Why Use Linux?

The other day I got into a somewhat heated discussion about why Linux is a viable alternative desktop OS. Despite my best efforts, I was unable to move the other side past the rhetoric and myths that seem to surround Linux. It is because of this discussion that I am writing this…as a way to give accurate information. Let’s start by looking at some of the most common myths.

Myth 1: “Linux is hard to install”

This could not be further from the truth. Many Linux distributions are as easy, if not easier. to install as Windows. Ubuntu, Linux Mint and PCLinuxOS are but three of the most popular. The install is nothing more than a few mouse clicks and basic options like timezone, language and name. All these are explained well and you need to provide the same information when installing ANY operating system.

Linux Penguin

Myth 2: “Linux does not recognize my hardware”

Like all Operating Systems, Linux requires “drivers” in order to use a piece of hardware like a sound card or modem, etc. Also like other OSs, if your system is cutting edge with the latest and greatest, there may be challenges at first. This doesn’t happen with Microsoft Windows? A year after it’s release, Windows VISTA is still suffering from poor driver support! The fact is, if your system is 6 months old, hardware support is usually a non-issue.

Myth 3: “Linux is too complicated to use”

In what way? It has a graphical interface with a mouse and windows. It has an auto-updater to keep things current. It has software add/remove capabilities that allow you to install programs with a couple mouse clicks. It even has many apps found in Windows and Mac OS X like Firefox, Thunderbird, Pidgin, Audacity, etc. It’s as easy as Windows…just different. Let’s put it this way, if all you ever knew was Linux and you decided to try Windows for the first time, I’m sure you would find Windows complicated and hard to use too.

Myth 4: “There are no applications available”

One of the points thrown at me during my discussion went something like, “Walk into a computer store and try to find a single Linux app on the shelf…you won’t find any”. Until now I’m not sure what that had to do with anything. There are many thousands of applications available, for free, and are readily available for download. Many Linux distros even come with a point and click interface to download and install these apps without effort. To say there are no applications available is not only a myth but a flat out lie.

Some reasons to use Linux

There are many more “myths” hanging over Linux, but those were some of the more common ones. Let’s now look at a few reasons why one should consider Linux.

Reason 1: Security

Viruses are less of a threat on Linux. The very way a Linux system is designed makes it very difficult for a virus to function as it does in Windows. This also applies to spyware, malware, etc. The fact that almost no viruses are written for Linux also adds a nicer sense of warmth. Wouldn’t be nice to read the almost endless stream of security holes in Windows and know it does not apply to you?

Reason 2: Updatability

Linux is in a constant state of development and improvement by professional and semi-professional developers who donate their time and skills to the various projects. In addition, the majority of the system and available applications are Open source, so if you wish and you had the ability, you could add any feature you needed. Linux also has the ability to expand the life of many systems as it’s reduced overhead and need for system resources means that it will run great on older machines.

Reason 3: Support

Yes, support. As hard as it is to accept, you can easily get support when you do run into difficulties. In addition to the plethora of online forms, both independant and those provided by the distro supplier, there are also more and more 3rd party service providers that offer service contracts for Linux systems. Good to have in a corporate/business environment. There is also support offered by more and more traditional Technology names such as Dell, IBM, Novell, Sun and others. And finally, for support a little closer to home, most major cities have Linux User Groups that can and do offer help and advice. Help and Support IS available and does not usually mean spending hours on hold to speak to someone in a call center on the other side of the planet.

Reason 4: Self-improvement

Personally, this is one of the most important reasons why I switched. Linux gave me the chance to learn new skills, gain deeper insights into how computers work and provided an excellent platform to develop on. Some people may be satisfied with going through life with blinders on and living the “status-quo”. For those that enjoy the how/what/why of life, Linux is an excellent choice.

Reason 5: Cost

Most people would put this at the top of the list. For me, cost is one of the least important reasons to switch to Linux. However, the cost advantage of Linux is huge. In a nutshell, you get the complete OS, thousands upon thousands of applications AND support for the grand total price of….$0! We’re not talking a watered down, feature deprived OS either…we’re talking a full-blown, complete, enterprise ready OS…for free. “But my time is worth something and the extra effort needed with Linux cost me money.”, alright…and how much does it cost you when Windows bluescreens in the middle of editing a large report that hasn’t been saved? Or how about when a virus or spyware prevents you from even using your system…probably costs you a lot.

So you see, you are going to hear a lot about why you should not use Linux, and they are going to give you many reasons why you shouldn’t…just very few good reasons.

If you are interested in trying Linux, I would recommend Ubuntu, Linux Mint or PCLinuxOS. Download their LiveCDs. Booting to a LiveCD allows you to try and use a complete Linux environment without making any changes to your hard drive. Once down, just reboot and go back into windows as normal.


  1. Lespaul20 says:

    All good arguments except the applications. Yeah Linux has an office suite, web browser but that’s hardly the extent to which people use software. Games is probably the biggest reason. To say that there is an equal amount of quality software compared to Windows is not only a myth but a flat out lie.

    • spuffler says:

      Lespaul20: to say games are the only things a computer is used for is misleading and a flat out… 😉

      Yeah, Games, that is all there is that we can measure an operating system with. Lespaul20, you sounded like a fool with that remark.

      Seriously, we can successfully say that gaming *IS* a large percentage of computer revenues and there are a *LOT* of Games in XP, but Linux users can also say that ‘Linux + OpenOffice’ works exactly the same as ‘XP + OpenOffice’.
      Yeah, Games, that is all there is. Lespaul20: If you can’t grasp the concept that businesses run on office suites and not on Games, then you are choosing to not looking at very much of the business world. In response to your choice to ignore business productivity, I should be able to ignore games. Waaah!

      I also know that Linux is running all over XP on the computers of MANY MANY MANY important entities:
      -Industrial Light and Magic dropped XP in favor of Linux,
      -the US Navy doesn’t like XP and is trying to use Linux,
      -NASA has Linux running on the Mars rovers…
      but yeah, China loves to bootleg XP and even then, Microsoft doesn’t charge them as much for XP as they charge us. That is the mark of great software, the revenues it generates… from perpetually obsoleting millions of computers with each new release of Windows. That kind of forced obsolescence isn’t the rule in Linux, it is the exception.

      I have successfully used Linux for over 6 years, on 33 MHz 386s to my CelM 3.3 GHz. I was forced back into XP only because some necessary websites refused to remain HTML and have become Flash only. That return to XP was only when Flash was not working on the distributions I chose to use (I had other choices… not like running XP or dead slow).

      And even that issue is now moot – I have Flash running under PCLinuxOS, so XP can go fry.

    • “To say that there is an equal amount of quality software compared to Windows is not only a myth but a flat out lie.”

      absolutely agree.

      • No, it’s not a lie. Linux has software that is largely *superior* to what is available on Windows. There are some serious gaps, true. To my understanding, the GIMP doesn’t compare well to Photoshop. Games are essentially lacking, and will remain that way until there are enough Linux users to justify the expense of developing games for that platform.

        Another “deficiency” in Linux is the lack of proprietary drivers and codecs for proprietary protocols. This is actually a feature, but one that is not appreciated by the majority of people who can see only that they can play certain music or DVD’s on a Windows computer, but not on one running Linux. However, this view is short-sighted. The reason there are any limitations at all is because some manufacturers want to be able to put the squeeze on you for using their media, no matter how much you paid for it. Ultimately, when Microsoft decides to revoke its DRM keys, you’re hosed. Microsoft already expressed their intention to do exactly that, though they eventually backed down. This time.

        Overall, Linux distributors provide a wealth of high-quality software. For almost all needs there are several possibilities – some might argue too many. I have yet to examine all the browsers available to Linux, for example. Some are stunning. Others seem anemic. But there are more than I will ever likely even try.

        But really, if you don’t like Linux, don’t use it. Stick with Windows. Maybe they’ll keep those DRM keys alive indefinitely. Maybe they’ll eventually get the drivers working for Vista – one would hope before Windows 7 comes out. Maybe they’ll stop using your own computer against you to prevent you from making illegal copies, so that you can get the full use of the computer you paid for.

        In the meantime, I’ll be getting all these benefits and more with Linux.

    • Elizabeth Mathiason says:

      Ok. I am going to step into these heated conversations as an official “new-be” (I have no idea how to spell that, but you get the picture). I don’t know a whole lot about Linx, so I hope I get earfull of info on this. I am a student for Vis Effects and I wanted to build my own high end computer. I have render a lot and have to able to use Photoshop, Maya/Houdini, After Effects, Final Cut and Shake. Can Linux run these applications? I know that Houdini is ran in Linux and maybe Final Cut?? I have no idea… I just know that I want to run 64 bit processor and was told that most windows os doesn’t work for that… or something of that sort…
      Could someone PLEASE FILL ME IN on what the hell any of this means and where I need to start?!! I am in the midst of buying a mother board to start with,but have no idea what I am looking at…

      Help me please???

  2. Linux may be great and all, but it doesn’t really matter because I’m stuck with Windows for gaming.

    • Wine runs a lot of games, and if you want even more gaming support and are willing to pay a little there’s always cedega.

      ET: quake wars runs natively on linux, and there are a number of great free games as well

    • I realised the other day that I hadn’t booted XP for months, so finally decided to ditch it – I needed the space for my wine directory. WoW, GW, TF2, EVE, Glest – everything I want to play seems to run better on Linux. Older games, maybe, but mine is an older rig (X2 4600, 8600gt).

    • spuffler says:

      Oh, yeah. Games. The only thing more important than a Red Bull is the WOW crowd.

  3. I’ve had a few forrays with Linux installations. The only one I ever installed that worked was Mandrake (9 i think) in 2002 or so. Every other refused to boot or had weird quirks with my hardware. One of the times, I bought was Xandros in 2005. It didn’t support SATA hard drives and they had no ETA when that would be added and no one cared to answer any of my questions in their support forum. Since it was offered on the cheap, I tried Linspire in ’06, but they didn’t support widescreen displays without going and hacking the video settings some kind of way. After the linspire, I tried Ubuntu, but all it did was funk up my hard drive leaving me to wipe it again and reinstall Windows. For the two years I ran WinXP64, I had many fewer problems than I did in the perhaps five days total I ran Linux. Even worse, so far, no Linux distro save that early Mandrake ever had a functioning bootloader enabling me to run Linux and Windows together.

    I’m smart enough to build my own pc. I’m smart enough to hack drivers for XP so they would work on XP 64, but I am absolutely not smart enough to run Linux yet. I do have hope for the new thingie that installs Linux inside of Windows so you can manage it like any other installed app.

    As far as software, I cut Linux some slack, but let’s not go overboard telling how great they are. There are huge holes in their library that are currently only filled by WineX. But don’t get me started on my experience trying to run it on that Mandrake install I tried.

    • spuffler says:

      Again, we hear only about *Windows* applications.

      Try PCLinuxOS MiniMe 2008…. Wine works fine for me. I only installed Wine on a whim, to see if it works. I do not really NEED to run Windows programs for myself. I installed Wine because so many folks seem to think that only Windows deserves to exist.

      If you want system that runs games, you are talking about a game console; Microsoft sells the XBOX series (and we’ll put Linux on them, too). If you want to create something useful, try Linux.

      • No, actually if you want a system that runs games, you can do so in Windows without having to try to make them work.

        When are the zealots going to stop with that tired nonsense: they either go on and on about Wine, which is half-assed at best, or they tell you to buy a console.

        • I agree – if you want to run Windows-specific games, then Windows is the only operating system that makes any sense. Anything else is just something trying to do what Windows already does.

          A more important question, to me, is whether games are even worth it. Even the best games are lame, IMNSHO.

    • Cem Kalyoncu says:

      Interesting… Today any distribution comes with Grub the Bootloader, supporting many options as well as multi boot. Any GNU/Linux I have installed recently supports not only SATA but also SATA2 beating XP. But what I recommend is using Fedora with KDE. Hope you don’t try to install Fedora Core 2. The recent version is 8.

  4. It’s not a lie. There are MANY MANY MANY more applications available for Linux than there are Windows. As stated these are all available for FREE via download.

    Your argument about games is not valid either. Several companies make native Linux versions of there games. Id Software the leading maker of 3D accelerated games in the world always releases Linux versions of their games. I have DOOM 3, Quake 4 and Enemy Territory:Quake Wars installed. Epic games, the number two maker of 3D accelerated games in the world makes NATIVE Linux versions of their games. Unreal Tournament 2004, Unreal 3 etc. They are not the only ones.

    If there is NOT a NATIVE port of the game you wish to play, you can use W.I.N.E. to run the game. W.I.N.E. is available for FREE and runs many games. If a game is very new and “bleeding edge” and does not run in W.I.N.E. you can purchase CEDEGA and usually run it through that. Games such as World of Warcraft have run flawlessly since launch via it.

    Saying there isn’t an equal amount of quality games in Linux is an outright lie. You either have never tried Linux or you’re just plain ignorant to what’s available. Microsoft stock holders thank you for mindlessly defending their product though.

    • KGE, wtf? says:

      Ok, so buy a game, go home, and spend twenty minutes to two days configuring WINE to run it. Face it, gamers can use linux, but with the handicap of WINE. As for your native Linux games, that’s true, but a majority of games are Windows-exclusive. You also mentioned “Mindlessly buying Microsoft products.” Well let me assure you I have never bought a Microsoft product.

      Or any other piece of software that’s more than $39.99

      • There is no reason to steal commercial software when viable alternatives are available for free. Spending 20 minutes to configure WINE to play a game is nothing compared to attorney fees. Suck it up.

        • spuffler says:

          And how many businesses run games, anyways?

          Game game game game.

          Go get an XBOX if games are all you want in life. We run on them too.

      • so-gone-234 says:

        Wow, now this is ignorance in it’s purest uncut form.

        If you have EVER purchased a computer running ANY version of Windows, then yeah, you HAVE purchased a Microsoft product.

        Linux offers you so many freedoms that Windows does not. Freedom is a good thing. I have never been under the impression that linux was ever meant to replace Windows. It is an alternative. A very viable one for many people, if you ask me.

        It’s like having two pairs of sneakers — one for running and one for walking. Sure you can run in walking shoes, or walk in running shoes. But, top athletes know that to perform at your best, you need the equipment that is best suited for the activity at hand. Yeah, maybe Windows is a better option for gaming (that was a maybe). But linux is the clear winner in my book when it comes to stability + security + basic productivity.

        • Alright! I have enough of the Windows/Linux and the Windows/Mac. I want to see Linux/Mac debates. ha-ha. But seriously each platform has it’s own approach.
          Apple makes beautiful hardware but their software sucks.
          Windows makes beautiful software but it’s proprietary as hell.
          Linux makes good software but unless paying for a distro like red-hat, suse etc. there really is no company to stand behind it outside of the community.
          These debates are like asking: which is better, rock, paper, or scissors?

  5. vdortizo says:

    Jus a personal opinion.

    Truth be told, I have used Linux mostly because some college courses required the use of it, but I never switched, importantly because Linux has a hard time with some of my hardware (mostly with creative sound card), I’m more confortable using drivers provided my the hardware manufacturer than with 3rd party drivers developed by some teenager that has no knowlege of software engineering and testing.
    Second is lack of applications, Yeah I know what you’re going to tell me “Linux has an incredible amount of apps ready to download”, etc. But what I want to point is linux users have made a great failure in commercializing them, telling the non hard-core users that they are really there and why are they worth it.
    Third is the community, there are so many distributions of the Linux platform and they each have their own community. The problem is that they are always bashing each other and demeriting their software that in the end it only ends with the user thinking “why should I listen to this people acting like children? I’m going back to WIndows…”
    I believe that Linux will never gain more than a 30% marketshare if it continues like this… mainly it has the same problem that Windows Vista has, too many editions, in the Linux case is too many distros. Until people take notice and decide to create only one and focus only on one the user will be undecided and go with the crowd (Windows).
    The author perspective is on the developer hand, what about the hard-core gamer, like Lespaul20 said? Some people use their PCs for other reasons than development, the author should also include an analisys at least a short one on the pros and cons for other types of users.

    • Are you sure you know WHY there are different distros?
      The different approaches are represented by different distros.
      -SuSE is for enterprise networking (like windows server) and comes with the full backing and support of Novel with 24/hr support behind it.
      -Ubuntu does the same thing with the desktop and you could call them the windowsxp/vista of the group (as opposed to windows server)
      or in “windows speak” instead of windows vista home, windows vista ultimate, windows vista business, windows server 2000, windows server 2003
      you have
      SuSE, red-hat, ubuntu etc.

  6. I’m glad that this article has generated some great feedback.The point I was trying to make is that Linux is a great OS that should not be so quickly dismissed. It can also be said that all OSes have their own strengths and weaknesses and there is no “best” OS. The one you should use is the one that works for you.

    The great thing about modern OSes and current hardware platforms is that you have the ability and choice to use any and/or all of them to get what you need to get don, done. One should only be limited by their imagination, not by the tools they use.

  7. Linux is a great operating system – though that sentence is incorrect as hell, because it largely depends on what distro you are using.
    I like Linux as a one-floppy-router (fli4l). I like Linus as a NAS (freenas). I like it as a desktop for surfing the web and getting some conding done (Ubuntu).

    It´s NOT fit for gaming.
    Cedega and Wine are powerhogs par excellence. World of Warcraft achieves double the framerate when run under a properly configured Windows than under Linux. Many abilities of graphics cards are simply not emulated nor properly implemented. Unleass a game uses OpenGL for its display output, chances are high you cannot run it with all details to the max, despite having high-end hardware.
    3D-Audio is also not supported well, and not fit for gaming (yet).

    Most distributions also eat up memory and disk space. Because everyone wanted them to be “user-friendly”, installers, graphical front-ends, configurations wizards and the likes have been added to a point where the OS is as complex and blown up as Windows, if not even more so. A typical Suse install will leave lots of crap on your harddrive you´ll never ever need. On the other hand, if you compile a Gentoo specifically to your needs, you´re looking at a loooooong time for installing/compiling until you can use your computer again.
    And the same thing again every time you might wish to update your kernel.

    A WinXP can be configured via several tools, stripped down of unneeded drivers, languages, utilities, and – in that state – will eat less than 800MB on your harddrive – fully patched with all the latest security fixes. Do an apples to apples comparison – if it´s allowed to customise your Linux install, allow it for Windows too.
    And then, after you did it properly, let´s see what is faster.
    One example: Stripped-down XP with SP2 on my EEE-PC: Bootup-Time: 10secs, Shutdown-Time: 2secs.

    Also, my XP64 on my main machine had a bluescreen only once in 2 years – due to a faulty driver from Creative. Never ever had a Virus, never ever had malware on that thing. But don´t get me startet on that apache server at work… thing is, you can´t always just restart a running server to install security fixes if clients are depending on the services that thing offers. Then you tell them that you have to patch that stuff to make it more hack-proof and they say: “Why do you have to do that? Aren´t you running Linux?” Yeah, ofcouse we do, but – suprise surprise – Linux is a favourite target of hackers, too! Mainly those components which can be found in nearly all distributions ofcouse.

