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Old 07-28-2017, 07:20 PM   #1
dcnblues
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No remote support for linux website?


I'm a newb trying to migrate from OS X to Opensuse Leap. It's going incredibly slow.

I have a general question about computing / Linux which I don't understand.

-There are tens of thousands, if not millions of people who are, for one reason or another and with cause pissed off at Microsoft / Apple. I'm one of them.
-Open source is incredibly appealing. The simple concept sells itself.
-While there isn't really any organized PR campaign to get kids / new users / the disaffected to use Linux, it's a concept that could easily go viral as the world gets bigger and more people get on computers every day. An order of magnitude or more than current use, I mean.
-IF, that is, the steep learning curve and opaque elements of setting up and maintaining the OS could be easily mitigated.
-Remote user software has become much simpler to install and use than in previous decades.
-Lots of smart kids all over the world are learning Linux as it's free and works on older, less expensive software.

-Why the HELL isn't there a website that incorporates remote user software (I'm looking at Teamviewer which is smart enough to let personal users use the software for free), those who need help setting up and maintaining Linux (those MILLIONS of potential users who just want the GUI to work and don't want to learn hundreds of command line functions with dozens of iterations apiece), and those who know how to read error logs and fix / setup / maintain things on a terminal window in minutes?

Surely nobody would argue that such experienced users couldn't be found who were willing to work for say, a dollar for every 2 or 3 minutes remotely logged on? (Price free-market linked to experience)?

How hard would it be for accounts to be created, time logged in remotely and billed by the minute, security to be provided for, etc?

Fixes and command line activity could easily be saved and even condensed to essentials, so that customers could review and learn from previous sessions at leisure. Paypal and/or Skype accounts could be established. New Linux users could have an issue, logon, describe said issue, and have a pro fix it in short order (let's face it, most of the time).

One could even build a database of hardware / distro errors, messages, and solutions.

I see this as a VAST vacuum in the personal computing world. Plenty of tech savy entrepreneur types out there looking for big money maker ideas. This one is free to any takers (I have different things to do. And I need a WORKING OS to do it. And I don't have room in my brain or a sufficiently young brain to learn a whole command line OS language just to get a $%^&* program installed).

Anyway, why I can't easily find some kid to iron out my distribution for a buck a minute or less is something I don't understand. Anyone who wanted to take a 5% or less cut of that would have one serious money-making business... If such a thing exists, I would love a link. But haven't found it yet and have been looking...

*this is my thread and without wanting to cause offense I am only looking for objective, detached perspectives on this possibility. If you get off on knowing more than others and all you can suggest is for others to put in the same time you did, please just go somewhere else and respond to another topic. This topic is about individuals who want to learn programs, not OS's...
 
Old 07-29-2017, 12:56 PM   #2
Turbocapitalist
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You might give consideration to trying one of Ubuntu's LTS editions or similar for Linux Mint. They're make for an easier transition from OS X.

Also, Novell and thus Suse, have for a long time been in bad odor with the FOSS community due to facilitating M$ extortion and not learning from their mistakes they repeated them.

But I agree that some campaigning is sadly lacking. Recently M$ has been abandoning a lot of hardware that runs fine on any recent distro. Canonical could do a lot with that -- if they wanted to. M$ has been getting its people into high places though, and that includes Canonical.

It would be quite interesting to provide a remote viewer in the installer, but I can see quite a few ways that would be hard to secure.

For remote access, most people use SSH, just like on OS X. M$ has spent many years and many millions to disparrage the "command line" because they have nothing like it even today and because it is so darn powerful and flexible. So if you are setting up a server, SSH is the only way to go. If you are setting up a desktop, then a graphical kit like FreeNX should work. But then you have a question of who is reliable and skilled in exactly those things you need help with. That's a harder question but Canonical does sell support if it's needed. The big difference between the proprietary systems and the GNU/Linux distros is that there is an active community with the latter. You invest a little time in the community and you will get a lot back.

tldr; use Linux Mint + ask here on the forum when you need to
 
Old 07-29-2017, 02:03 PM   #3
IsaacKuo
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There have, in fact, been numerous attempts to produce commercial Linux products for personal desktop use - including remote support options. Lindows/Linspire is one example.

