Does Adobe Hate Linux?

As the press prepares to cover the release of Ubuntu 17.04, it should be clear in the tech industry just how big of a player Ubuntu is to the ecosystem. While a good bit of reviews will focus on what’s new in the release and what’s headed down the pipeline, I’d like to comment on what’s still missing and better yet, what can be done about it.

What’s missing is a graphics suite and there’s really no excuse for not having one. Yes, we have graphics applications, but there are advantages to having a suite, not just a one-off application that can do something in 12 steps when its competitor can do it in three. The industry leader in this market is Adobe, whose Creative Cloud suite is leaps and bounds away from its competitors in terms of market share.

Of all companies, Canonical should understand why market share matters. Market share translates to a community conversation that reduces the burden of support from the vendor. Need to learn how to do something on Ubuntu and with a quick Google search there are hundreds of helpful responses to the same question from the community. Want to know how to change someone’s eye color on a photo and your search will return with YouTube videos explaining just that.

Lynda.com (an online courseware website) has precisely 1 series on Gimp, but 23,932 on Photoshop. These numbers are a good indicator of market demand for a product. The real problem here isn’t recognizing demand; it’s charting a course to satisfy that demand.

From what I can see, Adobe’s not going to be bullied into porting their software. If bullying and requests worked then the numerous forum requests for Photoshop on Linux would have made their mark years ago. They haven’t been the catalyst people had hoped for, but we do have a potential catalyst in the community, Mark Shuttleworth.

Canonical’s recent past provides a template that can lead us to a solution. While exploring the mobile side of Linux, Canonical has developed SNAPs. They’ve also learned as an organization to work with outside partners. I can run Ubuntu inside of Windows! That would have been a blasphemous statement ten years ago and now it’s very much a reality. It happened because Canonical is uniquely positioned and willing to partner in the market.

Another aspect that gives Canonical a unique advantage is the ability of the ecosystem to adopt its choices. While more innovation may occur on bleeding edge distros, more adoption occurs through decisions at Canonical. Ubuntu is the base for not only its flavors, but a lot of derivatives. Where it goes a large part of the market goes. If Adobe wanted to move into Linux, Ubuntu would be a key part of that strategy.

Mark Shuttleworth took the bold idea of convergence and went and built the most popular indiegogo campaign of 2014. The campaign didn’t reach its goal, but it didn’t fail to garner the attention that moved the tech community forward. I think it’s time for Mark to try another round on indiegogo, and this time being the attention back on the desktop. Run a campaign for funding to buy the first license for Photoshop on Ubuntu. Call Adobe and ask for the price tag and let us help you pay for it. Once they’ve got one customer, they’ll be able to have more. It’ll shift the burden of production costs from Adobe to the market and prove at the same time that there’s market demand to justify that shift. This campaign needs a face, and there’s no one better than Mark.

Mark, Ask for the full Creative Cloud Suite, but get started with Photoshop and let the momentum build from there. Start soon and you can have the campaign coincide with Photoshop being delivered in time for 18.04, the next long term release.

When I first used Ubuntu it had the motto of Linux for human beings. It was a great tag line to tell the world how your software choices were going to match the needs of the market. I’d like to see that tagline return and have the needs of market extend beyond the nerds who know and understand why ZFS is significant. I’d like to see the tagline apply to folks who truly want to get things done and need a suite that will elegantly allow us to do just that. If I get more choices when I run open source software why can’t I get to choose to run the best software for my work flow?

Mark, give Adobe a call and I’ll gladly give from my wallet to help make it a reality.

More great Linux goodness!

Jacob Roecker
Jacob Roecker is an addictive hobbyist and Linux user, father of four, veteran, college student who self published three books and dabbles with media production, management, photography, videography, and long distance running.  Jacob's love for Linux comes from its versatility as a tinkering operating system.  Jacob has often found the only elegant solutions to some of his tinkering problems have come from the community behind the penguin.  

Jacob's practical about what he uses and when.  He often composes on his MacBook Pro because if he was using his Linux desktop machine full time he'd probably never get any work done because he'd be trying out one of the many cool new projects someone just published and shared with the community.  Sometimes it's good to use an OS that doesn't have as much freedom. LinkedIn

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21 Comments on "Does Adobe Hate Linux?"

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mitcoes
Member

Add Blizzard, and EA (Origin) in the games sector and Autodesk in CAD – CAM.

