Why desktop Linux is its own worst enemy

July 5, 2008

Why desktop Linux is its own worst enemy With Microsoft getting so much flak over Vista’s issues, you’d think Linux would be getting some headway in the consumer desktop arena. Unfortunately, the only really benefiting from Vista’s bad PR is likely Apple.

Why hasn’t Linux made enough of a significant mark on desktops? It can be downloaded gratis, has far less security issues and has the zealous following of users willing to share code, discuss it and offer free tech advice on forums. Fact remains that Linux, at least on the desktop, is plagued by issues that make Apple the more popular choice.

1. Not working out of the box

Even Ubuntu can’t claim that for all machines. Linux might install and work on a few machines but there is no guarantee that it’ll work on every box without significant tweaks.

Even getting MP3s to play while using Linux can be problematic. As in, you’ll have to download and install the codec yourself wihile in Windows, MP3 playback is already available and good to go.

Perhaps it’s not the fault of Linux as much as it is the pervasiveness of Windows. Microsoft, after all, works with various hardware manufacturers to ensure their hardware works with Windows. And you still have driver problems crop up on occasion so what else can you expect with Linux.

The average consumer just wants to be able to pop a CD into his optical drive, wait 10-15mins and have a working operating system. Though desktop Linux can now nearly duplicate the Windows desktop experience, getting there is painful.

Of course, Apple took the easy way out and made the hardware to go with its OS. That way, it knows the software will work. And it does, beautifully , without a hitch.

2. Too many  distributions

CNet’s Matt Asay has a point – do we really need so many Linux distributions? What is it with the collective egos of Linux coders that if one distribution doesn’t suit them that they have to go and make a new one, when they have input on improving an existing distro?

Instead of rallying behind a single distro and making it the OS to beat, Linux grokkers tweak and promote their own Linux ‘flavours’.

3. Archaic documentation

Technical documentation’s always been a sore point for most consumer items but Linux documentation takes the cake. Ubuntu does a pretty decent job making the documentation accessible to the layman, but everyone else? Well.

On the documentation front, Apple also shines. The shiny brochures and step-by-step routines make directions on using OS X palatable and simple. No knowledge of command-line keywords required

In essence, until Linux becomes dummy-proof, it’s not going to win over consumers. Make it easy, make it accessible – until Linux programmers get that, it’s more likely that Apple will perhaps double its user base in the years to come at the expense of both Windows and Linux. It’s not about the best OS winning – it’s about the OS with the best user experience and Linux still isn’t there yet.

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36 Responses to “Why desktop Linux is its own worst enemy”

  1. Olympic Softworks - Dave:

    Love the trolling Mr.Mahyuni, but you really need to do a little more homework first. I will make this quick, I am only here because google pinned your site to my email and there is nothing really here. But let me liven things up for you.

    1) The average consumer wants to pop in a disk and in 10-15 minutes have a working OS? Are you insane?

    The average consumer does not want to, or even want to know how to, install an OS. An install of one of the C.D. based GNU/Linux distros is close, about 30 min for a good machine, but there will be updates that will take longer.

    Have you tried to install XP onto a machine lately? If you don’t have the right drivers, your dead in the water…even with them you’ll have a hours of playing with the update site.

    Regarding MP3 and such, I agree in a sense. More education is needed as to why this functionality is not present by default. But it is easily available on the more up-to-date distros. Ubuntu for instance will download them for you when you try to play something it needs codecs for.

    2) Too many distributions? I love this tack from trolls, allow me to present a similarly distressing issue.

    Do you think that people get confused easily when they are looking to buy a car? Honda, Chevy, Toyota, Dodge, Mitsubishi, etc. There hundreds of car types made by lots and lots of automakers.

    Yes, now that I think of it I am sure that there are too many auto manufacturers. They should all just come together and make one type of car, and in just one color too. We can always buy different seat covers after all right?

    3) Archaic Documentation. Actually, you almost have a point here but you screw it up by using Apple as your example.

    Apple sells computers you see, not just software. You cannot just go out and install OSX on any old hardware like you can with GNU/Linux or Windows. So the shiny brochure and manual come in the box with the shiny computer that already has OSX installed.

