Don't you hate it when people say that Linux is "hard to use"?


Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog

Jul 07, 2009 GMT
Jon maddog Hall

Here is a young man that I met at Campus Party in Bogota, Colombia. I am fairly sure that he is not the youngest user of Linux, but he had his Classmate computer, his installed copy of Ubuntu, and was extremely happy with it. He wanted me to autograph his notebook, which I did.

Later on I saw him working away, but I think that at my age I would have asked for a more comfortable working environment.


  • Re: Linux? Hard to Use?

    If you're an experienced GNU/Linux user, there are many different ways to install software. If you are inexperienced, you should stick with one of the major distributions, all of whom maintain quite comprehensive software repositories. That way you do not need to try installing a package that was compiled for a different, perhaps incompatible distribution.

    I think that GNU/Linux's package management systems are all paradise compared to trying to install something on windows, where you have to install off of a CD/DVD or hunt around online for the software maker's website to download it. Sometimes you have to reboot the machine several times. Sometimes the install program overwrites DLL files with older, incompatible ones that have the same name. You have to juggle all kinds of CPU-hogging TSR program updaters for antivirus, anti-spyware, flash, java, etc., that constantly pop up and nag you when you're trying to be productive. My Kubuntu system's online apt repositories contain over 26,000 free programs that can be installed with two or three mouse-clicks (I have added a few extra "PPA" repositories using graphical editing tools and very clear instructions easily Googled up from, and I don't have to be logged in as administrator or "power user" to do it. In fact, with just those two or three mouse-clicks, I can update every piece of software system-wide, and I don't have to reboot even once. Try that with windows update!
  • Linux? Hard to Use?

    There is most certainly a part of the Linux system that is very hard to use!

    Package Management.

    The way Linux is now reminds me of our national wireless phone networks. Each company has it's own equipment which is incompatible with any others.

    There are too many exclusive repositories which offer differing software/packages. This does not have to be. Supposing I want to pull a copy of a program from one copy of Linux and install it in another. Can I do this? Only if I have a propeller on my beanie. Without what I call extraordinary knowledge and training I am limited to those packages which appear on the repository which is accessible through my Linux flavor. Feeble attempts at providing compatibility are made by flavor guys to little avail. It is so often necessary for me to have to resolve dependencies. It does not have to be this way guys. Linux does not have to be so fragmented and exclusive.

    "Linux UPMan"

    What Linux needs is a Universal Package Manager. Independent of any particular flavor this guy is capable of bringing the ease and simplicity of Microsoft .exe file importing and exporting to Linux. Using this I can develop and populate my own repository right here at home and keep a DVD for future installs on any Linux. Conversions, dependencies, upgrading and house keeping all in one for everyone.

    Can't be done? Tell that to the guys who decided one fine day to make GRUB. It can be done.

    Until Linux is as easy to use as M$ it will not be better.

    If I were a true believer I'd develop this by myself. I'd have to learn too much first so someone else needs to do it.

    Can I be the only guy who has ever commented on this?

    Just the same I prefer LInux. I just wish package management could change. Less efficient is OK if it means higher degree of usability.

    I'd email Torvalds if I knew his email address.

    Thanks for listening to my rant.

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