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Old 04-03-2024, 08:44 AM   #1
ausername
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Smile Questions about Linux for school project


Hello, I go to a project based learning school and I am doing my project on Linux to try and spread the word to my peers, for my project I require a live source which is someone who is a expert on that particular topic and will answer my questions.

So I have a few questions for everyone viewing this post, I wanna see what different people think about these questions, any answers are helpful, thank you.


Question 1: How would you describe Linux to an audience that knows nothing about Linux?

Question 2: Do you see Linux becoming a giant in the desktop operating system market anytime soon. and why or why not?

Question 3: Do you think that Linux security lives up to what people say it is, and why or why not?

Question 4: Do you personally think Linux is a good choice for the average user?
 
Old 04-03-2024, 08:47 AM   #2
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ausername View Post
Hello, I go to a project based learning school and I am doing my project on Linux to try and spread the word to my peers, for my project I require a live source which is someone who is a expert on that particular topic and will answer my questions. So I have a few questions for everyone viewing this post, I wanna see what different people think about these questions, any answers are helpful, thank you.

Question 1: How would you describe Linux to an audience that knows nothing about Linux?
Question 2: Do you see Linux becoming a giant in the desktop operating system market anytime soon. and why or why not?
Question 3: Do you think that Linux security lives up to what people say it is, and why or why not?
Question 4: Do you personally think Linux is a good choice for the average user?
None of these questions require an 'expert'...this is your homework, and you need to do the research needed to answer these questions. Read the LQ Rules about posting verbatim homework questions.

If you'd like opinions of those here, then why don't you start by posting what YOU think the answers are (and why), and we can build on that.
 
Old 04-03-2024, 08:53 AM   #3
Turbocapitalist
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Welcome to LQ.

We can't do your homework for you but if you show what you have written so far and where you have questions, we can give pointers.
 
Old 04-03-2024, 09:04 AM   #4
ausername
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Originally Posted by TB0ne View Post
None of these questions require an 'expert'...this is your homework, and you need to do the research needed to answer these questions. Read the LQ Rules about posting verbatim homework questions.

If you'd like opinions of those here, then why don't you start by posting what YOU think the answers are (and why), and we can build on that.
Hi, thank you for responding, here are my personal takes on the questions I've asked, and yes you are correct that I do not need an expert for these questions.


Question 1: How would you describe Linux to an audience that knows nothing about Linux?

I would say Linux can be described as an operating system free from the restrictions placed on them by big corporations. Meaning Linux is free from bloatware, which software that serves no purpose to you and only slows you down, such as the many applications that come with windows that you probably never use. Linux is open source and has thousands of people working on the operating system.

I would generally then just go on about distros, differences from windows, show a few pictures of various linux desktops, etc.

Question 2: Do you see Linux becoming a giant in the desktop operating system market anytime soon. and why or why not?

I would say its possible, as companies like Microsoft get more invasive the concerns about privacy will keep growing, so people will keep switching for Linux resulting in more software support, creating a kind of like domino effect. But on the other side Linux is to complicated for the average person.

Question 3: Do you think that Linux security lives up to what people say it is, and why or why not?

I am very inexperienced with Linux security, but I heard that its security is mostly due to the fact that there aren't viruses out there for Linux.

Question 4: Do you personally think Linux is a good choice for the average user?

If they are good with technology then yes, otherwise no. Because Linux does take a lot of troubleshooting, and I've seen people who have had the most basic of issues on Windows and couldn't troubleshoot them,
 
Old 04-03-2024, 10:00 AM   #5
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ausername View Post
Hi, thank you for responding, here are my personal takes on the questions I've asked, and yes you are correct that I do not need an expert for these questions.

Question 1: How would you describe Linux to an audience that knows nothing about Linux?
I would say Linux can be described as an operating system free from the restrictions placed on them by big corporations. Meaning Linux is free from bloatware, which software that serves no purpose to you and only slows you down, such as the many applications that come with windows that you probably never use. Linux is open source and has thousands of people working on the operating system. I would generally then just go on about distros, differences from windows, show a few pictures of various linux desktops, etc.
I wouldn't say anything about bloatware, since there are lots of applications on Linux that most users won't touch also. I'd describe bloatware as programs that are installed and run whether you want them or not in Windows...and there are a ton.
Quote:
Question 2: Do you see Linux becoming a giant in the desktop operating system market anytime soon. and why or why not?
I would say its possible, as companies like Microsoft get more invasive the concerns about privacy will keep growing, so people will keep switching for Linux resulting in more software support, creating a kind of like domino effect. But on the other side Linux is to complicated for the average person.
Incorrect, I'd say. It isn't too complicated for the average person...they don't try it because they PERCEIVE it to be so. Also, Windows has the pre-installed market going for it. Most folks just want it to work out of the box...they don't install Windows (or Mac, for that matter)...the computer comes with it. And thanks to the draconian Windows licensing terms that big manufacturers have, they are (essentially) forbidden to offer Linux as an alternative, even though they COULD.

