Why Linux (Still) Sucks (And What We Can Do To Fix It)


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TDT

I don't think that Linux sucks. At least this is not the word that should be used. Linux is just not as user friendly as Windows, or even OSX. Everything seems to be too complicated in an age when every second matters. And, to be honest, I believe that no matter how much they improve those aspects that you're talking about, Linux will never be more than a testing platform, or network tool & stuff.

What I don't like about Linux:

- the package stuff - easy with rpm, for example, but I sure don't like it when I have to compile some things, and this usually takes ages;

- the GUI - never liked it, in any distro;

- no games - using Wine to play (if you're lucky) popular games that Windows users play every day it's a deal breaker for me;

- they say that applications that people use often on Win have "twins" on Linux too. Well, this is only true if you're willing to compromise a lot. For example, no matter what audio editor you have on Linux, you just can't compare it with Sound Forge - and this, for me, it's a big no no for Linux.

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theclueless

the problem is that each distro is doing their own thing; i had encounter bugs in ubuntu, fedora and opensuse that are mutually exclusive (and a few common ones); why cant they play nicely and create a common release that fixes each other's bugs?

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Fred Derf

http://img526.imageshack.us/img526/654/ubuntusoftwarecenter.png

I don't think it gets easier than this.

Joe Average computer user doesn't know what the "Extensible Tool Platform and Java IDE" is. Some more tech savvy users may pick up on the word Java and remember that some websites use Java/Javascript. Most computer users, however, think of coffee and can't make heads or tails our of any other word listed with it.

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Xenomorph

"Too many cooks spoil the broth..."

Linux has too many cooks. Thousands. All wanting to take Linux in a different direction. Should it be "this"? Should it be that? How 'bout this? No, it has to be that!

Linux fans have declared it to be the "year of the Linux Desktop" every year since 1998 at least.

And every year, any time a regular user tries out Linux, they say to themselves "what the hell is this crap?"

Their hardware isn't supported, or there is some quirk in the GUI with no way to fix it (without altering text configuration files), or they are presented with a lack of media playback (licensing issue), or too many playback issues (Alsa, OSS, or whatever other audio choices), or apps in one window that don't look the same or work the same as another app in a window right next to it (Qt, Gtk, etc). Heck, just trying to install the OS will present you with a dozen file system options. ext2, ext3, ext4, ReiserFS, and many others. Some distributions default to one type or another. Almost none tell you what any of them do.

If they ask a question in a forum, others actually take the time to post long-winded responses telling them to Google it or RTFM. You know, instead of just giving the answer.

If they find a project site with a bugzilla-style system for software bug reports, many requests for simple things (that make SENSE) get changed to "willnotfix" or whatever by someone who feels the difficult/archaic way is the best way of doing it. (ie: not toggling an option through a GUI setup, but having to google a fix for countless hours and then go back to the command line to edit more text files).

A user that simply wants a system that "works" and tries out a modern Linux distro (such as Ubuntu 10.04) will be presented with weird text scrolling past the screen, hidden options, confusing dialog boxes, meaningless error messages, and no simple or obvious way of doing anything. Trying to get their games and media playing will present them with options to emulate *Windows*, and present them with confusing/scary dialog boxes about installing restricted codecs that may be *illegal*... And that is on a system that is stable and everything works. For being the "Linux for Human Beings" company, they sure do expect their users to know how to use Linux and research every little issue just to try and use their "Desktop" OS.

WHY would anyone bother with that when they can just use Windows or Mac OS X?

Because it's "free"? Mac OS X comes free on every Mac. As part of the system cost, Windows appears to come free on every PC.

Upgrades are relatively cheap. $129 for Mac OS (although 10.6 was just $29), and $99 for Windows. That isn't a whole lot when you consider an average video card or CPU upgrade being $100-$300. Part of that cost pays for LICENSING of other components. Simple things, like MP3 and DVD/MPEG2 are paid for by Apple and Microsoft, so when you get Mac OS X and Windows, you don't have to worry about licensing issues!! No "this may be ILLEGAL" warning like in Linux when downloading "restricted" codecs. It doesn't matter if you'll never get in trouble for watching a DVD in Linux, just the idea of using something not-allowed doesn't make sense.

