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Thread: What can be done to generate a lot of interest in Linux from Windows users..?

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    What can be done to generate a lot of interest in Linux from Windows users..?

    Getting millions more good folks to switch from Windows to Linux.. what is needed is a little "propaganda" like how democracy, the corporate world, and religion, does, to get the masses to do something... A little YouTube video showing the average 12 year-old downloading DBAN & Ubuntu off the Net.. He's almost "dancing in his chair" in delicious expectation.. Video sped up, popup reads "downloads complete".. Next clip he's making a CD of DBAN, and a DVD of Ubuntu... Sped-up, popup reads "DVD burn complete".. Video shows him booting up Windows, opening the CD tray, dropping in the DBAN cd, (a huge red warning reads: "DBAN will instantly erase all connected flash-drives and external hard drives.. Please remove all flash drives and external hard drives from the computer before you continue..").. He's checking, and double-checking that all USB removable media is removed from the computer, boots up, hits f12, chooses boot CD, CD loads, at prompt he keys in "autonuke", enter.. Video shows DBAN starting "pass 1 of 3".. Sped up, video of him reading DBAN's message that the formatted hard drive is ok, presses and holds start button, reboots, removes DBAN CD, inserts Ubuntu DVD, closes CD tray, holds down start button, reboots, Ubuntu DVD starts loading.. You know the rest.. Show the rest... Next video in the series shows him running the updates, and tweaking preferred desktop colors and custom features, sampling all the available desktop managers... Next video shows him activating "synaptic", searching for, finding, and installing, "Focuswriter".. and how easy it is to configure, and add a pix to Focuswriter's options.. He makes his best friend's pix be the Focuswriter page background.. He keys in a message to his friend, "I already do so much love this Linux stuff.. and I haven't even begun doing things with it.. and it's all free, and it's all state of the art, and there feels like there's love in this operating system"... Suddenly there's a unprecedented global surge to switch from Windows to Linux.. You Linux people will probably need something solid to hang onto in the sudden "Linux Storm"... A Storm is coming.. My Storm, Your Storm, Our Storm.. Hang onto what you can.. Global Love is my storm... Maybe there should be a Linux OS labeled "Global Love"..? And another labeled "Passion"... One labeled "Perfume".. One labeled "Saffron" for the full-love ladies.. Maybe one should be labeled "MetArt"..? Ubuntu based, of course.. There could and should be a Linux distro for every facet of humanity.. Ubuntu based, of course.. People love to explore.. The other Linux bases will get their share too.. Maybe there could be a Linux Website called "Explore Linux", representing all Linux OS's, like how "DistroWatch" and "Linux Tree" does.. Maybe it should be done and owned by DistroWatch, given that it's what they have done and do so well, and so honestly.. Distrowatch and Ubuntu = Love for humanity and Love for humanity...

  2. #2
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    Re: What can be done to generate a lot of interest in Linux from Windows users..?

    Quite a few things, but I'm not convinced it's going to work. What the masses currently have works, and 'if it works, why should I change it? Stupid computers'.

    Personally, I'm quite happy with Linux being a tinkerer's operating system. It works quite nicely.

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    Re: What can be done to generate a lot of interest in Linux from Windows users..?

    Join a group of people who try, for example look at these links

    Say Goodbye to Windows XP - StartUbuntu Project
    Looking for members of a game changing Linux distro

    or work in your neighbourhood helping people to use linux instead of Windows (or Mac). I think it is particularly easy to suggest linux instead of buying a new computer, when Windows is borked or just too slow. You can also stay here at the Ubuntu Forums and help beginners solve their problems

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    Re: What can be done to generate a lot of interest in Linux from Windows users..?

    Step 1: Make Linux so good that it's twice as good as the competition.
    Step 2: Market Linux's advantages like crazy
    Step 3: Have preinstalled Linux as an option on computers at retail
    Step 4: Keep making Linux better
    Step 5: Keep marketing Linux

    Right now Linux is a good platform, and it's better than Windows and Mac OS, but not so significantly that you could really market it to the average non-OS-installing public. In a world where Windows is used despite it being only just usable, we can't get people to take the trouble to switch to something that's only a little better. Linux has its own problems and needs to sort them out before we can convince the other 95% of computer users to take the leap.
    I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.