    Summary: Linux is great for specific tasks, but it isn´t going to replace Windows as a Desktop OS anytime soon. The thing is: It doesn´t have to! The two can happily co-exist. As soon as everyone gets that into their heads, 90% of all stupid flamewars (and articles like the one which made me write this) can happily fade away into oblivion.

    Oh, and btw, I can get a whole set of Applications for almost every task for free on almost every OS, be it BeOS, Linux, Windows or MacOS. That´s really a weak argument, on my old Amiga I even built a complete Workbench environment from freeware tools which was smaller and faster than what Commodore provided.

    • I’ve honestly got no clue where you’ve come up with the following statistics.

      “World of Warcraft achieves double the framerate when run under a properly configured Windows than under Linux”

      I’ve personally run World of Warcraft on the same computer under both operating systems, and the results were in fact in the favor of linux (although by a very minimal margin)and I can back this up with screenshots of the data in question.

      “Linux is a favourite target of hackers, too!”

      I have a few comments for this.

      1.Hacking is using knowledge of technology to get something accomplished in a more efficient way.

      2.You’re referring to cracking, which is when you apply knowledge of hacking to malicious uses

      3.There is a well known exploit (and well documented as well) for Windows XP Service Pack 2 (the predominately used microsoft OS as of this post) that was first documented in October of 2004. This exploit is unpatched to this day.

      4.Just last month, an exploit was found in Debian(a popular linux distro)’s openssl mod. Less than a week after it was documented, it was patched.

      Those were just the two statistics I had problems with.

      just a final statement I’d like to question is the following

      (on the subject of cracking linux applications)
      “Mainly those components which can be found in nearly all distributions ofcouse.”

      If you could choose between learning how to catch all types of fish in the ocean that were blue with orange spots, and learning to catch all types of fish in the ocean that had fins, provided they both take the same amount of time and resources, which would you honestly choose?

  8. Sorry, but again we have another clueless Linux devotee. You have lost all objectivity.

    Linux isn’t even close to “easy to use”.

    It’s ridiculous the hassle you have to go through to install drivers or even programs. Exponentially harder and you know it.

    TO install a driver on Windows I run the install for the driver or at the very worst I point to an inf file. NOT SO IN LINUX. It can be a nightmare to even unzip something where you want it. The bottom line is Linux is unnecessarily difficult to use. It just is. Yes, it has a browser and a GUI and Openoffice. But really there is NO reason to use Linux at all. None. I don’t care that it’s free. I don’t care that the apps are free. The apps are coded for the most part by people like you and me and that means beta class apps at BEST. There are TOO MANY apps for linux. Sometimes one app might have 10 different versions of itself. It’s silly.

    So you keep using Linux and denying why it hasn’t gone mainstream. It’s just not practical to use. For the most part people want to just plug something in and it work. It doesn’t work that way with Linux most of the time. There is a reason that Dell tried the whole OEM linux thing on new pc’s and then very quickly backed away from it.

    Linux will NEVER EVER be mainstream. Please accept this. I have been running Vista since early Beta and it has always be very very stable. At this point it is more stable than XP ever was. The people complaining about Vista are people like you, people with agendas. The other segment that complain about Vista are people who don’t have the hardware to run it properly.

    Vista is pretty. Vista is fast. Vista is stable.

    Linux is good for being

    As for gaming, well we all know the score on that one don’t we? Linux is 10 years behind.

    Linux is for throwing on the old laptop and playing with for a few hours on a boring weekend. Of course, after playing with it a few hours you realize what a waste of time it is. You realize that it only exists because people want be rebels and use something non-microsoft. Well, you have that right. But me? I will stick with the better OS. That mean anything Microsoft at this point.

    • Payment from Microsoft you take? says:

      How much did Microsoft pay you to surf blogs and promote Vista? Vista is a terrible application, yes I used it, yes I beta tested it and yes I even have an MSDN account to get everything MS offers to test/use. I was excited to try out Vista and I was very happy with XP, but when it wouldn’t even INSTALL on an older(read:not leading edge) PC, I knew it was crap. It crashed, came with driver problem galore and nagged me constantly with pop ups for allow this/that. Ubuntu on the other hand, installed within 15 minutes on that same computer and was DONE in that timeframe. It was ready to work on straight from the initial boot. I was surfing the net and sending mail, downloading torrents immediately. Show me windows that can do that? Show me windows that takes less than 30 minutes from partitioning to first boot, can’t can you? Please take you Vista promotion payment from MS and plague another board.

    • You should not compare driver installs on Linux to Windows. The two OSes deal with the driver issue fundamentally differently. In Linux the drivers are all included in the kernel. If you use Linux you know that you should buy your hardware with Linux in mind. If you do, you never need to worry about a driver install period.
      Windows on the other hand does not update it’s kernel every few months and so new drivers are not included. However, MS has solved this problem by making it as easy as possible to install drivers manually.

      Is one way better than the other? From my perspective Linux wins because in the past 2 years I have installed Linux a dozen times and never once had to think about drivers. But I admit that in each case I had either pre-sourced the hardware or it had been an older (>6 months) machine. If I had to install Linux on a brand new machine I might have had some problems. On the other hand, when was the last time a home-user ever installed the OS themselves? With Dell selling Ubuntu equipped machines there is simply no reason to worry about drivers on Linux at all.

    • Hi Kyle. I’d like to disagree.

      > Sorry, but again we have another clueless Linux devotee. You have lost all objectivity.

      Pot, meet kettle.

      > Linux isn’t even close to “easy to use”.

      Please explain. What about it isn’t easy to use? While this is a handy (and suitably vauge) comment to throw out, it isnt very easy to argue, as you dont have a point which can be argued.

      > It’s ridiculous the hassle you have to go through to install drivers or even programs. Exponentially harder and you know it.

      Lets look at installing a driver.
      I’ll use Windows XP and Ubuntu for this example, since I’ve used both, and we’ll install a driver for an nVIDIA card we just put in our system. (not necesarily the latest version, but one that works).
      To get the driver:
      -> visit nvidia.com
      -> download drivers menu
      -> choose your product
      -> your product series
      -> product
      -> OS (may be pre-filled)
      -> language (may be pre-filled)
      -> select search
      -> agree to TOS
      -> select download

      -> open system menu
      -> open administration menu
      -> open “synaptic package manager”
      -> select find
      -> type in “nvidia”

      “Exponentially harder” this will need explaining as well.
      > TO install a driver on Windows I run the install for the driver or at the very worst I point to an inf file.

      And what happens when you “run the install”? lets go over it.

      In XP: -> run installer
      -> installer asks where to unpack
      -> installer unpacks -> installer asks you to agree to TOS (again)
      -> installer asks you where to install
      -> installer asks what extras you want installed
      -> installer offers to place icons in various places
      -> other things i dont remember may be here …

      In ubuntu:
      -> tick box next to relevent nvidia driver

      > NOT SO IN LINUX. It can be a nightmare to even unzip something where you want it.

      Sorry, but this sounds like PEBKAC to me.

      > The bottom line is Linux is unnecessarily difficult to use.


      > It just is. Yes, it has a browser and a GUI and Openoffice. But really there is NO reason to use Linux at all. None. I don’t care that it’s free. I don’t care that the apps are free.

      So there is reason(s), you just dont care to pay attention to them.

      > The apps are coded for the most part by people like you and me and that means beta class apps at BEST. There are TOO MANY apps for linux. Sometimes one app might have 10 different versions of itself. It’s silly.

      Who are you? whats your coding skill? if its the skill of someone whos been using UNIX for 20+ years, and C for as long, it may well be written by people like you.

      > So you keep using Linux and denying why it hasn’t gone mainstream.

      “mainstream” *on the desktop*

      > It’s just not practical to use. For the most part people want to just plug something in and it work. It doesn’t work that way with Linux most of the time.

      Did you know Linux 2.6.x supports more USB/external media devices “out of the box” than *any* kernel (Linux, Microsoft, IBM, Apple, BSD, etc) before it?

      > There is a reason that Dell tried the whole OEM linux thing on new pc’s and then very quickly backed away from it.

      I see no evidence of backing away from their latest foray into shipping Ubuntu:

      > Linux will NEVER EVER be mainstream. Please accept this. I have been running Vista since early Beta and it has always be very very stable.

      Vistas stability doesnt have a lot to do with the mainstreamness of GNU/Linux

      > At this point it is more stable than XP ever was. The people complaining about Vista are people like you, people with agendas. The other segment that complain about Vista are people who don’t have the hardware to run it properly.

      “The other segment that complain about Vista are people who don’t have the hardware to run it properly.”. Over 90% of the worlds population (if not more!).

      > Vista is pretty. Vista is fast. Vista is stable.

      So is Ubuntu, Fedora and all the major GNU/Linux distributions. Whats your point?

      > As for gaming, well we all know the score on that one don’t we? Linux is 10 years behind.

      Is it? Do you have some sort of proof for that claim? Last i checked the following games (as a sample) were available:
      Major lables:
      Major lables:
      Quake IV
      Unreal Tournament
      Doom III
      Home grown:
      Battle for Wesnoth
      and many others…

      Also, i think you’ll find that many of the best childrens games are available on GNU/Linux (eg planet-penguin-racer, tuxmath, gcompris).
      > Linux is for throwing on the old laptop and playing with for a few hours on a boring weekend. Of course, after playing with it a few hours you realize what a waste of time it is. You realize that it only exists because people want be rebels and use something non-microsoft. Well, you have that right.

      You have absolutely no idea about the philosophy that drives it do you?
      http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source

      > But me? I will stick with the better OS. That mean anything Microsoft at this point.
      Totally unsupported statement.
      Please stop making vauge FUD comments and provide some backing to your claims.

      (Who ran Windows XP for 5 years, has run GNU/Linux for 4, and manages hybrid XP/Ubuntu networks)

      • Thank you. I was about to have to post a rather large reply disputing all of what he said, but you already have, and it has turned out much better than how I could have ever put it.

    • Kyle starts out by calling the original author a “clueless Linux devote” and stating he (the author) has “lost all objectivity”. A rather telling opening and oxymoronic (no, it is not a word but it conveys the idea). Let us read on and have Kyle illuminate us to the truth.

      He tells us Linux is not easy to use, that it is a hassle to install drivers and programs (Exponentially harder and we know it). On the great Windows we run the install or at worst point to an INI file. Nothing more needs done, I am sure he would have mentioned it had there been additional steps. Now that cursed Linux makes the user unzip a file (they are called tarballs Kyle and they are only one way of installing software in Linux). The tar command has 5 options (that I worry with anyway) they are f, x, v, z, and j and the last two are for determining which compression scheme is used. Now install does not need options (who really wants options anyway?) Just click and go. Well I like command line (I am old school so deal with it) so a handful of options top open a tarball is fine by me. I can use RPM if I want, it has a dozen options but it will catalog my software and with the APT or YUM is can automagically (I am making up words again) upgrade any or all of my programs. A script and task manager and well I will always be up to date (not too bad of and old timer) He doesn’t care if OpenOffice is free, it is so hard to use and there are too many apps (I wish Widows fanboys would get their arguments straight, are there too many apps or none at all?) but they are all beta since they are written by people like “you and me” (tell me Kyle, what applications have you written) and sometimes there are 10 versions of the same application. “It’s silly” (his phrase not mine) While we are here, how many Breakout/Space Invader variants are out there in Windows land?)

      Kyle says the author continues to use Linux but denies why it has not gone mainstream. Simply put, it is not practical. Dell tried to OEM it and then quickly backed away from it. Did they back away because it was impractical or because Microsoft ‘urged’ them to. Maybe he should GOOGLE it (if you are not snickering now, you missed the joke.) But Kyle is right Linux will never be mainstream and used daily. I could GOOGLE all manner of websites to prove this. (by now there are Linux users rolling on the floor (no I do not text, nor use cheesy abbreviations … why is abbreviations such a long word? FOCUS!!!))
      Kyle assures us that Linux will “NEVER NEVER” (and that is pretty assuring to me) be mainstream. He has been using Vista since ‘early’ beta and it has always been stable. Now I have run some beta systems in my life and I have to say that beta is an old Greek word that means “Why the hell did that happen? Stable and beta are not synonyms (in ANY world, Windows, Linux or (heaven help us) MacOS). But Kyle corrects me, people who complain about Windows have agendas. (What about the people who complain about Linux?) The other segment that complains about Vista (there is more than one?) do not have the hardware to run Vista properly. What Kyle is tacitly saying is the whole reason the economy is going to Hell in a hand basket is because us cheap Linux-loving bastards will not get off our sorry collective ass and go out and replace all the hardware we bought last year to run this almighty Vista as it was meant to be run.

      “Vista is pretty. Vista is fast. Vista is stable” (He said it not me, I knew a girl like that in high school, sort of. She was pretty, she was fast, but alas not always stable … FOCUS!!!!) Linux is only “good for being“. Not quite sure what that means really. Sounds pretty deep. Maybe I am still back thinking about high school.
      “As for gaming, well we all know the score on that one don’t we?” Actually I do not keep score, it makes me to competitive and I get angry .. you would not like when I am angry (egad, bad TV flashbacks …. FOCUS!!!) Hate to break this to you Kyle, I work in corporate America for a living and there are no games in the office (ok, Solitaire and Minesweeper but do they really count?) “Linux is 10 years behind.” So that would make it run games like Windows 95/98 did? I had some good times playing those games. No, in Kyle’s world Linux is for throwing on the old laptop and wasting a few hours on a boring weekend. (Not to be confused with sitting in front of XP or Vista playing games for a couple of hours on a boring weekend) Linux only exists so us losers and be rebels and own something non-Microsoft (Where can I get a fancy Microsoft house or Microsoft microwavable meals?) he does acknowledge that we have that right (darn nice of him to do that, not all MS Fanboys will do that for you.) But as for Kyle he wants the better OS so that means anything Microsoft.

      Now I could argue this up one side and down the other, but we all know who it is going to end. Kyle tried Linux once (maybe) and ditched in favor of a more comfortable Hell (One man’s trash is another’s treasure you know). Nothing I say will budge him so why fight? Kyle would tell you that it is because he is right and I can not do anything to prove him wrong.

      I say “Never fight with stupid people, they drag you down to their level and pummel you with experience.” And as Ron White says, “Ya can’t fix stupid”.

      Yes I have been sarcastic (it is one of many service I have (use service –status-all to view the others (the Linux fans are snickering again)) But for now I must select all this text and copy from OpenOffice Writer to the text box in FireFox and shut down my Vista laptop and go take a test for my Linux class. Googling as needed to find answers.

      Goodnight moon, (_|_)


    • Cem Kalyoncu says:

      Want a distro for install and launch, try Ubuntu or Suse. Ease of use?? You have to be kidding. What you should do when some one asks you to open a photoshop file (I am not talking about connecting a server or god forbid using svn) for instance. What is easy to use. Go buy photoshop or at least ACDSee and waste your money or just find the name of GIMP and type “yum install gimp” to see that it is already installed for you? I use computer extensively for every job. Programming, designing, reading, writing, playing games, movies, music, even I design my garden or aquarium using it. And when using windowze I feel I have missing one of my fingers. I find it too hard to find an application. I find too hard to configure windowz box. Hell there are sites devoted for mikizoftz undocumented settings buried deep inside the registry or worse.
      When I see a nice application within a friends PC, in a mag, or on the internet; I dont just say neat, I write “yum install neat-application” and try it first hand. If I dont like it “yum erase uncool-app” thats it, everything that application has installed will cease to exist with configurations backed-up. Nothing is left behind without explicitly stating backing up somefile. Hell, when using windowz I really afraid to install something. If you install many programs your box NEEDS formatting. How is this thing, needs formatting 😀 funny. Anyway Fedora 8 is the one for me. Of course with Livna as yum repository.

      • Girlygirl says:

        Cem Kalyoncu, I didn’t understand one word of what you wrote.

        • Cem Kalyoncu says:

          Sorry I was a little angry that day, so I just wrote my mind off. Basically, what I say is despite the difference Linux is extremely easy to use. Esp. if you know what to do.

  9. Linux on a home desktop for the average user – it’s viable. For the advanced and power user who fiddles with unusual apps it’s not.

    Linux on a Small to Medium business desktop – NOT viable – they want 100% compatiblity GUARANTEED with everyone they deal with and Linux cannot offer that.

    Enterprises usually work pretty much within themselves so can dictate standards.

    If there’s a migration over to linux it’s going to be a very slow process – probably more to do with future generations starting their computer use with linux and the older generation of windows users dying out.

    • Tryed Ubuntu, by hard for several months.

      No I consider it as a waste of time.
      I need an operating system to solve my daily problems, and not and operating system (linux) which creates every day new preoblems.

      program installation
      lots of important apps without gui!!! (f.e truecrypt)

  10. Everyone knows that passions run deep with respect to OS choice. At the risk of starting a flame war, here are a few more points to consider:
    1) Linux and Open Source software is not written by some teenage kids. The code is maintained by professional and semi-pro developers who have a passion for it. I wouldn’t be suprised if there were contributors who worked for Apple or MS as their day jobs.
    2) By having the source code available, it is possible to perform a thorough inspection and verify the correctness of the code and the implementation scheme used. This leads to a more stable, less buggy product.
    3) The majority of the world’s stock markets are either running on, or switching to Linux, including the NYSE. While this may not talk directly to gamers, what it should do is drive home the point that Linux is not tossed together by two-bit hacks who know nothing about software engineering.

    The biggest difference between Linux and other OSes is not really about capability, it’s about marketing. There are not billions of dollars spent in convincing the masses that it is the answer to their prayers. The fact that it is as popular as it is based solely on it’s merit should also speak volumes about it’s worthiness.

    I have used Windows (how can you not?). I play games (currently own both a Wii and a PS3). I choose to use Linux because it does what I want it to do and I can use the tools I need without having to “torrent” them because the vendors charges an outrageous price. I like freedom of choice and freedom to use my computer how I want…not how some corporation thinks I should (can we say DRM?).

    I knew when I wrote this article it was going to draw strong opinions. It is the classic “Ford vs. Chevy” argument that has no answer and will never cease to rage on.

  11. Not Ford vs Chev. Don’t make out linux to be some sort of powerhouse OS equal in every way to Windows. Just because you can code anything you want doesn’t mean my 64 year old mother needs to learn to code in order to look after her recipes. Don’t give me that crap about free stuff on the web, there’s lots of retarded crap you have to sift through before you find anything worthwhile.

    The main reason there are no virus and spyware being written for linux is the same reason there were no security holes being exploited in Firefox when it first came out. Market Share. No-one uses it, and the few who do are tech-savvy enough not to fall for even the most brillant dupes. There’s no money in hacking linux. When -yes, I said when- Linux gets onto enough computers, then the virus and exploits will start. The days of malware for fun and destruction are gone, only malware for profit remains, and that’s the most devious reason there is.

