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Problems with Linux: Why it has no chance...

Discussion in 'Open Source' started by borg, Aug 27, 2004.

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  1. borg

    borg New Member

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    Microsoft comes under heavy criticism regularly, easpecially from Linux buffs. But recent polls on this forum clearly shows that MS is more popular than Linux (atleast for the users on this forum). So why shouldn't Windows users pour some criticism on Linux?. Linux is by no means perfect or even close to perfect. That is why so few people use Linux. I will post a few reasons a to why, I believe, Linux hasn't caught on & why it simply has no chance whatsoever against Windows (atleast for now)

    1. Totally unintiutive
    I believe this is the main reason. Using Linux makes me feel that the designers just didn't want to make it usable by everyone. Some of the tasks are ridiculously difficult to go about. It sometimes seems that it was al deliberate. Though in recent times a lot has improved, using Linux still involves a lot of command lining, which is unacceptable for a modern computer user. mean who wants to type lousy commands in the command line in this age of the GUI???.

    The learning curve that Linux provides is too steep for most people. There is litlle chance you will figure out things in Linux by yourselves. You either have to be trained by someone or read a book to use Linux. Unlike Windows or Macintosh, where you can figure things out by yourself, this is not possible many of a times in Linux.

    Just take an example of installing a program in Linux. Many programs in linux come in the form of source code!!!. So you have to know how to compile the whole thing & run it. And again you have to know how to use the command line. If you don't know the specific command required, yo are out of luck. There is little chance of figuring out the command. You either know the command or you don't. And even if you have an RPM file, you still need to use the command prompt. Just take look at the following command-

    To install, you need to type the following in the promt-
    rpm -i [filename]

    You can see that there is absolutely no way of figuring things out in linux. You either know the command or you don't. this is an old & outdated way of computing & that is to say the least.

    Now compare that with Windows or the Mac. Both do have their learning curves as well, but they are quite shallow & anyone with the basic knowledge of computers can get by. Installing a program is a very easy process 7 the computer just walks you though the process in a step by step manner. Which is very good. Linux IS moving in this direction. You can just double click the rpm file to install the programs in Linux too, but still it is quite rudamentary & it doens't even tell you where the whole thing was installed. Very outdated way of computing.

    Installing programs is one thing, installing drivers is quite another. I still haven't figured out how to do it.

    2. Lack of commmercial applications

    Most of the programs available for Linux are opensource, freeware & stuff like that. Many of them in beta stage. You mostly have alternatives for Linus & very rarely the original programs. people need the original stuff, not some alternative. For ex. for CD writing I need Nero & not some alternative, for playing music I need Winamp & not some winamp wannabe, etc etc. But Linux is full of wannabes & lookalikes & very rarely the real thing. It would be acceptable to use wannabes occasionally, but having to use them all the time is not acceptable, atleast to me.

    And what about things like games?. I don't even need to mention this. Everyone knows where Linux stands in the gaming scene. Its a nobody.


    3. Lack of standards
    progam development is also hampered by the fact the there is no such thing as THE LINUX. You have Red Hat, Mandrake, Suse, etc etc all coming up with their own versions. So a program developed for one may not work on the other without modifications. this leads to so much confusion & chaos. We have enough confusion in computers already & no one wants more.

    4. No support
    Even if commercial companies develop Linux versions of their software, no one wants to provide technical support for Linux. For example, Real developed a version of its realplayer software for Linux, but doesn't support it. Similarly yahoo developed Yahoo messenger, but the program is so outdated compared to the Windows version. Most of the stuff on linux is commmunity supported, which may not suit everyone's needs.

    I will give more points soon.
     
  2. sailendra

    sailendra New Member

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    @borg
    You seem to be strongly biased in your views. First off I disagree that Linux is unintuive as far as its interface goes. You should try the recent release of Fedora and Mandrake Linux before jumping to conclusions. The gui is very much like any Windows based OS. Most of the things you can do using command line can be done with the GUI. In my opinion, what linux lacks is in the area of documentation. But that is partially addressed by the vast online community support. If like you say, few people are actually using linux, then it should have long gone into obscurity. That's not the case, Linux is very much alive and penetrating the market more that you'd like to believe.
    Coming to the steep learning curve, that allegation is no longer true. ANY windows based user with a moderate level of expertise can easily learn Linux in a day. Mastering the OS is different story. That requires time and patiience.
    As far as RPM installation's go, I find it is very convenient way of installing software with out having to bother about all the details of where your prog gets installed, its configuration, icons, groups etc. Most users could n't care less. What they want is the program to run with out nasty DLL errors and viruses that are so common on Windows Platform.
    Isnt a simple command such as rpm -i easy to use than an setup program that asking you a bunch of questions just to install itself. :!: Further, binary packages, are available in addition to source packages - so it is wrong to say that you need to compile everything to get it to run under Linux.

