It's hard for me to admit it but there are things, ten things to be exact, that I really hate about Linux. Sometimes I think it's just me but I do see other people stating a few of these in the forums so I'm at least not alone with some of these issues. These are in no particular order and they aren't just rants; they're legitimate problems and issues that I find annoying, destroying or cloying. Feel free to add your own to the list in the Comments section.

1. Too Many Good Distros - I hate the fact that it's so hard to choose among all the distributions (distros) to use. It's almost impossible to settle on just one for daily use. If you've seen my "10 Best Linux Distributions of 2009," you'll know why--they're all good. When I looked for a distribution to use for myself--other than virtualized ones, it was next to impossible. I finally decided on CentOS because of its basis in Red Hat Linux. It was a matter of familiarity. For most other server-oriented things and appliances, I use Debian--the King of Distributions.

2. Lacking Popular Application Support - No, Linux doesn't need to run Microsoft Office and I know about OpenOffice.org but still there's a barrier to application support for Linux. Now, a lot of the lack of application support isn't because of Linux necessarily but if you're a software company like Intuit, which distribution do you support? Do you support SUSE and alienate Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu, Slackware and others? Or do you offer your application in several different formats and in source form? It's a difficult, if not impossible, task. Maybe if all the distro maintainers would get together and come up with a single package format but that will never happen.

3. Dependencies - Whether I'm compiling from source or installing individual packages, there seems to be a never-ending list of dependencies that I have to satisfy before I get to install my original software goal. Often I forget what it was that I started when I get buried in dependencies. Yum and apt-get help considerably in this area but they aren't perfect. On server systems, I often like to compile my apps for better support and performance so I have to spend hours downloading, compiling, satisfying dependencies for those dependencies and so on and so on. The solution isn't easy since developers will often use a diverse list of software in their own but it would be nice if they would just go ahead and package the dependencies along with their software since I'll need them anyway. I know sometimes there are license restrictions but if there are such restrictions, use a different package.

4. Rancid Fan Base - I know that the fan base isn't part of Linux but goodness some of these people are absolutely mouth-foaming and borderline crazy. Even a longtime Linux fan and semi-expert like myself, will receive hate mail about something I said. It's incredible how many "experts" (who have vehemently opposing opinions) I run into when giving my analysis of something Linux-related. I don't mind when people comment intelligently but all too often I just get weird and rancid commentary. People who think of things like Linux as a religion bring a certain 'extremist' flavor to the mix. It turns off a lot of people, not just me.

5. Linus Worship - Many of the fans mentioned in #4 above fall into this category as well. People assume that Linus Torvalds created free software and that Linux was all his idea. What they (and possibly you) fail to realize is that ideas are built upon by many people over time. Linus used Minix as a template in developing Linux though he decided to use a monolithic kernel instead of the microkernel architecture of Minix--he still had a head start by using it as a design "go by." It was actually Richard Stallman who first came up with the idea of a GNU (Gnu's Not Unix) operating system based on all free software while Linus was still in diapers. This is one reason why Stallman insists on Linux being called GNU+Linux.

6. Anti-Linux Nerds - This is a generally ill-informed group of Windows fanboys who'd rather spend their time complaining and grinching about which they know very little and contributing nothing of value to either Linux or Windows. My favorite batch of do-badders is over at linsux.org. Though not directly related to Linux, without Linux they'd only have the Mac OS to rail against and that loses its luster pretty fast, since those sandal-wearing, ponytail-sporting, Prius-driving, one-button-pressing Mac addicts are far too intellectual to bring themselves to respond to such drivel. I, however, am not--I do like a good fight. Keep 'em coming linsuxers--you provide me with plenty of posting fodder.

7. Unchattiness - This hate derives from Linux' Unix origins. Unix isn't chatty and therefore Linux isn't chatty. We should really change that. For new users, this is especially annoying. The unchatty nature of Linux is often one of the major barriers to Linux adoption among the masses. Although they don't know what to call it, that's what it is: Unchattiness. There's no "Abort, Retry or Fail?" and no "Are You Sure?" prompts to guide the user. Linux, like Unix, assumes you know what you're doing and it lets you do it. This is bad. Really bad. We need more than just a nice, sleek installer and a cute Windows/Mac-like desktop interface, we also need some feedback about what the hell we're doing when we're doing it. Come on guys, make it chattier or else. Or else I'll complain some more.

8. Built-in Virtualization - What's up with this? Built-in virtualization--right into the kernel. Now there's an innovative and bold move to be sure. KVM has been included in the kernel code since kernel revision 2.6.20. I don't have a problem with virtualization being built into the kernel but I'm wondering how they chose KVM over OpenVZ? OpenVZ seems like more of a natural fit, if you ask me, because it is container-based virtualization better known to the world as BSD jails. This type of virtualization comes standard with Solaris, OpenSolaris and the various BSD derivatives. I don't hate built-in virtualization. I hate the fact that OpenVZ isn't also part of the kernel. It would make sense to do so.

