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Master_Scythe

What does Linux need to steal market share?

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How many of people commenting in this thread actually use Linux as a primary desktop? While some of the criticism is valid (if you are coming from a marketing point of view) some is either plain wrong or misunderstood.

 

Apt is shit. Everything command line is shit. It's literally the most user-unfriendly method of interacting with the computer possible.

This is ignorance pure and simple. Once understood a CLI is a very efficient method of interaction, extremely repeatable and precise.

 

Even as a software engineer, I don't want to play with that crap. When I just want to do my job, I want things to just work.

This is the exact reason why I prefer a GUN/Linux distribution for software development.

 

Much of this thread is still missing the point that the Opensource community isn't all about marketing a product it's about solving a problem. Competing projects could be seen as wasting resources (from a Business School MBA point of view) but it's also about finding the best solution to a problem which the developers have identified, solutions often get cross pollinated into the other projects improving things for everybody. To speak to the actual topic and question, I think the scope initial question is wrong, GNU/Linux as a whole will never be for general public usage, what will be is a distribution that does for GNU/Linux what OSX has done for BSD. Android kind of fits this category but it's not really a desktop. My guess is this is the end goal for Canonical with Ubuntu.

 

PC/Linux based cohort turn into heavy Mac/MacOS user base.

How much of that was actually for the hardware? ;)

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How many of people commenting in this thread actually use Linux as a primary desktop? While some of the criticism is valid (if you are coming from a marketing point of view) some is either plain wrong or misunderstood.

I DO!

 

Apt is shit. Everything command line is shit. It's literally the most user-unfriendly method of interacting with the computer possible.

This is ignorance pure and simple. Once understood a CLI is a very efficient method of interaction, extremely repeatable and precise

Even as a software engineer, I don't want to play with that crap. When I just want to do my job, I want things to just work.

This is the exact reason why I prefer a GUN/Linux distribution for software development.

 

Much of this thread is still missing the point that the Opensource community isn't all about marketing a product it's about solving a problem. Competing projects could be seen as wasting resources (from a Business School MBA point of view) but it's also about finding the best solution to a problem which the developers have identified, solutions often get cross pollinated into the other projects improving things for everybody. To speak to the actual topic and question, I think the scope initial question is wrong, GNU/Linux as a whole will never be for general public usage, what will be is a distribution that does for GNU/Linux what OSX has done for BSD. Android kind of fits this category but it's not really a desktop. My guess is this is the end goal for Canonical with Ubuntu.

+1

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How many of people commenting in this thread actually use Linux as a primary desktop? While some of the criticism is valid (if you are coming from a marketing point of view) some is either plain wrong or misunderstood.

I have tried, often for weeks at a time, its why I made this thread. My points are from a long-term-trial users oppinion :)

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Apt is shit. Everything command line is shit. It's literally the most user-unfriendly method of interacting with the computer possible.

This is ignorance pure and simple. Once understood a CLI is a very efficient method of interaction, extremely repeatable and precise.

You're missing the point.

 

"Efficient" "repeatable" "precise" aren't the things Sir_Substance was suggesting to be missing from CLI's.

 

The fact you had to qualify your defence with "Once understood" supports the idea that it's a poor, user-unfriendly interface.

 

It's a wonderful great awesome tool for IT admins and computer scientists. That doesn't make it user-friendly.

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Apt is shit. Everything command line is shit. It's literally the most user-unfriendly method of interacting with the computer possible.

This is ignorance pure and simple. Once understood a CLI is a very efficient method of interaction, extremely repeatable and precise.

You're missing the point.

 

"Efficient" "repeatable" "precise" aren't the things Sir_Substance was suggesting to be missing from CLI's.

 

The fact you had to qualify your defence with "Once understood" supports the idea that it's a poor, user-unfriendly interface.

 

It's a wonderful great awesome tool for IT admins and computer scientists. That doesn't make it user-friendly.

 

eg: emacs.

 

When linux is working, it's a fine alternative.

 

If you change a piece of hardware, or sometimes even just on updating some piece of software, it dies or starts acting strangely and often you have no alternative but to go diving though config files or even source. And then you find out that man really isn't useful unless stuff is operating as designed, aso you resort to online sources. The official site is very useful, but it's amazing how often I (at least) could find no reference to problems I had, so you end up with a general search, and that fully 90% of the 'help' you can find with google refers to previous versions which had the same issue! And of course that version's fix doesn't work for the current version.

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Apt is shit. Everything command line is shit. It's literally the most user-unfriendly method of interacting with the computer possible.

This is ignorance pure and simple. Once understood a CLI is a very efficient method of interaction, extremely repeatable and precise.

You're missing the point.

 

"Efficient" "repeatable" "precise" aren't the things Sir_Substance was suggesting to be missing from CLI's.

