27 Nov 2011

Disadvantages of Using Linux

From DarkDuck: Before we begin. This guest post is about Disadvantages of Using Linux. If you want to know what advantages of using Linux are, please read my own article Advantages of Using Linux.

There are three major operating systems for computers: Windows, Mac and Linux. Most people are versed with either of the first two, which are copyrighted, while a smaller number of people are knowledgeable about the Linux operating system, which is open source.
There are differences and similarities in each, and which one you prefer will largely depend on your personality, and you personal computing needs and preferences. Once a person is experienced with one OS, it will inevitably take some time to get used to another.
There is a very large community of people who swear by Linux, but there are some disadvantages to using it. Here are some of them:

No Standard Edition
While Windows and Mac have several definite versions, there is no one standard edition of Linux. In fact, there are hundreds of different user-developed editions. It can be challenging to figure out which one is best for you, and making that decision can be overwhelming for a new user. And it is here where blogs like this come to help: reading reviews can ease the task of choosing.
Learning Curve
The simplest way to put it: Linux is not as easy to use as Windows or Mac. It requires a broader base of knowledge about computing than other operating systems, and this can be very challenging for a beginning user. If you are used to using Windows or Mac, you will have to unlearn and relearn many different functions and processes. It can take some time, and the less technical understanding you have the more it will require of you to learn. While it is certainly possible to gain a functional understanding of Linux with practice and self-teaching, it will require more effort than with other operating systems.
Non-Compatible Software
A disadvantage to using a Linux OS is that the majority of your favorite programs will not run on it. If you are used to certain software, you will have to find a comparable Linux option. There are hundreds of choices of programs, and there are many that are similar to specific Windows or Mac software. However, a lot of times the user interface is very different and not every function you want is always available. You will have to do some searching and testing of different programs until you find ones that you like and meet your needs.
Unsupported Hardware
There is less computer hardware that is compatible with Linux, also. There is a much smaller selection of drivers that will work with Linux, although more are being added on a consistent basis. Oftentimes it takes a while for new hardware to be supported, and you may find that a lot of the hardware you already have will be tough to run on Linux. For some reason, many people encounter problems with running their printers on Linux. Blu-ray discs are also not able to be played using Linux.
Tech Support
While there is a large community of Linux users that are very helpful in answering your technical questions in forums and chat rooms, it can be more difficult to get assistance for your issues. You can ask questions of Linux users, but sometimes their answers will be difficult to understand if your technical knowledge is lacking. There is also no immediate help because you will be waiting for someone to write a response rather than calling a central tech support hotline where someone will answer right away. Also, it can be difficult to find a computer repair person who is versed in Linux.

Compiled and researched by Lisa Hann, edited and proofed using Grammarly grammar checker.


  1. Before anyone comments on this post...
    This is guest post which was offered to me by Lisa Hann.
    Here is my disclaimer: "Views expressed are those of the author and may not reflect my opinion".

  2. So...@ Lisa Hann...

    Thanks for your article Lisa but, there's always a but, as with most things there are always positives and negatives to each point and you've tended to focus more on the negatives without much coverage of the positives. point by point I'll show you what I mean:

    "No Standard Edition" you might level this at Windows too as a user who bought a "Home" edition might well be displeased when he/she found that he/she needed a feature in a more expensive edition...yet with GNU/Linux (please remember that Linux is a kernel only and not the operating system) the user can move to a more appropriate product at no cost if needs be.

    "Learning Curve" This learning can be invaluable come the day when the user hits a problem. The more savvy the user the easier it will be to get out of trouble, Distributions at the "advanced" end of things such as Arch and Gentoo and Slackware while being demanding of the user create users who can do so much more and this is, in part at least, due to the stiffer learning curve they present. A stiff learning curve isn't always a bad thing and GNU/Linux offers a range from childishly simple to run to advanced and demanding...the users picks the point that best suits him or her an option no available to Microsoft or Apple users.

    "Non-Compatible Software" is more of a change to a different OS, any different OS, rather than a GNU/Linux one as a Mac user would have to find alternative software in order to switch to Windows and vice versa.

    "Hardware", your points are valid yet a new to computers user could simply do the research needed prior to purchasing and get compatible hardware for all but the more esoteric needs.

