Linked by David Adams on Mon 24th Aug 2009 09:21 UTC
Linux A reader asks: Why is Linux still not as user friendly as the two other main OSes with all the people developing for Linux? Is it because it is mainly developed by geeks? My initial feeling when reading this question was that it was kind of a throwaway, kind of a slam in disguise as a genuine question. But the more I thought about it, the more intrigued I felt. There truly are a large amount of resources being dedicated to the development of Linux and its operating system halo (DEs, drivers, apps, etc). Some of these resources are from large companies (IBM, Red Hat, Novell). Why isn't Linux more user-friendly? Is this an inherent limitation with open source software?
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by 3rdalbum on Mon 24th Aug 2009 10:41 UTC
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Linux is user-friendly, but IT IS NOT WINDOWS.

Newbs automatically try to do things in Linux the same way they did in Windows, which of course doesn't work. Then they look online for a HOWTO, which might be outdated or written for Gentoo (or written for headless servers), and it involves use of the terminal.

Case in point: Samba. There's always people asking how to set up file sharing in Ubuntu. Even the Ubuntu documentation goes through opening up smb.conf and making manual edits, but in reality all that's needed is for you to right-click the folder you want to share, go to Properties, click the "Sharing" tab and fill in the details. Easy. But people seem to think it's hard to set up Samba even when you run Gnome.

Maybe it's because newbs get told that Linux is hard, so they don't bother trying the easy way? It's like when they ask "How do I set up my HP printer on Ubuntu" - they're expecting that it requires them to compile a driver from source code. They're not expecting it to be as easy as "Press the 'on' button and you're ready to print". I've even seen newbies download the HPLIP source code and ask how to install it, without even trying plug 'n' play!

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