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I don't know really, but I think it would be a pretty good idea to have a distro that is made for the complete linux newbie. Nothing like that stupid Lindows distro though.
The reason why I bring this up, is that I bring up the subject of Linux to my friends, but they are all intimidated by the command lines and compiling programs and such. Yes I know there are RPM's but you can't always get what ya want.
Plz don't hurt me for what I'm about to say (I hate windows too)
But I think maybe theirs should be some kind of installer for linux just as winders programs have.
A good example of this is Open Office. Anyone with half a brain can install it, its GUI installer is remenescent of that of a windows installer.
For this distro, you should be able to do just about everything without any command line knowledge... such things like mounting external drives, installing programs and when installed their icons are automatically added to the task menu.
Idk, just some ideas. I think it bring a lot of people to linux, the ones that don't feel like sitting down and reading docs and having to actually *think*
Oh well... I was bored... feel free to flame me, I guess it is a stupid topic
Distribution: Debian Sid, SourceMage 0.9.5, & To be Continued on a TP
From my understanding, some distros should be out there that may fit the bill.
Some I've tried and most I haven't.
Xandros, Suse, Ark, Libranet, and Knoppix to name a few. New distro that's out but is at the first beta release is Cobind, http://cobind.com/, it sounds very interesting. I will give it a try when the next release is comes out.
Hmmm... thats pretty interesting... I wonder how that Cobind project is gonna turn out when its fully mature. IDK, its not for me, I'd rather know whats goin on with my box and know the commands and all... Its just a matter of finding the information!
Anyway onto topic. I agree with most of your points, yes it can be daunting for complete linux noobs to install programs 1st time, but when you read the documentation provided you almost never have problems.
I was preparing to FLAME when I saw the topic title. When I read it through I actually find myself agreeing with you
Debian Sarge, when its rolled out, will require almost no interaction from you (the netinstall cd requires little now as it is). Most live-cds are like that as well, and they have point-and-click hard drive installs, for the most part. Mandrake is well-rounded and installs easier even than XP. Believe me, its coming along. 2004 is so far a good year for the penguin.
*putting an icone on the desktop requires a least a desktop(KDE,GNOME,EDE,etc..) which some people don't have or don't want. It also requires that the application has an icon and a link to kde and gnome icons folders.
*mounting drives would require sudo or a fstab with options and suppose(in your way) that the drive would be identified as camera , printer , webcam for the total newbie. not so soon i think, suppose you buy a printer and the kernel doesn't have the support for your proprio drivers for example.
*not using the command line is an option for "limited" users, what could i do without it, i don't know...
you already know what you can do in a term and what you can't without...
Bringing users to linux is good but don't force them, and don't go like a priest or an imam to sell your ideas. If they want to use it, they will and most of them will rely on you all day, all night(phone number,msn,irc,your home .... all day everyday ... they won't use a search engine for anything, at least most of them and will ask you for any kind of trouble without even think). Sooner or later they will try it, i think just a question of time.
suse is going pretty far in this direction, with yast2 and you making up the equivalent of windows update.
they also seem to include a lot more driver modules a la XP.
now they just need to be a bit more stable.
there's other things that need to happen before linux can really take on desktop users, tho.
linux is still ugly. every gtk or qt application still has the aesthetics of windows 3.1. and there's no consistant theme for desktops, because applications are developed for whatever window platform they feel like, and a theme for one window system doesn't affect any other
Originally posted by sunburntkamel linux is still ugly. every....
Unfortunately you have it backwards...... Linux is now ugly..
With the advance of KDE/Gnome into the realm of "usability" by the newer/less tech savvy crowd means a standardized desktop. You have 2 groups that are going out of their realm of responsibility and causing the "pretty linux" to not only get less coverage but to loose support.
I can say that my desktop 5 years ago was far more aesthetically pleasing than it is today. Gnome was better off as a GUI and leave the WM to the guys that make WM's
Fortunately for the less experienced users the big boys are trying their hardest to make things easier for the masses. It's only a matter of time now and you will get the same boring interface and lack of functionality that most windows users enjoy.
I know many people want the masses to enjoy Linux as much as many of us do. The thing is (call me selfish) I don't want them to. I enjoy working with systems and software that require you to learn a basic skill set in order for it to function. Back when I initially installed linux (Slackware back in 96/7) I failed. When I tried again and was actually able to boot with out a segfault I was hooked. Why? Because I had to "put in work" to accomplish tasks. I was then able to make a system specifically to my liking and you know what? That is actually what drove my desire to learn more. I was one of those newbs that saw the sweet screen shots of Mandrakes desktop running E and knew I had to have it.
I can also say that the majority of the people I know that are using Linux as their desktop today (servers are a completely different subject) is because "it looks cool".
If you've been around for awhile you will have noticed that this community has changed a great deal over the years as linux has turned into a widely accepted server platform and no longer the crazy OS w/ cool themes. This has it's pluses sure, but many more negatives once you actually know what your doing. It's actually harder to configure your interface now than it was 4+ years ago. I still think its a huge step in the wrong direction and I just wish that all these groups would all stop developing to the same drummer and give us our configs back!
The training wheels have to come off some time and the point and click install IMO is not where we should be going. Any time you have to READ the "INSTALL/README" prior to installation can't be a bad thing.
I agree in some respects to what you have said LoK, and yes there are some big players making it easier for the "average Joe" to use an "MS alternative" (isnt that what its all about anyway?) but there are still a lot more distros that are all hands on, surley once the thinking person has outgrown the "packaged" versions of linux and realises that there are better ones yet again he/she would then explore them.
Also all of the things you seem to want in a distro are still there you just have to dig a lil bit deeper to find them these days....it seems to me that its the price of globalisation.....the more you make it accessable for you the more accessible for all cant have opne with out the other unfortunately for somethings.
Now Im not saying I think you are wrong, I just think there is room for both of us in the idealism of alternatives
I am a Project Manager / Team Leader as well as an Audio Engineer for a small but stable Multimedia Studio setup in Western Australia and the first thing we need to worry about is can we get the job done? with an out of the box install of Mandrake we can get 90% of studio work done after an hour of setup.....compare that to something more hands on like Gentoo or FreeBSD and MDK wins.......for now but give me time and yes I will need to have a better configured Os that suits me.