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View Full Version : Little Linux things you miss when you use another OS



monsterstack
June 22nd, 2009, 05:50 AM
I really like the 100 papercuts idea, a pretty good idea for the future I reckons. Anyhow, I've had to use a Windows machine a little, lately, and there are a couple of little things I found myself missing.


You can't scroll an application unless it has the focus, which isn't so great for IM and browsing the web at the same time.
You can't set specific windows to remain on top of everything else.
No middle-click paste functionality for the mouse.
Print-screen just dumps to the clipboard, no option to save it as anything.


Not the big stuff, package management, no virus software etc. Everybody already knows about that stuff. What are the little things you miss when you use another OS?

OutOfReach
June 22nd, 2009, 05:53 AM
-Nevermind-

Generic_Guy
June 22nd, 2009, 05:56 AM
That bar that's on the bootup/shutdown. It comforts me that the OS isn't just eating chips while I think it's booting.
Also, wobbly windows. I like eye candy dangit!
Edit: Plus, holding Alt to move windows. It's become so useful for when I use windows with no border (ircII, MAngband, DoomRL), it feels weird when it isn't there. D:

quazi
June 22nd, 2009, 05:58 AM
I wouldn't really say these are Linux things, but more dependent on the WM/DE you're running.

Anyway, I love being able to hold alt to move windows. I find myself trying to do that all the time on Windows machines.

Arup
June 22nd, 2009, 05:59 AM
So many to list but the one comes to mind is gkrellm, in one compact unobtrusive Windows it gives tons of info, no equivalent in Win world.

monsterstack
June 22nd, 2009, 06:00 AM
Ah yeah, the eyecandy. I do find myself randomly grabbing title bars of apps and wobbling them around whilst they're loading, mind you. Virtual desktops is another thing, I guess, but probably another thing everybody already knows about (and there is stuff you can get for Windows that does that).

Edit: and add another one for alt-button1 to move windows around. I keep doing that.

frup
June 22nd, 2009, 06:06 AM
I tried to help a flatmate with his Vista laptop a couple of weeks ago. It was the first time I had ever used Vista and it was very frustrating.

He had just bought the laptop and had successfully connected it to our wireless connection. He then took it to his parents house and plugged it through ethernet. On returning it would not detect wireless networks. We tried for 3 hours to fix the problem.

What I missed were the great command line tools Linux has for these kind of situations, Windows GUI just seemed to go round in circles, offering no information and not solving the problem. After 3 hours we had to recover to factory settings and reinstall everything. This kind of problem should never result in something so drastic. I haven't really used windows for 4-5 years so I found it very difficult and maybe if I was experienced in it I would have solved the problem more easily.

Workspaces, middle click and just general look and feel are things I am very used to on Linux. I also miss the ability to use programs like synaptic, when we were reinstalling etc... I found it so unnatural having to go through each install.exe individually, search through the Internet for apps etc. etc. It takes so long. I never realised how much easier I find Ubuntu, especially when dealing with UAC and Anti-virus.

I live in a very Desktop Linux centric world though, over the last 4-5 years, close to everyone I know has been switching to Ubuntu or Mac. That's what happens when my brother and I fix everyone's computers :P

monsterstack
June 22nd, 2009, 06:11 AM
I tried to help a flatmate with his Vista laptop a couple of weeks ago. It was the first time I had ever used Vista and it was very frustrating.

He had just bought the laptop and had successfully connected it to our wireless connection. He then took it to his parents house and plugged it through ethernet. On returning it would not detect wireless networks. We tried for 3 hours to fix the problem.

What I missed were the great command line tools Linux has for these kind of situations, Windows GUI just seemed to go round in circles, offering no information and not solving the problem. After 3 hours we had to recover to factory settings and reinstall everything. This kind of problem should never result in something so drastic. I haven't really used windows for 4-5 years so I found it very difficult and maybe if I was experienced in it I would have solved the problem more easily.

Workspaces, middle click and just general look and feel are things I am very used to on Linux. I also miss the ability to use programs like synaptic, when we were reinstalling etc... I found it so unnatural having to go through each install.exe individually, search through the Internet for apps etc. etc. It takes so long. I never realised how much easier I find Ubuntu, especially when dealing with UAC and Anti-virus.