 

The fact you had to qualify your defence with "Once understood" supports the idea that it's a poor, user-unfriendly interface.

 

It's a wonderful great awesome tool for IT admins and computer scientists. That doesn't make it user-friendly.

 

eg: emacs.

 

When linux is working, it's a fine alternative.

 

If you change a piece of hardware, or sometimes even just on updating some piece of software, it dies or starts acting strangely and often you have no alternative but to go diving though config files or even source. And then you find out that man really isn't useful unless stuff is operating as designed, aso you resort to online sources. The official site is very useful, but it's amazing how often I (at least) could find no reference to problems I had, so you end up with a general search, and that fully 90% of the 'help' you can find with google refers to previous versions which had the same issue! And of course that version's fix doesn't work for the current version.

 

And it is this cycle which ultimately drives people away from linux, because noone has the money to pay someone who understands linux to unfuck their PC every time linux eats itself. Since the alternatives are either use your PC as a radiant heater or install a different OS, people end up being driven away by linux.

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If we had enough GUI, I could see a "noob server" distro being popular.

take its notes from Windows, and have "choose the roles", everything from the usuals, to the modern extras (mumble, minecraft, TorNode).

 

Have a full flashy awesome GUI to config the lot, and that would be golden. Desktop system of Ubuntu is AMAZING for appliances. As above, elderly, web only users, office only users. As a multitask OS, it works, but its not as friendly. And heaven help you if it falls over. No auto recovery.

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If you want to 'chose your role' even the CLI server install does this well. If you've previously installed it that's fine too. You can just type 'sudo apt-get install tasksel' then sudo tasksel' and you can then install LAMP stack or Samba etc. Unless you mean something different by 'roles' - all you have to do is press space to select the role and it will be installed ready to configure.

 

Something like this, but this has some extra options:

Posted Image

 

Ubuntu server really is extremely noob friendly. I've actually written some extensive guides on setting up both NAS and web servers which I am almost ready to share here.

 

I've had one issue I couldn't just fix in 2 mins with some thinking, when I changed the hostname I broke BIND9, these are probably the kind of issues you are talking about. It was actually nothing to do with the hostname change but something else I changed days before and hadn't rebooted since. I was able to fix it quickly by looking at my syslog, it told me exactly which line of which config file was causing me issues.

Edited by p0is(+)n

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You can just type 'sudo apt-get install tasksel' then sudo tasksel' and you can then install LAMP stack or Samba etc. Unless you mean something different by 'roles' - all you have to do is press space to select the role and it will be installed ready to configure.

That's too hard, and this is what M_S is talking about.

 

Look at the names on that list. None of those mean anything to a non-techie user.

 

You need to get away from names of programs. "Samba file server" doesn't mean anything, it should say "Windows file sharing". People are generally task-oriented, user interfaces should communicate that way.

 

Ubuntu server really is extremely noob friendly. I've actually written some extensive guides on setting up both NAS and web servers which I am almost ready to share here.

If it's that "noob friendly", it shouldn't need an "extensive" guide.

 

Lacie/Netgear NAS'es, and Apple's Time Capsule are "noob friendly". Something that takes an afternoon and 20 pages of steps is not.

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If it's that "noob friendly", it shouldn't need an "extensive" guide.

 

Lacie/Netgear NAS'es, and Apple's Time Capsule are "noob friendly". Something that takes an afternoon and 20 pages of steps is not.

ie: If you're comfortable handing a device based on it over to your grandma, knowing she will use it, and you're prepared to give her 24-hour support... Then it's user friendly.

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Well if you want to use a server, you need to be prepared to do at least a little learning. You can't expect to just be able to will the computer into doing what you need to with thought alone. Clicking start, then control panel and then whatever or opening mmc or perfmon or cmd is no different to opening a terminal.

 

I would argue opening terminal and typing a command is quicker, and easier than opening MMC and loading snap ins to do what you need to do on a windows server. Sure the GUI can steer you more than the terminal can, but we are now talking "noob server" rather than desktop for grandma or a regular joe. To run a server assumes basic knowledge or willingness to learn, you can't expect to be able to run before you learn how to walk.

 

My guide just covers the very basics, which if you've never used linux before, you could easily follow and configure a server to your requirements. I think anybody who can read and type would be capable of following along, to me that's user friendly, efficient, precise, repeatable - not like trying to guide someone on what to click or where, and hope they don't click the wrong thing, or tick the wrong box.

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Well if you want to use a server, you need to be prepared to do at least a little learning.

Playing devils advocate here, why?

 

Why should configuring a minecraft client be a 1 step process, but configuring a minecraft server be a complex occasion that requires extensive guides?

 

Other then because programmers are lazy and can't be bothered putting in the effort to make the server user friendly?

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Well if you want to use a server, you need to be prepared to do at least a little learning.