  2. FreeBooteR:

    1) Gnu/Linux is not windows. Here be dragons so prepare to explore and learn new things

    2) Variety is a good thing and encourages change and innovation, not to mention choice.

    3) I’ve been windows free almost a year and a half now and don’t miss it.

  3. Paul:

    First lets compare Apples to Apples, so to speak.

    If you buy OSX you essentially are buying a computer that has been designed and built to run OSX.

    If you buy a Dell with Ubuntu preinstalled, the Ubuntu has been tested and tweaked to run on that machine.

    Both will run great out of the box. However if you try to manually install each OS on random hardware things get more difficult.

    Trying to install Ubuntu on a random set of hardware will work on about 90% of the available hardware.

    Trying to install a cracked version of OSX on a random set of hardware will work on maybe 30% of the available hardware.

    Apple has the convenience of focusing on a very small subset of hardware. Of course the the experience is extremely smooth. Personally I think Apple does a wonderful job. They do a very good job of picking stable hardware that works well together. They also write wonderful software.

    However its, actually amazing how well the new linux distros run on all the random hardware platforms available today.

    If you really want to compare linux to OSX try a preinstalled machine. Test a Lenovo T61 running SuSe or a Dell XPS M1330 running Ubuntu.

    Second how can a company like canonical be responsible for documenting the process to toggle bluetooth on every model of laptop made by, Lenovo, HP, Dell, Asus, Acer …

    Lets not forget the system manufactures are responsible to delivering the full package to consumers. There is no reason that Dell, HP or Lenovo, can’t deliver a rock solid Linux Laptop with wonderful out of the box documentation.

  4. Markus Göbel's Tech News Comments:

    My eeePC just works great out of the box. I don’t care which Linux it is. Who needs the high prices for Apple or Windows?

  5. Jorge:

    I have to agree – why not focusing the efforts on one Linux distro? We’re more powerful united.

    If the above is accomplished, the documentation issue can be alleviated and solved by the community. I understand that there are many hardware configurations out there and for a company (Cannonical) to document every instances of these configurations is impossible, but if the community focus on documenting for ONE distribution, there is one less and huge variable out of the equation. For example, currently I’d have to research installing my video card for my xyz pc and hope that the instructions are compatible with my distro. That wishful thinking wouldn’t be necessary if we had one.

    Just saying… :)

  6. JohnMc:

    The biggest piece you miss is that in 99.9% of the cases, Windows regardless of flavor came preinstalled from the OEM. As to your complaint about MP3 drivers. The reason that most codecs are not on the systems is because there are legal restrictions on doing so. The distribution avoids possible litigation by permitting the user to install the package but NOT preinstalling it.

    Too many distributions. DOS, Win1.1, Win3.1, WFWG, Bob, Me, WinSvr 3.1, WinSvr3.5.1, Win2000, WinNT4, WinXP, Win95, Win95B…. Need I go on? What you miss is that even with all the distro’s the core to most is some variant of Linux Kernel. The chance is I can use the same command line actions across all of them. Can’t say that about Windows.

    Archaic Documentation. Uhhh, well considering that a piece of documentation written in 1982 for Unix SysV is valid for Linux kernel 2.6.24 today, I would not consider archaic. Fact everything in the Man and Info pages works as advertised. The FHS 2.0 documentation works as advertised. If there is any complaint it is that the newest stuff is not well documented. But archaic is a cheap shot.

    I would offer that your real complaint is that you want less transparency at the OS level, not more. You can have it too. Go download a version of Kubuntu. Probably Fiesty 7.04 is best. Load it on your box. Then just learn Open Office, Gimp and Dia. You will be just as blissfully unaware as most Windows users.

    Have at it.

  7. Ken:

    I like how everyone thinks having the most drool cup, lowest common denominator OS is some kind of prize. You can keep your OSes for morons, and the people that go with it. The internet was much better before AOL.

    Linux works fine for anyone with a brain that isn’t afraid of learning something new. If you can’t be bothered to stretch a bit, live with getting hardware and software decisions locked down and being made for you. Think different like every other lemming.

  8. Austin:

    “Instead of rallying behind a single distro and making it the OS to beat”

    With this single statement, the credibility of the article is shot to pieces.

