Linux: The Verdict

You’ve heard me ranting about Linux for some time now, so what of it, what’s the final word? Should the world drop Windows and head for Linux en-masse? In a word, no.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I made the switch, and the more time that passes, the easier it gets. However, for the average user, it’s hugely more difficult to configure. Actually using the machine once it’s up and running properly is much the same as Windows. It’s probably easier than the switch from Windows to Mac OS X, which is pretty easy.

Linux is still way behind in configuration though. It’s fundamentally a command line operating system (settings are typed, not clicked). While most things can be somewhat customised by clicking, a number of things need you to get your hands dirty in the terminal. There’s no avoiding it. For the average user, it’s far too complicated.

The other major draw back is knowing what to do. With so many flavours of Linux available, there are always several ways to solve a problem. For example, it’s considered best practice to install drivers from a source called livna (new window). However, Fedora, the linux distribution I use, doesn’t tell you that. Other users will tell you, but it’s not Fedora’s policy. The average user doesn’t care, you just want it to work.

Linux’s single biggest advantage, I haven’t purchased one piece of software since installing. Neither have I *cough* borrowed any software! After installing Fedora, I can write documents, create spread sheets, open PowerPoint and other Microsoft files, browse the internet, send emails. Right out of the box, you can do everything you’d expect to with a computer. It’s not like on Windows where you spend the first few hours after install adding software.

So, in conclusion, for the techies out there, get yourself over, it’s worth the pain. For the average user, stick with Windows but watch this space.

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