It was somewhere in 1999. I attended my first Linux conference at Red Hat headquarters. I was very excited. Not only was I going to have a good time with other Linux users, but I did it under the guise of journalism.
When I arrived at the conference, I saw an army of freelancers, many of them sitting in the hallways with laptops covered in stickers. Most of them sat alone, but some tried to socialize.
I met with suppliers, companies, development teams. I met Miguel de Icaz, the man who created GNOME. I also interviewed Scott Dreker, CEO of Loki Entertainment. If you’ve never heard of Loki Entertainment, their goal was to port Windows games to Linux.
why don’t you play linux
Unfortunately, one of the things Drecker told me at the time was that his concerns for the future of his company were not technical. Porting Windows games to Linux was no problem. His development teams were perfect. pay for the software.
He was right, and this fear eventually forced Loki Entertainment to shut down. And that came with a blow to Linux games. After all, it wasn’t until the advent of Steam that games for Linux began to take off. However, even games on Linux with Steam almost do not take off. According to Gaming On Linux, only 1.27% of users use Steam on Linux.
How is this possible? If we could play on Linux, Linux would dominate the world. And most importantly, we have games for Linux that work very well. And yet, only a small fraction of Linux users use Linux to play games on Steam.
Linux users don’t want to pay for software
I have a theory and the Linux community may not want to hear it.
Here it is: Linux users don’t want to pay for software.
This is logic. After all, the ideal of the Linux community has always been freedom. I would argue that freedom should be based on the freedom of the source code, not the cost of the software.
Continue your activity
Why do you think this topic is important? Because there are many companies trying to do good things with free software. They create fantastic new products and do the right thing by releasing their code under a community-friendly GPL license (or similar license). These same companies often release public versions of their software with limited functionality. They then sell professional, professional or enterprise licenses to ensure the survival of the business.
Unfortunately, people don’t buy these licenses. For what ? And certainly not because the product they create is mediocre. In fact, in some cases these products are far superior to anything on the market.
Yet these companies are in trouble because free software users refuse to open their wallets. Of course, this doesn’t just apply to users of free software. The problem also arises at the corporate level. Why pay for a software license when you can download the source code and use it for free?
What’s wrong with a developer who creates something cool for the Linux desktop making money from it?
Because companies are trying to create meaningful products that matter, and the only way for consumers and B2B partners to stay afloat is to understand the value of keeping these companies in business.
But it’s not just companies trying to sell software. There are also independent developers trying to sell their products on app stores like GNOME Software, KDE Discover, and the Elementary OS AppCenter. The problem is that many Linux users don’t want paid software in their app stores.
But why ? What’s wrong with a developer who creates something cool for the Linux desktop making money from it? Shouldn’t people get paid for their hard work? And won’t more software purchases lead to more and better software?
If there really was a market for paid software for Linux, wouldn’t it make sense that more and more companies would realize the value of releasing their products on the Linux platform?
I know this is all very complicated, but this particular question is not. It’s time for free software users to open their wallets and agree to buy the software. Using the Linux operating system has been and always will be free. So why not be willing to pay for the software you depend on?
Pay for this password manager, pro version of your favorite browser, buy Steam games on Linux. Do your best to support a cause you care about. Not only are you thanking the developer for their hard work, but you are also showing companies that there really is a market for Linux software.