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Bishwas Bhandari
Bishwas Bhandari

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Linux probably isn't for you

Look, Linux isn't all bad. Linux is way good at some sectors but not good at a lot sectors. It's five years since I call myself a Debian user.
I was perfectly good with Linux as a web developer and automation engineer but got some issues while starting game development. Assets development is a lot hard, especially for 2d games.

Also, editing videos, and making graphics is a lot hard.

I once installed Linux on two of my friends' computer, they both complained to me, Word Processing software, image editing and gaming is a headache in Linux. We were science students, but both of them complained and forced me to install Windows back.
So, here we can see Linux is not for everyone.

If you are a tech-savvy person who loves to tinker, you'll probably have great fun using it. Also, Linux is considered to be more secure than Windows, and in many ways, it's more customised.

However, if you're the type of user who likes to press the power button and have everything just work smoothly and without hiccups, you should give it a wide berth. If you think Windows occasionally gives you a headache, you haven't seen anything yet.

And, if you think Linux is not a controversial, silent and peaceful piece of Operating system, then Linux is surely not for you. Here is a controversial (DO NOT CHECK IT, IF YOU'RE A HARDCORE LINUX FANBOY), yet good to discuss/post in the forum.

Linux based OS has some bugs, they pop while you're doing something important. You need to find the solution yourself, sometimes you could not be able to use your GUI of the PC, all you have to do is use CLI, only CLI. So, using Linux makes you strong, brave and smart. It gives you more connection with the backend of your OS.

Why Linux is not for you?

  1. Game Development
  2. Graphic design, photo editing and tweaks (For fans of Krita and GIMPS is also available in Windows, so why switch?)
  3. Gaming
  4. Video Editing
  5. Normal web browsing and emailing
  6. Word Processing

Why Linux is for you?

  1. Web development
  2. Bot development
  3. Docker and Kubernetes
  4. Machine Learning and MLOps
  5. Linux do have good FPS but lacks the actual games to play
  6. Normal web browsing and emailing

Simply, what I am trying to say is:
Use Linux only for development purposes (except Indie Game Development, because you have to struggle for simple things related to game assets, also most of the games in itch.io are built for windows, let's not talk about VirtualBox because at the end of the day we will be using windows.).

Top comments (90)

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roneo profile image
Roneo.org

I'm using Debian for 20 years.

Linux requires time but it's the way to go for developers, if you want to be fully in control of your workstation.

The stability depends on the Linux flavour you choose. During these 20 years, Debian froze only 4 times (!), and only when I was deeply digging in the system files.
Yes, with Linux you can access every single corner of your OS, which is a must for a professional usage. Which other OS would you recommend wrt. this requirement?

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jhilgeman profile image
Jonathan H

"which is a must for a professional usage"

Um, no. I've been a developer for almost 30 years, used Windows (and DOS) since the beginning, and a mix of BSD and Linux distros over the past 20 years. I can count on one hand the number of times I've had to access the "corners" of the OS (e.g. modify the kernel).

I can also count on one hand the number of times I've encountered a truly unresolvable situation in Windows.

Saying Linux is a must for developers is like saying you can only do graphic design on a Mac. The truth is usually that someone just doesn't know the other OS as well as they think they do. I've known Linux fans who are still under the impression that Windows hasn't progressed since Win 98 and we all need to reboot every day and get BSODs daily. I also know Windows fans who think Linux is purely shell and don't know what KDE or GNOME are.

Just let people use what they're comfortable with and stop trying to pretend that one OS is superior over others, because you're comparing apples and oranges.

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developerbishwas profile image
Bishwas Bhandari

Yeah, that's what I was trying to say. Linux is for developers.

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rakeshchowdhury profile image
Rakesh Chowdhury

It's not. Any tool is what you make of it.

There's so many distros for the exact same reason.

Linux can be for anything we need it to be it. It's the duty of the distro creator and the application developers to maintain a healthy usability.

Saying it's for Devs is like saying it's the holy water only a priest can touch. And that is toxic for the community.

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developerbishwas profile image
Bishwas Bhandari

I am saying that it's suitable for devs and other techy person not for normal users. Even in development world, linux has some issues with gamedev.