Because it's "open"? WHY would the average user care? Most people just want to run programs that are already there. They don't care how they work or if they can write their own code. Apple makes sure everything included on your system works together. Your PC maker should have made sure everything works in the system together, and Windows makes sure everything made in the past 20 years works on your computer, and if you build your system you KNOW it all works together.

Because you "feel better" about not supporting some "evil" company? Really? Make yourself suffer with junk just because you're "sticking it to The Man" or something? Cutting off your nose to spite your face?

There are many reasons Linux is by far the minority OS. Linux zealots like to tout how "superior" their OS is. Well, keep thinking that - just don't question why you've always been in last place on the Desktop then. You can never improve if you think you're already the best.

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tom01

Linux doesn't suck but the drivers are **** poor. My laptop can't wake up from standby, constant lags on the UI and WIFI not working after standby.

Honestly drives me insane! I try to give it a chance but the drivers wind me up beyond extreme.

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Xilo

3. No games support (WINE doesn't count)

To be fair, Steam and Source games are coming to Linux.

Though Linux has too many directions, too many people doing their own thing and replicating software, and too much non-conformity.

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ndoggfromhell

I revisit Linux often and I'm really happy with how Linux Mint works out of the box. (er... after the download and install) Ubuntu is nice as well, but didn't seem as complete to me as Mint. Will I ditch my windows 7 for Mint... probably not, but I'll run them side by side.

Drivers are still a big issue, so is simplicity with reguards to configuration. I've never gotten a Myth or a Myth based distro to install correctly and use my tv tuners. I followed a lot of guides and used a bunch of different tuners. I did get one Pinnacle card to install and show SDTV, but never HDTV. On the same PC, I installed Vista Ultimate and the tv tuners worked perfect. Last month I swapped out the HD in that machine and tried 3 linux distros meant for Media Centers. I had better luck getting some of the tuners to function, but not without a lot of work in the terminal. Dual Tuners also seemed to screw up anytime I had a working tuner. These problems and the necessity to use the terminal to get a tuner working are what turned me off to using Linux as a media center pc.

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+warwagon

I still think its the amount of choice. While choice is a good thing to much of it is a bad thing.

There are now HUNDREDS of Distro's to choose from. Over whelming. If there was only 1 or 2 Distro's that everyone was working on as a community you would see much better driver support to name just one thing.

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tablet_user

I still think its the amount of choice. While choice is a good thing to much of it is a bad thing.

There are now HUNDREDS of Distro's to choose from. Over whelming. If there was only 1 or 2 Distro's that everyone was working on as a community you would see much better driver support to name just one thing.

there really isnt that many distros if you break it down. mint, ubuntu etc.. are all just knockoffs of debian. I personally cant stand the bloated distros that install a crapload of stuff i never use but alot of people seem to focus on those ones.

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Syanide

Joe Average computer user doesn't know what the "Extensible Tool Platform and Java IDE" is. Some more tech savvy users may pick up on the word Java and remember that some websites use Java/Javascript. Most computer users, however, think of coffee and can't make heads or tails our of any other word listed with it.

It's just one of the mentioned apps, the install process is the easiest out there. Want a game. Click on the big GAMES icon. Choose one. Click install.

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08993

I still think its the amount of choice. While choice is a good thing to much of it is a bad thing.

There are now HUNDREDS of Distro's to choose from. Over whelming. If there was only 1 or 2 Distro's that everyone was working on as a community you would see much better driver support to name just one thing.

Yah - there's a generation gap with current kernel devs which isn't helping. Unpaid volunteer coders also have problems in obtaining and testing hardware for obvious reasons as well (costs money!).

The majority of Linux's problems (if you consider it a problem, most do) stem from the fact that the square pegs of propriety don't fit into the round holes of open source. I personally think that Linux is an awesome achievement of open source, and most distro's have more than kept up with their propriety counterparts with the adaptation to web 2.0 and social media not leaving Linux behind in any way, shape or form.

Sure, I've ditched gaming on my PC and bought a PS3, that's the price I pay for wanting to play with my OS instead :)

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x-scratch

for me linux does not suck i perfer it over windows anyday

the only problems i have is

1 drivers why should i be forced to use windows drivers in linux

2 resume does not work or does shutdown

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Frylock86

"Too many cooks spoil the broth..."

