, “Open Source Automotive: How Shared Development Will Drive the Industry Forward,” being hosted on Wednesday by the Linux Foundation. This sounded like something I wouldn’t mind spending an hour watching, so I registered. Afterwards, I clicked a “Test Your System” link, just to make sure that I’d have no problems using the good ol’ FOSS Force machine.

The results were a big surprise, and hearkened back to the bad ol’ days when open source and the rest of the world usually didn’t work and play well together. Browser, cookies, bandwidth and “Flash Test Video” all passed with flying colors. What didn’t pass? Our Linux Mint operating system.

“We have detected that your operating system does not meet the optimal webinar specifications for listening to and/or viewing webinars,” the test automation said. “We recommend the following operating systems: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and the latest Mac OS X.”

For an online event being hosted by the Linux Foundation? Really? I understand that the foundation isn’t very interested in desktop Linux, but…

Linux Foundation webinar test windowTo be fair, the registration page isn’t actually a part of the Linux Foundation’s website, although it’s designed to look and feel as if it is, complete with the foundation’s logo. The site belongs to On24, the third party the foundation has engaged to take care of all the technicalities of putting on a successful webinar. Fair enough. But I would’ve thought that the organization that’s in charge of making sure that Linus Torvalds can afford sweaters and beer would make sure that its third party helper would be Linux friendly.

“Please note that users with older versions of Windows (Windows Vista, XP, 2000, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 95), Mac, Linux and Unix operating systems may experience difficulties listening to and/or viewing webinars,” the warning went on to say.

Well, at least there would be partial support for Linux.

I really wasn’t worried. Both video and sound worked fine in the Flash test. It was still an “it figures” moment, however, to be told by the Linux Foundation, indirectly or not, that I’d be better off considering Windows or OS X. How embarrassing for them that must be, I thought.

It turned out that the good people at the foundation were aware of this issue, which I discovered a few minutes later when I received a thank-you-for-registering email from the foundation.

“Using Linux?” the email read right after the thanks. “Please note that the system test tool may incorrectly indicate that your system isn’t supported. Don’t worry, while not all Linux distro and browser combinations are supported, most are! Ubuntu with the latest version of the Firefox browser is a good choice for optimal webinar experience. Unfortunately, the webinar system test tool is due for an update and we hope our webinar provider will update the incorrect Linux messages soon.”

One would hope, wouldn’t one?

So, in the end, this is all much ado about nothing. But having the Linux Foundation tell me that Linux isn’t supported and suggesting I move on up to Windows or Mac…well, that was a priceless Kodak moment.

Oh yeah, no one has Kodak moments anymore, do they?

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Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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16 comments to Linux Foundation ‘Fails’ Linux Mint: Suggests Upgrade to Windows or Mac

  • Eddie G.

    It might have been an error on the part of the third party hosting site, but it’s still “priceless”! I actually did a double-take when I was the title of this article!….LoL!

  • Sebastian

    Sweet sweet irony!

  • tracyanne

    I think it adds a nice exclamation to the Linux Foundations disinterest in Desktop Linux.

    Yes I do realise it’s not them and the third party still has Windows centric messages.

  • This could possibly be circumvented by using User Agent Overrider or some other plugin for Firefox or Chromium.

    It does strike a weird note about the Foundation since they are supposed to check and make sure their partnerships with 3rd party providers are on the same spirit with the one the FLOSS community adheres to.

  • Flann Obrien

    Let it be known that fossforce.com is a top Linux website for the expertise and quality writing. Objective gender neutral measures.

    In contrast, Linux Foundation has been for a long time obsessed with its by definition sexist “Womens” campaign and introducing enemies (Microsoft) into its ranks.

    There is no wonder this blunder occurred. Maybe Carla Schroder, a Linux Foundation author, who is also know for her top notch articles, can refocus them on Linux.

  • Mike

    Does the Linux Foundation even use Linux?

    They seem to be just a corporations-only club anyway where Microsoft fits right in.

  • tracyanne

    @Mike, well Linus does. As for the rest who knows, mostly Macs probably.

    IBM the “we offer solutions, not platforms”, a major Linux Foundation member, has never supported Linux outside the server room, where they can offer their big iron platforms… not solutions, at a premium with lower overheads to themselves, seem intent on supporting Apple on the desktop.

  • Miguel Mayol Tur

    Someone needs to be fired.
    A lot fo companies are using desktop Linux
    A lot of people are using GNU/Linux
    A lot of people are using Android and Google OS Linux
    And weminars are not as standard as to be used by all those Linux based OSs and can be used by the competence.
    Is this a joke?
    Imagine if the news where that in a MS or Apple event Chrome where required instead of their browsers or google docs or Libre Office. I cannot imagine other OS, that is a foolish big mistake.

  • @Miguel: Man, people on the Internet have a very low standard for what constitutes a fireable offense.

  • Jim Barfield

    I am guessing it was just the third party registration site was requiring cookies for registration- and the applicants were using Linux machines that did not return a confirmation of the cookie receipt, since they were set up for public wifi access.

  • tracyanne

    Linux machines that did not return a confirmation of the cookie receipt, since they were set up for public wifi access.

    That would apparently be every Linux machine that accessed the site.

  • Actually, the test on my machine said that there was no problem with cookies but specifically the OS.

  • Mike

    Prepare for them to push an agenda of needlessly over-complicating everything and polluting open source with proprietary crap in the name of ‘interoperability’ while they pursue the old embrace, extend, extinguish policies of the past.

    I’m sure they will find like minds from the Red Hat camp who already pursue a horrendously complicated path in the name of wresting control of linux development from everyone else, i.e. systemd, Gnome, et al. A lot of those developers hold Windows as something to imitate and aspire to. Shame.

  • tracyanne

    @Mike. They actually inherited a lot of that (over complication) when they purchased what became NT from DEC.

  • Mike

    @tracyanne

    When I speak of over-complication regarding Microsoft, I mean something quite different.

    Microsoft produces a DELIBERATELY over-complicated software ecosystem because it is useful as a tool to gain and retain control over developers and customers. The same can be said of systemd’s development.