9. Software Repository Trickery - I hate that there's a lot of non-free software hidden in software repositories that you can be tricked into installing without any warning or knowledge. There should be separate repositories for non-free components and a warning when you install those components. Installing those components without my knowledge or approval is a violation of my freedom. See the Free Software Foundation (FSF) information for details. Before someone takes away your freedom, you should be warned and have the choice to refuse the software.

10. Stability - This is an odd hate but hear me out on this. For eight years, I owned and operated a computer consulting business and whenever I converted parts of my client's infrastructure to Linux, I basically hurt myself. I hurt myself by giving them something so stable and unbreakable that I found myself wondering why I had done such a silly thing. Oh, it was good for them. They didn't have to call me that they had a virus or other software weirdness on their systems nor did they have to call and say our system just rebooted and knocked everyone off. The time I spent automating their tasks with shell scripts, PHP and Perl was for naught--at least for me it was. It wasn't until I had several of my clients on Linux that I realized what I had done. I was killing my business. After I woke up, I decided to let nature take its course and allow them to use their beloved Windows and I would cash the checks.

Do you have any Linux hates to complement mine? Add yours in the Comments section.

Comments
Good guy... He hate linux like I does

Their are some I don't directly have an answer for, but some I do:

2. The distributions like Fedora (and I presume RHEL and thus CentOS) and Ubuntu Suse, Debian and many more are starting to ship the same package-frontend system for on the console in KDE and GNOME, it's called PackageKit. So that's a start, maybe someone will add 'alien' to the system eventually and solve that last problem.

3. I usually use distribution-provided ways to compile, like using a pre-compiled backport (for a Debian server) or dpkg-source/dpkg-buildpackage which will handle all the depencies.

7. I think things are improving on the desktop, but maybe that's just me. :-)

8. The reason OpenVZ (or Linux-VServer) weren't accepted in the kernel is because the way they didn't wasn't considered the right way to do it. So a number of years people looked at what should go into the kernel and it has been created and many parts are already in the kernel, the project is called Linux Containers or LXC for short ( http://lxc.sf.net ). It already works quiet wel. I think most parts are their. Their is a 'driver' for libvirt ( the library for the virtual machine manager ) as well.

10. I don't know if that is a real complaint, but I think the trick is to find more clients. happy clients makes for good word of mouth. or you could extend on your services, adding networking. And expanding your knowledge that way as wel. Doing the same thing all the time makes you 'dumb'. Or start (go work for) something like an ISP were stability is something which is an absolutely necessity just to do business.

I only disagree with Chattiness - and if you leave the command line out of it, I'm fine with that too!

"Stability" hits home. More than once my wife has asked why I don't do Windows, because that's where the money is. Why don't I just sell drugs or produce porn - there's money in those things, right?

disagree

1) too many good distros?
I seriously do not understand why is this something hateful, it's a great advantage to count on options. If you abstract yourself for linux, saying the what you are saying does not make any sense.

3)because of dependencies Linux is a leaner system, this is another advantage.

5) So you hate that some Linux users call Linux Linux instead of a more appropiate name GNU/Linux to give actually credit to the GNU project...again there's nothing that make Linux especially hateful, there's hateful windows users, unix users, mac users, car drivers, bike riders...you get the idea?

6)Live your life happily, if there's people you think they're wrong and if you have got the time, try to help them, but then again Linux is not responsible for this, and therefore should not be hateful!

7)Yeah fair enough, you need to know a bit of stuff, instead the system does not make all the assumptions and you get something a bit more personalised...what's hateful about this?

9)I run debian, I install ubuntu in my family members computers, and I always get a warning if I am trying to install software that is non-free.

10)A super stable system, that overall works super, does not give much issues, and you could go forward and could say makes society more productive...uhm...I am having a hard time trying to imagine a way of this being hateful.

sincerely,

Gonzalo

It's hard for me to admit it but there are things, ten things to be exact, that I really hate about Linux. Sometimes I think it's just me but I do see other people stating a few of these in the forums so I'm at least not alone with some of these issues. These are in no particular order and they aren't just rants; they're legitimate problems and issues that I find annoying, destroying or cloying. Feel free to add your own to the list in the Comments section.