    You need to go and find out what terms like “upstream” mean. Perhaps you should also have a look at gnu.org.

    GNU/Linux does not make progress in a corporate development environment.

  9. Shannon:

    The biggest problems Linux has in getting on the desktop are, in no particular order:

    1. Linux, and most of the linux community, DON’T CARE if anyone else uses Linux, desktop or otherwise. Linux is there if you want it. If not, use something else. This attitude is a big part of the reason it’s not “taking the desktop”. Linux doesn’t need to “take the desktop”. Linux only needs to be the best operating system it can be for it’s users, and that is what it is.

    2. *buntu. *buntu may be a great distro for some things, but it’s not the best foot to put forward to people who have never seen, heard of or used Linux before. By far. Yet somehow, *buntu is taking the linux world by storm, and preventing Linux from advancing in some ways even as it has Dell and others trying to do exactly that with it – put it on the desktop. I have said it before and I will say it again, *buntu is not the best choice for new Linux users. The best funded, perhaps… the most popular… the most discussed… but not the best choice for new users!

    3. Too many distributions creates confusion. The biggest strength Linux has is it’s freedom, and a direct result of this freedom is the very diversity that has kept it from becoming a serious contender for the desktop. And this factor will never go away, because the very diversity that confuses and diffuses, also infuses Linux with the very diversity that keeps it alive. The freedom to create your own idea of the perfect distro (desktop, server, portable, whatever) is the lifeblood of Linux.

    4. Good enough is good enough. Many people have no reason to use Linux because what they have and use and know “is good enough”. Even if it is crap from our point of view.

    5. Different is scary. The same reason a lot of people stay in awful and miserable relationships, whether it be with their spouse or their Microsoft Mommy.

    6. Geeks are just as clueless as Typical End Users. Yes, for the vast majority of geeks, there is no understanding the audience who we need to court in order to get a strong desktop presence. Typical End Users don’t care how whiz-bang the kernel is, don’t want to know how to install an OS, don’t know what the hell an OS is! They think Internet Explorer (or AOL) IS the “Interweb”, and they think Windows IS the computer. Expounding on all the “reasons” why Linux is superior don’t mean jack to them. Will it play their games, movies, songs, software, and videos? And why would they even bother worrying about it when “Microsoft XP” camme with their computer and, to their mind, works (no matter how much it is broken) as intended…

  10. Reality Minus U:

    Let’s see,

    What I assume you are saying is “Windows sucks but you all have to use it.” After reading the reply list, it sounds like most people support or use Linux.

    I personally use Linux. I used Windows until I lost a bit of work related data due to a crash. Now I use Linux on everything, work, home and play. So, essentially Windows lead me to Linux. Now your saying as well Linux is not ready for the desktop, I call bull! How many people really use Linux today? Do you have numbers or stats? I can assure you that the Linux community is knocking down the walls of ignorant Windows propaganda….and with out walls who needs Windows?

    The future is opensource software. Companies all over the world are adopting Linux open source software, even Windows climbed into bed with their Novell deal! Linux runs everyday operations all over the world. Whole countries are making the switch from windows to Linux along with Wireless/cellular phone companies, hotels, airlines, small businesses, servers, small mobile computers etc. Business first then the home, you’ll see post this add in a year.

    Linux is not impossible to use, it’s not even difficult to install or use. That was the 1997 days. Face facts, Windows is dying, it is nothing more than a collection of buggy device drivers that are now digital fertilizer! This article reminds me of Baghdad Bob when he spouted that the Americans are miles away and you could see our tanks rolling right behind him! BWAAHAHAHAH!

  11. Roger:

    I want just a few distributions, but the rest of arguments is all bullocks.

    Ubuntu Linux (to put an example) is easier than windows, taking as an example a user which has never used a computer.

    Of course there are some problems, and some things are complicated to make it work, some programs are not avalaible or as good as for windows, but overall works better for a lot of people.

    I could enumerate 10 big reasons why I find easier Linux than Windows, and I am not talking about the free, open things talk. I am talking about virus, tidness, performance, usability, integration, out-of-the-box and being legal experience.

  12. Phill:

    Erm, grammar? “far less security issues”? I think you’ll find it should be fewer issues.

