5 Lies Linux-Haters Like To Tell

Joel Lee 12-08-2014

Linux is the Voldemort of computers. You speak its name and everyone cowers in the corner, fearful of the pain and suffering it might bring. The thing is, Linux may have been a scary operating system before, but all of that has changed in recent years. These myths, which are more accurately called lies, are now dead.


Interested in learning Linux? Be sure to drop by these five websites for Linux newbies The Linux Advantage: 5 Websites You Should Head to for Learning Linux Whether you've been putting off Linux for years or you're just hearing about it, there are ample reasons to start today. Want to try now? These resources will get you started. Read More . Having trouble picking a flavor of Linux to use? Consider this list of best Linux distros in 2014 The Best Linux Operating Distros The best Linux distros are hard to find. Unless you read our list of the best Linux operating systems for gaming, Raspberry Pi, and more. Read More . Not sure if Linux is for you? Here are the key differences between Windows and Linux Linux vs. Windows: 8 Key Operating System Differences, Explained Not sure whether to choose Linux or Windows? Here's how both operating systems differ, and why switching isn't as hard as you think. Read More .

Lie #1: Linux Is Too Difficult


Out of all arguments against using Linux, this one is the most common. In past articles, we’ve even inadvertently implied that “Linux is too difficult to learn” without even realizing it. The veracity of the statement, however, depends entirely on the definition of “too difficult” because it could be true in some ways and false in others.

Is Linux difficult in an absolute sense? No, not really. In fact, if you really look at it from an objective standpoint, it’s arguably the most logical operating system out there. If you want to do something, you just need to learn the right commands and parameters.

When coming from a blank slate, the hardest part of Linux is learning the sheer depth of commands. Thankfully, the man command (i.e. “manual”) tells you everything you need to know about any command. That being said, Linux newbies should first get started with these 40 essential Linux commands An A-Z of Linux - 40 Essential Commands You Should Know Linux is the oft-ignored third wheel to Windows and Mac. Yes, over the past decade, the open source operating system has gained a lot of traction, but it’s still a far cry from being considered... Read More .


But the reality is that most Linux newbies aren’t coming from a blank slate; they’re coming from Windows or Mac. If a user comes to Linux expecting it to behave like another operating system, yes, it will be difficult and frustrating. However, if Linux is treated as it should be – a unique operating system with its own design and behaviors – then it won’t be so tough to grasp.

Lie #2: Linux Is Old And Ugly


Most first impressions of Linux aren’t too great, at least when it comes to aesthetics. Those who have never touched Linux probably imagine it to be nothing more than neon green text on a black background. Those who tried Linux many years ago probably remember the clunky graphics of older versions of Gnome and KDE.

Linux may have been ugly back in the day, but things are different now.


One thing to understand is that the Linux frontend (desktop, windows, animations) are decoupled from the Linux backend (the actual cogs of the operating system). There are multiple frontends, called desktop environments, and you can switch between them if you want. This may be a foreign concept for those who are used to Windows and Mac.

We recently covered the 10 best Linux desktop environments The 12 Best Linux Desktop Environments Choosing a Linux desktop environment can be difficult. Here are the best Linux desktop environments to consider. Read More and each one offers a unique set of benefits. Some optimize performance while others aim for maximum eye candy. Check out Unity, the default desktop environment for Ubuntu, for proof that not all Linux environments have to be sterile and outdated.

Lie #3: You Must Use the Command Line


Let’s go back to the idea of green text on a black background. The Linux stereotype is one of a basement hacker with thick glasses who types frantically on a command line, which is properly known as a terminal. As a result, most people are under the impression that Linux is 99% keyboard.


Not true at all.

The desktop environments mentioned in Lie #2 are just like the graphic environments of Windows and Mac. You can navigate files and folders with your mouse if you want. In fact, it’s entirely possible to use Linux without ever touching the terminal. Perhaps that was true at some point in history, but it hasn’t been like that for a long time.

However, there is a slight caveat. If you ever run into issues, they’ll be easier to solve if you have some knowledge of the command line. Indeed, if you want to unlock the full potential of Linux, you’ll want to learn the command line A Quick Guide To Get Started With The Linux Command Line You can do lots of amazing stuff with commands in Linux and it's really not difficult to learn. Read More and learn it well. For day-to-day use, you won’t need it; for anything deeper, you will.

Lie #4: You Must Build From Source



If you’ve ever downloaded a cross-platform program and looked under the Linux section, you’ve probably noticed that Linux downloads often come in source code while Windows and Mac typically come as binaries. One might conclude that Linux requires the user to build all programs from source, but that’s not necessarily true.

Most distributions come with something called a package manager. In Linux, a package is a collection of files and instructions which are interpreted by the package manager to show where and how those files should be unpacked. Long story short, packages can be used in a way similar to one-click installers.

Package managers have an additional benefit: they can tap into various online repositories full of different packages, which means that a manager can often be a one-stop-shop that provides quick installation of most available programs for your particular distribution of Linux.

Lesser known programs may not be available in these repositories, however, and in those rare cases you may need to build said programs from source. As long as you stick to well-known programs, this may never be an issue for you.

Lie #5: Linux Can’t Play Video Games


One reason why Windows continues to capture a huge share of the market is its de facto standard as “the operating system for gaming.” If you want to play the latest and greatest games, chances are you’ll need a Windows computer or you’ll be out of luck. But anyone who says that Linux can’t play video games at all is a liar.

Many people don’t realize that there are several high profile games that can be played natively on Linux. Some well-known titles include Amnesia, Civilization V, Dota 2, Half-Life series, World of Goo, but there are more. Combine that with the new Linux releases by GOG GOG Has Landed On Linux: Here Are 5 Of The Best Games You Can Get Right Now GOG has started to support Linux games, with 50 Linux-compatible titles available at launch. For a limited only, GOG's Linux Offerings are 75% off. But not sure what to buy? Read on. Read More and the recently released SteamOS What Is SteamOS? How to Start Gaming on Linux Gaming on Linux has always been hard... until SteamOS. What is SteamOS, what are its requirements, and can it replace Windows? Read More , which is a variant of Linux that aims to support every game on the Steam platform, and you’ll see that gaming on Linux has an interesting future.

There’s another option, too, and that’s Wine, which is “a free implementation of Windows” on Linux. You can think of it as an emulator that’ll let you run Windows games on Linux PC Gaming on Linux: 7 Common Questions and Concerns Answered What was true 10 years ago no longer holds: Linux has become a viable gaming platform. Here's everything you need to know about gaming on Linux. Read More . Not every game will work this way and the games that do run might experience a performance hit. However, it’s a very real option that many use on a regular basis.

At the very least, you could always check out our list of the best Linux games.

All Debunked: Got Any More Linux Lies?

There you have it: five of the most common Linux lies, debunked. What other Linux lies or myths have you heard recently? Share them with us in the comments below and help debunk them! It’s about time that these falsehoods come to an end.

Image Credits: Frustrating Computer Via Shutterstock, Linux Terminal Via Shutterstock, Source Code Via Shutterstock, Gamer Behind Computer Via Shutterstock

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  1. Harsh Jain
    November 12, 2019 at 11:41 am

    I think there is only one thing which is preventing people from widespread Linux adoption and that is the people of Linux still relying even 1% on terminal commands. Why the hell tell people that you will have to open the command terminal at all within next 50 years. Why does a doctor a lawyer or a postman or or any other person should open the terminal window at all. The Terminal window or any such command should never be mentioned in an article like this or any article which describes the ease of use of Linux. Never ever say the name terminal at all.

  2. CykipOnLinux
    October 13, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    I think Linux is more protective than Windows in so many way,
    yes Linux does use command to install something like so on,
    On the term of OS i think Windows is heavier than Linux which is a good OS for gaming,
    now, if you all think that on Linux you cannot play games,
    you all wrong.
    there is a software called WINE(Wine Is Not an Emulator)
    I can play League of legends,
    if you wondering like "if there is a problem how do we fix it?",
    well there is a lot of community for Linux Gaming on Reddit.
    Desktop environment:
    there is a lot of "Flavour" you can add to Linux such as
    Linux Mint if you really like Windows desktop environment
    and so on.
    Win 10 spy you on everything you do
    on linux no one gonna spy you pretty much.
    about myself,
    I'm a 14 years old currently,
    on 2017 I'm tired of being controlled on download, wallpaper, games and so on.
    so I search on google some good free OS. cause I don't really have money to buy os which is (RM699.00) for a Win10 Home .
    I found a Linux OS called Ubuntu and install it.
    true at first it was hard but I have a passion for gaming.
    so i really learn everything about my OS.
    i have some problem but Linux have kinda huge community to help you out.
    there is also a lot of dev that help you on forum and such.

  3. linux
    May 16, 2018 at 7:38 am

    >Lie #3: You Must Use the Command Line
    This isn't lie. A LOT of stuff that you can do on Windows with just a couple of clicks, requires going to terminal on Linux.

    • Harsh Jain
      November 12, 2019 at 11:43 am

      Everything on the Linux can be done with simple clicks we don't need to enter the command line at all.

  4. Linux Liker
    April 29, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    I like Linux, but...
    - Linux can't run Adobe CC
    - Linux can't run Office 365

    The alternatives, like Gimp and Open Office are not feasible in a business environment.

    • Harsh Jain
      November 12, 2019 at 11:44 am

      that is absolutely true ,
      furthermore it is a known fact that Microsoft office is is more user friendly and appealing to everybody.

  5. TelFiRE
    January 12, 2018 at 5:05 am

    Linux is definitely difficult to use compared to alternatives. Within 5 minutes of booting up a no-error install of Ubuntu on a recommended for linux laptop, I ran into a 404 page from the error reporter, multiple app crashes, and having to use terminal to fix an install that failed. So no. Those are not lies. Linux fanboys are the ones who like to lie, and pretend that Linux has no downsides.

    • Harsh Jain
      November 12, 2019 at 11:45 am

      That might have happened due to running into some unfortunate incidences otherwise Linux is pretty stable further more stable than any of the windows ever made please take my suggestion install manjaro or Linux mint.

  6. SingingCoyote13
    December 24, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    I must say no linux is not difficult in use or installation
    but when something goes wrong and you dont have the knowledge
    how to fix it, youre screwed and forced a reinstallation,
    But this also might be said of windows with all its virusses and malware threats everywhere;
    i installed linux mint 18 cinnamon past week on a old computer
    lenovo thinkcentre 2007 2Gb and 2 ghzx2 32 bits 128 mb gfx card
    It runs REAL FAST. And i must say it is no comparison with other osses.
    firefox has nearly no loading times. also counts for desktop operations.
    But i like the layout of the os linux mint and linux in common
    they have only a personal folder called home with write access
    and that s it, no virus or malware can ruin or slow down the pc.

  7. DaveJS
    April 15, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Unless there is support in the current version of the distro you are using it is hard and sometimes almost impossible to get new hardware to work in Linux.
    I recently bought a Canon MG5751 printer (WiFi); it took a couple of minutes to install on my Windows 7 setup; I still don't have it working in Ubuntu 16.04.
    Previously my Brother DCP-J4120DW (WiFi) again took minutes to get running in W7; hours and loads of Command line working.
    These are not odd-ball devices!
    OK, I know that the Linux community will blame the manufacturers for not releasing their "workings" freely. But until Linux has an easier way to add hardware I don't think, that despite its many good points, it will ever go really mainstream with the average user.
    I'm not a Linux hater and I'd love to move completely away from Windows but I just don't think that it is a good move at the moment for the above reasons.