    "Tech Support" The user can always re-install at no cost so the "repair man" issue is less pressing for a GNU/Linux user perhaps. The standard of help available on support forums is, in my experience anyhow, vastly better than almost all telephone helplines and, once more, there is a cost issue to consider here...with GNU/Linux you are getting free help with no call charges.

    When all is said and done you made interesting points so I hope you'll take my reply in a kindly spirit as that is my intent.

  3. Well, in my opinion it depends.
    Linux has 100's of distros, that means, more options to choose from, Like in India a lot of Govt organization are planning to use BOSS Linux because it's support major Indian languages and there is no Royalty for life time uses.

    Learning curve, well, my younger brother and my wife,they both are from non-technical background, and they are using Ubuntu without any problem.

    Hardware support: yes, to a extent I agree with your view, but, I never suffered because of this. I was using XP earlier, and had driver issues for almost every hardware, Ubuntu was a breeze, I only had problem with Wireless drive on my Lennovo laptop, but, after that it running like a charm.

    Software : yes, agree to this to a extent.

  4. Put into direct comparison with Windows and MacOSX these disadvantages don't really sound that bad. The corresponding disadvantages to either one in almost every category feels worse to me.

    Windows Standard editions are hit or miss, with every other new version being a flop or near flop.

    Moving from Windows to Mac or vice versa has a much steeper Learning curve than moving from say, Windows to Linux Mint or vice versa.

    Ever try to plug in some device into windows without a driver CD? Painstaking hunts for drivers on sketchy websites has always bothered me if I was using older hardware with windows. Might not be as much of an issue lately, but with Linux anyway practically everything is automatically supported or available in the repos.

    I find the lack of a lot of Linux-purposed software on windows to be pretty frustrating myself. There's for example, no elinks or other lightweight image-free web browsers there. My favorite software basically just doesn't run well on Windows.

    When you send an e-mail to a windows support line and they respond with, "We believe your windows may have been pirated, and thus can't offer you support." Even though you're running a valid copy of windows, I find the user-based forums for Windows more useful than the hotlines. Or I could just skip the whole licensing bullcrap problem in the first place and use Linux.

  5. Dear.....

    I could change the tittle to < Disadvantages of Using Windows > , then completely copy your article and change all words being linux to being windows, very slightly adapt some parts of the text , et voila.
    Then we have 2 articles, yours and mine, which both say very little, but only serve to start yet another war of words,

    Disregarding all my comments above, your article was welcome anyway.

  6. 1. Bollocks . There is only 1 Linux and that is the kernel. The kernel has many versions as the code is updated and new releases are made. You need to rephrase this point to "No Standard Distribution" or something along those lines, and then that would still be a good thing and not a disadvantage. Various people bundle the kernel, with different system applications, and user applications and then provide that as a distribution. The good thing about this is the end user has choice. If you want something "easy" then you go for one of the many point and click distros, if you want something light then you go for something like Gentoo (best distro IMHO btw!!), if you want to go custom then you can download the kernel, build a toolchain and compile everything, build a rootfs and boot the kernel and point it to the rootfs. EASY !!! Now how is having those choices a disadvantage ?? Try and do that with Windows or Mac and see how far you can go.

    2. Bollocks. Just because it is different does not make it harder to use. It is just a change in mindset. A normal user would still have the mouse to move around the screen, still have folders to put files in and pretty icons on the desktop, and a taskbar and so on so forth. Booting a Linux system will not bump you in a black console with blinking cursors .... And for power users they have the option to choose how far they want to customise the environment that displays on the screen. E.g. My boot process ends at a console prompt and then I login and if i want to use a graphical app then i would start X and use the mouse. Otherwise I work on the console, comes in handy when i need to do quick things like ssh into another machine/router or mount a usb and copy files to it etc and i don't need a full blown desktop.

    3. Not a fault with Linux distributions. This is a fault with the vendors, just because Windows has the largest market share they refuse to develop for Linux etc ... However there are plenty of alternatives and even better replacements in the Linux ecosystem to the propriety systems. Also some major business application vendors do release Linux versions of the application.