    • “No-one uses it”

      You use it.

      Every time you make google-search, every time you make a DNS query, every time a packet goes through you router, you use Linux.

      Don’t say Linux doesn’t have marketshare when more than half of the internet(even this very site) runs Linux. 85% of supercomputers run Linux. It’s not a coincidence that Linux is used for ultra-high-security job, like making sure United States nuclear arsenal is safe.

      • I don’t use it. Some other computer or electronic device someone else spent a retarded amount of time setting up uses it. Just because the new heads for my mustang was delivered in a Sprinter doesn’t mean I use German vehicles. I used FedEx, not Mercedez.

        Your attitude is typical of the elitist mentality, whether Linux, Apple, or the fact you stopped playing CounterStrike when Minh Le “sold out” and the player base increased past 42 people.

        You sit there and pick out one generalization I made, completely ignoring the fact I said, “The main reason there are no virus and spyware being written for linux is the same reason there were no security holes being exploited in Firefox when it first came out. Market Share.”

        When Linux matures and becomes consumer-friendly and not the tech-heavy, edit-a-file cuz I’m SuperCoderMan OS it is right now, all the problems Microsoft has, it will have. No OS is unhackable, remember that. The fact that the information MUST be changed in a computer means that it can be changed for ill. The only unhackable logic device is a light switch.

        …and even then someone will turn it off when you’re taking a shit.

  12. Lespaul20 says:

    “The biggest difference between Linux and other OSes is not really about capability, it’s about marketing.”

    This is the point. With out marketing and commercialization open source will be severely limited. Some people seem to forget most computer users are not tech savvy and don’t really care how it works but just as long as it does. And they are not going to switch to something that isn’t as polished just to make the “screw MS” statement. Linux based systems are great for large commercial instances because it’s free and it can be tailored to that particular firm. Most users don’t care about that because an OS (Windows or MacOS) come with the new computer they buy and they don’t use customized software specific to them.

    I don’t think it’s as simple as a “Ford vs. Chevy” debate.

    KEG- I still don’t believe that there is an EQUAL amount of QUALITY/CURRENT games available for the Linux platform.

  13. Gill Bates says:

    I agree 110% *but* a lot of users are not comfortable using the command line. I’m not sure that you can get away without it in most, if not all, distros.

    • Using the command line is entirely unnecessary for day-to-day usage. Only power users have a need for the shell these days, and for those users Linux is 110% better than Windows.

      Remember, Windows was originally built on DOS. I remember still needing to use the command line in Windows 95, but eventually MS created GUI components for all the important stuff and the ‘cmd’ line essentially disappeared for everyday use. The same is happening on Linux today, the difference is that the Linux shell hasn’t been neutered by neglect as it has on Windows.

  14. turn.self.off says:

    i would claim that the biggest difference between windows and linux is that windows comes pre-installed and tweaked for the machine more often then not.

    compared to what one can do with a linux install system these days, the windows one (excluding vista, as i have yet to experience it) is down right limited.

    but as some 90% of the users never have to perform that task, and as more and more computers come with recovery systems rather then plain windows install media these day, windows is “simpler” in that area…

  15. The truth lies somewhere in between. As long as Windows controls most of the corporate desktops you will most likely run into roadblocks running Linux. My current job requires a Windows app that will not run under Wine. My previous job had a similar issue. Solution: VMware. I run Windows for that one app and run OpenSuse 10.3 for everything else. I thereby minimize my exposure to Windows vulnerabilities and gain the ability to use all of the free Linux apps which are often superior to the Windows paid for versions. Not exactly a purest approach but I’m happy.

  16. I hate Linux. I have suffered numerous times with a numerous versions of Linux. I am a graduate student in Computer Science and still I have hard time getting things working on Linux. My room mate who is also a CS student and a Operating Systems guru, is not able to fix his problems with Linux (He is using Ubuntu). Some day his wireless driver does not work, some day he is not able to listen to music on his laptop, some day the GUI just goes for a toss and so on. Every day there is a new story.

    Don’t even try to compare it with Windows. Windows is expensive but guaranteed satisfaction. I have been using XP for years now and have never had any problems with that. I doubt if Linux will ever be able to compete with Windows.

    • Joe Momma says:

      I’m an Xubuntu user. I still run XP in VMWare because there are still apps out there that don’t have a great equivalent in Linux. With that said, I work professionally on a development team, writing web apps that will be primarily used on Windows. Linux has made me a much better developer, hands down, no questions asked. When I see college level CS students say that they quit on Linux because they couldn’t get it configured right it makes me think that I don’t want you on my team, that stuff provides you experience and as the author said in the article, a deeper understanding of how things interact on the tool that you have chosen to dedicate your career to.

      As for Linux being difficult, well it has gotten alot easier in the past few years, but it’s not for everyone. I would not install Linux for anyone in my family, because it’s not for them in my opinion. Linux is a wonderful OS for someone who has the knowledge to really get in there and mess with things though. I can easily say that my install looks better than OSX or Vista, and combines some of the best UI elements of both. As a development environment, everything is configurable, so after the up front work configuring, setting up templates for your files, and picking the right text editor. My development flow shames anything I’ve seen on Windows or Mac.

      Anyway, the point is, if you have the knowledge and patience to configure Linux the way you want it, you can end up with an OS that is exactly suited to the way that YOU do your work. I don’t think I’ll ever go back. I use Xubuntu as a base for my system, but it would work just as well with most other flavors.

  17. Serial Port says:

    Look if you can’t convince someone to give Linux a go then… SCREW THEM! Let them go waste their money on a crappy OS.. Let them get virus after malware after trojan when they click YES to “Are you sure?” on that new Vista junk security model.

    The truth is, these people do not deserve a good operating system, and chances are they will not contribute in a positive way to a very, very good operating system , it’s associated applications/tools (salute the GNU) and fair licensing model (GPL/BSD/etc). They don’t deserve your/our help, only our pity.

    Those willing to have an open mind, allow their home or business server to be Linux or another open source system, to have their website powered by say LAMP rather than an owned Windows server, or are brave enough to install Ubuntu or another distro in a virtual machine or dual boot – these are comrades-in-waiting! These friends are open source’s future.

  18. Reason 4 is use Linux is not well written. The LAST reason to use another OS is to be diffrent. Look where that ad campaign got Apple.

    Improvement is one thing, but believe it or not, people who use Windows aren’t all stupid, and calling them it isn’t gonna get them to switch.
    Don’t insult your prospective user base. Its not a good idea.

  19. It’s just the lack of adobe products that hold me back, nothing else

  20. I currently have Ubuntu on a partition on my otherwise Vista machine and when I use it I feel very much like I am visiting poor relatives in the Ukraine. Windows is so much smoother going back to it after a few hours of Linux is like sinking into a hot bath at the end of the day. Linux is more complicated to use, all that getapt install etc business may be interesting but it is not easy.

    Having said that, I’m not giving up on linux. It may be less pretty and smooth + more complicated but the challenge of changing and the mystique makes the whole experience worthwhile, but it will be a few years before I could use it exclusively.

  21. You start with the weakest point: security.

    Yes, Linux can be very secure, especially when compared to MSWindows. But if you bring those same users with their bad habits to Linux, in sufficient numbers to make the Linux platform the dominant platform, you’d soon see security problems everywhere.

    Let’s consider: Linux has that mysterious “root” account that is needed for all sorts of things. When you install software, you need to be “root”. When you update the system, you need to be “root”. When you get those mysterious “permission denied” errors, you need to be “root” (or at least if you are root, the errors go away).

    Take a user who happily downloads and runs files from any old website; a user who enables javascript, flash, java, active-X, and trusts every single CA in their browser; a user who, when confronted with a dialog box that says “You need administrative access to accomplish this task, please enter your password”, will immediately do so. Take such a user, and put ’em on a Linux box, and that linux box will be toast.

    Sure, we have SELinux and friends. But those aren’t going to be used by the average end-user, trained by Microsoft for decades to do the stupid thing (because the system is so lame you can’t do the right thing); rather, the average end-user will disable all that crap so they can play the game their brother-in-law forwarded to them.

    Viruses and Trojans are no more difficult on Linux than any other system. They WOULD be, if the default installs had /, /etc, /var, /tmp, and /home mounted no-exec, and /usr mounted read-only, and so on and so forth. But that’s not what we see.

    Really, the only reason Linux is “more secure” from viruses and trojans is that the community has a far higher per-capita paranoia rate, and a much smaller population. Reverse both of those, and what is Linux left with?

    “You can compromise the user-account but not the system”?

    If you can compromise the primary user’s account, you own the system. It’s just a matter of time.

  22. “I believe that Linux will never gain more than a 30% marketshare if it continues like this… mainly it has the same problem that Windows Vista has, too many editions, in the Linux case is too many distros. Until people take notice and decide to create only one and focus only on one the user will be undecided and go with the crowd (Windows).”
    That is one of the best things about linux, there are many distros, different people have different needs for example poeple who need video editing/production, music composing and stuff can use linux distro designed for that purpose, it’s not a weak point.

  23. This is really good article Jason Dyok, Thank You. If you have spear time, I welcome you to email me about some blogging.

    Anyways, I’ve used all windows versions up till vista, for 11 yrs. The most I’ve used is Windows XP. I’ve tried vista but never liked it. I’ve also used linux on and off for many years. Most of it dual-boot then virtual os (vm). I’ve switched to linux completely three weeks ago and I love it. Never going back.

    I agree with Jason Dyok, Quote “The one you should use is the one that works for you. The great thing about modern OSes and current hardware platforms is that you have the ability and choice to use any and/or all of them to get what you need to get don, done. One should only be limited by their imagination, not by the tools they use.”

    Use what works for you, don’t listen to anyone 😉 All this flame wars only get you to ground zero =D

  24. KEG, LOL says:

    every time a linux apologist faces the ‘games’ issue they throw out quake 4 and doom 3. news flash: nobody gives a shit about quake 4 or doom 3! it’s time to face reality, ok? those games came out like ten freaking years ago.

  25. I appreciate the idea of this article, but you are incorrect about the hardware and software issue… linux is an amazing fileserver and is good for general office computing, but as far as games, multimedia, and creative professional needs, linux is nowhere near the level of microsoft or even apple…

    don’t get me wrong… i actually use linux as a development php/mysql server… i used to use straight up debian, but my current favorite is ubuntu because it is the cleanest and easiest to me… in my search i tried a lot of different systems, but all the ones i liked we based on debian…

    games i could care less about, but it is a fact that there are not nearly as many “modern” games for linux as there are for windows…

    hardware vendors just do not support linux as much windows… apple even has issues with missing drivers… i have had a lot of problems with getting just simple soundcards to work in linux, nonetheless newer video cards…

    as a creative professional, apple just plain owns, although windows is my choice only because of general compatibility as well as price… there are drivers for everything and it “just works”…

    let me give a quick list of my daily needs that linux cannot supply… adobe, macromedia, steinberg, roland, yamaha, korg… yes there are alternatives, but they exactly that… alternatives to the real deal…

    linux has a use… serving files… just like a hammer has its use… a computer is a tool to be used to its best function… you wouldn’t use a tablesaw to turn a screw…

    a piece of advice for you… try not to get defensive or angry when someone tells you that they don’t like linux… maybe one day linux will be the most compatible and awesome system available, and the evil domination of microsoft will come to an end, but as it is right now I wouldn’t give a linux computer to my own sister…

  26. I am a regular tinkerer with Linux but being a developer for corporate based applications unfortunately linux just doesnt run the required (mostly microsoft) technologies I need to use on a daily basis.

    I just wanted to say while on the most part I agree with these types of pro Linux article im getting abit bored of seeing the BSOD argument. Are people really still seeing the dreaded bluescreen on a regular basis. I for one havent seen it for a long time and I put the OS under some pretty reasonable stress everyday. Also to be fair if you really wanted to it’s pretty easy to force any OS to crash ( I for one managed to make a right mess of ubuntu trying to get dual screens to work with my graphics card )

    My 2c

  27. free argument Bs when you buy a pc you still pay for windows

    • Johnson says:

      Try Dell.com they sell computers with linux. Perhaps buy a computer at Walmart that doesn’t have a os pre-loaded.

      If that doesn’t suit you then build your own. It might be a learning curve but you will get a better bang per buck ratio in performance.

  28. i dual boot XP and ubuntu(the terribly easy-to-use distribution), and i find both to be solid OS’s

    yes, linux is superior… probably by far in terms of structure, safety, and all that other jazz. but windows has a huge market share. and naturally, almost all commercial are released for windows. I’ve tried the free games on linux before… and in comparison to windows-only games, they kinda suck

    linux was definitely a joy to use. i still dont understand most of the terminal commands. XP feels more cumbersome. even moreso than vista(say what you will, but i find it to be a very user-friendly OS).

    Also, i LOVE the effects you get with beryl on ubuntu. definitely superior to vista.

    so in short… if you aren’t a gamer, give linux a try.

  29. Myth 1: “Linux is hard to install”

    Firstly, this isn’t a Myth.

    Secondly, just because people don’t agree with you, doesn’t mean it’s untrue.

    Thirdly, most of the problems that non-linux people have with linux is that they don’t use linux often. Which means if they have a problem inside linux, say an installation fails, they’ve got no idea what to do. On windows, more people have some sort of idea what to do.

    This extends to the explanations in linux may appear to be explained well, to you, but often the explanation isn’t done well for a layperson to really understand, or it’s done in a different way that they are used to (making it harder to understand).

    Myth 2: “Linux does not recognize my hardware”

    Again, this isn’t a Myth

    Virtually not an issue and not an issue are two different things.

    Myth 3: “Linux is too complicated to use”

    Again, just because you don’t agree with it, doesn’t mean it isn’t a myth.

    A graphical Interface with a mouse and windows doesn’t make an intuitive interface.

    Auto-updaters don’t make an intuitive interface.

    Add/remove software capabilities doesn’t make an intuitive interface.

    Having a bunch of applications doesn’t ensure an intuitive interface.

    Yes, windows is “just different” to linux, but it’s like learning another language. German has words, syntax, structure, verbs, nouns, it’s just different to English isn’t a very resounding argument for why someone should learn German.

    Myth 4: “There are no applications available”

    I’ve never heard anybody say that there are no applications available. Maybe that it’s harder to find the applications that you want to use, and don’t make your interaction with your system worse.

    Even assuming that people say “there are no applications available” would you consider for a moment, at least before calling people liars, that they are generalising. Much in the same way that people go “there are no games on linux”, they don’t mean games that you play through a VM, spend 9 hours configuring with wine, is 5 years old or is tux racer.

    Reason 4: Self Improvement
    Most people don’t want a computer to develop on. They want to download pornography in a manor that they are most comfortable in. Because, let’s be honest, who wants to be uncomfortable when downloading porn?

    Reason 5: Cost:

    I can count the number of times my XP box has suffered from BSOD; even then, most office software that’s been around for the last 10 years auto-saves frequently. I’ve probably lost more time due to my hard-drive corrupting than I have to your shitty example. Being a non-moron, I’ve got virus scanners, and firewalls installed.

    All up, I probably have 2 days of lost productivity due to Windows being a shit operating system, compared to the dozens of days due to stupid systems administrators who configure network profiles incorrectly, and hardware failures.

    Here’s one of my own that you should add in:

    Reason 6: Being a smug cunt.

    If you install Linux you can postulate about how awesome you are because you use a fringe operating system. I mean, nobody can rant and rave about how awesome they are because they use Windows, but in just a few minutes of using the easy (I promise) installer, and you’ll be a know it all God who can tell people what they feel, even if they’ve never experienced it from their point of view.

  30. Actauly my view on why Linux has not taken off is really a pretty simple one.

    One particular monopolistic company has made it nigh impossible to allow OEMs to install Linux on their base systems for sale. They are only now starting to break this stranglehold. Look how amazingly well a linux machine like the eeePC is selling as well as some others out there. Think of all the Routers and switches running Linux firmware. Linux is being used far more than people believe, just not in the public view.

    If you had to remove all the Windows sold through OEM’s and just looked at the store bought versions to the downloaded versions of Linux, you should see that the numbers are not that different.

  31. I definitely do not believe that Linux has a broad game base. I use Linux for work and anything I want secure. I use Windows for games and browsing. I let Linux access the hard drive. Windows runs off a disk image in Virtual Iron.

    Being a reverser, I’ll admit to having never agreed to any EULA, and to having reversed windows.

    “If you can’t open it, you don’t own it”


  32. kriiiiis says:

    I’m going to compromise the security of my documents/work/etc because it plays ‘insert game title’ well.


    I like the priorities of the computing masses today.

    I think the point of this article isn’t directed towards convincing you to switch your OS but to discredit some of the misnomers attached to Linux distros.

    I don’t think Linux requires any more ‘tech savvy’ abilities as it does to boot and version of Windows. Every OS runs into these same issues attached to drivers/hardware.

    Now which do you think is easier to sort.. issues on a system the is closed off or a system where your entire back end is completely transparent?

    No system ‘just works’, look at Vista even being this far into a release or XP even.. still run with instabilities. And for OSX, my MBP is constantly receiving firmware/software updates to keep it running. So people really need to get off of the “they just work” kick.

    If your system is fulfilling your needs then what’s the problem? Stick to what you know if you’re not having an issues.

    You wanna hear people act like children? Go anywhere and state your opinion on Mac vs. Windows.

    Go Linux!

    • >I’m going to compromise the security of my documents/work/etc because it plays ‘insert game title’ well.

      Who says I have to compromise the security of my work? I have never had a virus. In fact, I completely reinstalled my windows box and left off the anti-virus software to see how long I could go without getting one.

      >I don’t think Linux requires any more ‘tech savvy’ abilities as it does to boot and version of Windows. Every OS runs into these same issues attached to drivers/hardware.

      Because my grandmother knows how to partition her disk, right? Even Ubuntu still asks this question during install. God forbid her laptop wireless driver doesn’t work out of the box for a two year old system, just like mine didn’t. Or how about configuring 3d for my ATI graphics card on the same laptop?

      >No system ‘just works’, look at Vista even being this far into a release or XP even.. still run with instabilities. And for OSX, my MBP is constantly receiving firmware/software updates to keep it running. So people really need to get off of the “they just work” kick.

      Bull. I installed Vista on that two year old laptop and had less problems than with Ubuntu. The absolute only issue I had was the sound card in Vista, because the company didn’t have the drivers at release.
      As for OSX, I bought a brand new MacBook, and have had less updates to my system in three months than I had in one week of Ubuntu. And everything “just works.” I get the best of both worlds. I can run windows with parallels, and can have all the open source software I need.
      Plus, each system is built to specs, so not “every OS runs into these same issues attached to drivers/hardware.”

