Bust Myths & Fears about GNU/Linux

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Bust Myths & Fears about GNU/Linux

Postby Jag on Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:53 pm

Hi Everyone, Greetings!!!!

Sorry if this topic is wrong, but i felt this is one of the most important moves in promoting any GNU/Linux, Free and Opensource softwares.
Leaving apart Linux users, there are still majority of people who shrug at the mention of Linux. Many would not even have looked into one, but boldly proclaim that Linux is unusable for common man. They have many beliefs and fears about it. Some of them i got from my friends & Colleagues are:

Myths & Fears about GNU/Linux

1. Many believe that in a system you cannot install more than one operating system. Or to say dualboot windows and GNU/Linux, if you did your system will become unusable and hard disk will become repaired.

2. GNU/Linux is for programmers and it has only command line interface and no GUI. And even if there the GUI is not like Windows.

This one is popular. My friends, colleagues who came to my home for PC related work like writing CDs, DVDs, copying etc, could not even guess that the system was LinuxMint. They only said "The interface is beautiful, This theme looks very good, copy this theme also to my pendrive". They were thinking it was windows vista. When i told them it was GNU/Linux they could not believe until i made them look again.

3. Windows programs do not work in GNU/Linux.

Many still depend on MS Office, few have heard the name OpenOffice.org, similarly for other applications.

4. That the system will crash and become unusable if you mess with Linux.

5. That there are no usable programs in GNU/Linux.

6. Cannot be used as Desktop Operating System, and can be only used as a server side operating system.

7. Windows 7 is more advanced when compared to GNU/Linux

FEARS

1. Fear of Data Loss and Data Drive Loss (Loss of Partitions) while Installing GNU/Linux.

(Agreed, but the installer provides lots of information about the partitioning methods and drive details, which must be read carefully. You can also see the websites for installing your particular distro flavors, before actually installing it. Live CDs and DVDs are a boon here.)

2. Fear of Loss of existing Operating System

(most probably it is Windows, GNU/Linux doesn't even touch your windows partition and it happily boots with your existing OS, giving an option at the boot screen to either boot into GNU/Linux or Windows or any other OS you have).

3. Fear and Lack of Patience while installing GNU/Linux, especially when one installs numerous applications at first install
( Full Installation takes more time as it contains lots of applications and features, its worth the time. This one is for Distros like Mandriva, Fedora etc ).

4. Fear of Hardware Damages

(Almost every hardware, especially newer ones gets recognized by the installer. GNU/Linux has the widest support for most of the hardwares without installing third party drivers. Exceptions are for proprietory graphics cards, for which most of the Graphics card manufacturers (e.g. AMD, ATI, nVidia) are now releasing drivers for Linux Platform.

5. Fear of Learning something new.

6. Fear of being left behind the fast growing technologies, of other operating systems.

People feel that Windows is the most advanced OS. They wont even consider Linux to be an usable OS.
(Linux and GNU are one of the fastest growing technologies in the world, Go back to history of GNU and Linux and the current news about them)

7. Fear of being ridiculed by others especially family members and friends.

This one is personal. My own brothers had ridiculed me for not using windows. Same with my friends and colleagues who are still making fun of me, and warning the people i give FREE Linux Mint CDs, that they are going to crash their systems.

8. Fear of loss of social status among colleagues and clients.

(Having the latest and greatest commercial Operating system is a cool thing, Showing of Windows 7 or Apple Mac OS, telling others that they have got Windows 7 has become a status symbol, but people do not know that GNU/Linux is fast becoming the cool thing)

NOTE: Please do not take this post as criticizing Commercial OS like windows or Mac. They have their own strengths which we lack in few areas.

I believe when more people come to know about GNU/Linux and Linux Mint they would consider it for usage. We must bust the myths and fears people have about GNU/Linux. People follow Brands, so lets create or Re-create GNU/Linux and Linux Mint brand.