I live in a very Desktop Linux centric world though, over the last 4-5 years, close to everyone I know has been switching to Ubuntu or Mac. That's what happens when my brother and I fix everyone's computers :P

Yeah, the commandline has helped me out a tonne in a tight spot, too. I suppose now Windows has the Powershell a few of the tools you see on Linux will start appearing there.

stwschool
June 22nd, 2009, 06:18 AM
When I'm on Windows I miss my expo :( I've got it set so I have to just mouse to the bottom-left corner and it comes up, all pretty and sexy. In Windows I do find myself somewhat cursing having to press Alt-Tab to switch between apps.

venator260
June 22nd, 2009, 06:19 AM
Simple things buried in menus that take too long to work, like a calculator program. On the (slower) machines that I have used XP on, both the "Start" and "Programs" menu take a second or two to display.

Also the ability to (easily?) assign keyboard shortcuts to open programs.

konqueror7
June 22nd, 2009, 06:19 AM
user-switch-applet, because also use pidgin on vista, so i miss the integration of 2functionalities into 1app...

frup
June 22nd, 2009, 06:22 AM
Yeah, the commandline has helped me out a tonne in a tight spot, too. I suppose now Windows has the Powershell a few of the tools you see on Linux will start appearing there.

That would seriously be a good thing.

One of my flatmates, despite being a gamer now only uses Ubuntu... One of the reasons is he used my computer for 6 months while we were at college together. He'd see me using it, saw how stable it was and saw me going crazy on the command line. He thought it was pretty cool and used to enjoy using DOS in the 90's (we were kids). His 5 year old XP installation was also giving him grief. His computer is running a lot better. He relies on wine a bit and complains quite a bit, especially about games but on the whole tolerates Ubuntu as he is getting a better experience than he was one window. It's very interesting watching how a gamer uses a computer differently (I'm useless at games).

ad_267
June 22nd, 2009, 06:24 AM
I'm always trying to use Alt+Middle mouse button to resize windows in Windows.

CharmyBee
June 22nd, 2009, 06:30 AM
Restarting X in a swooping motion of the keyboard.

rkirk
June 22nd, 2009, 06:38 AM
The commandline has to be the number one thing I always miss whenever I'm on someone else's (non-Linux) computer. I edit my text, listen to music, start applications, and manage my files from xterm and doing it with a GUI (especially if it's a slow and unnecessarily complex one like Vista's (or even XP)) just isn't the same.

Other than that, I definitely can't live without middle-click pasting, either. In fact, I often forget that you cant do that in Windows, and I'll sometimes highlight text with my mouse, middle-click, and look dumbfounded when nothing at all happens.

sim-value
June 22nd, 2009, 06:44 AM
gCalc ... the windows Calculator is so Useless ...

On a more linux specific side Sysrq ...

DeadSuperHero
June 22nd, 2009, 06:46 AM
KDE and Gnome. While both are packaged for Mac OS and Windows at this point considerably, I really love my FOSS desktop environments. They're ever so comforting to use.

Odemia
June 22nd, 2009, 07:04 AM
+1 for the following:


middle-click
alt left-click
alt right-click
alt middle-click
command line + community = learning

What I am trying to get at in the last one is how using the command line and in the process gaining control over and learning the detailed inner workings of the OS from boot loader to desktop environment. It gives a perspective of operating systems that I never had, even on OSX. If I am not busy I actually like it when things break in linux, it means I am going to learn something new.

Ravernomina
June 22nd, 2009, 07:14 AM
multi-desktops

Made research so much easier!!!

MikeTheC
June 22nd, 2009, 07:16 AM
I can't speak for anyone else, but for me the only thing I miss when I'm not using Linux is the F/OSS ethic and body politic.

Well, actually I also miss some of the keyboard navigation behaviors.

I'm trying to think what else I miss; if I can think of anything else, I'll come back here and post some more.

konqueror7
June 22nd, 2009, 07:43 AM
multi-desktops

Made research so much easier!!!

forgot about that one,,,:D

Barrucadu
June 22nd, 2009, 07:52 AM
Multiple desktops, tiling window managers, middle click to paste, ability to restart X, ability to easily check if all my software is up to date…

The list is too long :p

mr.propre
June 22nd, 2009, 08:23 AM
Language, I have an English Vista installation but was forced to use a Dutch key. And for some odd reason programs don't look at the language of the system, but at the language of the key. In most cases I can change the language tot Dutch. But I have a few that don't allow you to change. One of them, a Microsoft program, Windows Games Live where the half is in English and the other half in Dutch.

