23
bahua
26d

Linux is hard to learn and master. That's fine with me. Windows is intuitive, but not user-friendly. Linux has a steep learning curve, but then is far more user-friendly than any other operating system. To me, that steep learning curve was far more than worth it, as I now have a desktop that does whatever I want, and behaves exactly as I want.

People come to Linux hoping that it will be easy to pick up, and then get angry when it isn't. Then they claim that the community is toxic, because Linux users are happy with something they think is broken.

Linux is hard to learn, and that's fine. That's valuable, to me. That's part of the appeal to me(and millions of others). Linux is unforgiving when you lack the knowledge gained in that steep learning curve. That's fine with me too. As its userbase grows, so too does the number of knowledgeable people who work to make it better and invent more amazing things for it.

If Linux was easy to learn, it wouldn't be as good as it is, and to me, that's reason enough to love it.

Comments
  • 5
    Most users just don't come up with the word "powerful" for fucking around with trivial shit like audio latency, Wifi, screen tearing, fractional scaling issues especially with different monitors, shitty fonts, bad font rendering and then some.
  • 4
    Imagine saying Windows isn't user friendly 😬😬😬😬😬
  • 11
    Linux is easier for people who have never used a computer. Most people have used Windows for decades so they are familiar with it.
  • 7
    GNOME is much more user-friendly than anything Windows can offer. I have witnessed this several times.
  • 6
    Easy to learn does not equal easy to use.
  • 7
    @Stuxnet It's always funny.

    - Linux with driver issues: Linux fans whine about the evil HW manufacturers who hamper Linux and don't properly invest (except server HW of course).
    - Linux with usability issues: Linux fans mock users and tell them to stay away from Linux.

    Now anyone with an IQ in the two-digit range should be able to connect the dots here, but for some reason, the Linux community isn't.
  • 6
    @Stuxnet

    I'm sorry you feel that way. I have never bitched that linux isn't more popular though. It's hard to learn, and I accept that. I put in the time and effort, and the payoff is amazing. My point is that it's not for everyone, and that's totally fine. But it's not okay for people to moan about it for not dancing for them when they put in minimal effort.
  • 0
    Ah, interesting, interesting testimony here!

    It seems my video (https://youtu.be/kL4TgNUS-9I) accidentally warmed up the discussion 🤔🤯😅 oopsie
  • 4
    When it comes to comparing Linux vs Windows I always have this very vivid real-life comparison in my mind: mtz 80 [Linux] vs Porche 911 2020 [windows].

    MTZ is: as-is. You see all of it: the engine, the generator, the fuel pump, the compressor, the wiring, all the tubes, the starter,.. It's not pretty to look at, but it's a hell of a powerful thing to use. And it's simple, it's stripped down to the basics to the point where you can add whatever you want to the dashboard, windscreen, roof, doors, wherever. There's no magic. There's no paint hiding anything from you. Just hook those wires up and make your own button.

    911: all nice and shiny, does wroom room, has a non-extensible cockpit and non-extendable everything else. Accessories can be installed, e.g. seat covers, stickers, some other eye/ear/nose-candy. You push the button on the panel and some magic happens and the car does smth to the breaks. Another button - does some other magic. Sometimes you don't even know what..
  • 4
    @netikras Which makes learning all about mtz (linux) possible. Wanna learn how machinery works? Trace down those levers, see what they do. Open up the engine - see what's in there, how does it work. Open up the starter or even better - replace it with the electric one as an exercise.

    Good luck doing that on the Porch though :)

    And that's why I find Linux attractive. It's open to possibilities. It's not hiding anything. It implements protocols and technologies as-is. It allows you to shoot your own foot and that's alright - that's a good thing. Because it's doing exactly as told, without any magic added.

    This way you can easily learn about networking, protocols, syscalls, storage concepts and pretty much everything else. Because you can actually SEE all those things: tcpdump, netstat, strace, ltrace, nc, ... And you can play with them. You can examine and debug them easily. Which is hardly the case in Windows....

    Linux/MTZ might be hard to learn. But it's at least possible :)
  • 6
    Since ancient times, nothing has changed discussion wise.

    I like what @bahua wrote.

    I can only partially understand what some of the sides points are.

    I've used / am using Windows / Linux, nearly never Mac (no device).

    I did funky stuff with linux... Gentoo user since ... 20 years plus?

    I did funky stuff with windows.

    I did whatever I deemed necessary to keep shit running TM.

    And yeah. Some of the failures were... An firework as spectacular as an hydrogen bomb.

    Both OSes have driven me more than once to a point where I thought that arkham asylum from batman was a happy, lovely and caring place....