The rub is - are the paying customers there for it? So far, the answer has been no. In contrast, enterprise commercial Linux products have been successful.

Also, freeware Linux products have been successful (Debian and Ubuntu, for example, along with other major ones). But we're talking almost 100% hobbyist installation and support. These users are used to NOT paying money, but rather putting in their own time and effort.

Now if you look at a popular Linux forum like this one, you'll see a self selection effect where the overwhelming majority of us are hobbyist enthusiasts who would rather do our own support for "free" than pay someone else a regular fee to support our computers. But is there indeed a sufficient demand out there for something like "Lindows"? Maybe...but attempts so far haven't stood the test of the market.

Personally, I doubt it. Sure, there are folks upset at Microsoft's Windows computers, but they don't need to jump to Linux...they can jump to OSX or iOS or Android devices. For most people who just want to use the Internet and social media and various applications, Android or iOS will do and they don't have to learn how to "administer" a computer or whatever.

And like it or not, Linux isn't just a kernel and it isn't just a kernel+OS. It's an entire vast ecosystem of software. And like it or not, this software has, for decades, been all about desktop/laptop applications - mostly for power users. The developers make and maintain the stuff they want to use. Like it or not, this is mostly desktop/laptop/server stuff.

So, if somelike like Lindows were to try and make a iOS/Android alternative on top of Debian, they've got a problem that approximately NONE of the tens of thousands of applications in the Debian software repositories are suitable for mobile use, just on a UI level.
 
Old 07-29-2017, 03:14 PM   #4
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Erm, did you think to google at all? You can buy Red Hat Linux or Ubuntu support packages.
 
Old 07-29-2017, 06:45 PM   #5
IsaacKuo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
Erm, did you think to google at all? You can buy Red Hat Linux or Ubuntu support packages.
Yeah, but that's more for enterprise customers. It's not something that average personal computer user would even be aware of. Red Hat in particular long ago abandoned any dreams of the home user market.
 
Old 07-29-2017, 09:40 PM   #6
AwesomeMachine
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If you allow remote access to your machine, how do you know exactly what the other person is doing? A big part of Linux is security. Remote access by strangers throws that out the window. If anyone is going to use Linux (s)he has some learning to do.

Paid support options are not going to increase Linux use by an order of magnitude. 80% of all Internet-connected devices run Linux or BSD UNIX. Of course we know Android is Linux, MacOS is Darwin which is BSD UNIX, and Amazon Kindle and tablets run Linux! Most tablet computers run Linux. The Cray line of supercomputers run Linux!

That's not to mention the billions of embedded devices that practically all run Linux. Smart phones were developed on Linux, because it shaved 140.00USD off the price of each unit, because there are no software licensing fees.

Linux is by far the most popular operating system in the world. It has already gone viral. But if you want an OS where you don't need to really do anything, then it's MacOS and/or MS Windows.
 
Old 07-29-2017, 10:01 PM   #7
dcnblues
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
Erm, did you think to google at all? You can buy Red Hat Linux or Ubuntu support packages.
Erm, you don't get to be snarky and wrong at the same time. Please take your superiority complex elsewhere:
Red Hat's 'ENTERPRISE LINUX WORKSTATION - US$299': "This subscription is for development purposes only."
Ubuntu Advantage desktop: Minimum order: 50 desktops
 
Old 07-29-2017, 10:10 PM   #8
dcnblues
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Turbocapitalist, thank you VERY much for that informed and considerate reply. I wasn't aware of the Opensuse history, and chose the distro for the early KDE Plasma availability. I think I may jettison it for Mint. (maybe I'll keep the gorgeous green lightbulb wallpaper which I really like). I'm also repulsed by the links you posted, because screw microsoft in any way possible.

