Will Linux Catch On?

Story Text:

I have been playing around with fedora for a number of weeks and whilst I like what I see I see some major pitfalls.

A lot of you folks are linux gurus and love your command line, but not all of us feel the same. I try the command line as much as possible (to learn), but sometimes I just want to click a button.

Take today for example, I needed to burn a backup of mysql db.

Process in Windows
Start nero > drag files > press button > drink diet coke....done

Process Using Fedora
Install KDE > press buttons ... no worky
Install NeroLinux > get permission error..still no worky
Read forums only to see some crazy kernal advice
Read more forums and be told to chmod 777 for the device (OK done but is that secure???) which you must SU in for.
Press buttons > works (but I still have a fear that I have left some gaping chasm of security flaw in place)

This is the same process for other things.

For example addding a module in php:

"just recompile php!" was some of the advice.

hmmmm, not sure, will i wipe eveything out. Man I just want pcntl_fork and fedora does not have that installed as standard. Why can I not add it easily

I would be true convert if I work these tasks out.

It is for these reasons that linux will not catch on as well as it could.

Moan over


most scary

when you type stuff into the prompt and nothing happens - no moving curser, no ***s appearing, no nothing.

At least with windows you can normally work out how to find and resolve a problem. If I don't have a control panel I won't touch our linux servers and if I do they still scare me :)

It'll only catch on for the public if you stick a mac interface on it and cover it in a translucent bit of plastic ;)


First experience of Linux - one fried hard disk – may of been on the way out anyway. Few years later i tried again but it refused to recognise my graphics card and mouse, few flavours later i got something that worked. A lot may of changed since then, but i found the heavy reliance on the command line a step backwards to the bad old DOS days. For a two fingered dyslexic typist its a pain in arse.

The first piece of software i had to install consisted of several separate downloads and had several pages of instructions for typing at the command line - similar software for windows was installed with just a few clicks. The only incentive for me to switch is some slightly better development tools, but I’d rather make do with what i have than spend days installing, and learning to do what i already do on a expensive flawed OS.

I’ll probably give Linux another go when i come to update my current PC, but you’d have to pay me a large sum of money to abandon XP completely.


>>large sum of money to abandon XP completely.

or some nice features that you cant get running apache/php in a win evironment :-)

too many distributions

The problem with linux is that there are too many distributions which all differ from each other.

The solution to this, if one wants a unix like system, is to go with freebsd which has one release point, and one release engineering team.

or some nice features that you cant get running apache/php in a win evironment :-)

Like starwars, ... go with the source. Provided you can decipher it. Commenting in open source seems to be a no-no, as is documentation.

Meanwhile the MS Platform SDK, which is free to all who care to download it, offers documentation in a consistent format across all system api's. Much easier to work with when coding.

In my experience with the SDK, if it doesn't work, read the SDK again, you probably missed a caveat. It is almost never an error in the documentation.

The biggest thing in the later windows products of course is the threading model and the thread control facilities. Forget so called 'lightweight' processes. It is still not a thread. And then of course, we have fibers. Lightweight threads.


I needed to burn a backup of mysql db.

Not sure of the problem:

Go to the KDE menu > Multimedia > CD and DVD Burning (K3b) > drag files > press button > drink diet coke....done

I've not tried Fedora, though: it's a primarily Gnome-based distro, so the KDE might not be perfect.

I don't know, I don't see the attraction of Windows these days: Linux does what I want, I find Windows desktop too restricting (no multiple desktops even!). For a more point-and-click experience, I started with Mandrake (now Mandriva) and I hardly ever touched the command line. FreeBSD on the other hand is pretty awkward to install and you have no real choice other than the shell for installing or updating packages, etc.

Not sure of the problem:

the /etc/hdc

was not chmod 777. Fancy me not knowing that lol


4 years ago I tried installing Mandrake linux and it wouldn't recognize my graphics card. Two weeks of trading emails with Mandrake support every night after work and I was told it just wasn't going to work.

Command Line:

3 years ago I decided to go with a Mac because I used to use a command line (20 years ago) with CP/M and later DOS and it just seemed like a step backward to me. I've fought all the command line wars I ever care to and all I want is for the OS to be transparent.

What Gurtie says is true you will not find Linux taking off until it has a total GUI interface and you never see that commandline.


you will not find Linux taking off until it has a total GUI interface and you never see that commandline

From a purely selfish point of view, let's hope that never comes to pass - the last thing i want is linux in the hands of every seo on the planet...


oh, and some of you might find the command line cheat sheet useful..


>> The problem with linux is that there are too many distributions
>> which all differ from each other.

IMHO, that's not the problem, it's one of the absolute stengths. And, the differences are not all that big after all.

Take a look at the LiveCD list. Read around a little and see if there's anything that suits your personal preferences. Then, download and burn one of these on CD - put the CD in your drive, reboot, and you're running Linux without even having to install a thing.

If you've got some issues with hardware autodiscovery or whatever just try another, it really is that simple. And, they do install way faster than XP when/if you decide to do so.


I wrote a "little linux introduction" not too long ago (post #5).

os agnostic advice



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Thanks for posting that link to those CD linux distros. When I get time I shall play with them on my old Win box. Looks like fun.

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