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    Re: What can be done to generate a lot of interest in Linux from Windows users..?

    Moved to recurrring discussions. This type of post has been done again and again over the years.
    Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence. Abigail Adams ( 1744 - 1818 ), 1780;

    My blog Poetry and More Free Ubuntu Magazine

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    Re: What can be done to generate a lot of interest in Linux from Windows users..?

    We Linux users consistently overestimate the angst and unhappiness of Windows users. We also overestimate the problems people have with Windows. Problems usually arrive when something is changed. Businesses and institutional users typically lock down their Windows deployments. Home and casual users often effectively do the same thing because most people do not compulsively download and play with new software.

    That leaves malware as the factor most likely to introduce change to a working and stable Windows configuration. Anti-malware software, though, is effective and widely available.

    The highest entry barrier to Linux is the fact that you need to install it. That scares people, especially people who don't have a clue about what an OS is. If installation involves more that clicking on a link, they won't be installing anything.

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    Re: What can be done to generate a lot of interest in Linux from Windows users..?

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot View Post
    We Linux users consistently overestimate the angst and unhappiness of Windows users. We also overestimate the problems people have with Windows. Problems usually arrive when something is changed. Businesses and institutional users typically lock down their Windows deployments. Home and casual users often effectively do the same thing because most people do not compulsively download and play with new software.

    That leaves malware as the factor most likely to introduce change to a working and stable Windows configuration. Anti-malware software, though, is effective and widely available.

    The highest entry barrier to Linux is the fact that you need to install it. That scares people, especially people who don't have a clue about what an OS is. If installation involves more that clicking on a link, they won't be installing anything.
    Could not agree more.
    Linux users tend to be "power users" in general. The average consumer/computer user however is not. For the vast majority of people out there, windows is just fine

    Linux - and speaking specificly about ubuntu - has a LONG way to go before it can appease the masses. The fact that terminal needs to be used so often is one huge roadblock right off the bat. Most people simply do not care enough to learn what is to them complex computer jargon to do simple tasks like installing a program.
    User experience in my opinion needs a lot of work in general. The fact i'm prompted for a password regularly is annoying as all get out. Now think about the absolutely crap storm that was created when MS introduced UAC - and that was a simple yes/no diaglog box. Those people who raised a fit aren't suddenly going to change their mindset just because they're on linux.

    Something that I've realized over the years. While some people complain about companies like MS making decisions on behalf of the users and "dumbing down" and forcing them into certain ways of doing things - there's a reason for it. Technology is supposed to make life easier. Make you more productive, more effecient, make it so you can do your task and move on quickly. Sometimes that means defining a very clear and precise process to doing things. Users want to post their picture to facebook, send their emails, and go about their day. That means a lot of the behind the scenes stuff, the tinkering, the configuration, etc - needs to be handled by somebody/something else - and that's where that "making decisions for the user" part comes in. Most people are perfectly fine with this, and frankly so am I. If you want to dig in and bang around with the nuts and bolts of a system, by all means go for it. I personally have better things to do with my time.

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    Re: What can be done to generate a lot of interest in Linux from Windows users..?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinixstar View Post
    Linux users tend to be "power users" in general.
    I don't know how to define that term. I suspect most people in any desktop OS simply use it to launch and use applications. You don't need to be a power user -- however defined -- to use a desktop Linux like Ubuntu or Mint. If someone wants to use a distribution like Arch or Debian, then they are primarily attracted to the *process* involved with using and maintaining that particular system, not simply launching and using applications. Some users become very interested in the Unix underpinnings of Linux and choose to spend much time inside that fascinating and very capable non-GUI world. Neither of those last two sentences mean Linux is an OS only for "power users".