I also wasn't really aware of the SSH options, but will look into them. As you say, securing the remote user's access would be hard but doable, or at least such is my impression. I will post in another thread about the other vacuum I see for inexpensive router / modem boxes and something like Opnsense.

Thanks again for a really useful and considerate post.
 
Old 07-29-2017, 10:34 PM   #9
dcnblues
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
There have, in fact, been numerous attempts to produce commercial Linux products for personal desktop use - including remote support options. Lindows/Linspire is one example.

The rub is - are the paying customers there for it? So far, the answer has been no. In contrast, enterprise commercial Linux products have been successful.

Also, freeware Linux products have been successful (Debian and Ubuntu, for example, along with other major ones). But we're talking almost 100% hobbyist installation and support. These users are used to NOT paying money, but rather putting in their own time and effort.

Now if you look at a popular Linux forum like this one, you'll see a self selection effect where the overwhelming majority of us are hobbyist enthusiasts who would rather do our own support for "free" than pay someone else a regular fee to support our computers. But is there indeed a sufficient demand out there for something like "Lindows"? Maybe...but attempts so far haven't stood the test of the market.

Personally, I doubt it. Sure, there are folks upset at Microsoft's Windows computers, but they don't need to jump to Linux...they can jump to OSX or iOS or Android devices. For most people who just want to use the Internet and social media and various applications, Android or iOS will do and they don't have to learn how to "administer" a computer or whatever.

And like it or not, Linux isn't just a kernel and it isn't just a kernel+OS. It's an entire vast ecosystem of software. And like it or not, this software has, for decades, been all about desktop/laptop applications - mostly for power users. The developers make and maintain the stuff they want to use. Like it or not, this is mostly desktop/laptop/server stuff.

So, if somelike like Lindows were to try and make a iOS/Android alternative on top of Debian, they've got a problem that approximately NONE of the tens of thousands of applications in the Debian software repositories are suitable for mobile use, just on a UI level.
Thanks for the informative and considered post. I confess to following most but not all of it. Can you point me toward links about Linux / Android integration, which I'm under the impression is coming? Or just tell me more?

I'm thinking that Apple is dumbing down their integration of OSX and iOS as a deliberate strategy to get kids new to computers, the never-going-to-be computer literate, and the aged computer illiterate. That means doing everything their way (keyword navigation and hidden file structures, crap ugly graphics, etc) and doesn't leave any room for customization and will feel more and more like a straightjacket to the upper half / 3 digit IQ computer users of the coming decades.

I have to disagree with you about a 'lindows' OS's potential. IF easy and secure terminal support could indeed be made available (I'm NOT imagining it built-in to a distro, but there's no reason it couldn't be. I'm imagining a middleman support company that would take an under-5% transaction fee to facilitate the support), I could see a free or inexpensive OS taking off (especially if it integrated Android apps). Actually, though my knowledge is admittedly amateur, I can't see this NOT happening in the next 5-10 years. Maybe I just see a youth culture on the sheeple side of the pendulum swing, and they're overdue for a rebellious cultural shift. I see ease of setup / maintenance bootstrapping interest and use and installs. Which would be great for Opensource. God knows we need opensource in other areas: voting booths (even possibly voting apps), and am I the only one who sees an ENORMOUS market for opensource computing hardware?

All we need is just a little more help on ease of use. Making installs much easier has been good for Opensource. I like the command line and terminal windows and don't want them going away. My suggestion is geared actually toward being not only more efficient, but a learning tool in it's own right. Newbies being able to review the commands / fixes in their own time, if they have interest. And they will.

