And that is why Windows is so widely used, it just works!!!
I have wiped all Linux from my main machine, have one machine that is Linux only, I turn it on and update maybe once a week.
I does not work for people who want to fiddle and learn
Sure it does, just like Linux!!!
I disagree. Believe it or not, there are a few ways to install GNU/Linux without knowing anything at all about computers. One would be a Windows app that a user downloads and runs. It would download everything it needs to install the Official Linux distribution, then reboot into the installer, ask a few questions to get the user name, password, location confirmation, etc. to be able to configure the new system, then a final restart into the new Official Linux system. Firefox and Thunderbird could provide web browsing and email.
Another would be to let the new user order a flash drive containing a live version of the Official Linus OS. The user would boot into the live system and be greeted by a welcome app/web page offering the user the option to install or try out the Official Linux system as well as providing an introduction to the new OS. When/if the user clicks on the install option, the installer would take over in a manner similar to the installer app mentioned above.
In both cases, the installer would offer the options to either erase the disk and replace Windows with the Official Linux system, or to install it along side Windows. An installer based on Calamaries or something similar could do most of the heavy lifting for the newbie.
I agree that this newbie distro would have to include very newbie-centric documentation. I would also want to see a variety of tutorials (both video and text-based) to teach the new user things like how to keep their new system updated, the basics of the command line, and others teaching the use of system maintenance/configuration tools that are installed out of the box.
I agree for the most part, but I can also see an independent project that takes its lead from the current newbie-centric distributions and creates something entirely new. I would also prefer that this new distribution (whether it be provided by an existing distromaker or its something entirely new) be offered under the auspices of an official Linux organization (like the Linux Foundation or Open Desktop) to give it an air of authenticity rather than just being another newbie offering that’s not much different than the others. it would have to stand out among all the newbie-centric distros to succeed.
I agree. That’s another reason for an Official Linux distribution targeted at new users. Such a distribution would be developed and supported by a consortium of Open Source organizations and commercial hardware developers would be invited to join in, thus improving hardware compatibility with GNU/Linux in its entirety. If hardware makers had a single distribution to target their APIs at, they may well be more interested in supporting Linux and all other distributions could learn from the Official Linux OS how to use those APIs. I think it would be a win-win for everyone in the Open Source world.
I disagree with Jack Wallen in at least 2 questions.
companies that want to port their software or make their hardware available to Linux wouldn’t be faced with making it work for hundreds of distributions
That’s the most false statement in his article.
There’s only need to have the software run on one distro, the company should support it there: surprisingly (or not so…) it will run on almost any other distro.
Regarding a hardware, the vendor should make sure it works with the mainline kernel - again: we can’t speak of hundreds of distros.
I can take examples here, only a few, but there are:
Softmaker Office: a german company office suite, which is a paid software for Windows / Mac / Linux . They were able to make it work on basically any distro.
Turboprint: again from Germany, the paid software provides much better printer functions than CUPS alone.
Davinci Resolve: this is vital for me. Blackmagic made it to run on CentOS, and provides support only for CentOS. However, it’s still possible to install it on Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and most probably others too.
So there’s absolutely zero reason to think about hundreds of distros when it comes to port a software…
I see the main reason people use Windows is that they are educated to do so.
In a school what do they learn? Spoiler: how to use Windows, and MS Office.
The kids don’t even know there’s anything else than Windows…
The universities have their MS (SAP, Adobe, etc…) planted all-knowers, who can find very quickly a software solution for the student to solve a problem… of course on a windows-only base.
So when the youth finish schools, they are well educated how to use Windows and associated software (I mean young people not really interested in computers, but biology, economy, law, or whatever).
How on earth should they choose Linux, if they never heard of it, never tried it? (Or when they heard about it, it was only in connection with steep learning curve, for geeks and technicals, only for computer experts, and of course it just sucks…)
So I see the root cause in education, of course this is part of the well designed marketing of MS.
Thats true for Mac too.
And cant really say about Linux Mint that it doesnt work…
Because It just works…
So why only Windows?
I assume, you never heard of Red-Hat.
Well, it’s the hardware what supports Windows, and not vice versa.
When you buy a very new video card, how do you install it into Windows?
Hint: you download the vendor provided drivers from the vendors site, launch the installer, and next-next-finish install the driver on Windows.
Its the vendor (thus the hardware) which doesn’t support Linux - so Linux has to develop its own drivers to support that hardware, if it is important enough.
So if one wants to use Linux, has to check if the new hardware on the widh-list is usable on Linux.
So my statement seems to be contradicional: in reality Linux has way much better hardware support!
Key point, Vendor support is often all for Windows. Vendor support for Linux sometimes exists, but when it does not it is almost impossible for Linux to provide that support if the Vendor does not cooperate.
Education? Well I guess my education dragged me in the Unix direction, but that may have been exceptional…
OK, I spoke about what I’ve seen in Europe, and especially in Hungary.
I have 3 kids, the youngest is 17 (a real musician), they learn(ed) different things (the oldest just finished MSC in biology and starts PhD this september), they visited different schools over time. None of them heard of Linux “officially” from an IT teacher in any of those schools.
(And when were you educated, if you’d go to the same schools nowadays, would that drag you to *NIX again? - Well I don’t know, Australia is too far away from me to have a sight on the education there )
When I was educated, the most sophisticated computing device was a slide rule.
Even at University… we all had to purchase a slide rule.
Eventually encountered mechanical calculators as an undergrad, and then computers (mainframes) as a postgrad.
education in computers started after that… ie at work.
