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.
i am a newbie so this question is really directed at me right?
i think linux....is fine i have just installed manrake 9.1 (about an hour ago) and it was dam easy any simpler and i would have been bored. i very much liked the fact that i had choices unlike windows xp where you just see a screen for 30min. but yes i am getting problems (see my post and i think this is the bigest problem lack of support. a bit of a bold statment..i know.. but it is true for example i went to the mandrake website and found nothing on dvd playback issue or any thining on why my DVD drive was seen to be a scsi device! and that is just the begining of my linux adventure if it were not for places like this (linuxquestions.org) the OS would be exclusive to the advanced user and people like me would be stuck with no audio or dvd playback and know clue on how to fix it! so in short MORE SUPPORT from the people who make the distos!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for giving me another thing to publicise to the general linux newbie population (including myself)...
Unless you bought your CDs from the company producing your distro along with some form of end-user support contract/agreement, you don't have any God-given right for support... period! What they have already put up on their site could already be considered a very high priviledge for your usage.
Hence the need for peer-support communities like LQ. However, people here help out of the genuine feeling of compassion towards new users. We're not obliged to do so, but chose to.
And actually many, many problems that the average newbie faces is already answered here (at least 10 times) and other places as well (search the web, there are tens of thousands of similar answers). To me, the actual problem is laziness, many people expect spoonfed answers to the simplest of things... and this is not a Linux-specific problem... like I said, I do support work for Windows systems and face this type of people everyday. The worse ones don't even want to describe the problem properly... if possible they just want you to go there and do it for them... the bastards.
And as always, my criticism is not directed to any particular person who posted on this thread, but my general observation of lazy people who couldn't read past 5 pages of text.
Linux was not designed to be a rival/replacement to Windows in the first place. So many people seem to forget this.
Actually, Linus has consistantly stated that he wrote Linux to be a desktop OS for himself and others. When Stallman set up the GNU project, he wanted to write software for everybody, primarily on the desktop - ie, as a replacement for Windows.
Originally posted by mhearn Actually, Linus has consistantly stated that he wrote Linux to be a desktop OS for himself and others. When Stallman set up the GNU project, he wanted to write software for everybody, primarily on the desktop - ie, as a replacement for Windows.
I'm not accusing you of lying, but could you back your statement with actual links to sites which has quote this? And I highly doubt that Linus actually said that because he only wrote the kernel and as we all know it has absolutely nothing to do with GUIs and/or desktops.
If you use google power "linus interview desktop" is a good place to start, you can find more references.
Don't be too black and white. You'll find people who say "Linux is the kernel and nothing else!" - and in one sense of course, they are right. But in another sense, they are also wrong, Linux the name refers to at least two things these days, the global OS included no matter what RMS might think.
Typically the desktop people have worked hand in hand with the kernel team when necessary - in the early days of Wine the lkml was used to co-ordinate, and the kernel hackers added features as the Wine team discovered a need. Alan Cox, noted kernel guru, often posts to the gnome desktop-devel-list, for instance advising on how the get the best performance from the desktop given the kernels parameters etc.
So to say it has "nothing to do with the GUI" is oversimplified.
Mandrake 9.1. has an easy install but your problems start after the install
I found the Mandrake 9.1 install easier than Windows 2000, but not as easy as Windows XP. My only complaint about the Mandrake install procedure is the need to go into BIOS to switch "PnP OS" to "no" which would scare most people. However, my problems started after the install.
Mandrake could not identify my trackpoint and my PS/2 mouse would only work when I selected a "standard mouse" eventhough its a wheel mouse!! My soundcard did not work until I followed the troubleshooting steps in "run config". I couldn't see my modem or printer in the hardware device list because these devices weren't switched on for "autodetect". Why do this? The driver for my printer is useless - it prints but the alignment is completely wrong with mandrake support saying my printer has a bad driver - tough luck.
Xine would not play my DVDs, so I installed Mplayer but the DVD would not play in mplayer either. When I contacted Mandrake support I was told Mandrake packaging strips out DVD playback eventhough the "application documentation" states otherwise - why isn't this stated in Mandrakes manual. I also found the software management (add, remove, update, Software Source Management) confusing. What is the difference between Software Source Management (SSM) and Mandrake Update? Why is (SSM) not configured to download?
I don't want to waste my time trying to get my hardware to work. It should just work like it does in Windows XP. This is Linux's biggest downfall.
I have applications that crash in Windows 2000/XP but it doesn't crash the OS while Xine and Mplayer hung Mandrake. Software management is completely confusing.
I was disappointed but I did get Mandrake/Linux for all the apps so I can't complain too much.
In hindsight, I agree with you that I'm oversimplifying when stating that the kernel has nothing to do with GUI. And of course I'm not as zealous as RMS when it comes to definitions , but I do take my hat off to him for standing firmly in what he believes in... even if others find that its more towards being stubbornly rigid.
However, I would like to bring this argument back to the its crux where you mentioned...
Actually, Linus has consistantly stated that he wrote Linux to be a desktop OS for himself and others.
In actual fact, it is well know that Linux was born out of Linus' particular need for a free OS similar to minix... don't take my word for it check out yourself.