  33. This article suffers from the classic misunderstanding about operating systems in general: It’s not the desk that’s important, it’s what’s ON the desk that matters. If you’re not a geek you care about as much about the manufacturer of your OS as about the manufacturer of your desk. If the maker of your desk made as much fuss you would tell him to shut up so that you can get on with your work.

    Oh yes: Reason 4: Self-improvement also contradicts the rest of the article, admitting that Linux will demand a considerable amount of your time so that you learn how to use it. That’s your desk taking time away from your work. Only recommended if you really enjoy that kind of thing. Otherwise you choose Windows or OS X and get on with the more important things in life.

    • “It’s not the desk that’s important, it’s what’s ON the desk that matters.”

      EXACTLY. My Windows 2000 desk holds everything I need on it just fine, and has for almost 8 years now without a reformat.

  34. Linux Luver says:

    Myth 5

    Linux has no decent pc games…



    whoops it’s true

  35. hi thanks for the article. I’d no idea I could try it without doing a full install. Can’t wait to try it out when I get hpome tonight.

  36. Minion4Hire says:

    I have to agree with the games comment. There are games available for Linux, even games I play (EVE Online for one) but they are not without varied bugs and quirks, and in the case of EVE offer reduced graphics relative to a Windows platform. And getting support for games within Linux is ridiculously sketchy due to the number of distros available. Issues seen within SUSE may be entirely different than those in Ubuntu, and getting specific answers for a specific symptom in a particular distro can be near impossible.

    If more games were written for and not ported to Linux you might have an argument, but as it currently stands the majority of games do not offer the same experience in Linux that they do in Windows.

    I have no problem using Linux but I’m not going to dualboot and restart my system into XP or Vista just so I can play a game at full resolution, or with HDR, or to access the one or two Windows apps I literally need. That’s an inconvenience I refuse to put up with.

  37. FaberfoX says:

    Linux so far is not for gamers, besides, I don’t think they’re such a huge portion of the market, noone I know spends 400 bucks every 6 months to have the latest video card. Developers are much more interested in releasing for consoles than PCs, less piracy, zero hardware compatibility issues, bigger profits.

    To Brian, give ubuntu a try, I’ve been installing hardy beta on lots of different hardware with NO issues, if you managed to survive with the support lacking xp64, you’ll do much better with ubuntu.

    Right now linux is targeting over 60% of the home market in my opinion, regular users who use the pc for web surfing, email, light office work, IM, file sharing, media playback. For all those uses linux excels, my dad’s first computer has ubuntu, he couldn’t be happier, my sister will be next.

    If you bought a machine a few months ago, it came loaded with vista and you’re starting to get tired of it (or been since the first day), before installing a pirate copy of xp, really, try ubuntu, if you’ve never been exposed to linux you are in for a treat.

  38. friedbrains says:

    I had some work related encounter with Linux using Red Hat Linux (Enterprise Edition- I do integrated applications with computers- engineering, a bit fancy stuffs but not too complicated not that too geeky with programmings and stuff, just configurations and integrations- i.e. practical applications…

    Two days ago, I almost bought another laptop- the cheap ones, just so I can put my hands on installing Linux, Ubuntu in particular, but the I already have HP_Compaq V6000 with Vista HP pre-installed and I decide to just do dual-booth… Perfectly great decision on my part! I downloaded Ubuntu Desktop 7.10- the Gutsy Gibbon, and gutsy indeed… the installation was so smooth, even my grandmother can do this… it was very straigh forward as easy as Windows, did not have any problem with drivers and I was surfing with FireFox in no time, and the best thing is I can easily switch between Vista and Ubuntu…
    Somehow I think I will be booting on Ubuntu more…

  39. I might be wrong, but I’ve never seen any kind of innovation from Linux based OS. It seems that they are just trying to catch where Windows/MacOS are at their current state. They probably do lots of things better but nothing different. So why switch ?

  40. Caspper69 says:

    Simple, stop being an evangelist and understand why people use Windows / Mac OS X.

    1) Binary compatibility (hint: it’s a big deal on the desktop)

    2) Hardware support – Windows gets the drivers first, and they come from the manufacturer. They are usually fully functional right out of the box.

    3) Consistency – One of the greatest things about the OSS movement is that there are 100 ways to skin a cat, and if you don’t like my way, you can do it your own way. Fine. But with a desktop operating system, there shouldn’t be ten different ways to execute the startup scripts, two different sets of sound modules, thousands of different libraries, many different subsets of implementation behavior, etc. These things are great for people who desire the utmost control and for servers. For the desktop, it’s simply not that way.

    4) Configuration – every distro is different. the update systems, how to modify your bash prompt, how to configure your mouse, how to configure your monitor, how to set up your file extensions, how hardware is managed, how drivers are installed, etc. There are subtle nuances among the distros to too many common configuration tasks. A desktop user can’t even configure Windows, and it hasn’t changed much in 8 years (save Vista, and even that’s relatively similar).

    5) Commercial software. Like it or not, gnucash is not a substitute for Quicken/Quickbooks. OpenOffice is not an acceptable substitute for MS Office in a corporate environment. Games using WINE are not an acceptable substitute for games running natively on Windws (why would you run games at 60-80% of their native speed?) And what about all of the vertical apps that are not, and will not be ported to Linux? Accounting, appraising, legal, engineering, art, medical, etc. There are programs that people rely on every day that you haven’t heard of. People can’t just drop their software because Linux is more secure.

    6. Installation – if you really think this is so easy, you’re fooling yourself. I’ve installed hundreds of distros since 1997, and they’re not easier than Windows. Hell, I installed Ubuntu three days ago, and after installation, it wouldn’t boot because grub couldn’t mount my partition. How hard is it to check and see if a special driver was needed, then make sure to warn me about potential issues with Grub? Sure, it has gotten easier over the years, but since most people have Windows, and it’s the only OS on their computer, they don’t have to know anything about installation.

    7. Familiarity – this goes a long way. People can sit down in front of Windows or a Mac, and be generally competent with no training. They could most likely manage to keep the computer updated, customize their wallpaper, maybe set up a screen saver, install a printer, do a few things here and there. With Linux, I doubt they could get much farther than browsing the web. Adding a printer? Ha! Figuring out how to mount a USB thumb drive when the automount feature is not working properly? Mount another filesystem? Appropriately manage the various user/group accounts on a Linux system?

    Listen, every year we hear the same thing about Linux on the desktop, and every year we tell the Linux community what the issues are, and every year they politely tell us to go fsck ourselves. We get it, you think Linux is cool. I personally think it gets in the way. And I use it quite a bit. I use a computer to do work. The computer is a tool. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Until Linux can fix its shortcomings, it will have a hard time on the desktop. Remember, just because you like figuring out “issues” with your computer, and you like installing lots of free software, and you support the movement, and you like knowing every little thing that going on in your system, etc. doesn’t mean that everyone does.

    Stop arguing about your choice of operating system, and start working to make it better. You’ll do much more for OSS, because whether you know it or not, every time you argue with someone (and belittle them because they don’t share your opinions, so they MUST be stupid), you make Linux look bad, and you essentially guarantee that that’s one more person who’ll never touch Linux.

  41. Well, people play games without knowing they are actually playing on platforms with customized linux kernels. Say, PSP, PS3, and let’s not forget the most widely available gaming platform, PS2 (Unfortunately, there is a witty way to keep the customized kernel src only “Open” to offical devkit owners while being compliant with the kernel’s GPL license).

    But I must stated clearly here: Most x86 PC Linux distros are not exactly geared towards gaming purposes and the display driver support lag quite a bit behind windows’ equivalent(Nvidia’s making progresses but in some sense, not really justify the extra spending of the driver dev cost for linux platform). The popularity of 3D gaming on Linux PCs is…. you know. If you are heavy gamers, you better stick with your favourite gameing console(s) and/or MS Windows for DirectX-based Games at this moment. (Unless, you are causal gamers who can be easily satisfied with Tetris and Tux Racers 🙂 Doom & Unreal series are the very few special cases, but you can always play these on popular game console(s) with even better gaming experience.

    On the other hand, ever notice linux desktop environments like Gnome and KDE become increasingly sluggish and resource hogging as their new versions coming out? (Some really low-end, age-old PCs can’t run them smoothly. e.g P3-667, 128MB RAM but less resource chewing is supposed to be the strength of Linux Destop, Right?) Not sure how their developer are going to fix the over-bloated src tree. The kernel is fast but the desktops and “some” of the linux apps line-up are not. Don’t tell me the end-user have the src and they can always fix the problems themselves as they please.

  42. yeah sure, linux is great, that is until something goes wrong, or something does not work, then you have to read 50000 how to’s, visit at least a million forums and after a week or so of reading u will find a partial fix to the problems, but guess what, that fix will mess something else or worse yet, the os wont even boot.
    i have installed several distros or linux and they all lack on something, one would not do this, the other one wont do that etc, i remember i installed fedore core 5 and it would not recognize one of my drives, despite my best efforts, so i tried out ubuntu and sure it did install the drive but my v card would not funtion properly, so i set out to get the proper drivers and OMG, the how to that comes with the package from nvidia was like 100 pages!!!!!! i just want to install some drivers for christ sake!!!, but fine, i followed the instructions and beholddddd, upon reboot, the os would simply refuse to boot, lol lol, i just had it, i removed the partition and simple used partition magic to fuse it with my windows xp partition.
    also, u say security, ok thats true, but the only reason is cuz no one cares about linux, i mean, if i was a hacker/craker and i set out to write some spyware/malware/virus to steal credit card info and such i would make it to yield the best results possible, and if we take into account the number of users using each os, the choice is clear. 90% of users vs a 6% the most.
    remember when firefox was being pushed as more secure that IE?, now that firefox has gained a lot more of market share, is it not patched as regurlarly as IE? how can this be, if the browser is supposed to be secure, a lot more secure that IE?.

  43. I’ve only read untill myth3 and I don’t agree with myth3. Linux software installation is easy as long as you stay within the “safe-zone”. When you want to install a small exotic app. you’re mostley doomed. How are you going to install that freddy the fish which was a free dvd inside a box of cereals. They don’t support linux.
    What about that latest game you or somebody else wants to play? doesn’t work.

    some say: wine-hq! I say nothing works on it.
    others say: buy crossover I say how am I going to explain to someone new to linux that he has to pay to be able to install old windows software.

    To be able to play such amazing games as GTA2.

    Their answer is but you said linux was free.

    Let’s be honest. Linux is for 2 groups of people:

    -enthousiasts: people who have fun fudging around in pc’s like stated in an article.

    -people really basically using pc’s: the elderly, people who just surf and don’t install anything, learning pc’s for children and other specific needs.

    The latter group uses what people give them. Saidly enough mostley windows although lately they also choose apple.

  44. I think that sometimes proponents of Linux over-advertise the fact that the OS’s and the software are FREE.

    As a generalization, the monetary value of a product can sometimes be an easy way to judge its “worth”. The fact that MS WINDOZE costs x hundreds of dollars and that Linux costs $000.00 could be a deterrent for some people.

    Maybe focusing on it’s strengths more than the non-existant price would be more useful.

  45. An interesting read. I can’t say that I entirely agree. Compared to Windows Linux is better in a great many respects but the elephant in the room is Mac OS X.

    My thoughts here: http://atomac.aucs.com.au/?p=84

  46. I installed Ubuntu on my Acer Aspire 5000 Laptop.
    It installed fine but wouldn’t recognise my broadcom wireless adapter but after many frustrating hours and after reading many forums I finally got it to work.
    I then had the joy of installing flash via the synaptic installer which also failed. After much tinkering I managed to get some psuedo flash player to work with firefox.
    At the end of the day just getting 2 basic elements of desktop computing to work was challenging and enough to put me off. People say it’s the tinkering and getting things to work is what makes Linux fun but I don’t want to spend days tinkering. Ubuntu is not ready to compete in the general public arena, it needs support from hardware manufacturers and needs software support that isn’t all command line based.
    I’m sure Ubunut will get there one day but not anytime soon.

  47. I’ve used a variety of flavors of Linux in my time, and have never really had many issues. There are forums, IRC Channels, newsgroups, wikis, and other endless documentations on almost everything having to do with any major distro. If you can’t find an answer to a problem you’re having, I bet you’re not trying hard enough. Nobody is trying to force anyone to switch, but for people to sit here and talk about how it’s too difficult to install, not enough support, games don’t work, etc. is just insane. Through all the games I’ve played on Windows (SWAT 4, WoW, Quake), I’ve never had a problem getting them to work in Linux, either through Wine or CEDEGA. Also, the library of applications available through Linux is HUGE. For every Windows program, there’s maybe 3 or 4 (sometimes even more) programs that do the exact same thing, and they’re free. If people cared to take a few minutes out of their day to figure out about Linux and how cusomizable it is to the user, I think we’d see a much larger transition.

  48. Irish Al says:

    “There are no applications.”

    Well, it depends on the applications you want. There are no or very few small-business accounts or payroll applications. That’s hugely important. Having 900 different text editors doesn’t impress business owners. Not many AAA games either, unless you use WINE or Cedega, but what average user is going to dick around with those?

  49. I completely agree with the article. The fact is that Linux is a great alternative for MANY users. Most people are not hard core gamers, and for the average person, who simply does some word processing, surfs the web and e-mails some friends, Linux is perfect, it is especially good because it is free.

    One thing the article failed to point out was the fact that Linux will also aften run on much older hardware than Windows. I use Xubuntu on several older machines that I wanted to restore some usefulness to, works great!

  50. Hi Jason,

    i agree with a lot of your points on Linux, but i also disagree with some points. Im a Windows user with a small interest and only a little bit of experience on Linux (you can still call me a newbie i think). Let me explain the reasons for my opinion:

    I installed Linux on a Laptop two weeks ago. I decided to use Suse Linux 10.3. Now let me tell you my experience on your points:
    1. Its easy to install: Definately TRUE
    2. Does recognize “older” hardware: Definately WRONG. I had to work more than 20 hours in order to get the Wireless LAN Adapter to work. And it was only possible to do it with ndiswrapper. The card was from Atheos, so i thinks its not that new and its not that old either. After one week i still was not able to have the sound card work. it was recognized, it was enabled but i was not able to get a single noise out of the speakers. I can add a lot of more issues i had with the installation.
    3. Linux is not comlicated to use: I disagree in certain thinks. To make Linux work with my graphics device i had to switch to an other runlevel, login as root, run certain tools, look in the logfile… All this is very difficult for a newbie in Linux. If everything is working quite well from the installation on, its ok, but when there are certain problems in device detection or configuration, i think its impossible for a newbie to fix these.
    3. There are many applications available: I partly disagree with you. You have a lot of application available, but its either hard to find them from within your distro (Suse for instance, you have to add certain softwarelists to the software installation application in order to find any that are not officially on the suse list) or you have to install your own application from one of the packages (rpm or whatever). This is quite easy, but sometimes a lot of applications come without all the functionality you have in windows. For example the CD/DVD burning app K3B. Its easy to use, but if you install it it complains about the missing mp3 codecs (the reason is irrelevant). The user has no real idea on where to get this package or which one is missing in detail.

    My experience is based on OpenSuse 10.3. I thought its one of the latest distros out there. But the problems an unexperienced user might get are so many. I thinks its not an option to use it as a pure desktop replacement when you dont have any experience in Linux.

    If the driver support becomes nearly as good as on Windows OS, i think Linux might be a real option and danger to the Microsoft company. A lot of people out there pay for Windows and get a system that usually have only a few issues on hardware. They often use it for the work they can also do with Linux (office, internet, music, video…), but the problems they might get may stop them from using Linux beyond these problems.

    Sorry, but for its still no option to use Linux as long as all the driver hardware issues are not solved.

  51. I have to disagree and this is why:
    Point #2, hardware: I tried to recycle an old 300mhz AMD machine with a serial mouse. I tried two versions of Ubuntu, Linspire 6, gOS and one oddity I found from a magazine that was supposed to ‘look and feel’ like Vista. Guess what? None of them recognized the serial mouse, which brings up point #1, installation. None of these would even install since they did not recognize the mouse and provide no EASY way to install.
    Point #3-any operating system that often requires the user to open a TERMINAL session to do things that in other OS’es are done graphically is not ‘easy’ for the average user.
    Point #4-the argument about going into a STORE and buying a piece of software still holds true. I have seen very few brick and mortar stores carry Linux software. The one that did, CompUSA, is gone now. And, no, downloading thousands of clones is not what I mean. Even that process is cumbersome and seems to vary from release to release. And, sorry, WINE does not cut the mustard either. Yeah, it kinda sorta works for some apps, but the result is far from what the developer intended.

    I’m not saying it is bad, I’m just saying that it still has quite a way to go to come close to the Mac OS, let alone Windows as far as being a viable alternative that I could put on any non-tech person’s computer.

  52. “It’s as easy as Windows…just different”

    This is just not true.

    Any real use of the OS requires users to learn and understand console commands. Its just rediculous to say this procedure is “as easy as windows”

    I have used a number of linux distros over the years including opensuse, mandrake, kubuntu, puppu and knoppix. The forums for any linux distro is full of posts from people who dont understand how to use it because of the complexity of the console.

    It really irritates when Linux ‘Fanboys’ post this sort of garbage. Putting Linux on a par with Windoze for ease of use is just false and misleading.

    State the facts or dont make the post. You set people up for a whole world of time wasteage and heartache if they dont have the technical nouse to get their distro to do what they need.

  53. The issue of support is one of the central issues facing most computer users. I’m not talking about corporate support but rather, support offered by family and friends. Windows users have a large and comfortable group of people they can go to to answer questions they have.

    As more Windows power-users begin to consider other alternative OSes either because of issues with Win-based PCs or the company that makes these OSes, they’ll slowly be in a better position to offer Linux support and administration.

    I already have most of the people I know using cross-platform, Open Source Software so the applications will be the same. As I complete my migration over to Linux (currently using XP and Ubuntu), the next step will be similar migrations for those already expressing growing concern over Microsoft’s lack of focus and interest for the consumer (DRM, anti-competitive practices, issues with data interoperability, forced upgrades on their OSes and Applications, the general cost of doing business with Microsoft, privacy concerns, etc)

    An fyi for all those tauting Windows games as a major stumbling block. There was a similar and even more vocal outcry when Windows 95 surfaced and tried replacing DOS. As Linux gains more Windows-power users followed by the users they support, the advanced graphical games will follow.

  54. 3fingers says:

    Call me when (if) they figure out how to make the back and forward mouse buttons work in linux.

