Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 30th Jun 2006 19:19 UTC, submitted by Yadav Ji
Linux "Over the years, I've had a number of people asking me what I believe the problem was with further migration over to Linux by the public at large. To be frank, I don't believe that there is a simple answer to this. To me, there are a number of factors that play a role in keeping Linux out of the mainstream limelight" writes Matt Hartley in his opinion piece.
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RE[2]: In terms of math
by Ultimatebadass on Sat 1st Jul 2006 09:38 UTC in reply to "RE: In terms of math"
Ultimatebadass
Member since:
2006-01-08

Sorry but I disagree. It does not win by a long way, not yet at least.

What's below is NOT meant as linux bashing in any way. I use this system on daily basis at home (and at work) and I love it. I'll try to be as objective as I can here.

which is easier to install?
I'd say it's a tie if you go with the defaults on both systems.

But let's say we've got a curious user that wants to go for a more customized instalation, with some complex partitioning scheme (going thru partitioning is required if you want to dualboot with windows which is what most beginners tend to do) - windows installation is going to be easier to comprehend simply because there's not much to choose from (in terms of filesystems, software selection etc).

I'm not saying it's 'limited choice=better' but for a beginner it's definitely less confusing.

Setup?
I take it, that by setup you mean post-installation configuration stuff.

Let's look at an example of installing gfx card drivers that don't come with the os: On windows it's pretty much "double click setup.exe -> click next until the window disappears -> you're done".

On linux you'd probably have to do a little more than that depending on how well the hardware vendor has prepared the installation script. If all goes well the installation will be as easy as in windows but you still have to run some xorg configuration script/tool (aticonfig for example) and set some options that aren't always as obvious (like configuring dual-head, or setting up desired refresh rates).

I can only speak for ati cause that's what I use but their linux drivers gave me some trouble more than once.

So, even for the average user that could care less about customizing his xorg.conf it is slightly more difficult and confusing on linux.

That's just a tip of the iceberg if you're talking about configuring your system of course but getting hardware 3d acceleration working is a good example of standard post-install setup that most users go through.

Run? Use?
Once you've configured your system to support your hardware, customized your DE, installed all software you're going to use and all that both systems are going to be equally friendly to use.

Due to the fact that it's easier to avoid viruses, spyware and all that stuff on linux I'd say that would be the winner here.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: In terms of math
by hobgoblin on Sat 1st Jul 2006 10:30 in reply to "RE[2]: In terms of math"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

install?

last time i checked, most anyone hit "next> next> next>" until the installer goes "err, you realy need to fill out the data on the lines marked with red before we can continue".

thats if they do a install at all. windows have the upper hand in that you can stop by any local electronics store, buy a of the shelf computer, and it will come preinstalled with windows.

setup?

last time i did a nvidia install it was a case of having the kernel headers available (most desktop distros have that as a default these days just in case) and edit maybe one line in the x.org config file (or replace the open source 2D nvidia driver with the proprietary one).

after that i logged out of the desktop of choice, watched x.org restart and was shown the nvidia logo before the login dialog.

never realy done a ATI driver install, but from what i understand, it do not even require a kernel module.

but then again, i have run into windows users that freak at the idea of installing software on their own. ok, so its mostly middle aged or older people but still.

so each time we do a "joe sixpack" debate, maybe we should try to define the knowledge and experience that joe have with computers first?

Edited 2006-07-01 10:31

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: In terms of math
by Ultimatebadass on Sat 1st Jul 2006 12:03 in reply to "RE[3]: In terms of math"
Ultimatebadass Member since:
2006-01-08

last time i checked, most anyone hit "next> next> next>" until the installer goes "err, you realy need to fill out the data on the lines marked with red before we can continue".

That's why I said if you go with defaults installing linux is going to be as easy as your typical windows install.

If it's a new harddrive/computer you have to do the partitioning on both systems, also true if you're going to do dual-boot since linux installers prefer to remove all your partitions and create their own unless you tell them otherwise (so clicking next>next>next can have some bad consequences).

last time i did a nvidia install (...) but from what i understand, it do not even require a kernel module.

If you're using a "supported distribution" (according to ati that's either SuSE or RedHat) installing ATI drivers SHOULD be a piece of cake. It usually is.
You download the driver, run the installer as root, click next a few times, if this is a first install: run aticonfig --initial (AFAIR, you will need to add other options too if you want dual-head for example) restart X and you're done.

After that you SHOULD have a working setup but it's not always so easy. Just two days ago I tried to upgrade my ati drivers and here's what happened:

Since somehow the way of installing the kernel module directly did not provide me with working hardware acceleration last time I tried it on previous drivers - I generated and rpm for my system (SuSE 10.1). After upgrading with -Uvh I restarted X and... it didn't get back up (black screen and a freeze). Same story after reboot so I had to boot to runlevel 3... (and so on and so on).

Wether it was my fault or the installation script fault is irrelevent here - if your "joe sixpack" runs into this kind of not-so-best-case-scenario he needs to have some knowledge of how things work to sort the problem out and the problem here is he probably needs to know more to troubleshoot his linux install than his windows install.

That is of course if he'll even bother with installing those drivers at all. You don't need 3d acceleration for web browsing or writing letters... but then he might have a usb dsl modem like i do... or a wireless card...

Those are just scenarios where setting up your system driver-wise is easier in windows over linux.

If things get auto detected and linux has drivers for your devices it's all fine, then you can say it's equal to windows or better because you don't have to do anything. The problems starts where you have to do some work on your own or do some troublshooting.

Bottom line, in relation to Dolphins post: I have to disagree that seting up linux is easier than setting up windows.

but then again, i have run into windows users that freak at the idea of installing software on their own. ok, so its mostly middle aged or older people but still.
so each time we do a "joe sixpack" debate, maybe we should try to define the knowledge and experience that joe have with computers first?


About defining level of experience... that's a tough one. Writing my post I assumed that our "joe sixpack" is someone fairly accustomed with using a computer for daily tasks like webbrowsing, with a will to learn/experiment (not scared of his pc, installing or modyfing stuff) and some knowledge on what exactly is a driver, what partitioning means etc.

PS. If a user can't do something on their own they might ask friends or family for help. Much higher chance that they know someone with some level of windows knowledge than they know a linux savvy person to call in such case.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: In terms of math
by Simba on Sat 1st Jul 2006 12:50 in reply to "RE[3]: In terms of math"
Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> last time i did a nvidia install it was a case of having the kernel
> headers available (most desktop distros have that as a default
> these days just in case) and edit maybe one line in the x.org config
> file (or replace the open source 2D nvidia driver with the
> proprietary one).

And you honestly think this is acceptable to the average end user? Hint: They will panic as soon as they see the words "kernel headers".

Again, it's the "It's good enough. And lazy users are the real problem" argument. No. It is NOT good enough for end users. And it needs to be fixed.

Reply Parent Score: 2