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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Why Linux Sucks

Just to be clear, I have had Linux on my main home computer for several years. In fact, I'm writing this on Linux and I'm not having any problems. I have no intention of giving up Linux. I like how it works and I like tinkering with the different parts of it.

I use Ubuntu. Ubuntu really is Linux for humans - its easy to use and everything just works. Well...almost everything. I installed the 64-bit version and Adobe didn't support 64-bit flash for a long time (and I couldn't install 32-bit Firefox). Seriously, how many web sites use flash? Essentially every site that my wife and I both use. My wife hates Linux.

There's two sides to the Linux community. There are the people who want to see Linux for the masses (Canonical & team) and then there's the hardcore users.

The thing that really gets me about Linux is that the hardcore users have no intention of making Linux easier to use. I usually don't have a problem finding Linux help on the Internet, but the gurus that answer Linux questions aren't particularly easy going. I've spent enough time reading through forums for Linux help that I know that they follow a strict rubric:
  1. Always use command line. The biggest thing is installing new programs and packages. They could easily tell someone that they need to install package x, but instead they always use the command line:
    sudo apt-get install destroy_linux
    Seriously, why can't you just use the pretty UI that Ubuntu  created for installing software? I know they are easy commands, but seriously. Not making things easy for my wife.
  2. Always make things more complicated than necessary. Usually this involves using the command line with three times as many commands than you really need. But also chastising for silly questions
  3. Keep things magical. Magical lands are fun at Disney land, but I hate punching in inexplicably terse text into a console. The terms and commands become shorter and less descriptive as you get deeper into Linux (there is no end). Don't try to understand.
There has always been this expectation that eventually everyone will cling to Linux and reject Windows. I think that day won't come until most of the Linux kernal development team & posse have died/started using Windows. The problem with Linux is, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, it's users.