    Linux - and speaking specificly about ubuntu - has a LONG way to go before it can appease the masses. The fact that terminal needs to be used so often is one huge roadblock...
    It's more about visibility, awareness and marketing than appeasing, particularly since the latter term has a degrogatory air about it. It's simply not true that constant use of the shell is required. One can install, remove, configure and use software entirely with GUI's. Someone can choose to use the shell in lieu of a GUI, just as they can In Windows. Sometimes, too, using the shell can make it easier to fix specific problems. That's because GUI tools are often wrappers around command line tools that add no new functionality but simply remove the requirement to remember of look up command line options. Since there is an effective limit to the number of options a graphical tool can display, invariably sometimes we need capabilities that are not exposed in the GUI wrappers. The same thing happens in Windows ot OS X.

    The fact i'm prompted for a password regularly is annoying as all get out. Now think about the absolutely crap storm that was created when MS introduced UAC - and that was a simple yes/no diaglog box. Those people who raised a fit aren't suddenly going to change their mindset just because they're on linux.
    Like it or not, the use of passwords is a fundamental part of security in Linux, Windows and OS X. Linux prompts for authorization when a user attempts to alter or use a part of the filesystem he lack rights and permissions to alter. Linux, and Unix, are multi-user systems, meaning multiple users can simultaneously log into and use a single machine running a single instance of the OS. That's why we have /home directories, and why Unix/Linux has a system of rights and permissions that keep people from interfering with directories and files that belong to someone else.c

    Even though few desktop Linux machines are deliberately used as multi-users systems, everyone who rents a VPS or stands up a site on a shared server someplace is, in actuality, just another person logging in to a Linux machine. They have their own home folder and a limited amount of memory and storage at their disposal.

    In addition, every Linux box has a considerable number of users that most folks are never aware of: Background processes, services, etc., often run as such to limit the damage caused by an errant executable. (Do a 'cat /etc/passwd' and see how many users are in there besides you.)

    Eliminating that system of rights and permissions in an effort to eliminate authorization requests would require writing a different OS, as well as inventing an alternative approach to security. (If someone is not required to authenticate, how does the OS know the command should be executed?)

    [/QUOTE]

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    Re: What can be done to generate a lot of interest in Linux from Windows users..?

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot View Post
    I don't know how to define that term. I suspect most people in any desktop OS simply use it to launch and use applications. You don't need to be a power user -- however defined -- to use a desktop Linux like Ubuntu or Mint. If someone wants to use a distribution like Arch or Debian, then they are primarily attracted to the *process* involved with using and maintaining that particular system, not simply launching and using applications. Some users become very interested in the Unix underpinnings of Linux and choose to spend much time inside that fascinating and very capable non-GUI world. Neither of those last two sentences mean Linux is an OS only for "power users".
    What I meant by the power users thing - is that linux users tend to be the type that WANT to tinker. We're more willing to get frustrated with systems like windows and are drawn to the roll-your-own nature of linux. As a result, we see things from a perspective that most average users do not. Problems that we see with systems like windows are things that a lot of people never even consider, let alone complain about.

    It's more about visibility, awareness and marketing than appeasing, particularly since the latter term has a degrogatory air about it. It's simply not true that constant use of the shell is required. One can install, remove, configure and use software entirely with GUI's. Someone can choose to use the shell in lieu of a GUI, just as they can In Windows. Sometimes, too, using the shell can make it easier to fix specific problems. That's because GUI tools are often wrappers around command line tools that add no new functionality but simply remove the requirement to remember of look up command line options. Since there is an effective limit to the number of options a graphical tool can display, invariably sometimes we need capabilities that are not exposed in the GUI wrappers. The same thing happens in Windows ot OS X.
    True, but I haven't needed to open a cmd prompt on windows in quite some time - except for highly specific development purposes. You said it yourself "sometimes we need capabilities that are not exposed in the GUI Wrappers". There is nothing I can do on the command line in windows that I can't do in the interface (that I can think of). Forcing a refresh of GPO in a domain is about the only thing I can think of, and that's an extremely rare occassion (i think i've done it twice in the last 5-6 years?), and only forced the gpo update out of impatience (if i would have waited 5 minutes it would have done it on it's own).
    The point is, in linux sometimes it's simply faster/easier to use the command line. That to me says there's a big problem with the flow of the interface, speaking from the average end user point of view.

