failing like never before


Why I Use Linux

sysadminparadise - courtesy of fidget (

(Yeah, I know I should be saying "GNU/Linux" blah blah blah. Please feel free to shove your head in /dev/null and rant.)

Why Linux? I think every Linux user gets asked that question sooner or later, and just about every Linux blog has a post titled something like "10 Reasons to Use Linux," or "Five Reasons Why Linux is Better Then Windows." It would be quite difficult for me to compress all my reasons for loving Linux into a tidy little list, because the reasons tend to be quite numerous and I doubt that once I was done anyone would want to read it (Also, I don't like writing stupid cliched posts.). So instead, I'll give one reason why I use Linux. Its not my strongest argument for Linux (or my weakest for that matter) and I don't think its of the upmost importance, but its still a pretty good reason.

I use Linux because its easy to use.

And now every Windows user reading this is laughing and screaming insults at me. "Linux isn't easy to use, you f*ing moron! I tried to use Ubuntu and I couldn't even get it to boot. Linux is so weird and hard to use, you need to read twenty pages of documentation before you can even partition the hard drive. I spent three weeks messing with Linux and I couldn't get my sound card to work." Blah blah blah. The reasons and examples why Linux is so hard to use are almost endless.

But yes, I do think Linux is easy to use. Just about everyone that says Linux is hard to use will inevitably claim that Mac OSX or some version of Windows, which is what they're probably used to, is infinitely easier to use. People that migrate to a new environment are often startled by the strangeness of the unfamiliar, and even thought the new world may potentially offer improvements over the old, most people would still rather huddle in the warm and comfortable skirts of that which reared them. Windows users find Windows easy to use because its familiar, its what they've used for as long as they can remember and they've grown intensely fond of the inappropriately named "start" menu ( 'course Microsoft finally went ahead and gave it a new name in Vista). Lets face the facts people, Windows is only easier to use because its what you're used to, if you had grown up with Arch Linux and Enlightenment you'd probably find Windows Vista (and Mac OSX for that matter too) to be a terribly confusing operating system.

I didn't start using Linux because I thought it would be easy; I was actually expecting it to be quite difficult and it was. Initially, I had to teach myself to think and operate in a slightly different way, and to get used to typing strange commands into a terminal, but I quickly got the hang of it and within a week Fedora Core had become my default OS. I loved how easy it was to install and remove software, how i could perform powerful acts quickly with a terminal, and the vast number of software choices offered to me. But what really made Linux easy, was the fact that any problem in Linux could be fixed. I used to work as an intern in the IT department of a large company, and it always surprised me that the inevitable solution to a deadly Windows problem, was to simply reinstall the OS. Windows "experts," no matter how good they were, simply didn't know of any way to fix a reoccurring blue screen or similar problem. With closed source software, problems generally can only be resolved by the vendor, and if the vendor company is feeling cheap or lazy, the user is pretty much screwed. In Linux, a solution to a problem almost always already exists, and if doesn't, it can quickly be found.

So go Linux. The easy OS.

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  1. I think that quote “Linux isn’t easy to use, you f*ing moron! I tried to use Ubuntu and I couldn’t even get it to boot. Linux is so weird and hard to use, you need to read twenty pages of documentation before you can even partition the hard drive. I spent three weeks messing with Linux and I couldn’t get my sound card to work.” is so wrong. Especially since he or she used Ubuntu as the being a “difficult” OS to install. Literally, Ubuntu 8’s, Fedora 8’s and 9’s (and many more) install process consists of burning an ISO to a CD, making sure the CD-ROM in the computer it set to boot first, inserting the CD, (for me) choosing USA for language, keyboard and other things, the partition process is as easy as sliding a bar, restart the computer, splash screen comes up, password prompt comes up, and you’re ready to go!

    How much easier can it get?!

  2. @BlueMan,
    yeah, I realize that. The point of my article was that Linux is easy to use, not that its hard. And no matter how easy you make something, people will always find ways to screw things up. Ever read rants by Linux haters before?

  3. I like to think of switching OSes as akin to driving in a country where traffic travels on the other side of the road. We’ve all seen comedies about how difficult it is to retrain your brain to that, even though the cars have the same controls and operate in exactly the same way. I just always wonder why so many people feel that moving outside of their own comfort zone equates to “hard”. It’s just different, folks…

  4. Guess some people are just too set in their ways.

  5. If the IT media industry had an idea of how many people are current Linux users their jaws would drop to the floor. MS trolls, astroturfers, so-called analysts are really not aiming their disinformation at IT techs, CIOs, or competent users. They are targeting the normal point & click consumer.

    My aunt is 71 years old; does volunteer secretarial work for a non-profit org. I set her laptop up with PCLinuxOS. She thought it was a later version of windows and had me replace vista at her office desktop.

  6. No. It is not easy to use. Although I used Linux extensively, I found, and I think many linuxers agree, Linux just needs too many tweaks to make it work properly.

    I think those hours of tweaking is a time wasted. An easy OS is something you just install and use. Not much tweaking needed.

    Also, you didn’t mention how easy Linux is as your user experience.

  7. @thinkweird,

    it would probably help if you actually read the post, specifically the last paragraph of it.

  8. @thinkweird – I disagree. Linux *used* to need hours of tweaking, these days it just works. Now when I buy a computer I stick ubuntu on it and that’s that. Beyond installing stuff with apt and changing my desktop layout (as you would in windows) I don’t tweak anything.

    I find that to make windows half way usable takes far more time. At work I’m always asking my colleagues things like “How do I touch a timestamp on a file in windows?” and the answer is always to download some third party tool.

    And I do like to do things in the command line. Not because I’m odd or a geek, but because the command line is so powerful. If I have a load of images to reduce in size I can do:
    for i in *.jpg; do convert $i resize 50% $i; done

    and it will do all the images in that folder. Not so easy in windows.

    My Mom uses linux. My girlfriend uses linux. Neither of them find it difficult to use.

  9. Please donate your old boxes to a church-group or some needy student in these hard times! To comply with the law, and with Microsoft’s leasing policy, you can now replace Microsoft OS with the free (download from the net) Ubuntu OS, which can be set to erase the hard drive of all traces of the “illegal to give away ” Microsoft system and your private information, before donation! Now, explain to your lucky recipient that all the manuals they will ever need are available for free on the internet! Just ask for them in Google! OpenOffice, which is installed already is plenty adequate for homework assignments and with a little exploring, everything else can work well too! Happy computing!

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