  13. Daeng Bo:

    Linux-bashers have been trotting out the “too many distros” line for as long as I’ve been using it, and trust me, there were fewer distros eleven years ago than there are now. Still, If people had followed that advice, we wouldn’t have the most popular distro today, Ubuntu. Freedesktop.org wouldn’t exist. We would be using the clumsy XFree86 instead of X.org. The ability to fork and prosper, limp on, or die is what has created the great diversity of software in the Free world.

    While we’re at it, why don’t we just mow down all the forests and plant rows of pine in their place? Who wants all that wildlife?

  14. Nxtgen:

    I love Windows Vista it led me to Linux (Ubuntu is my current flavor). “There are to many Distros.” That is a trap set for you Windows and Mac users by the media. They only want to subject you to thier product and of course it makes good business sense. Why would you owning a software company encourage people to use other versions of software when you make something that does the exact same thing? It would be ludicrous to sugest that one of these companys should encourage thier long time customers to use something else to see if it might fit thier needs better. Major distros of Linux on the other hand have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If someone comes up with something better and comes up with a Distro of thier own … Ubuntu looks at thier source (Heck yes !! it’s Open WOO HOO!!) and they like what they see and improve thier product then everyone benifits. Try submitting some source to M$ and see how far that goes. Summing up … Open Source is freedom variety is the spice of life and most importantly to all of us who use Windows and Mac or any other OS (yes I still use Windows somethimes) You have a voice use it. Only by quality software and tell your chosen companies what you think when they do something you don’t like. They will follow the Buck if there is no money in Vista, M$ won’t pursue it. We know this is true so lets make a difference if you choose Windows choose wisely. Don’t accept the offering if it is inferior. You don’t have to. If you ordered Prime Rib at a restaraunt would you settle for a hamberger? Think about it. We all used XP and then they gave us Vista … I never thought about Linux as an alternative until that day and now I use it all the time. Let Microsoft and Apple know how you feel and see what happens. Then if you have the guts try a Distro of Linux if you dont like it post your issues and see if you get some help. I garantee you will use it maybe not all the time maybe not as your main OS but you will get hooked and if nothing else you learned something. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Go on don’t be scarred.

  15. Mustafa:

    Buddy… needless to say anymore just read the given comments and learn to explore beyond your limited imagination.

  16. Dan:

    “The average consumer just wants to be able to pop a CD into his optical drive, wait 10-15mins and have a working operating system.”

    Yeah, right! This guy hasn’t installed XP yet.

  17. curmudgeon:

    1. Not working out of the box
    Some distros do better than others in this department. I’ve installed Ubuntu on just about every platform you can think of. It works better on most platform than Windows – no, it’s the truth…ha ha ha ha.

    2. Too many distributions
    Yes. GNU/Linux is not one size fits all. It is designed to fit your needs – you just kind of need to work at it, and not follow Steve Balmer or Steve Jobs’ dictations. Besides, you want your software to work on as many hardware platforms, you can’t just use one OS that does everything – there is no such thing. OS X only works on Apple’s hardware – really. You can try to force install it on a non-Apple architecture, but then it won’t work out of the box. You can not run Windows on a PowerPC and need to check if a 64 bit edition of a Windows software exists before going for a 64 bit edition. Now that’s a real bummer.
    GNU/Linux exists because far too many people get stuck in situations where they have grown beyond a company’s limitations in offering solutions for them.

    3. Archaic documentation
    You obviously haven’t checked out Ubuntu’s video documentation – theirs are much better than anything Apple or Microsoft would put out, and they get updated a lot faster as it is community driven. ubuntuforums.org is also the most dynamic forum for any OS I’ve played with. I have to choose from 10 different “windows forums” and get misled half the time. Reading your blog, I’m going to take a wild guess you have never played with gentoo. I love this distro because you can REALLY get the most of your machine, if you know exactly what you want out of it. Well, in Gentoo, there is a reason for this ‘archaic’ documentation. You need to match what you have in your head, with very basic “printed” instructions. To be a good engineer, you kinda need to ‘RTFM’. Archaic documentation also exist because you may need to go back on a previous kernel’s documentation to ‘extrapolate’ solutions.

    yeah, so, is GNU/linux ready for the masses? the real question is, should a person really USE GNU/Linux? It’s not about which is the best OS. It always has been, “if we’re going to do this, what OS/machine combo should we use?”