1. Too Many Good Distros - I hate the fact that it's so hard to choose among all the distributions (distros) to use. It's almost impossible to settle on just one for daily use. If you've seen my "10 Best Linux Distributions of 2009," you'll know why--they're all good. When I looked for a distribution to use for myself--other than virtualized ones, it was next to impossible. I finally decided on CentOS because of its basis in Red Hat Linux. It was a matter of familiarity. For most other server-oriented things and appliances, I use Debian--the King of Distributions.

2. Lacking Popular Application Support - No, Linux doesn't need to run Microsoft Office and I know about OpenOffice.org but still there's a barrier to application support for Linux. Now, a lot of the lack of application support isn't because of Linux necessarily but if you're a software company like Intuit, which distribution do you support? Do you support SUSE and alienate Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu, Slackware and others? Or do you offer your application in several different formats and in source form? It's a difficult, if not impossible, task. Maybe if all the distro maintainers would get together and come up with a single package format but that will never happen.

3. Dependencies - Whether I'm compiling from source or installing individual packages, there seems to be a never-ending list of dependencies that I have to satisfy before I get to install my original software goal. Often I forget what it was that I started when I get buried in dependencies. Yum and apt-get help considerably in this area but they aren't perfect. On server systems, I often like to compile my apps for better support and performance so I have to spend hours downloading, compiling, satisfying dependencies for those dependencies and so on and so on. The solution isn't easy since developers will often use a diverse list of software in their own but it would be nice if they would just go ahead and package the dependencies along with their software since I'll need them anyway. I know sometimes there are license restrictions but if there are such restrictions, use a different package.

4. Rancid Fan Base - I know that the fan base isn't part of Linux but goodness some of these people are absolutely mouth-foaming and borderline crazy. Even a longtime Linux fan and semi-expert like myself, will receive hate mail about something I said. It's incredible how many "experts" (who have vehemently opposing opinions) I run into when giving my analysis of something Linux-related. I don't mind when people comment intelligently but all too often I just get weird and rancid commentary. People who think of things like Linux as a religion bring a certain 'extremist' flavor to the mix. It turns off a lot of people, not just me.

5. Linus Worship - Many of the fans mentioned in #4 above fall into this category as well. People assume that Linus Torvalds created free software and that Linux was all his idea. What they (and possibly you) fail to realize is that ideas are built upon by many people over time. Linus used Minix as a template in developing Linux though he decided to use a monolithic kernel instead of the microkernel architecture of Minix--he still had a head start by using it as a design "go by." It was actually Richard Stallman who first came up with the idea of a GNU (Gnu's Not Unix) operating system based on all free software while Linus was still in diapers. This is one reason why Stallman insists on Linux being called GNU+Linux.

6. Anti-Linux Nerds - This is a generally ill-informed group of Windows fanboys who'd rather spend their time complaining and grinching about which they know very little and contributing nothing of value to either Linux or Windows. My favorite batch of do-badders is over at linsux.org. Though not directly related to Linux, without Linux they'd only have the Mac OS to rail against and that loses its luster pretty fast, since those sandal-wearing, ponytail-sporting, Prius-driving, one-button-pressing Mac addicts are far too intellectual to bring themselves to respond to such drivel. I, however, am not--I do like a good fight. Keep 'em coming linsuxers--you provide me with plenty of posting fodder.

7. Unchattiness - This hate derives from Linux' Unix origins. Unix isn't chatty and therefore Linux isn't chatty. We should really change that. For new users, this is especially annoying. The unchatty nature of Linux is often one of the major barriers to Linux adoption among the masses. Although they don't know what to call it, that's what it is: Unchattiness. There's no "Abort, Retry or Fail?" and no "Are You Sure?" prompts to guide the user. Linux, like Unix, assumes you know what you're doing and it lets you do it. This is bad. Really bad. We need more than just a nice, sleek installer and a cute Windows/Mac-like desktop interface, we also need some feedback about what the hell we're doing when we're doing it. Come on guys, make it chattier or else. Or else I'll complain some more.

8. Built-in Virtualization - What's up with this? Built-in virtualization--right into the kernel. Now there's an innovative and bold move to be sure. KVM has been included in the kernel code since kernel revision 2.6.20. I don't have a problem with virtualization being built into the kernel but I'm wondering how they chose KVM over OpenVZ? OpenVZ seems like more of a natural fit, if you ask me, because it is container-based virtualization better known to the world as BSD jails. This type of virtualization comes standard with Solaris, OpenSolaris and the various BSD derivatives. I don't hate built-in virtualization. I hate the fact that OpenVZ isn't also part of the kernel. It would make sense to do so.

9. Software Repository Trickery - I hate that there's a lot of non-free software hidden in software repositories that you can be tricked into installing without any warning or knowledge. There should be separate repositories for non-free components and a warning when you install those components. Installing those components without my knowledge or approval is a violation of my freedom. See the Free Software Foundation (FSF) information for details. Before someone takes away your freedom, you should be warned and have the choice to refuse the software.

