Sunday, May 11, 2008

Linux - My Second Attempt

First time when I tried installing Linux on my box, I was failed to appraise it. I concluded that “I am typical ‘Windows’ user and might be not-understanding the Linux way”. I took break; I read some good articles on Linux. Few articles mentioned like “This Linux distribution is so easy that my grandma can use it…” I downloaded few Linux distributions (I would prefer not to mention their names here.) and tried installing one by one on my laptop. In almost all distributions, my first impression of Linux being faster operating system was gone. When I wanted to install new utility software (.rpm package) I had to learn command prompt options and finally ended up with error messages which tells one or the other supporting library is missing. Badly organized start menu always took more than required time to find out what I wanted. Too many small utilities fail to achieve user needs as a whole. Few distributions were good in few things.
My overall intention was to get faster Linux on my machine and install virtual machine to have windows in it to use on need basis. Linux just could not make it.
It is also true that I might not have done enough Linux exploration and some Linux guru can tweak and give me a Linux as I wished, but the question is, will a normal windows user consider Linux as a serious replacement? The hard truth is – NO. The first challenge for Linux is to make migration (Windows to Linux) process ever easer. The live example for this is FireFox browser. When FireFox was newly introduced it offered all features of Internet Explorer in its own way and in addition to that it gave outstanding new features. People never felt FireFox as an alien, instead they accepted it as a power tool. FireFox easily replaced Internet Explorer Icon in Taskbar. I found many Linux distributions trying to give feeling of Windows retaining Linux flavor but some how the “feeling” is effectively not touching the user. I used to say this when I was studying my bachelors “Linux has long way to cover to dominate 'Windows world'" and I would prefer to repeat the same even today.


kozmcrae said...

Why do people persist in measuring the ease of installing Linux against an operating system (Windows) that's already installed? No. it can't be done. Buy a computer with Linux installed and THEN measure it against Windows. Why do people persist in measuring the familiarity of an operating system they have barely used against one (Windows) they have been using for years? If this is the way you determine the usability of Linux, then let me save you a boat load of time, forget it, it can't be done, Linux will never measure up to your standards. Learn to live with Windows and don't complain. Wait until Microsoft is dead and Linux comes preinstalled on every computer to try it again.

If you're happy with Windows, and it sounds like you are, then why bother with Linux? Do you just want to disprove the hype surrounding it? Fine, knock yourself out because it's just hype. But the problems you are having sound contrived to me (A clue is you never said what the make and model was of your hardware which prevents people from helping you). I've read many of these Linux "tests" and you should be embarrassed. People with a lot less computer skills than you are installing Linux every day with nothing like the troubles you're experiencing.

Why don't you tell the World how great Microsoft Windows is instead of trying to scare people away from Linux. BTW, that 'Linux would be like Firefox' analogy is really old (and incorrect). It makes you sound like an amateur, which I suspect you are.

Pavan Gayakwad | SrushtiSoft said...

I am still persisting because I don’t have windows pre-installed on my machine. I do manual installation of windows as I did for Linux. I will compare windows with Linux because I wanted to learn Linux. When we learn new things we first-always take reference of what we know, compare it and then start analyzing the new stuff. Few people might take from scratch approach but there are considerable numbers of people who learn new things from their existing knowledge.
If someone spent 5-6 years using Windows and want to switch to Linux, certainly they don’t look forward to spend another 5-6 years to re-invent Linux wheel.

Desktop and Laptops are already shipping with pre-installed Linux operating system and still Linux is failing to gain users’ attention.

You picked the wrong clue to prove me contrived, though I had problem in installing Linux on my hardware I some how solved it. This time my emphasis is more on usability than installation/pre-installation/hardware. I am not trying to disproving anything here; the post is a bunch of facts.