Sorry for this long post, Thanks for reading. Pls post suggestions. My apologies if this post was inappropriate or hurting.

Take care
bye
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Re: Bust Myths & Fears about GNU/Linux

Postby Aevum on Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:14 pm

Word. I really can recognize most of the points you made a list of in so many of my friends or relatives, mostly in the "data loss" part or "linux is for programmers only" "it's not suitable for people like us" ... I try to explain that ain't true at all but you know, it's not so easy..
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Re: Bust Myths & Fears about GNU/Linux

Postby Jag on Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:18 pm

Hi Aevum,

I agree its very difficult convincing people who are not ready to believe or atleast try. thanks for posting.

Take care
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Re: Bust Myths & Fears about GNU/Linux

Postby vrkalak on Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:15 am

As you mentioned . . . Linux is ready for the world. The hardest part is getting 'them' to see it.

One of the key things we need to do in getting people to use Linux, is not telling them that their OS is wrong or not meeting their needs.

But we need to do as, the OP has mentioned . . . "lead by example"
Let them see you using Linux, if they ask, just give them a copy of the LiveCD.
Tell them they don't have to install Linux to try it. Just boot up the CD of LinuxMint OS . . . and let the Mint magic work.

Most people have never installed an Operating System, not even Windows. Most they have ever done is a System Restore when the OS screws up.

GNU/Linux, Open Source and Mint will open up a whole new world to them.

Linux changed my life. My business and work depends on my computer being fast, stable and flexible. I am on the computer from 9 to 12 hours or more everyday.
A few weeks after first trying Mint ... I deleted Windows from all my computers ... and have never looked back.

There is nothing Microsoft, Windows or a Mac can do ... that Linux can't. And Linux can, usually, do it faster and better.
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Re: Bust Myths & Fears about GNU/Linux

Postby FedoraRefugee on Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:51 am

vrkalak wrote:As you mentioned . . . Linux is ready for the world. The hardest part is getting 'them' to see it.

One of the key things we need to do in getting people to use Linux, is not telling them that their OS is wrong or not meeting their needs.

But we need to do as, the OP has mentioned . . . "lead by example"
Let them see you using Linux, if they ask, just give them a copy of the LiveCD.
Tell them they don't have to install Linux to try it. Just boot up the CD of LinuxMint OS . . . and let the Mint magic work.

Most people have never installed an Operating System, not even Windows. Most they have ever done is a System Restore when the OS screws up.

GNU/Linux, Open Source and Mint will open up a whole new world to them.

Linux changed my life. My business and work depends on my computer being fast, stable and flexible. I am on the computer from 9 to 12 hours or more everyday.
A few weeks after first trying Mint ... I deleted Windows from all my computers ... and have never looked back.

There is nothing Microsoft, Windows or a Mac can do ... that Linux can't. And Linux can, usually, do it faster and better.


Not antagonizing the Windows user is the first key. Don't try to get into a spitting contest, chances are the other guy will not care but you may even lose.

Look, with XP people had many reasons to jump ship. But Windows 7 is tight! Most people will not want to even bother with anything else. The first thing you need to do is question YOURSELF! WHY do you want to see Joe or Bob using Linux? Do you feel they may enjoy this OS? Is it for THEIR benefit? Or is it because YOU feel Linux is a better OS? If that is your answer you should just walk away. You may be right, but you are just setting yourself up for an argument you will not win.

It is all in the approach. Do not make them feel this is something they just have to do. Instead you need to show them what Linux can do for them. Promote it as a good OS for a spare computer or an old computer. It is an awesome OS for kids. Needless to say that anyone who enjoys working with computers should find Linux fun, though they probably already know this by this point...

