Why Linux desktop will never make it out of GeekWorld.

I have spent many years working in IT in lots of areas from programming to systems architecture.
I have been involved in the rollout of a 300 store linux desktop solution.
But i have just spent an hour trying to get Flash 10 to install in firefox. I just get some geeky message telling me of a dependency problem, but no offer of help to resolve it.
I know how to resolve it, but - and here is the hurdle Linux is going to have to jump if it is to make a dent in the desktop market - my wife doesn’t.
While Linux desktop distros still assume that the average user knows (or more to the point CARES!!!) what a dependency error is or how to fix it , when windows JUST WORKS!! it will stay in GeekWorld !!!

As it seems that you do not ask for help. This will be moved to General Chitchat.

cgresty wrote:
> windows JUST WORKS!!

yep, thats right…it just works with all the malware too!!
go away.

DenverD (Linux Counter 282315)
CAVEAT: http://is.gd/bpoMD
posted via NNTP w/TBird | KDE 3.5.7 | openSUSE 10.3 SMP i686
AMD Athlon 1 GB RAM | GeForce FX 5500 | ASRock K8Upgrade-760GX |
CMedia 9761 AC’97 Audio

This was a note to NNTP users of the thread move.

What desktop were you using, e.g. Gnome or KDE?

I am using KDE - but as i said, I am OK with Linux, but the people in the thread Why do newbies leave Linux - what a bunch of bigots!
They fail to understand the point - why would the average user - i.e the target audience - want to start using their PC in a way that makes it harder for them?

Thanks for the reply though.

NNTP users you can post now, as the thread has been moved from Applications to Chit Chat.

Very strange, I am interested in your issue. What was the problem and how did you solve it?

I am currently thinking you didnt know what you were doing and unless you prove me wrong I am inclined to believe that your involvement in the 300 linux store rollout was limited to making the tea.

Hey, What a great post, you really destroyed my argument!

I really don’t hold your opinion on my involvement in the rollout as highly as you do.

I am confident in my skills and don’t require your endorsement.

Instead of trying to attack me, why don’t you think about the point i have raised.

The AVERAGE USER, you know, the person that will need to use Linux if it is to attack Microsofts domination, doesn’t care how clever you , or I am/are when we know how to fix missing libraries etc.

They just want to use the PC to do productive stuff.

If they have to become any more expert in the “under the hood” stuff that you love, than they are with windows, then you have lost them.

Linux works really well in the back office, Database Lamp etc, but not the desktop. and with stars like you around to help mr Average choose, i think windows domination is safe for now.

cgresty, if you start a thread in the multimedia section of our forum, I am confident someone will try help you.

An hour is a long time to go without asking for help. I typically spend a maximum of 15 minutes (often less) before I ask for help. I see no point in being too proud to ask for help.

Linux is NOT like Windows where one can pick up the phone and ask a friend or relative or work associate as to how something is done. Our user base is much smaller.

Hence NOT spinning one’s wheels for an hour but rather asking for help after a dozen minutes (on IRC chat, on a mailing list, or on our forum), is IMHO a much more sensible approach.

I’ve been using flash on Linux as long as its been available. I have never ONCE had a dependency problem. The only time I have seen dependency problems with flash have been when users ignored my advice about sticking with 4 and only 4 repositories (OSS, non-OSS, Update (the official repositories) and Packman (the largest 3rd party repository)).

But what is most important here is to ask for help when needed.

My experience is those people who consider them selves IT experts (and hence are too proud to ask for help) are more likely to consider Linux for the Geek World, as opposed to the average user who WILL ask for help fairly soon, and hence will NOT be subjected to the same level of ego bashing frustration.

This is my general view on the area.

My Take on Linux - Will it Ever Beat Windows? - Page 17 - openSUSE Forums

As you can see I believe linux will never take over windows due to the obvious reason that it isnt designed to meet the same expectations that microsoft target.