    • Harsh Jain
      November 12, 2019 at 11:47 am

      Yes that might be true in some cases but I I suggest you to move on to Linux mint

  8. Korningaz
    April 12, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    A Fact instead of a lie: many games dont run well or at all on linux systems and steams support only helps when you use ubuntu 12.04. Sadly the games i like most are among those.

  9. Tom
    February 3, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    If nobody else has mentioned it previously: I'd propose another lie. That because Linux is open Source, you get sub-par software. This is nonsense. Linux has programs galore, and many run more smoothly than Thier Windows /Mac Counterparts.

    • Harsh Jain
      November 12, 2019 at 11:48 am

      that's absolutely correct but some of the software of Windows is far more superior than anything in open source consider for example Microsoft Office it is far more appealing easy stable and visually appealing to everyone.

  10. prabin parajuli
    January 20, 2017 at 7:38 am

    :D Well I'm not gonna choose between 2 : Dual boot rocks :)

    • Aeonian Adroit
      December 24, 2018 at 5:15 am

      That's what I'm saying too. Windows for gaming and Iinux (ubuntu) as my daily driver. :D

  11. Skippy
    November 19, 2016 at 1:51 am

    Linux is solid for the data center or specific areas like Cyber Security. As for the "lies" listed above...they are truths. First, Linux is a pain in the a#! to deal with and yes you have to tweak, tweak and tweak some more to get sorta close to working like a Windows or OSX machine. As for matter the skins (which are also a pain), Linux is clunky and looks about as good as Windows 3.0 or OS/2. Sorry, it is ugly. Not only that, the applications are crap. Yes you can run a VM and run Office or Solidworks, but why waste the time. Say what you want, Linux is a niche OS and does a good job there. It will never be a mainstream, desktop OS. Mac OS X is a close as it gets with its BSD underlining.

  12. Sergi
    May 31, 2016 at 11:07 am

    I say let Linux die. I'm studying IT relatedstuff and whenthat outdated command crap comes up I want to kill myself. Give me windows and icons and let me click on stuff, no one wants to write and memorize all that crap. And yea no one in their right mind would use Linux in a profesional environment.

    • Joel Lee
      June 2, 2016 at 1:48 am

      Thanks Sergi. Linux probably won't go mainstream any time soon but there are a lot of people who like and prefer it. It sucks to be forced into using it if you don't want to, but otherwise I say live and let live. :)

    • Sami Jaafar
      July 4, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      Linux may not be the most user-friendly operating system but to say no one uses it in a professional environment is ridiculous. You have excellent distributions for businesses such as Red Hat and SUSE. And due to its' performance, it's no wonder that tons of servers run Linux.

      • I&G
        February 9, 2017 at 8:02 am

        The Top 10 PC in the world run on Linux, also like you said: not just tons of servers run Linux, 95% of the world's biggest servers do. But don't try to tell that to a Linux-Hater like the title calls em. It probably won't be mainstream because people keep thinking like Skippy. I am a student in in 7th semester Computer Sciences and the best thing to ever happen to me the moment I started studying - I found out about Linux. It is sad that I didn't know about it before, just because its not mainstream. A Windows 10 nowadays almost enslaves you to have good hardware... otherwise it won't run smooth at all - and what do you need a "beautiful environment" for if you can't click 2 times without freezing.

        • bonzi
          July 3, 2018 at 1:51 pm

          Really, linux is only used in a business environment because it's free and some nerd had it already set up for them. if something goes wrong they just re-install the whole thing.

    • Didier Brems
      July 5, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      Oh, man is this just a troll or are you totally unaware of the basic components of the Internet, web servers and database servers ?

      Do you know that a vast majority of professional Web Servers are based on Unix and Linux ?
      That the majority of databases are based on Linux/Unix servers running mysql, nosql, Oracle... all running on Unix/Linux boxes.

      That except Windows, all great Operating Systems are based on a Unix flavor ? Android, Mac OS/X, IOS, Linux, Oracle Solaris, ...

      Even the router you are using to connect to Internet and your TV box/router are running Linux.

      So don't look at your pour desktop computer, think about all the computers behind it, feeding it with data, video, music, web pages because there are all running Unix or Linux and they are professional computers.

      So stick to your icons if you want, but believe me, the connected world is a Unix/Linux one.

    • mardian nugroho
      October 29, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      let's see, suppose You and I have to install 10 different application, you with your windows and icons, Me with the old rusty command line. While you struggle to click icons and buttons for the next few hours, I just have to write installation command (mostly I just too lazy to write, i just copy-paste it from somewhere) for a few minute, and i have free time to enjoy for the next few hours.
      Linux is designed for lazy people, that's the truth.

    • Slovtux
      November 30, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      I want also to kill myself when I want to install windows and when this shit restart 10 times during the setup and when I end up downloading the drivers for the network/wifi card on another working computer because this crappy OS can't even detect all my hardware.
      I want also to kill myself when I have to change the name of my wifi because the newly bought MacBook of my girlfriend is to dumb to detect a wifi with a space on the name.
      I want also to kill (but not myself) when I heard you studied IT relatedshittystuff.

      • alexthebassist
        December 3, 2016 at 9:15 pm

        He's definitely a fat, untrained troll. Nobody's gonna say things like that while remaining sane.

        • bonzi
          July 3, 2018 at 1:53 pm

          I want to kill myself when I have to install CUPS for a printer and have that fail, and then recompile the kernel just to get rid of those stupid penguin logos from the framebuffer during startup

  13. David Judd
    May 17, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    These haters bashing Linux, WOW! I don't get it. I no longer have the virus issues, that stupid hour glass or spinning wheel, resources being gobbled up just to to open OP system alone. File access and manipulation and overall performance blows any Window OP system clean out of the water. Oh, by the way, I'm not saying there are no virus threats with Linux, I'm just glad that every time I log on, I don't have to feel like I need to be armed for germ warfare.

  14. Mintconvert
    March 28, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Good Lord !!!!!

    I have never herd so much rubbish

    I have moved all 4 of my PCs to Linux (mint Rosa) because they are easier to use than Windows (7, 8 or the disastrous 10)

    Anybody who believes that Microsoft is not using their data must be very, very gullible.
    Of course they are. How do you think they make such ridiculous amounts of money? BY giving away Windows 10 for 'free'? pleeeeeeeease

    Every program (oh sorry Microsoft) app I used on the Windows machines runs faster, more securely and crash-free.

  15. Salvador
    February 17, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Linux itself is a blatant lie...
    Linux is not for the professional, but merely for the hobbyist who has lots of time to waste and play around...
    It's OK if you just want to surf some simple pages on the web or write texts on a text editor, but that's all...
    If you are a professional Linux has nothing to offer. Unless you are ready to settle for some serious compromises. And I mean really serious compromises!
    Let's see an example...
    You are a pro-DJ using Traktor or Serato or Virtual DJ and want to hop to Linux? Well, tough luck! There is no equivalent software for you. The only software available for Linux is Mixxx which is way less than the aforementioned software solutions for Windows/OS X.
    Mixxx does not support ALAC and M4A files, unless you can compile it from the source code (so "Lie #4" is not a lie at all!)... And compiling is not just a word... Give it a try! You'll stumble to all sorts of errors (missing libraries, dependencies, files that do not exist on the repos or are outdated, parameters you need to learn, etc, etc)... So, even compiling is not an option for the time caring professional, but let's assume you succeeded!
    Not a single function of Mixxx comes anyway close to the quality of the professional software packages!
    Analyzing the same song in FLAC and MP3 format gives in many cases different key and BPM results! So you don't really know which one is right (if any of them!)... On the other hand, analyzing those songs to all other professional software gives you the same result on each and every one of them!
    The effects on Mixxx is a joke! A plain joke! Not only there are only 5 of them (not even close to the 43 effects Traktor has to offer) but their quality is that of a child toy. Absolutely unacceptable by any professional or audience!
    But, you might say, Mixxx is free! Well, Traktor costs 99 euros! So, yes, the price of a professional software is more than low or logical for a pro-DJ and is not even considerable if you're making a living out of this!
    The examples of Mixxx's drawbacks (and other Linux software that's supposed to be a replacement for any professional software package) could go on for ever...
    The same is true when you want to share date on hard disks. While Windows and OS X can read/write each others format with the help of cheap software, there is no real solution for Linux, where you should install drivers (with the help of the command line and the knowledge to set up the right parameters - so "Lie #3" is not a lie!) and even then nobody guarantees that the drivers will work!
    Apart from the vast number of problems one will stumble upon, overall Linux is really slow compared with other operating systems running on the same machine and it feels "heavy" (I guess that has something to do with the response to the input devices)... You will know what I mean with "heavy" if you type long texts or use your mouse a lot...
    So, if you are a professional who wants to do your job fast and in the best possible way and your living depends from this, by all means don't go Linux!
    If you are a hobbyist or an occasional user, then it's OK to play around with it as long as you want...

    • Anonymous
      February 23, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      "While Windows and OS X can read/write each others format"
      Pleeeease! Current version of MS Office cannot read/write files created by Office 2003 or Office 97 or Office 95, let alone files written by Office for OS/X. Try using Win 10 to read a PDF file created under Win 7 or Vista. Chances are you won't be able to. On the other hand LibraOffice can read/write not only all MS Office file formats but also those from other office suites. So don't be spreading FUD that Linux cannot share files.

      • Salvador
        February 24, 2016 at 2:15 am

        I was reffering to the hard disks' system file formats. Not applications' file formats.

        • Anonymous
          February 24, 2016 at 1:46 pm

          The answer is still the same. Linux can read/write NTFS, FAT, FAT16, FAT32, (without the need for cheap or expensive software) but Windows refuses to recognize any of the Linux formats. So it looks like it is Windows that is preventing the file sharing, not Linux.

        • linux user
          March 1, 2016 at 10:59 am

          Please, be serious and do some research before say things like that.

          As you can see there's no file system format that can be read in Windows and not in Linux

          It looks like you are commiting one of the most common Linux haters mistakes, you think you know a lot about computers, but what you really know about, is Windows, that's not the same. I'm not saying that if you know about Linux then you know about computers, but if you don't know how to use a System, don't blame the System. And in Linux, not knowing about the System is just a choice (your choice), not like Windows that because of its closed source, you can never know how it works exactly.

          Finally it's OK if you want to use Windows or OS X or whatever you want, but please, do not try to attack others choices with lies like:

          "The same is true when you want to share date on hard disks. While Windows and OS X can read/write each others format with the help of cheap software, there is no real solution for Linux, where you should install drivers"

  16. Edwin PJ
    February 15, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Linux (I've tried ubuntu 14.04 and Puppy Linux) always make me upset and I just uninstalled it and returned to Windows. I stay strong in the fact that "without using terminal, you can do nothing interesting with Linux"....Even the things which are easily possible in Windows.....Even installing package from my hard disk is not possible without using terminal.....
    Also that shortwords make me confused. And I really don't understand 90% of the tutorials in forums as those programmers speak in expert language.
    AND the main things linux users lie about Windows are 1) "Microsoft spy on users" which is really false. They may collect anonymous data for the development of Windows but they are not gonna spy on us and harm us in any way.
    2) 'Windows is very slow full of junk files......" That is partially true that I agree that Startup of Windows is slow compared to Linux. But once it is loaded, you can perform anything without complicated codes like Linux and more efficiently without time waste.
    3) 'Windows is not secure'...... According to my personal experience, I don't use an antivirus instead of Windows Defender and none of the viruses messes up with my PC. I also do a virus scan once in 1 or 2 weeks with ESET Online scanner..... So don't worry about viruses.

