Frustrated with Linux

First thing I will admit is that I’m a noob. I’m not knowledgeable in the magic ways of computers. I am trying very hard to figure it all out however. But this leads into why I post this rant; which is all this post is.

My brother was the one who turned me onto Linux. He preached to me of it’s reliability, security, and power; of which I never doubted, even today. I tinkered with it for years, never getting serious with it. Always relying on my Microsoft addiction for games.

Lately, I’ve put more serious effort into the linux machines. My first great suprise was how much had changed. How large the communities have grown. How many different distros are available. Indeed, I was thoroughly impressed and looked forward to a most wonderful transition from my Microsoft poison to Linux freedom.

But freedom is not what I found. Atleast not the kind of freedom I envisioned. Lately, my windows machine was erased. It did not fail me, it did not seize… it was running just as good as ever. And I was obliged to revert to my trusty old linux and loaded opensuse 11.0.

Now comes the hair pulling and the rant.
I’m an end user. I’m not a programmer. I’m not a developer. I’m not a network admin. I’m not even a sniffly nosed technician yet. So all this is from an end user perspective.

When I run a computer, I want it to do what I want it to do. I want it to play my music, browse the web, print to my printer, share files on my network. I know the rep that Microsoft Windows gets about it’s reliability etc. However, I’ll be honest with you- I have had very few problems with Windows since 98 and lately XP. As an end user it did what I wanted and didn’t even burp a complaint. It shared my printer, connected me to the internet through my router, shared files on my local network, played lots of awesome games, browsed the web quickly and efficiently. I had no qualms against it. I wanted to do something and I met little opposition.

Now I am running openSUSE 11. Since I’ve installed it, I was expecting the world from it. I thought that it would atleast give me everything that Windows gave me and more. Ever since, it’s been one problem after another.

My internet wouldn’t work cause my adapter wasn’t easily supported. For one reason or another YAST wasn’t configuring it as easily as I expected it would. And I ended up configuring it all through a terminal because I got fed up with YAST.

My video card wasn’t set up properly during install for some reason (remember, I’m no computer whiz) and I want my 3D capabilities enabled- still working on that. Not that it matters because the coolest of games that I could play on Windows are hardly supported properly on Linux. (Grrr… I wish they would) Which leads to another frustration- pc gaming is my addiction too and I really wish the gaming people would get with it and not just cater to Microsoft.

I did get my printer to print, but I can’t figure out how to share it on my network so my wife can print her school documents. I’ll probably spend another hour on that at least.

And back to my internet- it gets slow very often. Sometimes it won’t load pages. Which makes me wonder if it’s a driver problem with my adapter or a system problem or a firefox problem- whereas I didn’t have to blink while browsing on Windows.

I go to update and I sign up with some repositories to update these things on my machine so they will work. I thought that it would at last all fall into place nicely. But I get an icon stuck on my bar at the bottom of the screen telling me updates are available and when I click to install them and enter my root password it doesn’t do anything but repeats the process by informing me that there are updates for my machine. Probably user error…

I did figure out how to install and succesfully run Quake2 on this machine after only half an hour of figuring it out. However, to rain on that success I don’t have sound while using Mozilla and I can’t listen to music with Amarok. In YAST sound config it says it works fine and I get system sounds great and even sound in my Quake2 game… but no luck listening to music yet… yet.

The point I’m trying to make is- I want to believe in Linux. I want it to be everything that my brother told me it was and I hear it is. After the first few days of trying to figure it all out, I remained positive and sure that Linux was the best OS in the world. After a few days of wading through tutorials, man pages, my own linux books, etc. and still being pounded to the ground with problems and things that I can’t run- my patience has run thin. I’m at wits end.

I’m an end user and I’ve decided Linux distros have a long way to go to beat Microsoft. I have decided that Microsoft Windows and (God forbid) Mac machines are for all us idiots in the world. I don’t like it, but that’s just the way it seems to me. I’ve run into more problems and hitches with my linux machine in a single week than I have with many years with my Windows machines- only as an end user though.

I don’t mean to say Linux sucks. Only that I suck at Linux. I’m stupid and I need an idiot friendly OS. This isn’t to say I’m beat yet. I will continue to fight and pick through these problems one by one until I have this OS running smoothly, efficiently, and securely. This rant was my frustration. My release of anger. Thanks for reading.

And to top it all off, I did an update after the install just recently. It took forever because my adapter kept hanging. (Never did that in Windows) It requested a reboot for some of the updated changes to take effect. I rebooted and now GRUB won’t let me load the kernels… not even the failsafe ones. Telling me it can’t find the file or can’t mount the partition. This OS is owning me.

I’m sorry to see you are having all those problems.
But that’s why are all here for, to ask and answer questions. I’m positive you’ll solve many, if not all, of your problems soon if you ask for help in the forums. The path won’t be so steep and you won’t lose so much time.

Welcome! :slight_smile:


I chuckled a bit reading your post. Not because it was funny or amusing, but it reminded me of myself when I started in 1999. I had to go through a lot more than you did, but I understand what you’re saying.