Linux has too many cooks. Thousands. All wanting to take Linux in a different direction. Should it be "this"? Should it be that? How 'bout this? No, it has to be that!

Linux fans have declared it to be the "year of the Linux Desktop" every year since 1998 at least.

And every year, any time a regular user tries out Linux, they say to themselves "what the hell is this crap?"

Their hardware isn't supported, or there is some quirk in the GUI with no way to fix it (without altering text configuration files), or they are presented with a lack of media playback (licensing issue), or too many playback issues (Alsa, OSS, or whatever other audio choices), or apps in one window that don't look the same or work the same as another app in a window right next to it (Qt, Gtk, etc). Heck, just trying to install the OS will present you with a dozen file system options. ext2, ext3, ext4, ReiserFS, and many others. Some distributions default to one type or another. Almost none tell you what any of them do.

If they ask a question in a forum, others actually take the time to post long-winded responses telling them to Google it or RTFM. You know, instead of just giving the answer.

If they find a project site with a bugzilla-style system for software bug reports, many requests for simple things (that make SENSE) get changed to "willnotfix" or whatever by someone who feels the difficult/archaic way is the best way of doing it. (ie: not toggling an option through a GUI setup, but having to google a fix for countless hours and then go back to the command line to edit more text files).

A user that simply wants a system that "works" and tries out a modern Linux distro (such as Ubuntu 10.04) will be presented with weird text scrolling past the screen, hidden options, confusing dialog boxes, meaningless error messages, and no simple or obvious way of doing anything. Trying to get their games and media playing will present them with options to emulate *Windows*, and present them with confusing/scary dialog boxes about installing restricted codecs that may be *illegal*... And that is on a system that is stable and everything works. For being the "Linux for Human Beings" company, they sure do expect their users to know how to use Linux and research every little issue just to try and use their "Desktop" OS.

WHY would anyone bother with that when they can just use Windows or Mac OS X?

Because it's "free"? Mac OS X comes free on every Mac. As part of the system cost, Windows appears to come free on every PC.

Upgrades are relatively cheap. $129 for Mac OS (although 10.6 was just $29), and $99 for Windows. That isn't a whole lot when you consider an average video card or CPU upgrade being $100-$300. Part of that cost pays for LICENSING of other components. Simple things, like MP3 and DVD/MPEG2 are paid for by Apple and Microsoft, so when you get Mac OS X and Windows, you don't have to worry about licensing issues!! No "this may be ILLEGAL" warning like in Linux when downloading "restricted" codecs. It doesn't matter if you'll never get in trouble for watching a DVD in Linux, just the idea of using something not-allowed doesn't make sense.

Because it's "open"? WHY would the average user care? Most people just want to run programs that are already there. They don't care how they work or if they can write their own code. Apple makes sure everything included on your system works together. Your PC maker should have made sure everything works in the system together, and Windows makes sure everything made in the past 20 years works on your computer, and if you build your system you KNOW it all works together.

Because you "feel better" about not supporting some "evil" company? Really? Make yourself suffer with junk just because you're "sticking it to The Man" or something? Cutting off your nose to spite your face?

There are many reasons Linux is by far the minority OS. Linux zealots like to tout how "superior" their OS is. Well, keep thinking that - just don't question why you've always been in last place on the Desktop then. You can never improve if you think you're already the best.

QFT.

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SkyDX

"Too many cooks spoil the broth..."

Linux has too many cooks. Thousands. All wanting to take Linux in a different direction. Should it be "this"? Should it be that? How 'bout this? No, it has to be that!

Linux fans have declared it to be the "year of the Linux Desktop" every year since 1998 at least.

And every year, any time a regular user tries out Linux, they say to themselves "what the hell is this crap?"

Their hardware isn't supported, or there is some quirk in the GUI with no way to fix it (without altering text configuration files), or they are presented with a lack of media playback (licensing issue), or too many playback issues (Alsa, OSS, or whatever other audio choices), or apps in one window that don't look the same or work the same as another app in a window right next to it (Qt, Gtk, etc). Heck, just trying to install the OS will present you with a dozen file system options. ext2, ext3, ext4, ReiserFS, and many others. Some distributions default to one type or another. Almost none tell you what any of them do.

