Why do new people give up on Linux?

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby graybyrd on Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:40 pm

Rather than play 'blame the victim,' have a look at this thread in a community forum for a very popular writing tool:

http://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum ... 33&t=24902

I've been working hard to make Linux work as a reliable, solid, stable, and functional OS for several years, with mixed results. The usual result is a broken installation and a complete reinstall, with loss of apps and much time spent trying to restore the system to a working setup that meets my application needs.

The cause, in each instance? UPGRADES! It doesn't matter if they are performed through a distro's software manager, through Synaptic, or through apt-get ... eventually, something will bork the installation and it will come apart.

I am NOT a developer, hacker, coder, or guru. I am a writer, and a damned good one, and my computer is a tool. I can keep it polished, sharp, and efficient, but I have no time to program it, debug it, or spend hours and hours searching a Linux universe of obsolete garbage and irrelevant clues for the precious crumb that might fix the broken system.

BTW, I've kept several desktop and laptop computers running Windows XP/SP 3 for ten years without a borked system; I've got two desktop and one laptop Macintosh computers running OS 10.4.11 "Tiger" for the last several years with no breakage. Everything runs fine.

The problem with Linux? Too much f*#king around with it by maintainers and coders who put gee-whiz features ahead of stability, and too little time spent checking compatibility. My distro of choice is Debian. I tried for three years to follow the 'testing' branch, but finally gave it up due to inevitable breakages.

I hoped that LMDE was the best solution: a testing distro that was 'tested' by using patched updates. I had come to depend on a solid install of LMDE for nearly a year, and lost the entire works with Patch 7 ... which destroyed my XFCE enviro. It was a big loss of time and effort.

Now I've switched back to #! (Crunch-Bang distro) as it's based on Debian Stable. But even that is partially broken: I favor "Gedit" as a text editor, because there is an excellent plug-in available to make it a powerful Markdown preview and output filtered app. Guess what? The dependencies are broken, and Gedit is crippled. BTW, the same thing happened to Gedit in LMDE after I installed the 'Mate' version. Some libs were excluded, and something in the repo was borked, and Gedit lost the ability to load external plugins.

(BTW, Gedit was replaced in the 'Mate' distro with a fork of Gedit [Pluma?] for what reason? It denied access to the wealth of Gedit plugin resources! Why? My first reaction to the developer who made that choice was to inflict upon him/her an act that would make Vlad the Impaler blush with shame! It ain't nice to take useful tools away from people who come to depend on them! Is that some kind of 'power trip' or something?)

I still have great hopes of being able to rely on Linux as an everyday, year-long, year after year replacement for Windows XP, but I'm not holding my breath. Until some commanding force is able to exert sufficient discipline in the Linux ranks to put stability ahead of novelty, new converts to desktop Linux will remain discouraged and disappointed.

Again, read that thread on the Scrivener forums, and then check out the other threads in that Linux section of the Scrivener community. You'll find it eye-opening. BTW, Scrivener runs rock-solid on Macintosh, and even though it is still in development, it runs very well on Windows. But on Linux? With each new "upgrade" of Ubuntu or other distros, it becomes a minefield.

That, ladies and gents, is why new people give up on Linux!
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby Nilla Wafer on Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:41 am

Wow! There have honestly been times when I've thought the best thing to do after getting a Linux system working perfectly was to simply disable updates altogether and never update again.

~nilla
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby eanfrid on Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:50 am

@graybyrd: Unfortunately, the above link you give seems to be an example of the worst case. Upgrading the distro for the sake of upgrading does lead you to this kind of situation.
Until some commanding force is able to exert sufficient discipline in the Linux ranks to put stability ahead of novelty, new converts to desktop Linux will remain discouraged and disappointed.
You have to find and choose the right distribution/desktop tailored for your needs. Indeed most users put novelty ahead of stability, regarding stability as an equivalent to boredom rather than to sturdiness and reliability.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby Koninator on Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:49 pm

File structure!
Code: Select all
/
-bin
-boot
-cdrom
-dev
-etc
-home
-lib
-lib32
-lib64
-media
-mnt
-opt
-proc
-root
-run
-sbin
-srv
-sys
-tmp
-usr
-var

21 folders at base level. Even government don't have so much complexity in it's structure.

