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Cacodemon345

Why Linux remains unpopular?

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Higher amount of work required for setup as opposed to any other OS, kind of hard to get into for your average layman due to the sheer number of different builds and the customizability(is that a word?), still pretty pisspoor compatibility support despite VM being a thing(good luck running games on that though)

 

A lot of people just want to have an OS ready to go out of the box, and they're ready to forego the extra money (and their privacy and the ability to choose whether they want to break their OS with a mandatory update or not LOL) for the time and energy saved. Or that's what I'm assuming is the case.

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What Tito and Graf said.

 

The learning curve is much steeper and is less user friendly than both Windows and MacOS, it definitely does not fit the needs of the average Joe. It also has fewer software (and I'm hearing the free alternatives aren't great at all compared to licensed/premium/paid software), plus fewer games (yes, I'm aware of Wine, but that's not enough), which is not ideal if you're a gamer, obviously.

 

Dual-booting is something that did cross my mind multiple times the last couple of months, as I never really used anything outside of Windows on PC, but never proceeded to actually doing it because of the above. I am not in a position where I can just learn an entirely new OS and its quirks anymore, I need something that I'm familiar with and works just fine out of the box.

 

Additionally, family members are also using the PC at this time (if "using" can actually be used to describe their absolute lack of knowledge of using a PC, or software in general), and having them use something they've never seen before will not end with good results (they'll probably break it in a matter of moments if they get the chance... ). And ultimately, I'm not tech savvy/geeky enough for it, not now anyway...

Edited by seed

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One time a neighbor hired me to repair her computer because her son had broken it by catching viruses while looking at porn sites. Since all she wanted was read her mails and write letters, and she didn't have Windows install disks, I suggested installing Linux  instead, she agreed, I gave her a relatively user-friendly Linux install (Mandriva IIRC) with Libre Office and showed her how to use the browser and the word processor.

 

A couple weeks later, she told me her son had erased everything to install a warez version of Windows to play games.

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11 minutes ago, Gez said:

One time a neighbor hired me to repair her computer because her son had broken it by catching viruses while looking at porn sites. Since all she wanted was read her mails and write letters, and she didn't have Windows install disks, I suggested installing Linux  instead, she agreed, I gave her a relatively user-friendly Linux install (Mandriva IIRC) with Libre Office and showed her how to use the browser and the word processor.

 

A couple weeks later, she told me her son had erased everything to install a warez version of Windows to play games.

Bruh

 

In all seriousness, I feel sorry for her. If my mom and I were in their positions, I don't think I'd survive long enough until now. That's just terrible, even if understandable.

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From my experience it's the lack of compatibility and support by mainstream devs and the fact that commonfolk don't know which distro to get* above anything else.

 

Spoiler

*Just get Ubuntu. It's arguably the easiest to use of the bunch and has almost everything you need from an OS. I tried it myself and the transition from Windows to Ubuntu was fairly smooth (it was a dual boot) and only went back to Windows thanks to the aforementioned compatibility issue (and my SSD needed more space).

 

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Because almost everyone got used to the hegemony of windows/mac operating systems. Think about it, most grew up with it and their first os was probably windows 95-98. Although, others already older (i.e adults) at that same period got invested in linux when it first got off, those are the lucky ones.

 

Today, you need to learn and commit yourself to relearn everything and drop your "bad" habits. That requires effort and time. People don't like that. I know I'm one of them.

 

Then we have another problem.. The open source/Linux community which is sometimes beyond exceptional and a real turnoff for newcomers. Add to this the constant bickering, drama, immaturity and we have the reason why OP asks "Why Linux remains unpopular?".

 

Don't expect a change anytime soon. Only you can change if you really care but only to your benefit.

 

Finally a picture is worth a thousand words so I'll let you contemplate this one:rms_dad.png.68537d42eaf6e65c781864891f2e8e01.png

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11 minutes ago, M00DER said:



 

Then we have another problem.. The open source/Linux community which is sometimes beyond exceptional and a real turnoff for newcomers. Add to this the constant bickering, drama, immaturity and we have the reason why OP asks "Why Linux remains unpopular?". 

 

 

 

Not only for newcomers. I know one of these "beyond exceptional" persons and it's a futile undertaking to even discuss these matters.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Graf Zahl said:

 

Not only for newcomers. I know one of these "beyond exceptional" persons and it's a futile undertaking to even discuss these matters.

