this post was submitted on 02 Jun 2024
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Linux is a family of open source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991 by Linus Torvalds. Linux is typically packaged in a Linux distribution (or distro for short).

Distributions include the Linux kernel and supporting system software and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project. Many Linux distributions use the word "Linux" in their name, but the Free Software Foundation uses the name GNU/Linux to emphasize the importance of GNU software, causing some controversy.


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[–] [email protected] 49 points 1 month ago (25 children)

Two things. Linux certainly does have a difficult learning curve, at least compared to Windows and OSX. I’m currently in Fedora 39 and I had to dig up some terminal commands off the internet just so I wasn’t choosing between 100% and 200% scaling. That’s just beyond the average computer user.

Secondly, I wish people could stop trying to teach everyone that Linux isn’t the OS. Anyone that cares already knows, and anyone that doesn’t know doesn’t care.

[–] [email protected] 18 points 1 month ago (2 children)

Maybe it's changing now with Windows 10/11, but I think historically Windows has had just as difficult learning curve as Linux. People who have complained about Linux being more difficult than Windows just thought so because they had already spent years learning how to deal with Windows, while if they switched to Linux they would have to learn new things. If someone who has used MacOS 100% of their life were to begin using either Windows or Linux then I don't think there would be much difference in difficulty.

I've come across plenty of bugs and usability issues in Windows, and despite having 10+ years experience with the OS I sometimes found them very difficult to solve, often requiring copy-pasting cryptic texts into the command prompt and/or regedit. I also think troubleshooting on Windows is made worse thanks to them writing witty things like "oops, something went wrong!" instead of actually giving you a useful error message, some many issues are of course unfixable due to its proprietary nature. At best you get an error code which you can look up online, but the OS is not made to be debugged by the user.

In the past Microsoft had really good support which you chat with, but the last time Windows refused to authenticate after an upgrade all the human support appears to have been replaced by automated troubleshooters. It got stuck in an endless loop of "run local troubleshooter" -> "you should try rebooting" -> "run online troubleshooter" -> "you should try rebooting" -> "back to the local troubleshooter again". At work I still have a help-desk I can call with people who have taken countless hours of Microsoft trainings to get certifications.

just so I wasn’t choosing between 100% and 200% scaling. That’s just beyond the average computer user.

So if I understood you right, Fedora lets you choose either 100% or 200% scaling but you wanted more options than that? I.e. you wanted to overcome a limitation of the OS, rather than having to fix something which was broken? I don't think the average computer user could do something similar in Windows. For example when I got my work computer with Windows 11, AFAIK there was no option to only show the task bar on one monitor, so it was always visible and taking space on all monitors. IIRC Microsoft added this feature last year, but I think it would've been extremely difficult for the average user to find a way to find a way to do it before that.

Guesstimating 99% of the Windows users I know would just accept that kind of thing like "it's annoying, but this is how computers are". I have friends, family members and coworkers who use Windows, and I've found them all to be extremely forgiving towards computer issues.

[–] [email protected] 7 points 1 month ago

While I agree that most of perception that linux is harder than windows comes from the fact what most people already invested they time into learning windows and not linux, there are certain difficulties users have to face then transitioning.

Linux is not uniform platform, and thus solutions to problems might depend on user enviroment. Average user want to have UI solution. But then searching it up they likely to not specify graphical environment or even distro, and thus they will likely mostly see terminal based solutions, mixed with UI solutions some of which will not work out of the box, because they assume KDE environment, while user has gnome.

This is a necessary trade-of for being able to provide extremely customizable system, as opposed to providing lowest common denominator system, but having docs for common tasks that easy to follow.

[–] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago (1 children)

Linux learning curve is definitely steeper than windows - at least for 'the basics'.

Simply because of terminal commands. Thats a lot of info to learn and maintain just to do 'basics'.

Yeah you can search and find what you need to do, but again that's a lot of work for someone who just wants things to work.

Windows pretty much holds your hand to get the 'basics' up and running.

[–] [email protected] 1 points 1 month ago

What does this "the basics" consist of then? I would've thought it was something along the lines of installing the OS, connecting a printer, installing common software (productivity suite, games, etc), setting a desktop theme you like and browsing the web, but none of that requires you to learn how to use the terminal.

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