  55. I would agree with most points. I don’t consider linux easy to use, though. Just simple things like playing a DVD or networking with a windows network – these aren’t easy to do – your average computer user would NOT have the patience for it (i needed to use the terminal and install half a dozen packages to get an encrypted DVD playing in ubuntu-VLC that had worked instantly in windows-VLC – and i still haven’t figured out networking with a windows network)

  56. Myth 1: “Linux is hard to install”

    It is actually true [for me]. Installing from a live CD is a pain, I have to wait for a very very long time. They should have an option of installing Ubuntu from a text-based-installer interface.
    The partitioning dialog is also VERY HARD TO UNDERSTAND. They should make it more obvious. Also, as long as command-line installation commands are there, linux will never fail to scare most new users. Even tech oriented people that I know frown on flash player installation which needs a command line instruction.
    I don’t get it. Linux enthusiasts/developers never seem to understand there is something wrong in the OS.
    Linux must evolve to consider user needs. People will not actually care if their OS is an open source project or was built by a monopolistic company.
    If Linux does not change, don’t expect people to change [their OS].

  57. Gaming…

    the only reason I’m not on linux. Wine and its variants simply is not enough for any serious pc gamer.

  58. all I can say is that ubuntu studio is pretty damn solid. not that it don’t do some funky stuff sometimes, but a quick reboot and it is running as good as before. it recognizes my external harddrve, has all the office programs I need an lets me save the files in windows format so I can turn my work in to window users when needed. it also came with a pretty damn good recording studio that lets me control midi, produce guitar effects and export mp3 format. great for the poor boy artist. speaking art it also has graphics programs and just about any thing U need. if it is not running well just go find info, and read and learn your system. for some reason I can read about Linux and get in to it and solve my own problems, but I could never get in to windows. all the tools and programs you need to fix and tweak your system
    are free and available on the spot but for windows you must PAY, PAY, PAY….. you want security YOU MUST PAY, you want recording software YOU MUST PAY, you want to recover your system YOU MUST PAY….I’d rather try something different and as for gaming, man grow up, go to an arcade or use your sons xbox. with ubuntu their is no reason to produce and thats great….. thanx to all the program developers and code writers for linux you all deserve a big hand. this is like a revolution!!!!

  59. 3fingers says:

    There are too many different distributions and apps that only work with certain distributions to attract the average pc user. They need to all pull together and concentrate on making one great windows-replacement OS instead of having 100’s of different versions to choose from.

  60. NonApologist says:

    Oh spare us *nix geeks. The Myths are largely true.

    1) Some flavors of linux are incredibly hard to install, most are mildly difficult, only a couple of dumbed down ones are not and even then they don’t work on every PC you could throw at them (especially anything cutting edge/new). This is because hardware vendors, big and small, don’t spend a fortune supporting a turely niche market space and it’s users by coding up *nix flavor drivers.

    2) User experience is totally determined by the distro. Most are nightmares for ‘average joe’ PC users, and the few easy enough to use are rather dumbed down compared to Apple and MS systems. Further, support for these distros is… sorry, but in a word it’s shitty. There may be documents, there are surely user groups and forums, there are even a few distros that have support desks worth contacting… the problem is the docs are written by hardcore geeks most often, and done so in the most fratctured and disjointed of manners (just like the code base for open source *nix is), the forums and message boards and user groups are littered with complete geek aholes who want nothing to do with ‘average joe user’ and who are usually rude and not helpful.

    3) Myth 4’s comments still have me rolling, as they always do. Simply put, there isn’t CRAP available for Linux when compared to either the PC or the Apple libraries (and the Apple library compared to PC is a joke). Sure, there are tons of open source programs, free and all, available… but the quality of most is iffy at best and many are pure crap, and their support and documentation is spotty at best and non-existant at worse. There is next to nothing mainstream and off the shelf available natively thus forcing the use of emulators, and those emulators are terrible for gaming cutting out a huge chunk of usefulness and the software library in one fell swoop. In essence the home linux ‘average joe user’ will find next to nothing to use of any quality in most areas, and some areas of PC home use are basically cut off to him or her.

    As for the rest of the crap article – Self Improvement? What? Do you think granny who just want’s to email and do some geneology is interested in Self Improvement?

    Support??? As pointed out above, Linux support is a joke!!!

    Updateability??? Spare me… sure, it’s always being updated (The code base, the variety of builds, etc). But in a linxu/*nix world so fractured and divided, and with an open code base the quality of all of this is questionable, at best. IN a word, you get what you pay for.

    I make no bones about it, MS and on the whole Apple are not doing so hot. They are not innovating, there are plenty of issues, and it’s not cheap. But the pipedream that a community developed OS and software base is going to displace or manage to reshape the PC world is laughable.

  61. Liked the article, though it’s a bit optimistic, in my opinion. Have been using Linux for some time now and it’s been a joy for me seeing it growing together with my Linux skills. It has come a long way.

    People fear change because it’s in their nature. This I can deal with. What i can’t stand is ignorance. Comments like “I use Vista so I can f**k you all” (read on Digg) make me think that those people SHOULD pay for their crappy Vista. Microsoft really blew it with Vista, as they did it with Windows ME (any bells ringing?). On the other hand, XP is a solid, trustworthy OS.

    Why use Linux? I don’t know…Out of curiosity, out of respect for those people who are handing out a free OS and tools. Just run a LiveCD, have a little patience, look for an answer when you have a question. Linux becomes better with every user who has it on his PC. Wouldn’t you want a great free OS? Or you got used to pay big money for…like everything?

    Hardware problems? Well…mainly it’s the manufacturer’s fault for not releasing Linux drivers, and then there is that stupid lazy ass programmer who didn’t sleep some nights to emulate or reverse-engineer those Windows drivers and gave them freely to the masses. Damn him!

    No apps on Linux to meet your needs? What are your needs? Surf the net, email, word processing and spreadsheets? You’ll find Linux knows this, for free. AutoCAD, Photoshop (no offense Gimp)?…stick with windows. Games? Maybe you should buy a PS/Xbox. It’s cheaper than a PC.

    Linux has come a long way and more is to come. The best way of leaning something is by using it and not quitting at the first sign of trouble. And that dreaded terminal in Linux…that’s what keeps your computer from crashing everything when a single app(window) does something nasty.

    Oh…did I say that Vista is crappy?

  62. Don’t get me wrong, I use Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon as my main OS on my laptop, but at first install, all the partitioning, boot managers, and swap partitions that’s required can be tricky, not to mention even more so when you want it to coexist with XP, and be dualbooted by Grub.

    Also, another issue I find with Linux is the lack of any decent graphics design and Office tools. Yes, I’ve found GIMP, and yes, I have OpenOffice, but they have some way to go yet before Photoshop and Microsoft Office 2007. So for the time being, I will be rebooting to XP to do my webdesign, graphics and term papers.

  63. Great article… I have to confess, I’m a recent Linux convert, Linux Mint did it for me 🙂 I tried a couple of distros in the past, Mandrake 10 and Fedora Core 3 (I think), but I couldn’t really get them to work properly (yast refused to connect to the servers, for example)…
    Now I’m running Ubuntu Hardy, bought a laptop with no OS, because Windows just gets on my nerves. Almost everything worked out of the box, including a CDMA USB modem (which works better than with the Windows crappy drivers provided)!
    I love the autoupdate, the fact that I can install/remove anything without bringing the whole system down or even rebooting, the vast repositories of software available, and the fact that my comp actually runs FAST :))

    As for gaming, if you’re a really serious gamer, run a dual boot with Windows 😉

  64. These are all great opinions, but for each “Linux is easy to use/install/get support for” post, there are dozens of cases that contradict these claims. My own experience with desktop Linux has been mixed at best, aggrevating at the worst. Sure Linux is “easy to install”, if I don’t mind my video resolution being 1024×768, my wireless not working or my sound card only functioning half way.

  65. if it got a decent bash, I really don’t care what it is.

  66. In an experiment to test linux I had no problems using it with the bundled apps until I tried to watch a real media file. I went to the real website and downloaded the codec and I couldnt figure out how to correctly intergrate the command line for the codec to work properly. Can someone tell me how that is as easy as double clicking an exe and clicking next a few times?

  67. Freedom is the only reason to use Linux. There is no way to get arround the fact that it is pain the ass to switch operating systems, and there are no practical reasons to do so. However I am willing to go trough trouble of installing linux at home to make sure that corporations are not limiting my use of my own computer.

  68. ok honestly, if you use linux you almost HAVE to have a windows xp partition. Which is really quite simple considering all the computers are shipping with over 160gb hard drives now( at least those worth a damn). besides you can even tri boot on an 80gb hard drive with the normal app’s people use such as internet explorers, office programs, etc. Also It does have a great deal to do with the distro you choose of linux when it comes to your individual machine. Although Kubuntu and Ubuntu are becoming a very big norm now. Linux is just more safe to use for everyday tasks like on line banking, trading, etc. However, Windows is still very necessary. The point of this entire article was to say that Linux OS’s are a viable “alternative” to windows and often is much more “hacker proof”

  69. I am also a new Linux convert after I got my Asus eeepc a while ago and I loved its linux system – fast startup, much less program crashing, use less memory – it is a really nice experience BUT I still need to say the fact, it is really un-user-friendly, or more clearly, un-noob-friendly.

    The first thing I would like to point out is language support. I know not many people speak as much languages as I do, but personally speaking, to install fonts and input method for Japanese, Korean and Chinese is really making noob away from Linux. There are forums that teach you how, but first, beginners won’t know how to check those, and even if they do, editing sources list and doing apt-get install in console scares them away.

    Installing new software has a similar problem. Some of them you will need to get from apt-get. While some is better, have installers. But I still experienced difficulty finding my newly installed program. Sometimes I have to eventually go to the root folder and find the link back – how many beginners will do that?

    The worst of all, Linux has a lot of different version created by different people – Xandros, Ubuntu, Red Hat, Gnome – to tell the truth, I still don’t know what differences they have. There isn’t a lot of advise a Linux virgin can get. But look at Windows, either XP or Vista, one newer one older, easy and simple. Or if you get a Mac book, you always get the one you need. And how many Linux laptop out there in the market except the one I am using? Correct me if I am wrong, I don’t find any. All these different Linux need to join together before they stand a chance.

    I mean, while Linux is really a nicely built system, trying to convince people (especially beginners) using them will definitely take a lot of time.

  70. Ubuntu Linux runs on 4 of 5 computers in my house. I’ve also installed it for about 15 different friends relatives and customers, including many seniors.

    Only two have switched back.

    One friend had to have XP installed (needed MS Office in school) after a solid year of using only Ubuntu.

    Suddenly XP wasn’t so easy for him to use anymore. Now he stays in Linux unless he has to use MS Office.

    Another friend bought a Microsoft Zune and as a result must have it hooked up to Windows. He is not interested in learning or using Linux until a way is found to interface with his Zune.

    So there you have it. Microsoft is only needed because of their proprietary apps and devices. And only because consumers aren’t aware of other choices.

    If MS Office ever loses the top rung as the defacto standard Office suite, it will never get back on top again.

    The fact that schools teach software from one company over others is just wrong. Schools should not support vendor lock in.

    Microsoft is no better than the IRS. Just a private company that has its hooks into our society too deeply for us to dislodge it.

  71. Chris Grooms says:

    The fact is that Linux is still way behind. I’ve used it for 8 years. I do know what I am talking about, but I’m sure there will be plenty of comments after this one claiming that I’m a “noob”. Oh well, fact is, Linux is terrible. The only people that don’t seem to agree are people that are also pretty annoying and egotistical.

  72. Myths 1 & 2 are more truth than myth I feel. I have never been able to live-boot Ubuntu and have it “just work”. The wireless card won’t work properly on one laptop, and on the desktop it can’t see the hard disks because it doesn’t have the proper RAID driver. I know that people are quick to say “blame the manufacturer” and to be honest much of the fault does lie with them. But if popular adoption of Linux is to ever take hold on the average desktop Linux coders must start working on solutions to these problems without relying on the manufacturers for support.

    So why don’t I get involved with Linux, whether it be writing documentation or reporting bugs? Well, I’ve tried. When going into a newsgroup to ask for help, I get met with the “holier than thou”, “read the f—ing manual n00b” rhetoric. I assume that Linux coders and power users aren’t marketing majors based on this disrespect given to new users. Perhaps these people should begin supporting and helping people and, instead of flagrantly disrespecting new users, embracing them as welcome new members of a small but growing community.

    Fix the bugs, abandon the attitude, and Linux will be more popular than ever. Maintain the current course and Linux will continue to be associated with buggy applications and drivers, disrespectful users, and complete consternation.

  73. “It’s ridiculous the hassle you have to go through to install drivers or even programs. Exponentially harder and you know it.”

    Hmmm… I click on System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager, search for the package, right click and choose “mark for installation”, then click “Apply”. That’s “exponentially harder”?

  74. Peter Short says:

    1) Upgrading is great, until the upgrade path does something bad. Then a normal user is stuck playing with obscure config files. Basically if you get in trouble then its hard(very very hard) to get out.
    2) Windows does have drivers for most things. Ive never been stuck at 2am at night scanning forums to find a driver to make my wireless lan work.
    3) Linux is easy to use, if you are only interested in mail / internet and basic office stuff.
    4) Linux is as free as your time.
    5) Gaming for linux is not free. Wine is dodgy and Cedega is a monthly subscription fee.

  75. I use linux at school. it is very easy to install. i used to think it was complicated. I was wrong.

  76. John Smith says:

    I find it hard to believe that you call a forum, a means of support. If you are a semi-computer savvy person, you are well aware of online forums, however this is again something that only exists ONLINE. Window$, as well as most Micro$oft products have a number to call. As lame as to talk to a foreigner for tech support, that is what 70% of window$ users will use. As a ex-worker from GeekSquad, I spend 99% of my calls trouble shooting windows problems. When training my replacement all i had to teach was some simple windows fixes, and the occasional apple fix. It would have blown my mind to need to talk some one into reseting their network parameters, or installing some repositories , OVER THE PHONE. This is the my only problem, tech support. No average user will even think about going online for an answer, I know they are there, I helped write many articles for quick windows fixes. But no one will even spend the time of day to read them, they would rather spend 2$ a minute to talk on the phone to some one.

  77. Responding to 4 replies…

    1) Linux performance vs Windows performance…

    I’m glad you chose World of Warcraft as your metric, Jack D. I’ve run World of Warcraft under Windows XP and in Fedora using Cedega from game launch for over 2 years. I was a WOW addict like many are. I was in the second largest guild on my server and we competed to be the first to tackle areas like Molten Core and BWL, etc.

    I found my frame rates to be identical in XP and in Cedega. That’s right, the same. The game actually performed identically under BOTH platforms. One difference was, I had tweaked XP a lot to get it to run as fast as it could while still maintaining the highest visual quality settings. In Cedega I didn’t tweak anything. I did use identical visual settings.

    So if anything, you could argue Cedega was faster. That’s not a scientific approach however, even though it was testing the same application on the same hardware, the environments are obviously quite different. Nonetheless, your statement cannot be true.

    Even more amusing, during my entire time of high end 40 person raiding, several times my guildmates would experience a problem and they would all crash at once, and I wouldn’t. I’d be stuck in the game world, left to deal with a Molten Giant by myself. Everyone would later comeback and say “Did WOW just crash for everyone??” Everyone would say yes, except for me; the lone guy running Linux who didn’t experience the bug which triggered all the Windows clients to crash. I guess the W.I.N.E. team having made their own implementation of the WIN32 protocols, didn’t implement every mistake like Microsoft did. Wine Is Not an Emulator.

    2) DOOM3, Quake 4 are old games…

    Yeah, they are, but I see you left off ETQW, why? Could it be, because it came out late last year and it ruins your theory?

    3) I can’t go to the store buy brand new game X and be guaranteed it will work in Cedega or W.I.N.E…

    That’s true, no guarantees. If you’re 12 years old, like to buy a new game every weekend, play it for 3 days, then move on, Linux is not for you.

    You could always buy a console, like the PS3. Hey, you could put Linux on that too, bonus! 😉

    4) I didn’t pay for Windows so who cares…

    Someone said they never paid for Windows, implying they had less expectations or concerns as a result. First of all, you have paid for Windows if you’ve ever bought a new computer. The price is higher because you’re getting a licensed version of the OS. In addition to that, all that “great” “free software” that comes pre-installed is not really free. It’s just another reason for the vendor to boost the cost. An added cost you wouldn’t be getting if the computer didn’t come with Windows.

    Secondly, the entire world pays because of Microsoft. If you pay taxes anywhere in the world, you pay more because of Microsoft. The entire world is constantly in court, dealing with anti-monopoly issues resulting from their conduct and refusal to obey judgments that have gone against them.

    Thirdly, you pay more because of all of their decisions and the impact it has on the industry. They constantly fight against standards, keeping software and drivers less efficient than they could be. They use their power to shorten the life cycles of hardware products costing you more money for your computer.

    Vista is here, does anyone need it? No, but Microsoft is going to make you use it. You can’t stop them. You have no idea how much money they cost you.

    Regardless of that, if you use their products you should pay for them. I always have. Even though, I no longer use their products, I’ve paid for all of the ones in the past that I did. I’m an American. To pirate or steal software is to become un-American; if such a term exists. Our economy is based on companies reaping the rewards of their products. If you use it, you should pay for it. Of course you don’t have to, you can use GNU/Linux for free or pay for a Mac if you want an alternatives you can feel comfortable with.

    • Wow KEG… You have some anger issues. Please seek help and soon!

      Apple = proprietary dictatorship

      Microsoft = big business who’s lost touch with the little people

      Linux = a bunch of geeks and WOW players who can’t find dates

      None of the three choices are great so let all just try to calm down and have some fun. We only go around once and getting all pissy really isn’t making this world a better place. 🙂

  78. I’ve carefully read every post in this thread and with just a few possible exceptions, all posters, for and against the arguement, appear to fit into the category of people “who know about computers”

    Until Linux, in whatever variety, installs and works easily for everyone “who doesn’t know much about computers”, and “who doesn’t particularly care to” other than switch on, check email, buy cd/dvd from Amazon, download cd/dvd not from Amazon, play game, switch off, which world wide is the far great number, then Linux is not going to be mainstream, no matter how much some would like it to be. Screen res and wireless are just two things that spring to mind right away as being stumbling blocks for mainstream take up.

    And it doesn’t matter if it’s free or not. If they were giving away free Ferrari’s, but people couldn’t get the engines to work, most people would stick to the same old clapped out rust buckets to get them where they want to be.

  79. All these comments about how windows is better than linux are so ignorant? get some facts first please don’t believe everything you read in some website, go and try out things for yourselves. Linux has its great uses, just like how windows has. All these dumb arguments why one its better than the other are pointless if:

    1. you never use it
    2. your “friend* use it
    3. you don’t have any idea of how things work on the linux side
    4. you have no remote idea of how a OS works
    5. you have no idea of the internal differences of linux and windows and why those differences are there.

    At the end of the day its a tool, just like any other it has a time and purpose and linux serves it damn well, just like how windows does.

    So lets all have a nice cup of STFU tea and stop trolling because we don’t know how computers work. **Reminds me of christians trying to prove why/how Jesus is real**.

