Make Linux easier for the general population! Please.
GeneralThis forum is for non-technical general discussion which can include both Linux and non-Linux topics. Have fun!
Welcome to LinuxQuestions.org, a friendly and active Linux Community.
You are currently viewing LQ as a guest. By joining our community you will have the ability to post topics, receive our newsletter, use the advanced search, subscribe to threads and access many other special features. Registration is quick, simple and absolutely free. Join our community today!
Note that registered members see fewer ads, and ContentLink is completely disabled once you log in.
If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you need to reset your password, click here.
Having a problem logging in? Please visit this page to clear all LQ-related cookies.
Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
Click Here to receive this Complete Guide absolutely free.
PLEASE NOTE: All LQ Rules apply to the General forum. Flame wars, personal attacks, hostility, insults and behavior of that nature will not be tolerated. Differing opinions are one of the things that make this site great, but to benefit from differing opinions the discourse must happen respectfully and thoughtfully... without insult or personal attack. Members who are unable or unwilling to participate in General under those parameters will not be permitted to do so. If you see behavior of this nature please report it.
View Poll Results: Do you want a Linux with an Interview Style Install and Setup?
I'm a newbie/novice and Yes, I love that idea. thats just what Linux needs.
I'm an occassional user, I don't care either way.
I'm an experience/hardcore user and I don't need it to be any easier. I am happy with it the way it is.
hehe.. I love these Linux versus Windows discussions.
I love the way MS's adverts and "get the facts" articles tell you that linux superiority is a myth.
linux is not more secure than windows,
linux is not more stable than windows.
linux is not cheaper than windows.
linux is harder to use than windows.
and yet the contradictory proof is all around us.... in the news and on our machies.
mc donnalds moves to suSE and saves cash.
nassa uses mandrake to controll its space robots. (you DONT trust a multi billion dollar robot to anything but the best !)
number if wiorms infecting out linux machines 0, windows.. who;s still counting ?
number of new windows virii in the wild every day .. a lot... for linux.. 0 !
and as far as ease of use to protect yourself.....
linux users must remember..... Never Log In As ROOT !!!!
windows users must remember....
run windows update every week.
update virus scanner every week
virus scan all email attachments.
dont double click an email attachment if the last 4 charaters of the file name are exe, pif, com, vbs, bat... any others ?
for some versions of IE.... dont click hyperlinks, type them in manually !!!!
for some versions of IE.. dont open bitmaps
on a new install enable the fierwall.
run complete virus scans every now and again.
There are different distributions for a reason. I wont use XP, Lindows, etc. because I dont want a braindead setup. I was a DOS hold out, actively using it till just a year or so when I started doing the full switch to linux. I use Debian now because I am allowed to tweak more without having some ugly GUI getting in the way for everything I want to do, like some distros have. Hell, I really dont use KDE that much, IceWM most of the time If I use a WM. You like easy, I don't. thats one of the great things of linux.
@Colossus610, I also find Linux very refreshing in many ways especially some of the software that I find for Linux. For example today I dragged a file from the manager in KDE to the console and I got a list of actions: cd, cp, ls... It was actually pretty neat. Also the flexibilty of the panels is really nice exspecially in Gnome where you can have your windows list repeated on any of multiple panels.
@Tinkster, I can see what you're saying about Windows however I believe everything that you can do with network administration in Windows can be done via the console so I don't think those wizards are nessecary. I guess in many ways windows is the same way that you have to take the time to learn the system in order to really know how to use it to it's capacity but at least to casual windows user or windows novice the wizards are there instead of forcing you to remember a bunch of commands you may only use once. See, I guess because of familiarity it would probably take me more like 16X the time to do something such as network configuration on Linux as it would take me with WindowsXP. However if I did learn Linux very well I suppose I could be even more efficient than I am not on Windows. I think I still have to dissagree about not being able to simplify such tools to cut down on complexity. This may not always be true in every situation of course and thats why complexity exists, but in some respects complexity can be hidden in a decent matter. Computers are a good example of this as the electronic components that make up a computer don't have to be understood by a user in order to be effective. As a matter of fact there are many talented software engineers who can write great useful software but don't know the first thing about a capacitor or about an ALU. The same is true for an OS or any piece of software a system. When I play a game, I don't have to know about double buffering, sprites, pointers, or any other development specific detail in order to fully use and enjoy the game. Now in places where your you are dealing with complex issues such as networking techologies the user is attempting to deal directly with complexities so simplification isn't as dramatically hidden or abstracted however by using command tools one has to admit that many networking complexities are hidden from them. There are handy routines which translate what we type in human recognizable comands into actual action on part of the machine in a very complex fashion that not many people can entirely understand. Using graphical tools on top of the same system is not much further of a simplification when considering the complexities that are already hidden however to a new user a graphical interface can be much more inviting and easier to jump into when they may already have an understanding of the technological or theoretical complexity at hand such as in networking computers however have little experience with the target environment. Also like I mentioned in my last post, the more that these graphical tools model the console tools in terms of similar phrase usage, data formats, and ordering of tasks that transitioning is easier to command line or other such tools which have a productivity gain or a increase of more powerful features. If windows had a command line enviroment available you that modeled Linux and had with similar tools to Linux you may have found your task much simpler. Oh wait! maybe there is one... what about cygwin?