However that doesnt mean linux wont take over people, fact is more and more people are using it. I use it because it does everything i require, and who am i?

I am just another average desktop user.

Some people are more willing to adapt and change. You seem to want a windows experience in a linux operating system. This will never happen.

There are also many people who struggle to setup a linux distribution (eg 1 hour to setup flash) and out of frustration give up.

However if someone were able to do it for them, they would be perfectly happy and have no issues.

I have done this for many people, even for a 69 year old!

So i partially agree that linux can be harder to configure but to say it isnt good for the desktop, go and put the kettle on!

OK, let’s get the steam off of this.

Flashplayer is installed through the repos. Following the default openSUSE install procedure, an update included, will pull it in. Admit, 32bit is used on 64bit install.

Before you meet more problems like this, take a look here:
pick openSUSE version
enter ‘flash-player’ in the search field, hit Enter, and see what happens. Even 64bit flash-player is provided as a package by some Build Service user.

cgresty wrote:
> They just want to use the PC to do productive stuff.

you mean like tend to a clogged up registry…or clean out the
thousandth virus…and stuff like that?

DenverD (Linux Counter 282315)
CAVEAT: http://is.gd/bpoMD
posted via NNTP w/TBird | KDE 3.5.7 | openSUSE 10.3 SMP i686
AMD Athlon 1 GB RAM | GeForce FX 5500 | ASRock K8Upgrade-760GX |
CMedia 9761 AC’97 Audio

Puh-leeze, installing flash in linux is easy if you use the correct method.
Instead of going to Adobe’s website you open up a package manager and search for flash, click on a box and there you have it.
You cant equate your experience with just one linux as the whole of linux, openSUSE has its way of doing things, as does Ubuntu. Fedora, Mandriva Debian or any other distro.
This is all about learning something different, getting away from the windows way of doing things is a hard habit to break, but thats why we have forums for.
There is a learning curve for EVERY OS, even windows needs some learning if you want to use it to its fullest.
Or try installing an app on OSX, you will find it works different there too.
Installing flash is probably hard for you because most likely it came free with windows, but here you have to install it separately.
For new users maybe openSUSE is not the best, in fact I would say the best out there for new users is either Linux Mint, PClinux, and Mepis as they come with all the codecs for you.
Linux Mint is probably the best out of all of them as it has a very windows like setup without being KDE4

As i said at the start, i sorted it out for myself.
I have used Various flavours of Linux, Windows,Unix (AIX) and so on.

You have completely missed my point, when I read stuff like your answer to me, i use someone who is NOT an IT expert as the acid test, so - for example, i ask myself what might my non IT literate brother (who uses windows 7 just fine) make of your advice regarding the names and number of repositories that he should be using, i think he would think “i’m not interested in that **** - i just want to watch BBC IPlayer”.

I work as an IT professional, supporting 2500 + “real” users and contrary to your expert opinion of my character and willingness to ask for help, regularly call on the services of consultants and experts in my day job.

But look, i have already wasted too much of my time trying to explain my position, which is that Linux is still too Geeky for the average user to rely on, i think that you and people like you want to keep Linux to an exclusive clique, and guess what? i think you are going to get your wish.

thanks for the reply.

Well me personally I am NOT a IT expert, I am a everyday desktop user, I dont program and dont use the commandline 100% of the time.
I browse the internet, I read my e mail, I dont run a server or have a collage level education but I can figure linux out quite easily.
Your bad experience is because of your own stupidity, when you se a new OS you ask questions about it. You dont go in blind assuming it works exactly like the other OS you might have used, every OS is different and you might want to do some homework before using it.
Windows only seems easy because everyone uses it, when you buy a windows computer it usually comes with all the bells and whistles like flash, java, codecs and everything you need to get from point A to point B.
But if you install Windows from scratch, without a OEM install it is just as weak as linux is, it usually does not have flash or java, and even though it has DVD playback by default these days it still takes a while to set it up to make sure everything is in working order.
It can take up to an hour to set up windows from a fresh install to a setup that accommodates all codecs and playback options.
I highly doubt you used too many Linuxes, you probably just used openSUSE and maybe even Ubuntu but there are distros with all the fancy stuff preinstalled like Mint and PCLinux.
There are reasons why flash and codecs are not preinstalled with most linuxes, there are legal issues and linux is not some super rich company like Microsoft.
Your frustration is more your fault for not asking questions and going in blind, we all need a little help to get us started.
Like I said there is a learning curve with Windows too, I am sure if you used say OSX all your life and decided to install a non OEM copy of windows it too would seem like a hard OS to use unless you asked for help.

