Is Linux Really An Alternative To Windows...?

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by Steve S, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    This article is a pretty good write-up by someone who decided to get off the Windows train, at least for a few days. It sounds like Linux is viable as an alternative, just not as polished. And there are some choices and adjustments that you need to make to recapture (most of) your Windows and apps functionality...

    https://www.tomshardware.com/news/switching-from-windows-to-linux,37406.html

    (Courtesy of TomsHardware site)
     
  2. ATIVQ

    ATIVQ V⅁O⅄ Senior Member

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    Linux is definitely viable but most of the interface is an eyesore. The question is do you want your computing experience to be pleasant and relatively maintenance-free (Windows, macOS, Chrome OS) or do you want to look at rough edges all the time and have to manually configure everything that's slightly-out-of-the-ordinary.
     
  3. Shizaru

    Shizaru Scribbler - Standard Member

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    The issue is the cost required to have a "maintenance-free" system personally handing ownership of the machine to untrustworthy, dictatorial corporations wanting to trap you in their walled gardens isn't worth the price in the long term. I guess it comes down to whether or not your freedoms and privacy etc. are worth suffering a little pain for or not?

    The vast majority of private computers user could make the switch with virtually zero discomfort if all the do is browse the web, consume media along with some word processing and spreadsheet chores. It only becomes a bit more of a struggle for people who create content or rely on specific applications which don't have a polished Linux equivalent.

    Linux would evolve much faster if we as consumers made the switch in significant numbers and supported projects we wish to see developed. Hardware support would improve if consumers were basing their buying decisions on the level of Linux support hardware offers. For example if we stopped buying peripherals that don't provide Linux drivers manufactures would need to adapt. Wider adoption of VM's would also help people transition if it were easy and reliably enough for the average user to use them. VM's are simple enough to use on a basic level already so maybe it's more a matter of informing people about the benefits?

    The heavy reliance and elitist attitude revolving around the command line is another factor that puts people of making the switch imho. Point and click dialogues is obviously what the vast majority of people prefer to use. Linux has improved quite a lot with respect to GUI interfaces in a number of areas, but it's still woefully short of the mark with respect to the experience most people would want and expect in the 21st century.

    If M$ continues on it current trajectory of forcing their will on to the user and hijacking their hardware more and more savvy people are going to take the leap. The Linux community needs to take advantage of peoples disappointments, and embrace the GUI with the same vigor they do the CL, to become more Windows like with respect to the user experience imho.

    Linux is already the most widely used OS on the planet and most people don't even know they are using it when they use Linux based devices on a daily basis.
     
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  4. ATIVQ

    ATIVQ V⅁O⅄ Senior Member

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    If I had to, I'd jump ship to Chromium OS.
     
  5. Starlight5

    Starlight5 So what if I'm crazy? The best people are.

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    Especially, updates are a pain. Though that can sometimes be said about Windows 10 too, lately.
    It's sometimes easier to cut off spyware and setup Windows 10 properly. The problem with Linux is that it is too fluid, everything changes all the time - so what you did manually under the hood may stop working or brick your system right after update. And most documentation is just outdated and doesn't work because everything long moved on since it was written, so time & effort to fix it grow exponentially.
     
  6. Shizaru

    Shizaru Scribbler - Standard Member

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    While I agree for the most part there are distros that mitigate some of those issues for the most part, and the long term releases tend to be pretty stable without any major show stoppers arising out of the blue.

    I agree that there are ways to make Win 10 less intrusive but the fact remains M$ own your machine and dictate how you get to use it to a great extent. Sucking that crap up isn't good for the long term prospects of privacy etc. The vast majority of people have no interest nor knowledge about securing their systems against M$ pillage and plunder. The end result is we all get sucked down into the mire slowly but surely.

    Chrome is probably way worse as Gargoyle (ABC) represents a far greater threat and more pervasive, ubiquitous and aggressive than M$ ever were imho.
     
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  7. Starlight5

    Starlight5 So what if I'm crazy? The best people are.

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    I can't agree with that - rather, user may choose to leave Microsoft in control, or take over - to some degree or completely*, the latter certainly requiring A LOT of effort . Depending on what one actually needs, it's often much easier and faster to just install some Linux flavor. However, Linux in general ain't by any means perfect either; my opinion may be biased, but only Qubes offers something really great and outstanding in terms of both privacy and security, at least on paper.

    * from the OS standpoint - only completely open-source hardware and firmware may allow complete control of machine, no matter the OS - while we all have Intel ME (or AMD equivalent) spyware plaguing our x86 machines.
     
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  8. Shizaru

    Shizaru Scribbler - Standard Member

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    There in lies the problem...not enough people are willing to put in the effort or even take the time to understand the fundamentals of the technology they use.

    The average user can use linux without too much of a problem for surfing, wp, spreadsheets and a host of everyday tasks. If you want to push things beyond that then more effort is required. Linux has come along way in the past ten years and it would come a lot further if adoption was wider.

    There are companies working on the hardware situation such as https://puri.sm/ the problem is the hardware choice is rather limited and not much bang for the buck right now. It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation until volume sales can be achieved and more hardware companies take a similar approach.

    If we as users want to see these things happen then we need to make the effort by supporting projects that offer an alternative which deliver freedoms which the major corporations actively wish to deny us.

    The other problem is that the Linux community is driven by people who are way more tech savvy than the average joe or enthusiast come to that, which impacts the path development takes. If Linux devs embraced the fact that normal uses exists and far out number them things would improve especially if they adopted the aspects of Mac OS, Chrome and Windows that make them accessible to everyday folk...mostly GUI and hand holding throughout basic configuration tasks etc. Linux would start to evolve into something people could actually use without too much effort. Android is a good example of a Linux based OS that yoru average person can poke about in and get results. I'm not saying Linux should be dumbed down to that extent but they need to move in that direction imho.
     
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  9. ATIVQ

    ATIVQ V⅁O⅄ Senior Member

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    Here's an example... I want a specific USB drive to be available on boot at a specified path. Sure, most users won't do this, but it shouldn't be hard to do.

    On Windows, it's configured with Disk Management, obviously with a graphical interface.

    On Debian, it's configured with udisks2 with several text files, but I found that out only after wasting hours wading through 20 or so search results about fstab and udev even though they are NOT the recommended method to mount removable drives.
     
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  10. Mark Gonzales

    Mark Gonzales Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I used Windows 7 for so many years straight and decided to use Linux just for a while, didn't get the feel so I went to windows 10 and it got worse. In the end went back to Windows 7 and I am glad it's still there.
     
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