Playing devils advocate here, why?

 

Why should configuring a minecraft client be a 1 step process, but configuring a minecraft server be a complex occasion that requires extensive guides?

 

Other then because programmers are lazy and can't be bothered putting in the effort to make the server user friendly?

 

Not exactly devils advocate, but to expect to just be able to make a server and do everything with 1 click, not even a windows has this level of simplicity. If it was this easy, IT people everywhere would be out of a job. If we don't have servers to baby, what else is it that we do? Took me about 5 mins to setup a minecraft server on my microserver including port forwarding my router/ufw, it wasn't a 1 step process, more like 4 or 5. I would wager it is actually harder to set up a minecraft server on windows than ubuntu.

 

Why should it be harder? Well it's a lot more complicated for one, how can you configure player settings, world settings, etc. with just 1 step? The client just needs to sit there and connect to the server, which does all the work. This isn't unique to linux, windows servers require the same level of interaction. You're basically now just saying servers are too hard. Surely as a software engineer you can understand this.

Edited by p0is0n

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Not exactly devils advocate, but to expect to just be able to make a server and do everything with 1 click, not even a windows has this level of simplicity.

Never used WHS then I suppose? ;)

 

But seriously, appliance fileservers (i.e. NAS boxes) are at the 1-click level of ease-of-setup. Some of them even run some flavour of Linux under the hood, but the Linux is hidden away, because it's incidental and unimportant (much like in Android, actually).

 

Normal people don't need to run LAMP/DNS/Zimbra from their home. Heck, most nerds don't really need to, but choose to for the fun of it.

 

A server doesn't need to be a desktop PC running oodles of application daemons, it can be as little as some storage being shared.

 

If we don't have servers to baby, what else is it that we do?

Implement and support information systems to meet business requirements. Any serf graduate shit-kicker can load an OS image into a VM and enable some services, it takes a professional to make those services do something value-adding.

 

You're basically now just saying servers are too hard.

No, not really.

 

Minecraft servers are just an example of things being needlessly hard because of a lack of attention to user interface.

 

Setting up a Minecraft server could be a one-click activity, especially when there are frameworks like UPnP and Bonjour to take care of the networking stuff. There's no good reason it can't be that easy. But it isn't.

 

You're saying that "servers", which to begin with is a nice broad term, are hard because servers are hard:

 

Well if you want to use a server, you need to be prepared to do at least a little learning.

 

Off-the-shelf NAS boxes (which are, in reality, little servers) are evidence that this isn't the case. Not any more.

Edited by SquallStrife

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Never used WHS then I suppose? ;)

 

But seriously, appliance fileservers (i.e. NAS boxes) are at the 1-click level of ease-of-setup. Some of them even run some flavour of Linux under the hood, but the Linux is hidden away, because it's incidental and unimportant (much like in Android, actually).

 

Normal people don't need to run LAMP/DNS/Zimbra from their home. Heck, most nerds don't really need to, but choose to for the fun of it.

I can't say I ever have used WHS, but I have a lot of experience with Server 2003 and 2008R2, nothing is 1 step or 1 click that I can think of. Even to just get to the network adapters screen takes 4 clicks, start, control panel, network and sharing center, change adapter settings.

To add a firewall rule is more more complex than it should be, requiring many many clicks, start, control panel, windows firewall, advanced settings, inbound rules, new rule, then there are 5 steps to create the rule. To achieve the same thing with ubuntu 'sudo ufw allow 22' or 'sudo ufw default deny'. Assuming you know you need to allow port 22 or port 80 before you begin, I know which one seems simpler and easier to me. Opening a port is one of the most basic tasks which needs to be performed when new software is installed or a new system is configured. The only reason people think it's easier with Windows, is because they are already more familiar with the process and the command line seems totally alien.

 

Even appliance NAS devices need some basic configuration, not to the extent of a full blown server, but you can't just put a disk in, turn it on, and have it do everything you require. Somewhere along the way you need to load up the web interface and change at least a few settings to suite your environment. This is only because someone else already decided what the default settings should be, and has configured it for you.

 

Implement and support information systems to meet business requirements. Any serf graduate shit-kicker can load an OS image into a VM and enable some services, it takes a professional to make those services do something value-adding.

I look after approx 50-60 windows 2008 terminal servers, about 40ish SQL\backend servers and some AD\exchange\file servers too, all windows. Running on linux bare metal. Yes any idiot can boot from the CD and click next next etc. until it's installed, but then someone who knows what they are doing needs to configure it properly, set permissions, create user accounts, create firewall rules, forward ports, schedule regular tasks, automate backups, create logon\logoff scripts and more, depending on what the server is actually doing. We have many clients who use MYOB AE and that alone requires an SQL server and some fairly involved setup. etc. If this was all 1 step level of simplicity, we would be out of a job. This doesn't apply to all servers, but it's just an example.