Installing Mint takes probably 20 minutes, and would work for most of what people want to do.
Quote:
Question 3: Do you think that Linux security lives up to what people say it is, and why or why not?
I am very inexperienced with Linux security, but I heard that its security is mostly due to the fact that there aren't viruses out there for Linux.
Incorrect. There are viruses for Linux, as well as security bugs. The difference is due to the fact that Linux requires you to be a 'super-user' to actually do damage to your system. Windows has many different attack points which by default, run as administrator. Compromise one, and you're in. With Linux, it's MUCH more difficult, unless you're intentionally doing something wrong. Further, Linux updates much more quickly, so any security holes are patched fast. Most Linux systems will get update notifications automatically, and can usually be accomplished with one mouse-click.
Quote:
Question 4: Do you personally think Linux is a good choice for the average user?
If they are good with technology then yes, otherwise no. Because Linux does take a lot of troubleshooting, and I've seen people who have had the most basic of issues on Windows and couldn't troubleshoot them,
What troubleshooting, exactly?? Probably 99% of systems these days will 'just work' with a default installation of Linux, not requiring 'a lot of troubleshooting', unless you have some really old (or really new) hardware.
 
Old 04-03-2024, 10:15 AM   #6
Turbocapitalist
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Thanks. Do you have access to your school library's full-text article database? Some of the background goes back to the 1980s and depending on the scope of your assignment you might have to dig into the past.

For question 1, I would recommend also investigating the most important aspect of Linux, that it offers software freedom to both individuals and institutions. The original author of the kernel, Linus Torvalds, mentioned a few years ago during a question and answer session that choosing the GPL for a license was his best decision ever, by choosing a strong copyleft license over a non-reciprocal license (often wrongly called "permissive") he ensured the rapid growth of the project as a pooled commons.

For question 2, the answer lies in breaking the death grip that the maker of Windows has on the original equipment manufacturers. That goes back to the 1980s with IBM's desktop monopoly which Bill, via his mother's help, inherited and has milked to this day. That continued later with the illegal, per-processor licensing fees and, when the court stopped those, as 'marketing' partnerships. There is demand for easy-to-use, virus-free, ransomware-resistant systems. More on that in #4 below.

For question 3: That topic has been done to death over the years. Look into how much more modular and layered Linux is compared to legacy systems like Windows. Linux is very much safer due to design if you can look past the marketing brochures and see how things are actually implemented. However, Microsoft treats its contracts as trade secrets, so you will not get much detailed information from breached companies caught in Redmond's wake even if the FTC now requires full disclosure.

For question 4, desktop Linux has been far easier to use for the average person for a long time. The turning point was around the KDE 3.x days when desktop usability surpassed Windows. Look to the old usability studies from back when such studies were allowed (there was a period when the Microsoft licenses prohibited either benchmarking or evaluation of the products, maybe still the case I would guess).

Here's something else: Set aside the question of installation because normal people don't install desktop operating system, they buy their computers with something already pre-installed. Instead, make things equal by having Linux pre-installed, and focus on just using it. Then suddenly you will note that it is much easier to use, and maintain, than Windows. The installation is the barrier (see the OEM comment above). Or invert it, by asking your average person to try to install Windows on the desktop. They won't get it done. In contrast, after they fail at Windows installation, give them Linux Mint or other polished home-use distro and they'll be up and running with a fresh installation in less than half an hour.

Even, for the sake of argument, if they were equally easy to install (they're not but ... if they were) then you would still have the matter of default settings. You can look up data about how few people actually change their defaults any more. Even in the old days, few did. Vendors like Microsoft, but even Apple, Google, and Samsung, are acutely aware that basically no one changes their defaults. So what ever you get with the off-the-shelf systems found at the big box stores is going to stay in use until the hardware is retired.

Now in exchange, here is a question for you: Which distro(s) have you tried on the desktop and, in particular, which Desktop Environment have you settled on and why?
 
Old 04-03-2024, 10:18 AM   #7
ausername
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TB0ne View Post
I wouldn't say anything about bloatware, since there are lots of applications on Linux that most users won't touch also. I'd describe bloatware as programs that are installed and run whether you want them or not in Windows...and there are a ton.

Incorrect, I'd say. It isn't too complicated for the average person...they don't try it because they PERCEIVE it to be so. Also, Windows has the pre-installed market going for it. Most folks just want it to work out of the box...they don't install Windows (or Mac, for that matter)...the computer comes with it. And thanks to the draconian Windows licensing terms that big manufacturers have, they are (essentially) forbidden to offer Linux as an alternative, even though they COULD.

