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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Whats wrong with a logical file system?
by postdiction on Mon 24th Aug 2009 13:42 UTC
postdiction
Member since:
2009-07-08

I don't know if anybody has mentioned this yet, as there are a lot of comments already but, why can't linux have a logical file system?

Windows has one, Mac can hide it's internals to give an illusion of one why can't linux?

It is simple guys:
System files
Program files
User data files

not bin, sbin, opt, boot, usr, mnt, media, etc....

installing a program in linux is a guessing game as to where the files actually went.

please someone reorganize the filesystem

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Windows has one


It does?


System files
Program files
User data files


Users generally don't, or shouldn't, normally care about files outside their home. I say normally because sometimes you'll need to go outside but when you do I doubt "System Files" is any more clear than "/etc/" and "/sbin". Out of curiosity; what goes in "System Files"? executables? only libraries? configuration files? It's not as clear as you may think.

installing a program in linux is a guessing game as to where the files actually went.


Wow, that's just how I feel when I install something on Windows and the installer puts files all over the place in "C:\Windows" in addition to the folder where I told it to install the application.

Edited 2009-08-24 13:49 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

postdiction Member since:
2009-07-08

"Windows has one


It does?

Yes it does, Windows, Program files, documents


System files
Program files
User data files


Users generally don't, or shouldn't, normally care about files outside their home. I say normally because sometimes you'll need to go outside but when you do I doubt "System Files" is any more clear than "/etc/" and "/sbin". Out of curiosity; what goes in "System Files"? executables? only libraries? configuration files? It's not as clear as you may think.

I agree users shouldn't have to care about files outside their home. However, when things break, like a program won't install or start, the user has to start caring.


installing a program in linux is a guessing game as to where the files actually went.


Wow, that's just how I feel when I install something on Windows and the installer puts files all over the place in "C:\Windows" in addition to the folder where I told it to install the application.
"

The vast majority of windows programs put the executable in Program Files and also include a uninstall executable and put most configuration files all under the same folder. While there are things stored in the registry and under the windows directory most of the everything thing that is important is in the App specific folder.

Reply Parent Score: 2

ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Windows has one


No, it doesn't.
Maybe it seems to make some sense when you get used to it, but that's not the same as being "logical".


It is simple guys:
System files
Program files
User data files


/boot
/
/home/user

There you go.


not bin, sbin, opt, boot, usr, mnt, media, etc....


Because, say, %windows%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts makes so much more sense.


installing a program in linux is a guessing game as to where the files actually went.


Yeah, it sucks that you have to untar your packages and place every file manually... oh wait.
If you feel so inclined, launch gdebi and you'll get a list of all included files along with their path.

Reply Parent Score: 3

postdiction Member since:
2009-07-08

"Windows has one


No, it doesn't.
Maybe it seems to make some sense when you get used to it, but that's not the same as being "logical".

Okay, I agree logical was not the right term to use but, no file system is logical. However, windows and os x's files system is a lot easier understand.
'


It is simple guys:
System files
Program files
User data files


/boot
/
/home/user

Okay in this scheme where are my programs installed /bin, /sbin/ /usr/bin /usr/sbin? Why are some things mounted under /mnt and others under /media?

There you go.


not bin, sbin, opt, boot, usr, mnt, media, etc....


Because, say, %windows%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts makes so much more sense.

Most of the programs install the executables under program files so yes it does make more sense.


installing a program in linux is a guessing game as to where the files actually went.


Yeah, it sucks that you have to untar your packages and place every file manually... oh wait.
If you feel so inclined, launch gdebi and you'll get a list of all included files along with their path.
"

Please, installing a program in Windows=double click icon, Mac=Double click icon, Ubuntu, if it is synaptic great, very easy to do just search for the file. However, if it isn't in there like skype, or chrome beta, or numerous other programs, then it is a crap shoot were it can be as easy as editing an apt source file or as complicated as a never ending loop of dependencies.

Reply Parent Score: 2

3rdalbum Member since:
2008-05-26


installing a program in linux is a guessing game as to where the files actually went.


Who cares where the files went? The actual executable will be in your $PATH so it can be launched just by typing its name. You can create a launcher if there's not already one.

It's not a "guessing game" either - your package manager will have a way of telling you where the package has installed files to.

Just because the sight of the / directory makes you feel like a n00b, does not make the system broken. In fact, the system works extremely well BECAUSE you don't need to know where things are. Also, it's a well thought-out system because indexing services like "man" don't have to scoot all over the filesystem looking for man pages - a place for everything and everything in its place.

Class dismissed.

Reply Parent Score: 1

steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

...why can't linux have a logical file system?

...not bin, sbin, opt, boot, usr, mnt, media, etc....


What is not logical about that? Just because you have not bothered to take the 30 minutes or so, that it would take to read up on and gain a good understanding of the Linux File Hierarchy Standard? If they put the binaries in boot, mounted removable media to bin and the bootloader files in mnt - I might see why that is not logical.



installing a program in linux is a guessing game as to where the files actually went.


Yes, because 'rpm -ql <packagename>' or 'dpkg -L <packagename>' is so very difficult - compared to a Windows installer which provides no straightforward means to find out what files it has placed on your harddisk.

The Linux File Hierarchy Standard and package management tools may not be obvious to use, they may not even be 'easy to use at first'. That does not mean they are not easy to use, nor does it mean they are not user friendly.

Reply Parent Score: 1

postdiction Member since:
2009-07-08

[q]...why can't linux have a logical file system?

...not bin, sbin, opt, boot, usr, mnt, media, etc....


What is not logical about that? Just because you have not bothered to take the 30 minutes or so, that it would take to read up on and gain a good understanding of the Linux File Hierarchy Standard? If they put the binaries in boot, mounted removable media to bin and the bootloader files in mnt - I might see why that is not logical.

Typical linux fanboy, I do know because i have read, i am talking about the average desktop user like your mom or aunt, who will not take 30 min to read how to use linux when she already knows how to use windows or a mac


installing a program in linux is a guessing game as to where the files actually went.


Yes, because 'rpm -ql ' or 'dpkg -L ' is so very difficult
Either you have very strong sense of sarcasm or your a dumb***

Edited 2009-08-24 16:05 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 0

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

This has been brought up and discussed many times. I wont go in to it again right now, but here are the highlights:

* Believe it or not it's like that for a good reason.
* Some room for improvement exists, but there's little gain to be had for the minor improvements we might actually agree on.
* The kind of user who cares into which directory the installer put his files ought to take the time to learn why it is the way it is and why that's a good thing. Everyone else doesn't care anyway.

That is what it boils down to. You cannot 'reorganize' without losing something many of us cannot afford to lose. You shouldn't ship radically different FS layouts for different people (no server version vs desktop version please!)

Any specific suggestions you have for improvements would be welcome, but please understand that it is a large effort to change things like this and if you cannot convince people that there's a major gain to be had they wont do it for you. That said, you are welcome to do this yourself and make your own distribution.

Or, try GoboLinux.

Reply Parent Score: 2

dragossh Member since:
2008-12-16

* Believe it or not it's like that for a good reason.
* Some room for improvement exists, but there's little gain to be had for the minor improvements we might actually agree on.


Meanwhile, I unzip an app on Haiku and move it into /boot/apps.

And maybe I want to delete some preferences... there they are: /home/config/settings

Believe it or not, making the filesystem easier to understand (even if it's a change from /bin to /apps) makes the user to want to understand the system. Part due to it's simplicity. Of course when you have 30 directories the user will get scared and will want to close the window.

Reply Parent Score: 1