Also, multiple desktops and always-on-top function.

-grubby
June 22nd, 2009, 08:35 AM
A command line that doesn't suck (On Windows).

mister_p_1998
June 22nd, 2009, 09:05 AM
Change file view to details (ctrl+2) really miss that one on windows!

Steve

Giant Speck
June 22nd, 2009, 09:14 AM
Things I miss:

1.) Alt + F2 to bring up the run dialog
2.) Scrolling in unfocused windows

What I do about it:

1.) Install Launchy and set the hotkey to Alt + F2
2.) Install WizMouse.

sunexplodes
June 22nd, 2009, 09:16 AM
Been using XP for a while now, because I don't have the time to make Linux work with my wireless card. I'll get around to it when work settles down again, but here's my list:

-Windows don't snap to desktop borders.
-I can only use my mouse's scroll wheel in the active window, instead of whatever window my cursor is over.
-No window manager options, such as "Always on Top" or "Undecorate".

Meanwhile.. I really like:

-Foobar2000.
-The DIVX web player.
-Being able to game with little hassle.
-Firefox is actually fast.
-Google Chrome is excellent.

But nearly everything else drives me crazy.

Nythain
June 22nd, 2009, 09:19 AM
Things I miss:

1.) Alt + F2 to bring up the run dialog
2.) Scrolling in unfocused windows

What I do about it:

1.) Install Launchy and set the hotkey to Alt + F2
2.) Install WizMouse.
+1 to alt+f2
its very unified in linux... almost every distro, almost every de/wm, they all have a launcher bound to alt+f2, and i find myself lost looking for a run dialog in anything else

asdfhjkla
June 22nd, 2009, 10:19 AM
I use the openbox window manager so I always find myself right clicking on the desktop to try bring up my applications menu. Also miss multiple desktops!

Bölvağur
June 22nd, 2009, 11:40 AM
Having more than 1 audio device after booting.
In linux I can watch films and listen to them in my 5.1 system, and at same time have audio conference with the usb and speak through a mic connected to the onboard sound card.
(Input: onboard mic port → teamspeak2
Output: usb → teamspeak2
Output: onboard → mplayer)

In xp if I have the usb headphone connected I do not get the onboard connected at all, and via versa.
(output: usb → quake live!
output: usb → teamspeak2)
OR
(Input: onboard mic port → teamspeak2) *this doesnt seem to work*

Delever
June 22nd, 2009, 11:48 AM
+1 to alt+f2
its very unified in linux... almost every distro, almost every de/wm, they all have a launcher bound to alt+f2, and i find myself lost looking for a run dialog in anything else

Win + R :)

quazi
June 24th, 2009, 06:50 AM
I'd guess at least half of these things could be resolved by switching to litestep as a windows manager (in Windows).

cariboo
June 24th, 2009, 07:12 AM
The thing I miss most is multiple desktops, I know there is a solution for that, but I service computers for a living, and I'm not going to add it to every computer I sit down at that is running Windows.

SunnyRabbiera
June 24th, 2009, 07:50 AM
Lets see, I miss:

Categorized menu's:
I feel the linux menu system is far superior to that on windows, the windows programs menu is like a friggin maze with no starting point.

Multiple workspaces: cluttered taskbars, ugh the bad ol days.

Customization: nuff said here

Package managers: again nuff said

Plugging in a device and have it work without extra configuring:
Yes you can say this is an issue that Ubuntu and linux has in general, but anymore this seems to be more of a windows issue with how rubust linux has come in hardware detection in recent years.

Having the OS secure every time I turn it on:
I have not had a major linux update in about a month now, in windows its every friggin second I get an update.