    As far as driver installation goes, most of the standard hardware is supported on the recent versions of Linux. For non standard hardware, vendors do have support for Linux, although there number is less as of now. Installing drivers under linux is a matter of loading the appropriate module. A simple modprobe command is what's necessary in most cases.

    Linux does have technical support. It depends on the people who are willing to pay for it. After all technical support comes at a cost. Isnt that true for Windows or for that matter any OS? Corporate users can opt
    for the commercial versions of Linux such as Redhat Enterprise Linux. They only get to pay for a single copy of the OS - and use it on any number of machines. For retail users, companies do offer support for their
    products - for a price. Some companies offer their products free but charge for the support. If you dont wish to pay for technical support, you
    can tap the online community to get support that is free.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    borg

    borg New Member

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    I have used Mandrake Linux 6, RH 7.3 upwards to Fedora core 1. I know that things have gotten better, but frankly there is a long way to go. Regarding the installation issues, I don't agree with you. How can you say that using commandlines & obscure command syntaxs are better than the simple installation wizard that you hve in Windows???. Windows just walks you through it. All you have to do is click next. You also can control where your program is installed & the folder name , etc. I don't see in what way the former can be better than the latter. In Linux you don't even know where the installed program went & how to access it. Many times I installed Realplayer but didn't know where to look for the executable.


    As regarding the modprobe command, again the same thing I mentioned in my original post. Unless someone told you that such a command existed or you read it soewhere, you simply cannot know. There is no way to figuere things out in Linux. inux is easy to use only when you know how to use it. Again it all comes up to the learning curve.

    And regarding support, I wasn't talking about the support for the OS, but rather about the app support for the OS. There are very few mainstream apps for Linux. Most of the apps are just wannabe lookalikes of the mainstream apps.
     
  4. sailendra

    sailendra New Member

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    borg,
    Just like with every OS, Linux too has conventions when it comes to installing Programs. RPM packages are usually installed under the /usr/bin and the documentation, under /usr/share/man
    Agreed, it is not obvious - but once you get the hang of it, command line usage is a lot quicker and efficient then GUI based usage. You can figure things out yourself, if you take the time to explore. Most people are too afraid lest something terrible happens, or in some cases, just plain lazy.
    Coming to driver installation, not every driver that comes for windows has a setup program bundled with it. You still need to have a moderate level of expertise before you install drivers for your new hardware - even under windows.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    borg

    borg New Member

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    hmmm...

    I still not satisfied. I cannot understand how an command line OS can be better than a GUI based OS :? . If it really is better, then why don't we all dump our Windows Xps & 2ooos & go back to DOS?. Its better that way tryping commands for hours on end.

    Anway Linux is getting graphical by the day, but you still have to use command line for a wide variety of tasks. Also many of the points I made in the original post haven't been answered.

    Installing drivers in windows may also require a bit of expertise, but its easily a lot simpler than Linux I tell you.


    Also read the following article-

    Which Is Buggier - Windows or Linux?

    By James Maguire
    NewsFactor Network
    May 23, 2003 4:00AM

    "There's a community within Unix-Linux that has grown to increase its stability, where finding the bugs is considered a positive thing. Whereas, with Windows, there's a rather aggressive community trying to find bugs to denigrate Microsoft and Windows."




    Which operating system -- Windows or Linux -- deserves the dubious title, "Most Prone to Bugs and Security Problems"?
    The answer, judging by a quick survey of industry headlines, seems obvious: It must be Windows. Every week brings a new announcement of yet another Microsoft security fix. To best describe the number of security bulletins the software giant puts out, the word that jumps to mind is "blizzard."

    So it comes as quite a surprise that Linux is far more prone to problems than Windows -- at least, judging by one side-by-side comparison (described later in this report). In any case, answering the question of which OS wins the dubious "Bug" award requires plenty of twists and turns.

    It Might Be Microsoft

    "There's a perception that the development process that Microsoft uses has not been a sound one in terms of potential back-door types of security breaches," Gartner analyst George Weiss told NewsFactor. The company's "ability to address and fix the problems in a very timely manner" also has been questioned, he said.



    And IDC analyst Dan Kusnetzky pointed to "a perception that Windows 95 and Windows NT were buggy. Microsoft says Windows 2000 and its follow-on products are significantly better," he told NewsFactor, "but when we do surveys, people seem to still hold on to the old perception: They class Windows NT and Windows 2000 roughly the same for reliability.

    "Which I think is more of a marketing problem for Microsoft than a reality," Kusnetzky said.

    Then Again...

    Indeed, the question of what is "reality" versus what is a "marketing problem" is just one of many issues that cloud the discussion of which OS is buggier.