 

No, not really.

 

Minecraft servers are just an example of things being needlessly hard because of a lack of attention to user interface.

 

Setting up a Minecraft server could be a one-click activity, especially when there are frameworks like UPnP and Bonjour to take care of the networking stuff. There's no good reason it can't be that easy. But it isn't.

I could write a script that installed minecraft server ready to go in 1 click for you - but it would be because I made all the decisions about how your server should work. Servers are generally created out of a specific need, so while the creator can guess at the best settings for the most common usage, usually whoever is setting it up will need to customize something. Player cap, admin lists, ban lists, port to run on, port forward for firewall etc.

 

You're saying that "servers", which to begin with is a nice broad term, are hard because servers are hard:

 

Well if you want to use a server, you need to be prepared to do at least a little learning.

 

Off-the-shelf NAS boxes (which are, in reality, little servers) are evidence that this isn't the case. Not any more.

Not so much saying servers are hard, but sometimes they need additional configuration to fit into their environment, which then involves editing a config file, or going to tools\options and going through settings etc.

As above, with appliance NAS, it would be extremely rare to not have to use the web interface etc. to do at least some config when setting it up.

 

Anyway I don't want to drag this off topic, it's not about whether servers should be easier to use or not.

One thing we can not debate is that linux\*nix has the server world by the balls, for good reason, running on something like 85-90% of enterprise servers these days. It doesn't need to do much to improve market share here :)

Edited by p0is0n

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If we had enough GUI, I could see a "noob server" distro being popular.

take its notes from Windows, and have "choose the roles", everything from the usuals, to the modern extras (mumble, minecraft, TorNode).

 

Have a full flashy awesome GUI to config the lot, and that would be golden. Desktop system of Ubuntu is AMAZING for appliances. As above, elderly, web only users, office only users. As a multitask OS, it works, but its not as friendly. And heaven help you if it falls over. No auto recovery.

I remember one of the now-dead australia computer magazines made a server OS like that, it was hugely popular. I might have the iso somewhere.

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I think what everyone is forgetting is why Linux existed in the first place. Its very nature prevents it from ever becoming mainstream. The kernel, the essence of Linux in my mind, is for all intents and purposes, almost identical in all builds at a specific point. After that, regardless of what distro you have, everything else is different. Its plug-ins upon plug-ins and so on. I remember when I was playing around with Linux circa 1996, I mean, I wasn't impossible to install but neither was it easy. Of course, things have changed immeasurably since then but still its not like Windows where you literally put in the disc and/or start your download, and install, with a few stops here and there for input from you mainly language and date/time settings. In Linux, almost anything can go wrong. Granted its doesn't do much of that these days but if it does, you'd have to scour the net for a fix or a workaround.

 

Let's not forget, shall we, who the target customers are. In order to capture that segment of the market, distro's wold have to make their versions almost fool proof and support it like mad. Someone said in an earlier post, that if you want to setup servers, you have to at least want to learn. Customers don't want to hear that. They want to make their choice and its up to you the retailer, or whomever, to make it work especially if the customer thinks he has a brain and tries to tell you that in can be done but he doesn't have a clue how to support it without you.

 

Ultimately, Linux has been and always will be a niche OS simply because of what it is. It took Microsoft almost 20 years to get rid of DOS. Linux, being the OS and project that it is, will probably take a little longer, if at all.

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Not exactly devils advocate, but to expect to just be able to make a server and do everything with 1 click, not even a windows has this level of simplicity.

Actually, it does. And ignoring the usual hardening or risk assessment, very easily.

 

I have an IRC server program that is a standalone EXE. Channel is named after your PC's name, and assuming only windows firewall (so the port is opened by it 'heading out'). Then people can join it. Literally, download, double click, done. No questions!

Hosted a minecraft server before? (i havent but ive installed one for someone)

Ive hosted an Unreal Tournament server before, had a single EXE, set my game mode and number of allowed players and hit 'go'.

Ive hosted a file server, I shared a folder, and ticked the box that said 'everyone'. It worked, all GUI and all noob friendly. That was when I was very young. all i knew was I wanted to "Share this folder" it was actually the words in my mind. I then wanted to share it with 'Everyone'. Done!

Lets say a teamspeak or mumble server? With the exception of opening ports (assuming the 'noob' is running a firewall) its a one click solution.

How about hosting a TeamViewer server? One click, enter this code, done.

 

The list could go on forever.

And not once (for the majority) did I need to install anything, update anything, check dependancies, modify a windows DLL, enter any form of CLI, or in practically all instances, type anyhting more than a single name for a channel!

Single executable, easily found, and working.

 

Its a little off topic, as this isnt what im suggesting should be done with all linux its just in relation to a 'noob friendly server would be popular'.