    About your 5th point, Yes, Linux can run games (Steam OS is Linux). But only a few games are out there and I don't recommend playing Games with Wine as there are a lot of compatibility issues and it is comparably slow when compared to real Windows.

    -Edwin PJ

    • Anonymous
      February 23, 2016 at 2:56 pm

      "1) “Microsoft spy on users” which is really false. "
      Is it? Have you read the Win 10 EULA in which Microsoft tells you that it is their prerogative to record any data they feel like? Have you read the MUO articles on how to turn off all the (in)security settings in Win 10 so that MS does not track you?

      "they are not gonna spy on us and harm us in any way."
      No, they are just going to pass all your data on to the government (NSA e.g.)

      "But once it is loaded, you can perform anything without complicated codes like Linux"
      What complicated codes are you talking about? Could you provide an example?

    • linux user
      March 1, 2016 at 11:33 am


      I have to disagree with you.
      " 1) “Microsoft spy on users” which is really false. They may collect anonymous data for the development of Windows but they are not gonna spy on us and harm us in any way."

      That's a personal opinion, what is a fact, is that they collect data, if you trust Microsoft its OK it's your private life and I'm nobody to say you in who you must trust, I just say that from my point of view, Microsoft is not the kind of company that I trust, just for their monopolistic behaviours of the past, and that I don't think they care about anything but their money.

      "2) ‘Windows is very slow full of junk files……” That is partially true that I agree that Startup of Windows is slow compared to Linux. But once it is loaded, you can perform anything without complicated codes like Linux and more efficiently without time waste."

      You say that you agree with that partially, but you only say that Linux commands are a time waste. But with all my respect, i think that type "sudo apt-get install firefox" or "sudo pacman -S firefox" or any console command of any Distribution, it's much easier and faster than open your web browser, search for the software you want, download it, and install it. The problema here is that you don't know how to do an específic thing, so yes then it's harder to do it in Linux than to do it in Windows just because you know how Windows works.

      And what it is a waste of time and resources, is your 3rd point:
      3) ‘Windows is not secure’…… According to my personal experience, I don’t use an antivirus instead of Windows Defender and none of the viruses messes up with my PC. I also do a virus scan once in 1 or 2 weeks with ESET Online scanner….. So don’t worry about viruses.

      So are you complaining of waste of time before, but it seems reasonable to you to have some software in your computer executing permenently (with the performance cost that this implies) just to be sure you have nothing to worry about, and you waste time (maybe not much, but wasting it anyways) performing a scanner once every 1 or 2 weeks.

      Your fifth point, it's completely true, but just needs time, and that some of the game developer companies show some interest, and besides triple A games (that the ones with Linux suport it's a joke) there are starting to be really good games for Linux (I'm playing Pillars of Eternity, XCOM, Counter Strike, Civilization V, Cities XL, Portal and some others by myself. I know there's no comparison with Windows but I think it's a good start anyway)

      • Sergi
        May 31, 2016 at 11:10 am

        Who cares? You are not important, no one cares about the porn you watch, they can have all of my data.

    • 987dddd
      September 16, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      On Ubuntu, you install a package from hard drive simply by double-clicking it. You just make it more obvious that Linux haters like lying.

  17. Anonymous
    December 23, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    "Lie #3: You Must Use the Command Line"
    If that is a lie, then why do the vast majority of MUOs articles about Linux show how to use terminal commands? Whenever there is a package to be downloaded, the author uses the "sudo apt-get" command, never a GUI package manager. Whenever there is an article about Linux software tools, it always about terminal commands, not GUI.

    Having used Linux for many years, I know that terminal commands are quicker and more powerful than GUI. However, MUO writers are sending a mixed message. On one hand they swear that command line is unnecessary but on the other that is all they use in their articles.

    • Joel Lee
      December 23, 2015 at 9:56 pm

      I don't think there's inconsistency there. You don't HAVE to use the terminal on Linux, but like you said, it does make life on Linux easier. The reason why we have so many terminal-related articles is because terminal is harder to learn -- nobody needs a tutorial on how to use GUI programs, lol. :P

      But I guess you're right that we're sending a mixed message. Maybe we could work on that.

    • Will
      September 17, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      Before I get labeled a 'hater' know this. I don't own a copy of Windows. Haven't for many years. I've used Linux since I submitted a 1 line bug fix to Torvolds for the floppy driver, yea its been awhile.

      1) Linux can be difficult to use for *most*, for two reasons.

      First, the multitude of packages; and 2) The multitude of functionality they can present. For the technically elevated, it is a non-issue to focus on a problem, say system startup, read the man pages, and go make a few text edit modification to, say, a systemd unit file. "Normal folks" don't even know where to start. "System what, you say>" Windows gives them some sort of icon, they click on it and can pretty much guess from there. The solution provided may actually suck, but they can usually "discover" their way into things. "Poke at random, 'till done."

      Generally, when you see complaints in this space the response is often met with "RTFM". Well, my system has 14,321 packages installed. "RTFM"? You're nuts. Normal users don't even know what "M" their looking for, and when they get to the "R" part it may was well be in some foreign language. Again, Windows is pretty much always "Pok 'till done."

      Many, if not most, Linux bits are "dis-encapsulated" to varying degrees. I'll use, only by example, systemd. If one needs, for example, a simple script to perform a function, the first question the user has to ask is "Where does that script go?" the second question is what file do I have to modify to invoke the script, and the third question is "What happens when I upgrade the package in the future?". Systemd is actually quite good, but is almost a poster child for lacking the absolutely tiny details that often matter greatly in the man-machine interface space. Namely, units should include a "HERE" directive for storing short scripts localized to the unit's actual function. That leaves the user with a common theme to work from. "This thing, any only this thing, needs dealt with to accomplish this task, and the "task" is accomplished entirely within the responsible module.

      So, how easy would it be to fix systenmd? Not hard at all. For systemd they really just needs to add a "systemctl edit " and "systemctl diff " command options, along with "[here] file << EOF" support within a unit. Edit/here encapsulates directory locality issues, and diff allows packages to alert when updates might break a user edit (since all such edits are now always properly and completely located). Simple GUI's can now follow, and everything ends up as "Poke until done."

      Now, you say that leaves the user needing to know, say, bash for all that "here" functionality. Well, yes. That's why Linux is more flexible than Windows. But, not different. In Windows the ability to use an editor on those scripts is removed in favor a a few common use-case clicky boxes. Our simple GUI can offer use-case clicky boxes too - plus the "free form" option foir "power users", of course.

  18. Anonymous
    September 5, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Photoshop : Number of people on Mac/Win: 94%

    Out of those, Number of people who use Photoshop: 50%

    Out of those, people who could get done with GIMP/Krita/Inkscape/Scribus*:30%

    Out of those, Number of people who don't need it and could do with Paint:60%

    • Anonymous
      September 22, 2015 at 4:26 am

      in last days,, I check deviantart galery, and most of them use GIMP and Inkscape

      maybe the number of GIMP and Inkscape user is small,,but they are really artist

    • Joel Lee
      September 24, 2015 at 3:37 am

      Interesting breakdown. Would love to see sources for those stats! :P But yeah, it's true, a lot of people using Photoshop could settle for something less and get the same things done.

  19. patrick
    April 29, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Did anyone notice that he says you don't have to include the command line, but earlier says there are 40 (command line) commands that every newbie should learn?

    Linux myths, except when they're not myths.

    • Tidavi
      November 30, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      This is not really a myth indeed. You can use Linux without typing not even one line of command, but the tricks is, if you do so you will be almost as limited as you are under windows.
      Command line is just the most efficient and powerful way to use linux but not the only one.

    • Anonymous
      February 7, 2017 at 10:14 pm
  20. George Monroe
    March 19, 2015 at 2:10 am

    Good grief, I probably have the lowest iq here and have successfully installed Gentoo, Arch and FreeBSD, so it is extremely possible, the only distribution that just didn't like my hardware was Solaris, and I honestly don't have the time to hammer out the reason.
    Frankly after dealing with wireless printers and Windows, I dumped Windows as a daily driver and I am glad I did.
    Windows and third party software vs. Package systems is a no brainer.
    I started using Linux out of curiosity and stayed because of stability and safe software. Of course the risk is there with any OS, but after watching my wife get hacked and having to run countless virus scans and deleting untold amounts of garbage software from my kids machines I always have a reminder of why I stay with Linux.
    P.S. please don't bad mouth Linux if you have put little or no effort into getting to know it. As I mentioned in the beginning of my comment I really am one of the dumbest people I know and I absolutely love the solidness of Linux. Anything worth having is worth working toward=)

    • Joel
      March 21, 2015 at 12:01 am

      Thanks George, love hearing opinions from people like you. If we were all a little more open-minded and a little more willing to learn new things, maybe the world would be a better place. Glad you're having a blast with Linux! Let us know if you have any tips to share. :)

  21. Peter
    March 4, 2015 at 11:59 am

    I am using Linux and this article is way off!
    #1 Linux is too difficult. This is true. Most people find installing an OS from scratch to be very difficult, so straight away Linux is too difficult for most people. Also, most people don't want to learn command line, and permissions and all that. Try getting your graphics card working, and you get to this point where someone on the forum tells you to edit some lines in your /etc/lib/blah blah/black sheep/xconf.amazingly.awkward file, and then you find out when you get that far that you can't edit the file because you aren't super user, and then you have to learn how to open the file as a super user, and that requires command line and then you have to go and learn all that. It is difficult for the average user.

    #2 Linux is old and ugly
    Linux is old! And although there are some nice desktop environments, there are rarely themes that are perfect. And then you open an app that just doesn't fit in, because it is in Qt rather than GTK or whatever, and it makes everything look bad. The ugly part might be subjective, but old, sure!

    #3 You must use the command line
    This isn't a lie. I have tried to use Linux without the command line, but within a day or two there is always some little thing that requires me to use the terminal. Now, that's not a bad thing. The command line is often a very efficient way to get stuff done, but to suggest that it is a lie that you need to use it is a bit shady. It would be a lie to say that you must use it 99% of the time, but 1% of the time, and that means you do need to use it.

    #4 You must build from source
    This is less of an issue now. There have only been a few times I needed to build apps from source.

    #5 You can't play video games
    Well, sure that's not true. There are lots of games on Linux. So it would be a lie to say you can't play games on it. But you know what wouldn't be a lie right now. "You can't play many of the modern good and cool video games that your friends on Windows are talking about .... even ones from 5 years ago!"

    Here are some truths about Linux:
    If you are used to Windows or Mac, Linux SUCKS!
    If you remember that it is free, Linux is amazing.

    I use Linux Mint 17.1 every day. This article is very funny.