 

 

I believe you. It's hard enough to sometimes discuss the subject online, I don't even want to imagine what it's like when you're facing one. It sounds like I'm piling on the whole thing but it's not entirely true. Every now and then, the community and support can be very helpful.

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I think it's down to a couple of factors, and I say this as somebody who dual-boots Linux but spends most of his time in Windows.

  1. For most people, Windows doesn't cost anything.  It might cost the OEM money, but the user is never made aware of how much of the price of their computer is taken up by a Windows license.
  2. DOS and Windows were already very firmly entrenched by the time Linux came along, which meant that it was operating from a disadvantaged position from jump street.
  3. There is a ton of reinventing of the wheel and duplicate work going on in the Linux community.
  4. Despite the last point, there is very little developer interest in many common niches that normal uses tend to need.

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16 minutes ago, AlexMax said:

I think it's down to a couple of factors, and I say this as somebody who dual-boots Linux but spends most of his time in Windows.

  1. For most people, Windows doesn't cost anything.  It might cost the OEM money, but the user is never made aware of how much of the price of their computer is taken up by a Windows license.

 

The "cost" issue is something that deserves a closer look. Even if you buy a "Pro" license, it's around $/€ 100-150, depending on the scenario.

The real question now is - how much work is it worth to save that amount of money? For someone who loves to tinker with their system it's waste of money, but for someone who just wants things to work saving oneself from the added hassle may be worth a lot more.

 

20 minutes ago, AlexMax said:
  • There is a ton of reinventing of the wheel and duplicate work going on in the Linux community. 
  • Despite the last point, there is very little developer interest in many common niches that normal uses tend to need. 

 

... and that would be the final undoing. Let's not delude ourselves: If there ever is to be a successful desktop variant of Linux it will probably have to be a commercial product that can finance its own development so that the things that need to be done are getting done in order to make it successful. Most people would happily pay for a thing like that if they knew they got something that's worth the money.

 

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For me specifically it's because the repositories are way too small even on bigger distros, you just don't have the versatility you do with win blows, you can install anything anytime without any hassle. But in my case I still love Linux because despite all this, it runs much cleaner than windows even on older hardware. Probably my biggest gripe is that I can never get slade running on the damn thing, despite the site claiming it runs it.  

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Because users want to keep using their favorite apps and spend their time on entertainment, family and what not. Almost no one is attracted to the idea of hunting for replacement software, learning new interfaces and system management routines. Even companies want to avoid paying for training if current software is serviceable and employees are already trained on Windows and Mac.

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2 hours ago, UncleTito said:

Higher amount of work required for setup as opposed to any other OS, kind of hard to get into for your average layman due to the sheer number of different builds and the customizability(is that a word?), still pretty pisspoor compatibility support despite VM being a thing(good luck running games on that though)

 

A lot of people just want to have an OS ready to go out of the box, and they're ready to forego the extra money (and their privacy and the ability to choose whether they want to break their OS with a mandatory update or not LOL) for the time and energy saved.

I can share my mostly positive experience with Linux, a couple years ago I set up dual boot on a Windows 8 laptop, and installing Linux (I used this distro) was actually as smooth as installing Windows, if only a little longer, but I got an entire software suite out of the box (LibreOffice and pretty much every software tool including DVD player, image viewer, graphics editing tools and such; I could opt out of installing certain components during setup) which came very handy. I think it even installed the Steam client by default (I don't use Steam so I couldn't test it).

 

Everything was set ready for use, and for additional stuff the GUI package manager was no more complicated than using Windows installers. Yes, configuring Wine to run Windows programmes was probably a bit more complicated for an average user, but only because this particular distro maintainers have disabled the Windows binary file type association in the file manager so I had to manually re-enable it. And yes, to update the kernel you'd have to use the terminal and log in as root, but that's about it.

 

Later on I tried Ubuntu and it's even easier to use than Alt Linux, they have a Windows Store like package manager, logging as root is disabled (as far as I can tell; you use sudo for admin rights stuff), and the GUI is as friendly as any other modern OS. Personally I don't think an average Windowos user would have any more trouble switching to Ubuntu than to MacOS for example, and I heard Linux Mint is/was even more geared towards Windows look and feel.

 

But I do understand users who want tech support to back them up. With Linux, you do the research yourself. Linux community users are like everyone else, some friendly and some not so much, but almost no one has the time to explain the basics to a newbie, so ultimately RTFM is your tech support here. Thankfully Google is your friend and many questions you might have have already been asked and answered before by someone else. I quite enjoy figuring out stuff on my own like this (definitely a useful skill outside the Linux realm too, helped me with Windows as well), but I do get that other people might want problems solved quickly and professionally (and sometimes their workflow depends exactly on that).