    Like it or not, the use of passwords is a fundamental part of security in Linux, Windows and OS X. Linux prompts for authorization when a user attempts to alter or use a part of the filesystem he lack rights and permissions to alter. Linux, and Unix, are multi-user systems, meaning multiple users can simultaneously log into and use a single machine running a single instance of the OS. That's why we have /home directories, and why Unix/Linux has a system of rights and permissions that keep people from interfering with directories and files that belong to someone else.c
    Umm, you are familiar with the /users/ directories in windows - correct?

    Even though few desktop Linux machines are deliberately used as multi-users systems, everyone who rents a VPS or stands up a site on a shared server someplace is, in actuality, just another person logging in to a Linux machine. They have their own home folder and a limited amount of memory and storage at their disposal.

    In addition, every Linux box has a considerable number of users that most folks are never aware of: Background processes, services, etc., often run as such to limit the damage caused by an errant executable. (Do a 'cat /etc/passwd' and see how many users are in there besides you.)

    Eliminating that system of rights and permissions in an effort to eliminate authorization requests would require writing a different OS, as well as inventing an alternative approach to security. (If someone is not required to authenticate, how does the OS know the command should be executed?)
    You do realize that windows has an insane number of background users as well, correct? If you set up IIS, you can even use virtual identities (IIS APPPOOL/*sitename*) for locking down resources, so you don't have to explicitly create users for every app pool. Nevermind all the fun remote desktop stuff and remoting capabilities, system accounts like NT Authority, etc. It's not about the system, it's about the user experience and the process that's implimented. I personally kind of like the system OSX has for this stuff, where you can "lock" certain administrative tasks as requiring a password. You can leave certain things unlocked to change at will, and lock other screens so you need a PW to change anything.
    As far as "if someone is not required to authenticate, how does the OS know the command should be executed?" Because the user requested the command to be executed. That should be enough. For all the talk of how "open" linux is - that should be a pretty simple concept. If i issue a command to the system, I want that command to run. I don't need the system to ask me "are you sureeeeee?" Isn't this what people accuse microsoft of doing?
    I really don't see a reason why users can't disable, or at least severely tone down these requirements. We can't even discuss these options here because 'ZOMG SECURITY!'. Sorry, that's BS. Again - micosoft handles this by severely locking down sever installs. Even if i'm logged in as an admin or a domain admin - I have to execute a lot of things with elevated permissions in server installs, and it's similar to how things operate on Ubuntu. I have zero problems with that in my server environments. In a personal/desktop environment - it's overkill. There are ways to achieve the same effect with a more pleasant user experience. UAC is an example of this. (which on a side note, look at how many people absolutely rail MS over UAC, but praise allah for the security of password prompts. It's the same damn thing) If you need to confirm something should really happen, then confirm it. I shouldn't have to enter my password a dozen times in a single session though. Certainly I should at least have the option to configure it, and at the very least I should have access to account types/groups that would allow me to be in an "elevated" security group with a higher level of trust to avoid some of that. That makes sense.

    The result of this - is if you look at some of the "work arounds" people have come up with - it's things like logging in as root if you know you have to do a bunch of system changes. Things like "i know my system is locked down through configuration and firewalls and whatnot, i'm not worrying about somebody hacking me - so I just use a really really simple password". Really? That's security? That alone should be the first clue that something about this system is less than ideal - when it's causing people to take steps that ultimately put the whole system in greater danger. I mean, what's worse? Always logging in as root - or easing up on some of the password entry for day to day usage?

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    Re: What can be done to generate a lot of interest in Linux from Windows users..?

    Except for a a few days several weeks ago when I tried to use Windows on a new laptop and gave up because the font rendering was so miserable, I haven't used Windows since 2002. How Windows is structured is not particularly relevant to a discussion of security on Linux/Unix.

    It isn't the presence of authorization requests that drive people to running as root in either OS. It's laziness and unfamiliarity with (or disregard of) the risks. If someone wants to give themselves more or less permanent ability to alter or remove files that will break their system, they can go for it. Just don't come whining when they screw up.

    And, finally, as I said, if you say get rid of authorization requests because users are annoyed, then you need to devise an acceptable alternative. Without the system of access rights and permissions, Linux/Unix is as wide open as DOS. Anyone with access -- either direct physical access or over the net -- can do anything they want with your system.

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