If I am happy with Windows I would not have seriously considered Linux for my day to day computing replacement and it was not “test”. I believe you only read this article and felt I am a big promoter of Microsoft. Hope my these posts help you make your assumptions wrong

If people with very less computer skills are able to install and use Linux every day with no trouble why numbers of Linux installations are still less? (Check current operating system share trend here: As per my knowledge Linux is older than Windows, though Linux is considered as the best it is failing to reach the audience. My post tried exploring in this direction. It does not matter how old “FireFox” analogy is, it matters how best it worked. People like me seriously spending several months to analyze and digest things and they can not be amateurs.

Whether you like it or not people (almost 80% windows users around the world) will look at Linux through Windows, we can not tell them to come out of this feeling and spend few years to learn Linux or wait till Windows die. We should have strategy to divert audience towards Linux. This was the hint I wanted to pass through my article.

I felt like you are more than serious admirer of Linux but I am not like you with Windows. My intention is to bring out where Linux is lagging with normal users’ expectations and today’s competition because I am having an assumption that Linux is better than Windows.

kozmcrae said...

What was the hardware you were trying to install Linux on? One simple question and you refused to answer it.

You will never find Linux to be qualified for the desktop. Not because it isn't qualified but because you don't want it to be. You are locked in to Windows.

You need to list the hardware you "tested" Linux on. Then you need to identify the distribution and version number of the Linux you were using. Without those elements your critique has no substance. You can say anything and your statements cannot be verified. I don't know what they're teaching you at your institution of learning, but it's not Critical Thinking.

Pavan Gayakwad | SrushtiSoft said...

:) you wish... My Computer Configuration is Dell Inspiron AMD Turion 64 X2 Mobile Technology with 1GB Memory and 80 GB SATA Hard disk.
The opinion posted is generic, so I do not see any point in mentioning any particular Linux distribution's name here.
You have to understand that my post is not a feature or version wise technical analysis or evaluation; it is an expression of a typical (or “Locked” – as you mentioned) windows user when he/she try to spend sometime with Linux. If you feel opinion is bit negative, this is how it is. You will find millions of people condemning Windows, millions who do not like Apple Mac and it is same with Linux too. Everybody has their own views and opinions. It is just an opinion. Some opinions are on the basis of how we feel and can not always subject them to critical thinking.

Ganesh H S said...

Pavan -
Use rpm to install is a pain, because the package u want to install may have dependecies.
Use yum command. What yum does is it finds the dependencies and it installs itself you need not worry about anything.
Linux is very secured, robust and crash time is very less compared to windows, more importantly it provides very good programming environment, and everything is a open source.
Well linux is not meant to be for end users.
Virus can attack and corrupt windows filesytem but not linux :)

Pavan Gayakwad | SrushtiSoft said...

Your points taken. As you said "Linux is not meant to be for end users", similar kind of thought I tried expressing in my post however I see different organizations/distributions putting efforts on making Linux for end users.

Jim said...

Having recently installed Ubuntu Linux on my Dell desktop, I think this version of Linux has come a long way towards ease of use. Yes there are still some cryptic commands needed for installing software and performing various commands, but overall I found the experience pleasant, if not perfect. In addition, enough people have run into the same situation as novice users like myself, so finding a solution to my issue is [usually] as easy as a Google search.

Why did I install Linux? Honestly I felt Microsoft was heading in the right direction with their OS until Vista. 2000 and XP, while far from perfect, continued to improve from a UI experience and robustness perspective. Then along comes Vista which has so many issues a service pack is necessary to make the UI tolerable. So disappointment in hand, I went looking for an alternative to highly-priced, bloated software and stumbled onto Ubuntu.

So overall I'm pleased with Ubuntu and think it has potential to rival Windows on the desktop as it continues to mature and Windows continues to languish. I'm concerned about open source as a movement (i.e. innovation typically takes money), but if companies like Novell continue to help fund and support modifications to Ubuntu, it just might get there.

Pavan Gayakwad | SrushtiSoft said...

"Buyers give thumbs down to Linux netbooks"- read the real full story here.

Ganesh H S said...

Use Apple mac, its based on free bsd and pretty cool for desktop use