I am sure they will make money having a Linux version

And it is always a security backup plan for customers in case of some big problem with MS WOS (it happens) to be able to use it with the GNU/Linux version.

But may be some other company (MS) that has deeper pockets, make them not to be available on Linux with some deals we not know about.

rredesigns
Member
This makes absolutely no sense. First of all, Linux doesn’t need Adobe, or any other company, we are just fine as we are now, and more people would only mean more trouble. Second of all, why on earth would any Photoshop user switch to Linux, when he already has it all working and set up in his Windows OS? And I don’t know anyone who uses just Adobe products, usually they are used next to other commercial packages from other companies. Again, makes no sense, nobody will do all there’s to do for a GNU/Linux install just to use something… Read more »
Matt Hartley
Member
I disagree with it not making sense as I hear from people everyday who would switch today, if certain legacy apps were available. Been converting people for about 10 years, user of all things Linux for more. I do agree however that for people like me who have used GIMP since the dawn of time, switching would not be a thing that provides value. So I think it depends on the end user in question. My two cents. On this, again, see above. My lifetime Mac using wife hates Windows. So it’s a nonstarter for her. But she has expressed… Read more »
Michael Tunnell
Member
> “First of all, Linux doesn’t need Adobe, or any other company, we are just fine as we are now” Yes it does because these tools are above and beyond better than the alternatives so the professionals of those industries will always use those tools. I am one of them. We aren’t fine because most people won’t compensate like I do. > “and more people would only mean more trouble” What? lol > “Second of all, why on earth would any Photoshop user switch to Linux, when he already has it all working and set up in his Windows OS?”… Read more »
Roberto Fortuni
Member
I disagree about the so-called “suite” need; Linux users by far are the do-it-yourself style of people, means that most of us take whatever app/service there is in order to get our work done (requierements are stability, resource-not-hungry-nor-specific, documentation and more or less opensource code to ensure security/bugs improvement); maybe u refer to “typical” Ubuntu user, who comes from windows or mac and feel the need of having suites of apps, because in those closed platforms theres and obvious tradition to trap de users in monopolic suites of closed source software. Lynda.com may have 1 course about GIMP but I… Read more »
Alexander Jansen
Member

I can agree that Adobe’s suite might make some sense in Ubuntu, with their “Linux for human beings” slogan, but it doesn’t make sense in terms of GNU or even UNIX philosophy. To fit with GNU it has to be FOSS software. From Adobe that’s basically not going to happen. But the UNIX philosophy says that a program should do one thing and do it well, and then having a whole suite of big heavy apps with many functions doesn’t make sense.

Joseph Dickson
Member
I know four creative people beside myself. Three would be indifferent of switching from Mac to Ubuntu LTS as long as everything worked better than it does on their aging iMacs and sadly this would include the expectation of Microsoft Office working flawlessly as well. The fourth is like myself and loves to tinker with software. The biggest issue in the creative sector is that print service vendors expect Adobe Creative Cloud files and have built their entire relationship with customers around that ecosystem. It’s not just the creatives that would need to embrace alternatives but the entire production chain.… Read more »
Eddie O'Connor
Member
Yeah….no. Linux users don’t need Adobe Photoshop or any of their other products, period. There’s no high demand for it, there’s no massive grass-roots following that is clamoring for it to be ported to Linux. Listen, the entire premise behind Linux is “Do It Yourself” that’s how we ended up with the largest collection of distributions of the same kernel. That’s how we ended up with an office suite that makes Microsoft jealous. That’s how we ended up with more than just ONE of ANYTHING, from media player, to PDF viewer….to office suites….to just about anything. Those who are wishing/hoping… Read more »
Michael Tunnell
Member

Some Linux users do need it and want it . . . which is why there are over 9,000 entries from +Photoshop +Linux on Adobe.com search results. https://www.google.com/search?q=photoshop%20linux&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:unofficial&client=firefox-nightly&channel=sb#channel=sb&q=photoshop+linux+site:adobe.com&*

> “That’s how we ended up with an office suite that makes Microsoft jealous.”

Which one would that be? The one that is considered inferior by the market or the other one that is considered inferior by the market?