10. Stability - This is an odd hate but hear me out on this. For eight years, I owned and operated a computer consulting business and whenever I converted parts of my client's infrastructure to Linux, I basically hurt myself. I hurt myself by giving them something so stable and unbreakable that I found myself wondering why I had done such a silly thing. Oh, it was good for them. They didn't have to call me that they had a virus or other software weirdness on their systems nor did they have to call and say our system just rebooted and knocked everyone off. The time I spent automating their tasks with shell scripts, PHP and Perl was for naught--at least for me it was. It wasn't until I had several of my clients on Linux that I realized what I had done. I was killing my business. After I woke up, I decided to let nature take its course and allow them to use their beloved Windows and I would cash the checks.

Do you have any Linux hates to complement mine? Add yours in the Comments section.

I've got a few:

*) Command-line machismo - the "never met a GUI I didn't hate" attitude. I mean, just because you CAN do it on the command line doesn't make it better

*) Ghastly GUIs - having just said the above... even KDE & Gnome still look... kinda late-90s-ish. And don't get me started on horrid screen fonts...

) Dead-end apps - ever Google a really interesting application, track it down to SourceForge... only to discover that it's *vaporware, and even the friggin' description hasn't been updated in years. Sometimes makes me wish they'd adopt a "no code, no post" rule

) Too much choice - How many window managers do we need? How many shells? How many different journaling filesystems? It's part of the whole "lack of standards" thing... you may not love Macs or Windows, but they almost make you respect the TOOWTDI (There's Only One Way To Do It) approach -- in *some things...

Edited 1 Year Ago by happygeek: spam sig deleted (five years too late, but...)

I agree with you Ken Hess on these 10 points you have raised. Some of the things that make me hate GNU/linux completely is dependencies when compiling software from source.
Another thing is the linus worship. Most people I have seen tend to believe that linus is everything and is always referred to as creator of the kernel. RMS is the father of GNU/Linux!

And to all those who fall under linus worship, remember: "don't just say linux, say GNU/linux", RMS says it doesn't take even a second of your time to say this. It helps a lot in making people understand the real story behind this free operating system GNU/Linux.

Long live GNU/Linux!!

Nice article, its good to read about the con's of Linux without being spilled from the mouth of some windows or mac fanboy. Its articles like these that help make linux better. For me the lack of standardization is the biggest issue. As a developer myself, it just simply takes too much effort to ensure an app work 100% on every distro. For personal use, I don't have a general preference for linux or windows (Mac I just hate outright). I'm dual booting Ubuntu and Windows XP at the moment. Ubuntu I use for development and other work related tasks, xp for fun stuff like games, movies and music. When I set up application or web servers, Debian always seems like the right way to go.

Now I know most of the fun stuff can be done on linux without the usual hassle but still, I grew up mainly using windows so I'm better suited to the gui for the simpler things in life. Plus directX games just don't work properly on linux and I'm not spending anymore time trying to get them to, life is short enough thanks!

Cornellgreen: Ghastly GUIs? I'll buy that Gnome (my usual desktop) looks a bit dated, but KDE 4? I've played with it in VirtualBox, and it looks every bit as polished as those commercial OS's to me, especially the smooth fonts and scalable icons. But I'm no artist; beauty is in the eye etc. etc.

I only agree with point 9 and I know nothing about point 8.
Everything else is due to your insufficient knowledge and maybe too much fuzziness (for instance point 1 Too Many Good Distros - is it a joke to complain about that? This is true freedom! In Win you don't even have a choice. Do you also complain about too many cell phones?)
BTW I'm using ArchLinux and never got any big problems when compiling programs from source (in 99.9% it's also not necessary).

I will say GNU/Linux when people stop saying M$ or windoze, winblows etc.

your problem, my Friend
is the human race, the people, the world, THE UNIVERSE!...
not Linux!

enjoy your freedom (or use Windows 7)
=o)

Comments
you make me laugh

There's a tool available for conversion of different forms of packages to your desired forms. Its called alien. It can convert from .rpm, .deb and possibly others to .tar.gz form.

For the dependencies part:

If all package makers start including deps in their packages then users who have the package already will be downloading it as a waste. This would increase expense on both sides- the user and the developer.

The solution for this is the configure script should detect if the dep is present or not, if absent, download and build it then return to this and built it. There are some packages which have this implemented.

Stability: Yeah this is a thing if you were a Windows technician sometime before. You should do something like Redhat - System Maintenance (If they don't have qualified admins! :D)

I hate both Gnome and KDE. Gnome is written by geeks to morons (what geeks think users are), KDE is messy, gaudy and unstable. I used Gnome for years, now I'm struggling with OpenSUSE's buggy KDE 4.3 ...