But hopefully things are moving (very slowly sadly) in right direction with Gobo Linux.
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=gobo
http://www.gobolinux.org/

File structure of Gobo Linux:
Code: Select all
/
-Depot
-Files
-lost+found
-Mount
-Programs
-System
-Users

Only 7 folders at base. And each folder represent some logical information about system.

In DOS and Windows Files are arranged by meaning/job, what the files do...
But in Linux files are arranged by type of files - execute, config, ...

[Linux sort files by race: Black, White, Asian, Indian, ...
Windows sort files by job: engineer, construction worker, liberal arts, manager, ....]

But I understand why Linux have that type of file structure - it is build for security.
So if all executable files are in one directory you can easily monitor them - secure them.
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Postby Lingula on Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:54 pm

The Linux directory structure is well suited to a command line interface. DOS was similar, but Windows is much more difficult to use from the command line because of the increasing length of filenames, capitalization, spaces, etc... If GNU/Linux could be administered more completely by GUI then the directory structure could change in the way you propose.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby Previous1 on Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:36 am

It's already mentioned but I'll mention it again. The absolute lack of backward or forward compability. And no, open source doesn't help when libraries are outdated (backward) or simply missing (forward). Not like recompiling for the sake of it is exactly user-friendly.

And I know the "linux isn't windows" or "it's in the repos" arguments etc etc. But "new people" don't care for that. They know that 99% of 2014 windows programs work flawlessly in 2001 XP. They'll also realize the limits of any repository.

I've seen something quite interesting on PC-BSD on that regard. Every (PBI) package contains the libraries the program needs, and when installing, these are checked against your current versions. I've done things like that under Linux (eg Steam under Wheezy), but it's a painful process.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby InkKnife on Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:30 pm

I think a lot of posters here are painting a rather rosy description of how stable Windows and OSX are.
I have seen plenty of Windows updates break mission critical software, something so common that many in enterprise users test Windows updates for months before applying them to production machines. Sure, XP has been stable but only because it is ridiculously old and has had no important updates in more than half a decade so, sure, your applications did not break but the tradeoff is running an outdated increasingly insecure OS.
OSX is even worse. There have been many OSX updates that wrought real havoc with Adobe software and countless other smaller applications. Compatibility between point releases is really terrible in OSX and I know because I used OSX at home for the last ten years. OSX is a non-stop forced march of manually updating applications to keep up with system changes.
You just can't make broad generalizations about Linux. If you want a stable distro, use a stable distro. Most any LTS would be a good place to start. Don't use a distro based on Debian Unstable and then complain that its unstable.
Whether you are running Windows, OSX or Linux you have to make a choice. If you want the latests and greatest you get to deal with compatibility problems. If you want reliable compatibility you don't upgrade and do without the new hotness.
You cannot have it both ways and that goes for any operating system.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby Previous1 on Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:29 am

Yes, one reason I switched from XP is because one update destroyed windows update itself (!), so I was forced to resort to third-party WSUS tools. That didn't mean I had trouble finding (working) programs (and that will probably last even a few years after its EOL).

Compatibility between point releases is really terrible in OSX and I know because I used OSX at home for the last ten years. OSX is a non-stop forced march of manually updating applications to keep up with system changes. (...)

If you want the latests and greatest you get to deal with compatibility problems. If you want reliable compatibility you don't upgrade and do without the new hotness.


You don't really help an OS forward by saying "well OSX has it too" (not that I would know as my last Mac was a 68k under MacOS 7 :lol: ). It's like countries saying their criminal records are "lower than average", even when rampant.