What I encountered was a huge variety of minicomputers and microprocessors each running its own peculiar OS, combined with remote mainframes.
When Unix first appeared , it offered to rationalize things, because it could be ported to a whole range of hardware… that was a big attraction then.
The other things Unix offered at that time were a vastly superior range of commands, multiuser, interactive use, and a simple filesystem.
Those things are not going to attract people today… because every OS now has them. It is with some sadness that I see Unix being swamped by copycat systems in the desktop area. The server area is different, Linux and BSD have prevailed there. I think that shows that Unix is really designed to be a server OS, using it in a desktop is an overkill . Perhaps Ernie’s new user release needs to be grossly simplified ( like Android).
We just learnt how to use it -just in case- (honestly, I can’t remember, could not use it today), we already had then the pocket caculators, which wasn’t always allowed to use in the school, but…
But we had a book with tables of sinus, cosinus, square-root, cubic-root, log, ln, e^x, etc. which was always legal to use - and it was (still it is) the most helpful book ever…
I still have that book from 1985…
Oh, and it’s still used in education today, but nowadays it’s a many-times upgraded version
I feel a bit nostalgic now…
Yes, I read the article too. And he sum up the problem pretty good. But I also agree with the points @Akatama made and believe his point “hits the nail on the head” even better about the problem in that people;
1 - “just want something that’s easy and works”
2 - “Most people also don’t know how to install an OS”
This is not necessary a good comparison, but maybe it makes the point.
I go out and buy a new car. I am not a mechanic and you want me to remove the engine and replace it with another one.
That sums it up beautifully.
The solution is buy a machine with preinstalled Linux… avoid the install
If it could be Ernie’s beginner friendly Linux, all the better.
My father in law doesn’t know how to install applications on his iPhone. I know my in-laws lack of computer skills might seem legendary, but I don’t think they are outside of the norm for their age and interests. These people probably don’t really know how to install software - maybe they did when everything came on a disk but those days are long gone. As for the flash drive, that seems to be a bit more likely, but are you really going to get someone who barely knows how their current computer runs to change? Almost certainly not.
Maybe in the future, when more people are more computer literate. I think we could see Linux becoming the dominate Desktop OS in that kind of future.
I think this is a bit more how many people think of computers. There will always be those who want the best of everything, and there are those who just want something that runs and they want to know who to take it to when it has a problem.
There’s an article on It’s FOSS News talking about how Linux’s usage share on Steam has eclipsed MacOSX because of the Steam Deck. The Steam Deck is kind of specialized, but it has made a lot of progress in a short time. How else could we apply this to make it work. I agree that a machine that already has Linux installed is the way to go.
We have them here:
But if I’d just choose a laptop randomly from the full spectrum, 99.99999% is the chance it has Windows preinstalled.
We have to look for it to find Linux-preinstalled laptop.
And the question comes up again: why would anyone look for a Linux-preinstalled laptop, if he/she doesn’t even know Linux exists at all?
Linux does not have a marketing, whereas Windows does.
As there are obligatory readings, such as Iliad, no matter the students like it or not, they must read it, there should be obligatory teachings about available operating systems in the schools, not just Windows.
The steep learning curve is there for Windows too, it’s just unnoticed, because it starts today at about age 11 in the school…
The basics should be teached to the youngs regarding the 3 main OS’s, homework should be expected done in a crossplatform way (not requiring special features of MS Office!!!), so when the growing up generation exits schools, can decide what they really want to use.
Now they can’t decide, because they learn and use only Windows during school years, and when they exit the school, they (mostly) can’t use anything other than Windows, and Windows-only programs.
There’s no future without reaching the youth.
I for one do not want Linux to be popular on the desktop. It was never intended to be. I still live in the old way of thinking, that Linux is a hobbyist platform and should still be classed as such. Yes Linux has gotten too easy to install and maintain, but people that come over from a Windows machine are nine times out of ten, in the mind set of it will take care of itself. I don’t have to do anything to keep it maintained, install loads of stuff from Synaptic, that breaks their system. If you want people to come over to Linux, give them PC-Linux OS. That will hopefully deter them from breaking their systems.
I agree, somewhat!!! I for one and I am one of the ones, in my area, and I am even guilty of helping some, are trying Linux for another reason. Most, where I live, are finding, that the machines that were made or bought, several years ago, have no way of updating Windows, without using ways not recommended or without purchasing or rebuilding a new machine. So most are trying to patch their machines, using the same old hardware, that Windows had no problem with, only too find that Linux may or may not have problems with running the same hardware.
So, I in the end rebuilt one of my machines just to run W11, and it is running just fine!!! I still have one machine, that I spent X amount of dollars on, several years ago, that I have yet too find the right mix of Windows and LInux.
With MS trying to move to the cloud, who knows what lies ahead!!! Getting too old to even think about a lot of this, let the younger generation solve the problem.
Are those hobby projects? I agree, that’s not the desktop world, but Linux surely isn’t a hobbyist platform, maybe it was long before, but today it is not.
Yes, Unix always was the OS of choice for scientific calculations.
Simple because it can address large amounts of memory and has compilers freely available.
before Unix, it was classic mainframe operating systems like Control Data’s SCOPE and NOS and IBM’s JCL.
A large part of heavy scientific programming is still in Fortran. I dont think Microsoft even has Fortran.
Really heavy numerical calculations, like climate modelling, need parallel processing. I am not sure if Microsoft offers that, but I think it is unlikely. You can link Unix computers together and share the compute load of a large job across many computers.
A Linux/Unix computer is a general purpose machine. A Windows computer is much less so, it targets certain markets.