Eddie O'Connor
Member
As I said in my post. Let those who NEED it?…run Windows. There’s no “need” for it from most of the Linux using community, because most of the Linux using community doesn’t do graphics work. But instead do programming, development, sysadmin duties etc. Granted there are quite a few users of Linux who do graphic and audio/video work. But they’re the first ones to tell you that they don’t do much of it in the Linux-sphere, but in either Windows or Mac…..know why?…because the programs created for those platforms…are more fully-equipped and feature rich. But to try and get a… Read more »
mitcoes
Member
GNU / Linux is not only FOSS, as you can use FOSS on MS OS or Mac OS, you can use proprietary software, as games in GNU/Linux. Some people do not migrate because they are used to some software that it is not available on GNU/Linux, and they do not want to adapt to other software. And this software is basically Adobe, Autodesk, games, and only a few times MSO (Libre Office is better in my opinion, and people use to like it more once they discover it) So this article matters, even if it is to make some wine… Read more »
Michael Tunnell
Member

I agree that this topic matters though I don’t agree that this is a way to get it done. If we could get pledges from designers, filmmakers, etc to express whether they would use Linux with Adobe if Adobe were to make this then they could see what the demand is. There are many people I know who WANT to use Linux but force themselves not to because of needing some kind of application.

Jace Brodsky
Member
why are those in the linux community willing to spend money for proprietary software instead of developing their own? adobe turned their backs on the linux community in 2012. ballmer once called linux a cancer…yet the linux community makes love to these proprietary corporations like a woman who keeps taking back her abusive boyfriend. instead of spending their energies in innovation, they’d rather spend their money in giving away the farm to their enemies. idk. if you guys want to give away money that the open source community doesn’t seem to have for development of their own software (thus the… Read more »
Jace Brodsky
Member

making love to companies that would just assume hang linux out to dry…..i don’t get it.

cheryl
Member
I’d rather see more push put behind graphics programs made for Linux, to find where they fall short of Adobe stuff and fix it and improve on it. No reason GIMP and Krita and Scribus can’t be better than Adobe stuff with some love and man/woman-hours. I figure it’s like the old ideas of “Macs are for graphics, windows is for business” – the Linux people tend to be programmers rather than graphic designers, so graphics have taken a back seat, but there’s no reason it has to be that way, it just needs people to put energy into it.… Read more »
Roberto Fortuni
Member
I dont know about you but the main reason a LOT of “graphic designers/artists” (quoted because a LOT of them only do basic/moderate retouching, scaling, color correction in a repetetive-script way) dont use other program than adobe’s is because simply they DONT WANT TO LEARN some other app (gui, operations, etc).And this is due to the fact that they dont know anything about the theory of the area in which they work; that kind of problem you describe with “formatting” in most cases is related to understanding and therefore usinf the right options and the right plugins to export/manipulate the… Read more »
Dan Oom
Member

What makes you think Adobe should hate Linux or even Ubuntu?

They have made free versions of their Acrobat Reader and Flash player for Linux. They ported the FrameMaker DTP application to Linux.

Adobe would love Linux if it could make some money from it.

konaya
Member

So … you want to have a crowdfunding campaign to give money to a company in order to entice them to make software they will then proceed to sell to the very people who donated? What exactly have you been smoking?

I’m all for crowdfunding – but give that money to Krita or GIMP or Inkscape, don’t chuck it into a black hole!

Michael Tunnell
Member
I am a long time Photoshop user and I switched to Linux years ago. I am able to be a user of both by utilizing a Windows Virtual Machine. This VM approach is not the best option and in fact It’s kind of irritating but overall it works fine for what I need. (I’ve not tried Premiere or After Effects in the VM but I don’t think that would work too well. Everything else works fine.) I wanted to provide the above information to express that even though I am a prime candidate that would pay for Adobe products to… Read more »
Gizmo Chicken
Member
Although Adobe hasn’t yet released a full version of Photoshop for Android, in view of Adobe’s commitment to optimize their Android apps for Chromebooks [1], I’d be surprised if Adobe doesn’t release full Photoshop for Android (on Chromebooks) in the not-too-distant future. So really, rather than attempting to convince Mark Shuttleworth to in some way lobby Adobe to port Photoshop to Linux, we should, instead, lobby Mark Shuttleworth and Google to work together to port Google’s Arc++ [2] to run on Ubuntu. Google’s Arc++ is what allows Android apps to run on Chromebooks with native performance. All of the important… Read more »
Duarte Mendonca
Member

Subscription software? No thanks! Never!. Adobe can go the way of Quark of all I care. They have leveraged their market dominance to fleece their customers more than ever. A great opportunity for a new player in the market..

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