    4. Bollocks. Unless you have a really weird and obscure device that only ships with a Windows Chinese driver disk then maybe. In the majority of the case this is not the case for most hardware. Printers can be a problem yes and same goes for encrypted Blu-ray disc. However that is not Linux at fault but the vendors who refuse to provide support or driver implementations for whatever their reasons might be.

    5. Absolute bollocks. The forums are the best place you can get help fast. If you want to get something resolved even faster then join the IRC channel for your distro or something, you also have the mailing lists. It is just down to a matter of YOU taking the interest and doing the research instead of being lazy and relying on someone from India to tell you to re-image the PC.

    IMO it is the culture change that makes Linux appear to be at a *disadvantage* because of lame excuses that Windows has made the norm over the years. If people take it with an open mind and as a challenge to learn something new then most of those *disadvantages* quickly turn the opposite and you find yourself thinking, wtf have been doing using Windows all these years :-)

  7. If you speak French, it is not so difficult to learn Spanish. French and Spanish are both based on Latin and have much in common. However a language like Japanese or Russian would be much harder, because they are so different from French. Complaining that Linux is not like Windows and Mac is like saying Russian is not like French or Spanish.

    Here is where I stand as a native "Linux" speaker.

    I am able to build whatever Linux system I want. I can choose to stay with Ubuntu and strip it down, add different PPAs and packages and custom compile whatever apps I want. Or I can save myself the trobule and pick another "Edition". Be it a Fluxbox or Enlightenment tweaked buntu. Or building Arch Linux up from scratch for Video Editing. I can even pick a distrubtion out built around XMBC or MythTV.

    I find Windows often has gives me the itch I can almost scratch syndrome. I buy a compuer and it comes with Windows 7. If the system bogs down there is only so much I can strip out help speed it up. If I like a highly modified desktop I will have to spend time tweaking every copy of Windows 7 I come across. There is no "distro" customized to my liking.

    Lets talk about hardware. I have had several people who have brought Vista or Seven PC's to me with a bad hard drive. No problem lets just put a new hard drive in and we will use your recovery DVDs to get you going again. Turns out they never made their recovery DVD. If they actually own a valid retail copy of Windows that they can load on the machine, it is often hard to get the machine set up because the drivers are not available and have to be run down. Out of the box Linux is all I can legally load on there for them AND has better hardware support. There is hardware which Winodws handles out of the box better. It is also true there is hardware which Linux handles out of the box better.

    I am lucky. All of my non-work software is free so I don't have to burn up my hobby budget on software. I am also lucky that many open-source programs that I run also have a windows version. Even if I have to run windows someplace, I can still run the software I am comfortable with. There is also a lot of my software that is not available on Winodws or I have to do a lot of work arounds to use it. Again it is all a matter of perspective. Linux sucks because it does not run Winodws software. Windows sucks because it does not run Mac software or Linux software.

    I live in an area with a population of 35,000 people and we have at least one local shop that specializes in Linux. I have also been paid to provide phone support for windows users. It is almost impossible to help a windows user who does not even understand the difference between left clicking and right clicking. The same is true for Linux. The less sophiticated a user is the harder it is to provide support to them that they can understand.

    Generally speaking I would rather find out what a user does. Set up a Linux box and show them how to use the software. Updates are not a problem. Virus, spyware, nagware and antivirus software are also not an issue. Many of my support headaches are eliminated at that point. With ssh, x11vnc, vncserver my support options are great. I can work over ssh on their system over low bandwith internet connections to fix things. I can work graphically in the background with SSH or I can run a full desktop with vncserver. I can also provide support on a users live desktop with x11vnc.

    Overall what you are saying is, I know X and I don't know Y. So X is friendly and I understand it. I don't know Y, so I find it undfriendly and hard to understand.

    If you want to learn how easy Y can be, there are plenty of us out there who use Linux that would love to help.

  8. Copyright laws protect opensource projects as well. Opensource licences are a form of copyright. Windows and OSX are primarily proprietary that is the distinction not copyright. And that's not to say that ALL the software available for Linux is FOSS. There are several proprietary programs and drivers for Linux. It would be more correct to say that Linux(or GNU/Linux if you prefer) based desktop operating systems are composed of primarily opensource software Compared to Windows and OSX which are composed primarily of proprietary software. In Linux generally the copyright to the code is owned by either the person(s) how wrote it or it can also be assigned in some cases to the corporate/organizational sponsor of the project. To say that Linux is not copyrighted is false.