    – Vincent

  80. John Smith says:

    licensed version of a windows OS on a computer adds less then 10$ to the total cost for the OEM

  81. Er, two myths I don’t agree with:
    1: Linux is complicated.
    It just is. I have encountered many more problems trying to install programs on Linux than on Windows. The software add/remove is bullshit, because half of it has some kind of compatibility error, which you then have to research on the internet in order to get it to work. If you don’t know what you’re doing, and get the wrong guide, you can fuck up your system beyond repair. I mean, come on. I agree that Linux is a lot better than many Windows users make it out to be, but it isn’t until you learn how to use it. Mac OSX has a more intuitive interface… Linux is only simple for users who want to use more basic functions like emails and the internet – for anything more advanced than that, it takes time to learn to use it. Time I don’t have.

    Also: a lot of the software for Linux is unfamiliar, and does simply not meet the standards of some software for OSX/Windows – eg Adobe. Sure, you can run it through WINE, but it will take up at least 1.5 times the resources – something which I can’t afford on my computer.

    As for your reasons for using Linux:
    Self improvement? I prefer improving my coding. I have Linux installed on my system, but I use it when I want to mess around – not when I want to do anything in particular.
    Cost is less of an issue than convenience. If it’s inconvenient it’s costing me.
    Updatability is great – can’t say anything negative about that.
    Security is great, of course, but then I don’t mind having an anti-virus program installed on Windows – it’s not hurting me, and I haven’t had a virus in years now. Any advanced user should not have a problem with Windows security – and for most Linux distros you need to be one.
    Support is abysmal. If I want to get flamed and made fun of for my lack of knowledge of Linux I can just go on a support forum and voila. If I’m trying to find a solution to something, and I google it, I tend to find 15 posts that MENTION the issue, but none that RESOLVE it. They don’t even link the poor user to the solution, but instead just tell him he’s an idiot for not searching. Furthermore, many explanations are hard to understand for average computer users (who have not been using Linux for who knows how long).

    On a final note: I found this site through Digg.com, and I am sick of seeing fanboys talk about how Windows is better than the rest, and then how OSX is better than the rest, and then that Linux owns all. You’re entitled to your own opinion, but stop holding those people who don’t agree with you in such low regard. Linux fans have got to be the most condescending fanboys after the Mac ones… ever. I’m sick of hearing how you’re “better than me” at computer skills. I’m sorry, but when I want to get stuff done, Linux won’t work for me – it uses too much of my time to get a simple f***ing application installed, let alone for me to be able to use the system flawlessly.

  82. Lots of people mentioning security on here and how much more secure linux is. I use Ubuntu and every 15 minutes I have to enter my password to make any changes and every time I go to the terminal to issue a command I have to enter my password.

    One of the biggest complaints against Vista when it came out was that you had to click on “OK” to verify your choice every time you changed something. Imagine the crybabies if they had to enter their password all the time like in Ubuntu (and I expect, all linux GUIs). Security is only as good as the weakest link. You can’t have security AND freedom. You get one or the other.

  83. Random Tech Guy says:

    After reading all these posts and having minor experience with Ubuntu and SUSE, which i know isnt much; I’ve noticed that most of the users here that have expressed opinions more windows biased than linux, seem to understand a bit more of what they are talking about. Not that I care either way, I dual-boot Ubuntu 7.10 and Vista Ultimate SP1 on my home machine with little to no issues. Of course i get problems from time to time but it’s all really stable.

    They both have their bad sides and their good sides. Linux, on a business point of view, outside of being any kind of server, just isnt productive. Most business’s thrive on programs like Outlook, Exchange, etc… and openoffice just cant cut it in regards to features in ms office. Not that openoffice is bad, quite the opposite, its amazing for what it is. However, the fact that it rely’s on java, which is heavy and cumbersome, will be its crutch for all time :/

    Ubuntu has come a long way since the days when i tried Mandrake and I must say, I had an enjoyable experience… all up until i tried to play music right from a fresh installation. Not having native mp3 support? I understand that mp3’s are not open source but cmon, having to install extra stuff just to play a file that kids 9 and up are downloading off limewire and such each and every day… kinda sad.

    I do however, love the visual effects and speed of linux for the most part but its still like an infant in the world of home desktops and broadrange use, but im sure it will get there someday. Until then, much like intel dominating amd, windows will be on top because they have the money to do so.

  84. Linux is free, and when I say Linux is free I don’t mean free as in price I mean free as in freedom, liberty. Dose liberty matter at all anymore, do any of you care about your right to free speech? I use Linux because I am garmented that I can use my computer how when and where I may, you can’t say the same about Windows or Mac OS. You can be 100% sure that the NSA forced Microsoft to put secret back doors into Vista. Or what about the design limitations that Adobe built into Photoshop, you are not allowed to scan US currency in to Photoshop. The Linux equivalent GIMP/Sane dose not suffer from the same deficiency, and you can rest comfortably knowing that there are no secret government or corporate root kits built in to the Linux kernel. These are just two examples, if you look closely enough you’ll find hundreds of other freedoms you must surrender to use Windows.
    Give it a try you will find that Linux equals liberty, or don’t and live out your lives as sheepeople, one thing is sure I’m not going to follow the Microsoft flock, you can have my Linux when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.

  85. I can’t help but throw my two cents in. I use XP and I use Ubuntu Linux. If my apps would run well on Linux or even on XP on top of Linux, I’d do it in a flash.

    Windows got slower and slower until 98. Then 2000 came out and was actually faster than the preceeding OS. That’s the only time in history I’ve seen a new M$ operating system faster than the one that came before. Then came XP and it was slower again by half. The same is true of Vista, and I won’t ever get anywhere near that OS.

    The apps I use forced me to XP, there was no choice on my part. I won’t ever allow any vendor to take that choice from me again.

    Ubuntu runs well. It feels faster than XP and doesn’t require a reboot nearly as often. That or OSX would be my choice. Trouble is that I have a working PC with XP or Ubuntu installed. OSX is outside my budget right now.


    • spuffler says:

      Is the solution to your problems that you should run your Windows software under an emulator which is running under Linux?

      Or is the real problem related to -not wanting to- or -not being able to- be different from a crowd? Does your IT staff understand Linux or do they cry that it is making life difficult for them? If your IT people make you think Linux is not worth the effort, then they are telling you what you have to choose.

      Me, I’m quite functional using Linux/OpenOffice/FireFox/ThunderBird/KPDF/Amarok/Hydrogen/CheeseTracker/Gimp/Scribus/CDparanoia/FLAC/Easytag/CUPS/Java1.6/KDE/K3B/memtest86/etc.

      At that job, I was able to use Linux from a LiveCD and I never missed an email, I edited and created many Word compatible documents, I made and edited Excel spreadsheets, I logged into a VPN using Opera and I ran their web based applications. That was back in 2002. And possibly because I first made friends with the IT people, so they let me. I made friends by not letting them argue that Linux was second class software. I educated myself, and they saw that.

      Going to geek out? Well, yeah but maybe you could use the pushbutton distributions first.

  86. im trying to make the switch slowly, I allready boycott Vista, every day im finding new games or apps. I may allways have a use for XP-like Team Fortress 2, but eventually, like 2 years from now, i can see myself as a Linux only user. I have Ubuntu on a separate HD on home pc, but am having problems making a dual OS laptop as my optical is dead, guess i’ll have to buy a big flash stick or make an external HD to get it on there. good article

  87. rockface says:

    The truth of the matter is that most people here NEED Microsoft. They NEED to be told what to do, they NEED to be told how to do it and they NEED to be told when to do it.

    They do not make a move in any facet of information technology without Microsoft approval. They cannot and will not think without Microsoft and Microsoft groupspeak.

    Without Microsoft they simply cannot be. With the Microsoft Nanny watching they feel safe and secure and are blind to other choices.

    Microsoft has made these individuals the way they are. ‘Point and click does the trick!’, can I have my milk and cookies now Nanny Microsoft?

    Some here are at least familiar with other platforms and judge Linux/FOSS on its merits. When Microsoft becomes just as IBM is now (just another big player), these people will flourish.

    Evolve or perish. Linux/FOSS, just like Microsoft, aint going away. Better to know both than to dismiss out of hand!

    • spuffler says:


      Just like 4 years ago when a Microsoft advocate told me I was using a criminals operating system. Now I remind him that NASA and the US Navy seem to think like criminals, and that many of Pixars movies would not exist without Linux.

      Sadly, not all PC users NEED to be sysadmin level. Not all PC users need to be Linux savvy. As of recent months, KDE has enough similarity that a lot of folks are dropping Vistabomonation in favor of Linux in some form or another, usually a *buntu.

      I don’t mind if some folks can’t administer Linux (they couldn’t administer Windows 98 either), they can pay me for my services (I usually get about 500 calories per hour).

  88. I use Debian (Etch) and Ubuntu (Gutsy) (as well as Windows XP…)

    My experience shows that there are a few things that need improvement in Linux (at least with the above distros I’ve tried):

    1. Better power management support. This is a common complaint from Linux laptop users: that the same machine runs significantly longer on battery in Windows than it does in Linux, even with all of the tweaks exploited. I really hope that the Linux development community pushes harder on this.

    2. Resolving network-related issues. I have had bad luck with getting various 16-bit wireless networking cards working right after installation (curiously, the installation itself was a network install, so it is extra annoying to have the same card I used a moment before to install Debian not recognized after rebooting). On another machine running Ubuntu, I can get a different PCMCIA networking card to work using wicd (rather than the default network manager), doesn’t auto connect after reboot. I’m sure I’ll resolve it eventually, but it will require me to geek-out on it.

    • spuffler says:

      1] Dell Inspiron 2200 Laptop here, power works fine, I can see battery charge percentage, shuts down properly, goes into low power mode… Bleeding edge laptops are harder to get working under Linux mostly because of 2 issues: 1] Linux is not installed on too many laptops. 2] Windows popularity all but forces driver development for the Laptop chipsets is to be made for Windows before all others.

      Network related issues: Try a different distribution, Debian is not a distribution I’d personally point a newbie at.

      PCLinuxOS MiniMe 2008 even has my 2 different unsupported Broadcomm wireless NICs working just fine here.

      • Debian is what everybody should use. Ubuntu for noobs and regular debian distro for everyone else =) I was so happy to see a local kid in my small town running ubuntu. A lot of old admins make fun of the people using it, but personally, I’m happy to see something with so many ease of use improvemnets to help people shift to a better platform.

  89. Linux is harder to install
    Most computers come standard with Windows, so no installing is required.

  90. I posted an article about this same thing on my website. It’s on the front page if anyone wants to see it. In any case, let’s get to the point about hardware and drivers… because gaming aside from commercialism is almost ridiculous to argue about.

    Drivers for hardware often fall behind for linux where things like video cards, monitors and printers are concerned. The reason for this is the process one has to go through to get a driver approved for official distributions. When it is finished, the code is tight, it works and very rarely are updates or patches needed in comparison with ANY windows version, but most notably Vista and the old ME.
    There are notorious problems with nVidia. Many of those have been overcome, but some just never seem to work right. This is for the same reason that 56K winmodems were never right for Linux – Because the manufacturers were building them specifically for windows boxes, meaning less in the way of actual hardware and firmware and more reliability on things like dynamic libraries from windows.

  91. I don’t use Linux on my main machine but I have installed it on other machines. The myths about Linux not supporting hardware and not having the applications may have been true 5 or even 3 years ago, but nowadays Linux seems to be getting better with every release. I have used Ubuntu mostly and every time I try out the newest version I am impressed with how much it changed and how much easier it gets to use. Right now I only have a macbook that I use mainly for work and general computing, but when I buy a desktop I will definitely dual boot Linux/Windows mainly because I want to learn more about it. Because I work in the computer field, the more OS I know, the better.

  92. My main complaint with Linux (used as a server in a business environment, not a necessarily as a desktop environment) is that the installation and configuration of individual services and software can be a nightmare. There really isn’t one cohesive process by which this is done. Instead we must cope with inconsistent and often different ways of configuring and installing software, much of which involves terminal commands that are often nonsensical and not standardized. On top of this, you must be acutely aware of the various versions of software available and the conflicts between them. Many pieces of software need to be compiled from source, which means you need the dev tools etc.

    Linux could really benefit from a major rethink of application deployment.

  93. I run Ubuntu and Fedora, and I like both. Fedora runs latex
    very nicely–I can’t get it to work in Ubuntu. But, Ubuntu runs videos nicely ( once one figures out how to get Mplayer
    and Totem to work).

    Linux is fast and free.

    I prefer using the command line–it gives me use of easy Unix commands, which are powerful. I never did understood the obsession people have with Graphical interfaces.

    Installs using synaptic don’t always work in Ubuntu–as witness my attempt to get Latex working. But, they work most of the time. Synaptic needs improvement. Similarly for RPM in Fedora. I still can’t get MPlayer to work in Fedora and I have tried. It’s an older version of Fedora, though.

    Linux is not yet for everyone–you have to be smart, and you have to tolerate a certain amount of frustration. But, it
    works well for my needs and it is free, and doesn’t need expensive upgrades.

    Firefox needs improvement–it hangs too much.

    I am not a gamer–Ubuntu has GNU chess, which satisfies my need for games.

  94. Tyler Thompson says:

    I think you forgot the most important reason to use Linux, in my opinion: Stability.

    • I’d usually agree, but Ubuntu crashed on me during my installation… When I finally had it installed, I had to reinstall, at which point I got rid of it and installed Kubuntu ><

  95. I’ve used MS products since the early MSDOS days (switched to DRDOS just to be a rebel). MS products are not secure. Say what you want about availability of software and the perceived ease of use (or, more properly, familiarity), none of you can utilize Windows safely in a networked environment (including that recent Internet thing a few of you now use). “Drive-by” infection, root kits, etc. make MS products too vulnerable. You claim ease of use? Try removing a root kit. Usability? The criminal who just snagged your login and password for your bank account feels Windows is very usable, too. I’ll gladly deal with Linux’s quirks then roll the dice with Windows vulnerabilities. Hell, if you took away Linux and left me with *BSD I’d figure it out so I wouldn’t be a sitting duck for all the black hats out there. I’d even learn and (shudder) pay for a Mac just to know my computer isn’t owned by someone else. Windows are for those that don’t get it when it comes to vulnerability. Really. . . you don’t get it; the Windows OS (pick any itineration) cannot safely access the Internet.

  96. Peter Short says:

    lol, windows can be hardened, services can be shut down and the win team patches, apparently. Linux isnt invulnerable, they have just been escaping notice due to low home user use. I think thats a very important point. Linux is a great server environment, and in that area it really does flourish. Lots of large organizations use it and its stable and fast and you can bend it to do what you want. But they are then trying to take that code base and after a few bundled apps and gui changes, claim its just as good for a desktop environment, which its not. This manifests its self in many places, arcane config files(users arent devs), poor gui reaction time (ever resized a window and compared it to the same thing on a win box?). Then theres the double edged blade of flavors. Although the code is open source and there are a few million eyes etc, they have all decided to break off and do thier own thing, meaning instead of one single trunk linux that moves ahead with goal and purpose, there are umpteen ditros that all try to be something slightly different, because they tried to add that to a current distro but the core devs said no. I am going to give a laptop to my g/fs niece for her birthday, i was considering installing linux for her, there is something there and maybe it would be a benifit to know a bit about it. Then i thought, she’ll want to watch movies, divx, play games, msn her friends etc. sure it can be done, but if she gets stuck, besides me who can she go to for help?

  97. I liked the article, but I must say that I’ve found the comments much more interesting.

    I’ve been running Ubuntu for about 8 months now (deleted my windows partition about 6 months back) and I have to say that it handles everything I want it to do as a desktop user just fine.

    Admittedly, just as the Mr. Dyok said, every OS has it’s weak points. And for Linux that would be games, but I view this as a “chicken & egg” type problem. Developers don’t want to send effort/money developing games for a small user base, and many users don’t want to switch to a platform without their favorite games… but if the current trends continue it won’t be long before Linux is much more widely used. Plus at least once a month I find out about another developer who is starting to code games for Linux.

    I love reading the stories on digg.com regarding massive OS switches “School Board X switches 10,000 computers over to Linux” “Gov’t department X in Russia/Sweden/US switches 3000 computers over to Linux”. I get the impression that the next generation (possibly sooner) will be much more comfortable with a wider variety of OSes. Once that happens, who knows.

    I noticed a number of posts talking about difficulty installing Linux “I tried in 2005” or “I tried a few years ago and had nothing but trouble”, to those people I would suggest trying again now! I tried, unsuccessfully to install Linux for years, always going back to windows because of some critical installation failure, but like I said, as of 8 months ago that all seemed to go away (for me at least). You might have better luck this time around.

    As for people talking about how much harder it is to use, will you have to do some learning to do if you want to be as good in Linux as you are in Windows, for sure. Think of how many years you’ve been using Windows, and then compare to how many months you’ve tried on a different OS (maybe more like days/hours/minutes?) It took me a while to get used to Linux and it’s an ongoing learning process, but after the first month or two of putzing around figuring out the command line and such, everything seems to work how I like (at least as well as with Windows). Am I as comfortable yet as I was with Windows… not yet, but it’s hasn’t even been a year yet and I’ve been using windows for the better part of a decade.

    Why did I switch? (and why would I recommend switching?) For me it’s a matter of philosophy. When I found out about open source software (do a wikipedia search), I was blown away. Companies/people give programs away for free?! I don’t have to pay for/pirate a copy of MSOffice? (now only $129.99!) I can use Open Office for free. that is just one example, the list goes on…

    It’s true that there are fewer hacks/exploits for Linux desktop users for now, and that will change as popularity increases, but the beauty of open source software is that anyone can audit the code for security purposes, and then submit corrections. I use Ubuntu because they have a huge repository of software that is constantly being corrected and improved and I get the benefit, without cost. (well ok, fewer games, but the ones i do get are free!)

    Is Linux for everyone, probably not, but for anyone that is curious, check it out! It’s not like it costs anything to take a look.

    And by far, the best feature (in my humble opinion) is my Advertisement Free Desktop.

    • I really love your comment. Definitely Linux isn’t for everyone, but it worths a try. But still, if Linux can improve itself more, I believe it is even easier for beginners to start off. I haven’t been using other version of Linux but the one I have, Xandros for Asus EEEPC, requires me to open terminal quite frequently as long as I need something new to install, regardless it is a software or even just a new font.

  98. As has been said earlier, I too still use Windows because of my games, but I dual-boot XP and Ubuntu Linux. There are still some applications I use, too, that won’t run in Wine very well or don’t have a Linux equivalent.

    I mainly use Linux for everything /except/ gaming, unless I have to use an unsupported app. If I feel like playing a game, I either boot into Windows, use an emulator, or play a supported game. Or I boot up my Wii. My laptop doesn’t run any of the new games, anyway (i.e, Assassin’s Creed, Bioshock, Crysis). I get by with my setup.