I hate old dated, past century, plain gray, ugly GUI's. Come on!! we are in 21th Century, bring in more polish to the GUI. When I want to show something to users, they generally complain about the interface's look and no more. I know developers don't care about that saying you can change that after and focuses on performance, stability, usability et all, but if you are going to produce a "Desktop" distro for average Joe, then give more polish to the thing!!

#7 is dead on. I've installed Ubuntu or other distros on less capable users machines when all they need is e-mail and web browsing only to come back and find out they did something and didn't have anything to stop them (not even an "Are you sure"). That being said, Vista and Win7 went too far...

#10 And here I thought "someone who does their job well should eventually have to find a new industry" was a goal to be revered...

I hate that I can install an 8 yr old version of Microsoft Windows XP that was bought the first week it was released on my Core i7/X58 chipset system, but can't install a Linux distro that doesn't have, at least, kernel 2.6.27. Why? Why can Windows be written so that the CD boots and the OS installs on a system built 8 yrs after the OS, despite there is no drivers for the chipset on the XP disk, but Linux can't? I couldn't even fathom trying to boot Mandrake Linux 7 on this system. This is something that frustrates new users that have very new hardware.

1 - There is a problem with too many distros. The problem is that there are too many almost-good distros. You can get a good KDE desktop with Arch, Sabayon, Mandriva, openSUSE, etc. However, the issue is that they're all fragmenting development. So while Fedora is been pushing a lot of X development, openSUSE isn't benefitting right away. Ubuntu has been pushing for Upstart scripts, but again, say openSUSE isn't benefitting right away. For whatever crazy reason, many distros refuse to incorporate the developments of other distros, even when the code is out in the open. Furthermore, while Ubuntu may have huge repositories with tons of packages, many other distros suffer from not having enough package maintainers. Ubuntu also suffers from trying to do too much, and letting far too many bad builds slip by.

There are solutions. I think some of the smaller distros should fold back into parent distros. Mint is built on Ubuntu. Why ship as a completely different distro, when they could simply be a repository add-on and focus on making upstream Ubuntu better?

Furthermore, I'd like to see more distros take advantage of openSUSE's build service. It allows you to upload a source tarball and push out compiled packages for RHEL, Fedora, SLES/SLED, openSUSE, Debian, Ubuntu, and Mandriva. Everyone gets packages, and openSUSE handles the hardware to do all the compiling.

2 - App support improves all the time. Wine gets better all the time. And there are more and more OSS alternatives to Windows apps all the time. People keep saying this is an issue, but really it is less and less of an issue each year.

However, the killers for me are:

Outlook/Exchange support. OpenChange is working on this. But so many businesses depend on this. Microsoft is opening up the .PST file format. But OpenChange needs to get solid MAPI support, and support the full feature-set of Exhcange/Outlook. Calendaring and appointments is huge.

Integration with Active Directory. Samba4 is closing the gap, but it isn't ready for primetime. I want to be able to create a Linux box that can be a backup DC to a windows DC. Once I show someone how they can replace a Windows DC and save money, I think it will open some eyes. I also can't manage AD from Linux. There is no Linux AD client, despite Samba4 laying out the crucial under-pinnings.

iTunes - Linux is always a few steps behind when it comes to supporting iPods on Linux. Google has their own OS coming out. Apple wants to continue to take marketshare away from Microsoft. Google and Apple have a good working relationship. If the full iTunes client won't be ported to Linux, can't Apple atleast make a good web-based frontend to the iTunes store for Linux users? Google can then bundle this with their Chome netbooks coming out. Sure Apple would prefer that people buy a Mac, but a cheap Chrome netbook is a completly different market segment from a Macbook Pro. Having more users being able to access your store is a good thing.

3 - If you still have dependency hell in 2009, you're using the wrong distro. This is an issue of the past.

4 - There are idiot fundamentalist trolls in every camp. Should you hate Macs because of annoying Mac fans, or Windows because of annoying Windows fans? This is the same in every camp, and thusly a non-issue. However, I would like to say that true freedom is choice. Freedom is not a series of restrictions. Those who insist that users are only free when they don't have choice in what software they want to run are just as bad as the proprietary companies they hate who want to force vendor lockin.

5 - I've never once met a rabid Linus fan. I've seen rabid Stallman fans. Linus doesn't try to cultivate a cult of Linus. He tries not to spread anti-Microsoft sentiment. He is just focused on making a product he enjoys.