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rakeshchowdhury profile image
Rakesh Chowdhury

I agree i too fuck up sometimes with godot on linux, but it's just Linux being Linux. I can't complain about compatibility cause it's open source software after all. They're not earning a single buck off this tool I use.

I understand your problem. The Linux experience sucks, but that's because it's free and we can't expect more from free software.

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mayor_snorkum profile image
Russell Bixby • Edited

Well-suited to developers does not mean exclusively for developers, any more than a decent set set of tools is only for professional mechanics, carpenters or what have you.

Not everyone who prefers DIY D's for a living.

"Not suitable for non-techy users" is like saying that an automobile with a manual transmission is suited only to gearheads.

Feh!

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developerbishwas profile image
Bishwas Bhandari

Yeah, Linux is not for non-techy users. It's true. What do you think about word processing in Linux? Normal students need that, and using wine is not a good choice, as it decreases the GUI of software and the actual performance as well. Students don't like Libre office, it's kind of bulky.

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mayor_snorkum profile image
Russell Bixby

I was unaware that you speak for all students.

Actually, I'm still unaware that you speak for all students.

Your biases are not the Way o' the World.

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techy2493 profile image
Info Comment hidden by post author - thread only accessible via permalink
Brandyn Abel

This is a waste of an article it feels like somebody just posting something so that they can get a post count up. You offered no real opinion or advice or facts. There's no substance just a bold claim a link to a forum that doesn't even link to the beginning post on the thread that you're talking about and that's it and that claim that Linux has bugs. Every operating system and every application has bugs that's like saying you have to fill up the gas tank in your car when you use it. Yes there are things in Linux that are not perfectly easy that's not because the community doesn't want them to be or can't get them that way it's because manufacturers and development companies work on profit margins and currently the Linux community is it large enough to Garner the level of focus that the windows community has. At least not for the consumer desktop. But that doesn't mean that there aren't people out there and distributions out there pushing those boundaries. I'll be the first to admit that the marketing isn't where it could be and we're not pushing hard enough in places and we're not getting the message out as well as we could be but articles like this don't help you're not providing an alternative and you're not providing any useful feedback to the people developing these products. So I'm going to offer you a challenge you have this medium in front of you instead of writing a post like this where you just spout something random and fill a post account go out there and look do some research provide this is why this is difficult to me and others have found it difficult because of this provide the feedback so that it can get better or go out and say look not all Linux distributions are TurnKey for normal users but these alternatives unless the couple can be a close solution if all you need is and then list some of the things they do well. So that the market base can grow and we can start making everything work better.

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developerbishwas profile image
Bishwas Bhandari • Edited

I do agree that every OS has bugs and demerits, but is it wrong to address the issues that Linux has? I am also contributing to open source projects, I don't just post. You really should try 2d game development in Unity within a Linux based OS, it's a lot hard compared to Windows. Now, don't assume me a windows fan, I am fan of neither. It's five years since I call myself a Debian user.

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techy2493 profile image
Brandyn Abel

I'm not trying to say it doesn't have issues but you don't address what those issues are. You make a couple of bold statements and you don't provide any context let alone any facts or even really your opinion about why you feel the way the article is posted it feels like clickbait and that makes it a detriment to the community but not just to the Linux community people who are on Windows looking into the Linux subsystem for Windows could run across your article and be turned away from that too because you don't explain in your article what you're talking about. I am saying that you're not addressing the issues that Linux has in your article not that you were wrong to write it and say that it wasn't for everyone but I am saying that you didn't do what you're claiming to have done with the article. Also you're making an assumption that I have not done game development or done it on Linux. They're a very broad range of users and not every user needs to do development on Linux not every user needs to do more than browse the web and check their email and Facebook and if that's all the user needs there are distros perfectly suited for them. But you don't discuss that you find Linux difficult because you are doing something difficult with it.

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developerbishwas profile image
Bishwas Bhandari

Ohh sure, lemme write it down.

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tbrubel profile image
Tim

I disagree however the article could have been focused more on the two lists at the end of the article.

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developerbishwas profile image
Bishwas Bhandari

The both lists can go on, but where do you disagree the most?

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tbrubel profile image
Tim

I disagree with the comment that the article was a waste of time

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developerbishwas profile image
Bishwas Bhandari

Why? People are suffering with it. I am trynna do some game dev things in my Linux device, did it in my friends windows device. and game development is really good on Windows compared to Linux. also, there are a lot of other this, like video editing, how is one supposed to make a cool looking game tailor without any good video editing software?