As to "reliable compability" on Linux, to follow up on your example I find it harder to run Debian Stable than Testing. No, not in a quest for "the latest", just for a working program. Stuff fails to compile or run on "old" versions - or fails to compile or run because of dependencies now declared redundant. Another example, RHEL/CentOS 6 (which is supported until 2020) can't even run Google Chrome anymore.

But in the end it *can* be done better, with some effort (like the PC-BSD example).
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby kalig on Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:16 pm

My reason for giving up on linux (even though I have a computer science degree) is because a) people who spin off these distributions are typically dumb. I say this because for example, even the most popular distro (ubuntu) didn't take me less than 1 minute before I started to hate it about a year ago: All the applications were missing including the command prompt! Maybe dumb isn't the right word, but maybe "poor judgement" is the right term. Additionally b) To do anything with Linux, why must ever little thing can turn into a "research" project? I have no where the amount of time spent on researching on windows. I just can't understand what was it that lead the designer of ubuntu to remove all the applications on the application menu bar... This is what lead me to try Mint. Had Ubuntu decided to stick with KDE at the time, and to make sure those applications are on the application menu, I would have stuck with it. Then there was a whole slew of bugs, for example, in unpredictable fashion, icons would go missing in Ubuntu. I would love to try out DesignedWithCommonSenseLinux =) The only reason I'm using it now is to try to learn pen test and git. I'm not going to reply to this thread nor read it, but just for what it's worth in case someone really wants to know.
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Re:

Postby goshmo on Sat Mar 01, 2014 5:09 pm

Lingula wrote: If GNU/Linux could be administered more completely by GUI then the directory structure could change in the way you propose.

My vote for that!

I spent my years "under the hood" of windows (and sometimes in depths of macs) and got enough about thing called "registry".

But at unix/linux world it's about as dumb to learn to figure out like where is the flash plugin to some browser.

My wish: A proper GUI tool to do about everything, instead of that constant sudo masturbation :wink:

(yeah, I like it, but sometimes you just wish the job is done like few clicks...)
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby InkKnife on Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:46 pm

The biggest reason people give up on Linux is that the available application stack cannot full-fill all their needs. Linux has a strong application base but it is simply not as comprehensive as that available on Windows or OSX.
My house is all Linux because it can do what I and my wife need but there are many software niches where the Linux ecosystem is lacking. It is getting better every day but still behind.
Windows has it all, OSX has a subset of what Windows has and Linux has a smaller subset.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby rxd on Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:23 am

Too much stuff just doesn't work.
I've spent way too much time fighting with my computer with Linux. For better or worse, Windows works. You just keep running into brick walls with linux. If you need anything more than the most basic features you run into problems. My iPhone and ipad are more full featured and robust than linux.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby killer de bug on Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:12 am

rxd wrote:My iPhone and ipad are more full featured and robust than linux.


Come, have a coffee at my place. We will compare my laptop and your Ipad. :wink:
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby rxd on Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:44 am

I would have to come over with my linux laptop because I can't VPN in to your network. Linux VPN clients are a disaster. :evil:

Now I can connect remotely to you with my iPad or iPhone using l2tp or Cisco IPSec no problem...
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby Viking-bg on Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:36 am

Hi,

here is my reason for giving up on Linux (my apologies for the cross post, but if I knew about this thread, I would have posted here first).

A month ago I bought a new computer. I thought that this would at last be the time when I could wave Windows goodbye, as I have looked at Linux for a number of years already (at least since Mint 8 ). I downloaded a number of distro's, but came back to Mint Cinnamon as my distro of choice.

Loading the live USB was a breeze. The distro picked up my mobile Internet (3g) in a flash. I installed, and everything was wonderful for a few days.

Then it started. After booting, Mint intermittently saw my Huawei E367 mobile modem. I estimate for every ten bootups the modem would be detected twice. So this was really strange. Then it sees the modem, and then it doesn't. Now it stopped seeing the modem completely.

