Open-source predictions for 2022: Snap, Flatpak, CentOS Stream, Linux job demand and more

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Jack Wallen makes his yearly predictions for unfastened source. Will this yet beryllium the twelvemonth of Linux connected the desktop?


Image: Shutterstock/Arthur Palmer

I'm not going to lie, 2021 wasn't a atrocious twelvemonth for Linux. No, it wasn't the "Year of the Linux desktop" similar each anticipation it's going to beryllium each twelvemonth (this clip astir I'm not making that aforesaid mistake), but determination was nary denying the continued dominance of Linux successful the endeavor abstraction and the precise dilatory (and subtle) maturation of Linux connected the desktop. And successful conscionable astir each abstraction (minus the smartphone arena), Linux made immoderate superior gains.

SEE: Linux turns 30: Celebrating the unfastened root operating strategy (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

But what's to travel for 2022? Will it beryllium the twelvemonth of the Linux desktop? Probably not. That doesn't mean, however, the Linux desktop won't spot melodramatic betterment and expansion. Let's driblet the ol' crown of prognostication onto our corporate heads and marque a fewer bold (and not truthful bold) predictions astir wherever open-source is heading successful the coming year.

Massive maturation and acceptance

That's right, I'm starting retired big. But honestly, this isn't specified a acold stretch, particularly fixed however endeavor businesses perfectly beryllium connected open-source technology. At this point, it's beauteous overmuch acceptable successful chromatic that open-source bundle drives business. But I judge we're going to spot successful 2022 that large concern takes open-source exertion to wholly antithetic heights. I'm reasonably assured we're going to spot wholly caller use-cases for open-source bundle that volition thrust monolithic maturation successful industries, allowing them to go adjacent much inventive, much productive and adjacent much agile. 

This volition besides statesman to trickle down from larger endeavor businesses into the smaller markets, specified that businesses that struggled to vie with the larger corporations volition find a spot much of a level playing tract (at slightest with their technology). Part of this volition beryllium driven by low-code/no-code solutions (that beryllium connected open-source technology) allowing companies of each sizes to physique originative bundle to empower their businesses.

A ample institution volition follow Linux arsenic its desktop of prime

You betcha. This is going to happen. It whitethorn not hap successful America, and it whitethorn not marque headlines, but it's going to happen. This has been gathering for immoderate time. And with the Windows 11 hardware requirements, immoderate businesses are going to yet spot the airy that is open-source and Linux. The desktop of prime volition astir apt beryllium Ubuntu, and the rollout volition beryllium truthful creaseless it volition spell astir unnoticed.

This volition hap with a concern that doesn't marque overmuch usage of proprietary desktop bundle and, instead, relies connected web applications and services to function. Once the institution realizes however overmuch much productive and cost-effective Linux tin beryllium connected the desktop, the determination volition beryllium a no-brainer.

A subtle displacement successful the desktop

We're going to spot a subtle displacement successful the Linux desktop. Thanks to the likes of the up-and-coming Maui Shell (convergence notwithstanding), the Linux assemblage volition spot that the modern instrumentality connected the desktop tin beryllium arsenic utile and almighty arsenic the traditional.

But this displacement isn't astir GNOME vs. Cinnamon vs. KDE vs. Pantheon vs. Xfce, it's much astir a displacement successful UX. Up until now, truthful galore Linux desktop developers person been focused connected creating for the Linux community. It is, aft all, a acquainted and welcoming group. I judge 2022 volition spot a displacement successful UX absorption toward caller users. This is the conception of nine that Linux has, for the astir part, ignored for years, and I judge developers volition yet travel to recognize that maturation lone happens erstwhile you tin easy grow via caller users. This volition pb to wide-scale innovation connected the desktop, not to dumb down the interface but to really smarten it. 

This volition pb to immoderate of the astir inventive and usable solutions to ever get connected the Linux desktop.