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rakeshchowdhury profile image
Rakesh Chowdhury

So.... You just wrote a post shilling how Linux should be for development only just cause the windows software Devs decided to make their tools windows only, and cause linux application development gets less attention?

Very Healthy Community Post. Thank you for your contribution.

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scottsawyer profile image
Scott Sawyer

I respectfully disagree with this post. When a user encounters a glitch in OS, whether Windows or Linux, or anything else, most do not have the wherewithal to fix it themselves. Conversely, if you are smart enough to fix a Windows issue, you can fix a Linux issue.

I tried reading the linked post and just encountered the typical ranting, but i did see someone talking about software titles. I totally agree that there is a lack of support for Linux from some vendors (Adobe being one of the most notable offenders), particularly in the enterprise line-of-business segment, which tends to be a windows only type business. Shame on them, but if you need something like that for work, you haven't much choice.

However, for most consumer needs, there are fantastic applications where Linux is a first class OS. I argue that most of Adobe's subscriptions could be replaced by quite capable alternatives, and you probably shouldn't support them anyway. I do hear people say, "I can't learn xyz, i am used to abc (photoshop)." But then these same people howl everytime Adobe refreshes the UI, and wind up learning something new anyway. Stubbornness is powerful.

At any rate, the success of Chromebooks are a testament to the fact that most use-cases don't actually require much in the way of specialized software anyway. However, some people still want to work locally, and i respect that. But the idea that Linux is hard or too different is a defeatest attitude. My kids have been using Ubuntu for ever, they use Windows at school. Guess which has more problems, guess which has full time IT support (school). I never have to touch their Ubuntu box. However, i am about to head to my mother-in-law's house because she insisted that we leave windows on her new laptop because she didn't want anything "new or different" , but the UI is different and she can't figure out how to set up her scanner, and now she's mad.

All of this is to say, there are VERY few reasons to not use Linux as your primary OS, it's not hard, it is stable. Yeah, if you MUST have a specific piece of software, then maybe you need wondows around. But don't tell me that i should stop recommending linux, i think most would better off using it. It probably IS for you.

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developerbishwas profile image
Bishwas Bhandari • Edited

The great problem me and my friends are suffering in Ubuntu is it's not suitable for game development. I am mostly to the task of web dev and web automation, so Linux is perfectly smooth there, but for game dev it's really frustrating.

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tamasbarta profile image
Tamás Barta

My issue with this is that you're not talking about game development. Judging by your profile, you're talking about Untiy development, which may be frustrating in Linux, I don't have experience with that, but everything in your article, and in your comments shows how overgeneralised you think about these things. You say things like "regular user". What does that even mean? Does my 54 years old mother with no computer experience count? Because she's a Linux user. I installed Manjaro Gnome for her once, and she manages on her own since then. I showed her that if the system tells to upgrade software just click yes, and she's fine since then. She even likes it much more than Windows, told me it's much more intuitive to use. I can much more imagine your "regular user" as a much more technical person, who is still not that technical, but they want to pirate Photoshop for themselves to make memes or something, and they fail on Linux. Sure, they might find Linux frustrating, but statements like "Linux is not for regular users" is a toxic oversimplification. Same thing happened with the LTT Linux challenge which was a gaming challenge with a conclusion that Linux is for technical people. No it's not, but it may not suite your particular usecase. Which is funny, because gaming is ligthyears ahead on Linux compared to MacOS.

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scottsawyer profile image
Scott Sawyer

That could be. Not being familiar with game development, is it because there is not sufficient game development focused software available? Is it because the target environment for games is mostly windows?

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developerbishwas profile image
Bishwas Bhandari

Somehow, it is because target environment for games is mostly windows. There are popular engines available for game development in Linux, but the problem arises while testing others game and making assets/graphics. Most of the games of other creators are build in Windows in itch.io. Also, making 2d graphics, and images you need Abode Photoshop or something equivalent to it.

