Is Linux nearing XP usability?


I prefer:  

407 members have voted

You do not have permission to vote in this poll, or see the poll results. Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

Recommended Posts

Proforma
On a box that is set up, the answer is yes!  Linux is as easy to use.  My wife and kids have no problem on my Linux box.

However, setting up can be either very automatic (more so than in Windows, in fact!), or it can be very problematic.  This depends on the hardware you have, and is the biggest challenge to the Open Source community to work on improving.

I feel that once Linux gains market share, this will get much better (and quickly!) as hardware vendors jump on-board.

EDIT:  Moved the thread to the *nix Client section, as it really isn't a 'customizing' thing... :unsure:

585379704[/snapback]

Well when they really start using it and figure that it's not as good as what the folks next door have or at school/work.

Of course you are going to say that Mark. I mean you are a linux nut and would say anything for the protection of the hive.

duh!

When I use Knoppix the games run at slow motion and my soundcard doesn't work. That is on a new laptop. whoops

Link to post
Share on other sites
markjensen
Well when they really start using it and figure that it's not as good as what the folks next door have or at school/work.

586301125[/snapback]

That statement is so broad and sweeping that it cannot be anything other than false. Like trying to say one person or one race is "not as good" as the person or race next door. In many ways Linux is a better OS than Windows. There are some Windows-specific things it can't do. There are some Unixy things that Window can't do.
Of course you are going to say that Mark.  I mean you are a linux nut and would say anything for the protection of the hive.

586301125[/snapback]

No. Actually, if you read my posts, you see that I discuss valid points. I don't try to paint any falsehoods and make arbitrary declarations. Things can be talked about in a logical and reasonable fashion by most people, and I expect that out of them when they post here.
When I use Knoppix the games run at slow motion and my soundcard doesn't work.  That is on a new laptop.  whoops

586301125[/snapback]

Imagine that! An OS that runs solely off the CD and a small wedge of available RAM did not run as fast as Windows and had some speed issues. Logical conclusion: Linux is teh suxxors!

Please come here with valid points the next time you post. I can't believe I stayed up for this post. :no:

Link to post
Share on other sites
MustNotSleep

it's getting close, yes, but not quite there yet..

my major gripe with Linux (apart from the sheer amount of software conflicts, result of basically having an endless amount of software that needs to communicate with an endless amount of hardware, and at the same time play nice with eachother :pinch:), is the slow ass state the GUI is in.

every Linux box i've used somehow responds very slowly when compared to XP on that same box. the system seems unresponsive, there are very obvious graphical glitches (tearing, weird overlapping, etc.) which cause or are the cause of a complete system slow down.. i might be surfing the web and updating my packages with Synaptic, and if i try to switch to amaroK to change mp3s, the thing doesn't respond for a good while, and amidst all the clicking i did, i find out it goes berserk when it actually does respond, switching stuff i might've clicked in this zombified state.. :angry: and it totally breaks my workflow..

but God, do i appreciate the freedom and complete feeling of owning the system.. i get an idea how the underlyings work and what i had to do to make them work.. it gives you a sense of security no other OS can..

and it's getting prettier by the minute.. the new Gnome and KDE look fancier than ever.. i just wish there was a graphical API standard, that'd help ease up the pressure on the end user..

Link to post
Share on other sites
entropyx

It's nowhere near Windows XP as far as usability goes for wide audiences. It has it's niche -- for computer control freaks, but that's about it. Gamers, and programmers will always use Windows or Mac.

Link to post
Share on other sites
MustNotSleep

just to give an example of the software conflicts i mentioned in the last post:

i have XP on my master HD, but the MBR is on my secondary master drive with Ubuntu, from which GRUB is loaded and then i can boot XP from there. so yesterday, i decided to install Splashy on my Ubuntu system. i update a couple of packages with the unstable versions, configure Splashy and download some themes. i go to reboot to see my beautiful new boot screen, when... what's this, my XP partition is gone from the GRUB boot list? i freak out, load Ubuntu with my pretty animated boot screen, and look at the GRUB menu.lst.. sure enough, there's no XP there. Splashy decided to overwrite my menu.lst with it's own version that tells it in what resolution it should run, but didn't ask me whether i want to keep being able to boot into XP anymore. luckily, i had a backup menu.lst and switched it back, adding the Splashy commands.. and all's well now.

and this type of thing is constant with Linux. i always get scared whenever i update a major package or install something new, because i never know how it might react on my system. there are endless posibilites of what might go wrong.

but if this happens to a knowledgeable PC user, imagine the kind of impact it would have on your regular Joe Windows-lover. Linux is still, very far away from being taken in consumer's homes.

