It is not because Linux is hard to use

by Forrest Sheng Bao http://fsbao.net

In this article, Linux could be: 1) an operating system kernel, which is not used by a common user 2) a general name for many Linux-based computing environment, a.k.a., distributions, i.e. Ubuntu, openSuSE.

There are many people complaining Linux is hard to use. But I think it's not the fault of Linux, but because you couldn't find good tools to handle your job. The reasons are quite obvious. Seldom do people really use an operating system (short as OS, like Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux itself). They use software running on the OS. So, what makes you fell unhappy, is the software.

Some of them complain that the Graphic User Interface (GUI) of Linux is not user-friendly. Well, this is also a problem of the software on Linux. Unlike Windows or Mac OS X, Linux is just a kernel, which means it has no interface to users, even the Command Line Interface (CLI) like DOS. Since Linux is an open system, anyone can design the GUI. Different desktop environment, different distributions have different GUI. They vary a lot. You just need one best for you.

Let's take a look at this case. One of my friends just complained that he had to input a long command to print a PDF document. Well, I don't have to do so on the Evince document viewer, which is the default PDF reader on Ubuntu Linux. You can have all GUI settings. Then he said, well, this is what my department told him: http://www.cs.utexas.edu/facilities/faq/printing/#102

So, this is a typical case of not having the right software. If you have the right software, easy-to-catch-up, then he wouldn't complain that Linux is hard to use. Besides, the PDF reader has nothing to do with the OS itself. You can't judge whether an OS is bad by a single software running on it.

There is an extra point I wanna mention that Linux is an open operating system. Thus, you can always find many choices for one single job. For example, the login window. It could be very stupid and ugly or it could be very gorgeous and smart. Linux is just a platform supporting the co-existence of so many software. So you can't say Linux is not easy to use based on those stupid and ugly login windows. It is the same as that you can't say USA is a bad place because USA has many criminal affairs. USA is a also a good platform to make those working hard profit more than those in Europe or Canada.

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