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scottsawyer profile image
Scott Sawyer

I am going to again, respectfully disagree about the need for Photoshop. There are some fantastic graphics applications for Linux, and they would only get better if more people would use and support them. I think Gimp gets a bad rap (though i think it's quite good for 99% of what one might use Photoshop for), and i think if more people would, instead of paying Adobe, put that money towards the Gimp project, you'd see it improve even faster. And, as a web developer, i much prefer the SVGs Inkscape produces over Illustrator any day. I'm willing to sacrafice some UI polish to support open source.

I think the problem linux suffers is a perception issue. Where i work, there are Windows, Mac, and Linux. The Windows users are the ones that are always needing tech support.

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floydm profile image
Floyd M

To add to Scott's post; Aseprite, Krita and Gimp are capable enough for 2D raster graphics. While I dislike Gimp's current UI, for 2D asset creation, most of one's time will be spent with the brush, eraser, select and transform tools anyway. Krita is actually great for this part of the pipeline, specially for UV Map painting when texturing 3D meshes. A lot of the techniques one might use in Photoshop usually translates well into Gimp and Krita. I personally haven't touched Photoshop in years since finding alternatives to get away from their subscription fees.

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mangod profile image
Mango-D

How about actually presenting arguments and explaining why you think linux it's hard and not a "press the power button and it works" OS?

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developerbishwas profile image
Bishwas Bhandari

Linux is hard when you have to use it, linux is easy when you want to use it.

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jacksonhead profile image
jacksonhead

I think this is dependent on the usecases as well. For example my mother has been using kubuntu for years now and she has no problems with it. 🙂
Of course her usecases are very simple.

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developerbishwas profile image
Bishwas Bhandari

Yes sir, depends on use cases. Is she using Kubuntu (basically ubuntu with KdePlasma DE) for normal browsing?

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jacksonhead profile image
jacksonhead

Exactly. Just casual internet browsing and occasional movie watching. :)
By the way it is a Kubuntu 16.04 (if I correctly remember :D)

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ayanweb profile image
Ayan-web

you are right ...even dot-files work different on different distros

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mtrantalainen profile image
Mikko Rantalainen

Dot files work different for different versions of any given software where the developers of that software fail to support forwards and backwards compatibility of their own software. Dot files are not saved nor read by the distributions itself.

The dconf is the only somewhat standardized and shared configuration file format, all other dot files are fully custom to each application and designed by developers of said application.

Older software usually handles forwards and backwards compatibility well because it used to be common to mount home directory (where these dot files are stored) over NFS and different systems were running different versions of each application. Younger developers don't seem to know this or just don't mind anymore.

See .gitconfig for an example of config file that doesn't break when you switch to different version. That's because Git developers do mind about backwards compatibility and that doesn't change between distros.

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jessekphillips profile image
Jesse Phillips

In debian the dot files are generally not included with file operations. But they don't disappear when performing something to a parent folder like move.

How do they behave in other distro?

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developerbishwas profile image
Bishwas Bhandari

Dot files?

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abhj profile image
Abhijay Mitra • Edited

.vimrc or .conf type files. Config files in general.

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developerbishwas profile image
Bishwas Bhandari

Got it. I didn't knew that config files work different in different distros. I guess, it depends of what child distro they're using. Basically, Debian, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu are the same.

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abhj profile image
Abhijay Mitra

Yeah, I guess you were using a lot of debian distros only.

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developerbishwas profile image
Bishwas Bhandari

I have used Fedora and Cent OS, but I guess they're not built for me.

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ayanweb profile image
Ayan-web

Fedora is not my type ...one time I was trying to install mongodb but couldn't ...
I would recommend ubuntu based or arch based ...they can install everything ...

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shouhuoyuan profile image
Please call me 007 🔫🍸 • Edited

Fedora is the best Linux distro

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developerbishwas profile image
Bishwas Bhandari

Why do you think that so?

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shouhuoyuan profile image
Please call me 007 🔫🍸

Most polished and Linus Torvolds uses it

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codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald • Edited

I agree Linux isn't for everyone — I can point to quite a few cases where Windows is a good solution — but I think you're being a bit overbroad. I've installed Linux (Ubuntu specifically) for many average, and even novice, computer users, almost all of whom loved it.

As to myself, I do a lot besides coding.

Game Development

If you want to use Unity3D or Unreal, sure, use Windows. Not all game developers do. In fact, a lot of game developers, including myself, are not fans of the pre-packaged game engines.

Graphic design, photo editing and tweaks (For fans of Krita and GIMPS is also available in Windows, so why switch?)