  18. markus:

    As always there are trolls attacking you for speaking the truth.

    The real culprit is that Linux follows the FHS and the FHS is the biggest idiotic idea ever generated.

    It is not a standard.

    It is a CONVENTION which was declared a STANDARD after people WERE USING IT.

    It tried to unify diversifications. And it almost single-handedly destroyed AppDirs on Linux.

    AppDirs on Linux would solve 95% of the problems. Guess why Apple is so successful? Their infrastructre works.

  19. andre:

    You forgot the eeePC and its clones and lowering hardware prices. Hardware manufacturers use Linux strategically to get lower OS prices from Microsoft. And for most consumers Linux is good enough. Installation via aptitude is far easier than windows installations.

    I am typing this here on a Vista laptop and using Konqueror4/Win.

    Microsoft faces the domino effect now and this will ultimately force them to open up quickly or lose market share.

  20. gerardo:

    “The average consumer just wants to be able to pop a CD into his optical drive, wait 10-15mins and have a working operating system.”

    I’m still laughing at it, it’s so unfounded..

    Let me put you on context:

    Installing XP took like 15 minutes(it depends on the machine being installed), then, you just have a insecure, featureless OS, the only tools you have is the creepy IE5, Solitary and stuffs like that. Then you must install the security updates/Service packs, it’s like 10 or 15 additional minutes. Then, you must install your favorite antivirus system, more wasted time.
    In this moment, you’re ready to work…Well, sort of,you don’t have Office!!, go find the MS Office CD and install it, it’s like 10-15 additional minutes.

    Using something like Ubuntu or Debian, the whole process takes like 20 minutes, it will install OpenOffice, Firefox, Evolution, and a lot of useful tools by default,then you may need to do an update, then you’re done, so, you see the big picture now?

    The rest of the article looks just like cheap trolling..

  21. JGEProgrammer:

    Now lets all be fair to Erna, inorder to recieve a free fully Microsoft loaded computer, she had to write an article, which bashed Linux. I sure, if she truly investigated and tested different Linux distros, and understood what the different Linux distros are all about, she would have written a very different article.

    I don’t believe Erna was trolling in anyway. I believe Erna went to some tech party; while at the party she overheard different people talking about their experiences with Linux. In an effort to get her free fully Microsoft loaded computer and not understanding what she heard at the party, she playgerized and paraphrased what she believed she heard.

  22. ET:

    The truth of the matter is that Linux is gaining market share very fast and it will continue to grow in the incoming years. As it grow the user base would be bigger, then more closed source applications will emerge (Adobe Photoshop for example)

    As for the “too much distros” myth all I can say is that most people create distros just for fun, to experiment with code as a hobby. If they create new useful code it is automatically shared with the other distros.

    Realistically speaking, most consumers shopping around for Linux on the desktop will stick with the popular ones: “Ubuntu, OpenSuse, Fedora, Xandros/Linspire and Mandriva”.

    Of all of them, as AFAIK Ubuntu, OpenSuse and Xandros come pre-installed in desktops and laptops that you can purchase on store shelves. Linux works out of the box in that hardware, you can play DVDs, listen to mp3, plug in you mp3 player and surf the web within a secure environment etc.

    Windows is not better, nor it offers a better user experience, it just comes pre-installed with 97% of the world’s desktop computers. But don’t worry too much Mr. Mahyunithat that is changing rapidly…

  23. Dane:

    “The average consumer just wants to be able to pop a CD into his optical drive, wait 10-15mins and have a working operating system.”