Okay, time to hit the forum for a solution (and back to my old Windows XP box because it detects the modem EVERY TIME). There I read to apt get for a certain package (usb-modeswitch). Are you serious? I cannot connect to the Internet in the first place from within Mint. That is exactly my problem! How can I fetch a package on the Internet to fix a non-working Internet connection? So, long story short, modem is not working.

Next I connected the printers. HP - no problem. Canon - no printing. Hitting the forum again, I read that Canon is “poorly supported”. So, if you have certain Canon printers, then it is tough luck. So, printer not working...

Next it was time for the scanner. Canon - oops. “poorly supported”. The most frustrating thing is that my Mint's Simplescan's preferences page actually identifies the scanner correctly, but does not scan a page!

So, after four weeks of intensely working with Linux, I am at wits end. At first everything worked lovely, but then it turned sour. (I have limited my problems with Mint to the basics to keep the post short, and will not discuss issues like logging in multiple users without passwords and installation of packages like Latex, etc.)

I do not know what to do next. I HATE Windows 7, REFUSE to install Windows 8 (I have read numerous reviews), and my beautiful Linux Mint 16 desktop works like a charm, except I cannot print, scan or use the Internet (amongst other issues)! The three most basic functions a computer is used for, Linux Mint has hassles with!

I know I am not the only one. This Linux Mint forum is full of stories like mine. What saddens me the most is that I believe that Linux could be the most popular OS in the world if the basics could be sorted out. I do NOT need shiny new eye candy distro releases every six months. I do NOT need a plethora of distro's and desktops to choose from. All I need is a rock solid OS where I can be productive without reading forums to sort out basic issues like printing, scanning, and connecting to the Internet. So, sadly I sit here typing away in front of my Windows XP box knowing that support will end within a few weeks. I REALLY want Linux to work for me, but this masochistic experience has gone on for long enough. To vent my EXTREME frustration I have decided to write this post. The Linux slogan of “putting the fun back into computing” was just the opposite for me. This is NOT fun, and this and other Linux forums can confirm this to be the case for most newbies.

Ranting complete - thanks for reading.
Last edited by xenopeek on Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: cross post topic deleted
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Postby Lingula on Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:25 am

The user experience you describe can be found in OS X, but you'll need all new hardware, and I'm not sure if you'll be able to use your Canon printer. ;-)
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby Previous1 on Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:47 am

Lingula wrote:The user experience you describe can be found in OS X, but you'll need all new hardware, and I'm not sure if you'll be able to use your Canon printer. ;-)


That's not really helpful, is it.

Are you serious? I cannot connect to the Internet in the first place from within Mint. That is exactly my problem! How can I fetch a package on the Internet to fix a non-working Internet connection? So, long story short, modem is not working.

http://packages.ubuntu.com/saucy/usb-modeswitch

Next I connected the printers. HP - no problem. Canon - no printing. Hitting the forum again, I read that Canon is “poorly supported”. So, if you have certain Canon printers, then it is tough luck. So, printer not working...

Next it was time for the scanner. Canon - oops. “poorly supported”. The most frustrating thing is that my Mint's Simplescan's preferences page actually identifies the scanner correctly, but does not scan a page!

What's the exact printer/scanner model?

not discuss issues like logging in multiple users without passwords and installation of packages like Latex, etc.

Automatic login? Or something like this: http://www.hanckmann.net/?q=create_a_us ... d_in_linux

All I need is a rock solid OS where I can be productive without reading forums to sort out basic issues like printing, scanning, and connecting to the Internet.