Krita, Glimpse (fork of GIMP), Darktable, Blender, Inkscape and many others do work on both. "So why switch?" That depends on what workflow works for you. Linux certainly does crash less often in many people's experience. Windows is not inherently superior or inferior for graphics design.

If you're on Adobe, you've got bigger problems than your OS.

Gaming

The old stand-by argument for Windows, but fact is, WINE's gotten really good. I mean really good. So much so, that most Steam games work smoothly on Linux now. If you've got one of those rare games that really doesn't work on Windows, eh, use Windows. Same of Linux.

Video Editing

I do quite a lot of serious video editing, all on Linux. I used to use Windows-based software for this, like Roxio, and given the choice, I'd always use Kdenlive now.

Normal web browsing and emailing

Moot point. Chrome and Firefox work everywhere. Linux is objectively superior here besides, because the likelihood of getting drive-by viruses is exponentially lower.

Word Processing

I'm a professional author and editor, and have typeset three professionally published books and counting on LibreOffice alone. I'm far from alone. The only reason you'd have to use Windows is if you absolutely need Microsoft Office locally installed. Microsoft 365 (in-browser) and Google Docs work well anywhere.

That's not to say "Linux is a panacea". It's to say that none of the things you say are better on Windows objectively and automatically are. In the end, your article is as guilty of Windows "fanboying" as you say Linux people are in their articles. ;)

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developerbishwas profile image
Bishwas Bhandari • Edited

I am not sure that it's because of the processes I've done or what but photoshop doesn't function well on Wine. I am not allowed to copy images from clipboard to photoshop.

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codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald

Yeah, nope, Adobe does not work well on Linux by any means. Like I mentioned, if you absolutely have to use Adobe, use Windows (or macOS, I'll add). However, I'd also encourage everyone to find alternatives to Adobe, whatever OS they choose to work on, as Adobe has some of the highest prices and most predatory practices in the industry.

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demonicalex6669 profile image
Alex Watson

I disagree, Linux isn't just for developers. Yes Linux may not be for a lot of people, but that doesn't mean only developers should use it. There are some users who don't develope but would prefer Linux for various reasons. For example: not having to upgrade to a new os that you don't even like because yours is now insecure from not being maintained, being able to customize your computer, being able to actually troubleshoot your own computer, having a community you can go to if you do have trouble, being able to set up printers with less trouble, being able to take advantage of command line without paying money to apple, not having your data constantly sent to a corporation for whatever uses they want, actually being able to choose when you update or restart, and more. Also Linux does have games and more are becoming compatible, so it's not anti gamer either.

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developerbishwas profile image
Bishwas Bhandari

Yeah, I know a artist who uses Linux based OS. But guess what he loves being techy. But he does have a windows PC as well, for word processing and video editing.
What do you think about word processing in Linux?

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demonicalex6669 profile image
Alex Watson

Honestly even when I was using windows I was using free and open source programs for word processing. I've actually found out since switching that the one I used to use is considered out of date now. So I think I can say confidently that word processing is pretty good on Linux. As for video processing, there's quite a few different programs for that and they all look pretty well developed. The thing about being a Linux user is that the more people that are on Linux and need something the better developed the programs for it will be, because the users get to have real input on the development of them.

I used to use windows, actually I used it all through schooling. But I've switched to Linux and it can do everything I ask it to without problems. If any problems come up it's really simple for me to either Google why or just ask the community. The only time i really had an issue was installing, and that wasn't the os, my computer was so old that trying to wipe and install a whole is corrupted my drive. One new computer later and I have a very useful computer.

That all said I will admit that if your unwilling to use non proprietary programs then Linux isn't for you. There are many good alternatives to almost any program on windows, but if you are unwilling to switch you'll never be happy on Linux

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jhilgeman profile image
Jonathan H • Edited

They're different tools with different advantages. Saying Windows or Linux is better than the other is like saying a hammer is better than a screwdriver.

They're adept at different tasks, although if you're desperate enough, you can usually make either one do whatever you need it to do.

It is USUALLY ridiculous to say that one is more buggy than the other. The vast majority of bugs are from the applications and drivers, not the OS. OS bugs on both sides receive great attention by their respective creators. There have been some pretty bad releases on both sides.