Jag is right, these myths still persist. Most people just really could not care less anyway. Do not waste your time with these folks, what is your goal? Do you honestly see a better world where every computer runs Linux and birds sing and lollipops dance? For real...You need a reality check! There is really no reason to evangelize Linux other than to try and introduce people to a neat OS that they may enjoy. I drive a Toyota Tacoma. I think everyone should drive one! But how much time am I going to waste trying to talk you into buying one? <game show music> .... Right, I don't care what you drive! If you are looking to buy a truck I will mention how much I like mine. I will even let you take it around the block. I will sit down and discuss all the reasons why I like my Tacoma. But at the end of the day it will be YOUR vehicle and if you choose to buy a Dodge Ram then so be it, that is a great truck too.

You will never debunk the myths about Linux. Like everything else in this world misinformation and disinformation prevails. It does not hurt to set the record straight whenever you get the chance, like I do with Vista and Windows 7 :D , but mostly it will just fall on deaf ears. People tend to see only what they want to see.

Just enjoy Linux.
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Re: Bust Myths & Fears about GNU/Linux

Postby XidCat on Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:25 am

FedoraRefugee wrote:The first thing you need to do is question YOURSELF! WHY do you want to see Joe or Bob using Linux? Do you feel they may enjoy this OS? Is it for THEIR benefit? Or is it because YOU feel Linux is a better OS? If that is your answer you should just walk away. You may be right, but you are just setting yourself up for an argument you will not win.


Excellent thought... You can't push Linux on people. You have to see where it will benefit them and then sell it to them. Most people will not change for the sake of change, there has to be something in it for them. As I've said in other posts, my family uses Linux, except for my stepson. He is a hardcore gamer and I can see no benefit to swapping him over. He's happy with Win7, it works for him, case closed...
"Contrariwise", continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."

Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, Chapter 4
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Re: Bust Myths & Fears about GNU/Linux

Postby zts on Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:18 am

All nice posts with interesting and provoking thoughts. I'd probably add one that I find sort of amusing in a sense that people very often don't do what's in their best interest -- a very prevalent and widespread belief:
"you get what you pay for" -- which, of course, in its extreme meaning means Linux is an alternative for poor peeps, but totally worthless otherwise. There are several other meanings that enter in this equation:
1. something free is OK, but as soon as you have money get something better (ie, Windows, Mac OS X)
2. something that's free can't possibly be deployed in any type of serious business
3. something that's free is developed by amateurs and hobbyists in their free time and the quality and reliability is simply not there

Of course to these folks something like this below would look much better and more "respectable":
Linux Mint 8 Basic Ed. ... $299.95
Linux Mint 8 Ultimate ... $349.99
Linux Mint 8 upgrade from 7 ... $199.99

Quite frankly, there is no need to "Linux-evangelize" to these folks since they are stuck in their own world paradigm. The best you can do for them is help them boot into the safe mode so they can run Spybot Search & Destroy to clean up their boxes. And they'll be grateful to no end for your help ... possibly a moment for you to either mention Linux or move on and let them sort out their overflowing Outlook junkbox while the PST file is pushing into 2 gig limit.

Many times, the best thing to influence people is to just leave your computer available to others who may get impressed and search for solutions on their own ... and that's the point where they need your help. I use that lots -- let peeps ask you first because they are curious about the nice looking system you are running (now, if you are a Linux pro minimalist that loves command lines most likely people will run from you and you'll wonder why :( .

Regarding the quality and professionalism -- tell interested people that while Linux is free, most of the code (somewhere around 75%) has been developed by paid professionals. It's a vibrant system that adds many thousands of code lines every day.

Now, on the other side, I'd never tell these things to the interested:
- Linux is faster than your cra*py Winbloze
- Linux Office apps will rock your world and you'll never look back to MS Office ... and, btw, Gimp is Photoshop Professional for Initiated
- Linux out-of-the-box multimedia experience is the greatest (but you just need to know where to look for a huge load of restrictive downloads)

Overall, I think that an honest approach of showing your stuff and explaining why you like something is always the best way to influence others without the need to put other OSes down ... something like this:
"You know this Mint 8 thing really looks great and I really like it. For you, on the positive side it's free and you'll be rather safe from viruses and spyware. You may not be able to play all the games you have tho ... so, maybe a dual boot is the thing to think about before you make a decision. Try this Live CD and see how you like it."