@ssimontis, It's fortunate you were almost forced into using Linux in a sense because it probably provided the initial motivation to truge through the Linux learning curve. After all, a system that is difficult to use is still better than no system at all. With Linux however your are at a very good place once you force yourself through the difficulties. You mention the idea of that with linux you can modify programs to your liking. Ok, well although it's easy to just read over this and agree you have to stop and remember that not every piece of software that runs on Linux is given away with it's source code. Also some licenses are not compatable with just doing anything you want with. There are technicalities. Another more important comment is that open source is not exclusive to Linux as many users of Windows and other operating systems both opened and closed platforms are enjoying the befefit of shared code, and open source software. Actually many of the really good or widely used pieces of software for Linux are also offered on Windows such as OpenOffice, Gaim, Mozilla, GIMP, Apache, MySQL, Eclipse, Star Office, Snes9x, ZSnes, ePSXe, BitTorrent, Limewire, and MLDonkey. The bulk of these are applications I believe are open source and can be modified just as much as on Windows as they can on Linux. Unfortunately with technologies such as DirectX and it's related hadrware accelleration, Windows developers even have more of an advantage in certain domains such as with game development. So unless your goal is to modify to a large degree the behavior of the OS itself or or it's corresponding software then Linux may have a large advantage over Windows or other proprietary OSes but that doesn't mean that it isn't impossible with these other operating systems. To me the strength of Linux is in it's underlying structure so where as I would like to see Windows modified I feel less so with Linux in which I am free to modify. Kind of Ironic ....?
You like easy, I don't. thats one of the great things of linux.
I couldn't agree more. Just another example of how simplicity expands choice and does not limit it. You don't have to use Gnome, you probably don't at all but many others do and love it. The existance of Gnome doesn't limit you but it empowers others... it gives them them choice.
qwijibow we speak the same language.
What % in the world are using Windows web servers ? I think about 5%
London Heatrow & Copenhagen international airport is using Redhat for approach control, now if one mistake there just think what could happen.
Holy Christ..... Is this really on the 105th page? Thats what it's telling me.... Theres no way in hell I'm going to read all of it but I did read the first page. Can't believe I've missed this one.... The original poster has a good point. I'm sure we are way off topic by now but still....... I feel ike commenting on the first page. I used to think the same way. We all know that that way of thinking is common until you learn linux. Then you kick your self in the ass for being so "narrow minded".... Pual wanted things to work without knowing why and how they worked basically....
So the question is... Do we really want Linux to be a "No Brainer" like MS is? I used to bitch about the same thing. Quite frankly, I don't want linux to take that route like we all don't.... I don't care if Linux becomes mainstream and overtakes MS.... We know what the best OS is and we know what the general population of "average" computer users are like. Well, just to be blunt and semi-rude, they are morons. Yes, MS fits that bill quite nicely.....
Linux isn't about "dumming" things up so grandma or grandpa can use it. It's about computer technology advancement.... It's about making a solid, stable and secure OS which MS is niether....
I bet 10:1 Paul dude has already learned Linux and is probably sort of ashamed by his original post.... It's funny how we as a human race want to trash and downplay things we don't understand....