  9. Can't help myself as I use windows 7, Os X, and Linux daily as a Video shooter/editor. And if Adobe and Red Hat were to get married and have little creative suite linux babies, I'd drop os x and windows tomorrow. There's almost nothing I miss when I'm in linux but there's plenty i miss when I'm not. I'm going to keep spamming the internt with this idea till it comes to fruition.

  10. oh and yes I like and use gnome 3

  11. Learning curve: All users will have a learning curve when they switch to a new operating system, it don't apply just to switching to Linux, but it applies to switching between OSX and Microsoft Windows too, the mentality is different and IMHO it's damn difficult to master a microsoft based operating system, keep in mind that most users don't know much at all about computer, just point and click and today you can manage with just point and click in Linux too.

    Non-Compatible Software: Just see what Gladys said...

    Hardware: Actually Linux does support far more hardware than what Microsoft Windows or Apples OSX does, the issue you may experience when using Linux is that there ain't a driver yet to the hardware you just bought.

    Support: Professional support ain't free, no matter if you use Microsoft Windows, OSX and the same is true for Linux, you can buy support for your mainstream Linux distribution. The Linux support tends to be better than what you would get from Microsoft (at least that's my experience).

    The whole post feels like a trolling attempt from a die-hard anti-linux person who don't care to look at the facts.

  12. @ Lisa
    No standard Edition - true that could be difficult for beginners
    Learning Curve - hum, this one is more complicated, do you mean learning curve for someone who has used Windows / Mac all their life, or someone who is new to IT. For someone new to IT, I guess it is no more difficult than other distros. For the seasonned Windows / MAc user, then ok they do need to go through a process of "delearning" what they know
    Software- as per previous comment, running a windows programme is not the point of having Linux, although you can do it on wine. But why not look at alternatives?
    Unsupported hardware - compared to the latest Win7 which has all the right drivers, or OSX where they don't need drivers as OSX is a kind of firmware TBH, Linux is ok, but not perfect. But compared to XP, Linux Kernel is way ahead in terms of support. Things just work out of the box, like my new Wacom Tablet, or my Video Graphics card
    Tech Support - I have never called a tech support team whether on Windows/MAc or Linux so can't comment. I am not technical but have always found my anwers on forums, But I can see that my mum for example who is over 65 would have problems with that. But I fix her computer, so she happily uses Ubuntu. Although that Unity stuff is freaking her out a bit...

  13. This is not an article expected.
    There are many user friendly Linux operating systems too like Ubuntu, etc.

    Linux is a minority only because of lack of awareness about about it.

    Once people start using it and its share increases, Hardware support and Apps problem will not be there at all.

  14. Stopped at the first paragraph just to comment. Linux is also copyrighted. Did you mean to use "proprietary" instead of copyrighted?

    Back to reading...

  15. Although Lisa makes a few valid points in her commentary she did not mention that, in regards to software incompatibility, that there are packages such as Wine and PlayonLinux that will allow you to run most, if not all Windows programs within Linux as long as it's legal with a valid Windows license. Also there are emulators, like Virtualbox, for instance,where Windows can be ran inside of Linux. Also it can be installed on Windows so Linux can be ran inside of Windows. Also a lot of KDE apps can be ran in Windows.

  16. @evilestmark

    Actually you can use Cygwin to get elinks, lynx, and w3m, in Windows it isn't perfect but you get a lot of *nix functionality in Windows.

  17. For the learning curve subject, most people don't know how to partition a hard drive, even though it's been an IBM specification since the early '80s.

    You may not have to partition in order to install linux, but shrinking and formating is often required.

    Most people have a friend help them install linux, and I would think that satisfies the support aspect.

    Some people have pet apps they can't live without, gaming is another issue.

    Sometimes installing with certain graphic cards requires some experience with the command line and how to get proprietary drivers. Which would fall under support from a friend.

    I've always had to go to friends with M$ problems, usually concerning spyware and viruses.