    • Joel
      March 10, 2015 at 3:45 am

      You can always find exceptions to any statement when opinions are involved. At the end of the day, Linux really isn't as difficult or ugly as it used to be; given the right tweaks, it's certainly a match for Windows and Mac in terms of usability for the common person. Expecting Linux to do everything that Windows or Mac can do is the wrong way to look at things.

  22. Amir
    February 6, 2015 at 8:50 am

    if you use computer for web surfing and Office app and email then linux is good enough .

    • LinuxIsBetterThanWindws
      January 31, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      Linux is for web surfing and Office, haha. It's much more than that. Linux has a great environment for programming, servers and has a cutting edge for those who are curious about how Linux works.

  23. adam tyme
    October 24, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    you know Linux is here to stay and after looking at the preview of win 10 I am sure mac and linux will see more users. Windows Dominates the desk top but is still pushing the tablet look down your throat. If you like it fine join the 20 percent.
    Linux is the easiest system to use or these companies would not employ millions of people and have them use it. It would not make sense. and these are the largest companies in the world.

    • xaGe
      November 1, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      Unix/Linux has been around a long time and will be here a long time to come. IMO the Windows 10 preview actually looks good and an improvement in the right direction in comparison to version 8. They toned down a lot of the "tablet" features and keep adding more Linux DE and Apple like features. Would i choose it as my main OS? No because its still Windows with all its virus attacks, security flaws and lack of customization. I enjoy the freedom, support, ease of use and choices Linux has offered me for years.

  24. Kisuke
    September 8, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Linux lies that Linux haters tell?
    Let's see...
    - Linux is for hackers
    - Linux is for nerds
    - Linux requires knowing 1000 commands
    - Linux has nothing to do with video games
    - Linux can't be used for business purposes
    - Linux is not for normal users
    - Linux requires learning lots of stuff
    I can't recall any more at the moment but nyah, every time I hear some of those I start to laugh and ask when they have heard that because it sounds like archeology.

  25. Eniac
    August 26, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Linux lacks in drivers implementation (see i.e DisplayLink) ... And has lower priority in the cross platform software development (see i.e Google Drive, Skype etc...).

    Otherwise Linux is a very well built OS (or kernel for purists) :)

    (PS: I use Linux as my primary OS)

    • Tidavi
      November 30, 2016 at 8:06 pm

      If I understand what you said, is basically :

      Linux is great but hardware makers and softwares company are too lazy to make a portage of there soft/drivers.
      Well .. this as nothing to do with linux himself.

  26. Jatin
    August 24, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Use Windows, use Linux, use Mac, use Unix, OS/2, ReactOS, or even Android, Symbian, iOS, Bada, Blackberry or DOS, it doesn't matter. I will make them all a thing of the past. You'll find them only in museums(websites which keep old software). All you can do is wait for future to arrive, and then it won't matter if there was any Linux or Windows.
    If you want any proof, then here in this comment is my name. You may see the new world if you live for long.

  27. payme
    August 20, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    you don't have force them to use linux desktop, let them see, try and love it. choices? that's the beauty of it, that's the reason i fall in love with archlinux.

  28. Sheldon
    August 19, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Linux will not run on a windows network. So I'm told.

    • UrMom
      August 22, 2014 at 1:23 am

      That's bullshit. Windows operates on TCP/IP networks. If they're talking about things like Active Directory, SMB, and other Windows "network" services, sure it takes a lot of configuration and work on the system.

  29. Pieter
    August 18, 2014 at 10:54 am

    As someone who uses both Windows and Linux in a professional environment I can say Linux is much more complex than Windows and you will have to use the shell (mostly because the sysadmin will force you to). In a home environment you're better off and you can indeed skip the shell environment if you want to.

    On the gaming side it's true that there are games on Linux, just not nearly as much as on Windows.

  30. Vijay G. Kamat
    August 17, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Learning terminal came as interesting topic for me. I started using Ubuntu from 11.04 on my desktop. Initially my sister complained about the lack of Windows, but within a week she said this works faster than Windows. I have only one problem, I am unable configure my webcam to work with skype or jitsi.

    Got a new laptop two months ago, installed Ubuntu only. Did not think even once about windows. My office desktops have Ubuntu dual boot. For my work I use windows, that is just for one software. If that software has a .deb version then Windows will be wiped forever.

  31. CR
    August 15, 2014 at 11:27 am

    On gaming - Linux doesn't support some games even with wine or any kind of commercial equivalent. Planetside 2 is an example. The real problem with linux gaming is not that NONE of the games work, it's that MANY of the games don't. In most cases, the person wants to play games, including AAA ones, as soon as they come out, and not worry that they might not work on their OS. Windows allows for the biggest game pool out of the 3 main available OS.
    Also, periferals often get poor support, if any. For example, the Logitech G series. G35 works partially, while the G13 just plain does not work.
    This leads to Linux being "complicated" in a very bad way, as in you have specifically check for compatibility with linux on any purchase you make, and the choice of periferals is smaller for you too.

  32. dragonmouth
    August 14, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Another lie that Linux haters like to tell is that Windows is insecure because it presents a much bigger target so hackers write more malware for it. How come hackers don't write malware for Linux servers which constitute about two thirds of all servers in the world? How come it is the servers running Windows that are most compromised. What Linux haters do not want to admit and face is that Windows, from version 1.0, has been as full of holes as Swiss cheese. One would think that after almost 40 years, most holes would have been plugged. On the contrary, not only have the old holes not been plugged, new ones are constantly being added to the list.

  33. maven2k
    August 14, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    I absolutely love Ubuntu. I don't think I could ever go back to windows. The only complaint I have is getting a media center of some kind working on it. I cut the cable years ago and I'm using an aging windows machine as my entertainment center. Updating my Ubuntu from 12 to 14 might help, but it looks like I need to study up on some command line and dig in to get my media center going on Linux and ditch windows altogether.

  34. Josh Sabboth
    August 14, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Under the Gaming section, you should of mentioned Steam and that they have over 600 Linux games available now.

  35. Sezam
    August 14, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Greatest issue with Linux is lack of commercial professional software. Will Linux suffice you if you are using Net, Mail and Office? Sure, alternatives are great.
    But will it suffice when you have to do some VFX or 3D animation and rendering? Not likely. Blender even very powerful will never make anything big on Linux since Max/Maya and rest of the pack are industrial standard. Same goes with Adobe. Somebody mention that he is running CS2 under Wine. Right, when you have tight deadline, and your documents are bilboard print size CMYK images that are huge both in resolution and file size, you cannot afford to fool around with Wine that will or will not work properly with Adobe. Not to even mention AE, Premiere and similar. And if someone of you say "Why dont you use GIMP?" I will slap you in the face. Games... huh, well if you consider this "simple" then you are way into Linux already
    Bottom line, Linux cannot be used for serious graphics/sound editing - period. Will it fulfill most of everyday work - yes.

    • Deluj
      August 10, 2017 at 11:42 pm

      Actually, I work as a professional illustrator and have used Linux exclusively for the last 7 years to meet the needs of clients. I've output 1200DPI CMYK .tiffs of book covers that I've illustrated in Krita and GIMP, I've edited .psd files clients have sent me through GIMP, I've done tons of logo work in Inkscape, and I've additionally done layout for books in Scribus which have printed with zero pre-flight issues. I can attest that the layer functions of Krita and robust and competitive with PS and further the multiple brush engines it contains blow PS straight out of the water in terms of versatility and realism. There are thousands of 2D artists who work exclusively in Linux.

  36. pmshah
    August 14, 2014 at 4:04 am

    "But the reality is that most Linux newbies aren’t coming from a blank slate; they’re coming from Windows or Mac."

    How right you are. I first wet my feet in Linux back in 1992 with Slackware 2.1, I believe. I did continue dabbling with it until the advent of Grub. Lilo was my preferred bootloader. In any case I too am very familiar with Windows CLI from the times of Dos.3.0, Ndos, 4Dos, 4NT and currently Take Command. I use .btm batch files for practically automating everything, including using Windows command line system applications.

    The bad or worst part of Linux, IMHO is the totally unintuitive commands and VERY dangerous switches, for working with command line. I feel Linux would see a whole lot more adoption if only they came up with built in aliases for equivalent dos commands.

    • dragonmouth
      August 14, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      "I feel Linux would see a whole lot more adoption if only they came up with built in aliases for equivalent dos commands."
      You can create your own aliases that are intuitive for you.

    • pmshah
      August 16, 2014 at 1:24 am

      That is the problem to start with. As I stated earlier I have been working with NDOS, 4DOS and currently with Take Command 15. I use the built in alias capabilities to an extreme. But then I know the basic commands. In the first place I have to be familiar with the basic commands and then the method of creating aliases. I am not saying I can't do it or that I don't have the inclination but until I am able to install Linux on my PC in its own independent partition without it or GRUB interfering with my current multi version Windows setup I am not even going to try. It would be nearly impossible to learn with live versions.

  37. Ermina
    August 14, 2014 at 3:25 am

    I think my biggest concern with Linux is the wide range of choices out there to start from. Kinda intimidating. I'm used to Windows, familiar with Mac, and curious about Linux. So much so, I'm waiting for a new machine to arrive by post to try building from scratch.

    Another query - does it take as much room as the other OS out there?

    Just trying to learn, not hit any nerves, and still use my machines to their max.

    • dragonmouth
      August 14, 2014 at 6:42 pm

      "does it take as much room as the other OS out there?"
      An average, full-size, general use Linux distro needs about 8-10 gig of space. There are some, like Puppy and Slitaz, that take less space. Then there are some like Ultimate or PCLinux "Full Monty" that may take 15-20 gig.

  38. Joe
    August 14, 2014 at 12:43 am

    Have attempted to get help to install driver for Netgear wireless adapter on Mint. no help found or given. Stupid OS. Not the easiest to learn.

  39. Schvenn M
    August 13, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    How about, it's not worth the hassle?
    Things like uTorrent are a pain to install in Linux and take a fraction of the time in Windows.
    Some of us want fat clients and not web-based front ends for everything.

    • dragonmouth
      August 14, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      "Some of us want fat clients and not web-based front ends for everything."
      Nobody is forcing you to abandon Windows.

    • Markus
      December 19, 2016 at 12:16 pm

      Guess what? Chances are, if you have a major distribution, KTorrent is installed on your system ALREADY. No, KTorrent It's not fat. But it's VERY easy to use and does an excellent job.

  40. Suvo
    August 13, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Ubuntu Linux is one of best desktop operating system. App can be installed without any command line (Terminal) or using Terminal both supported. Non advanced users can install app just using mouse click only, it is very simple from app stores. Or just download a .deb file and click it and rest will start automatically. Though for advance users command line can be use for install app and other functioning.

  41. George
    August 13, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Linux causes genital herpes.

    ...or maybe he said hairpiece.

  42. Eric
    August 13, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    I used Linux for years on my desktop and laptop computers until I finally got tired of rebuilding apps from bleeding edge libraries in an attempt to stay "current". The last straw was the Olympics and Silverlight. I tried desperately to make thing work so I could view the online event streams. Now I'm an OSX user.

    • dragonmouth
      August 14, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      If you use Stable versions of distros rather than Testing or Unstable, you shouldn't have rebuild apps. OTOH, if you use siduction or aptosid which are based on Experimental branch then you'll have problems.