Link to post
Share on other sites
David Scaife
Of course you are going to say that Mark.  I mean you are a linux nut and would say anything for the protection of the hive.

586301125[/snapback]

I've been waiting a long time for an excuse to say this: do you use it because it is good, or is it good because you use it?

The latter attitude belongs to zealots and "fanboys", and last time I checked, markjensen was neither. What he said (that you quoted) was quite true, in light of the chicken vs egg situation we have and the observation that Linux appears to be steadily becoming more popular.

It's nowhere near Windows XP as far as usability goes for wide audiences. It has it's niche -- for computer control freaks, but that's about it. Gamers, and programmers will always use Windows or Mac.

586301186[/snapback]

If by "programmers" you mean "professional graphic and sound artists", then yeah, that makes sense. But lose the absolutes.

Link to post
Share on other sites
entropyx
I've been waiting a long time for an excuse to say this: do you use it because it is good, or is it good because you use it?

The latter attitude belongs to zealots and "fanboys", and last time I checked, markjensen was neither. What he said (that you quoted) was quite true, in light of the chicken vs egg situation we have and the observation that Linux appears to be steadily becoming more popular.

If by "programmers" you mean "professional graphic and sound artists", then yeah, that makes sense. But lose the absolutes.

586301256[/snapback]

Well, I don't know many web developers who code strictly on *nix boxes.

Link to post
Share on other sites
David Scaife
Well, I don't know many web developers who code strictly on *nix boxes.

586301356[/snapback]

Hi, I'm Dave. ;)

Sorry, I should have said in my previous reply, Linux is actually quite a nice environment for programming in. I mean, if it wasn't, then I doubt it would be nearly as active as it is. That was the thought that was behind what I meant.

Link to post
Share on other sites
MR_Candyman
just to give an example of the software conflicts i mentioned in the last post:

i have XP on my master HD, but the MBR is on my secondary master drive with Ubuntu, from which GRUB is loaded and then i can boot XP from there. so yesterday, i decided to install Splashy on my Ubuntu system. i update a couple of packages with the unstable versions, configure Splashy and download some themes. i go to reboot to see my beautiful new boot screen, when... what's this, my XP partition is gone from the GRUB boot list? i freak out, load Ubuntu with my pretty animated boot screen, and look at the GRUB menu.lst.. sure enough, there's no XP there. Splashy decided to overwrite my menu.lst with it's own version that tells it in what resolution it should run, but didn't ask me whether i want to keep being able to boot into XP anymore. luckily, i had a backup menu.lst and switched it back, adding the Splashy commands.. and all's well now.

and this type of thing is constant with Linux. i always get scared whenever i update a major package or install something new, because i never know how it might react on my system. there are endless posibilites of what might go wrong.

but if this happens to a knowledgeable PC user, imagine the kind of impact it would have on your regular Joe Windows-lover. Linux is still, very far away from being taken in consumer's homes.

586301210[/snapback]

this is why in your setup I'd have the bios point to the secondary master, and have that one boot from partition instead of mbr, and keep the windows mbr on the windows drive, that way there's no possible way of screwing up the windows mbr, and you can overwrite your boot variables like crazy on your linux drive and fix them easy as pie by just editing lilo.conf (or grub.conf).

The thing I absolutely adore about linux is how easy it is to fix something if somehow you screw it up, which is generally harder than screwing something up in windows in the first place. You lose your fstab? create a new one. Lost your xfree86.conf? make a new one. Boot table's foobared? make a new one.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Mike Douglas
Gamers, and programmers will always use Windows or Mac.

586301186[/snapback]

I guess the millions of lines of source code available from Sourceforge, GNOME, KDE, Linux, FreeBSD and any other large project just materialized on someone's hard drive? Does John Carmack not count as a gamer?

Well, I don't know many web developers who code strictly on *nix boxes.

Considering how popular LAMP is becoming on the web, it seems odd that the developers wouldn't run the operating system they are coding for.

Link to post
Share on other sites
rezza
Well, I don't know many web developers who code strictly on *nix boxes.

586301356[/snapback]

I am a professional web developer, I use PHP, HTML, Perl, Python, Javascript, Java, and MySQL, and I do all my work on my linux box. I don't have windows installed. Working on a linux box pays my bills.

The reason I got started with Linux in the first place was that my department in university (comp sci) recommended that all their students switch to linux because it's easier for coding. I didn't really know much about Linux back then - I'd only used Windows and Solaris Sparc machines before, but I tried it out. And it was really good for coding, so I use it to this day.