  99. Vertimyst is a pragmatist; as am I. It takes effort to escape MS’s OS and sometimes it is just better to minimize it’s influence (by the way. I’m damn good at using any MS OS). I was once intimidated by Linux; I got over it and I’m happy I did. Most of my software is now free, it works well and I feel secure when I access the ‘Net. Linux does not pretend to be perfect; but it is, IMHO, a better choice. And for you BSD aficionados, with the proper effort, BSD is a very good choice, too, as is Mac (if you have the bucks). But let’s make one thing clear; you posters that cannot get Linux to work for you are lame. You have no business advising others on how to use computers, the Internet, attraction to the other sex, etc. Linux is not that hard. Oh, and by the way, some fool mentioned “hardening” Windows. I assume you are referring to the “uber” secure Vista distro that has had such spectacular reviews. Then, again, maybe not.

  100. Peter Short says:

    Jim, you are 10% of the population of computer users. OS´s are a business that markets the other 90%, linux is not ready for them yet. Because its immature and built by techies who cant understand why a lay man cant look at “(?<=).*(?=)” and see a regex for html. In general a user wont want to invest large amounts of time in learning how to scan text files in a directory tree for patterns, or care that they have a journaled file system. They want to open mail, view porn and torrent for movies. If anything mass generalizing and ingnoring other ways of doing things based on religion is lame. I thought linux was about freedom and choice, yet if we chose something else we are the devil? Im glad certain governments dont work that wa…. never mind. (we all know vista is feeble, so no, I wasnt talking about that, but seeing as we are grouping all MS OS’s into one glob then it would be brash to assume i meant only vista, I personally was thinking about OS/2…)

  101. The only reason that Windows is easier to install than Linux is that someone else does it for you. I have spent hours in the past installing versions of Windows on various machines, having problems with certain driver disks, it’s a big job.

    I installed PCLinuxOS Mini-Me on my main computer in about 20 minutes. By the time I had clicked icons (note: not used the command line, clicked icons) to install the internet connection, and nVidia drivers, and then gone into the PCLOS Control Centre (note: icon-driven control centre, not command line!) to correct the screen resolution, then left it copying files, there was barely time to make and drink a coffee.

    Then I used Synaptic to update the installed packages and to download and install loads of programs that I needed (no tar.gz files, no command line).

    I have learnt to use the command line, but I don’t have to!

    I’m not a gamer. I have excellent programs for surfing the web, an office suite, everyone knows about Firefox and OpenOffice. But there are loads of others too. Scribus (DTP), Amarok (Music player), Digikam (Simple camera utility), GIMP (more complex image manipulation program), Inkscape (advanced vector graphics editor), KMyMoney (personal finance manager), Kino (Movie editor with firewire support), K3B (CD-burner), NVU/Kompozer (WYSIWYG HTML editors), and that’s for starters. They are all easily installed with a couple of mouse clicks from the internet.

    Linux isn’t for everyone, I’ll concede that. But if you choose your distribution wisely (not just the most hyped up ones), you can get a smooth quick install with few problems.

    A particular strength of PCLinuxOS is that it has a simplified “ndiswrapper” graphical interface whereby you can get a number of wireless cards without linux drivers set up by wrapping around the Windows driver. Once you get on the internet, it’s easier to install fixes for your other problems!

    But if Linux is not right for you, use Windows (or Mac). Or join the Dual-booters. But don’t have a go at Linux users (and Linux users you behave too!). It’s right for me, in that it does what I need it to do, which includes a lot of things I didn’t realise I needed to do at first. All that free software is just too tempting and you find uses for it, that’s for sure!

  102. @Peter Short.

    “Jim, you are 10% of the population of computer users.”

    OK, then who are the other nine people?

  103. I really, really wanted to like and use Linux. Within the last year, I’ve tried Ubuntu, Mint, Mandriva, PC Linux, and Fedora (best one so far) but for some reason I’ve found them to be rather unstable. I’ve actually been reminded of the Windows 95 days, with frequent hang ups and so-so performance (except for download speeds, very impressed with that). It’s getting better though with every release, so I’ll give it another try in the future.

  104. @phxsun
    I’m truly surprised with your stability issues; especially with the quality distros you have tried. Sometimes with Linux you need to seek little help to get past the occasional issue; the forums are usually quite friendly. Linux does have some hardware compatibility issues because some of the hardware manufacturers don’t bother to support Linux due to market share (or lack thereof). One of the compromises you sometimes have to make with Linux is ditching a piece of hardware that isn’t supported (wireless cards can be a problem as can entire notebooks). I use OpenSuse 10.3 for my desktop with great success (Novell controls this major distro) on an Intel quad-core MB/CPU combo. I also have three servers running CentOS 5 (repackaged Red Hat Enterprise Linux) that are boringly stable.

  105. my experience with linux has been that every common task has a non-command line way of doing it, its only when you start moving into the realms of specialist tasks such as internet connection sharing or driver configuration that the shell becomes important.
    as for ease of use the distro i use (Sabayon (a gentoo based flavor)) only gives me trouble when i’m doing something new and then i just RTFM which in all cases has fixed my problems except for my still lacking understanding of how to use the shell properly.

  106. Linux is a great concept, rich with unrealized potential. The statement that if your hardware is six months old your ok is bull. I have a two year old laptop with an intel prowirelss card that Ubuntu and Suse and now Mandriva powerpack will not recognize or allow me to use. Actually it recognises it but will not allow me to actually get online with it. I have been to these three distros help sites and received countless remedies which do not work. Its a great diversion, a lot of fun to tinker with, and a fine waste of time.

  107. PC gamers think they’re a bunch of elitists, but the fact is, consoles are far better for playing games on. They’re designed to play games on, therefore they will be better. End of story. I’ve heard every argument. None of them stack up. Microsoft did one thing right: the XBox 360. For all its minor faults, it’s a great console.
    But my point is this. Computers are for running Linux. Consoles are for running games.

  108. tux-converted says:

    I’ve changed to linux because i got tired of reinstalling windows, and all those bloated aplications that come full of crap that you dont really need. Virus too. That were the main reasons.
    For more than a year now im using Debian, and am pretty happy with it. I had no previously knowledge of linux whatsoever, but the same happened to me when i began with Windows 95.
    Yes Windows is good for games, and also for defragmenting your disk, making anti-virus scans, whatever.
    If i reinstall windows i have to reinstall all aplications i want… always sticked to win2000, never liked too much of winXP, and Vista sucks a lot. Vista is good for a modern machine with graphic capabilities, loads of ram, etc, and the last thing i wanted was to upgrade my cpu, motherboard, graphics card, and all that comes with it, so i installed Debian and by default i had already a LOT of aplications installed. Well not all that i wanted, but if you want something you find your way, like installing amsn, google earth, skype, and maybe other more.
    Yes Linux is not perfect, the games are not the same as in Windows, had problems trying to configure an ATI radeon 9250 graphics card, tried i a lot to make it work with 3d accellaration but no way. So pluged my Nvidia Geforce FX 5200, downloaded the drivers, installed it, installed compiz-fusion and hey !! Who needs vista ??
    Want to run every latest Microsoft OS ?? upgrade your hardware or buy a new box or laptop.
    Anti-virus ? Whats that ?
    Disk Defragmenter ? Disk What ????
    Reboot after install ?? hmmmm…
    Reinstall Windows and after that reinstall tens of Service Packs ??
    Well i use Windows, once in while, like when i want to play a game i have for windows or so…. other apps i have their equivalent in Debian, so as for that goodbye !
    And thanks to Linux my pc reboots faster, thats for sure !!!

    • Cem Kalyoncu says:

      You got the light friend… but some may say better hardware and nothing changes. Hell, no. I got a high end machine and Linux rocks. I mean it, opens applications in no time (not kidding), with stunning effects; compiz is far better than aero. I have 1.5 GB of RAM and if needed Linux uses all. It uses the unused RAM as disk cache. Linux comes with EXT3, when electricity goes FAT corrupts, files over NTFS gets lost and on EXT3 they are all recovered. Anyway Linux is
      1- Fun to use
      2- Its like a garage (unlike windowz is a teahouse), you have everything in it
      3- Easy to use
      4- Cost free

  109. Well, I had linux on my laptop for a few months and hated every second of it. Sure, it was fun learning a new operating system, but people on UbuntuForums just assume that you already know how to “unpackage” a file, or whatever. There were so many different commands I never learned or got used to.

    And about the drivers, holy shit that sucked. It took me a week to get my wireless operational, a couple days for my webcam, and my ethernet port and memory card reader NEVER worked.

  110. “Vista is pretty. Vista is fast. Vista is stable. ”
    Sorry – this made me crack up! Dude you are priceless!

  111. This discussion, and all Linux vs Win discussions, are pretty pointless… It’s like the debate between creation vs atheism or religion vs evolution. You can argue ’till the cows come home, it most probably won’t convince the other side to see your point of view. That’s the mistake most Win and Linux users make…

    The point is, people use their OS’es for whatever purposes they require. WinXp was a good system when it came out in 2001, but it has been superseded by technology… people want more functionality, stability, security and special fx on their new machines. Vista is an alternative for some, but not everyone. It was the final blow that forced me to try linux permanently, and I never looked back!

    Of course, Linux is not for everyone, and I’ve had my fair share of ridicule trying to demonstrate my new-found enthusiasm to others. Essentially, it’s great for me and others like me, who will naturally gravitate to Linux for all its benefits (apps, no cost, stability, functionality etc). As for people like my parents, friends etc, they are needed to run the global economies! They buy software, which stimulates the economy, provides jobs in programming, support (not to mention call centres in India, the Philippines etc)… if everyone instantly switched to open source, I’m pretty sure we’d be facing another IT bubble burst like in 2000! 😉

  112. I love linux though I still (after 3 years) don’t know enough to stay there. You guys complain about things like games which is understandable. Windows is a hog in the market and other than them, no one will ever have directx. And don’t tell me that cedega or wine are alternatives. Wine and cedega might run alot of games but all the games I have seen it support are popular games. Try running Maple Story with wine or cedega. You might not like the game but if you did, it will not run in linux. Sorry but this has been true for many years even though wine has it on their website.

    as far as hardware goes I can also understand your pain.Even in ubuntu I have had problems. That is why I present to you ubuntu 8.04 which is the most stable ubuntu version since dapper. ubuntu never used to let my graphics card run games even with restricted drivers. Today I ran a game without those drivers. Ubuntu is your best choice since they are being shipped with dell computers now. Version 8.04 is the first version after the dell partnership. This means the ubuntu team has been working hard to supply drivers that work for dell hardware. There are tons of things that work now with 8.04. Like I said it is stable and yet to crash on me. I have had certain programs freeze the system though not ubuntu it’s self.

    It’s set to release in 3 days although the beta version is still really stable. the more people who understand and play with linux, the more chance linux has to grow in marketshare.

  113. I run both linux and xp – i have to say, my main problem with linux is the lack of mainstream games, (couldn’t get wine working) – oh well.
    Maybe, the way to promote linux is not to give it away free – ridiculously overcharge for it, give it security flaws, and release unnecessary new versions at random intervals – the “Bill Gates” OS selling method.
    Ubuntu beats XP hands down at performance.

    • @Jamija

      “Ubuntu beats XP hands down at performance”

      Yes, that Ubuntu laptop hard drive-damaging ACPI bug / “feature” is great.

  114. Just a few points about ease of use vs. security:

    1. Almost ALL enterprise firewalls are built on linux or at the VERY least command line interfaces (ex. cisco pix) security = linux

    2. Seen many articles about Apache websites being hacked and personal info stolen (financial/medical) when the company employed more than 100 people? Windows IIS however is constantly hacked to the point that no one in their right mind would put out an IIS web server that holds personal/financial data (notice i said HOLD not necessarily point of sales sites)

    3. The debate is really about command line vs. graphical MANAGEMENT of enterprise software, commandline (ie linux) requires professionals that know what they are doing, any highschool grad can manage a windows server 2003 box after setup without much experience, this is not so with linux

    SO … bottom line is while linux is IS more secure and overall a better choice than anything microsoft puts out the overhead is what holds small to medium sized businesses from converting to linux.

    that is all.

    • Cem Kalyoncu says:

      GNU/linux has a user interface. A pretty nice one too. I use KDE, having an all inclusive master application konqueror which does everything, widgets (super karamba) that can easly be modified to suit your needs, 3D user interface (heard desktop cube, it is compiz which is on GNU/linux systems not on Vista) that really works.
      And server configuration?? Have you tried RedHat EL recently? Type system-config-something for graphical server management of something.

  115. /* I have read through most of the thread, and I feel compelled to say something even though I never, EVER post in forums.

    I’ve tried Mandriva and Ubuntu and SUSe and Fedora, and, like similar posters, I’m running Vista Ultimate. Its not that I think MS is so much better (or worse for that matter), just more my flavor. I use alot of Adobe products (DWeaver, Photoshop, Fireworks alot), and I play the occasional game. But I would probably be a perfect Linux candidate.

    Unfortunately, I just don’t care for it. I have many friends using Linux/UNIX, and they all love their machines. I love mine as well. I know guys who can navigate through Linux distros like Picabo Street @ Aspen. I can through Windows. Who wants to learn new keyboard shortcuts, right?

    In all seriousness, I have nothing but respect for the open source community. I think that in a perfect world no OS will “win” and we’ll all be alot happier when more people take daniel_K’s example with Creative, and large companies (unlike Creative) embrace them. All three (Windows, OSX, Linux) have advantages that the other two should take a closer look at. I use open source apps on my Vista machine, and free is nice. (Thanx for Firefox, btw…) But like a couple other posters I have an MSDN account so its not the money.

    Its just preference. I can guarantee most of my clients would be lost in a Linux distro, just like they are in Windows or OSX. It just boils down to what you like when you know what you’re doing. Once you’ve tried all three, you just find what fits you best. Thats all.

  116. Everybody raise your hand who thinks its easier to remove a rootkit from a Windows box then to do a command line program install on a Linux box (and no cheating on this by taking the “ostrich” approach and pretending your Windows box is “fine; just running a little slow”).

    Now, let’s look at installing programs from a Linux repository vs. purchasing Windows software. With Linux you typically go the installation utility and select the software you like and hitting “OK” or “Next” whereupon it downloads the necessary software components and dependencies. It then automatically installs them. On Windows you surf to a website, give your necessary financial information over (credit card info), download the software to you machine, double click on it and it installs itself. . . unless you went to a rogue sight that just maxed out your credit card and sent you a Trojan infested file for you to install; but it’s OK because your credit card statement hasn’t arrived yet (ignorance is so blissful) and your Windows box is “fine; just running a little slow”.

    Now, let’s talk about “belonging”. There is something about “belonging” to a group dedicated to a purpose that touches everyone; a purpose that everyone involved acts together to accomplish a goal for the group as a whole. Yes, I’m talking about botnets. Install Windows, surf the ‘Net, join a botnet. Hell, join two or three; they don’t take up that many cycles on the ol’ cpu. And when your owned Windows box becomes the slave of a foreign criminal organization you’ll probably hardly even notice. After all, your Windows box is “fine; just running a little slow”.

  117. Fedora 8 FTW says:

    I switched over to linux this year (fedora 8 install) and had very limited troubles. Java install was difficult at first due to my inexperience, but there was plenty of documentation to help me through it. In my opinion, openoffice is fine, but i prefer thinkfree.com’s desktop app. There is a free version of it that lets you sync to an online database that can be accessed from anywhere. Much nicer. Still has the microsoft office feel to it also.

    spend the extra few hours and get linux set up, you’ll be glad you did.

  118. “Salesforce.com is giving Macs to all employees. Yup, all 4000 of us; we are going to be one of the largest enterprise software Mac shops around. As the leases come up for the Dells, IT is replacing with Macs.

    And why, you ask, Security! The resources it takes to defend against all the stuff the baddies throw at a PC, it’s just cheaper/easier to pay a few bucks more for a Mac and not have any of those issues.

    With the Google Apps integration, and moving to the Mac, we will be free of the clutches of the Redmond Beast!”


  119. Peter Short says:

    Just installed Ubuntu on my laptop to see where it is at the moment. Install went fine, repartitioning of NTFS went ok. Started up Ubuntu (8.04), no wireless networks detected. My wlan0 is an intel wireless card, worked in an older version but apparently this version has trouble with that specific card. Also no sound. This after viewing forums etc, seems also to be fairly common with 8.04. Tried to recompile alsa to see if that fixes it, it doesnt. Also tried a few other things to get wireless. Seems most people are sitting around waiting for a patch. A new linux user would bottle after 5 minutes of this. How is grandma supposed to take advantage of the linux support community if she cant even get on the intertubes?

  120. Take the money you saved not buying Windows Vista (Retail Business Edition approx. $280 with tax), spend $20 – $30 on a Linux compatible wireless NIC, go to the Spearmint Rhino and buy yourself 10 lap dances. Trust me, the Linux experience will beat the Microsoft one.

  121. Oh, I missed the sound card. Oh well, no lap dances for you.

  122. Dean Baker says:

    I would like to say I think both Windows XP(W/SP3) and Ubuntu Linux are good operating systems. I use both OS’s but Ubuntu linux(7.10/8.04 )most of the time.

    I don’t understand the arguing here about what OS is better.I think they are both useful and wonderful to use.

    I have been using windows since version3.1.One thing we have to remember is that before windows or DOS came into being Unix was the main OS, linux is a rework of unix kernal, just as the MAC OS.

    Linux is used on probably more systems out there than can be imagined such as Cisco Routers,DSlmodems, supercomputers such as(The Cray Super Computer) which I think uses OscarLinux. My point here is that linux and unix are very important OS, and will probably be used more in the future because, they can be adapted to many different applications.

    I agree that the average user will have trouble with Linux, but in the begining they had trouble with Windows products too. Does anyone remember the win95 days? I do!

    The big problem is in the end whether windows users like it or not, their could come a day when linux, becomes mature enough that the average Joe will be able to us it easily and efficently, even Microsoft is heading in the open source direction.

    So, it would not surprise me if MS comes out with an open source version of windows or possibly their own Linux Distro, it will happen sooner or latter. Microsoft needs to do this in order to stay in the game in the future.Correct me if I’m wrong but you may see this taking place in the next version of windows(win7)

    • XP would be OK, I suppose, if you didn’t expose it to the Internet. I’m sorry, let me rephrase that, don’t expose it to a networked environment. Oh, and let me add all portable media (I hear boot sector virii are making a comeback). Maybe we could package it for small children to use at school; yes, small children not connected to the Internet (or each other). Small children who are not networked would be the perfect Windows users; that is, small children who are not networked with big hardware budgets (isn’t Vista pretty!).

  123. Been running Suse for about 1 year now. It’s great! No problems at all. (had no previous knowledge of *nix systems)
    I just can’t stand the monopoly M$ has running.

  124. I personally don’t use linux for my desktop merely for my servers but these tips make me consider..

  125. techprophet says:

    Arch Linux is also very good if you have an experienced user set i t up for you. (like me). It is much faster and has more apps. But is much harder than the ones you recommend to setup.