Anywho, my 5 cents :)
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Re: Bust Myths & Fears about GNU/Linux

Postby Aevum on Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:14 pm

Completely agree on your point man, nothing more to say.
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Re: Bust Myths & Fears about GNU/Linux

Postby Xlayer2006 on Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:39 pm

Jag wrote:
8. Fear of loss of social status among colleagues and clients.

(Having the latest and greatest commercial Operating system is a cool thing, Showing of Windows 7 or Apple Mac OS, telling others that they have got Windows 7 has become a status symbol, but people do not know that GNU/Linux is fast becoming the cool thing)




"You just got Windows 7? Well I have Mint 8." :lol:
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Re: Bust Myths & Fears about GNU/Linux

Postby tower on Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:58 am

Most folks do not see the cost of Windows, they get it "free" when they buy a new PC!
If anyone wants to break the M$ monopoly just make the cost of the OS appear as a separate item then folks may start to say "I paid how much and I don't even get a CD!"

If it is to be a family machine then remember that some banks do not even support Macs let alone Linux
So many hardware products they buy may seem to be Windows only, not because it will not work with Linux but because the firm will not offer Linux support.

The same goes for ISPs I have had many problems with them but the never admit it is their problem. They take you through the rigmarole of you checking your system! Not much good for a newbee if they are told "we don't support that OS"

If it does not have a Linux logo on the box they think it will not work - even if they see a penguin that does not look like an Ubuntu or Mint Logo to them!

If it is bought as a present, Kids will say "that's rubbish, it cannot play (put name of hot game here)!"

In the UK an ECDL computer qualification will focus on M$ OS and Office software for 98% of the training
You cannot opt to take one on open source software!
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Re: Bust Myths & Fears about GNU/Linux

Postby DrHu on Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:37 am

Jag wrote:... i felt this is one of the most important moves in promoting any GNU/Linux, Free and Opensource softwares. Leaving apart Linux users, there are still majority of people who shrug at the mention of Linux.... They have many beliefs and fears about it. Some of them i got from my friends & Colleagues are:

This issue doesn't only affect Linux or MAC, but almost every other company in the software supply business of any size or type..

Take Google as an example..
http://advice.cio.com/shane_oneill/goog ... enterprise
http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/a ... sktop.html

http://www.mobilemag.com/2010/02/12/ins ... cumentary/
--likely the more profitable and more prolific company than Microsoft, but having just as much difficulties wedging into a Microsoft owned space (for systems or applications..)

The biggest problem is inertia, which you could translate into a fear of the unknown, it's like the incumbent in politics, they have the advantage of familiarity, or the same in business, its the company you know, the deals you make and the special relationship, you believe you have
    Most of that belief system is a delusion brought on by relentless advertising..


3. Windows programs do not work in GNU/Linux.
Many still depend on MS Office, few have heard the name OpenOffice.org, similarly for other applications.

That's true, but it is irrelevant if there are alternative software or methods..
    Some organizations have decided to move to Google docs, rather than continue to rely on Microsoft office or tie up their systems to that extent, they lose almost all flexibility when they stick with Ms Office
http://www.sitepoint.com/blogs/2009/11/ ... ogle-docs/
http://www.thestandard.com/news/2009/09 ... tter-trust
    For years, Microsoft had no competition when it came to productivity suites. The vast majority of people and enterprises didn't have to give suites any thought at all. They just chose Microsoft Office.
    ...
    Microsoft isn't sitting still, of course. The next version of Office, Microsoft Office 2010, will include Web-based access to popular applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as a way to compete with Google Docs. Those Web-based versions, though, are not likely to be as robust as Google Apps.
Obviously, Linux as well as OpenOffice isn't the only organization that has a problem cutting the user apron strings to Ms Office..
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Re: Bust Myths & Fears about GNU/Linux

Postby tower on Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:04 pm

Yes, but often it isn't just about opening a spreadsheet in Open office rather than Excel not all functions are replicated.
Someone bringing home work from the office just wants to get on with the job as soon as possible.
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Re: Bust Myths & Fears about GNU/Linux

Postby spikefromnyc on Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:28 pm

thanks Jag...