    My recent experience with linux, which I have enjoyed immensely over the years is after my soon to be EOF install of Maverick just wouldn't reboot one day, I just decided to try something else.

    I'm sick of having to dl a CD or a DVD just to install, I longed for the old days. The only distro I could find that supported a floppy install was OpenBSD. One 1.44 M floppy and one hour later I was up and running.

  18. here's the disadvantage of using linux i'm facing: i go to an aggregate page to read some linux related news, and every once in a while i wind up clicking on a link that leads to pointless crap like this.

  19. For me, this is just a bunch of SOFUD. My favorite applications run on Linux, although most have been ported to Windows. Still, I miss the features of may favorite S there, like proper and fundamental integration of BASH and friends. No, I can't stand a minute without the CLI - not on Windows either. My girlfriend has no trouble running her favorite apps on Linux - she hardly sees the difference. Ever tried MS support? I don't think so, otherwise you wouldn't write such non-sense. Although my Windows machine requires maintenance and error shooting, Linux just keeps running and running until the hardware dies.

  20. If I had to switch to OSX, I could say exactly the same things - except maybe for the standard edition - it's true that a newcomer ay find distrowatch.com scary ;-)

    So ok, you're right ... but so what ?

    Talking about leaning curve ... you should know that everything you learn on linux is very easily ported to OSX, who is a 'nix itself.

    Hardware support ? Software compatibility ? You can't be serious here.
    Tech support ? OMG ! Linux distros are more (and well) documented. (documentation, you know, the thing missing from any other os ;-) ), plus forums are numerous.

    Now talk about long time support ...
    Remember those days when microsoft decided Vista would no more support your legacy hardware ?

    All and all I said you're right for any OS, but you would be even more right the other way 'round ;-)

  21. Linux has too many inner "wars" like
    * OSS vs ALSA vs PulseAudio
    * Gnome vs Unity vs KDE etc
    * Ubuntu vs Fedora etc
    * PolicyKit/SELinux etc.
    Non-standard parts make it extremely hard to have a non-trivial program work and look consistently across even the main Linux configurations.
    Even ubiquitous programs like Skype generally work much less stable on Linux than on the other two mainstream platforms.
    No wonder, though. Linux is all about passion and customization, creating extremely different combinations of software used by a tiny number of users (mainly hardcore geeks). In Linux many thing just work, but almost nothing is guaranteed to work.

  22. Lisa Hann If you think for one minute Linux has a hard learning curve then you have a lot of empty space between your hears to say the least, I started using Linux at the age of 65, my only problem at that time was the file names, has for everything else it's no different from windows, you use common sense it's all point and click. Click on the menu bar, click on the application you want to run, nothing can be more simpler than that,

    Last weekend I installed Commodore OS Vision on a computer that's owned by a 82yr old, it worked out of the box, Everything is on the 3D task bar that he needs, firefox web browser, word, email, Skype It took me less than half an hour to show him the ropes on the desktop. Which is very similar to Mac OS/x desktop but far more superior,

    I left him to play with his new operating system, While I was talking to his son in another room He came and said he had messed up the desktop, that he had clicked on something and the task bar had gone, I took him back to the computer and showed him that on the top task bar there are Icons that fixes problems like that, One is for refreshing the desktop graphics, this icon restored the desktop back to normal, another one, should a program lock up it will close down the programs without having to do a hard reboot,

    Lisa if you think Linux desktop is confusing then just wait until you see and use widows 8, If you can work windows 8 desktop out on your own in under one hour and open up any application then you'll be good, You can go to MS website and download windows 8 and try it out on your own and see how far you get with it.

    I must mention windows 8 don't crash you get a pop up that says “ windows as found a problem with your hardware” and will now reboot. What it should say is “ Windows has a problem with your hardware drivers” My systems is the latest Intel i5 system so there should be no problems what so ever with the hardware, Then again I am using windows 8 which still freezes up and crashes

  23. Oh, yes!
    Linux is not perfect. But you know what?
    Windows - too.
    Actually what is your problem? Are you trying to help people who "straggling" with Linux?