 

Heres probably what I'd consider the minimum for true 'noob friendly' behavior.

Posted Image

Ive mentioned it before, its 'servers ultimate' on Android.

Yes, it requires a level of learning, in that you need to know those acronyms and what said acronym allows. But thats a tiny step. The rest is funky GUI. easy to understand big buttons, and an instantly visible 'what is my server doing right now?' screen.

Even thats not as simple as even Windows 2003's wizard driven 'roles' option, but its pretty fucking close. (its a balance between power and simple I guess).

 

More effort should go into attacking big holes in the market to get the name out more. Windows home server gone?

Launch "Linux Home Server" with a limited feature set, designed to replace it (but being linux the 'pros' could still add to it) Just as one possible example.

 

Its a little off topic to my whole 'what does the desktop distro need', but I know, from years ago being a kid, with no IT knowledge beyond 'run this exe', and the ability to double click a promise and have that promise running and working.

That today, even with half an hour (as opposed to 30 seconds), and 10+ years industry experience, there is still a good chance I couldn't get an IRC server running on Linux.

Even for someone who is a Linux pro, I question if it is even possible to set up an IRC server, faster or easier than a single double click, and finished, on windows. It has No advanced options, but the noob doesnt need them. They wanna chat! (or share files or play minecraft etc)

 

I think what everyone is forgetting is why Linux existed in the first place. Its very nature prevents it from ever becoming mainstream. The kernel, the essence of Linux in my mind, is for all intents and purposes, almost identical in all builds at a specific point. After that, regardless of what distro you have, everything else is different. Its plug-ins upon plug-ins and so on. I remember when I was playing around with Linux circa 1996, I mean, I wasn't impossible to install but neither was it easy. Of course, things have changed immeasurably since then but still its not like Windows where you literally put in the disc and/or start your download, and install, with a few stops here and there for input from you mainly language and date/time settings. In Linux, almost anything can go wrong. Granted its doesn't do much of that these days but if it does, you'd have to scour the net for a fix or a workaround.

 

Let's not forget, shall we, who the target customers are. In order to capture that segment of the market, distro's wold have to make their versions almost fool proof and support it like mad. Someone said in an earlier post, that if you want to setup servers, you have to at least want to learn. Customers don't want to hear that. They want to make their choice and its up to you the retailer, or whomever, to make it work especially if the customer thinks he has a brain and tries to tell you that in can be done but he doesn't have a clue how to support it without you.

 

Ultimately, Linux has been and always will be a niche OS simply because of what it is. It took Microsoft almost 20 years to get rid of DOS. Linux, being the OS and project that it is, will probably take a little longer, if at all.

This entire post is accurate; I agree.

But it falls a little flat, if I was to put into words what everyone is implying. "What does UBUNTU need to seal market share?" or... "What does MINT need to steal market share?"

You're right, linux as a whole prevents itself from unifying and becoming mainstream. However, in the examples we're all giving, and all picturing, we have probably one of 3 distros who constantly fight for 'we're the easiest' going through our heads.

If you consider Ubuntu its own OS, and not a flavor of linux (in the same way Windows wasn't a "DOS application" to the users; but technically was) Its less of an insurmountable task to unify (hey look! unify... unity,,, huh! lol) the user base. If anything Ubuntu specifically is TRYING to get away from linux, and become Ubuntu, to the layman. Its all about 'how'. and 'Why isn't it working?'

Edited by Master_Scythe

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I think what everyone is forgetting is why Linux existed in the first place. Its very nature prevents it from ever becoming mainstream. The kernel, the essence of Linux in my mind, is for all intents and purposes, almost identical in all builds at a specific point. After that, regardless of what distro you have, everything else is different. Its plug-ins upon plug-ins and so on. I remember when I was playing around with Linux circa 1996, I mean, I wasn't impossible to install but neither was it easy. Of course, things have changed immeasurably since then but still its not like Windows where you literally put in the disc and/or start your download, and install, with a few stops here and there for input from you mainly language and date/time settings. In Linux, almost anything can go wrong. Granted its doesn't do much of that these days but if it does, you'd have to scour the net for a fix or a workaround.

 

Let's not forget, shall we, who the target customers are. In order to capture that segment of the market, distro's wold have to make their versions almost fool proof and support it like mad. Someone said in an earlier post, that if you want to setup servers, you have to at least want to learn. Customers don't want to hear that. They want to make their choice and its up to you the retailer, or whomever, to make it work especially if the customer thinks he has a brain and tries to tell you that in can be done but he doesn't have a clue how to support it without you.

 

Ultimately, Linux has been and always will be a niche OS simply because of what it is. It took Microsoft almost 20 years to get rid of DOS. Linux, being the OS and project that it is, will probably take a little longer, if at all.

