If we eliminate distributions with a reliance on the command line, and then eliminate distributions that deliberately ship partially broken out of ideological or perceived legal reasons, we are left with very few distributions, at all.
(Speaking of codecs, distros should install all the codecs needed to make all the default software they install work.
And, it's about time distros started detecting video cards during the install and offer to install the appropriate proprietary driver. Asking people to interrupt the boot and tweak Grub's config files with incantations like "nomodeset" just so Linux won't boot into darkness on their hardware is the essence of anti-user behavior.)
Who finds an interface easy to use is going to depend on the previous experience of each user. Someone coming from Windows is probably going to be quicker to pick up KDE than an OS X user. Meanwhile, OS X users likely find the docks in Unity and Gnome Shell pretty familiar.
We'd need people who have never used any computing devices to get a real indication of what interfaces are easiest.
Windows also needs codecs and drivers to work.
Linux cannot come with codecs by default by law, most of those codecs are under software patent laws.
The only reason Linux mint for example gets away with it is that linux mint is under the corporate copyright/patent radar.
If it were not for software patents we would not have proprietary drivers which are also not installed by default in windows.
Windows gives the illusion it does as when you buy a computer the OEM tweaks the machine to make sure all the drivers and codecs are ready.
But buy an OEM copy of windows sometime, its no different then installing Ubuntu.
Heck i say its worse, as if your card is supported in Ubuntu Ubuntu will install the driver for you.
In windows its all your responsibility.
Last edited by MadmanRB; September 3rd, 2013 at 04:44 PM.
What Windows does is not interesting to me. I don't use Linux because it's the un-Windows. I'm no longer interested in making excuses for Linux shortcomings by pointing fingers at Windows. Why should deficiencies in Windows lower the bar for Linux?
Many distros don't include codecs due to ideology. That amounts to imposing your behavior on others. People are free to buy in or not.
But, even distros that don't include codecs in their install images, for ideological or presumed legal reasons, frequently put the evil codecs, etc., on the same servers and point people to them. Why? If they're afraid to put them in their install image, what's better or purer or safer about putting them in another directory and pointing at them?
The patent issue doesn't interest me, either. Patents are not going away, and pretending they are is quixotic. The single overriding reason proprietary drivers and codecs aren't more widely available for Linux is that there's no money in it. Linux users won't pay for the stuff. Not to mention the FOSS police wave licenses that would force businesses to publish their code. Whatever you believe, that deters businesses from supporting Linux.
Last edited by buzzingrobot; September 3rd, 2013 at 05:29 PM.
I'm still wondering what there is about an "advanced" distro, such as LinuxFromScratch, that allows it to do more advanced work than a "beginner" distro.
When I think of "advanced" Linux, I'm thinking of a custom-built kernel that's designed strictly for a specialized use, such as a 1000-core supercomputer or a spacecraft navigation system. All the others are just "general-purpose", and may be easier or harder to set up, but without any big difference in useable capability.
Well it goes down to the matter that windows comes pre installed on practically every computer out there, meanwhile linux comes on a mere handful of computers.
And I was responding to why the matter that most linuxes dont come with codecs and drivers out of the box and pointing out that its no different on windows when you install that from scratch.
As for keeping codecs in the repos it all goes down to the distributor, Ubuntu has its codecs in its main repos but under a subsection and its made clear these codecs are non free non open source... some of them are yes but most are non open source.
Some repos like fedoras dont have codecs in their main repo.
I think you are being rather unfair to linux here, if you dont care about why things are the way they are.
Rather nonsenical but hey guess you dont care as windows came with all those nice codecs and its beyond you why another OS cannot pre package them.
I woudn't call arch particularly difficult it's just a little more time consuming to setup properly. But if you know how to read and know the very basics of linux it's pretty simple to do just by reading the online documentation. It might actually be easier than Ubuntu in some cases. For example in Debian the other day i tried to install a package but it stopped being in the repo upon the newest release of debian. Well I still wanted it. With arch you are almost certain to find what you are looking for either in the official repos or in the AUR. And with a AUR helper like yaourt it can't get much easier. I would say you would save time and difficulty in the long run if you run into just a few of scenarios like this. Or looking all over the internet for scattered blog posts and howtos instead of one really good source like the arch wiki. So depends what you mean by easy. Easy in the sense that you don't have to rub 2 braincells together to install, or easy in the sense that it provides you with what you need and the instructions on how to do it properly
Whoever came up with the phrase "There is no such thing as a stupid question" obviously never had the internet.
Thanks for all your replies guys, I'll get working on my ranking system now based on your mixed responses and possibly some further research.
Once again thanks for everything
In Mangero Linux it is installed automatically if you choose the non free image and it is more up to date than Ubuntu's.
As for codecs, if you use Windows media player it doesn't play most media formats out of the box. There is a reason that VLC is so popular even on Windows.
Last edited by monkeybrain20122; September 4th, 2013 at 12:52 PM.