@jong357, Hmmmm I really wish you would take some time to read a few of the posts. Maybe there are users who are expeirenced and have no problem with making things easier or maybe even openly welcome it. A personal example is like when I was learning to program, first with C and then C++. I really loved programming, and I love C++ but there were things that I really did find over complicated with either the langauge or the tools that I was using for development. Then along came Java which I felt was much more elegant langauge wise. I aslo started looking at langauges like LISP, Ruby, Python, and C#. Now I mainly use C# but I can still admid software development, the langauge and the tools, could be both simpler and more expressive. Actually sometimes the two concepts coincide. Now when I look at how languaes are evolving it seems a lot of people agree but there are still quite a few people who want to hang onto to old proven tools and langauges such as C. Heck I had a teacher who still thought Multics was the best OS and Pl1 was his favorite langauge, he hated OOP doesn't mean it's a bad move though. I can see that the Linux community seems divided in a similar way but maybe there are more people in the grey area. This division seems seems to invoke a lot of emotion too maybe because of all the hard work that goes into learning and developing for Linux. I understand that educating is important but there are improvements in how education is done on all platforms. Also simplification of some things is good, people with any sense of reason must agree with that general statement at least. To say that Linux or the distros and tools that surround it could use absolutely no improvement as far as usability or simplicity means that Linux in it's current state is absolutly perfect! I can say with confidence but without the intention of downplaying all the hard work and great success of Linux that it is not perfect. So the agrument in usability and simplicity becomes an argument based on how close do some features or aspects come to the ideal. Since the ideal is a subjective concept it is easier or more productive to speak of what is more effective or less effective. In my oppinion there are some aspects of Linux, the distros, and it's available applications are far enough from what I see as ideal that I can feel warrent improvement. I'm not YET educated very much in respect to Linux but I feel somewhat offended that myself along with many respect others have been labbled in your post Moron. However considering the source, I take it with a large grain of salt.
I couldn't agree more. Just another example of how simplicity expands choice and does not limit it.
will you please stop trying to drag me into your little argument.
like i said when i decided there was no reasoning with you,
SOME simplification does not limit choice... for example you little icon thing.
but SOME simplifications... such "as one binary fits all" device drivers, will serverly limit choice by restricing users and distro writers ability to compile there own kernels and use whatever version they want.
just because you never chose to re-compile your kernel, doesnt mean i dont want the choise to compile my kernel. (i did, and added a few frames per second to ut2004)
you dont like losing arguments, and this makes you very hard to argue with. we both started off with opposing views. After your argument i realised that iwas not entirely accurate and agreed with you that there are areas for improvement, but there are still a great many situations where simplification would limit choice. Why can you not compromise ? a person who cannot compromise is no good to argue with.
@qwijibow, I'm sorry if I came off as pest I just wanted to make sure some of the other readers would see my point especially since it was pointed out by somebody who was a big simplicity sucks advocate. I argree that the type of simplification your talking about like one binary for all platforms doesn't make sense and is limiting but I that is also not the type of simplification I would suggest as good. So we still do agree on these things, I just didn't want to pass up the opportunity to show how the comment supported what I said. If something similar was said such as about how Gnome took out the option too switch Nautalis to non-spacial mode was limiting in some respects I would agree that in cases like this or mabye others that simplification in ways that does not leave the same options open that were in the past is limiting. I wouldn't suggest this type of change unless everobody agreed that a feature or opption wasn't needed at all.
hi, from the few first and latest posts i ve read it seems to me that the discussion now is if user friendliness is inversely proportional to flexibility. from the discussions it seems that it is... although i am not completely convinced that that is the case. can't you have both? still experienced users can compile and install the source codes while newbie ones can use some more convenient way. however, from some older posts and my own experience with linux i came to realise that it a bit harder to have the latter. linux is known for its open source/free programs. each one may have dependecies on libraries (and sometimes on particular versions of libraries) that may exist or not. if you have a precompiled version with all the dependencies then firstly the programs are way bigger. secondly you may have duplicates of libraries, even if most of these problems have been resolved with console line and graphical package managers.
however, linux has nowadays become much more user friendly to the simple user. it may not still have the hardware support that other os have but it is much easier to configure your hardware without restraining more experienced users from tweaking their config files.
furthermore, i think you have to identify if you are a linux user or a linux user/administrator of your system. if you are a linux user in then as far as software is concerned then linux has nearly all the mainstream applications that exist in other os for office use, multimedia playing, web browsing, etc. and you dont have to worry about the setup of your machine as this is dealt by other people, so you shouldnt be complaining. if you are also an administrator then it takes some time to learn the linux way like it would take if you were a complete newbie in any os. i remember that the first version ms windows had similar problems with hardware setup and it didnt really give you the flexibility to figure out what is going on. it still doesnt give you that flexibility but hardware support has improved and this may be the case due to third companies support. these realise the potential in the linux community and some of them already provide support for their hardware, even if the updates come out a bit later than the msw ones.