I'm not sure if you've played with linux since 1996 but I installed debian on a laptop 2 days ago, it was just as easy as installing windows xp (windows 7 has simplified it a little more than debian has), next next, enter username and pw, next, chose time zone, next, partition disks (automatic option for noobs), next, chose your 'role' aka tasksel, then it was done, rebooted to hit gnome3. Once I hit the desktop though, it was ready to use, no further installation required, with windows, you are usually extremely lucky if you don't need to install something as basic as an ethernet driver, never mind chipset, graphics, audio and any other devices you have. This usually requires either downloading them ahead of time, or having another machine to do it, going to a few different websites, finding your product, finding the driver, downloading the right version of the driver etc. Not exactly user friendly IMO but we are used to it. Not sure why this hasn't improved over the years.

 

I don't understand your second paragraph at all... if the "customer" is buying a server from you, it's you who has to learn and set it up, not them. It just needs to sit at a DC somewhere and serve whatever application it is running for the "customer". I was talking about home users or people setting up their own servers, they should be prepared to learn at least some basic concepts if they don't already know.

 

Comparing DOS to the terminal is hardly fair, DOS is almost useless these days, terminal is far from it. I don't know why there is so much terminal hate in this thread, it's just a tool, you don't have to use it, but it will make everything you want to do quicker and easier if you care to use it. Powershell would be a more favourable comparisson, which they are anything but trying to get rid of, and I find it much harder to use than the terminal, and I will need to spend a significant amount of time learning how to use it proficiently as it will make things easier for me in the future.

 

Not exactly devils advocate, but to expect to just be able to make a server and do everything with 1 click, not even a windows has this level of simplicity.

Actually, it does. And ignoring the usual hardening or risk assessment, very easily.

 

I have an IRC server program that is a standalone EXE. Channel is named after your PC's name, and assuming only windows firewall (so the port is opened by it 'heading out'). Then people can join it. Literally, download, double click, done. No questions!

Hosted a minecraft server before? (i havent but ive installed one for someone)

Ive hosted an Unreal Tournament server before, had a single EXE, set my game mode and number of allowed players and hit 'go'.

Ive hosted a file server, I shared a folder, and ticked the box that said 'everyone'. It worked, all GUI and all noob friendly. That was when I was very young. all i knew was I wanted to "Share this folder" it was actually the words in my mind. I then wanted to share it with 'Everyone'. Done!

Lets say a teamspeak or mumble server? With the exception of opening ports (assuming the 'noob' is running a firewall) its a one click solution.

How about hosting a TeamViewer server? One click, enter this code, done.

 

The list could go on forever.

And not once (for the majority) did I need to install anything, update anything, check dependancies, modify a windows DLL, enter any form of CLI, or in practically all instances, type anyhting more than a single name for a channel!

Single executable, easily found, and working.

 

Its a little off topic, as this isnt what im suggesting should be done with all linux its just in relation to a 'noob friendly server would be popular'.

Sounds like all your IRC server did was connect to an already existing server like freenode and create a chanel, I assume you would have also had to specify which server to host your channel on, and then once you are hosting a chanel, you need a way to op yourself etc so you need a chatbot to. I am talking about doing it right not just making it work in the easiest but worst possible way. Otherwise you would need to do a lot more than type in a channel name (based on your PC name). Doesn't count. This is what I would consider an actual IRC server.. you've basically described a client. If I am wrong, feel free to clarify.

 

I have hosted a minecraft server, as already mentioned in this thread. Took me less than 5 mins to set it up. It's a good example as it's an actual server application. If you look at the minecraft wiki, it immediately warns you before installing that you should know what the fuck you are trying to do, a little more politely though.

Since you're about to run your own server, you should be aware of the possible dangers. Although we can not prevent people from running their server and putting themselves at risk, we may at least appeal that you don't do it when having no idea what you actually do. Running by the instructions below should not put you at any risk, but since this is a wiki which everybody is allowed to edit, and we don't know about your system configuration, we cannot guarantee you'll be out of danger. In order to run your server and stay out of trouble, we strongly recommend you should at least know about the following:

- Networking in general (IP, DHCP, ports etc.)

- Your system configuration

- Your network configuration

- Your router configuration (if you want other people to connect over Internet)

The next thing it says to do is open a command prompt and check if java is installed, if not, you need to install java (go to the java website, find the right version, download it etc.) Then you need to download the server software. That's 2 or 3 steps already.

Once you have the client installed, you need to either have a static IP, a domain name (with dns configured to direct it to your server eg. minecraft.domain.com) or a static local IP (not assigned by DHCP or with DHCP address reservation enabled) otherwise who can connect to your server?

You then need to create a batch file to start it, and a bunch of parameters about how the server should launch.