  43. Redgrave
    August 13, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Well, last time I've updated my Linux Mint... Thunderbird displays some ugly filled up spaces where the To and Subject fields are and Firefox cannot scroll in different frames like before.

    So yeah, Linux is just wonderfully buggy and truth is it does look like crap.

    At least these sorts of things never happen in paid OS versions, Windows or OS X. And yes I'm happy to pay for some quality.

    • 99999999999
      September 16, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      Linux Mint is a hobby distro built by a bunch of hobbyists. Those problems have no more to do with Ubuntu than they have to do with Windows or OS X.

      And if you claim that Windows and OS X never have problems you must be little crazy.

  44. Eduard L
    August 13, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Linux is the right choice for multiple types of people. For instance it's good for absolute newbs, who do nothing else on the PC than to play Solitaire and surf the web. You don't need to install anything for that in linux. Some linux versions are also suitable for entertainment purposes (playing music, movies, stuff like that), like Ubuntu for example, which has the right software, and the codecs are 1 click away.
    Lastly, linux is obviously the most suited OS for gurus and adventurists. Once a pro goes linux, he never goes back. I'm using Ubuntu for work 8 hrs a day and then also linux at home (haven't settled on a distro yet because I'm picky, but definitely going to stay with linux). Wine can even run World of Warcraft with absolutely no issues, so... that's that.

    I would definitely not recommend linux to everyone, but I do think it's suitable for some people (for a lot more than the few percent which are using linux at the moment).

  45. Xoandre
    August 13, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    I started with Apple IIe, moved to Mac in High School, then found Windows a much more liberated experience.

    A few years ago, I gave Linux a full 2 month dedicated attempt. I tried to figure it out, but so many of the essential little things that Windows does were missing or just acted far differently than I was comfortable with. Yes, I know it's all about my own personal learning curve.

    I am in no way disparaging Linux, but after 2 months, I switched back to Windows 7 and have been here ever since.

    I did truly give a concerted effort, and tried to get my windows programs and files adapted over, but when i could not open basic documents and certain file types (which I do not recall specifically at this time) I decided that it was not for me.

    • dragonmouth
      August 14, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      "A few years ago, I gave Linux a full 2 month dedicated attempt. "
      WOW! An entire 2 whole months!!! And you still couldn't learn Linux?
      I'm sure it took only a week to learn to become a Pro-DOS guru and another week to becomea Windows guru. You should have taken as much time with Linux as it took you to learn Windows.

      "I tried to figure it out, but so many of the essential little things that Windows does were missing or just acted far differently than I was comfortable with. "
      There is a very good reason for that - Linux is not a version of Windows. If Linux looked, worked and used the same apps as Windows, Microsoft, Mr. Bill and their lawyers would be very upset.

  46. James Ritchie
    August 13, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    This article more or less confirms all the tales about Linux. It sure doesn't dispel them. Seriously, read this article from the perspective of a non-Linux user. It's full of buts, full of almosts, full of extremes, and full of qualifications.

    You build a straw man, and then try to burn it. I mean, come on, if you want the latest and greatest video games, you'll likely need Windows, but saying Linux can't play games at all is a lie.

    I've never heard anyone say Linux can't play games at all, but I also don't know any gamer who is satisfied with anything but the latest and greatest. Who wants to play the old and the been there, done that games? We all want the latest and the greatest, and this is simply not possible with Linux.

    Linux is a great OS, but stop acting like it's perfect. Stop acting like every negative thing said about it is a lie, and stop the childish exaggeration.

  47. Kyle T
    August 13, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    This is the worst Linux click bait article I've ever seen.

  48. Clive R
    August 13, 2014 at 9:59 am

    I have tried several incarnations of Ubuntu and it has got better and better over the years I do agree. The first time I had to spend hours on forums to get some of my hardware to work because there were no commercially produced drivers - that has changed and the last installation found everything and even managed to configure my two monitor set up without any intervention.
    I think that if all I did were to use standard applications like word processing, spreadsheets and web browsing (I am guessing that the new web based versions of MS office might run in a browser) then I would switch tomorrow or at least before I needed to upgrade windows again!

    I learn't computing in the heady days of DOS so do not totally object to any comand line use though as my years advance I find it much more difficult to remember the appropriate code lines

    The problem for me is that I am teaching myself Adobe CS6 and I haven't found any linux applications that come close to matching Dreamweaver. I also use other software to generate different CSS/Java routines such as menu creation, photo and video gallery creation and again I dont see any linux applications out there free or paid. In fact it is the application end of things that still deters me because although I know that you can hand code in CSS and Java why would I want to when there are applications that give me vast ranges of options in wysiwyg envrionments for producing web content that matches anything out there on the web - lightbox galleries, sliders, video galleries and polished nested menus. The application I use enabled me to create a polished looking drop down nested menu for about 60 pages of content in less than an hour - including testing several different colour schemes, button styles etc, which are still further customisable if needed. Even if I was good at hand coding, which these days I am not, it would have taken the best part of a day with lots of trial and error to do the same thing.
    That for me is the biggest stumbling block - the ability to find programmes that make complex tasks easy and take the strain out development
    However as an operating system for an every day user (don't know much about gaming) I think it fits the bill. That said I don't think it is better than windows and I would only choose it on a cost saving basis.

  49. Chris C
    August 13, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Games: the only chain keeping me with windows. Heck, even the touchscreen support is fancier in Ubuntu than in Windows. I'll always be in love with the terminal, whether it's lxterminal or gnome-terminal. Using it taught me that my operating system relies on the very commands I'm typing in order to function and that I could hook in to what it's already doing to make it do what I want it to do.

  50. Georgi G
    August 13, 2014 at 8:13 am

    So.. I opened this article hoping it will be great. Unfortunately I disagree with a lot of the points made.

    A little bit of background - I've used (and defended) linux for a couple of years now, maybe 5-6 or more. I use it both for work (software development) and at home. I do some gaming, have a couple dozens of games in my Steam account, also some in Uplay, Origin & I wouldn't call myself a gamer, that's just something I do occasionally to de-stress, a couple of hours a week. I've also used both Mac & Windows.

    "Lie" #1: The learning curve of linux is the highest of modern operating systems. That's just undeniable. And that itself is enough to state 'linux is more difficult'. You say linux newbies should start with 'these 40 commands'. Meanwhile Windows & Mac newbies do not need commands to keep their OS running and to use it on a daily basis.

    So what does 'too difficult' mean? As a regular desktop user should I know the xrandr command to setup my 2nd monitor when I can just plug it in a Mac/Windows? Should I know that I need lib32 to install Skype on a 64bit OS? Should I know that I need to backup my xorg.conf before updating video drivers? By the way, should I know the difference between open-source and proprietary drivers and which to choose? Should I distinguish the OS from the Desktop Environment from the Window Manager from the Login Manager from the Desktop Manager?

    'Linux is too difficult' depends on the kind of user you are, maybe it's a lie, maybe not. As a desktop OS, Linux is more difficult than everything else though.

    "Lie" #3: You contradict yourself here! The supposed lie is "You must use the command line". And then you go ahead and state "if you want to use the full potential ... you'll want to learn the command line". And again let's say the auto-update of my video drivers corrupts the xorg.conf file and I can't log in my desktop? I will absolutely NEED to use the command line, and if I don't have a backup of the file I'll NEED to have knowledge how to fix the Xorg config as well in order to get my computer running. "Not true at all." Really?!

    And it doesn't matter which distro or desktop environment you'll use - you WILL need to use the command line just to keep your OS running. To me, that's a fact. Trying to fix issues through GUIs for different tools leads to more problems most of the time. Also, it will take you a lot more time just to do maintenance, to keep the OS running - if you want to just get your work done, this will be a major nuisance. Perhaps it's really important to print a document fast. You've never printed documents before... your drivers don't work. Shit.

    "Lie" #5: I see your point, but you've made it too early. We're not still there. Thanks to Valve, a lot of Steam games do run on Linux - that's true. About a quarter of my Steam library actually does run on linux. But most of the games are still not running well... at all. They're still not optimized for linux, and FPS drops a lot. Like, a lot. Steam is... tolerable... if you can make the client run, because they had some interesting issues with ATI drivers on linux, where I needed to remove the drivers to be able to start the Steam client, nice. They fixed that, but things like this happen.

    And what about non-Steam games? Uplay - nope. If you want to play Assassin's Creed or something... you're out of luck. Origin - nope. Fifa, Crysis, Need For Speed, Battlefield, Sim City - nope, sorry. - nope. Diablo, StarCraft, WoW, Hearthstone - sorry. League of Legends - no.

    And please, oh please don't talk about Wine, or even Cedega. That's a horrible experience and I'll much rather dual-boot Windows than even contemplate using them.

    And then there's the issue with software. A ton of software that regular users need on a daily basis just isn't available on Linux. A few examples will be Microsoft Office, iTunes, Evernote (yeah I know, the web client...).

    In conclusion... I really love Linux. I know it and I use it every day. It's great for a lot of things. I really really really wish what you wrote was true, but I fear it's not really the case yet.

    • ClementL
      August 13, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      I wonder what distribution you use, but I haven't had to use xrandr for ages. The open-source and Nvidia drivers work perfectly out of the box.
      Same thing with skype. If oyu simply install the official .db, any dependencies get installed automatically.

    • dragonmouth
      August 13, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      Lie #1: It isn't the learning of the new O/S that is difficult, it is the UNLEARNING the habits of old O/S that presents the most problems. For someone that spent 10-15 years using Linux, the learning curve of Windows is quite steep. A new computer user, with no previous computer knowledge, will have about the same amount of difficulty learning any of the O/Ss. Were you born with a complete knowledge of Windows? Or do you choose to forget the steepness of the learning curve?

      Lie #3: No, Joel does not contradict himself. You are the one creating the contradiction. Linux, like Windows, can be used very well without ever having to resort to the command line. HOWEVER, to take a full advantage of the capabilities of both Windows and Linux, one should learn command line.

      "Trying to fix issues through GUIs for different tools leads to more problems most of the time."
      I'm glad you recognize this shortcoming of Windows.

      "Perhaps it’s really important to print a document fast. You’ve never printed documents before… your drivers don’t work. Shit."
      Had that happen many times in Windows, rarely with Linux.

      "A ton of software that regular users need on a daily basis just isn’t available on Linux. A few examples will be Microsoft Office, iTunes, Evernote "
      If you insist on using Windows-specific software, of course you will not find it on Linux. But there is a Linux alternative for each app ypu mentioned.

      Linux doesn't work for me all the time, either. But most of those problems are self-inflicted when I try to experiment.

    • Georgi G
      August 13, 2014 at 4:41 pm


      I see your point. I think I understand what you mean, but it's a totally different world from my perspective.

      On Lie #1 - I disagree with you. I don't think a new computer user without prior knowledge will have the same amount of difficulty learning any OS. I mean, you are comparing an OS that needs no setup & configuration whatsoever, software installs with drag'n'drop etc (Mac OS), with an OS that requires burning a CD, choosing to boot from CD, (partitioning?), installing, setting up, using sudo apt-get install x to install software (at best!). If you say that to a user without prior knowledge these will be equally hard... well OK, but that's not my opinion and that's not what I've seen. Linux will not be something I'm going to setup for my grandmother or my mother. And they use Windows on their own perfectly well.

