Six outdated myths about Linux

In today's open source roundup: Six myths about Linux that aren't true. Plus: Canonical won't support DEB-based Ubuntu Software Center. And the controversy over Purism's laptops

Six outdated myths about Linux

Linux has gotten a lot of attention over the last ten years, but certain outdated myths still persist about it. TechRepublic has a list of these myths and explains why they simply aren't true.

Jack Wallen reports for TechRepublic:

Consider what Linux was in the late '90s or early 2000s. New users migrating from Windows to Linux had a serious task ahead of them. Even the process of upgrading from release to release could be a nightmare. You wanted to upgrade the kernel? Good luck learning how to compile!

But the times have changed, and Linux today isn't the Linux of yesterday.

There will always people that doubt the true simplicity and power of Linux (just like there are those that deny the usability of Windows and Mac). To those that continue to deny the viability of Linux, let me address the following points.

1. Linux doesn't have the apps I need

2. The Linux upgrade process is too challenging

3. The interface isn't what I'm used to

4. Solving Linux issues isn't intuitive

5. 90% of users haven't installed an operating system

6. New users aren't smart enough for Linux

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TechRepublic readers shared their thoughts:

Humphries74: "Installing Ubuntu is a breeze and I have tried the Live CD's of Debian, Mint, LXLE, Elementary OS, DSL, and Puppy, all are different but easy enough to install. I do like the fact that there are different flavors to choose from. I believe that Elementary in time will be an awesome distribution of Linux. I am not a computer nerd or a real tech when it comes to computers, but I will say that I have really enjoyed using a Linux OS and the learning is not bad, even for an average Joe. I would like to buy a laptop from System 76 one day but right now, I have more laptops than I can shake a stick at."

Ben: "The biggie is the use of extremely juvenile names for a lot of the software applications. This obfuscates what Linux can do and it puts off people who are expecting application names to tell something about what the software does. Second is simply that there are far too many distros to choose from. Not only are there too many distros, a great many distros offer a selection from a number of desktops like Gnome, Cinnamon, Mate, Unity, LXDE, and my most unfavorite of all, KDE. Why do I dislike KDE? Because of all the incredibly stupid K-names for various KDE applications."

Robert: "The number 1 issue mentioned is a big deal breaker all by itself. Whether you blame the OS or developers is irrelevant. If you don't have the apps or software needed it does no good."

Barton: "Grandma/Grandpa & SOHOs can't walk down the street and find a Linux person to help support them. They are there, but much further in-between than a Windows or Apple tech. This even gets worse when you move to a rural area. Do you really think they want to do it themselves; yeah, right. They just want it to work.

I use Linux, Apple, and Windows (right tool for the job). Others in a business don't have the knowledge I do. But, we are subject to the same politics (sometime whims) as other areas of business. If a CFO says "no open source" and gives her reasons, then it is no open source. You can try to change her mind, but in the end, it is their decision. The negative stereotype, support issues, and a unified enterprise platform for administration needs to be conquered prior to changing their minds (and don't pretend it isn't there)."

Charlie: "I abhor the use of the word 'intuitive' when referring to software. Most of the time what people really mean is, 'behaves like I've learned to expect'. On the other hand, the average user isn't going to wade through a slew of log files."

Aportman: "90-95,99% of Linux users want FREE apps. Sort of hard to build a business case for investing the time and money in building a Linux version of my app if I can't charge for it. I haven't tested Adobe's cloud suite on Linux, but that would be the only way their products are going to be on a penguin box anytime soon."

CharlieS: "It's not that installing a Linux distro is difficult, it's the fear that the user won't get all his data copied off first. This is especially a problem with Windows 'Libraries' consolidating the entire drive into a couple of collections; the user may not know where everything actually resides. Add in multiple users, some of whom may have their data locked. Add in the data that may be stored on the cloud in proprietary silos."

Juan: "I'm glad I don't need that Windows-only software. I do not use Photoshop, neither video editing software, and Netflix and Spotify both are available for linux, and I have more software than I need in the repos. If you don't that specific software, the only reason stopping you from switching is your own fears."

Brian: "I've said it before and it still prevents me from completely switching to Linux. INSTALLING SOFTWARE. The last piece of software I fought with on Linux still has the same instructions that do not work and are a complete mystery to me as a Windows user."

Rice: "...modern Linux operating systems such as Ubuntu, Mint, and Android make installing applications a pleasure!

In Ubuntu, for example, simply (1) click the "Software Center" icon on the launcher, and (2) double-click the application you want to install."

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