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

Firefox OS media-casting stick strikes Kickstarter gold

The first Firefox OS based media player has arrived on Kickstarter, in the form of a $25 open-spec HDMI stick that supports Chromecast-like content casting. The Matchstick, which has already zoomed past its Kickstarter campaign’s $100,000 funding goal, with 28 days still remaining, was teased back in June by Mozilla developer evangelist Christian Heilmann. The unnamed prototype was billed as an open source HDMI stick that runs Mozilla’s Linux-based Firefox OS and offers casting capabilities. Few details were revealed at the time except that the device used the same DIAL (DIscovery And Launch) media-casting protocol created by Netflix and popularized by Google’s Chromecast. Read more

Open source history, present day, and licensing

Looking at open source softwares particularly, this is a fact that is probably useful to you if you are thinking about business models, many people don't care about it anymore. We talk about FOSS, Free and Open Source Software, but if we really are strict there's a difference between free software and open source software. On the left, I have free software which most typically is GPL software. Software where the license insures freedom. It gives freedoms to you as a user, but it also requires that the freedoms are maintained. On the right-hand side, you have open source software which is open for all, but it also allows you to close it. So here we come back to the famous clause of the GPL license, the reciprocity requirement which says, "If I am open, you need to be open." So software that comes under the GPL license carries with it something that other people call a virus. I call it a blessing because I think it's great if all software becomes open. Read more

Leftovers: Software

Proprietary

today's howtos