If they ask a question in a forum, others actually take the time to post long-winded responses telling them to Google it or RTFM. You know, instead of just giving the answer.

If they find a project site with a bugzilla-style system for software bug reports, many requests for simple things (that make SENSE) get changed to "willnotfix" or whatever by someone who feels the difficult/archaic way is the best way of doing it. (ie: not toggling an option through a GUI setup, but having to google a fix for countless hours and then go back to the command line to edit more text files).

A user that simply wants a system that "works" and tries out a modern Linux distro (such as Ubuntu 10.04) will be presented with weird text scrolling past the screen, hidden options, confusing dialog boxes, meaningless error messages, and no simple or obvious way of doing anything. Trying to get their games and media playing will present them with options to emulate *Windows*, and present them with confusing/scary dialog boxes about installing restricted codecs that may be *illegal*... And that is on a system that is stable and everything works. For being the "Linux for Human Beings" company, they sure do expect their users to know how to use Linux and research every little issue just to try and use their "Desktop" OS.

WHY would anyone bother with that when they can just use Windows or Mac OS X?

Because it's "free"? Mac OS X comes free on every Mac. As part of the system cost, Windows appears to come free on every PC.

Upgrades are relatively cheap. $129 for Mac OS (although 10.6 was just $29), and $99 for Windows. That isn't a whole lot when you consider an average video card or CPU upgrade being $100-$300. Part of that cost pays for LICENSING of other components. Simple things, like MP3 and DVD/MPEG2 are paid for by Apple and Microsoft, so when you get Mac OS X and Windows, you don't have to worry about licensing issues!! No "this may be ILLEGAL" warning like in Linux when downloading "restricted" codecs. It doesn't matter if you'll never get in trouble for watching a DVD in Linux, just the idea of using something not-allowed doesn't make sense.

Because it's "open"? WHY would the average user care? Most people just want to run programs that are already there. They don't care how they work or if they can write their own code. Apple makes sure everything included on your system works together. Your PC maker should have made sure everything works in the system together, and Windows makes sure everything made in the past 20 years works on your computer, and if you build your system you KNOW it all works together.

Because you "feel better" about not supporting some "evil" company? Really? Make yourself suffer with junk just because you're "sticking it to The Man" or something? Cutting off your nose to spite your face?

There are many reasons Linux is by far the minority OS. Linux zealots like to tout how "superior" their OS is. Well, keep thinking that - just don't question why you've always been in last place on the Desktop then. You can never improve if you think you're already the best.

In all honesty, +1

Also, always when I use Linux I feel something is wrong with the GUI. Dunno what, I just feel it. If I use OSX I think: Beautiful! If I use Win7 I think: Almost like OSX! If I use Linux (last Ubuntu 10.04) I think: meh (Compiz is nice but that doesn't help over the base issue)

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Andre S.

Thanks for the link, very captivating speaker with some very interesting insights. I watched it from start to finish.

I particularly liked how he acknowledged the importance of games in order to gain market share. Games are not just for children, and if I have to keep Windows around just to play my PC games, then why not just stick with Windows and call it a day?

In general I think Linux was never designed as a way to make money and that's what hurting it the most. I liked how he emphasized the value of closed-source, commercial applications: this contrasts with the original GNU philosophy, but of course this is where Linux needs to go if it wants to at least rival Mac.

One issue he didn't focus on but I think is crucial is the user interface. GNOME and KDE just suck balls. Why don't Mac and Windows have wobbly windows? Because that's stupid. Why don't they have multiple desktops? Because that's stupid. Why do use they great-looking icons and sensible color schemes? Because that's extremely important. I believe GNOME should just copy Windows or Mac. They clearly can't do any better, yet they try so hard to be different, and fail to produce successful alternatives. Look at how Microsoft became big. Microsoft copied what others were doing right, marketed it well, and from there improved in their own way. That's what GNOME needs to do. If they copy Mac or Windows, not only will the UI probably look good and be user-friendly, but it'll also be instantly familiar to a wide range of users. Then when they get users, and make money, they can push their rip-off UI in their own original direction.