I also agree with you that mobile OS's will never be good enough for power users. I disagree with the way you write off power users who want an easy GUI OS. You don't think they share the same dislike of the two crappy corporate OS's? Many, many of them do. Give them a relatively easy, easy support OS that's powerful, and watch users multiply significantly. Hell, the reason I'm here is I want to do video editing and compositing, and Blackmagic just ported two excellent programs to Linux. (I know it's asking for trouble but especially if I can find pro help, I want to set up a video editing workstation on Linux and see it as doable. It was not doable 5 years ago). In this and other areas, in essence, you have a lot of interest headed your way, and is the linux community interested in streamlining some of your traditions to welcome them, or are you just going to send them off to ask questions of well meaning volunteers on forums? Because that will bounce them away like tennis balls against a wall...

It can't be just me who thinks that you answering the same questions, day after day, on forums like these, isn't horribly inefficient. That inefficiency is THE source of my frustration with Linux so far.

But you and Turbocapitalist have breathed a little hope into me. I will keep trying, and thank you for that. (I built a new PC, and can dual boot into Win 10 if I have to. I REALLY don't want to have to...)

Last edited by dcnblues; 07-30-2017 at 12:54 AM.
 
Old 07-29-2017, 10:45 PM   #10
dcnblues
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AwesomeMachine View Post
If you allow remote access to your machine, how do you know exactly what the other person is doing? A big part of Linux is security. Remote access by strangers throws that out the window. If anyone is going to use Linux (s)he has some learning to do.

Paid support options are not going to increase Linux use by an order of magnitude. 80% of all Internet-connected devices run Linux or BSD UNIX. Of course we know Android is Linux, MacOS is Darwin which is BSD UNIX, and Amazon Kindle and tablets run Linux! Most tablet computers run Linux. The Cray line of supercomputers run Linux!

That's not to mention the billions of embedded devices that practically all run Linux. Smart phones were developed on Linux, because it shaved 140.00USD off the price of each unit, because there are no software licensing fees.

Linux is by far the most popular operating system in the world. It has already gone viral. But if you want an OS where you don't need to really do anything, then it's MacOS and/or MS Windows.
I pretty much detest everything you wrote. Yes, the <5% of the world with the IQ and aptitude for computers use Linux, and businesses take advantage of opensource being free. But you either don't understand what I wrote, or are knee-jerk hostile to it. There are BILLIONS of humans on this planet who will get nothing but better informed and more savy about how they are treated by corporations, and who will want the benefits of an opensource OS WITHOUT having to learn how to compile programs. They want to learn programs, not OS's. That's a VAST and untapped market. Smug old school opensource people like you who are happy with the status quo seem very much to care as little about them as you do about the one person in five on this planet who doesn't have clean water to drink. I do care. And watching you answer the same newbie questions on forums like this over and over and over again instead of working toward a solution that would be MORE efficient (and help re-distribute wealth to future developers who need it) is frustrating to me. But maybe that's my uninformed opinion. Turbocapitalist, in a few short paragraphs, addressed my questions directly and told me interesting new things about which I was not aware. You didn't, and should maybe try to be more like him.
 
Old 07-29-2017, 10:53 PM   #11
dcnblues
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Originally Posted by AwesomeMachine View Post
If you allow remote access to your machine, how do you know exactly what the other person is doing? A big part of Linux is security. Remote access by strangers throws that out the window.
Well, don't you see the same screen on your home machine which you are sharing with them? You are watching them type into a console / bash shell / whatever. They can't run scripts remotely, and so can't install backdoors without you watching, or so is my impression.

And you can terminate their connection at will. This is hardly throwing security out the window. Do you know what you're talking about? I've used remote terminal software to have Autodesk online support complete a complex install on OS X. All the above was in effect then, and I'm not under the impression Linux has limitations that prevent similar relationships under SSH. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. But my impression is that's more you than me.
 
Old 07-30-2017, 12:42 AM   #12
Turbocapitalist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcnblues View Post
I also wasn't really aware of the SSH options, but will look into them. As you say, securing the remote user's access would be hard but doable, or at least such is my impression.
FreeNX, metioned already, is a popular graphical option.