For writing this post and realizing that many of us "Window-philes" have been lulled into complacency and forced into accepting garbage OS from Billy G and the crew, like Vista & Windows7 (yes, windows7 is garbage!) and even having "thoughts of fancy" about bowing down to the Apple-headed "gods of lore"(i.e; fanboys) in an attempted escape...only to be stunned into realization that, the Mac is cousin of Linux (and just as scary too learn!)

As many have commented in this post, all consumers receive Window on PC purchases and enjoy the ease of having Apps, Music, Videos; etc play almost flawlessly on the systems, but would much welcome/appreciate, if the Linux/Mint experienced users would take the time and explain (in language that we PC users understand) that you do have something called WineDoors, which installs all our beloved (and much-needed) Windows apps..on the 'Mint! (its like smoking, you can't expect everyone too quit "cold-turkey" without having a supportive weaning period, right?!)

Case in point, the only way I found out about WineDoors (and have not seen any mention of that app anywhere since) was from a horribly-produced YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=378pKWXzQrs ...why is that~?!

You see, its not simply that Window users are "fearful" of the myths...just the lack of information & the language used, from those with the knowledge, who appear unwilling at times, too share with the less-knowledgeable!

Thanks for listening....

Spike~~ :roll:
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Re: Bust Myths & Fears about GNU/Linux

Postby tower on Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:30 pm

For years, Microsoft had no competition when it came to productivity suites


Microsoft Office was widely used I agree but there were many other popular office suites for Windows, some Like Lotus smart suite was as well known to corporate users, Star Office, the fore runner of Open Office, Claris Works, even Corel office.
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Re: Bust Myths & Fears about GNU/Linux

Postby vincent on Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:34 am

I was a bit worried too about all those common myths and whatnot when I first took the dip and installed Linux Mint on my laptop about two weeks ago, and to be honest, the real reason I tried Linux for the first time in my life was not because one of my friends kept nagging me about it, but because my laptop manufacturer (LG) is taking forever to ship the copy of Windows 7 I ordered from them. I just thought it was something to burn time with on a boring Saturday afternoon and that I could use Linux as a backup OS if anything happened to my current Windows OS.

I'm surprised at how quickly I got hooked on Mint! I'm a curious guy by nature, so once I got Mint up and running on my laptop, I went poking around and was amazed at all the things that Linux (specifically Mint) could do out-of-the-box! The GUI is quite intuitive for a Windows user like me (I've been using Windows for about half a dozen years already and I picked up on how to navigate around Mint and do common tasks within minutes after booting Mint for the first time), the hardware support is awesome, and there's an overall feel and polish to Mint that I really like. I was already a Firefox & OpenOffice.org user in Windows, so it didn't take long for me to get everything up and running the way I liked it in Windows. Mint does just as well as Windows in many respects, and I'm impressed at how much the open-source community has achieved. :)

Still, I doubt I'd be able to convince my family and most of my friends to switch over to Linux...they're perfectly happy with Windows and as the saying goes, why bother fixing something that doesn't need to be fixed? That was how I thought too, until I tried Mint for the very first time. I probably haven't digged down too deeply into Mint and Linux in general yet, but for the average desktop user here (desktops, not servers), Windows works for them and as such they're going to stick with it. Linux may beat Windows in terms of stability and security, but it has a lot of work to do before it reaches the same level of functionality that Windows users have come to expect (much of this is simply due to the fact that most software vendors support Windows only, and not Linux...Wine is a great program, but not everything works with it, sadly enough).
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