Link to post
Share on other sites
vhane
Well, I don't know many web developers who code strictly on *nix boxes.

586301356[/snapback]

I am a web developer. I don't code strictly on *nix, but I could if I wanted to. To me it's not an issue at all. I can be as productive coding on *nix, windows, or OS X. They are all good enough for development work.

Having said that, knowledge of the *nix platform has helped me in my job far more than knowledge of any of the other platforms.

Link to post
Share on other sites
MustNotSleep
this is why in your setup I'd have the bios point to the secondary master, and have that one boot from partition instead of mbr, and keep the windows mbr on the windows drive, that way there's no possible way of screwing up the windows mbr, and you can overwrite your boot variables like crazy on your linux drive and fix them easy as pie by just editing lilo.conf (or grub.conf).

586301563[/snapback]

mmmmyeah that sounds great but... how do i go about doing that?

see, when i installed Ubuntu (and GRUB), it didn't ask me anything, just did it's thing.. i figured out the pickle when i disconnected my Linux drive and booted, and the master drive couldn't find a boot record, and needs that secondary drive to boot from.

i know i could do a fixmbr or fixboot on XP and that would get my boot sector back (probably), but wouldn't this leave my Ubuntu drive in the dark? :unsure:

i was thinking of setting Ubuntu on my XP boot list, so that the loader is on the primary master and i could do whatever i wanted with Linux.. but then i started reading and got spooked when it said i had do transfer some 512bytes to XP everytime my kernel got an update.. :blink: is there an easier way of getting Linux on the XP boot menu?

Link to post
Share on other sites
j005u
i was thinking of setting Ubuntu on my XP boot list, so that the loader is on the primary master and i could do whatever i wanted with Linux.. but then i started reading and got spooked when it said i had do transfer some 512bytes to XP everytime my kernel got an update.. :blink: is there an easier way of getting Linux on the XP boot menu?

586302375[/snapback]

i might be wrong here, but i think that's not the case, since you're using grub. i belive lilo has that problem.

you'll probably need to transfer when you update grub tho.

but i might be way off here..

Link to post
Share on other sites
markjensen
mmmmyeah that sounds great but... how do i go about doing that?

see, when i installed Ubuntu (and GRUB), it didn't ask me anything, just did it's thing.. i figured out the pickle when i disconnected my Linux drive and booted, and the master drive couldn't find a boot record, and needs that secondary drive to boot from.

i know i could do a fixmbr or fixboot on XP and that would get my boot sector back (probably), but wouldn't this leave my Ubuntu drive in the dark? :unsure:

i was thinking of setting Ubuntu on my XP boot list, so that the loader is on the primary master and i could do whatever i wanted with Linux.. but then i started reading and got spooked when it said i had do transfer some 512bytes to XP everytime my kernel got an update.. :blink: is there an easier way of getting Linux on the XP boot menu?

586302375[/snapback]

Getting the 512 bytes into a file on your Windows partition is a one-time thing. Following these instructions work very well, and will allow you to dual boot using the Windows NT boot loader.

http://www.geocities.com/epark/linux/grub-w2k-HOWTO.html

Link to post
Share on other sites
msg43
I have a USB key.  I use it to transfer data bakc and forth from work and home (plus it has DSL bootable on it) ;)

It is FAT32, and works just fine. (Y)

586300681[/snapback]

That a keychain though I'm talking about a 80gig drive fat32 doesn't handle large files to well.

Link to post
Share on other sites
MustNotSleep
Getting the 512 bytes into a file on your Windows partition is a one-time thing.  Following these instructions work very well, and will allow you to dual boot using the Windows NT boot loader.

http://www.geocities.com/epark/linux/grub-w2k-HOWTO.html

586302449[/snapback]

yea, that's too much hassle for my blood. :D

actually, i don't have the need currently to go through all that, so i'll make sure i do it the next time i install Linux. thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites
MR_Candyman
mmmmyeah that sounds great but... how do i go about doing that?

see, when i installed Ubuntu (and GRUB), it didn't ask me anything, just did it's thing.. i figured out the pickle when i disconnected my Linux drive and booted, and the master drive couldn't find a boot record, and needs that secondary drive to boot from.

i know i could do a fixmbr or fixboot on XP and that would get my boot sector back (probably), but wouldn't this leave my Ubuntu drive in the dark? :unsure:

i was thinking of setting Ubuntu on my XP boot list, so that the loader is on the primary master and i could do whatever i wanted with Linux.. but then i started reading and got spooked when it said i had do transfer some 512bytes to XP everytime my kernel got an update.. :blink: is there an easier way of getting Linux on the XP boot menu?