    That is all you need to prove this guy is a troll

  24. António Trindade:

    I do not remember having read an article and all its comments with such interest as this one.
    IMHO, this one really illustrates the ignorance amongst almost everyone out there who uses computers.
    Nowadays, having a computer at home or at the office almost always means having a PC with Windows.
    Nevertheless I do not consider myself a “normal” computer user, because I am a systems administrator with an university degree on computers.
    What I can see from this article is that many do not know WHAT LINUX IS (caps only for emphasis sake). Surely, here it is referred to as GNU/Linux and this is much more correct. Linux is only a kernel. Just as every modern OS out there has to have a kernel. The current Windows family share a common kernel between them. So, in the same way you have multiple distributions based around the Linux kernel, you have several distributions around the Windows kernel, each of which is tuned for a specific task. Even Mac OS X has two different versions based on the same Mach-derived micro-kernel.
    There are some statements in this article that clearly show the ignorance of the author. I have used several desktops Windows since 2.11, Linux since kernel version 1.2.0 and Mac OS 6, 7 and now X. On the Linux side, I have used Slackware, RedHat, Fedora, Caixa Mágica (a Linux distribution made in Portugal) and Ubuntu (this is now my main workplace OS) and I recently bought a MacBook Pro. So you can say I ought to know what I talk about.
    The “problem” with so many Linux distributions is that sometimes, the choice of which one to use is a difficult one. Almost every time, this choice depends on personal preference, word of mouth, or review reading.
    More, Unix (and Linux for that matter) history has always been tied tightly with open source. The first wide spread Unixes were almost all based on the BSD (which could not be called Unix because of trademark restrictions), which itself is open source. Even the Mac OS X comes from an open source OS, Darwin, which in turn was based on FreeBSD.
    But deep down, I think I know why there has been so many article trying to compare Linux, Mac OS and Windows. Specially Linux versus Windows. Because Linux is taking Windows’ space where Windows is most lucrative (servers). If you look at the Microsoft’s product line-up, there are few products exclusively for the desktop. Most (like Sharepoint, BizTalk, .NET, Exchange and SQL Server, just to name a few) are for using in networked environments.
    I do not consider myself a Linux or open source fundamentalist; I praise Microsoft in what they do best (IMO, Exchange Server features are still far ahead of the competition, for example). But I too criticize them for several options they have taken over the years. What I criticize the most is that one needs an all-Microsoft solution in order to have, for example, Exchange. Why not do as Oracle or BEA that supply their products for several platforms? Because their market strategy is to make you use Windows if you want to use any of their products.
    About the Mac, I can tell you that their paper documentation is no more than the Windows one. There are no shiny brochures, and all written documentation (at least nowadays) is supplied in booklets the size of a DVD, with no more than 50 pages. The fact is that Apple’s OS is clean, with no more icing on the cake than necessary, and, therefore, fast, stable and easy to use. When you click the windows close button, the window almost instantaneously closes, even if you are swapping heavily. The same cannot be said of Windows. Even the visual candy and some other features I see in Windows and Linux appeared the first time in Mac OS X. Windows Desktop Search and the Ubuntu’s counterpart are based on the same idea as Spotlight. I am one of those people who tried to install Mac OS X on a Dell laptop and I can tell you that the only problems I had with it were due to unsupported hardware. Even so the laptop was so like a Mac that only the Ethernet port did not work. Everything else worked like a charm. Then I took advantage of a promotion in a local retailer and bought a real Apple Macintosh so all those problems went away.
    A few years ago I overheard a conversation between some people in a café, in which one of them said he was no longer afraid of messing Windows up because he now knew how to format the disk and re-install it from scratch. Now that’s a daunting task. But this illustrates what Windows users do. In my work I talk daily to software developers that think problems are solved by restarting application servers and even the OS. I even had one time a developer that proposed me to reboot a Solaris machine to solve a problem he was having on his application. This is Windows talk. I have to admit that, if it wasn’t for Windows, our computer experiences nowadays would be completely different. Windows brought computers to everyone because PC’s were always cheaper than Macs. But every Mac I know has a very superior hardware. For example, Macs had SCSI hard drives for years until price wars led Apple to abandon SCSI in favor EIDE. Even the prices argument is false now. If you take a MacBook Pro 15″, you get a high spec machine, that, if compared to an equivalent from Asus, Dell, Toshiba or HP is in the same price level. And Macs have one more thing for them: because the hardware is high quality and is controlled by Apple, they can tune it to work in that hardware, and not have to worry about a gazillion hardware combinations you get in the PC world.
    The biggest problems in luring people away from Windows is resistance to change and also time to learn. I must admit I work much better with Microsoft Office than I do with OpenOffice. This is simply due to the fact I used Microsoft’s much more than OpenOffice and when I have to do something that requires one of them I can do it much faster in Microsoft Office because I know how. In find myself many time searching the OpenOffice menus looking for something I already know where to find in Microsoft Office.
    More, Windows has made users think they are all admninistrators, which sometimes causes problem when I deploy applications on Solaris and Linux. This comes with a whole dump truck full of problems because you can get viruses, spywares and malwares, which does not happen in Unix, Linux and Mac OS. Why on Earth do you need administrative privileges just to run Visual Studio? Xcode on Mac and every single IDE I know in Linux work perfectly in non-superuser mode. Using your OS as an administrator brings a whole bunch of security problems that can be avoided by simply not doing it.