  24. Things not mentioned: 1) When you get over any challenge you face with Linux, you get a rock solid powerful system that is almost not vulnerable to virus and spyware. I said almost. It can last you many years with minimal or no problems. 2) There is Linux software available that can go beyond some MS or Mac software in functionality even though there is a learning curve and some buggy ones. 3) You can build high performance servers for free. As a matter of fact, I own a high performing web/ftp server with WordPress that I run from home. 4) Linux systems do not need defragmentation and most times their speed do not decrease. 5) Tons of good free software. 6) Super fast OS update process. 7) The Linux built in firewall is one of the most powerful of all. 8) If you like learning and have the patience, and you decide to learn Linux, you can pretty much handle almost any challenge as your experience grows. 9) Linux is at the top most powerful super computers in the world. There are reasons for that. 10) If you dig and open yourself to others, you can grow some long lasting friendships and mentors as there is a portion of the community committed to give to society and others without expecting things back. Don't forget that kindness should not be taken as a weakness. 11) There are different Linux flavors to please different purposes, likes or wants.

  25. DarkDuck, you are showing only one side of the coin and I take the risk of assuming that you were looking for attention using points that you knew were going to touch some people's nerves. I bet you also know that when it comes to Linux and Open Source, you will always find some strong feelings and emotions. There are more constructive things to do other than to instigate old confrontations or than to discourage new people from using Linux. Get a life. A real one.

  26. The article is incorrectly titled. Nothing listed is a disadvantage to using Linux.

    If you never had any computer experience before, all the items listed here would be true of any system you chose.

    I think the hardest change, with the steepest learning curve, is for a Microsoft products user to move to a Mac.

  27. Interesting article insomuch as it's bizarre you let someone with such a poor knowledge of Linux loose to pen an article like that. Linux does not need rocket scientists to install and use, just the ability to read and take instructions.

    The criticisms are negligible and could be applied to all three OS's mentioned, not just Linux, with the exception of the driver availability issue for new hardware, and as all members of the Linux community are aware, these are not generally numerous and do get 'fixed' one way or another.

    Software, well, if over 30,000 free software packages aren't enough and you can't find something out of that lot to do the task in hand then it's a sad day indeed. . . . . . And the learning curve . . . well that just sets you up to make you stronger and your system more secure, don't know if I'm alone but I sleep a lot better with a Linux distro on my laptop . . . . :)

  28. ... I never found a player just like Winamp for Linux... for me, that's a definitive disadvantage.

  29. @FitoPlancton:

    This one looks and works exactly like WinAmp: Audacious
    I also looked for the WinAmp-style player in Linux in the very beginning. But when I saw VLC, my preferences changed.

  30. Lisa Hann, I think you forgot to RTFM.

  31. Dimitri, as respected as you are, why on Earth would you let someone be a guest commenter on your informative site without vetting them first?

    I get the feeling that this guest commenter is not a real person, but a made up one to generate visits to your website.

  32. @Anonymous:
    First, my name is Dmitry.
    Second, I answered to your question in my self-response to this post: http://linuxblog.darkduck.com/2011/12/advantages-of-using-linux.html

  33. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  34. @Dimitry, Ваш авторитет колеблется

  35. @Anonymous:
    Опять опечатка в имени. 8-)
    Он у меня всегда колеблется. Но колебания всегда ведут к его повышению.
    Спасибо за Ваш комментарий на русском языке.

  36. Linux is weak for the same reasons it is strong. Linux will never be strong on the desktop as it is not designed for the desktop.

    1.Linux is diverse and pervasive throughout an astounding number of tech applications. Again, it is not focused on the desktop as it is not focused anywhere.

    2. Programs that are free, as in free speech are important to some. IMO the average desktop user, uses programs to get work done. I for example, find a few programs I am interested in and then try them out. If they are open source or closed source I could not care at all....really. The rhetoric concerning open source in a positive or negative light is really inconsequential to many. Oh, do I need proof?

    3. Linux is strong because it has a community that cares about itself and wishes to improve upon itself. Not exactly, a weakness but Linux definitely needs the community. I could use windows without ever reading documentation prior to starting. This is a strength and a weakness for Windows. I can easily start t up and I can easily mess it up "while feeling confident".