 

What might be more of a problem is hardware compatibility. The main issue I had with Linux is that, as it turned out, there's very odd support of NVIDIA hybrid video cards (and I happen to have one). You have to run a program that will turn the NVIDIA GPU on before running your target programme (e.g. a game), otherwise it'll be stuck with the integrated Intel chip. Maybe it's not much of an issue with more modern distro builds and machines. I've also heard about issues with external devices like printers and projectors and the like.

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I think it's a perception thing. Before moving to Linux thinking of dual booting was very daunting and moving entirely was all about weighing up how much I'd be giving up to move to the mysterious programmer operating system. Now I'm here, as a casual desktop user learning Linux has been the best decision related to computers I've ever made. Although I've had a lot of help, nothing I've learned or been shown how to do couldn't be gleamed from reading a little bit of a manual or looking at a comprehensive wiki like Arch has.

 

Finding replacement software is more daunting than it seems imo. It's one line to find something I want to install and one line to install it, and one to remove it. Most of the replacements I've grabbed do exactly what I need them to, some work even better than I anticipated. Emacs alone is far superior to any tools I had on windows. My gaming habits generally don't demand anything beyond what proton can handle, though, so I can't be sure gaming on Linux isn't a bigger issue than I've experienced it being.

 

I started learning Linux last fall, on Debian and then Void. Since then I've learned all the weird idiosyncratic shit windows does is just to keep you in fear of your computer. To encourage superstitious thinking. There's a learning curve to Linux distros, and incantations to learn, but nothing as ridiculous as having to navigate through generations of windows UI to change DNS settings, or like virtualstore. My PC doesn't hide anything it doesn't trust me with anymore. Windows seems maliciously designed with how limiting it's core features are and how hard it makes it seem from the inside to switch to anything else. Like it's geared towards selling it's tech support rather than providing a system its users can understand.

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One of the possible reasons that I could think of is the "DLL hell" issue on Linux. All libraries are, by default, slapped inside the "lib" folder in the system and all apps are compiled to use those system libraries by default. You need to ask the compiler to link to local copies of the libraries, explicitly. One other solution is to set the rpath explicitly.

 

Oh, and add the fact that the ext4 filesystem in Linux used to be case-sensitive only until recently when Linux kernel introduced case-insensitive filesystem, which got some criticism from some Linux users lol. And Linux distros still continue to inherit the ancient package manager system from the Unix SysV days.

 

1 minute ago, _sink said:

I started learning Linux last fall, on Debian and then Void. Since then I've learned all the weird idiosyncratic shit windows does is just to keep you in fear of your computer. To encourage superstitious thinking. There's a learning curve to Linux distros, and incantations to learn, but nothing as ridiculous as having to navigate through generations of windows UI to change DNS settings, or like virtualstore. My PC doesn't hide anything it doesn't trust me with anymore. Windows seems maliciously designed with how limiting it's core features are and how hard it makes it seem from the inside to switch to anything else. Like it's geared towards selling it's tech support rather than providing a system its users can understand.

For me it was the opposite. When I used Ubuntu I had a feeling that Linux hid a lot of stuff from the users, locked behind a root account. Plenty of stuff that would be accessible in there are locked behind some obscure place where I legit didn't have idea of at all. However, I also learned months later that Linux provided some low-level stuff like I/O ports accessible to user-space processes, which isn't the case for Windows.

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1 hour ago, Graf Zahl said:

and that would be the final undoing. Let's not delude ourselves: If there ever is to be a successful desktop variant of Linux it will probably have to be a commercial product that can finance its own development so that the things that need to be done are getting done in order to make it successful. Most people would happily pay for a thing like that if they knew they got something that's worth the money

I can't stop thinking about this, because while you may be right, I wanna believe people can be better than money.after all, a lot of distros make a big deal about being free forever, but there's No point here, just... Thinking out loud 

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Nothing is free, there is always some cost. Even if that cost is just more work.

At some point saving $150 really is not worth spending hours and hours trying to set up your computer when on Windows the solution is just one click away.