Here is their example:

title run-minecraft

path=%PATH%;%C:\"Program Files"\Java\jre7\bin

D:

cd minecraft

java.exe -Xms1048M -Xmx2048M -jar minecraft_server.jar nogui

There is additional config/tweaking that can be performed to improve performance, like I said, I'm talking about doing it right.

 

On linux it's about the same.

- check if you have java/if not get it (add repo to apt and install)

- download server

- launch server with your preferred paramaters, here is my own launch script.

java -server -XX:UseSSE=4 -XX:+UseCMSCompactAtFullCollection -XX:ParallelGCThreads=6 -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC -XX:+UseParNewGC -XX:+DisableExplicitGC -XX:+CMSIncrementalMode -XX:+CMSIncrementalPacing -XX:+UseCompressedOops -XX:+AggressiveOpts -Xmx8192M -jar minecraft_server.jar

 

For both, you will want to edit the admins list and edit the server config to specify port, max players, max connections, server name, motd and a blacklist if you need one.

There are additional management tools to do the same.

 

There is no windows magic at work here, it's a 5 min job on either OS both about the same amount of work. Might be quicker on linux if you're following the same setup guide in the wiki, as it tells you every terminal command you will need.

 

I will agree that setting up game servers might be easier on windows, but never 1 click easy. There is always some config that needs to be done. Windows is good at giving you all of those options within 1 small window and putting a big GO button at the bottom for once you have ticked the right boxes. This is just a front for an .ini file or something though. It would exist on linux, if somebody made it, but the linux users are probably happy to run a UT server their own way.. so this is something that could be improved.

 

Windows file sharing, no argument from me it's dead easy.

 

Teamviewer is just as easy to use on windows as linux. You download it and run it, and you get an ID and a password. There is no magic here either. Basically you have set up a few extremely simple applications, probably without configuring them properly or for an extremely limited purpose eg. local server only.

I am not having a go at you, but that's a rather limited way to look at it. I can set up an apache server with 2 lines in terminal and 30 seconds, and have my website visible to anyone on the web, doesn't mean I am doing it right but it works. You couldn't say the same for windows, but it can do other things in 1 click (because someone else did ALL of the work for you). That's nothing to do with windows though, it's just whoever wrote that program decided to write it for windows. No point arguing this any further though, windows is good at getting stuff up and running quickly like you said, no argument, but it's no better at doing it right, it just makes it a little easier with a GUI in some cases. You might find the same apps you used for Windows are also available for linux, and are almost identical. Often, they were made for linux first.

 

Its a little off topic to my whole 'what does the desktop distro need', but I know, from years ago being a kid, with no IT knowledge beyond 'run this exe', and the ability to double click a promise and have that promise running and working.

That today, even with half an hour (as opposed to 30 seconds), and 10+ years industry experience, there is still a good chance I couldn't get an IRC server running on Linux.

Even for someone who is a Linux pro, I question if it is even possible to set up an IRC server, faster or easier than a single double click, and finished, on windows. It has No advanced options, but the noob doesnt need them. They wanna chat! (or share files or play minecraft etc)

See my comment above on this, and check out the ircd link if you want to give it a go, it's not hard, but it does require some reading. You have 10 years of windows experience, so you can do things easily with windows, you know where to go to download things, and what to check when they don't work. Someone with 10 years of linux experience could probaby say the same thing.

This is what i've been trying to say all along in this thread, you guys have grown up with windows and use it every day, so you don't think that you have to know anything to use it, but you've just slowly accumulated that knowledge over the years.

 

I'm not trying to be a linux fanboy, but I am just trying to look at it from an objective perspective. Most of what i've seen so far in here is just people complaining about unfamiliarity with something they've never or rarely use. I'm not trying to say that there is nothing that can be improved, there is, but dumbing things down so people don't even have to think isn't the best way to improve it.

 

Here is some of what I have taken from this thread so far, what can linux do to improve market share?

- Easier way to install/manage packages such as osx (just drag .deb files into an 'apps' folder)

- GUIs or better GUIs if they exist, for everything

- No thinking or learning required - just works™

- Simplify some basic tasks that most users will be doing

 

A few other ideas I had

- A task scheduler type GUI to simplify adding jobs to cron

- A list of package names and their windows equivalents

+ more along these lines, but this post is already long enough

 

Now the next problem, who will be prepared to do all of that for free, when they can do it all the way it works right now..

I kind of like the idea of linux home server, but I can't see any way of making it perfect unless it was commercialized. It goes against what linux is, but if there was money in it, I think we could see some significant improvements such as the small list above make it into a release.

 

There will always be something the user needs to learn though, even if it's just he basic differences like "where is my C: drive" and "what is /dev/sda" or understanding that the file system begins with / or an explanation on permissions and groups, and group permissions. I will confess that permissions was one of the things I struggled to grasp when first learning how to use linux.

Edited by p0is0n

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I'm not trying to be a linux fanboy, but I am just trying to look at it from an objective perspective.