  126. OK, now that we have determined that Linux is superior, let’s move on to what is the best distro. I say OpenSuse 10.3 because Linus Torvalds says KDE is the best and OpenSuse is a stable, well supported distro (OK, it’s a little bloated and Novell wakes up in the morning with Microsoft laying next to it).

    • Cem Kalyoncu says:

      I prefer Fedora it comes from RedHat at least has no contact with mikizoft and tools (system-config-* packages) it is shipped with is a must for me.

  127. For starters, i love linux….But only for servers..Yes, it is easier to install, but the hardware is still and will be always a issue….For example, my 3 year old sound blaster card still has no support for it, just a buggy beta driver that has been in beta for over 2years, that still does not work….So forget the newer cards, there is just not much support for hardware on linux….Many external hard-drives refuse to work with linux at all….I still know of many, many hardware configurations that will not work with linux and most are much older than 6months and still no support….and lets be “real” there will never be….Then you have the graphics, issue….Why would i want to put linux on my 6000$ computer and not be able to play games or even make good use out my super fast hardware….I know “Wine” now plays 10 microsoft games, but they are buggy and very slow.. There is very few virus made for linux and it does not corrupt your computer like it would do in “Windows” but however, without proper security you can still connect directly to your linux computer and steal your information, even easier because linux users do not protect themselves like us “Windows” users do….So unless your computer is going to be a server, or if your using a really old and slow computer than you could possibly make good use out of Linux..Also great for the geeks, and for people who code in “Open Source” but there is at least 99 things that “Windows” can do that Linux can not do and probably never will…Linux is best used for a workstation/Server and does not make a good home computer for the family..Linux is not user friendly, and if you have no prior Computer experience, you will spend most of your time in the “Help Forums” instead of fraggin your buddy’s on Call of Duty…

    • First off, the one time cost of adjusting the hardware mix to work with Linux is lower than the support cost of Windows (your time, professional consultant (if needed), anti-spyware/malware) and the actual cost of the windows OS, itself. If you have a “must have” app that absolutely has to have Windows that won’t run under Wine then run Windows, by all means. But if you surf the Net, bang out some email or do any other work that can be done under Linux instead of Windows, the choice is obvious – Linux. Stability, security and cost of software more than offset the possible initial hardware changes you may have to do or even the cost of a consultant to set up your box.

  128. i believe in purpose-built equipment.

    my toaster just makes toast
    my gameboy just plays gb games
    my cell phone just makes calls
    my linux desktop just surfs the net
    my xp laptop is just my music studio

    i find it less frustrating to simply assign reasonable roles for my machines, and enjoy them for what they are.

    linux rocks on older computers, and is free.
    windows xp is awesome for compatability and games.

  129. One nice Linux Distro that iv been introduced to was puppy linux. its got excellent hardware support and also a good benchmarking tool. so you can get a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of a computer. EG my 2.4GHz CPU is not that great at a blowfish (cryptology) function, and one of my 1.5GHz CPU’s actually handells Blowfish equasions better than my CPU…

    Good stuff to know. if your in the IT field

  130. I recently set up DSL on my USB because I got bored and decided to learn about another OS. Linux is one of my cures to boredom

  131. First, Linux is not easy to use, it’s not pragmatic, it’s not free (time is money), and it’s not a better choice over Windows for me and many people.

    It’s not a virtue to ‘know your operating system’. The operating system should work for me and not the other way around. I should not have to learn the technical details of the command prompt, or even put in a command. Yes, it’s true that we want the operating system to guide the process of installing applications, drivers, etc.

    We do not want to know why it’s doing what it’s doing, we want it to just work. Linux will never go mainstream until it solves these issues. Most people get on their computer to listen to music, visit webpages, watch films, read, etc. They do not get on the computer to learn command lines, intricate configuration files for their drivers, etc.

    As far as Linux being fine for gaming, this is untrue. An emulated environment is almost always more unstable or ineffecient than the actual environment that the application is native to. We don’t have scientific date, but this seems to be an idea that we can accept through the use of common sense. In general, it’s the case.

    Linux users\advocates tend to have the habit of criticizing the habits of consumers. Well, if you ever want the market-share that they offer, you better wise-up.

  132. Philo said:

    “First, Linux is not easy to use”

    My friend put his non-techy 83 year old mother-in-law on Ubuntu along with his three children (oldest is twelve).

    “it’s not pragmatic”
    That’s generally true of most OS’s until the become self-aware; then you’re really in trouble.

    “It’s not a virtue to ‘know your operating system’.”
    Well, I find it handy.

    “The operating system should work for me and not the other way around.”
    Are you sure your computer has not become self-aware?

    “I should not have to learn the technical details of the command prompt, or even put in a command.”
    And you don’t, unless you choose to. Ubuntu and many other Linux distros can do incredible things without leaving the GUI.

    “Yes, it’s true that we want the operating system to guide the process of installing applications, drivers, etc.”
    And Linux will accommodate you the majority of the time. I can set up an Ubuntu or OpenSuse box with an incredible amount of programs in half the time it takes to properly set up a Windows box with only the OS to show for it.

    “We do not want to know why it’s doing what it’s doing, we want it to just work.”
    OK, fine; Linux just works and works and works. Windows initially works, then has it’s registry get kludged up, then becomes virus infected and then creates billable hours for me. Umm. on second thought, Windows might be the ticket.

    “Most people get on their computer to listen to music, visit webpages, watch films, read, etc. They do not get on the computer to learn command lines, intricate configuration files for their drivers, etc.”
    They also don’t get on the computer to deal with malware and security breaches. did I mention kludged up registry issues? Oh, yes, I already did.

    “As far as Linux being fine for gaming, this is untrue.”
    So buy a gaming console with the money you save from buying Microsoft licenses.

    “An emulated environment is almost always more unstable or ineffecient than the actual environment that the application is native to. We don’t have scientific date, but this seems to be an idea that we can accept through the use of common sense. In general, it’s the case.”
    That’s why you run a lot of Windows programs in Linux with Wine, which stands for Wine Is Not an Emulator. If you are going to give an opinion, please do the research.

    “Linux users\advocates tend to have the habit of criticizing the habits of consumers.”
    Yeah, they can do some really stupid stuff.

    “Well, if you ever want the market-share that they offer, you better wise-up.”
    I’m an independent IT tech; I like Microsoft being in the hands of the consumers (ummmmm, the billables)

  133. I use linux and XP.
    I thank God for Windows and will not despise my (roots) if i could say that,( though i have found the true “root “is in linux (lol).

    If you learn linux and Open Source, you put yourself on the cutting edge and its an added advantage.
    No point arguing or competing…(A brain CANNOT compete with a billion brains)
    Open Source is the future so lets add the knowledge of Open Source to that of proprietary OS knowledge we have
    kudos to everyone that has contributed…

    And remember it takes being flexible and loving change to progress on this planet.

    I have learnt from you all!!!

  134. i switched from xp sp3 to pc linux 2007 about 8 months ago -installation went without any problems-first time linux user so after i found synaptic for getting and installing programs/software everything was totally satisfactory. the biggest pro’s for me are very fast boot time if i ever do reboot or turn off my laptop, i dont worry any about viruses(maybe i should but i dont), have had no malware,spyware issues where i was having to remove them every few days on windows, linux appears to manage my system memory better, and i like being different from the majority.
    i did try to update to pc linux 2009 just 2 days ago-the 2009 for some reason doesnt support my intel wireless and they have several entries about this on the support forum and some fixes but until a fix is included in the distribution ill just keep using the 2007 distro as it is perfect as far as im concerned and i dont wanna cry too much afterall who has the right to cry when its free as in beer-)

  135. Ubuntu 9.04 rocks I installed it on my dell latitude with no problems the wireless worked right out of the box and once connected to the internet immediatly updated itself and all applications at once.
    The whole process was way faster than installing xp and applying all of its updates and security patchs

  136. EDonovan says:

    The only reason in this article I see to switch to linux is to learn. The problem with this reason is that everyone I sell a pc to just wants it to do stuff for them. They don’t care what is under the hood and would likely get frustrated with many linux conventions. I’ve used linux for years and still pull my hair out when navigating the directory tree.

    Nothing frustrates me more than people pulling the BSOD or malware cards on windows. For me, BSOD has always indicated a hardware failure; how is this a bad feature? Should the operating system trudge along and wait for the damage to become more severe? As far as security, I’ve found all issues against windows are user error. Either the user disables automatic updates or they insist on viewing every email attachment sent to them. Linux only SEEMS more secure because 90% of it’s users aren’t idiots. I guarantee you I could compromise your system if you run a few pieces of code I send to you, either through email or using a firefox exploit (when another is found).

    Most of this “secure” software everyone rants about is readily available for the windows platform as well. Most of my windows apps are cross-platform, with the exception of games and some .net applications. I can’t justify running them on wine or mono when windows does it just fine.

    And everything else linux offers (support, updatability, free software), are also available with every other platform – it is expected of any major software vendor. This is not a reason to choose linux.

  137. The real statistics are not business based, they are user based. The system administrator’s experience is what dictates whether a business’ system is stable or not.

    That being said, LET’S DO SOME MATH!

    Okay, according to w3counter statistics (http://www.w3counter.com/globalstats.php), about 3% of internet users are using linux, and 85% users are using windows.

    this is based on about 66 million visitors to websites.

    Using these numbers, there are about 2 million linux users and about 56 million windows users

    Let’s ignore the fact that malware/virus authors and exploiters are going to go for the larger market.

    Further, let’s assume that the percentage of savvy users is the same on both systems, 70%. In fact, it is probably closer to 80% linux, 40% windows, but we’ll stick with 70%.

    That means 600,000 linux users don’t know what they are doing and nearly 17 million windows users are clueless. Given this ratio, why are linux supporters always so adamant about how secure their system is? When linux is supporting over 80% of the user base on the internet and is still not susceptible to users disabling automatic updates because “they know more than the os” or users downloading trojans, THEN I will be impressed. Until then, I will blow off any attempt to compare linux/mac security to windows security.

    Play around with compromising linux systems enough and you will quickly find how easy it is… and this is against systems with relatively diligent security countermeasures. Imagine what could be possible against low-tech linux users.

    I’ll also note that apart from the occasional malware sweep *just in case*, I do not run antivirus on my pc, nor have I ever had a virus or malware infection. It’s amazing what one can accomplish with autoupdate and mozilla. 😀

    • jman6495 says:

      windows… with no antivirus!
      hell you must be carefull not to catch anything!
      i am a linux user ,i am 14 years old, my parents run windows and once a month i
      have to clean there system of viruses!

  138. Thinking of replacing Windows with Linux. Has anybody heard of Xandros – Linspire? Are these distros considered Linux? Thank you!

    • bbbeavis says:

      Xandros and Linspire are nice Linux distributions. I personally use OpenSUSE, however, if you are new to Linux I recommend Linux Mint which is based on Ubuntu (Ubuntu is a very good choice, too, just a little less “Windows-like”). If you are running older hardware you might consider Puppy Linux.

  139. Tiered of the “Blue Screen of Death” slow downs as computer ages? Expensive software? Dual boot Ubuntu, just to be sure, and try it out for a while! Soon you will drop the Micro$oft nonsense and go totally Linux, with Ubuntu, free software and all! It is a great computing World, and even better with Ubuntu! I had to buy a newer printer, but that was only $39.00 compared to new Vista? I made a killing, and a new printer is nice to have! No games yet, but will search web for some info later, right now enjoying old time computing hobby more than ever – sudo later!

  140. Harly Davison says:

    I use Ubuntu. I have used diff “unix” systems since the mid 90’s. I use it because I like the speed, interface, and it has all the stuff I need and then some. Comes with tons of games, ut’s and Office like programs. I like using the command line. My laptop is close to 5 years old, NEC 540, and Ubuntu runs like the devil on it. I don’t have to defrag, clean the registry, or run “disk clean up”.
    When I have 150gb of trash and I delete the trash, it does it in a wink of an eye, unlike Vista that “calculates” everything for hours. 🙂 Kudos to all involved in the creation of all Linux app’s!

  141. I switched (back) to linux tired of windows totaly hanging and needing a full reinstall every tree or four months. I realized suffering is not imprescindible in computing affairs. But I recomend windows if you are a full or semi digital analphabet.

    • Will Gates says:

      It always makes me laugh, comments like yours. I run Windows fine for at least five years at a time. You must be either really incompetent or have no security on your system or just trash your OS every few months.

  142. If Linux could handle Windows games better, or if game developers would make their games compatible with Linux, I definetly would get totally rid of Windows in my machines. As a workstation or a server Linux is superior, but as gaming os it is not (yet).

  143. Actually a friend of mine loves putting linux on really old computers.

    My favorite distro is puppy linux. I love how it runs purley on your ram.

  144. alexander the great says:

    no to mention linux is used in something like 85% of the worlds supercomputers, then windows and macintosh barely makes it onto the chart, XD

  145. What did that idiot say about being an “illiterate” on the internet ….Sorry but you made no sense at all.

  146. I really wish Linux would catch on more with gaming. I know there are programs out there that allow Linux users to run Windows games but they charge a monthly fee. Since I already have a copy of Windows lying around the house I decided to load it on my computer. I really don’t enjoy dual-booting but I have to until I stop playing video games. OR UNTIL A VIDEO GAME DEVELOPER MAKES THEM FOR LINUX TOO!

    I’m a die hard Linux fan but the sad fact is The World (as retarded as these people are) uses Windows! If you totally cut Winblows out of your life you in a way chopping your arm off from society. I hate how Windows owns the market like that but its true… I will just have to continue to slowly convert people to Linux.

    What really makes me mad even more is when people want to leave Winblows so they switch to Macintosh. Don’t get me wrong…Macs are good for some things but I don’t think they are worth that much money! I would like them more if they weren’t so dang expensive! Linux can do everything a Mac can and then some all for free! Linux Pwns!

  147. linux will never be mainstream says:

    Ask the average computer user what a “distro” is and tally up the results. Another reason Linux is not very popular.

  148. Yes, Linux has a very small distribution compared to windows. And yes because of this there are more viruses written for Windows and those applications that run on Windows. However, viruses are pretty much passé, most “infections” these days are not viruses. These days the infections are in other forms of malware (Remember all viruses are malware, but not all malware are viruses).
    The majority of malware is written using OS independent scripts, moreover, the majority of infections are drive-by infections. A user visits a malicious page and it installs the malicious code. As an IT Security person taking care of over 500 Linux systems we get plenty of infected systems.
    Generally infections are not based on OS type, but rather they are caused by bad user habits. If the user has bad browsing habits, then it does not matter what OS they are using they will be infected sooner or later. Users tend to “choose” to install the infection. If you are going to your parents or friends house once a month to clean off their system, you need not blame the OS but rather you need to do some behavioral modification. Slap them with a ruler and tell them to stop what they are doing.
    So no matter what OS you use, if you are browsing the web without any protection your computer is probably infected with one form of malware or another. Trojans and back doors are very common malicious malware types; however, tracking cookies are the still most common malware type.
    If you are reading this page, then you probably got a common tracking cookie from doubleclick, in my view you are infected.

  149. I use linux every day at work (most of our servers have it installed). At home I use Windows 7. I have to say Windows 7 is the best. It boots up faster then XP, it looks nice, it managers your tasks better. It just seems quicker to do everything now with the lay out of the task bar. I installed in on 4 different computers (2 PCs + 2 laptops) and I didn’t need to install one driver after wards. I’ve had no problems with any of my games they run great. I just totally love Windows.

  150. I read the top few comments and figured I’d add this.

    I run windows without any anti-virus, and have done so for years. I never have problems with any form of malware and in the rare situation where I do, I react and remove it almost instantly (Malwarebytes’ anti-malware will pick up anything I miss). I consider myself the human anti-virus and am so in-tune with my PC that I know almost instantly when changes I’m not aware of are made to it. I don’t have any formal computer education, I’m just a guy with some common sense.

    Anyways, I was interested in running linux on a second partition and that’s why I read this.

  151. MeasureZero says:

    Linux is installed on the majority of the computers in the lab at my college and I love it. The number of cool applications installed is amazing, and the ease of use is second to none. As a programmer, I don't know how I would live without Linux. Running programs is easy, straightforward and as it should be. I am by no means a Windows basher-I have Vista on my laptop and I definitely appreciate it-but if I had to choose one operating system to use, it would be Linux. I look forward to Linux getting better and better. Maybe I'll even contribute to its development in the future.

  152. Still not worth it. Linux if by hacker and for hackers. It not going to change.

  153. Cody Engel says:

    This is an awesome article. I’ve used Linux on and off for quite some time now. I’ve used Ubuntu and Kubuntu and am downloading Fedora right now. While I love Windows just because I’m used to the applications and also since I’m in college I have to submit everything in the Microsoft Word format. However I plan on installing Fedora on my computer I built for a college class and play around with it there.

  154. “If you totally cut Winblows out of your life you in a way chopping your arm off from society.”

    I disagree. It is more like chopping off an inflamed appendix, one that is ready to burst and you are constantly shoveling money into to keep it “healthy.” For every application I use on Windows I can find an open source alternative in Linux.

  155. And here we are 5 years later and Linux is actually in decline regarding desktop usage! The only time I use Linux these days is if I am booting up my Raspberry PI or one of my clients thinks its a good idea to use it because he read an article a couple years ago telling him how amazing Linux is for his servers, and then he complains like merry fits when he can’t get his .net application to work etc. I would say that for Desktop Windows is the best, 91% marketshare can’t be argued with, Linux is hovering around the 1% mark and Mac OS about 5%. You’ll probably say what about Android, well ok Android is Linux based, but it isn’t the sort of Linux you guys really want, and it is still a minority system overall, plus it is slow as hell, is easy to crack and crashes lots when pushed too much. .

    I’m lucky to know most OS’s inside and out, and I still always come back to Windows because it is the best. The vast majority of people will always use it, and they are getting more and more savvy about the virii that disgruntled Linux crackers love to create for the so called hated Microsoft. But you had your chance, you could have beaten Microsoft back in the day but you blew it due to fragmentation and an inability to learn about consumerism. Freedom is one thing, stupidity and ignorance of your end user is another, and you failed totally.

    I forsee a future where Linux is still hovering around the 1% mark five years from now. Pity, you could have had a decent OS, but now you only have an ‘also ran’.

  156. Linux Mint rocks. I can’t imagine going back to Windows.

  157. Linux is a much better operating system than Windows. If you want to run games buy an Xbox or PS3. Yes Linux may require more time to learn but that is why I use it. If you want to join the spoon-fed Windoze masses and live your boring lack-lustre, unquestioning lives then so be it. Windows is only more popular because it is shipped pre-installed on thousands of machines as Microsoft bullies PC manufacturers into installing it which also explains why there is less game support for Linux. If you wish to set yourself free try Linux.

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