586302375[/snapback]

ok, now I'm gonna tell you of a stupidly easy way to use 2 boot loaders on 2 separate hard drives...use the bios to select which drive to boot from. Before I knew much about linux I used to do this all the time. Keep boot record for your windows machine on your windows drive and your linux boot loader on your linux drive. Every time you want to switch, then just go into the bios and select the other hard drive to boot.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Dashel

Linux has been 'nearing' Windows for as long as I can remember. Still isn't there and won't be anytime soon, if ever. OS X on open hardware on the other hand may actually give Vista a run for its money.

Link to post
Share on other sites
MustNotSleep
ok, now I'm gonna tell you of a stupidly easy way to use 2 boot loaders on 2 separate hard drives...use the bios to select which drive to boot from. Before I knew much about linux I used to do this all the time. Keep boot record for your windows machine on your windows drive and your linux boot loader on your linux drive. Every time you want to switch, then just go into the bios and select the other hard drive to boot.

586303269[/snapback]

that'd be nice if i wasn't using a RAID/IDE PCI controller, cuz my mobo doesn't support my 120GB HD, and the controller doesn't have any booting options.. like i said, i have no reason to go through it ATM, so i'll just wait until i upgrade in a few weeks..

thanks though.. (Y)

Link to post
Share on other sites
im_not_jose

Linux is getting better by the month, but in my estimation, it is still below the general standard and quality of windows xp. to put in perspective, i'll give it a rating which is my general opinion at the moment:

( 1 - useless crap; 10 - perfect in every catagory)

Windows XP - Score: 8

:: XP does everything quite well, and thus caters to the general user. Majority of software (although not all of them are any good), majority of games, and quite stable (I can run this laptop without rebooting for say a month, although going in and out of standby). The only things, which I would say is still a sore spot is the fact that its a paid product, a bit bulky and slow at times and lacks the general feel-goodness of OSX. Security has improved somewhat, but not really enough, and if you're really going to complain, put it behind ZoneAlarm or your network being Smoothwall/IPCop. XP can be an annoying memory guzzler. Missing that added refinement/polish, but getting close.

Mac OSX - Score: 8

:: Mac OSX caters to a different crowd; the crowd of image or design conscious _or those who want a computer without wanting the slightest technical knowhow. Overall, design is quite tight and good. Mac developers aim for a higher standard in visual design and quality. But most people don't care too much about it, thus they go for their Dells etc because XP is equally capable of the same stuff, just without that added 'polish'. Negatives is that OSX runs only on Apple hardware, paid product, Apple UI design ethics can be a bit presumptuous for those who are familiar with other OS's, lack of software compared to XP (but, depending on what you use it for, this may not be a big deal), mac zealots are **** annoying/apple method of business infuriating and tyrannical, _one mouse button by default!_ (especially annoying on laptops). Overall though, once someone gets used to the little quirks about OSX, they shouldnt have too much to complain about. Security is a non-issue for the moment and generally in a better position than of XP (for various technical reasons, largely owing to BSD), but if mac fans claim OSX is inpenetrable, then I suspect they are largely deluding themselves. If Apples gain market share, we will start to see some more interest in finding exploits and vulnerabilities for whatever reasons - economic or l33t hax0r.

Linux - Score: 6 1/2

:: Lots of software, free software, your computer is yours and yours only. You can do whatever you like with it! Linux is stable too, and fast. Feel the breeze of freedom. Ahh.. :) Now dont get me wrong. I love Linux. I love OSS. And Linux has caught up in so many ways, to compete head to head with OSX and XP on features. But the fundamental user-unfriendliness is still there. Installing applications can still be a nightmare for people who are phobic of things like xterm. The filesystem is still very confusing for people trying to figure out what everything should be like (/var, /etc? oh /usr, that looks like where i should put my stuff). My suggestion in this case is that the GUI (kde or gnome, really), just hide these directories away, and thats somewhat happened, but not coherently. Beagle might fix this tho. Another thing that freaks people out is the sheer amount of configuration it takes to change / install something simple. If the DVD drive is not being mounted, for some reason, where would the user go to fix this? In most cases, theyd probably give up and not bother. Bought a new tv card? How would a newbie get around to installing that? They are used to simply popping a cd in the drive and letting an install handle everything for them. Want Linux to boot up another desktop, like Gnome, by default? The user doesnt even know where to begin. Also, while Linux has made great advances, its still a bit ugly and it disappoints me somewhat to see that they dont take the opportunity to make any serious thinking outside the box with regards to the UI, considering that they arent in a constrained position like Apple or Microsoft (in particular). Linux could easily go up a few points, if they just fixed a few user-centric issues, but thats hard to do, when everyones doing their own thing. Linux security suffers in the same way. Linux can be pretty darned secure, but more often than not, it involves some knowhow.