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Dysphoria

You lost all credibility using that word. Also, you talked about attitude... ;)

Oh nooo, my life is over.....

Anyhow, Debian or Fedora is the way to go.... Ubuntu is trying too hard to be foolproof and by that is restricting and limiting the OS, but hey it might be good for the "noobs" :)

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sanctified

Why don't they have multiple desktops? Because that's stupid.

OS X has them.

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sanctified

Oh nooo, my life is over.....

Anyhow, Debian or Fedora is the way to go.... Ubuntu is trying too hard to be foolproof and by that is restricting and limiting the OS, but hey it might be good for the "noobs" :)

hahahahaha, you sound like those geeks with such low self-esteem that the need to call everyone with a lesser tech knownledge a "noob" arises, you know, just to feel good with themselves because their only real ability lies in a command shell.

But Im sure you are not one of them, right? :) No you dont, how could you?

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Dysphoria

hahahahaha, you sound like those geeks with such low self-esteem that the need to call everyone with a lesser tech knownledge a "noob" arises, you know, just to feel good with themselves because their only real ability lies in a command shell.

But Im sure you are not one of them, right? :) No you dont, how could you?

Well I definitely use all OSs, I have Win 7 PC, Macbook Pro and Fedora 12 and Debian at work.

I prefer for gaming Win 7, for work and everything else Mac OS X and then Fedora 12.

Am I a geek? ... I probably am in some ways, but I dont put down anyone that needs help.

What I dont like is people making extreme statements and then trying to justify them with their absolute nonexistent experience.

If you are trying to start some kind of argument you come to the wrong place though...

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sanctified

?

Am I a geek? ... I probably am in some ways, but I dont put down anyone that needs help.

No, you dont... except if they are noobs of course :p

Fair enough. Gotta take a walk.

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lothodon

To try to add something useful to the thread...

Over the years, my four computers have turned into one laptop, and it's very well supported in Ubuntu (only one I've tried). No apparent hardware issues, and I know my way around a computer well enough to find information should any issues arise.

However, I still have not been able to make the full switch from Windows. I want to, for the sole purpose of forcing myself to learn something new (at my very old age) but I cannot seem to find acceptable alternatives to my tried and tested Windows programs.

IMO, until software is comparable in more areas than office applications, I am "stuck" with Windows. To be specific, AnyDVD, Microsoft Money, DVDShrink, and my Zune software are my hangups. I know DVDShrink runs with Wine, but I'd rather not mess with that. Money doesn't have any GOOD (to me) alternatives, AnyDVD is dependent on a drivers, so no luck there, and obviously my Zune software isn't going to happen.

If I could find solutions to everything but the Zune software I'd switch, and just dual boot for the few times I need to update my Zune.

Here's hoping for the future!

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Dysphoria

?

No, you dont... except if they are noobs of course :p

Fair enough. Gotta take a walk.

No, except if they complain and curse instead of ask for help.... If you are not familiar, maybe you should look at some of these forums and you'll see the amount of arrogant brats that come in complaining for lack of drivers as if they've paid for the OS and someone has ripped them off....

Yes you do that.... some physical activity might do you good. Well at least is nice and sunny out where I am ....

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Dysphoria

Hey Lothodon, I havent played much with Ubuntu but if you want to build an alternative to Windows desktop the Howtoforge website has some great tutorials.

Check this tutorial on how to forge a perfect Fedora 12 desktop.

If you follow the steps described in the tutorial you will get a full fledged desktop.

I use Fedora 12 on daily bases and I find it quite easy to use, as a desktop computer...

if you really need some windows apps, and you cant use Wine to emulate them, you can always install Virtualbox and run windows .....

Cheers

BTW, what kind of laptop do you have. I've installed Fedora and Suse on Dell and HP laptops without any problems, so you might give it a go and see how you like it. If you look around on the website link I gave you , they also have a Ubuntu tutorial with some helpfull hints.

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Andre S.
OS X has them.
Oh right, spaces. I need to keep up with times.
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soldier1st

the only thing that makes linux suck is you need to use the terminal for alot of things(similar to cmd prompt)i know it has been improved but it is still not there yet. other than that linux is better than what it used to be.

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