Originally Posted by Peterius
No, I wrote a bunch of stuff and deleted it. I'm not going to waste my time arguing with you people.
There is no need to argue. Your points are well taken.
It's true: desktop Linux is (mostly) geared toward computer "enthusiasts."
I'm a long
time computer hobbiest. I built my first 386 system when I was 11. I have never purchased a computer "in a box," they've all been built out of hand-selected, well-researched components. I'm a "control freak" . . . back in the days of DOS I was always tweaking my AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files. When I run a 'ps' command on my desktop and see a process that I don't recognize, I investigate.
I am not
just any user. I would imagine that lots of desktop Linux users are like me. Even if they aren't, I don't care at all.
I run the right desktop operating system for me
. Many of the things which you describe as "advantages" of commercial operating systems on the desktop seem like big turn-offs to me. The idea of being force-fed updates or needing to run anti-virus software because the underlying operating system is so shoddy that it is fundamentally unsound makes my skin crawl.
But that's just me. In my opinion (and that's all it is), Linux is not for "the masses." They should all keep running Windows and Mac OS, shopping at Walmart, and drinking Budweiser. That's what makes them happy, and there's nothing wrong with that, for them
. It is not for me, however.
Then again, I'm an American and I believe in freedom.
Of course, many enthusiasts believe that desktop Linux is "the answer" to the computer woes of everyone. Maybe they're right; who am I to say? I've encountered many "casual" users here on LQ, way more than I ever thought that I would. For them, Linux is an easy, free, alternative OS, that they are able to use quite happily and easily. Good for them.
I must admit, though, that some of what you say strikes me as odd, and makes me wonder what year you are living in. "No centralized updates," and "having to manage bugs yourself?" That sounds neat, but I haven't had to do any of that since like 199x, unless I've chosen to.
Also, the thing about inferior hardware support smacks a bit of stretching the truth. I'll grant you that, since I started running Linux, I've made sure that the Linux kernel supports any components I buy before
I buy them, so my experience might not be typical. Nonetheless, I've been shocked at just how many hardware vendors are offering Linux drivers these days. It's almost creepy.
But, yes, based on what you say, and the perceptions that you share, a commercial desktop OS is almost definitely the right choice for you. There's nothing wrong with that. I don't want to drive around in a 1960s muscle car like my friend Marty does. For him, keeping the carburetor clean and tweaking the timing are a joy. For me, those things would simply be a pain in the ass.
If I might ask, though, why do you feel like discussing this on a Linux discussion board? Is there some closure that you need on this topic? Is it perhaps a reaction to the much-maligned (and unfortunately real) "Linux user's superiority complex?" If so, please stop worrying. I can't strip down and rebuild an engine in less than a day, but guys who can aren't "better" than me; we're just different. The same applies here.
For all we know, you're a professional UNIX system administrator who is just trying to make the point that Linux on the desktop is overly complicated for its application. For most, this is undoubtedly true. For me, it's awesomely true. I wouldn't have it any other way.