We have read thousands of outrageously stupid reasons why one should move to Linux, reasons like – Linux has GIMP so shift to a completely new platform! Off course there are some authors who really know what they are talking about and make compelling arguments about the FOSS movement and why one might contemplate a switch. However, I personally don’t find weight in most arguments and still prefer Windows and I guess will do so for years to come. So, lets list a few reasons why Linux is not worth the hassle.
- Too Many Choices:
When you are new to Linux the first question that you ask is which distro should I go for. There are gazillions of different distros of Linux, I don’t think even the Wiki entry on the same lists all the ones available. If that’s not all there are two different Window Managers – KDE & GNOME, each with its own fan-following. So basically when you are new to Linux the first problem is selecting a distro out of the millions – Fedeora, Ubuntu, Mint, SuSe, Slax, Debian, Slacware, Arch, Mandriva, Sabayon etc. etc. and then you select a Window manager of your choice.
The troubles don’t end here. If you were to choose, let’s say Ubuntu and you wanted to play mp3s out of the box, there will be some wise ass that would say, why did you go for Ubuntu you should have gone for Mint or Ubuntu Studio edition if music & video is your thing. Then there will be another smart ass who will say why did you choose GNOME, KDE is much better! I mean WTF!
The problem continues, if you were on GNOME & a friend on KDE, if you were to work on his computer, you would be dealing with a completely different GUI.
Also, depending on the distro & WM you choose, the packages for applications also differ. The applications for Ubuntu are not the same as that for Fedeora. If you were to use an application on Fedeora and only the Ubuntu version was available for simple installation, you will have to compile the application for Fedeora.
Too many choices, too little consistency.
- Community Based:
Some say its a good thing, but I find it a rather stupid thing. I need to join a community or search on the internet to find solutions for a problem. This has a major drawback. For one I need an internet connection, which we shall come to later. But, community based means, search for content where people have already faced a similar problem, then go through what they faced and what others suggested. Foolishly time consuming and utter time waste.
If you were not able to find or comprehend the so-called solutions you found, you start your own thread and wait for someone to reply. Wait for sometime and you get a reply, it worked, lucky you, if it didn’t, wait again, wait some more and the wait continues till some community expert helps you out.
- Drivers & Incompatibility:
On the outset, I am not blaming the Linux devs for this, but like it or not this is a huge hinderance for Linux and will continue to be. One can’t run half his hardware because the distro either doesn’t come with bundled drivers or the driver disc does not contain Linux drivers. Here you are at the mercy of the hardware vendor whether they have Linux support or not. Even if you were to get the drivers, rest assured the path won’t be as easy. Again if you weren’t to get the drivers you need to go back to the communities. Quite a few times you will find the drivers for another distro and then compile.
Then there are the software incompatibility issues. You will have to search for an application that suits you and does what you want. It also does not support the world’s largest online media distributor – iTunes. Content bought from iTunes such as movies will not work under Linux as Linux does not support DRMed content.
- Internet Connection Must:
Linux has this repository system, where it collates most of the applications available for that distro and you can download them. You will need to download a lot of stuff as most of the applications are dependent on some library or another which your Linux distro will not be bundled with. Point 2 & 3 also depend on this. So if you don’t have a working Internet connection, forget support – for you and your hardware.
- New Environment/Still CLI:
This is a huge issue, 7 out of 10 people who buy a computer or upgrade aren’t actually looking for learning but want the damn thing to work. KDE or GNOME, Fedeora or Ubuntu, they are equally alien to most users and you will have to learn to adjust, learn to adapt to the community way of getting support, learn to compile applications, learn to use CLI commands. Unfortunately, Linux distros still heavily depend on the CLI interface for doing most things, though some may argue it gives more control, it isn’t exactly what one considers user-friendly. Arbitrary commands for mounting disks, retarded commands to install drivers and compile software. Now, why does one need to do all this?
The hardwre requirements of Aero and that of Compiz are left for another post.