Wider acceptance of Snap and Flatpak

Snap and Flatpak person been met with overmuch derision implicit the years. Part of the occupation with that is radical don't similar change. But Snap and Flatpak not lone simplify the installation of applications, but they besides marque it imaginable to marque much applications disposable to the desktop. This cannot beryllium stressed enough.

SEE: 40+ unfastened root and Linux presumption you request to know (TechRepublic Premium)

Consider this: On desktop distributions that person either Snap oregon Flatpak enabled retired of the box, it's imaginable (and simple) to instal applications similar Slack, Spotify and Skype. Without Snap oregon Flatpak that process is simply a spot beyond the mean users' reach. Linux needs this, and the assemblage astatine ample volition yet travel to recognize the value of these cosmopolitan packages. In fact, I wouldn't beryllium amazed to spot a caller organisation released that wholly defaults to Snap oregon Flatpak installation from wrong its App Store. Such a organisation mightiness not beryllium arsenic acold distant arsenic you think. It besides mightiness beryllium a existent boon for caller users. Imagine opening the App Store connected a desktop organisation and not being wholly bombarded by old-school, out-of-date applications that person small relevance to today's users. That could beryllium a large triumph for some.

Demand for open-source IT pros

We're already astatine a constituent wherever endeavor businesses are scrambling to capable positions with IT pros who person open-source skills. That's lone going to proceed to inclination upward successful 2022. In fact, I foretell the request for open-source skills volition beryllium astatine the apical of each business' database this year. And this won't conscionable beryllium astir Kubernetes and containers. Businesses volition beryllium looking for wide open-source skills for astir each position. Why? Because they cognize open-source bundle volition yet powerfulness each facet of their company.

So, polish disconnected your resumes and marque definite you've listed open-source adjacent the apical of your skillset.

The cure for supply-chain attacks

As agelong arsenic hackers exist, supply-chain attacks volition not stop. And erstwhile supply-chain attacks happen, the domino effect is wide and bad. I judge this coming twelvemonth the open-source assemblage volition truly measurement up to the sheet to find a cure for these attacks. Although they mightiness not beryllium capable to enactment a implicit extremity to this benignant of attack, we should spot them acquisition dramatically. 

This volition beryllium spearheaded by a radical similar the Linux Foundation, which has a vested involvement successful ensuring open-source bundle is not lone susceptible of driving proviso chains, but making them unafraid and reliable.

A caller open-source societal web volition beryllium launched

This mightiness beryllium wishful reasoning connected my part, but I judge 2022 volition yet spot the motorboat of a caller benignant of societal web tract … 1 that is open-source from apical to bottom. Not lone volition the tract beryllium driven by open-source technology, but its morals volition besides beryllium arsenic transparent arsenic its code. 

This caller open-source societal web mightiness not instantly vie with Facebook, but it volition person an awesome motorboat and springiness Zuckerberg's empire immoderate caller and superior contention to consider.

CentOS Stream volition find a caller assemblage

I'm not gonna lie, I've tested CentOS Stream 9 and recovered it to beryllium not astir arsenic atrocious arsenic galore of america assumed. It's solid, reliable and conscionable arsenic acquainted arsenic CentOS 8 was. I'm not saying that the assemblage astatine ample volition openly follow CentOS Stream 9 arsenic they erstwhile did with the accepted release, but I judge it volition spot sizeable usage for improvement and investigating environments.

Steamdeck volition beryllium Linux tin crippled

And finally, Steamdeck will, erstwhile and for all, beryllium that Linux tin crippled similar the competition. No, Linux volition not usurp Windows arsenic the ruler of desktop gaming, but what 2022 volition yet beryllium to companies that make games is that Linux is simply a viable option. This realization volition pb to adjacent much games being made disposable to Linux (via Steam) to the constituent that Linux tin basal toe-to-toe with Windows successful the gaming space.

And determination you person it, my open-source predictions for 2022. Hopefully, my prognostications volition beryllium spot connected this year, truthful unfastened root and Linux tin bask 1 of its champion 365 days astir the sun.

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