How long did it take you to learn Windows? Do you really think it’ll be less with Linux. I think it;s great that you’re putting forth the effort. I wish more newbies did.

Back in 99, I had to recompile my kernel, then compile the driver for the modem, use setserial, and even after all that, the driver often caused hard locks. Back in 99, there were no package managers like YaST, smart, synaptic, apt, zypper, yum and so on. So to upgrade KDE, it was download and install the packages in order. Imagine how much fun that would be if you had to compile KDE.

Linux has come a long ways. My nieghbor just installed Linux for the first time, after hearing me tout the praises of Linux. He was impressed. He was impressed with how easy it was to install. It detected and configured his wireless, with out a problem. Infact, he says it picks up more networks in Linux. He also says that Linux analyzes his battery better than Windows. When his laptop is plugged in, Windows says 100%. When he unplugs it, Windows says 99%, 98%, 97%, 95% and so on, down to nothing in a matter of minutes. In Linux, he says even when plugged in, that Linux reports a damaged or defective battery, and that the battery has only 4% capacity.

My point is, as mentioned before, use all your resources, including this forum. Ask questions. I’m normally not this cordial. I got tired of newbies asking stupid questions. A stupid question is one that has been answered a few dozen times, and can be found easily. To me, that’s laziness. I got burnt out doing that. I got quite curt and short with people. Often times giving one line responses. I’d rather see newbies like you, doing everything they can. I’d bend over backwards to help out.

Every thing you ranted about has an answer. And someone here knows the answer, or where to find it. Most of us have the experience you lack. So ask us. You don’t have anything to loose.

Unfortunately one has to fit one’s hardware to Linux, rather than the other way around as is possible with Windows.

This is not a Linux “fault”, but is the result of device manufacturers not wanting to release details so that Linux programmers can write drivers.

It’s not too bad if you have a standard desktop type PC, you can replace most of the unsupported hardware quite easily (if you have the money of course!).

Firstly for games get an Nvidia card, nvidia have supported Linux since the very beginning of 3d cards (as did Voodoo who have now vanished I think!), although ATI are starting to become “friendly”. Arguments about open/closed source aside, the simple fact is that an Nvidia card will work with 3d. Some later cards have problems, but you can simply check on for compatability and get information on current bugs/problems.

As for your network, the best way to go is Intel. You will find that Intel products will work “out of the box” with most modern distros. Wireless or wired, both work.

The general rule of thumb is that cheap non-brand hardware blows, and name brand (mostly) works.

When buying hardware, always search online for Linux compatibility and any problems that you might encounter before buying. Also you can take a liveCD with you to many stores and “try-before-you-buy”. If they won’t let you try it, then go elsewhere, and tell them that you will buy from a more friendly source, and that you will in the future buy from a “friendly” source.

When I bought my laptop last year I had to spend quite a bit more than I had planned because I knew what I wanted - I wanted Linux compatability, especially for playing games. I bought a HP Pavilion, and even the built in webcam works!

Your friend should have informed you that games are a bit of a problem under Linux, there is a good selection of great games that play under Linux natively, but the list is short.

There is a lot of frustration involved when running Linux, but at least you have the opportunity to ask questions (without cost!), and in most cases get a solution.

Just think of it as a “different” way of running a computer, instead of a corporation doing everything for you (…and in YOUR best interests I’m sure!), you have to start looking after your own interests.

With independence comes responsibility I guess :).

As for printers, again search and ask before buying. I recently bought a HP wireless multi-function printer, and the darn thing works perfectly under Linux! I can print and scan over my wireless network, it even has a nice tray icon for performing all those functions :D.

I understand your frustration, I still get frustrated myself quite a lot. But in the end it’s a lot of fun :).


No one has been born with knowledge. We had to make an effort to learn to walk. It took me 8 months, according to my mother.
It took me a year to figure out how to use and play with Linux, back then in 2004, and still learning.

Welcome to the club!

gankhuu wrote:
> I have decided that Microsoft Windows and (God forbid)
> Mac machines are for all us idiots in the world.

Could not have said it better myself!

I understand the learning curve can be quite steep with linux. Otherwise I wouldn’t put so much time into it. I would rather see this OS blow Microsoft out of the sky one many levels of computing, but I think it’ll be awhile before linux does it on a gaming level and idiot operator level.

I also remember back in the late 90’s where package managers weren’t so available and you have to configure things yourself through a terminal… sometimes I thought that was easier. For some reason it seemed more simple then… probably because I was younger and sucked more info up like a sponge. Now I gotta grind my rusty gears for information to stick in this skull.

You know those days where everything you touch wilts and dies? That was me yesterday. I’ll be honest and admit that erasing Windows was my own fault. (user error) I’m emberrassed to say and a hard lesson to learn. I was installing opensuse on a single drive that I had formatted specifically for it and I wanted to dual-boot- that way I’d have a new environment to operate in and still rely on my Windows gaming. When I did my partitions, I didn’t look closely enough at which drive I was partitioning for linux. (Windows drive was almost exactly the same) Before you know it, I had replaced Windows with linux. I hollered and threw things violently and my wife thought I was attacking someone. (Luckily my music and gaming files and programs I had downloaded were backed up) The lesson is- think twice or three times before you do something permenant. And even then- keep backups. (which I did)

Hi ‘gankhuu’ & welcome to the forums!

