Originally Published: Saturday, 13 May 2000 Author: Jeff White
Published to: featured_articles/Featured Articles Page: 1/1 - [Std View]

Mainstreaming Linux

After reading the past few articles' comments, I have found that a number of people seem to think and agree that "mainstreaming" Linux shouldn't be on Linux developers' minds. Linux isn't for everyone, and in fact, why should it be?

After reading the past few articles' comments, I have found that a number of people seem to think and agree that "mainstreaming" Linux shouldn't be on Linux developers' minds. Linux isn't for everyone, and in fact, why should it be?

When I began using Linux it was still a hacker's operating system. There were few people that I knew who used Linux, let alone knew how to use it. The number of Linux users has grown exponentially since then, and it seems that Linux could possibly be dominating the desktop computing world in a few years' time.

Let us assume that Linux becomes the leading desktop operating system and speculate that it becomes the leading desktop operating system because of the feasibility of configuring and maintaining it. All the devotion and concentration, of developing software which eases the use of Linux to the average user, could bring about a regression in server and hacker software.

I know how fun Linux is to use (heck, I only use computers now because Unix and Unix-like systems such as Linux are around) but I didn't convert to using Linux as an average user; I had studied in the computing and Internet realms before I even thought of converting.

Distributions such as Red Hat, Mandrake and Corel are, in my opinion, making the installation of Linux so much easier for new Linux users -- but as an experienced Linux user I find them bloated, unnecessary and resource-unfriendly. Soon enough, I am sure, we avid Linux users probably won't have a choice in having a GUI or text mode install.

Linux isn't easy to learn and it cannot be done overnight; I've been using Linux practically every day for the past 1.5 years and still know little to nothing. Like most skills, conquering Linux requires time, effort, reading and patience. Too much of something good is bound to spoil the novelty. Windows is easy to learn, use, configure, operate and "maintain" and is probably the best answer for relatively new computer users until they can develop their own reasoning for Linux.

I have always told people "once you learn everything you need to know about Windows, move onto Windows NT. Once you conquer Windows NT, move onto Linux and you'll never go back."

Leave Linux as the hacker's operating system and leave the bloated GUI utilities to the Windows developers. Soon no one will be able to run Linux on an i386 for the distributions will be equipped with too many user-friendly, resource-hogging default applications.

New Linux users should almost immediately refer to linuxdoc.org for HOWTOs and other written documentation.

Jeff White is now in search for a Unix administration style of job. If you are looking to hire some Unix people, be sure to check his resume out at his site.