      I don't think the UX design is on the same level comparing Linux to Windows to Mac. To me these OSes are clearly designed for different purposes and work in different scenarios.

      On Lie #3 - trust me.. I've used a lot of Windows. I've never needed to use the command prompt to setup anything. Never. You don't need the command prompt in Windows. Regedit is another story, but you have this on linux as well, so...

      And in Windows, fixing issues through GUIs actually works. An example - everytime I have an issue with BCD I use a GUI tool. GRUB - nope, thank you very much, I'll stick to manual config. To me, this is not a shortcoming of Windows. On their platform it works. On Linux (and somewhat Macs) - it doesn't, and that's OK.

      Driver issues - yeah, printing was not a good example. OTOH soundcards, graphics cards, usb devices.. suffer a lot! I can give you examples of issues I've faced - the soundcard in my gigabyte z97x-ud3h motherboard - can't get this to work. I've spent countless hours now. It. just. doesn't. work. ALSA hates it. Another one - the Logitech MX Revolution.. yeah, try getting drivers for that! I admit Logitech's at fault for not providing one, but that's not my problem. There's a .c file that you need to compile that kinda gives you some of the functionality, but it's from something like 2011 :) And I have a lot more (Microsoft Wireless USB controller, GTX780 vga issues, nokia bluetooth headphones, etc, etc). I've dealt with most of these, but it took time. Some of them took days. Windows & Mac OS just recognized them. And I'm really sorry that this is the case, but it's a fact.

      About the software - what I listed isn't Windows-specific. It's available on Mac too. And IMHO there's no good enough alternative to Office on linux. I've tried them all, they just don't handle more advanced stuff. Same for Evernote, the only good alternative is Evernote's Web UI. And what about Adobe's Suite for example? You can run CS2 under Wine at best, with a lot of hiccups. And that's old stuff, really old. I don't like the GUI libraries we have on Linux either, to me Mac desktop software generally looks better to Linux alternatives, but that's personal opinion.

      I believe that one should use the right tools for the job. I don't believe Linux is the right tool for regular desktop users. It might become, it's getting there in some areas, but it's still not. And currently as a desktop OS it's just a good free alternative, an awesome development/hacking environment & an OS with the greatest (albeit sometimes rather defensive and extreme) community & development processes.

    • dragonmouth
      August 14, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      "you are comparing an OS that needs no setup & configuration whatsoever, software installs with drag’n’drop etc (Mac OS), with an OS that requires burning a CD, choosing to boot from CD, (partitioning?)"
      FUD! How do you install OS/X to a virgin computer? How do you install Windows to a virgin computer? The same way as you do Linux, you put a CD/DVD containing the O/S in the drive and you choose to boot from CD, then let the installer do its thing. In case you haven't discovered it yet or in case you are trying to scare n00bs, all the popular Linux distros have an automatic install option. All you have to do is tell the installer which drive you want to use and it does everything for you, partitioning, formatting, creating a swap file, installing the O/S. When the installer is done, it ejects the CD/DVD, tells you to remove the disk and reboot. And you reboot only once - when the install is done, not multiple times during the install process like in windows. When you reboot, you have a turnkey system with all the applications an average user would need, not like in Windows where you still have to buy and install any applications you may want.

      As far as installing additional software or updating current software in Linux, maybe it is not as easy as drag and drop, but all you have to do is check off a couple of boxes and the software manager does everything. No need to go to CLI and use apt-get.

      To obtain Linux, one does not have to download and burn and .ISO. There are commercial companies, such as, from whom you can buy distro CD/DVDs.

      "Linux will not be something I’m going to setup for my grandmother or my mother."
      Funny you should say that. Not only is my grandmother and mother using Linux but my wife and daughters are using it also, all with no problems. In fact, my daughters are PO'ed because their colleges require them to use Windows. They like using Linux better than Windows.

      "I don’t believe Linux is the right tool for regular desktop users."
      Tell that to the city fathers of Munich and dozens of other cities that replaced M$ products with Linux. Tell that to the hundreds of companies world wide that switched from Windows to Linux. Countries like China, Turkey, Brazil, Spain have developed their own versions of Linux and are widely using it. What you believe does not jibe with reality. I worked for a large county government in New York State. We were eliminating Windows software and hardware systems and replacing them with Linux. In fact, we were in the process of replacing the mainframe O/Ss with Linux.

  51. Jacob Barkdull
    August 13, 2014 at 7:45 am

    This sentence is completely inaccurate:

    "Linux frontend (desktop, windows, animations) are decoupled from the Linux backend (the actual cogs of the operating system)"

    Considering that what you and others repeatedly call "Linux" is primarily made up of software from the GNU Project and that GNOME is also part of the GNU Project, that makes GNOME coupled with "the Linux backend". In fact, GNOME is GNU's one and only standard and default desktop, and therefore is the default for "Linux" too.

    The reason that there exists other desktop options is simply because GNU and Linux are free and open source, and because the people who make the various distributions are allowed to include whatever software they want, however, that doesn't mean GNOME isn't essentially the same as Windows' coupled desktop.

    • dragonmouth
      August 13, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      "Coupled" means that it cannot work without it.

      Windows has only one GUI. It can be enhanced or extended by third party software but you cannot run Windows without it. Neither can you uninstall it and replace it with another GUI. I would say that pretty well means that the GUI is coupled, or integrated, with the O/S.

      Linux, OTOH, can be run with any of 75+ different desktop environments. It can even be run perfectly well without ANY GUI. In fact, the default install for distros such as Arch, TinyCore or antiX Core installs no GUI and leaves the user with a command line interface.

      GNOME may be a GNU standard and default but all the GNOME desktop-related files and packages can be safely removed and the system will continue to run. That pretty much means that a GUI, even GNOME, is NOT coupled to the O/S kernel.

    • Jacob Barkdull
      August 14, 2014 at 2:39 pm


      "Windows has only one GUI. It can be enhanced or extended by third party software but you cannot run Windows without it."

      That is only true because Windows is proprietary. If we could view the source code and make changes legally we could use completely different desktop environments easily.

      "all the GNOME desktop-related files and packages can be safely removed and the system will continue to run. "

      The fact is that GNOME is simply a part of GNU, so to truly remove all GNOME-related files and packages you would have to remove all of GNU, and that WILL create a completely useless system, you'd be lucky if you could get it to boot to Busybox.

      "That pretty much means that a GUI, even GNOME, is NOT coupled to the O/S kernel."

      Why would a desktop environment ever be coupled with the KERNEL, that makes absolutely no sense.

    • dragonmouth
      August 14, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      Jacob, you are talking nonsense. How long have you been using Linux? Have you ever used Linux in your life?

      Yes, GNOME is part of the GNU Project. All that means is that GNOME is guaranteed to contain no proprietary code and that it is available to anyone and everyone under Copyleft.

    • Jacob Barkdull
      August 16, 2014 at 5:59 am


      "How long have you been using Linux? Have you ever used Linux in your life?"

      When was Fedora Core 6 released? ... 2006, so almost ten years now. I've used Linux on both desktops and laptops, and Android phones since 2010. I've had numerous conversations with RMS and have had similar interactions with people from GNOME and Mozilla on more than a few occasions.

      That being said, I've also considered offering software to GNU more than once, and I can tell you, it requires much more than simply using a Copyleft license and adding "GNU" to the name.

      You have to follow the various GNU policies, like those in the Information for Maintainers of GNU Software, and you have to follow the GNU Coding Standards. Sometimes, though not required, it's best to transfer your copyright to the FSF so that they can enforce the GPL for you. Though, using the GPL also isn't a requirement.

      On topic; GNOME uses multiple GNU packages, as is recommended by the various GNU policies, "it is better for GNU to have a given package to do a given job, and people in that area to contribute to and improve that package, working together, instead of having many packages that each do different parts of a job, each developed on its own."

      A SINGLE package that would have to be removed along with GNOME is GTK+, without which, installing and using the Xfce, Unity, Consort, Cinnamon, MATE, LXDE, Pantheon, Sugar, and ROX desktop environments would be impossible, as well as various applications, like Firefox, GIMP, Inkscape, Chromium (~v35), LibreOffice/, Totem, Gedit, AbiWord, Audacity, Ardour, Pidgin, Cinelera, Ekiga, GNU Emacs, Epiphany, Evolution, gconfig, Geany, Gnumeric, LiVES, and I believe Blender and Steam also use GTK+, all of this software would also be impossible to install and use without GTK+.

      I'd guess around 75% or more of all software available for GNU/Linux similarly makes use of one or more of GNOME's components. Therefore while you don't have to use GNOME as your desktop environment, you have to have it or most of it installed in order to use most software.

      If that doesn't qualify as "coupled", I don't know what would.

  52. Benjamin K
    August 13, 2014 at 6:35 am

    I used Linux for 3 months a few years back. I used Ubuntu. While I found it as an interesting experience, I really doubt I will ever go back. Everything I wanted to do on it ended up being a huge hassle. I had to spend so much time debugging the simplest of problems. And I never had much luck using Wine to run the games that didn't run on Linux. Lastly I had an impossibly hard time trying to watch Netflix, and it would often crash in the middle of my shows.

    • Markus Lindberg
      August 20, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      [Broken Link Removed]
      Netflix is supported on Linux while using Google Chrome Unstable (v38) and chaning your user agent string.

  53. Arup Ghosh
    August 13, 2014 at 6:05 am

    This is what linux lovers think about, those who don't use linux.

  54. Shikhanshu A
    August 13, 2014 at 3:24 am

    Linux cannot run Microsoft Lync which my company uses for all sorts of meetings, conferences, seminars :(

    That is probably the only reason I have to use Windows at work.

    • ClementL
      August 13, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      Isn't Skype compatible with Lync?

  55. Richard B
    August 13, 2014 at 1:56 am

    As someone who dual boots, I honestly can say that I actually prefer the terminal for some things. Updating the system takes WAY less time in terminal that "Software Updater".

  56. William Peckham
    August 13, 2014 at 1:37 am

    I enjoyed the article.
    My first Operating System was 8K-Basic on the INTERACT-J, followed by CP/M, followed by MPM-II on Altos and finally CPM-86. IBM-DOS came later. I have been a Windows Sysadmin, but hate the lack of control. Windows is an obfuscated, integrated operating system with great power used properly.

    Linux is a kernel, and many of what people call 'distributions' are linux based operating systems. I like ALL of them, for one purpose or another. The poorest serves me better than any version of Windows, because I can CONTROL it! With Windows, Microsoft is in control, not the user.

    The browser that brought me here is iceweasle, running on VSIDO. There is no more cutting edge Linux OS to my knowledge. The only way I know to get less stable is to work raw SID or roll your own from unstable sources. Despite this I never use the command line except to search the apt-cache for interesting packages: I can search faster in a terminal window than any gui solution. And, I have had no downtime since my original install. Everyting "just works" and exactly as i would expect. In fact: just as equivalent programs would on Windows, except faster, in less memory, for free, and without nagging me about my "User Controls" setting. (Did I mention multiple desktops? All *nix has had this since the first CDE implemented, and MS has still not caught up!)