  25. jeni:

    I support Linux 100% but I feel that people should make an objective decision for themselves after reading The Truth about Linux.

  26. Alan:

    Don’t forget the free Haiku operating system. :-)

    Haiku, like BeOS that inspired it, is designed to be a desktop operating system.

    Haiku’s design goals include the ability to easily handle multimedia and be quick booting.


    “Like BeOS, Haiku boots in only a few seconds and has a very small footprint.”



  27. John:

    You are a moron.

  28. P13808:

    Linux is much better. If you don’t like it, fix it.

  29. Neonique:

    “Of course, Apple took the easy way out and made the hardware to go with its OS.”
    Is there any “MacOS X distro” that runs on any other commputer then Apple out of box? No? So it supports only one vendor? It’s even wore then Linux then.

    “The average consumer just wants to be able to pop a CD into his optical drive, wait 10-15mins and have a working operating system.”
    I can use my Ubuntu before and during installation. Can your OSX do that?

    “Even getting MP3s to play while using Linux can be problematic. As in, you’ll have to download and install the codec”
    It’s like with iPod and OGG – you buy media player and it… doesn’t play media!

    “What is it with the collective egos of Linux coders that if one distribution doesn’t suit them that they have to go and make a new one, when they have input on improving an existing distro?”
    Why do I have to use the OSX while it doesn’t suit my preferences? I forgot – I can’t change anything in OSX. It’s still OSX what ever you do.

    “Archaic documentation”
    I thought it’s just usefull.

    “In essence, until Linux becomes dummy-proof, it’s not going to win over consumers. Make it easy, make it accessible – until Linux programmers get that, it’s more likely that Apple will perhaps double its user base in the years to come”
    Yes – count of dummies may double in years to come.

  30. P13808:

    Linux doesn’t NEED major consumer base. It has its spot.

    Now SuSE and Red Hat do, but they have way too much money to be worrying.

  31. mooman:

    Well, first I wanted to leave that post with a smirk but I had to write something about point number 2.
    You really have no idea about Linux, do you.
    What you mention in point #2 is the main principle of Linux, it’s open-source, that means everyone can fiddle around in the code as he wants and construct the operating system after his needs – that is one of the strongest points of Linux.

  32. CyberBoB:

    I don’t known what You are writing about, pseudo linux expert, pfff!

  33. Troodon:

    The author has a point; actually, three points. For the record, I have been running various flavors of Linux on one or more of my home computers for the last 15 years, so I know what most people here are talking about. But I still use a Windows machine as my “main” computer. In the end, it’s a personal choice and Linux folks simply won’t listen to arguments such as “simpler”, “easier” and “more intuitive”. What Linux developers want is fame that comes with recognition of technical expertise. Comparing Linux to a car (see above) is a smart idea. When I buy a car I pick the make and model but I don’t expect to be able to get accessories from another make and model installed to my car. That’s different from what Windows and Mac users expect.

  34. Locs4dayz:

    I am interrested in seeing what the linux hype is about. I have installed many flavors, all have one thing in common…Can’t connect to the internet to test them any further because my connection is never ready to go out the box, and I just don’t feel like writing a bunch of code just to get connected. If this problem ever get resolved, I will be switching over…Until then, I will stick with Windows! How can I update if I can’t connect? My modem never seems to work! Always need some kind of update, but I can’t connect to get them…Go figure!

  35. share code:

    Hi there, just turned into aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I am going to be careful for brussels. I’ll be grateful for those who continue this in future. Many folks might be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  36. naxa:

    well said. funny comments. love linux but these still valid points need ears to be heard.

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