6 - You hate Linux because some people love it too much, and you hate it because someone people hate it? Again, every OS has this issue. Get over it. Why should other people's opinions shape how you feel on something? Formulate your own opinions.

7 - Linux installs are easier than Windows installs. Most hardware just works. Linux installers usually ask all the questions upfront so you can just walk away rather than watch the install process. openSUSE has a great interface. It pops up the first time with a dialog trying to point new users to the openSUSE community for help if they need it. Yast is a great tool that makes administration easy. I contend that openSUSE 11.2 with KDE 4 is easier to use and more user-friendly than Windows 7.

8 - Does Windows 7 ship with built-in virtualizaiton? No, it doesn't. If you buy Windows 7 Ultimate, you can download a VM tool, but it doesn't ship with it. Linux provides choice. openSUSE also ships with VirtualBox in the kernel. I believe RHEL and Fedora ship with Xen support in the kernel. There is more virtualization support out of the box with Linux than Windows. What are you complaining about?

9 - What distro hides "non-free" software in their free distros? And frankly, this whole point reaks of the zealotry you seem to disdain. Shouldn't users have choice to install whatever they want? You scream that you want proprietary apps supported on Linux, and now you're upset that people have the option to install proprietary apps?

You're true colors show as a hypocrite who just wants to complain for the sake of complaining.

10 - Windows 7 has been crashing on me left and right. I've had a number of issues with it. Linux is vastly more stable.

There are some people I know who have had issues with certain video drivers causing instability at times, but the same can be said of video drivers on any OS. Again, this is a complete non-issue.

10. I've heard more than one long-time IT professional state that they love Windows because 'Windows is job security.' I'm on the same page with pcunix.

The main thing that bothers me about Linux is the documentation for the various distros. Some do this better than others. Like Sidux and Arch have very good documentation that makes sense when you read it, you can follow along and find what you need. Other distros like Debian have it scattered everywhere. I know Debian is well documented, but when I first started out in Linux-land it was hard to find what I was looking for and even harder to figure out what it is I needed. There is no if 'a' then go on to 'b' type thing in the documentation.I wish there was. There are also a lot of typos and poor English usage in them. Too many times I hear just Google it. Google is not a documentation resource. Going over pages and pages of search for a tiny answer you are looking for is not helpful. Often, I find what I was missing was hidden away in some forum post from several years ago. There has to be a better way than this.

Edited 7 Years Ago by drunk_mexican: better word use

1) I agree with this, however one of the founding idea's behind linux is freedom of choice.. Its a double edge sword that has no magic fix.. Still no idea how best to deal with this.

2) I agree support is lacking, however a company can make a .bin file and code in such a manner as to not need any dependencies and there by avoid all this. The real reason compaines don't code for Linux is numbers, if you are putting money and effort into a program you are most likely going to go with the masses i.e. Winodws/Mac .

3) Again a single repository would fix this however a better option would be to do what I mentioned in number 2 above.

4) Every OS has a rancid fan base, this is always going to be the case, ever say anything bad about Steve Jobs or Apple?

5) Fans are a good thing. Every OS and every Distro has them.. fact of life.

6) Anit-(linux, Windows, Mac, Solaris, BSD) are every where.. Its a fact of life that we have to deal with.

7) I think some of the programs and the OS its self could use a few more prompts from time to time, I really hear from Windows and Mac fans how nice it was not to be nagged, so really its a preference thing really.

8) I really can't comment on this since I don't know that much about vitalisation of the kernel except to say perhaps the thing to do here is give you the choice at install time.

9) Really, is that free as in speach or free as in beer? I am guessing free as in speech, and it would be nice to have it noted in the repo's better. However I don't think that is much of a concern for the average desktop user.

10) Yea, from my stand point its stability and lack of viruses can be a money drain, however I found that the companies I support always seem to have some thing for me to do.. so I am so so on this point.

The biggest thing keeping Linux out of the main stream is that it does not get the same respect as Windows and Apple at places like Dell, HP, Best Buy etc.. Also, there is software lacking that people want, such as Quicken replacement (or Quicken itself) and a good video editor, tho that is changing.. Then there is the who directx issue for gamers. Also some things just don't work as smoothly such as Flash.. My facebook games just don't run as smoothly in Linux as it does in Windows on this pc.

However for all this, Linux (arguably Ubuntu) is making some good progress and some day I would love to see it on many desktops.. Some day..

Thanks,
Scott..

In line with the lack of chattiness and the criticism of the poor quality of the documentation, I hate the man & info page, the primary form of Linux documentation. man pages are the heritage of Unix, an operating system developed by and for expert sysadmins and academics in a day when computer memory was measured in kb no GB, even before monitors, so output had to be printed out, terseness was at a premium. It is long past time for Linux to have a hyper-linked wiki-style, moderated documentation, standard.