First off… thanks for sharing your story with us. Even though it’s a rant (as you put it), I think your are describing a place where many of us have been or are going through.

Second, I’m glad you had the sense (and luck) to have made a backup prior to starting your quest!! In a sense that reduces your experience to a very frustrating one… the good news being the damage is minimal… (other than having your ego and nerves left somewhat dented).

On a side note: Windows is not the daemon it’s often made out to be… That the company has made some ill calls does not mean the system sucks all over.
It’s still the system that made it possible for many of us to grow in skills and extend our horizon.

Linux is a great system - the more you get to know it the more power it can bring you… But I agree it’s not a system that you just slap on and use. Don’t think you will find anyone here who got Linux going without a glitch the instant they started with it.

Anyway… give my regards to your wife… also please tell her there is nothing wrong with you and it’s perfectly normal to through a fit now and then when doing this black magic stuff… especially when the black magic seems to be doing a completely different black magic thing then you are instructing it to do… (my wife knows this by now :wink: ).

Hope you find the good spirits and get some more luck in any next experiences. It could be a plan to see if you could do a next install together with a friend/brother that could help you with the rough spots giving some more inside info on why things are not going as smooth as you planned.

Best wishes, & keep the faith! We’ll get there in the end! :wink:


The reason of that is that when you buy a Windows infested hardware you don’t really know how the intrails work. No one told You how partitions work (you got graphical tools in windows right?), no one told You how MBR and boot loaders work.

Linux is more demanding in a way that You need to learn things you never had to with Windows. It’s like living in ignorance, at last no one tells you to learn anything when using a PC (all those virus infections etc. , that’s the outcome of it).

I also had rough beginnings with Linux (funny thing i doscovered Linux while learning to become MCSErotfl!), i lost my share of music, pictures etc. but right now all i can say is Linux opened my eyes as the idea of sharing something (Open Source) is just my thing.

In “Windows World” it’s hard to find something that is free and good thus there is such piracy with Software :wink: Right here You get something thanks to someones work(for free, in their spare time), and if we’d apply that “Open Source thinking” to the real world, then it would be a much better place:)

It’s a long journey you’ve begun, but the hardest part is over, - starting. You’re where many of us were, and many of us had to deal with far worse issues in the past.

Linux is an exceptional platform, - it performs admirably for a wide variety of tasks. Use it where you feel it fits best to the work you need to do.

Windows, - for many people it will always be a gaming platform (and an excellent one at that, - more than likely given over to the majority of games being developed specifically for it). Again if it’s gaming you need, you always have the most common option of dual-booting.

Things can and do get much easier over time, and really not much time. From my perspective, Linux teaches you to think, it doesn’t babysit you, and in return for the effort you take, it grants you as much power as you would ever need.

We’re all here to help you, - and rants and frustrations are just as much a part of the journey as any moment when things “click” and you find yourself skimming through command line orders without barely a second thought.

It’s all there for you, - it just takes a little time and effort. It’s worth it however, on many levels. Hope you stay :slight_smile:

> The lesson is- think twice or three times before you do
> something permenant. And even then- keep backups. (which I did)

GREAT advice, too bad all don’t follow it. The carpenters in my life
taught me: Measure twice, cut once.

Interesting that we are WAY ahead of them if we have a backup. Then
we can cut several times (and throw lots of stuff) and STILL have
an “original” to cut on again. Sweet. (If you have a backup.)

It’s funny you mention carpenters. I worked construction for a few years and learned the same thing. Now I’m a steel worker, fabricating steel and welding it. And the same rule applies while operating with several hundred to a few tons of weight. You don’t want to measure where a 500 lb plate goes and weld it into the wrong spot.

But no matter how perfect we strive to be, we will still make mistakes. Best to grin and bare.

I am not alone! Your rant gives me hope. Thank you!

At least I was able to install openSUSE and get online easily and find this community. When I figure out the questions to ask, I bet I’ll get some useful answers.

My first Linux nightmare was Linspire. I quickly became adept at crashing that system but so far haven’t achieved that standard with openSUSE, so I think it might be more abuser friendly.

Welcome to the forum
Take it easy, avoid hair pulling. I used to do that when I first started, now 75% of my hair is gone but at least I learn some linux commands and now happily using it.:cool:


Try posting your problems about your linux and you might get some answers and erase some of the stress and anxiety that linux had cause.
Please try reading my signature might erase some pain.

take heart good friend, you certainly came to right place for lots of good help and support in this forum community.

There is plenty of knowledge to be found here with lots of people willing to help with to get you on your way with Linux.

I’ve only been following this forum for a few months now after doing my first openSUSE load and I can honestly say that every day I look in here only to find some sort of help and useful info.

I’ve also found since using openSUSE the tech/help pages are very well done and formatted. I’m in openSUSE for the long haul and learning exprience myself.

Linux is a completely dif set of skills and enjoyment than Windows that I have never regretted learning.