Linux 2013: Year in Review

by Ostatic Staff - Dec. 31, 2013

2013 was a most interesting year in Linux all around. Most folks will cite the advancements in the gaming arena and in embedded and mobile devices. But 2013 was a great year in Linux distributions. The desktops and associated wars calmed down, some tricky technology got wrestled into submission, and stability seemed to be everyone's watchword. Lots of folks are reminiscing about the year, so let's take a look.

Swapnil Bhartiya posted a review of the year from "a Linux user's point of view" saying, "2013 was one of the most dramatic years of my life-time. As a Gnu/Linux user (where privacy and control of data is prime objective) this year was quite promising as Gnu/Linux rose as the dominant player in the consumer space." See his article for a review of the most important stories of 2013, which include SteamOS, "Canonical in flux," and the "Rise of openSUSE."

Earlier this month OMG!Ubuntu! posted their Best Linux Application of 2013 and The Best Linux Games of 2013. Their lists aren't just your ordinary Firefox, LibreOffice, or top commercial games lists, no. Their favorite apps of 2013 include names such as Geary, Springseed, Lightworks, and VoD Enablement App. Some of their favorite games of the year are Half-Life 2, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, and Metro: Last Light.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols posted an article yesterday proclaiming this year's holidays as "A Linux Christmas." He was speaking primarily of mobile devices and tablets, but a Linux Christmas is a Linux Christmas. See his full post for more.

The Var Guy claims nothing much happened in Desktop Linux in 2013 instead focusing on the cloud and gaming. He predicts this to be the start of a trend and that Desktop Linux will continue to fade from consciousness in favor of cloud and Android-based devices. He concludes, "The days when cool new things will keep happening on our Linux PCs may be gone." See his full post to see if you agree. today published their Top 10 list of Open Source stories for 2013. Among those that made the cut are an interview with Google's Chris DiBona, A year of Linux desktop at Westcliff High School, and Open source project management on the rise. See the full post for more.

Jack Wallen took a different tack and highlighted his top 10 disappointments in Open Source in 2013. His list includes things like the "Rift between Canonical and open source" saying, "It seems like much of the open source community (especially the hard core users) abhor what Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical have done." Another is the Hand of Thief trojan/virus, which is just the beginning says Wallen. The loss of Groklaw and GNOME 3 are also mentioned. See his full post for more. looked back today at their top stories of 2013. Among the top hitters were The Wayland Situation, SteamOS vs. Windows 8.1 NVIDIA Performance, Btrfs vs. EXT4 vs. XFS vs. F2FS On Linux 3.10, and 15-Way Open vs. Closed Source NVIDIA/AMD Linux GPU Comparison. See Larabel's full list for more.

Last up is this list of terminal/commandline apps from K.Mandla. One of his little sites highlights lightweight, mostly commandline, applications and this year had over 500 to choose from for his list of "award winners." Be sure to check that out too.

As a bonus, here's an article from Sean Michael Kerner at titled Linux Makes Open Source a Software Industry Force. It begins, "One of the great technology industry success stories that has emerged during eWEEK's existence is the rise of the open-source Linux operating system." See that full article here.