And finally:
Feeling the OS is mine and no one elses:
Linux owns all in this area.

geekygirl
June 24th, 2009, 02:21 PM
hmm when on Windows I miss Gnome and its complete customization options as a desktop environment (Luna and Aero just plain suck IMO) :P

I also miss


sudo apt-get install

on any other OS. I love installing apps with apt via the cli :D

I also miss total customization of the OS as a whole...there is always one or two things that can be changed in Ubuntu in the base OS that you cannot change in a proprietry OS (Windows and OSX)

Jesus_Valdez
June 24th, 2009, 03:15 PM
I miss select text for coping and middle click to paste it.

I found myself doing it very often on windows.

capnthommo
June 24th, 2009, 08:29 PM
I don't know if anybody has suggested this and I'm too shattered to check, but 'little Linux things I miss when I use another os'?
basically, Linux really!
cheers
nigel

fraser_m
June 24th, 2009, 09:18 PM
There's the things that others have mentioned, such as Alt-drag, and multiple desktops, but the one thing that REALLY bugs me in Windows is the fact that it has to reinstall mouse drivers EVERY SINGLE TIME I reconnect my Bluetooth mouse. And the damn thing is made by Microsoft.

fitzydog
June 24th, 2009, 10:33 PM
Force quit. Hate having to do ctrl+alt+del -> end task, then wait a couple of minutes.:mad:

arcdrag
June 24th, 2009, 11:47 PM
I really like the 100 papercuts idea, a pretty good idea for the future I reckons. Anyhow, I've had to use a Windows machine a little, lately, and there are a couple of little things I found myself missing.


You can't scroll an application unless it has the focus, which isn't so great for IM and browsing the web at the same time.
You can't set specific windows to remain on top of everything else.
No middle-click paste functionality for the mouse.
Print-screen just dumps to the clipboard, no option to save it as anything.


Not the big stuff, package management, no virus software etc. Everybody already knows about that stuff. What are the little things you miss when you use another OS?


The biggest thing I miss is not being told to restart the computer every time I install anything. After installing Windows XP this last time I counted 17 restarts that I had to do by the time I got everything installed (including all drivers, office 2007, VS2007).

Jestersage
June 25th, 2009, 12:37 AM
As a guy who would prefer GUI, the one thing I miss is... CLI. Yeah, that's right. At least with CLI, if I keep my mind sharp and recall where I do what, I can fix it, while anytime I use GUI it feels like trying to defuse a nuke with my hand tied.

dragos240
June 25th, 2009, 01:11 AM
Compiz, freedom, terminal, GNOME, the shape of the mouse, pacman & apt. To name a few.

DirtDawg
June 25th, 2009, 01:29 AM
The ability to adjust the volume by scrolling the mouse wheel.

dragos240
June 25th, 2009, 02:13 AM
The ability to adjust the volume by scrolling the mouse wheel.

Where can you get that?

starcannon
June 25th, 2009, 02:18 AM
Middle-Click copy/paste.

Anytime I'm in Windows, it takes me a full 10 minutes to finally quit trying and start using CTRL+C and then CTRL+V; even if I wanted to go back, that alone has become a deal killer for me lol. I love middle+click copy/paste.

SunnyRabbiera
June 25th, 2009, 02:44 AM
Where can you get that?

Its simple, move your mouse over the volume icon in linux and the volume goes up and down with the scroll wheel.

hanzomon4
June 25th, 2009, 03:26 AM
Its simple, move your mouse over the volume icon in linux and the volume goes up and down with the scroll wheel.

+1000000

Virtual terminals... I want them in OS X

DirtDawg
June 25th, 2009, 03:27 AM
Its simple, move your mouse over the volume icon in linux and the volume goes up and down with the scroll wheel.

It really is that simple. Elegant, even. To change volume in XP, I always end up digging through menus while cursing.

hanzomon4
June 25th, 2009, 03:56 AM
It really is that simple. Elegant, even. To change volume in XP, I always end up digging through menus while cursing.

Hahahaha

philcamlin
June 25th, 2009, 03:56 AM
when i use vista i miss everything :popcorn:

keplerspeed
June 25th, 2009, 04:02 AM
vim

(yes, it is cross platform... just not the same though... )

Dharmachakra
June 25th, 2009, 04:06 AM
It really is that simple. Elegant, even. To change volume in XP, I always end up digging through menus while cursing.

I just clicked on my volume icon and used the mouse wheel... pretty much the same thing as Gnome.

