View Full Version : The Problem with Linux

April 27th, 2012, 11:15 PM
First let me start off by qualifying this post by saying that this is not a "bash the penguin" topic. This is more of a frustration brought on by many issues that I personally see wrong with Linux as a whole.

I have used SuSE, Redhat, and now Ubuntu - and I have say over all I enjoy Ubuntu the most.

So, what's MY problem with Linux and why do I need to vent? Why won't Linux ever become a mainstream household OS - when it certianly has the potential?


First, I wanted to talk about the average user... those who use their systems for web browsing, Office type application, movies and music, and we'll toss gaming in there for hell of it. Despite the more snobbish opinions of many Linux users (not necessarily YOU the particular reader of this post) the average user, computer user that is, is not too lazy or too dim to learn a new OS. I wager that most people welcome the idea of learning something new - of mastering something - the sense of accomplishment is a rewarding feeling.

The fact is, people are busy. They want "things" to work. Not have to spend hours or days trying to figure out HOW to make something work. Linux is not user friendly in that regard. Ubuntu comes close, but compared to those other proprietary OS's... it still misses the mark. Let me clarify this point a bit. I am not suggesting that people are too busy to learn how to use a new type of media player. What I am suggesting is that they don't have the time to figure out how to install it, configure it, deal with all the conflicts, and fix it when it "breaks." And, yes that happens to the newer users and even the novice users more than you think.

Secondly, to this point - people want quality products. They want products that work and that are powerful. Open Office is ok if all you need is a text editor to write papers... but if you're like most other people (especially professional types that use a lot of Excel, PowerPoint, etc) Open Office doesn't come close to stacking up to MS Office. Of course it is hard to complain about something that is free - especially when the product was created by people who are not profiting from their hard work. But, the fact remains.... free doesn't mean "better." And, most people would rather pay for something top of the line than suffer the mediocrity of something that is free.

Thridly, to this point is the "assistance" or I should say lack there of for new users. I can't count the number of posts even on this board of what are obviously newer users who plead for help on this or that only to be ignored. Just scroll through the endless sea of questions that have 100+ views, but a single reply. This from a "community" that will spend post after post bragging about how they just compiled their kernal to take over the universe, but won't take five minutes to help a new comer get their mouse working. The same people who b***h about how Linux should be a house hold name, but do nothing to help the population of Linux users GROW.

What do you think these new users are thinking? They hear the hype, they get curious, they download and install a distro... then when they can't get things to work they want they want - the resort to 4 hours of Googling to find no answer, then come to the so-called "community" and have their questions ignored. You got it! They reformat with Windows and never give Linux another thought.

Then on the other side of the coin - you have people who try to help, but don't think before helping.... what do I mean here? Let me give you an example to illustrate:

Person comes looking for help - "Hey I can't get my mouse working. Can someone help?" Now, of course if you take two seconds to read the question it is obvious that the person is not a SU_Penguin_Master_OF_The_Ubuntu. It is obvious that they are brand new.... so why in the hell do you answer questions speaking in Klingon?

"Help I can't get my mouse working"

"Ok, well if you do this to your kernal, and bla bla bla...." They are reading your reply and thinking "W in T F are they talking about? I just want my mouse to work." So, either the person answering isn't thinking about the knowledge level of the question asker, or they are trying to show off "how smart they are."

Finally, referring back to my first bullet in this point - users do not want to spend their valuable time trying to get something to work. The want to install it and use it. Not tweak, not read about how to get it work, they just want it work.


Windows blows the doors of Linux any day when it comes to reliability. Sorry, but it does. As I said in another post - nothing is more irritating than spending 3 hours trying to get a new component to work only to find that something else that was working before, is now no longer working. Sound works great! Install a new network adaptor - now sound doesn't work. Wtf... now I get to spend another 4 hours trying to figure out how to fix this mess. Most users wont put up with this for long. Why should they? They can go the dreaded Windows box, add the device, pop in the CD - have it installed in 5 minutes with no hitch. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out which OS they are going to stick with.

I as a user of both OS's have a choice. Say I get off work, come home, pour a drink, and decide to stay in for the night and play some Everuest... Ok... so here are my options.

A. Pour the drink, log into the Windows partition, log into the game - and play away.

B. Pour the drink, log into Ubuntu, TRY to log into the game (opps! this doesn't work now, or that doesn't work now), spend four hours and two bottles of Vodka trying to figure out wtf is wrong - when this s**t was just working fine "yesterday" before giving up and logging into Windows anyway.

You can try to sell me all you want about how you're install has been perfect for the past 10 years. And, I'd bet you're the kind of person who can compile their kernal in their sleep - you are not a new or novice user. So, while to YOU this might seem like nothing... to people who are trying to love Linux - it is a nightmare.

Read the questions on this board - filled with THOUSANDS of "help, this worked before and now it doesn't...." threads.... they should be easy to find.... just look for those posts with a million views and zero replies.

Linux is buggy and unreliable, period. It has a long way to go.


Can't install this, can't install that, doesn't work with this, doesn't work with that.... foreget iTunes (for example)... oh, but there is a really crappy alternative that won't work half the time and you need a PhD in computer science to get it working from the start, in the first place.

Sure, if ALL you want to do is browse he web and check email... of course... you can install Linux "out of the box" and it'll work fine. But, try to power use your computer and you might as well clear your calendar for the next could weeks because all you're going to be doing is reseraching, begging for help, trying this or trying that - to get what you need or want or both actually working. And, then.... after you've done it..... it'll "break" for no good reason.

My God you can't even watch a Youtube video (if you have an Nvidia card) without having to tweak this or tweak that.

It is not user friendly.

Hardware Issues

I can't lay too much blame here. After all when you have MS strong arming hardware manufactures with threats to withhold their closed source code if they develop drivers for their products for linux.... sure I can't blame Linux for that. BUT - the fact remains... it is an utter PITA to get a lot of components working. Again, more time spent, or I should say wasted, to get something working.

So, there you have it. The reasons why Linux will never be mainstream - when it COULD and still remain free.

Not user friendly, unreliable, incompatable, buggy, no real support

BUT it is still a lot of fun to play around with, to toy with, and to try and make do "cool things" but take it as anything more than a hobbiest OS? Not at this time, no.

So you might be the type who enjoys spending 4 hours trying to get your network card working.... great, more power to you. But, for the rest of us - I'll have it up and going in 5 minutes with XP and spend the remaining 3 hours and 55 minutes out living life.

So, flame away, rant away, accuse me of this, call me that... I don't care. I never said Linux was "horrible" or that it "sucked" or that I "hated" it. I merely stated why it will never be anything more than a toy for the hobbiest.

Want proof???


April 28th, 2012, 12:05 AM
So, flame away, rant away, accuse me of this, call me that... I don't care. I never said Linux was "horrible" or that it "sucked" or that I "hated" it. I merely stated why it will never be anything more than a toy for the hobbiest.

If your only reason for this post is to inform about your opinion it has been noted. If it was to elicit a negative response from other users (see the quote above) this thread remains closed as that is called trolling.