Installing Mint takes probably 20 minutes, and would work for most of what people want to do.

Incorrect. There are viruses for Linux, as well as security bugs. The difference is due to the fact that Linux requires you to be a 'super-user' to actually do damage to your system. Windows has many different attack points which by default, run as administrator. Compromise one, and you're in. With Linux, it's MUCH more difficult, unless you're intentionally doing something wrong. Further, Linux updates much more quickly, so any security holes are patched fast. Most Linux systems will get update notifications automatically, and can usually be accomplished with one mouse-click.

What troubleshooting, exactly?? Probably 99% of systems these days will 'just work' with a default installation of Linux, not requiring 'a lot of troubleshooting', unless you have some really old (or really new) hardware.
Thank you for your response, this is immensely helpful. And troubleshooting usually comes with installing software, at least for me.
 
Old 04-03-2024, 10:23 AM   #8
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ausername View Post
Thank you for your response, this is immensely helpful. And troubleshooting usually comes with installing software, at least for me.
Not so much these days, if you look at the software repositories. Most distros have online repositories and you can install software with a mouse-click or a simple one-line command. It will install the software along with everything else needed to make sure it runs, automatically.
 
Old 04-03-2024, 10:29 AM   #9
ausername
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbocapitalist View Post
Thanks. Do you have access to your school library's full-text article database? Some of the background goes back to the 1980s and depending on the scope of your assignment you might have to dig into the past.

For question 1, I would recommend also investigating the most important aspect of Linux, that it offers software freedom to both individuals and institutions. The original author of the kernel, Linus Torvalds, mentioned a few years ago during a question and answer session that choosing the GPL for a license was his best decision ever, by choosing a strong copyleft license over a non-reciprocal license (often wrongly called "permissive") he ensured the rapid growth of the project as a pooled commons.

For question 2, the answer lies in breaking the death grip that the maker of Windows has on the original equipment manufacturers. That goes back to the 1980s with IBM's desktop monopoly which Bill, via his mother's help, inherited and has milked to this day. That continued later with the illegal, per-processor licensing fees and, when the court stopped those, as 'marketing' partnerships. There is demand for easy-to-use, virus-free, ransomware-resistant systems. More on that in #4 below.

For question 3: That topic has been done to death over the years. Look into how much more modular and layered Linux is compared to legacy systems like Windows. Linux is very much safer due to design if you can look past the marketing brochures and see how things are actually implemented. However, Microsoft treats its contracts as trade secrets, so you will not get much detailed information from breached companies caught in Redmond's wake even if the FTC now requires full disclosure.

For question 4, desktop Linux has been far easier to use for the average person for a long time. The turning point was around the KDE 3.x days when desktop usability surpassed Windows. Look to the old usability studies from back when such studies were allowed (there was a period when the Microsoft licenses prohibited either benchmarking or evaluation of the products, maybe still the case I would guess).

Here's something else: Set aside the question of installation because normal people don't install desktop operating system, they buy their computers with something already pre-installed. Instead, make things equal by having Linux pre-installed, and focus on just using it. Then suddenly you will note that it is much easier to use, and maintain, than Windows. The installation is the barrier (see the OEM comment above). Or invert it, by asking your average person to try to install Windows on the desktop. They won't get it done. In contrast, after they fail at Windows installation, give them Linux Mint or other polished home-use distro and they'll be up and running with a fresh installation in less than half an hour.

Even, for the sake of argument, if they were equally easy to install (they're not but ... if they were) then you would still have the matter of default settings. You can look up data about how few people actually change their defaults any more. Even in the old days, few did. Vendors like Microsoft, but even Apple, Google, and Samsung, are acutely aware that basically no one changes their defaults. So what ever you get with the off-the-shelf systems found at the big box stores is going to stay in use until the hardware is retired.

Now in exchange, here is a question for you: Which distro(s) have you tried on the desktop and, in particular, which Desktop Environment have you settled on and why?
Thank you for your response, thank you for also giving me some links to check out, I will be sure to do that!

And as for your question, I have tried a few different distros. I started with Linux Mint about a year ago, then I decided to try Debian which I did not like, After that I tried EndeavourOS, before finally settling on Arch Linux, because I thought if I am using an arch based system, may as well just use Arch. I picked Arch Linux because I wanted to just dive in deep, in order to try and learn as much as possible. And I currently rock KDE Plasma because I found it the most visually appealing out of the other options. I have been on and off with Linux since I have started due to a lot of software I regularly use just not working on Linux, even with wine.

As for "Do you have access to your school library's full-text article database?", I believe we have something like that, and good idea, I did not consider talking about the history of Linux in my project presentation but I will add some history of Linux to my script, as that would be interesting.

Last edited by ausername; 04-03-2024 at 10:35 AM.
 