lastly, there are a lot of people that would like to try linux and use its benefits but they are dissapointed because they come into a new environment and simply they dont have the time to learn another package of software and os from scratch. however, linux has the option of giving a look and feel of ms windows for these users which helps the transition significantly. furthermore, there was a discussion in my local linux group on which software is more "appropriate" for transition of ms windows users to linux. in other words before starting using linux start using these programs under windows; so transition will be much easier. some of the programs proposed were openoffice, gimp, evolution (not sure if the latter one runs under msw). i would add to this list firefox and thunderbird.
lastly, i dont think the poll corresponds to the actual feeling of people using or willing to use linux. as the ones that would like to try linux will be missing the poll, and my guess is that they would need user friendliness. furthermore the poll is biased into two directions: either "a console" or a "an automated gui". how about the users that would like both?
anyway, to sum up firslty i believe that linux should become a bit more user friendly or to put it in other words it should at least get the support it deserves from the hardware vendors without losing its flexibility. secondly, linux has become though quite user friendly and people usually complain (including myself sometimes) because they are used to doing things the ms windows way. no i dont mean now brainless functionality. what i mean is that these msw users know which tools their os provides, where to find them and how to use them. it takes a bit of time to learn these in any other new os. and linux gives you the option of sooo many tools as well as different interfaces and customisations. but no, no one yet has written a graphical interface that looks and behaves exactly as the msw one; and no one will. so till one feels confident with linux, then there is no harm keeping another os partition in the drive as long as one uses linux most of the time and at least makes an effort to resolve the problem in linux before rebooting to the other os. othewise you will always be dependent on your other os and eventually give up with linux. so you must spend a bit of time with linux like you once did with your other os.
The thing about linux it seems, is that the people who have greatest control over its direction are those who contribute, and write the programs (especially kde / gnome developers). When these people get to the level they are at, im sure they are more concerned with pushing linux, adding new features, making it more powerfull, more flexable, than they care about making it easyer for newbies... lets face it, nobody stays a newbie for long.
I think this is why linux has very advanced features that windows does not have, for example loading new kernel modues without a re-boot.
of-course, on the other hand, a more newbie friendly desktop would make more lnewbies stay with linux than go back to windows.
Well, I didn't mean to offend anyone by the use of the word 'moron'.... You know what I meant. Most people can't figure out alot of stuff on Windows so trying to make Linux like Windows in alot of areas is utterly pointless.... It's not Windows, it's Linux. Lets leave it that way, shall we? I use fluxbox and I'm constantly telling my girl-friend to right-click on the desktop to get to the menu... It's lost on her... Desktop? Huh, what? Thats what I meant by that. Wasn't trying to be mean. Just as direct as possible. People want to see Linux contend with MS in the desktop area. If you did that then Linux would turn into a steaming pile of crap and I wouldn't use it any more... I think it's just fine the way that it is, but thats just my opinion. And there is always room for improvement on anything. I never implied that at all...
I agree with Captian.... It all boils down to learning something new. Some people think the learning curve is too hard so then they post and start threads like these.... It took me 6 months before Linux started to click with me. 6 MONTHS!!! I didn't give up... I didn't whine about how hard it was. I just sucked it up and continued to mess with it. One day it just all started to make sense and I've never looked back...
Distro's like Mandrake, SuSE and Redhat are pretty easy I think. I'm not entirely sure how your going to make them more 'newbie' friendly... In most cases all you have to do is just double-click on an RPM file.... I don't see windows users complaining about .exe files. There are programs like apt-get and urpmi that take care of dependencies.... Wow.... You really can't get any easier than that.....
I don't know... The arguement of "Linux should be more newbie friendly" is kinda lost on me cause when most people say that, they imply that it needs to be more like Windows. Your used to using Windows and then start thinking in your head "this is crap....Why can't I just do this like this like I do in Windows?" Well...... Hmmmmm... Maybe because it's an entirely different OS.... Either learn it or don't... If your more comfortable with Windows and it gets the job done then by all means.... continue to use it.... I just can't stand it when people start comparing the 2 OS's together. They are nothing alike and that why I use Linux. I got utterly and completely BORED with Windows...
I really don't want to read another 103 pages either before I feel like I can post to this thread. All I did was reply to the original poster... Thats what the thread is here for.