As for non-graphical options, with SSH you can turn it wholly on or off of course at any instant you want. But since the established best practice is to only allow logins using keys they have the additional advantage in that you can also use the key to easily, forcibly share a terminal multiplexer (e.g. tmux) with the remote connection. That means you'd see what they see, letter for letter, for the duration of their connection. And in that way you can even log the whole session start to finish so that you have documentation or study and learn.

Or instead see the contact form for what Canonical can offer for Ubuntu LTS: https://www.canonical.com/services

However, because the easy money is in hosting (some call it "cloud" lately) so they tend to steer people towards the community for desktop support when they can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcnblues View Post
I will post in another thread about the other vacuum I see for inexpensive router / modem boxes and something like Opnsense.
There are some out there, depending on your market and needs. Check out the Lede Project and compare its list of supported hardware with what's on the shelf at your local big box store. Or there are higher end devices like from Netgate.
 
Old 07-30-2017, 02:46 AM   #13
273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcnblues View Post
Erm, you don't get to be snarky and wrong at the same time. Please take your superiority complex elsewhere:
Red Hat's 'ENTERPRISE LINUX WORKSTATION - US$299': "This subscription is for development purposes only."
Ubuntu Advantage desktop: Minimum order: 50 desktops
I just posted about those support contracts because that's what is available. Whether it's exactly what you want isn't really relevant -- paid for support is out there yet not all that many enterprises use it. That's telling and suggests that paid for support may not be something people want, in general.
In other words I wasn't answering your question regarding where to go for support but answering your assumption that it's necessary.
As to remote tools Team Viewer used to be available for Linux and worked just as it did for Windows. I don't use it so no idea whether it's still available. Again I use this an an illustration of what is possible and the fact that it hasn't made much difference to anything.
 
Old 07-30-2017, 09:57 AM   #14
AwesomeMachine
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Assumptions

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcnblues View Post
I pretty much detest everything you wrote. Yes, the <5% of the world with the IQ and aptitude for computers use Linux, and businesses take advantage of opensource being free. But you either don't understand what I wrote, or are knee-jerk hostile to it. There are BILLIONS of humans on this planet who will get nothing but better informed and more savy about how they are treated by corporations, and who will want the benefits of an opensource OS WITHOUT having to learn how to compile programs. They want to learn programs, not OS's. That's a VAST and untapped market. Smug old school opensource people like you who are happy with the status quo seem very much to care as little about them as you do about the one person in five on this planet who doesn't have clean water to drink. I do care. And watching you answer the same newbie questions on forums like this over and over and over again instead of working toward a solution that would be MORE efficient (and help re-distribute wealth to future developers who need it) is frustrating to me. But maybe that's my uninformed opinion. Turbocapitalist, in a few short paragraphs, addressed my questions directly and told me interesting new things about which I was not aware. You didn't, and should maybe try to be more like him.
I'm sorry if I offended you. I merely tried to provide evidence that most of the assumptions in you OP are not correct, and that there are operating systems already designed for those without computer aptitude.
 
Old 07-31-2017, 06:47 AM   #15
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A number of these from the LQ Rules apply for this thread, recommend that people heed to general advice of the forum structure and not get too out of hand.
  • Do not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-orientated, hateful, threatening, hostile or insulting.
  • Personal attacks on others will not be tolerated.
  • Flame Wars will not be tolerated.
  • Do not post if you do not have anything constructive to say in the post.
  • When posting in an existing thread, ensure that what you're posting is on-topic and relevant to the thread. If the content of your post will interfere with the current discussion, you should start a new thread.
  • Challenge others' points of view and opinions, but do so respectfully and thoughtfully ... without insult and personal attack. Differing opinions is one of the things that make this site great.
dcnblues:

You started out with some very strong opinions and that is all fine. Please watch how you express yourself with swear words or you will be given some warnings and if ignored, posting privileges can be suspended. There are also plenty of ways to discuss topics, agree and disagree, without pressing the limits of offense.

I'm moving this question to Non-NIX/General where more varied discussions are generally kept.
 
  


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