Overall, I still prefer XP and Linux - XP because its easy, Linux because it woo's me with the sheer amount of flexibility to be what you want it to be (in many cases, server type stuff). I've berated OSX in the past, and much of what I said is still true, but ultimately I think it comes down to three factors: monopoly (you think MS is bad, apple is worse!), apple hardware (the only way to run OSX is if you buy from apple) and GUI quirks (some things I just cant get used to, like how programs overlay with each other, the apple menu, one mouse button, for example). But I dont want to be zealous, so give apple a try if you are unsure, it might be for you.

I've avoid some issues like business models, and it is obvious that Microsoft has been most successful (and its not all conspiracy and evil, like some people like to portray it), Open Source is also a very strong model and very practical for people who love experimenting with stuff and dont have a heck of a lot of money. Apple is still stuck in its old stone age control-freak model and always hoping that iPods will somehow make everyone want a mac. It wont work in the long run. The ipod is not a killer app, but its a start of something if apple played their cards right (and I dont really think they have thought this through). oh well.

The perfect OS is one which combined the strengths of all three. I an only imagine what that would be. wooo

Link to post
Share on other sites
LaNcom

scaife,

what'a pro graphic artist? If, by 'pro', you mean true professional, high-end stuff (retouche, compositing, grading, editing), then Linux has more than 50% of the market (front-end), and almost 100% back-end. Maybe you don't know it, but most high-end tools aren't even available for Windows or Macs... :-) I guess you mean advertising stuff and such, but that's not really high-end. BTW, the true high-end (movie biz and such) always defined the trends - so, Linux should make some inroads in the mid-range graphics business soon.

Some hard facts:

- Disney uses a nearly 100% Linux pipeline, including Photoshop (for backgrounds) via cxoffice.

- discreet currently ports their complete high-end software portfolio to Linux (no Windows or OSX releases planned).

- ILM, Sony Imageworks and Dreamworks (and many other studios, even Pixar) use huge Linux pipelines, as did Weta (they closed doors after LotR 3).

- ifx just ported Amazon Paint (2D/ 3D high-resolution HDR paint solution) and PiranhaHD (editing/ compositing) from IRIX to Linux. No Windows or OSX ports planned.

- Avid added it's amazing, formerly IRIX-only Matador paint system to Softimage|XSI, available for Linux, Windows and IRIX.

- Apple faded out Shake for Windows, it's only available for Linux and OSX these days. Linux is still the most used platform, even though the OSX version is more than 50% cheaper.

Link to post
Share on other sites
imtoomuch
i hope you're not talking about an ethernet connection because connecting to the internet through ethernet is so easy it's laughable.

586300739[/snapback]

And what if I was trying to connect using an ethernet? OMG you are so awesome because you know how to connect Linux with an ethernet!!! :rolleyes:

That's like me saying "I hope you're not talking about changing the piston in your motorcycle because that's so easy!" to somebody who has never even performed maintenance on a motorcycle.

Seriously, some of you linux guys have this "I am better than thou" attitude. It's lame and annoying. I don't need that kind of patronizing attitude and that's part of the reason I never asked for help on this issue on this site.

BTW I was NOT talking about connecting to an ethernet.

"No" is a very 'absolute', black and white word

586301035[/snapback]

It is a black and white word and that's they way I meant it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
David Scaife
scaife,

what'a pro graphic artist? If, by 'pro', you mean true professional, high-end stuff (retouche, compositing, grading, editing), then Linux has more than 50% of the market (front-end), and almost 100% back-end. Maybe you don't know it, but most high-end tools aren't even available for Windows or Macs... :-) I guess you mean advertising stuff and such, but that's not really high-end. BTW, the true high-end (movie biz and such) always defined the trends - so, Linux should make some inroads in the mid-range graphics business soon.

<et cetera>

586304646[/snapback]

Yeah I know a lot of studios like Dreamworks etc make use of Linux, but the way I meant "professional" was as in "above the average user's standard". I probably should have picked a different word.

It is a black and white word and that's they way I meant it.

586305715[/snapback]

Then I have nothing more to say to you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.