    The two OSes come to market in very different ways. Windows is run by one central company; Linux -- while based on a single central kernel -- has many different distributions produced by a variety of companies and groups.

    So, as Linux proponents point out, bugs may show up in two different distributions -- say, in products put out by Red Hat and SuSE -- but those two reported problems are in reality just one bug in the central kernel. In the Windows world, two bugs really are two different bugs.

    Also, "the Linux-Unix OS is largely in the server environment, where the vast majority of Windows installations are in the client environment," IDC analyst Chris Christiansen told NewsFactor. The difference in technical skills in those two user bases could greatly influence perceptions of OS stability.

    "The scrutiny of the operating systems [is] different," Christiansen said. "There's a community within Unix-Linux that has grown to increase its stability, where finding the bugs is considered a positive thing. Whereas, with Windows, there's a rather aggressive community trying to find bugs to denigrate Microsoft and Windows."

    It Might Be Linux

    To perform an apples-to-apples comparison, it is necessary to take a look at examples of the two OSes that are essentially equivalent. Red Hat 7.2 and Window XP Professional were released at about the same time and perform similar functions. Red Hat has the resources to hire top programmers and create quality product and so can be considered on par with a well-financed company like Microsoft.

    A count of the problems reported for XP Professional is available on the Microsoft Web page that lists all of its security bulletins. Use the pull-down menu to find the bulletins for Windows XP Professional. The list starts in November 2001. In the 18 months since then, 27 bulletins about security flaws or other bugs have been posted for Professional XP.

    To count the fixes and bugs for Red Hat Linux 7.2, go to the company's errata page and begin counting from November 2001. (The list starts two months earlier, but for the sake of an apples-to-apples comparison the first two months can be excluded.) From November 2001 until now, the company has issued 158 security bulletins or bug fixes (not counting the enhancements listed on that page).

    Compare the results: Professional XP with 27 fixes; Red Hat Linux 7.2 with 158. Based on that count, Linux is substantially more problem-prone than Windows.

    Quality of Measurement

    Not so fast. "A list of reported bugs and their fixes really isn't satisfactory as a mechanism to report on the quality of the code," Kusnetzky said. "That's just one of many metrics."

    A bug count is limited, Weiss echoed, "because you have to look at it on a qualitative basis ... what those bugs might mean in terms of, say, security, or performance, or other issues." You have to consider whether "they were minor in nature, easily fixable, or whether they had significant ramifications that opened up the user to major breaches," he said.

    A single operator controlling an OS has the discretion to list bugs, though it might not be desirable to expose a problem until there is a solution for it, Forrester analyst Stacey Quandt told NewsFactor.

    "You have to define bugs," said Joseph Eckert, communications director for leading Linux vendor SuSE. "If you're talking viruses, there is no known, official ... 'virus' for Linux," he told NewsFactor. Furthermore, Linux has "a lot of the inherent stability, security and robustness that people have come to expect from Unix," he pointed out.

    Multiple Variables

    Voicing an opinion found throughout the analyst community, Quandt noted that "it's difficult to say which OS has more problems," adding that many variables come into play when comparing OSes.

    "It's hard to say," agreed Kusnetzky. In the basketful of variables, there is the fact that "in the case of Windows, the only company that can respond is Microsoft. In the open-source community, it's a whole community that potentially could respond, which means, at least in theory, response may be faster," he said, but "it may not be better."

    Christiansen went so far as to say the question of which OS is more bug-prone is irrelevant.

    "It's difficult to make that judgment unless you're making it in the context of a specific environment, a specific set of applications and a specific user base," he said. However, "the lack of logic has never stopped people from making the comparison."
     
  6. rj2k

    rj2k New Member

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    i absolutely agree!! for one thing sailendra i bet you did not know that stuff when you first installed linux...
    as far as security goes..
    aren't there security sites like winupdate etc.. for even linux??
    not every os is perfect....
    not even linux!!
     
  7. OP
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    borg

    borg New Member

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    Yeah & one of the main reasons Linux doesn't get attacked very often is cause very few people use it. And the reason why MS gets attackedso often is cause everyone uses it. Linux may be better, a little better in terms of security, but MS bashes it in other areas.
     
  8. anispace

    anispace dattebayo

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    yeah I agree I have tried diff. linux distributions and I find that non of them are userfriendly except while installing which is the only thing thats easy. :lol: :lol:

    u cant download or install apps from CD or play games without
    the Command line interface
     
  9. sailendra

    sailendra New Member

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    @borg,
    I am not into arguing whether windows or Linux is better - or which one sucks most. The GUI based os is no doubt easy to use. But not nearly as efficient when it comes to doing repetitive tasks. Some things are better done using the command line - whether they be in Windows or Linux.
    The driver installation has improved only recently that is from Windows XP onwards. I personally installed Windows and Linux on many a friend's machine, and believe it or not, it was Windows which took more effort to get everything up and running then linux.