  37. This post (by Lisa) is great. Why didn't I know of this before?

    Issues brought out by these articles should be addressed, and not swept under the carpet. I'm always working on improving GNU/Linux and one of the best ways is to find out what is wrong with it.

    Kudos to DarkDuck for posting this.

  38. I am not trying to be crass here, however, on the software side of things you are exactly right. It being hard to use is a non issue if the applications existed. If the developers would quit developing Linux and developed for Linux, we would have some applications and games worth using. The fact remains that we don't so I will be sticking to OSX/Windows.

  39. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  40. 1-RHEL
    3-depends on your favourite software some of that in linux wont run in windows guess you are still screwed
    5-RHEL (nero for your bluray not that you need it)

  41. Linux does have a standard edition, it's the one hosted at kernel.org.
    There is no linux operating system, there never was.

    There is the Debian GNU/Linux operating system, which is an operating system using (amongst many others), parts of the GNU operating system project, and the Linux kernel.
    There are many other operating systems that use the Linux kernel and parts of the GNU system. There are also many operating systems using the Linux kernel without GNU, and there are operating systems using parts of GNU but no linux kernel (bsd for example), there are also other Unix and unix likes out there and they are each and every one their own operating system.

  42. Don't take the fanbois' remarks to heart, Lisa. Your points are well-taken. (And I'm computer science PhD and avid Linux user.)

  43. As I read this article I can't help but think it's little more than a coincidence this FUD is being churned out again. Every single time Microsoft decides to put out a new version of Windows we have to put up with this crap. So lets debunk the main points then as presented in the article.

    No Standard Edition:
    Really? Ubuntu is the immediate and obvious example that springs to mind for beginners. Linux Mint is another. Both based on Debian. Ubuntu is also the example I'd wager most GNU/Linux users will use when advising a noobie on which distribution to use first.So frankly I don't know where this "user-developed editions" nonsense is coming from.

    Windows has no "standard edition". Windows 7 has "Starter", "Home Premium", "Ultimate" and there are also a number of other options for students. Not to mention the Windows Server editions as well as other special editions like "Surface". And Windows CE. The mobile and embedded version of Windows that despite it's similar looking appearance hand an almost completely different code base to all other versions of Windows and was totally incompatible with any of them. The black sheep of the family.

    An important point to note with each new Windows version. They're not all 100% compatible. Windows 7 Start doesn't offer the whole package and neither does Home Premium. To get all the bells and whistles you need to buy Windows 7 Ultimate.

    The closest we get to the "standard edition OS" is Apple's Mac OS X. Which relies on fairly "standard" hardware configurations. It's only recently Macs have gained the power "full screen" applications. No joke. This was a feature announcement made not so long ago by Apple.

    Can we use Mac OS on non-Apple hardware? We can buy boxed or downloadable versions. But they must be installed on a Mac if we want to stay legal and avoid technical issues.

    That's what a "standard" OS looks like. Limited choice.

    Learning Curve:
    What learning curve? Modern Linux distros use modern GUI's like Gnome Shell or Unity. Point, click application launches. That's it. It's not hard.

    The learning curve argument is bogus. It's bogus for consumer level users and bogus for IT professionals. All the same basic OS principles apply to GNU/Linux environments as apply to Windows or Mac. They're no different.

    Non-Compatible Software:
    Bogus FUD! Open source software tends to be cross platform compatible. Opting for applications in the Windows or Mac worlds that depend on "lock-in" to maintain a user base is what creates incompatibility with software.

    If anything this is an education issue. Not a technical problem.

    Unsupported Hardware
    OEMs write drivers for their primary target market first. Windows is the incumbent so it's get first pick of new consumer hardware. Why is this surprising? It's an issue that affects all OSs.

    Tech Support:
    Linux has paid for tech support. In fact services like tech support are how Linux companies like Red Hat and Canonical make money.

    The tech support argument is pure FUD!

    The Motive:
    So what is the motive behind dragging all this FUD up again? And Lisa, how does moving to FreeBSD or any other BSD improve the situation? Aren't they even more obscure than GNU/Linux?

  44. Windows 7 Start doesn't offer the whole package and neither does Home Premium. To get all the bells and whistles you need to buy Windows 7 Ultimate.