Oh, and I'm surprised no one mentioned the case sensitive file system, what a relic. It is something Mac & Windows did away with ages ago, but it isn't even an issue in Linux. Why would you want 2 files in the same directory only separated by case? Why should I have to remember that my xorg.conf in in /etc/X11?

I have to disagree with 7. The terse warning system is one of my favorite parts of Linux. Maybe its because I use Unix for work and I've gotten used to the fact that my Linux boxes won't warn me if I tell them to recursively delete my home directory. But I like the "no news is good news" philosophy of *nix. When I have to use Windows I find it more irritating (especially in the GUI) when I say "Windows, do this!" and a seemingly endless dialogue begins of Windows saying:
"Are you sure? Are you really sure? I mean, I know you clicked the button that said to do that - but think of the ramifications of your actions! I'll give you a couple of minutes to reconsider. As a human, you're obviously too stupid to have meant to click that button."
Sometimes I like clicking a button and having it do what it says it will do - no questions asked.

Oh, and I'm surprised no one mentioned the case sensitive file system, what a relic. It is something Mac & Windows did away with ages ago, but it isn't even an issue in Linux.

Windows can tell the difference. It just chooses not too. Case-sensitivity can be made the default on windows (indeed, when NT was developed it was intended to be this way but decided against in order to keep DOS compatibility). OSX is the same, its possible to format drives as HFS+ with case sensitivity enabled.

ruel24: "Why can Windows be written so that the CD boots and the OS installs on a system built 8 yrs after the OS, despite there is no drivers for the chipset on the XP disk, but Linux can't?"

You can't install Windows XP on contemporary hardware using an 8 year old Windows XP installation CD - no SATA drivers....

Nothing so far. I guess I am not a power user. I just only use some software from day to day work. like Firefox, Open Office, Empathy and maybe GIMP. Movie player and Rhythm box for entertainment. So everything is there for me. The only thing I can say is lack of game.

1. Too Many Good Distros)

Having a number of good choices should never be a bad thing if you ask me. Also I think the choice of distribution is a bit overrated. It's basically all the same software. It's just what packages in which versions are chosen and how they're glued together, how they are managed. In general you should always be able to get out of your distribution exactly what you want to have. What can be bad with a distribution in my eyes is that they're so overpatched that they're far away from the vanilla open source package used and supported by the developers. This is especially the case with the big mainstream distributions in my POV.

2. Lacking Popular Application Support)

The problem with software companies developing software for a Linux environment is because their limited ability to embrace the way things are done on Linux. It's always the search for a constant operating environment that ends up in "we only support SuSE Linux version 10.1 with service pack X". And that is exactly why Linux users often hate commercial software on their OS. It is perfectly possible to develop software that runs on a variety of Linux distributions and versions. But this requires from the software developers to know what they're doing. And often they don't.

There is open source software out there that runs not even on nearly every Linux distribution but also on a variety of other UNIX-like OSs. Some of those even nearly no system calls or library API calls in common.

Of course this software has the advantage of being open source. But it's also possible if software is distributed in binary form. Not as well, of course but still working for a high number of up to date Linux distributions for x86 for example.

3. Dependencies)

If you really have trouble with dependencies then it seems to me that all these "good distributions" you've talked about in item 1) aren't that good after all. A good distribution allows you to easily customize the system according to your needs.

I for my part use Gentoo Linux for nearly eight years now and have still not seen a better distribution in regards to customization. It's a real package management that makes Gentoo Linux strong. And not the choice of the most recent, most eye candy providing GUI software.

4. Rancid Fan Base)

I agree to some extent but that is no problem of any software or operating system but only the nature of people. They tend to defend what they find is holy to them without reasoning.

5. Linus Worship)

Actually I haven't experienced much worship of Linus Torvalds until now. Linus is not even much a person to worship. He often is simply too arrogant and too much of an expert to be liked by the masses. I myself don't think he is the nicest fellow out there. But I do recognize that he's able to keep the Linux kernel development moving even at the size that it's got over the years.

But maybe there are some blind Linus worshipers out there. One should be suprised if not so. Because there are many, many Microsoft/Apple/Steve Jobs and whatnot worshippers out there, too.

One important reason for me to use Linux is actually that there is really nobody, no single person or company that is able to tell me how I'm to use and run my computer. That is one big advantage over all the commercial operating system environments. I'd be really pissed off if I had to deal with stupid decisions from companies that negatively influence my every day work. And this happens often enough even if many of the people affected possibly don't realize it (any more).

6. Anti-Linux Nerds)

Again a point simply related to human nature and nothing that has anything special to do with Linux.