Old 04-03-2024, 10:32 AM   #10
ausername
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Originally Posted by TB0ne View Post
Not so much these days, if you look at the software repositories. Most distros have online repositories and you can install software with a mouse-click or a simple one-line command. It will install the software along with everything else needed to make sure it runs, automatically.
That's true, I have had some issues with some of the software on there, such as some of the flatpak applications didn't run for me, but yes generally its a pretty smooth process.
 
Old 04-03-2024, 10:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ausername View Post
And as for your question, I have tried a few different distros. I started with Linux Mint about a year ago, then I decided to try Debian which I did not like, After that I tried EndeavourOS, before finally settling on Arch Linux, because I thought if I am using an arch based system, may as well just use Arch. I picked Arch Linux because I wanted to just dive in deep, in order to try and learn as much as possible. And I currently rock KDE Plasma because I found it the most visually appealing out of the other options. I have been on and off with Linux since I have started due to a lot of software I regularly use just not working on Linux, even with wine.
Excellent. KDE quite flexible and has a plethora of useful 'widgets'. I've used KDE on and off and was really close to choosing it over XFCE on this particular computer. I keep an eye on it and might use it in the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ausername View Post
As for "Do you have access to your school library's full-text article database?", I believe we have something like that, and good idea, I did not consider talking about the history of Linux in my project presentation but I will add some history of Linux to my script, as that would be interesting.
Before BYTE was shut down, it was probably the best general purpose computing magazine and the authors there were really getting into Linux. Same for old ZDNet (not current ZDNet) which had regular columns on free and open source software (FOSS) as well as Linux. Dr Dobbs Journal even covered the GNU Manifesto back in the day. Wired and pretty much all the magazines aside from the small number which were specifically Windows-oriented were vigorously exploring and promoting Linux as a vehicle for software freedom -- for a while.

The previous generation of IBM leadership also knew how to make money with Linux, unlike the current crew. At one point they invested $1 billion in it and made the money back within 9 months or so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ausername View Post
That's true, I have had some issues with some of the software on there, such as some of the flatpak applications didn't run for me, but yes generally its a pretty smooth process.
Keep in mind that Flatpak is not part of the official repository. It's a rather highly controversial affliction of bloat on top of being on the outside.
 
Old 04-03-2024, 11:23 AM   #12
ausername
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Originally Posted by Turbocapitalist View Post
Excellent. KDE quite flexible and has a plethora of useful 'widgets'. I've used KDE on and off and was really close to choosing it over XFCE on this particular computer. I keep an eye on it and might use it in the future.

Before BYTE was shut down, it was probably the best general purpose computing magazine and the authors there were really getting into Linux. Same for old ZDNet (not current ZDNet) which had regular columns on free and open source software (FOSS) as well as Linux. Dr Dobbs Journal even covered the GNU Manifesto back in the day. Wired and pretty much all the magazines aside from the small number which were specifically Windows-oriented were vigorously exploring and promoting Linux as a vehicle for software freedom -- for a while.

The previous generation of IBM leadership also knew how to make money with Linux, unlike the current crew. At one point they invested $1 billion in it and made the money back within 9 months or so.



Keep in mind that Flatpak is not part of the official repository. It's a rather highly controversial affliction of bloat on top of being on the outside.
Quote:
Keep in mind that Flatpak is not part of the official repository. It's a rather highly controversial affliction of bloat on top of being on the outside.
Oh I did not know that, thank you for letting me know!

Quote:
Before BYTE was shut down, it was probably the best general purpose computing magazine and the authors there were really getting into Linux. Same for old ZDNet (not current ZDNet) which had regular columns on free and open source software (FOSS) as well as Linux. Dr Dobbs Journal even covered the GNU Manifesto back in the day. Wired and pretty much all the magazines aside from the small number which were specifically Windows-oriented were vigorously exploring and promoting Linux as a vehicle for software freedom -- for a while.
Thank you, after looking at Wire, it will be a very valuable informational source for my project, thank you for all your help!
 
Old 04-03-2024, 08:37 PM   #13
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If I may be utterly blunt, I would suggest that you throw out(!) these "answers" and ... try again. Because you are actually indulging in what are called "tropes." Things like: "big corporation," "bloatware," "invasive," and of course, "Microsoft." And inaccuracies, such as: "there aren't viruses out there."

I kindly suggest that you now "clear your mind," and try your best to respond to each of these four questions as you would do so. Or, as others have done, which your research will uncover. Do not "simply grab for 'tropes.'" Formulate your own thoughts – based on your research – and express them.

Also: "all of these are 'fairly opinionated' questions," in their wording. They are expressing the writer's opinions and positions, and inviting yours. Therefore, there are no "hard, right/wrong answers" here. Respond accordingly.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 04-03-2024 at 08:39 PM.
 
  


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