cgresty wrote:
> But look, i have already wasted too much of my time trying to explain
> my position

oh man! we have had thousands of folks around here for years just
waiting for you to drop in and explain your position!!

and, you are done already?

and what did we learn: that you didn’t know how to install flash (and
didn’t bother to learn) so you got angry and got back at us for not
setting up openSUSE to install flash the way YOU thought it should be

heh! right.

boy, we needed your opinion like about not at all!

DenverD (Linux Counter 282315)
CAVEAT: http://is.gd/bpoMD
posted via NNTP w/TBird | KDE 3.5.7 | openSUSE 10.3 SMP i686
AMD Athlon 1 GB RAM | GeForce FX 5500 | ASRock K8Upgrade-760GX |
CMedia 9761 AC’97 Audio

Cool it down. No need for words like ‘stupidity’. It breaks down whatever valueable you have to say.

Well to be fair I got into to trouble learning Linux for the first few times because of my own stupidity too, I really messed up my first few times with linux and went in blind as well.
I made one heck of a mess with my first two times installing linux, I destroyed my windows drive with Yoper and I could not figure out openSUSE the first time I used it.
I did not know how to use YAST, or have any knowledge about package managers, and my experiences with linux were not good because I dodnt ask and I went in not asking any questions about how the OS works.
I didnt see how good it was until I tried Mepis linux and started asking questions, and after a month of experience I got the hang of the OS.
This is mostly why I give new users linux mint and when they get the hang of package managers and stuff then I offer them a more advanced distro.

Which is exactly that argument/point?

  • “If Linux would be easier more people would use it”?
    I mean… yeah, sure… isn’t exactly a revolutionary idea.

  • “Linux is not easy enough because I had a problem”?
    Well, that you had a problem don’t really says too much.

  • “When you have a problem in Linux your life is more difficult than when you are in Windows and everything works”?
    Sure… and my life is easier in Linux and everything works than when I’m in Windows and I have a problem with it.

  • “In Windows you never have a problem”?
    Yeah, sure…

  • “I just proved Linux is not easy enough for the average Joe user even if I didn’t a single test with an average Joe user”?
    No, you didn’t.

  • “Dependencies are a complex concept”?
    …dependency is a really simple concept. Whatever you are talking of packages or any other thing. A needs B, isn’t so complex. This game needs/depends on DirectX and my fridge needs/depends on the electricity…

  • “I have a fix”/“This thing should be changed to behave this other way”?
    No, I’m sure you didn’t said that.

You really though your post could start a fruitful discussion? HOW???
Perhaps you though people were developing Linux to be difficult intentionally because they though the average Joe user wanted a difficult system? In such a case now that you explained them that they were wrong, that they need to develop it to be easy, everything will be better…

Every day twenty guys start a thread in an Internet forum with a variant of the “Linux has a problem and will never reach the average user: it’s too difficult” message. And somehow, even with his great help, it seems Linux still isn’t easy enough…
None of them says anything new… and it gets really boring.

So, do you have anything helpful to say?

Between, if you want flash to be easier to install:

$ ldd -u -r /usr/lib64/browser-plugins/libflashplayer.so 
Unused direct dependencies:


Ask Adobe to stop adding eight totally unneeded dependencies to its plugin. That would be helpful. (this is with the latest 64-bit alpha version)