Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 12th Jan 2007 23:16 UTC
Linux "While the eyes of the IT world have spent years squinting to see Microsoft's slowly unfolding vistas, the companies and individuals that drive open source have been steadily building a case for broader adoption of Linux-based operating systems. Two of the best all-around Linux distributions to emerge from this process are OpenSUSE 10.2 and Ubuntu 6.10, both of which bundle together the best of what open source has to offer into operating systems that merit consideration for desktop and server workloads."
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1. I don't buy computers with Pre-installed Windows. I build my own and then choose my OS (currently Win2k).

2. I'm not happy with Windows (that's why I was looking at alternatives like Linux).

3. It may take a weekend to configure Linux, but it sure as hell takes more than that to learn what you need to know in order to do this correctly. It took me 4 hours of searching the web before I finally found a post that spelled out the fact that I needed to apt-get build-essential before I could compile a program (and all I was trying to do was install a utility that would let me change the look of that hideous Start button kicker thing in KDE). Having never compiled a single line of code in my life, this process was neither discoverable nor intuitive to me. But once I had the info on what I needeed to do and why, it was a piece of cake (even though I was just cutting and pasting the compile commands without understanding what they meant). This process could have easily been made significanly less frustrating.

4. I am not "reacting annoyed" but simply commenting on my experience.

5. "And the intermediate user CAN get Linux to work, in case it's a distribution like for example Suse or Ubuntu. You might have noticed that those get easier to install and setup with every release"

I'm not just talking about installation, I'm talking about administration. Installs like Ubuntu (apart from the infuriating Grub / MBR issue) have reached a standard where they probably exceed the quality and simplicity of Windows installs (don't know about Vista, as I have not used that).

While you may think users should be satisfied using a stock install with nothing else done to it, (no drivers, no tweaks or customisation etc.) it's not what I would find acceptable. I am currently able to administer my Windows system and tailor it to my needs, and I'd like to be able to do the same on any Linux box that I might set up. I know this will take time to learn, but it's still an area that I feel is somewhat neglected in terms of usability. It seems to be assumed that because someone has a bit of computer experience that they don't need ease of use. You see the same thing in many poorly documented and arcane Windows IDEs. The assumption is that because you are a developer you should be able to figure out all of the quirks of the system for yourself.

To say that an intermediate user CAN "get Linux to work" is technically accurate, but ultimately misses the point that I was making. If people are to switch (and my impression is that this is something the Linux community wants) then addressing the needs of more than just novices would help facilitate that end.

Edited 2007-01-13 15:17

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