For "not trying", you're being a pretty good Linux fanboy. Your posts are anything but objective.

 

The question being asked is "What does Linux need to steal market share"

 

The question isn't "Which tools make Linux better for you as a computer nerd" which you've answered quite well.

 

Most of what i've seen so far in here is just people complaining about unfamiliarity with something they've never or rarely use. I'm not trying to say that there is nothing that can be improved, there is, but dumbing things down so people don't even have to think isn't the best way to improve it.

Apple and Android would disagree.

 

You keep saying that you "need" to know certain things to achieve an outcome, but time and time again I've listed products that achieve those outcomes without needing.

 

You don't need to know what "/dev/sda" means, to plug an appliance NAS in, and store your files.

 

You don't need to know what "libphp5.so" is, to create a Wordpress/Tumblr and put some content on the Internet.

 

And so on.

 

People don't think in terms of "creating a share and mapping a drive" or "running a web server". That's not task-oriented. They think in terms of "put files where both our computers can see them" or "put some pictures on the Internet". When a product bought for one of these purposes starts talking about IP addresses and permissions, the user switches off. That's just how it is. Like when a mechanic starts talking about spark gaps and gear ratios.

 

That's why products like Time Capsule are so successful. They help the user achieve an outcome, without putting technical obstacles in the way.

 

"Dumbing things down" is a narcissistic view, as well. One person's "dumbed down" is somebody else's "made accessible".

 

A few other ideas I had

- A task scheduler type GUI to simplify adding jobs to cron

Why would anybody want to do that? System maintenance tasks shouldn't be visible to the user. An administrator or support agent should be able to see them of course, but why should a person care that their temp folder is being cleaned out at 3AM every Tuesday?

 

There will always be something the user needs to learn though, even if it's just he basic differences like "where is my C: drive" and "what is /dev/sda" or understanding that the file system begins with / or an explanation on permissions and groups, and group permissions. I will confess that permissions was one of the things I struggled to grasp when first learning how to use linux.

No.

 

No no no no no.

 

ALL of those things are completely immaterial to achieving outcomes. Hiding those sorts of things from the end user is good! That's what "My Documents" is all about, the underpinning technologies are irrelevant, you just put your documents in some aptly named place, and that's where you'll find them later on.

 

It's less good for us computer nerds, but we're not regular users.

 

That a receptionist or solicitor should be expected to know "/dev/sda" "C: drive" "filesystem" "permissions" are signs of poor user interface design.

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My last few posts have been more about linux on the server, and how to get windows guys like M_S or Sir_Substance over (which is still increasing market share) - guys who might have tried it and for whatever reason gone back to Windows.

 

As for the lowest common denominator type user, I haven't come up with anything useful yet.. they seem to struggle with windows enough as it is. I do agree with most of your points though, if we're talking desktop not server.

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My last few posts have been more about linux on the server, and how to get windows guys like M_S or Sir_Substance over (which is still increasing market share) - guys who might have tried it and for whatever reason gone back to Windows.

 

As for the lowest common denominator type user, I haven't come up with anything useful yet.. they seem to struggle with windows enough as it is. I do agree with most of your points though, if we're talking desktop not server.

The concepts apply universally though.

 

Whether you're talking desktop productivity for a home user, or high-end server applications, if the tool gets in the way of accomplishing the task, it's a bad tool.

 

The problem is we're so used to bad tools, that we believe they must hold the best approach.

 

To complicate that, the "best" tool is entirely subjective based on the skill, experience, and intentions of the user.

Edited by SquallStrife

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I'm going to have an ask around, see if anyone is willing to help make a "one-click" server.

But set-up is way too complex, it took me two hours to get a schroot working this-morning.

 

One good thing though is Lubuntu has got an experimental one click installer which along with support for fake-PAE, is part of the plan for windows xp replacement.

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Sounds like all your IRC server did was connect to an already existing server like freenode and create a chanel

Nope, you were the server (your public IP), and no channel or channle rules were applied.

One thing you said, goes against that idea though.

 

I am talking about doing it right not just making it work in the easiest but worst possible way.

I'm not, and I am! and often, when its only internal facing (or even if its only single rule, like the IRC program), the 'wrong but easy' way is what people want.

Take my 'file server' when I was younger.

The WORST thing I could do was give the root of the drive "Full Control" to the "Everyone" group, but I did.

It didnt bite me, but it was high risk, but it was simple and self explanatory.

People want this. as long as the right way is still an option, they have only their self to blame.

Edited by Master_Scythe

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Haven't read half the responses, but my view on this is Linux will never be popular unless it comes bundled with PC's. "Normal" consumers don't want to install operating systems on their PC's, so even if Linux was great they wouldn't change from what their PC came bundled with. That being said, is Linux ready to do this? I'm not so sure...

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