Can't agree more. But it's a long way to go.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby titianmom on Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:22 pm

I've been reading through comments here and most just verify something few want to mention: Some folks are just plain GUI driven and were weaned on Windows and will always want what the MS environment does design-wise, and they want the Linux designers to mimic MS. (Developers, please, please don't do this....then I won't have anything to load on my machines any more... :0)

I don't have any problems whatsoever with Linux. If I have any problems *at all* loading, its always my fault. But that's rare. I do the research up front and make sure that I've chosen a hardware platform that's compatible with the Linux flavor I'm loading. I run 4 different flavors, currently, on various platforms with no problems at all. They all run smoothly, sometimes for days, and they all do *exactly* what I expect and want them to do.

There's plenty of compatible hardware out there, you just have to be smart about choosing a "late model" machine by a trusted vendor who hasn't monkeyed with EFI and what-not, vs a spanking new one with the latest hardware. But you might complain that you want the latest hardware...well...for what I do on a regular basis, the "latest" is way overkill and unnecessary. Which leads to the next point:

What do you really need? I mean, really? For someone who wants to play the latest super-sonic games and their systems are basically glorified toys, then buy MS and be done with it. If you're into Photography and graphic design, then buy a Mac.

But if you want to watch movies, surf the web, word process, web design, buy stuff, manipulate graphics, etc, then Linux works just fine with no hitches IMO. And you can even play some games if you want, LOL.

Now, I qualify what I've written with this: Unlike 98% of the people out there, I was born, weaned and raised on UNIX. I was in college when they were still teaching DOS and teaching how to network using 2 DOS machines. Windows was just coming out in (sorta) full bloom. After years working in Solaris, I finally left as an sysadmin, and then I was forced to use a spattering of MS for a short time, but quickly jumped to Linux as soon as I could and was soooo glad to be home, again.

So, I understand UNIX; I understand the simplicity (yes, IMHO, the simplicity) of the filesystem structure, the concept of the kernel and the point of Superuser and being able to boot into different modes to repair a system. I understand TCP/IP (not Unix but important to understand for any type computer IMO), the elegance of the command line to get things done, to include scripting and cron jobs and the beauty of modifying etc flat files, setting up routing and NFS and NIS and DNS and sendmail, etc etc (not all UNIX but were designed for networking/UNIX).

My husband is more used to the Windows environment, and although he freely admits that Linux works better than MS for what he wants to do, and admits that, over the years, he has come to hate Windows, he still *prefers* Windows functionality, because it is what he's used to. He's a "point-and-clicker" at heart.

But he's also fairly experienced in Linux. But still, he believes in his mind that Linux is harder to do stuff in, but when I repeatedly show him that this isn't true, then he says Linux is better, but then fades back into wanting it to work like Windows. Its a twisted sort of logic IMHO.

Hope this helps someone to see what I believe is going on.

My daughter has a MAC. I don't like MACs, even though they are based on BSD/Unix. Why? I simply don't like Apple's windows manager, and I hate being forced to use their environment whether I like it or not! With Linux, I can pick and choose whatever environment i want to use.

My 5 cents worth--

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby rxd on Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:07 pm

Well, if in this day and age Linux users want a command line interface and don't like pointing and clicking fine. And if everyone had to make sure their hardware is going to work with Linux because Linux is finicky with hardware that's fine too.

Just don't ever expect to get beyond Linux's current 2%-3% market share. And that's fine too.

Honestly the problem with Linux is that too much time is wasted on different distros that only further fragment the OS while basic functionality is lacking. If 1/10 of the effort that was put into all these different distros was put into finishing up Mint or Ubuntu or whatever, Linux would be a world beater.

Alas, this will never happen and Linux will never get anywhere on the desktop and laptop...

And I guess that's fine too.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby frank392 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:02 pm

Linux is a Huge wast of time for some one that needs a computer to do some work, there is always something that does not work (printer, scanner, microsd card reader, sound, Mic ) so you have to spend hour tinkering with your computer to make it work and some times with no good results... and once you get your system running it comes the dreadful updates or upgrades that will destroy your system again :twisted:
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