Desktop Linux

January 4, 2009

I got a small dogpile over a recent article at my main site about my reluctance to recommend Linux to Joe Average.  That’s understandable, I think, because most readers misinterpreted the point and were focusing on the specific issue and ignoring the larger problem.

It’s not about whether or not you can find a clipboard manager for Gnome on Centos. It’s not about whether or not you should run Slackware or Ubuntu or Kubuntu, Gnome, KDE are anything else – though those never ending arguments do make Linux more confusing for Joe Average.

It’s not that you can get into a mess trying to find a clipboard manager for Gnome – you can step in it trying to do almost anything with anything.

Linux isn’t ready for Joe. In absolute fairness, Windows really isn’t either but defects don’t matter at all because of Microsoft’s default position of dominance.

Unfortunately, the things that we love about Linux contribute to its difficulties. If we didn’t have a choice of window managers, we’d lose all that confusion. If we didn’t have distro choices, we would lose another stack of conflicts. Maybe “Linux” per se never can be ready for our boy Joe – maybe only a specific packaging will ever hope to accomplish that.

At the suggestion of one reader, I’ll be looking at PCLinuxOS a little later today.  That reader seems to be very down on Ubuntu – surprising to me as I thought it was pretty darn good.  But hey, I’m willing to look around.

The funny part about the dogpile is that several folks jumped on my supposed incompetence and asked where I got off trying to sell a Unix and Linux troubleshooting book if I were so incompetent.. of course they not only missed the point but probably caused several hundred people to take a peek at the page that advertises that – thanks!