I miss the terminal the most. I do a huge amount of my day to day stuff via terminal.

monsterstack
June 25th, 2009, 04:12 AM
I just clicked on my volume icon and used the mouse wheel... pretty much the same thing as Gnome.

I miss the terminal the most. I do a huge amount of my day to day stuff via terminal.

It's that first click that annoys me. But the stuff about having to go through a menu is rather silly, yes.

elianthony
June 25th, 2009, 04:14 AM
Middle-Click paste
Scroll un-focused windows
Multiple Desktops
Multitasking quickness (you know, the lack of lag when I want to use a word processor and say.. the calculator, or open a menu for crying out loud)

magmon
June 25th, 2009, 04:33 AM
I miss the speed and look of ubuntu. I was pure ubuntu for a month or so, but had to switch back to windows for school... Now that its summer, Ill be switching back tho. See you all in like 20 minutes lol.

snakeman21
June 25th, 2009, 04:41 AM
Oh, my god, there are so many. But here the ones I miss the most when using a non-linux computer:

*Being able to download and install 30 programs at once
*Not having to click "OK" 83,456,198 times in one hour
*Hold ALT to drag windows
*Compiz!!! I am an eye candy addict! (What? I don't have four desktops on a cube?! This is ********! And why don't my windows wobble?)
*Network manager applet. It's seriously the best I've seen in any OS.

Anyways, I could go on all night, but I'll get off my high horse and shut up for now.

starcraft.man
June 25th, 2009, 04:45 AM
Biggest thing definitely has to be multiple virtual desktops. Windows feels downright primitive being trapped on the one screen. It almost borders on uncomfortable without them.

snakeman21
June 25th, 2009, 04:46 AM
Biggest thing definitely has to be multiple virtual desktops. Windows feels downright primitive being trapped on the one screen. It almost borders on uncomfortable without them.

Almost???

Tipped OuT
June 25th, 2009, 04:52 AM
Compiz Fusion.

|{urse
June 25th, 2009, 04:57 AM
May not be a *little* thing but id miss openbox, theres xoblite (blackbox clone for windows) but it isnt half as nice.

snakeman21
June 25th, 2009, 05:01 AM
Oh God! I can't believe I left out the best thing! The one thing that made me praise Linux more than anything else when I switched. If I'm running Windows, and something goes wrong (which it usually does) and I manually shut the machine off, Windows freaks out when I reboot. It gets pissed because I didn't shut it down properly and performs all sorts of useless scans that never do any good. If I shut down Linux manually, I can reboot and it starts up as if nothing ever happened. I like that.

SunnyRabbiera
June 25th, 2009, 05:16 AM
Oh God! I can't believe I left out the best thing! The one thing that made me praise Linux more than anything else when I switched. If I'm running Windows, and something goes wrong (which it usually does) and I manually shut the machine off, Windows freaks out when I reboot. It gets pissed because I didn't shut it down properly and performs all sorts of useless scans that never do any good. If I shut down Linux manually, I can reboot and it starts up as if nothing ever happened. I like that.

Indeed, hard restart is much better with linux

gregh7470
June 25th, 2009, 05:24 AM
I switch between windoze and ubuntu a lot due to work...the pager...windows does not have multiple desk tops. I wish I could have multiple desk tops and a pager when I worked the help desk...we had to open about 6 or 7 windows with various tools - multiple desk tops would have been great.

3rdalbum
June 25th, 2009, 05:40 AM
Scrolling unfocused windows using the scroll wheel... it seems to be the most annoying thing Windows doesn't do.

Having to go to a dozen websites to download software really annoys me. The only time I use Windows is when I'm troubleshooting the thing or installing it for someone else. I love in Linux how you go to the package manager, choose what you want, and bang it installs them all for you.

On Windows, when I've got a lot of windows open, I sometimes mouse down to the bottom-right corner before realising "Hey, Windows doesn't have virtual desktops...". Sometimes I move the scroll wheel over the desktop to find that there's no Compiz cube on Windows :-)

magmon
June 25th, 2009, 05:42 AM
Ah, another thing: A full install of linux takes up roughly 1 gb, whereas a full install of windows takes nearly 8 gb. 7 gigs is alot to save.