    Do I hate Windows? Heck no, it makes me a significant portion of my income! It is even an elegant answer to one particular problem: running Microsoft applications. But when I can run whatever I want, I run things that run better. So do those I teach.

    About rude people: there are always some in every group. Neither Linux, nor Windows, groupies are unique in that. I only hope they understand that most readers do not respect the opinion of someon who cannot express themselves politely.

    • LeBeau
      October 7, 2014 at 3:52 am

      Great comment. No disrespect, but as a Linux lover, I enjoyed reading it more than the article. "Elegant answer... Microsoft applications"... that was golden!

  57. Sevis
    August 12, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    "But the reality is that most Linux newbies aren’t coming from a blank slate; they’re coming from Windows or Mac. If a user comes to Linux expecting it to behave like another operating system, yes, it will be difficult and frustrating."

    That basically sums up EVERYTHING.

    Great article, thank you! It should be required reading for anyone thinking of trying Linux.

  58. Bolo
    August 12, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    You can use Linux for everyday use except for gaming. It's getting better, but Windows is the best PC os for gaming.

  59. chila
    August 12, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    I think this is a mentality problem. I can bet most linux haters are conservative dude. It'll not surprise me if they're republican.

    • Col. Panek
      August 13, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      Um, how much did you bet?

      OK, I'm not Republican per se, but one thing us conservatives like to do is conserve money. And time. And we also tend to be libertarian, and Linux is all of that!

    • Paul
      August 14, 2014 at 12:55 am

      Not conservative...afraid of computers.They learn the little they know about computers and are afraid of having to learn anything more.

  60. Sudeepto D
    August 12, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Actually the fact that we must learn command line to use Linux got me excited :)

    I have been using WIndows the day I got my PC. Right now I am using Ubuntu as my main OS and revert to Windows 8.1 for some windows specific softwares .

    While using windows , I was using GUI softwares to perform most of my jobs .

    It was like, using the OS the way it wants me to use it . In a controlled (or RESTRICTED) way.

    When I started using Ubuntu, I found myself referring to man pages and ubuntu forums on a daily basis. While it may be frustrating for some people, I actually enjoyed it.

    Why ?? Because I learned so many things about Linux. How the files are arranged, that everything is a file object, command line gives me wings :D etc etc .

    I am not saying that Windows is bad . I have used it and still using it .
    But for me , the sense of control that Linux provides me is unparalleled .

    Sure the UI may not appeal to most people. But I like Unity and I am content with it.

    Yes , we may find ourselves dealing with annoying error messages. But if someone is hell-bent on learning about his OS , how it works , or even an OS that is light on the resources and gets his/her job done , Linux is a great OS.

    I am very happy that over the years Linux has matured so much. UI is nice , it offers basic functionality like web browsing , home entertainment , gaming (not completely but STEAM support is awesome). And it is very light on resources .

    One thing is quite clear here. If someone wants to use Linux , he must be motivated to deal with the hard stuff . But once he learns how to deal with it, the journey will be smooth :)

    • Manifest S
      August 13, 2014 at 2:42 am

      You nailed it. I share your enthusiasm about the joy of figuring out the OS. Making it yours. As a small (really small) business owner, using linux has saved me a fortune. It forced me to be more economically creative in business. With the live dvd/USB key option, my company is cloud based and paperless. And I am running on some fairly old and cheap craigslist machines. Keep them out of the landfill.
      Tools like WPS(Kingsoft) Office and occasionally Libre Office work very well for all my business applications. Master PDF,Scribus, Inkscape and Gimp are amazing. Yes, there is a learning curve. So what. It's worth it. The amount of online biz apps & Google apps for business you are more than covered.

      Using command line is so much faster. I agree, I also get excited when I can just open terminal, type a few commands and be done. But, not going to lie, there are times I also enjoy my blinged out, ultra customized cairo-dock and desktop switching. That in itself has made me far more organized. A different desktop for every task.

      I agree again, Steam works well but I'm am by no means a gamer. Just need the occasional distraction.

      A quick Google search will usually give you not just one but 10 answers to your one question and a few you didn't know you had. There is a lack of inquisitiveness and self-reliance in the general population of computer users. I don't understand how any efficient small business doesn't at least investigate what is possible. The time it takes to learn your way around is miniscule compared to the long term savings and tech independance you gain from knowing how your system works instead of believing "it just works."

      I'm glad I didn't believe the nonsense and gave it shot. Being off Windows now for more than three years, I don't miss a thing at this point.

  61. michel
    August 12, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    I would happily use linux if it would a)install properly: many attempts on different machines with different distros over the years, up to and including the latest Ubuntu, Suse and Mint, have all failed. And b) suit my needs. I have great hopes for Kingsoft/WPS Office going forward, but no one's even trying to get decent voice recognition working, and I need that - it doubles my productivity.

    • dragonmouth
      August 12, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      I notice you do not provide any specific details of your problems with Linux installations. You just make a genral statement that "Linux won't install properly." Since you have tried many differnt distros on many different machines with a universal lack of success, I would say it is not Linux or your hardware that is the problem, it is you. I, too, have tried many distros on many different PCs over the years and I have had the exact opposite results from yours. With few exceptions, every distro installed properly and ran properly. It is only after I tried to customize them, that many distros quit working. But that was my fault because I tried to do things with them that they were not designed to do. Any O/S (Windows, Linux, Unix, MVS, OS1100, XENIX, etc.) can be blown up if one tries to make it do what it was not designed to do.

      Many distros did not suit my needs. In spite of all the hype, Ubuntu is not customizable. Oh sure, the eye candy can be changed but no packages installed by default can be uninstalled. The developers, in their infinte wisdom, decided to have all the application packages use system files as dependencies. If you want to delete a package, you make the system inoperable.

      If you expect Kingsoft Office to look and work like MS Office then you will be disappointed. Even MS Office for Windows and one for Mac do not look and work alike. M$ protects its look and feel very jealously and very vigorously. So all the other Office suites will look differently, work differently and have its own unique features. If you are one of those who cannot do without MS Office's features, then you better stick with it.

    • michel
      August 12, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      Yeah, it must be my fault for following instructions as given. This is a typical linux-user response, if you don't like it or have problems with, it's your fault.

    • ivo
      August 12, 2014 at 9:02 pm

      I wonder had that went for other OSs.... oh, I forgot they come pre-installed :)

      If you want to install it from scratch, ANY operating system will have associated issues. In the case of Ubuntu, they provide a trouble-free list of certified hardware:

    • T
      August 12, 2014 at 10:07 pm


      I have seen a common thread in your posts on various articles and can't help but wonder, are you being paid? Did Linux frighten you when you were a small child? Seriously what's your real beef w Linux.

    • michel
      August 12, 2014 at 11:02 pm

      I wish I were being paid. I'm just reporting my experience. I have no beef, except that I'm continually disappointed that it doesn't seem to work. I think it's great that others like it and it serves their needs. I'd be happy to give it a serious go if it met my needs, and I follow its evolution waiting for the day. It's frequently presented on tech blogs like this one as a serious alternative for non-geeks, and I think someone should warn them it's not so. I don't really want to argue, just presenting my experience.

    • Dennis Andrew Gutowski Jr
      August 13, 2014 at 4:04 am

      Ubuntu installs beautifully, and I don't need any extra software out of the box. I haven't had an issue with installation since 2004.

    • Dennis Andrew Gutowski Jr
      August 13, 2014 at 4:10 am

      I've been reading some of the negative Linux comments on here.

      If you haven't used Linux in a few years you should not comment.

      1) all the windows software I have installed via wine has worked beatifully.
      2) the "buntus" install perfectly (i own 4 machines of verying types, and install Ubuntu on customer machines, installs beautifully every time)
      3) if for some odd reason your version of windows software doesn't work with wine, there is almost always a replacement software available that will work and is Linux native.
      4) Linux is free, but we aren't just talking dollars and cents here. We also mean it is free to change as you wish. Windows is not free, in both of those ways.

      There are a few drawbacks to Linux. There are also drawbacks to Windows and Mac Os. So what you need to do is choose which drawbacks you can live with, because any OS made by man is inherently imperfect and will therefore have issues, period.

    • WiLiOx
      August 13, 2014 at 8:05 am

      Michael, I have some empathy for thoughts, but it does sound like you would have difficulty with any given OS. Honestly, if this was a race track, in need of race car drivers and race care mechanics; you'd be best place as a spectator.

  62. ed
    August 12, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    "Linux is too difficult". Well, when it comes to troubleshooting from the average user's perspective, so is Windows.

    All my family members run Windows. When they get a virus, they come to me. When they need a printer installed, they come to me. When they can't connect to wifi, they come to me. When they can't find where they saved a document, they come to me.

    I suspect, if they were all on Linux, they would still come to me. For the average person, troubleshooting small issues is difficult in Windows. But for the average person, surfing the internet, clicking "Save", checking email, watching Youtube videos, would be the same on Windows or Linux.

    Strictly sticking to a GUI, small differences that can be easily overcome on any platform would make Linux as easy to use as Windows.

    • Joel L
      August 12, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      Ha, there's a lot of truth to what you say. Windows isn't an easy OS; it's just familiar. For most, that's unfortunately all that matters.

    • dragonmouth
      August 12, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      Your family,ed, has designated you "the family IT person." You are the victim of your own expertise. :-)
      I know how it feels. Just because I was a programmer for a number of years and built my first PC, my family expects me to be the "PC guru."

    • paulinsf
      August 13, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      "They come to me..."

      I bet that is true of many of us reading this article. I have some steady "customers" of my own. I recently talked my sister though the steps of installing Linux Mint on her new laptop and spent some time on the phone with her the next couple of days helping her install a few programs etc. and told her to call me when she ran into something she didn't know how to deal with.

      I realized yesterday that it's been a couple of weeks and I hadn't gotten any follow up questions. I called and asked her if she had just gotten so frustrated with Linux that she went back to her old Windows machine, which is something I have done myself several times in the 10 years since I installed my first distro, Linspire 4.0. "Nope" she said. Just hadn't had any questions yet and everything is working fine for her.

      I read an article recently that pointed out the Linux distro's work a lot better out of the box than they used to, and I agree. If my sister can painlessly make the switch than most anyone can.

    • Double
      August 14, 2014 at 6:52 am

      I had a Linux PC a couple of years ago on a computer I build from part I had and a motherboard and processor I bought. I loved it for everyday purposes (I am not a gamer). However, I ran into difficulties with finding drivers for my scanner and understanding the "package manager stuff" for some programs. Many tips came from helpful people who assumed however others knew what they were talking about. Anyway, I had used it as I did not want to spend money on a Windows XP license and did not want to "steal" one either. It worked great, I was able to solve many problems with the linux commands, while I am still frustrated every time I have to use command line in Window. When my harddrive crashed my son took the PC and I bought a laptop with Vista (talk about a bad OS). several months ago I bought a new laptop with Windows 8. While it is probably not "difficult" it is the most frustrating OS out there, because it is unfamiliar and I hated the tile screen that came when ever I swiped my touch pad too fast. Luckily with much forum support and tips I was able to turn off the swipe issue and installed Classic Shell to have a start menu. I still had problems at times. I am contemplating to going back to Linux at some point, but I guess I would need some time to get used to it. It is a familiarity issue, not difficulty, and some compatibility issues of hard and software that make the switch harder. My experience with Linux was that it was faster even with older hardware with less "need" to constantly upgrade and spend more money which will make a certain billionaire even richer. It is a great alternative, especially for those who begin with computers or who have to switch from an old Windows distribution and have to choose between Windows 8 (as unfamiliar and "difficult" as Linux), Mac (expensive) and Linux. Since most Linux distributions are for free with numerous free software, I can see why people might switch. After all, if it does not work, you can always spend money for Win 8.