Virtually none of the claims in this article are true, much less the title of it. I'm not even sure what the point of it is?

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m1111 profile image
Matt

What operating system doesn't have bugs? If your use case is using a browser for email, document editing, general browsing, etc I'd say the desktop Linux experience is on par with that of windows in terms of bugs. Browsers are popular and well supported. Get away from massively popular applications like the browser and that's when you're more likely to face issues and it's handy to have a bit of a deeper understanding and creativity in using an alternate approach. That being said, what about hardware issues? My ssd failed on my years ago when I still ran windows regularly. What did I do until I got my new drive? Live booted Linux. Windows doesn't even have such an offering as far as I'm aware and liveboot can be massively handy

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developerbishwas profile image
Bishwas Bhandari

Actually, I don't do normal browsing only. I am a web/bot developer so. But I got problems in linux while doing gamedev. I have posted about it though.

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m1111 profile image
Matt

I've never tried game development in any os, but for web dev and interacting with Linux production systems, Linux on my system is my go to. I've done the work on both windows and Linux and windows requires one to do all sorts of workarounds whereas in Linux it just works. I had to roll back an app package a few weeks ago when a local update wasn't compatible with what the app interacts with on our servers, but aside from that it's been solid, better than my experience on windows doing the same. Gaming on Linux is getting better day by day too with steam really pushing proton, tools like lutris, and things like Vulcan. Still a long ways to go on the gaming front but it's become much better. Neither windows or Linux is perfect but I'll take the quirks of Linux over the quirks of windows any day

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raibtoffoletto profile image
Raí B. Toffoletto

No, you are write! Daily driving Linux isn't for everyone. But in my view it's a must for developers, I only survive at work using Windows due to WSL. I tried to use PowerShell or CMD to use the tools I needed but the ability to have bash or other unix shell makes life much easier. But don't take me as reference because I sometimes open Vim inside VSCode shell just because 😅...

For anyone interested to giving it a try, get a ""beginner friendly"" distro like PopOs, Mint or Elementary. They are great to start and get familiar with how things work. 😉

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llamatuna profile image
LlamaTuna

It's always confusing to me when operating system choice is proposed as some kind of marriage or loyalty program. Use what you need when you need it. I do, it's not a big decision. Linux distros are free and Windows is inexpensive. It's not a spouse, house or even a car. You can have as many as you want and no one will arrest you or even notice.

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mayor_snorkum profile image
Russell Bixby

Exactly.

The best tool for a job is the tool which does the job best, and that varies from job and site to site.

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blurayne profile image
Markus Geiger

Try Fedora or a distro that suites you better. 20years on Linux and I won't go back. Recently installed Windows 11 on my Gaming rig and turned it on after months. I like Win11 but it's still a night are compared to what wonderful world I have on Linux.

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steveo314 profile image
steveo314

They only reason in 2021 to really keep Windows is for gaming. Every game is designed and developed for Windows. Other gaming and game development you can do anything on Linux. I've been with Debian since 2006. If you can't search and do what you need to with Ubuntu, just stay with Windows. The bugs in Linux don't have to be lived with like they do on Windows. The bugs that end up in Windows updates are crippling. Linux devs and community search extensively for bugs before they release updates. And running Ubuntu stable the average, non-power Linux user won't run into any bugs.

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mypictures profile image
Afrim B.

I really do not understand this attitude of "Linux is only for X and Y but not for you". I grow tired, of witnessing how people that ask simple questions in forums about a problem receive answers with arrogance, insults and discouragement.

I disagree that Linux is only for devs. Linux (specific a distro like Ubuntu) can do most things that many baisc users need, like e-mails, web browsing, listening to music, word processing, printing, chatting, etc.

Also, if we want for Linux to cover more areas of the desktop computer realm, then we need to provide better support and bring people on to the boat, even if the current experience for gaming, professional work,... is worse then windows. Which means answering their questions with a efficient solution if possible.

In fact, Linux is already growing in areas it was never seen before. Gaming on Linux is growing and becoming more and more a thing with SteamDeck, Proton, Steam, Mesa, good amd gpu drivers and many more. By your logic, all those projects are being made for nothing, because why would a dev need Proton? A dev doesn't game.
New devs are also joining over Fedora to improve the live-streaming experience on Linux desktops.

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