I’ve been using Linux on the desktop (and laptop) since about 2003, and I’ve seen it progress from being something that didn’t work with most of the hardware I had access to (including the modem on my first laptop) to something that works without incident with most of what I use (although wi-fi is the most likely to be a problem, still). When I first used it, font rendering was its biggest drawback; these days, it has the best of any major operating system including Mac OS X (on which text looks dreadful on non-Apple monitors, including mine). Recently, a bug has appeared in Chrome, which will soon become the only show in town as far as general-purpose Linux web browsers are concerned (when Adobe stops supporting Flash on Linux except through Chrome) which makes it unusable on wi-fi: that it just stops loading anything.
This has been an intermittent problem on Linux for several months: use Chrome on Linux over a wi-fi connection and after a while it will refuse to load any page (despite appearing to try and load it for a minute or so), and tell you it cannot find it or that you are offline. Other network apps, like Thunderbird and, significantly, Firefox, will continue to work. It continues to work if you use Chrome in Incognito mode as well. After a few minutes it will mysteriously start working again. This has in the recent past led me to wonder if it was not the wi-fi that was the problem (and to turn it off and back on again); since starting to use a Mac laptop regularly (and since a friend who recently installed Linux on her laptop complained about the same problem), it has become obvious that it isn’t, because other people (and my Android phone and tablet) continue to be able to access the web normally.
I’m not sure if this is a regression which has happened in Chrome recently or has been there for years, but we got our Virgin wi-fi router a few years ago and I know I haven’t always been having this problem, and it’s got markedly worse in the last few months. I attempted to fix it this afternoon by disconnecting it from my Google account, but after this it simply refused to load anything, stalling at “Waiting for cache” (again, incognito mode and all other apps worked fine), and then deleting my entire Chrome config directory (same result). In short, this app isn’t working and is rendering Linux as a networking platform useless. As Firefox will come to the end of its useful life on Linux later this year, and as many Linux users use it on laptops and access the Internet over a wi-fi connection, this bug really needs fixing urgently.
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