The Real Problem of Linux: The Userbase?

By Sjaaksken

By Sci/Tech News Staff on August 24th, 2005 20:16 GMT
True, a normal Linux installation and setting up basic internet access and email settings is proven to be equally easy under Windows as under Linux- if not easier under Linux. But I've been using Linux distributions for several years now, and I must say that for advanced problems it's harder to get things worked out under Linux.

This is mainly just a result of the userbase of the respective OS' but it's a fact you can't go round. Don't get me wrong, I love Linux and am one of its most enthusiast supporters but there is lack of a serious userbase that can help for every possible hardware/software problem on Linux. True, the same can be said for Windows in some cases but in general you'll get help faster for windows problems. The more the userbase grows the less the gap between the two OS' and maybe there will be a day in the near future when we can all laugh at the old days when we had to work with windows.

Great communities for Linux problems are already arising, like Linuxquestions.org and others. But they'll have to grow! The lack of transparency between the distributions combined with the diversity of the hardware makes it difficult to lift your Linux distribution to a higher level. Off course it can be done but you have to work and learn alot, and above all 'trial and error'- which of course gives you the fun of having solved a puzzle once you find out how it works.

Over the years Linux has become almost mature enough to really hit the desktops. Only thing it needs now are killer apps- like high quality sound and video programs, drawing software and other high- end/workstation software that brings out the best in the system's stability, power and security.
  
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