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

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[5]: In terms of math
by hobgoblin on Sat 1st Jul 2006 12:26 in reply to "RE[4]: In terms of math"
hobgoblin Member since:

but if they are using linux bacause of word of mouth, they most likely got it from a person within their sosical circle.

now, if they read about it on some webpage (i admit, linux have gotten some mainstream press lately) they are most likely surfing some technical page and therefor have a bit more knowhow then what i would define as the avarage windows user ;)

and if so, i hope they have enough of a clue to read more then just the headline and hit download. if not, i wonder how they got as far as they did.

yes i know linux have rough edges. but some of the stuff (drivers mostly) cant be helped until the corps that make the hardware rethink how they do biz.

the wireless stuff is a issue because diffrent contrys have diffrent laws about signal strength. and rather then burn a new chip for each contry they make one with a strength regulator thats programable. because of this they cant release the data needed to write a driver (risk of lawsuits or worse within some contrys and so on)...

btw, its not only in linux that install of proprietary drivers can be a mess. i have seen windows installs that would not go beyond basic vga because some displaydriver messed up.

i think it was a ATI card ones where i had to check every driver on the cd because windows could not make up its mind about what driver to use. end of story? none of them worked. whos at fault? windows? ati? i dont know.

still, i have had better experience with ati drivers lately, so things improve over time. i guess ati just dont think linux have the marketshare to realy care about driver quality yet ;)

but then thats a chicken and egg thing. as long as linux dont have the marketshare, they are not worth the bother. but as they are not worth the bother, then they cant get marketshare.

all in all, it realy depends on what your going to use the computer for. mainstream gaming? forget linux. even with wine or that offshot, its a uphill battle both ways...

simple office work and surfing, should work flawlessly unless you have to work with highly advanced ms office files, and even there progress is being made (in more ways then one).

thats realy the problem of the computer. it can be made to do all kinds of things. right now, some of those things are "best" done with windows. but for other stuff, linux may well do just as well or even better ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1