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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Keep it simpler
by zhuravlik on Mon 24th Aug 2009 15:20 UTC
zhuravlik
Member since:
2009-08-24

Windows and MacOS are so "user-friendly" due to the proper OEM support. What I've heard about OEM Linux is not a good news. And an average user's desire is a computer with pre-installed OS with full hardware support.

The other point: Linux is a freedom of choice for all software. I won't grant this freedom for anyone else. If I don't need anything I really don't need it to be installed with my OS. It's a Windows way. I had pre-installed Vista on my Toshiba laptop with 1 GiB of ram, and by default Vista used 850MiB and Toshiba utilities used over 100 MiB. So I had 50MiB for user apps and great swapping therefore. After all tweaks Vista eats 800 MiB and I'm trusted there are unneeded features by I have no chance to disable them.

With my ArchLinux installation on the same laptop I have 10-13% of ram used by OS so I'm able to run several virtual machines without swapping at all. Also I'm able to tweak almost anything, even recompile the kernel without any deep knowledge of a process due to ABS capabilities. Also I've chosen only needed software so my 'ps aux' list is very small. =)
And also there is a great community-written documentation, tips and tricks at ArchWiki. There is a solid amount of build scripts (PKGBUILD)
in AUR for any-purpose software including packaging tricks for proprietary and commercial products such as NeroLinux.

After all I'm trusted that Windows and OS X have the greatest usability issue - there is no freedom of choice, so I need to spend my computer's disk space and ram for unused software. Do I really need it? No.

After all - if you want to use something you need to learn how to use it. Otherwise every little problem will be a great headache. It's so for some Windows users: "I've clicked everything, now I have BSOD. Why?"

So: Linux usability is far ahead. Beginners and end-end users need a service where they can pay money to have their system configured by specialists. If custom Linux installations will become a sphere of business, other OSes will have great competitor at desktop market. But of course if will be too expensive for users, I think. =)

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