    @rj2k
    I dont claim that i knew all about how to go about installing and using Linux when i first installed it. But, I have been a linux user since when PCQ first gave it on their cd - (was it Kernel 0.9?) - and since then, Linux has come a long way - and in my opinion, there is almost nothing you can't do pretty efficiently in Linux that you can do under Windows. Mind you - I am not saying that One is better than the other. At the same time, it would be entirely inaccurate to write off Linux like borg here claims.
     
  10. rj2k

    rj2k New Member

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    Linux is good...
    i have redhat linux 9 installed on my pc.

    but the fact remains m$ wins!!

    i have also got win xp pro, media centre,2003 with multiple booting!!
     
  11. sailendra

    sailendra New Member

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    @rj2k
    Good for you :)
     
  12. rj2k

    rj2k New Member

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    bad for me:
    didn't i say that ms still wins?? and windows is a lot better!!
     
  13. sailendra

    sailendra New Member

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    hmm, i was referring to your mulit boot installation
     
  14. tuxfan

    tuxfan New Member

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    Here's one more Windows vs. Linux thread.

    But posts are too long!! Can't remain online while I read :( Will go offiline, read it and come back for posting.

    BTW, here's a thread that discusses about security holes in WinXP SP2

    http://www.thinkdigit.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=56837#56837

    I guess this security issues itself will one day be the sole reason for using Linux or some other secure OS.
     
  15. Kl@w-24

    Kl@w-24 Slideshow Bob

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    How can u be sure that Linux will be secure ?If Linux becomes as popular as Windows, more people will research on it and find bugs and holes. That's what is happening to Windows.
     
  16. prankzter

    prankzter New Member

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    this thread consists of the longest posts in the history of this forum!!!
     
  17. sreevirus

    sreevirus Certified Nutz

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    i have been a casual user of linux for a year and first off...i wud disagree that there is little support for linux...and also that there r commercial applications cos there r many efficient alternatives...and games, games will be naturally developed for the OS that the majority of ppl use....if linux was popular amongst the ppl, surely many games wud've been developed for linux....but thats the point, linux has to gain popularity on a large scale



    here r the points abt linux thats frustrating and (cud be a reason) that make it less popular.


    i really think the command line interface is a big let-down for linux......why do lay ppl need the command line??
    also, the server-client model in linux shud be modified....ppl like more GUI.......the high security in linux can be really frustrating....why shud ppl need to type in commands like "rpm -ivf package.x.x-xx". wouldnt it be nice if they cud install apps by double clicking the rpm?? it sorta makes me think "why does Linux OS doesnt trust even the administrator?" why does it need us to be logged in as root and then operate?? and that too thru the command line each and every time?? its really frustrating.....such security can be highly efficient for sys-admins and ppl handling network security, but i again ask....do lay users need such security?? the high security file-system must be a little modified for easy use for linux-novices like me.

    linspire is one step ahead by their Click-n-Run operation, but it still has a long long way to go.

    also, its good that linux as an OS acts as a compiler, but ppl want ease of use, they dont want to compile and run every single program...

    i am sure many linux-novices will agree with me on these points...
     
  18. tuxfan

    tuxfan New Member

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    As of now it is far more secure. As time goes, its security features will be made more and more strong. Permissions is the main thing for security in Linux. I am not an expert. So I believe in what experts say. Because of its security and stability, Linux is now used in majority of servers and even in mission critical places like space ships :)

    BTW, considering the current scenario, anything will be more secure than Windows :roll:
     
  19. busyanuj

    busyanuj Member

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    I have been using Linux since PCQuest magazine gave the RedHat 5.2 CD some years back.
    and I have also been using Windows simultaneously as dual boot, over the years.

    In my opinion, both have their own advantages, Windows is easy to get accustomed to, simple to follow, but not quite secure.
    Linux, or rather the Fedora Core 2 that I use these days, is secure & stable; but definitely needs a little timespan for a new user to feel comfortable.

    Viruses are largely rampant in Windows, so on that front, FC 2 definitely has an edge over Windows.

    Most of the games are made for the Windows environment.
    On the other hand, a programmer will be devastated if the compilation of his program source code crashes in Windows.


    Overall, I feel, choosing an Operating System is based on the requirements of the user.
     
  20. oldmonk

    oldmonk New Member

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    windows is ok for technically challenged people, who dont like the command line and get worried about small things like which command to use etc.

    For the rest their is linux, freebsd, etc.

    Theres also macOS which is soooo fantastic!!!!!!

    Well to each his own.

    Every body likes what they like who can stop them - its like congress and BJP.
     
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