 

A computer is like a car. You buy it once and use it for years. Going cheap on a car is a bad idea, and so is going cheap on a computer - including the operating system. (Note that 'going cheap' mainly means hardware specs, so if you buy a Mac you still go cheap while paying a premium price. >D)

 

 

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Graf, $150 is a lot. Especially here in the third world. You think we can afford to jerk off our data for a big corporation that's ruled the computer scene since the late 80s? You gotta be kidding me. You don't know the real world.

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I beg to differ there. Honestly, 150$ for an OS IS cheap, and a small price to pay for functionality and usability. Heck people spend more on their freakin' phones lol, which most of us change after 2-3 years or so... 

 

Windows is cheaper than ever now, at least it is here, in the past, Windows used to go for as high as 400$ in terms of price. 150 feels like nothing in comparison.

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9 minutes ago, Gustavo6046 said:

Graf, $150 is a lot. Especially here in the third world.

I doubt it's sold for $150 in the third world. Pricing varies with country.

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1 hour ago, Graf Zahl said:

... and that would be the final undoing. Let's not delude ourselves: If there ever is to be a successful desktop variant of Linux it will probably have to be a commercial product that can finance its own development so that the things that need to be done are getting done in order to make it successful. Most people would happily pay for a thing like that if they knew they got something that's worth the money.

 

I don't think so.  RHEL has been a paid product for years and yet it hasn't fundamentally made a dent in the desktop OS marketplace despite having perhaps the resources of the most successful open-source company behind it.  The most popular desktop Linux operating system out there is actually probably Ubuntu, which is a Debian derivative that runs on a "Free, but you pay for support" system, and it also has a company backing it.

 

To be frank, I think that ship had sailed back in the 90's, and the battle for the Linux desktop was lost when it mattered most.  However, I actually think that in the future, Linux could be viable as an operating system for working professionals, especially if Apple continues the trend of showing contempt for their professional userbase.  But that's a pretty big "could" - as in, unlikely, but possible - since there still seems to be quite a bit of churn in the Linux world with the transition to Wayland and systemd still ongoing.  And whatever ends up happening, it's going to be companies like Red Hat and Canonical leading the way.

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Note that I didn't say that releasing a paid product will make it a success but that in order to be successful you need developers and the revenue to pay them.

 

Re.: Apple, seeing how most Apple users tick, they won't feel at home on Linux. Those who use macOS only as a desktop-friendly Unix system may be an easy picking for Linux if Apple doesn't change course, I fully agree on that one. But surely the Linux community needs to become a bit more organized first, if they continue their ridiculous turf wars and crusading attempts it will not feel an inviting place.

 

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2 minutes ago, Graf Zahl said:

Note that I didn't say that releasing a paid product will make it a success but that in order to be successful you need developers and the revenue to pay them.

 

Fair enough.

 

2 minutes ago, Graf Zahl said:

Re.: Apple, seeing how most Apple users tick, they won't feel at home on Linux. Those who use macOS only as a desktop-friendly Unix system may be an easy picking for Linux if Apple doesn't change course, I fully agree on that one. But surely the Linux community needs to become a bit more organized first, if they continue their ridiculous turf wars and crusading attempts it will not feel an inviting place.

 

Yep, most of the mac users I know who use them in a professional capacity have complaining about the shortcomings of the hardware and operating system for many many years, and only continue to use it because they think Windows is worse and there just aren't Linux versions of their most-used software, period.  If there existed Linux versions of their software, they'd buy an XPS 13 Developer Edition tomorrow and at the very least give it an honest shot.

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7 minutes ago, AlexMax said:

 

Fair enough.

 

 

Yep, most of the mac users I know who use them in a professional capacity have complaining about the shortcomings of the hardware and operating system for many many years, and only continue to use it because they think Windows is worse

 

Professionally I work on an iOS app and having to work with that crappy Mac is the most aggravating part of the job. The entire computer is far too weak and costs endless loss of productivity due to long waiting periods, which are made even worse by XCode's bad design. And to add insult to injury, upgrading is not possible so I inevitably need a new one. And now the fight for something adequate begins, because these things are so ridiculously overpriced there is of course an attempt to scale down to save some costs (BTW, why does a MacBook with a 512 GB SSD cost €240 more than one with a 256 GB SSD? That's 10x more than the difference in component prices!)

 

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Graf has nailed it. People are creatures of habit, and this is amplified 100 fold with inexperienced tech users. I run a tech shop and see this on a near daily basis. Many people did not want to change to windows 10 because it was different even though I could demonstrate that the practical functional differences between it and 7 were minimal.

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