It is possible that Linux is an often used target, because most people today grow up with Microsoft Software. And people happily defend what "they've always known and used" independent of any real qualities it has.

Also the open source approach is something that has not been seen/done in this form in any parts of human society before - at least not as successfully. It opposes many of the ideas that are communicated everyday in our societies like that you have to pay money for good products and services and that nobody does anything, because it's fun or interesting to do.

So all in all Linux can be something frightening, confusing and weird to people.

But is also has to do with some kind of marketing and popularity. Along with Apple the Linux environment is the only widely known competitor to Microsoft Windows. This also attracts the people that you're talking about. There are quite some more interesting and free operating systems available like the *BSDs for example. You hear much less arguments about those as many people don't even know what it is.

7. Unchattiness)

Well for one thing I don't really now if these ingenius dialogs like "Abort, Retry or Fail" and others are really of any advantage to anybody.

On the other hand there is no reason to criticize this attitude of Linux tools. People who don't know what they're doing should simply stick to interfaces to their computer that make it easy for them. Today command line tools aren't usually considered easy interface for non-experienced users. But that is no problem because Linux provides a bunch of GUI software that provides easy interfaces to the user that are just as evil chatty as they're used to on Microsoft Windows.

This item touches a point that I'm observing for quite some time now. The computer science seems to be the only are of expertise that non-experienced users want to fully master without actually knowing what's going on. I can only assume this is because the industry is constantly telling the world how easy it is to do the greatest things with your home computer.

But fact is in my opinion and experience that you only able to do a set of well defined, restricted tasks without actually knowing what's going on. And this is where the mismatch between reality and perception comes in. When you look at Windows than from my point of view you get an environment that is totally adjusted to the needs of those who don't know what's going on. If you want to do anything that was not in the plans of the software developers than you quickly band your head against some walls. That is also the main reason why it's nearly impossible for me in my opinion to work in a professional way in a Microsoft environment.

Linux offers a different approach. On the lowest level you have all the tools that provide you with the most general possible access to your computer. This allows you to yield all the power from you computer - if you know what you're doing. But the good thing with this approach is you can simply put additional layers above all those tools - usually a graphical desktop environment with appropriate GUI applications - that provide a simple, well-defined access to the functionality of your computer.

Looking at the matter from this side and coming back to the original point to raised I think we really shouldn't mix up the requirements of professional users and non-experienced users.

8. Built-in Virtualization)

I agree with you that the Linux kernel decisions are a bit peculiar when looked at from a distance. There are some aspects that might explain that. For one thing I think that the Linux kernel is such a big open source project that it's already become subject to a certain amount of politics. So if some of the people that are in control have a certain opinition then it can happen that decisions are drawn in that direction.

In the end I think the kernel guys always came to the correct technical decision. Even if they followed a wrong path for some time they still where able to drop that and try a new iteration. That simply is the nature of software development. You try a first shot and if it doesn't work out you make a new iteration and try better.

That the kernel isn't taking in just any approach to virtualization is understandable, too. The kernel code is much more security sensitive than any regular userspace application code is. If an application crashes that the application sucks and you go on with your work. But if a component in the kernel crashes the you can simply reboot your system - if you're lucky and it didn't to more damage like corrupting your data or even damaging your hardware.

From what I can see the kernel developers took kind of an elitist approach to deal with that problem. For one thing the code you contribute needs to to match they're quality standards and coding guidelines. The other thing is that you need to be integrated into the developer community such that you're trusted and somebody takes the time to actually review your code.

But still we're on Linux and if you really think that the other virtualization approach is better then you can simply patch your kernel with that support and go with that. You can even release your own branch of the Linux kernel in which you provide out of the box support for such stuff that you think should be there.

9. Software Repository Trickery)

This surely is a contoverse topic. I think that the extreme approach like in Debian is a bit hysterical. Thinking open source should imply thinking open minded. If a piece of software comes in a non-GPL compatible license but it's still quality software then why don't use it?

Software that tends to be "evil" e.g. companies that try to get advantage from the open source community but not following the principles of open source theirselves is not provided by distributions anyway I think.

If still worried then on Gentoo Linux for example you can query the license type of every single package and it would be no problem to check for incompatible ones.

10. Stability)

This indeed is an odd hate. It may be understandable from your point of view. But actually this means only optimization of your needs and not optimization of the needs of humanity as a whole.

In my opinion it would be much better to have quality operating system environments - especially where computers are used commercially and not only for personal purposes. The time and ressources that are wasted with always the same troubles and problems could be put to use to susbstantially improve things and not only fixing symptoms of bad software.

The article starter has earned a lot of community kudos, and such articles offer a bounty for quality replies.