Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Linux: The big misconceptions

Filed under
Linux

I get a lot of emails from users of various types of users, from various industries, and from various levels of skill. But there are two types of emails that I get the most:

* I want to learn more about Linux, but there’s no where to start.
* I can’t use Linux because it’s still archaic and won’t do what I need.

In some ways and in different blogs, I have tried to address both topics. But I thought it time to address both of these topics directly here on TechRepublic. Why? The main reason is because I feel this to be the best podium from which to tackle these issues. The secondary reason is that I feel a certain loyalty to the TechRepublic nation that I do not have with any other site. With that said, let’s see what can be done about these two misconceptions.

Rest here




So much to learn, so little time

Most computer users have been taught Windows. If you want to venture into Linux, you naturally want to retain your existing operating system just in case you need it.

This is what you have to do:
1. Research the multitude of Linux systems available and decide on one.
2. Find out how to make room on your hardware for a second system and do it.
3. Find out how to install the Linux system you have somehow chosen.
4. Learn how to use the system.
5. Find out what software is available for your system, install it and learn it.
6. Spend hours searching, reading howtos and other documentation.

Sorry, most people don't have that much time.

Re: So much to learn, so little time

xanthon wrote:

Sorry, most people don't have that much time.

Good, so the terminally lazy can just keep using their existing OS and leave us and linux alone.

Re: So much to learn, so little time

shadowdeamon wrote:
Good, so the terminally lazy can just keep using their existing OS and leave us and linux alone.

xanthon is right and you're alone allright. That is, except for me Wink

xanthon's points neatly sum up why Linux has such a hard time gaining installed base: it is simply and obviously because Linux gives _people a hard time. Even if a Linux newbie manages to install Linux, he'll soon discover two things: Linux is constantly moving in unpredictable directions, requiring the user to be genuinely interested in Linux as such; and the user must be willing to forego even practically default 'standards', like e.g. flash.

I have been using Linux exclusively for many years, but then I have lots of time to spend reading man pages, searching for howto's, fixing glitches and following Linux antics. Thankfully, most people have different priorities.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

CORD becomes a Linux Foundation project

Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center (CORD), an open source integrated solutions platform for service providers leveraging merchant silicon, white boxes, and open source platforms such as Open Network Operating System (ONOS), OpenStack, Docker, and the cloud operating system XOS, is now part of the Linux Foundation as a new independent project. The Linux foundation is already home to many open source networking projects, including OpenDaylight and ONOS, so CORD is a natural fit for the non-profit foundation. Read more

Google beefs Linux up kernel defenses in Android

Future versions of Android will be more resilient to exploits thanks to developers' efforts to integrate the latest Linux kernel defenses into the operating system. Android's security model relies heavily on the Linux kernel that sits at its core. As such, Android developers have always been interested in adding new security features that are intended to prevent potentially malicious code from reaching the kernel, which is the most privileged area of the operating system. Read more

Fork YOU! Sure, take the code. Then what?

There's an old adage in the open source world – if you don't like it, fork it. This advice, often given in a flippant manner, makes it seem like forking a piece of software is not a big deal. Indeed, forking a small project you find on GitHub is not a big deal. There's even a handy button to make it easy to fork it. Unlike many things in programming though, that interaction model, that simplicity of forking, does not scale. There is no button next to Debian that says Fork it! Thinking that all you need to do to make a project yours is to fork it is a fundamental misunderstanding of what large free/open source projects are – at their hearts, they are communities. One does not simply walk into Debian and fork it. One can, on the other hand, walk out of a project, bring all the other core developers along, and essentially leave the original an empty husk. This is what happened when LibreOffice forked away from the once-mighty OpenOffice; it's what happened when MariaDB split from MySQL; and it's what happened more recently when the core developers behind ownCloud left the company and forked the code to start their own project, Nextcloud. They also, thankfully, dropped the silly lowercase first letter thing. Nextcloud consists of the core developers who built ownCloud, but who were not, and, judging by the very public way this happened, had not been, in control of the direction of the product for some time. Read more

Proprietary and Microsoft Software