I'm not trying to pick fights or troll here, however, I do concede that I might have been overly anal over my past 2-3 threads here. So I guess this will be my last posting in this thread for some time.
im not lazzy. i got the manual but there was no mention of the sound card muted as delault. how simple, audio=muted by default. as far as asking questions go well this is the first place i came to i did a google search linux help and there it is linuxquestions.org. well i do admit i could have searched the web a little more and gone some where else but then again this website does say it is for the newbie so i assumed it ment me and that i could post any question and not get flacked for it. after all it is people like me who will keep this forum and linux going coz no new user's=no more linux. and yer you do choose to reply (and thanks) but if thats how you greet new comers then i would have to say your help isn't needed and that i could have found that out any where else (but that is not within the spirit of this forum is it). and yer i do not have any rights to support but the fact is whats the use of making a distro if you can't support your users properly? or in a better manner? that just makes me want to turn to another distro. then again im not lazzy and i enjoy reading so it works out. does that help any?
howzat, like I mentioned, my comments are not specifically targetted to anyone. However, I make no apology if somehow you felt that it somehow applies to you... hell, when I was new everything I said applied to me as well, I just hope to let those reading this go through that process faster than me.
And regarding your distro-specific question, I really wouldn't know because I don't work for Mandrake, but I guess since Mandrakesoft is a company I'd assume they're in it for money, eg. support contracts?
And another thing, since you're new and all, I do recommend sticking with Mandrake for the time being since it is (arguably) the easiest distro to install and use.
<mental note>I really should quit this thread now... getting way too off-topic and I'm the one who's at fault </mental note>
I think this is like the seventh thread on this topic I have read so far. Here is my .02 :
Linux is now easy to install i will give everybody that I had my system up and running in no time flat...well thats not true ...easy as it is it still take awhile but so does Windows. The point is I have had 0...zero...nada.. system install problems.
However just to provide an example ....yesterday I discovered Gnome Themes ooooo very fun...I got my system looking and running nicely...for some reason themes reminded me of a movie I had downloaded and wanted to play but to no avail due to the fact i did not have a media player. I pop on yahoo and ask my linux guru friend who runs the Unix Servers here at my school what was a good media player for linux...he said Xine...so off I go to download xine.
First thing...I get to the website and navigate to the download page to see the instructions state "download the xine-lib, install it then download and install the frontend..." that makes sense i thought i scroll down and see i think 5 different Xine-lib files. I download the first one rc0a i think and i tar the thing then i configure the thing no errors yet...then i make...make check...and finally make install...very smooth no errors
I go back to the Xine site download the gui and start at it same process...tar...configure...make...make check...make install...!!!X!X!X Error: Xine LIb cannot be found please modify global variable blah blah blah....now again my point is this...though I will eventually figure out what i need to do to fix it whther it be from a forum a book my friend or tinkering. The problem is,that my girlfriend brother mom dad or any friend would have destroyed the computer by now. I am a computer geek...though I dont like to program I will look inside a file or two to get things working with some assistance of course this kind of stuff is okay for me. But i think what everybody who says that linux is user friendly enough does not nor do they want/need/feel the desire to learn programming langueages of any kind.
In closing I think the thread starter has a point...I don't mind using a standard Red Hat distro or whatever but where is the distro for peoples who VCR is blinking 12:00 or doesnt know how to save a radio station on their car stereo. I think it is a bad reflection for the Linux community to snidely turn their proverbial noses up at these people who don't have the convenience of disposable intelligence or tech savvy or just the basic patience to use Linux but still cant or wont buy products from M$ for whatever reason. Build the set my vcr clock for me Distro ...that will snag the users then eventually they will understand and appreciate the power of less dumbed down distros and start to want to learn.
I have just begun to learn linux. So far in the few months (2 to be exact) and have already set up a web and email server(thanks to these forums). At time it can be a real pain to install apps. But all in all I am very eager and willing to learn. I love my linux.
Well just recently I switched to JAMD Linux from Red Hat, Red Hat was easy enough but I had to go all over the internet to find mpg123 plugin for playing MP3s, java, flash, apt, synaptic and so forth.
Then I load the JAMD single cd in instead of 3 which are needed for Red Hat and start the install, it goes quickly and I couldn't believe it, the distro included apt, synaptic, java, flash plugin, mplayer, mplayer plugin and a nice looking KDE desktop, this is the easiest install I have ever done where everything I like was already included with no hunting around the internet for the missing pieces that Red Hat leaves out.
On a positive point everything is based on Red Hat so the Red Hat 9 rpms work in JAMD.
For anybody starting with Linux I don't think you can get much easier than this install. JAMD doesn't include all the developer packages but for me I just wanted something that worked right out of the box and I am not interested in programming, yes I do poke around a little editing a few odd files but this distro just fit the bill for me.
A power outage crashed my hard drive. I figured it would be a good time to try Linux out. Forty dollars later - $60 cheaper than a Windows OS- I had MY copy of RH9. I used the GUI install. I partitioned my hd in half , followed a few suggestions, and was on the Internet in a half hour. Then I loaded windows ME. I had to reload the os, my video card, my sound card, my printer, my firewall, my virus protection, my spyware, and my pop up killer. That took three hours - RH9 did all of that "automatically".
I honestly couldn't believe how easy setup was.
I am not an expert, I am a dabbler. I "grew up" with windows. Yet I figured this out in a day.
What we really need is a "Linux for Dummies" book (what the hell is a kickstart program?)
Redhat, at least, needs better documentation and free phone support. How am I supposed to go to a website (for support) if my computer doesn't work?
Also a very important tip for newbies. Save a partition for you windows OS. That way you have a safety net.
Every revolution starts with a single act of defiance