Does Adobe Hate Linux?

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. (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.

Jacob Roecker on Linkedin
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

10 thoughts on “Does Adobe Hate Linux?”

  1. 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.

  2. 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 they are already using perfectly, especially when only a part of his workflow can be done under Linux.

    And finally, forget about market share. GNU/Linux is meant to be useful and efficient, not to sell copies like commercial OS’s, and so far it does. Except when companies like Canonical strive to make the most profit possible with it, and deliver shit like Ubuntu or Ubuntu Phone.

    • 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 desire for having her favorite Adobe apps on something that didn’t embrace planned obsolescence (Apple). She’s used Linux in the past, likes it and feels quite at home with the right desktop environment and theme. GIMP simply lacks the learned user flow she wants. That and some advanced features some people enjoy. Again, myself, I only know GIMP and Krita, so I can relate to being die-hard with an application flow.

      Agree on that I too, have no real interest in market share – like it or don’t with regard to using Linux. As for Ubuntu being “shit”, that’s a deeply personal choice that I simply don’t find hits home for me personally. I dislike Unity, enjoy the base of the distro with better desktops. I also use other distros (non-Ubuntu based) as well.

  3. 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. may have 1 course about GIMP but I can assure u that the global community of Linux helpers about GIMP surpases by far all the commercial sites on photoshop.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. Adobe had made massive investments in absorbing or breaking compitition (Quark Xpress, Macromedia)

    What’s needed are creative types like ourselves bringing in our own devices to work and only using Libre Office, Gimp, Inkscape etc whenever possible and doing better work than those throwing $30+ a month at Adobe.

    Better yet, donate to these projects and kick Adobe to the curb.

  6. 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 for Adobe to come to Linux? Give it up, its not going to happen unless a developer of a distribution pays for the licensing, which in turn will require that the developer recoup his money. You DO know how that’s going to happen right? Eventually the developer will have to “charge” some kind of fee or price for his distribution to remain viable in today’s open source world of “free”. Why on Earth would you PAY for FOSS?…(F-ree and O-pen S-ource S-oftware!….emphasis on FREE!) Those who need Adobe?….well they’re free to install Windows and pay the licensing fees and use it to their hearts content. But there will never come a time when Linux users, both new and veterans will cry out to have this installed on their machines. For the creative types who “need” Photoshop or any of the other applications Adobe produces, just go the Windows route and leave us Linux-ers out of it. We have been through so much using this operating system, and have witnessed all manner of tragedies (The death of Ian Murdock)…bitter separations (Debian and Devuan)….and all other types of chaos. To bring Adobe in the arena, with its licensing schemes, and price list, would do nothing for Linux. And in the end THAT’s what it really is all about, not one individual, but a “COMMUNITY” which thrives on being self sufficient with EVERYTHING they need…and doing for itself and others without looking for compensation. Some application not feature-filled enough for you?….reach out to the developers, plead your case, show them what you think is lacking… might be surprised to find that your suggestions have been added to the next release. Finding bugs in a certain OS or program?….submit them to the bug reporting application, and contribute “give back” to the people who are steadily cranking out code so that YOU can enjoy a Microsoft Free experience with your PC. Things like that don’t happen when you involve companies that are out to make a profit. You submit something to Adobe regarding their software?…their reply will be “Tough…..this is how we make it and if you want it you’ll use it that way”. Try getting them to offer a different font in some of their workspaces, or tell them you’d like to see feature “XYZ” in the next release, you’ll get the same response as before. Nahh…..leave Adobe right where they are, and let us Linux users continue on in peace!

    ‘Nuff Said

  7. 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 or Mac OS emulator (or non emulator) approach to solve this matter.

  8. 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 begathons they have for donations), but they are willing to pay for software from companies who turned their backs on them….i find this fascinating…but not in a good way.

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