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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Comment by ven-
by ven- on Mon 24th Aug 2009 12:57 UTC
ven-
Member since:
2009-08-24

Installing any software that's not in the repositories is often a huge pain in the ass even for experienced users, let alone Windows software.

While this is not entirely Linux' fault it's still a problem for most people that are used to just downloading an installer and double clicking it.

It's possible to provide one-click installers for the big distributions (like .deb for Ubuntu/Debian) but the way things currently are that doesn't help much.
Each distribution manages their own packaging system which convieniently is incompatible to the rest of them. Even if some use the same system they might still not work well with each other.
Most devs won't even bother with thinking about that because the distributions' package maintainers do most of that work anyway and if not you could still build it from source.
However, building from source is a practically unsurmountable problem for a beginner and even for experienced users it creates a lot of unnecessary annoyances. Uninstalling from source is even worse and sometimes there isn't even a rule for that.

So Linux users can neither install Windows software nor their own software. That doesn't seem very user-friendly to me.

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