  63. francesco
    August 12, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    At the end i have understood that Linux is a various world of distro @ few levels :
    1) for beginners
    2) for medium users
    3) for expert users
    Probably the world of Linux is too fragmented but not too difficult so we must consideer that linux is third Os used on the world

    • Joel L
      August 12, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      Good point. Though many Linux lovers will praise Linux for its many distros, it IS a double-edged sword as the fragmented community itself can be a steep learning curve. If there was an easy questionnaire that provided users with their "ideal distro" with significant accuracy, Linux would do a lot better, I think.

    • dragonmouth
      August 12, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      @Joel L:
      DistroWatch labels some of the distros in their database as being for "beginners", "intermediates" or "experts." However that is rather rare.

      I notice that MUO does not categorize the distros by user experience. Even the distro descriptions do not mention whom they are best suited for. I think it would be a good idea for MUO to break down their General Distro category into "beginner", "intermediate" and "expert" sub-categories. Or at least mention somewhere in the distro description
      who they are recommended for. That would avoid a lot of confusion and disillusionment, especially among the newbies. After all, we don't want the beginners to attempt Gentoo, Fedora, Arch or most of the Minimal Distros. We DO want to steer them towards Zorin, Bodhi, Mint or Elementary.

    • Valczir
      August 13, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      @Joel L: I've found many quizzes that do just that, and they've always been pretty accurate for me (most of them recommend that I use gentoo, arch, or slackware; I've been using gentoo/funtoo since 2006). Here's the first result on google for the search terms "linux distro quiz": [Broken Link Removed]

  64. Andrew B
    August 12, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Linuxs growing support for games and hardware drivers has ruined my productivity.

    When Civ 5 got full Linux/Steam support a few months ago, I'd maybe clocked in a few hours of gameplay.

    I'm currently at about 300. Dammit Linux, why don't you suck anymore!

    But my favourite Linux Myth that hasn't been mentioned yet is the 'Linux is just for freeloaders'; I pay for Crossover Office, which is an optimised version of WINE which is much more stable and has great support, and since Steam (and Nvidia) started pushing Linux as a gaming platform, I've spent more on media than I have in years.

    Biggest gripe at the minute as a full time Linux user? No Netflix. Booo!

    • Mark S.
      August 12, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      Chrome beta has HTML5 Netflix play-back, you just need to change your user-agent string so it thinks it's windows connecting. This is new in the last few days.

    • Paul
      August 14, 2014 at 12:17 am

      And Windows is for software pirates

    • mmstick
      October 3, 2014 at 5:13 am

      The latest Chrome supports Netflix.

  65. Saikat B
    August 12, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Nice post Joel. The one thing that's stopping me from taking up Linux wholeheartedly is the lack of familiar applications. Some specific ones in my case. If I have spent time learning Photoshop, there's nothing equivalent on Linux. GIMP has its good points, but...

    • Joel L
      August 12, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      As useful as WINE can be, it definitely doesn't cover every program available on Windows. That IS one of the non-myth downsides of Linux and the reason why I dual boot. :(

    • Perry
      August 12, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      I run PS CS2 with Topaz plug-ins under WINE on a modestly-spec'd PC and it runs very well. I'm using the latest version of Xubuntu with the Xcfe desktop.

    • dragonmouth
      August 12, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      The one knock I have against Linux developers is that there is very little creativity among them. Every Tom, Dick or Harry developer takes an already existing distro, most of the time Ubuntu, makes a few esthetic changes and "creates" a "new" distro.

      There is no, or very little, effort made to either port applications from other O/Ss or to write analogous ones for Linux. For example, AFAIK, there is no Peachtree Accounting or Turbo Tax for Linux. Why don't all these wannabe Volkerdings or Shuttleworths use their coding skills and energy to create needed applcations for Linux rather than churning out endless unneeded versions of *buntu? Of course, it is infinitely easier to use a Chinese menu of modules to create another knockoff distro than it is to write an application from scratch.

    • T
      August 12, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      dragonmouth, It seems apparent that if you looked for native Linux accounting packages it hasn't been recent. There are a wide range of them from very basic to enterprise level. Though it should be noted the offerings for enterprise are better than those for SMBs.

    • Dr. Server
      August 13, 2014 at 4:10 am

      What's wrong with solving the problem on your own? I'm a Windows user and I solve some of my problems throughout the command line.

    • Thor Sigurdsson
      August 13, 2014 at 9:10 am

      Actually it doesn't need to be frustrating.

      In ~1998 I installed Linux on my mom's machine, replacing a repeatedly failing Windows installation (this was at the peak of viruses and trojans for w95/w98) - an installation of Linux, KDE (in release 1.x), Hancom Office and a handful of games. The setup was in use until the release of Windows XP in 2001 and in that timeframe only a single incident (problem) occurred - which could be solved by guiding her over the phone.

      Just as normal users do need "professional" help to install their Windows computers in such a way that they don't have any trouble using it, the same goes for installing Linux; if you have never built a shed, don't try building a house on your own :)

    • Thor Sigurdsson
      August 13, 2014 at 9:11 am

      Ugh... my reply was intended for kekes' post :/

    • dragonmouth
      August 13, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      I used account software as general, not a specific example. My point is that there are many Windows applications with no analogs in Linux and it would be nice if the wannabe developers tried to develop some of those applications instead of mindlessly churning out new version of *buntu.

      AFAIK, the only Linux app that even approximates the functionality of Turbo Tax or TaxAct is Open Tax Solver. From the its description on the developers site, it is much more rudimentary in comparison to the Windows apps.

    • mmstick
      October 3, 2014 at 5:12 am

      Perhaps you should try out Krita. I come from a background of using Scribus, GIMP and Krita, and I honestly can't stand using Photoshop/InDesign.

    • Az4x4
      December 25, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      I've used Photoshop 7, the still popular version image editing pros often choose, in Wine on Linux Mint for years. There's literally nothing I can't do with it that I could do with the same program in Windows or Mac. So the excuse that all the goodness of Photoshop isn't available in Linux is bogus from my point of view.

  66. kekes
    August 12, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Actually you have to use the command line to solve any problem you came across, soon or later its inevitable.
    I love linux but i don't recommend it to anyone that isn't tech adventurous, you need will to learn otherwise it's gonna be frustrating.

    • techno
      August 12, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      yeah but how is that even different than Windows? I am a tech support engineer and I spent a large portion of my day in the command line trying to debug networking issues. This isn't limited to linux, it's a false issue. Any time you have to troubleshoot it's by nature, going to require you be adventurous, the software isn't working as it is supposed to. My neighbor's daughter installed Ubuntu on her own and hasn't needed to go into the command line in years. Will some people need to go into the command line? Sure. Does everyone? No. The same can be said of any OS.

    • techno
      August 12, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      I get tired of hearing these excuses. Literally half of my Steam library supports linux, all of my games from GOG have run under WINE, only 2 or so have required any configuration. My wife, who has never used linux was able to use Kubuntu without any help whatsoever. Every single major release has some sort of software center that is point and click. Gnome 3 is apparently pretty enough that Apple ripped it off. Linux has issues, mostly with a lag in cutting edge driver support and *some* scanners don't work out of the box. I just am sick and tired of hearing how terrible linux is, when the exact same issues affect Macs, yet everyone recommends a Mac to their relatives that don't know how to computer.

      Another myth I've heard. Linux users are mean. We're not mean, we just expect that if there is an issue that you've actually tried to look for a solution, same as any technical user. There are chats, wikis, and forums that are just teeming with people willing to help.

    • A. Dueppen
      August 12, 2014 at 11:03 pm

      The only difference is that Windows users take their computer to a tech support place, and Linux users try to solve the problem on their own.

    • Dennis Andrew Gutowski Jr
      August 13, 2014 at 3:57 am

      Actually, that's false. I have seen home linux machines just work without issue for over a decade. the owner never had to use the cli or terminal emulator, ever.

      If you mess around with it like i do then yes. But if you use the internet and check your email, and maybe watch some youtube, you can run a linux machine for a decade without ever typing a single command.

      Granted this wasn't always the case, but it is now.

    • John
      August 13, 2014 at 6:55 am

      Well, sometimes you really HAVE TO use terminal. I got into LXDE recently and when configuring it, I had no choice. BUT in era of internet, everything is googlable, so in fact, one doesn't necesarilly need to know how to use terminal. Copypasta does the trick.
      Later, when one gets into Linux, he realizes, what potential command line has and use it more and more. But for starters, copypasta and graphical front-ends will do.

    • David B
      August 13, 2014 at 7:16 am

      You don't need to use the command line to solve all your issues, but in linux the command line is so powerful that you can use it to solve most of your issues much faster and more efficiently than walking through a GUI (on any operating system), for example installing a program is a quick trip to the command line which takes 20 or so seconds or a much longer trip through the GUI interface of a package manager program (or the windows method of searching the internet for your download and hope you don't catch any viruses/malware/toolbars on the way). The linux command line is incredibly powerful, and many programs have methods available where you can run a command and it can automate or quickly run several given actions which may be unwieldy to do using a GUI. If navigating a GUI is like walking somewhere then running a command is like teleporting there; and if you take time to learn and use the 'magic words' you can save a lot of time. It's a great boon to the technologically literate and curious, but it can help everyone.

      Many linux techies who are assisting you with a problem will often write a command for you to run that will instantly solve that problem; save you several minutes of having to follow instructions that you may misunderstand or digging through your files to accomplish something. If you were trying to accomplish the same thing on Windows, that would often be the only solution available to you (to walk through menu interfaces and hope you don't mess up a step). The fact that the linux command line is available and so versatile and powerful is a great advantage, not a drawback.

    • Max
      August 17, 2014 at 8:36 am

      using the command line...??? well thats the beauty of it....u get to use anything using command line...!!!

    • LeBeau
      October 7, 2014 at 3:39 am

      tldr; Disagree. Most people only use a web browser on their PCs. No command line needed.
      I have installed Linux for quite a few little old ladies (literally and figuratively), with a contractual promise to service OS issues for free. Set up auto software update, install desktop icons for music player and for direct links to Facebook or Yahoo and the like and leave. I really have answered more paid calls for "I can't figure out Yahoo! mail after these interface changes!" than any calls, paid or otherwise that required the command line.
      I do indeed often use the command line on my Linux boxes. Usually, it is because the command line is easier and faster for me for many tasks, like installing software when you know exactly what you want or file management. Most of the rest of the time, it's for things that would also require the same on Windows, like ping, or if(/w/p)config. Most remaining of my uses are more often professional, fixing as Windows or Linux boot issue from a liveCD. The few remaining uses are far outnumbered by how often I need to open regedit on a Windows. And you can't cut-and-paste into regedit.
      I will go as far as to say if you use Linux, SOMEONE will have to use the command line sooner or later. Just like regedit.