    And that's it.

    Both OSes have their weaknesses and their strength.

    And many of the arguments against Linux can be applied to Windows and vice versa.

    Just stop making such a fuss about it. :)
  • 2
    Linux requires fucking around a lot with configs.

    I can see why people don't want that.

    That being said, if you put in the effort, you can make a stable system that annoys you much less than mainstream OSes.
  • 4
    > If Linux was easy to learn, it wouldn't be as good as it is

    So being easy to learn would make Linux worse? I don't buy it. On the contrary, it would make Linux better.
  • 1
    @VaderNT

    The point I'm making there is that to get the most out of it, you have to know what you're doing. But knowing what you're doing allows for a staggering combination of control, performance, security, stability, and flexibility. Having far greater knowledge of the internals of Windows than I have of linux still doesn't give you that kind of control over it.

    There are distros and desktop environments that, like Windows, are squarely aimed at non-technical users, but one thing you'll notice about them is that the flexibility is greatly reduced, to give the user an _intuitive_ experience. But the power of the system is boxed up and hidden behind attractive graphics and obscured concepts. The system is linux, but for the user, it's basically a dumb terminal for browser use.

    Efforts to make something easy to learn, by definition, narrow the resulting flexibility and usability of the system.
  • 0
    @bahua

    > but one thing you'll notice about them is that the flexibility is greatly reduced, to give the user an _intuitive_ experience.

    I assume you're talking about Ubuntu and similar distros. A savvy user can rip out whatever they wish. They still have all the flexibility.

    > Efforts to make something easy to learn, by definition, narrow the resulting flexibility and usability of the system

    I agree up to a point: Simplifying a system makes it easier to learn.

    I don't believe the opposite (making a system easier to learn necessarily means simplifying it) is true. What about providing the so-called "sane defaults"? What about managing complexity in layers, with "maintenance hatches" you can open when you feel ready for it? This is what we've always done. Why would this suddenly not apply here?
  • 2
    You might want to look up the meaning of user friendly. Maybe you are confusing with developer friendly.
  • 3
    @electrineer hard disagree, CLI is not for people who are new to computers at all, for starters. Add that to sacrificing your first born son to Linus so wifi may work(and such similar problems) is another issue.
  • 2
    @aviophile I think the Linux ecosystem, command line, etc, is very logical because you know what each of the parts are. It might not be consistent, but you know that it's not one product it's thousands. Compare that to Windows - basically a single monolith which you'd expect to be consistent but really isn't.

    For a new user to computers they can far more readily understand Ubuntu for example because they can go and look up what part does what, so it's easier for them to work out what's broken
  • 0
    @aviophile

    Nope, user-friendly refers to the ability for knowledgeable users to get more out of it. Intuitiveness, which is accessibility to users without any prior knowledge, is probably what you're thinking about. Windows is strong with the latter, but weak with the former. Linux is weak with the latter, but exceptionally strong with the former.
  • 2
    @VaderNT Let's take a simple example - the swappiness parameter which is at 60 in Ubuntu, which is OK for server but insane for desktop where it should be more like 10.

    Why doesn't the installer ask whether the user wants to build a server or a mostly single-user desktop and takes useful defaults in either case?

    In both cases, the config itself would of course still be available in the usual config files so that power users can fiddle with it, but also inexperienced users who don't even know (and shouldn't need to know) about it would be served.

    Even better, the installer could have an "advanced" button in each case that would display some editable window to show and let the user edit what options the button has set depending on whether to optimise for server or desktop. That would allow power users to easily know what exactly is going on.
  • 3
    @pxeger i am talking about mass use, not techies. Nobody gives a damn fuck about monolith vs open srchitecture. They dont wanna know or care about details. They want to plug and play their hardware, edit some documents and share cat photos on facebook.
  • 1
    @bahua do not create your own definitions then. User friendly does not mean what you want it to mean.
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop swappiness in a server depends largely on the applications.

    > 0 if you know that the memory pressure is too high at times and you don't want the server application go banana trying to free RAM.

    60 is starting to swap (with other values) at around 80 % of RAM. 60 swappinness isn't an percentage (as in 60 %).

    0 in any other case, especially when the service is non vital.

    I think that touching sysctl.d is for any distributor hard.

    The default 60 stems from the kernel.

    And is a good choice. Linux allows you to run many applications - yes.

    And CFQ tries by default to be fair so that each application get's it's resources.

    But running many applications at the same time can make your RAM go poof.

    For the low latency junkies who want to tune everything, I'd really recommend a non default kernel with MuQSS or another scheduler.
  • 1
    @IntrusionCM It's actually a lot more complex than that, but here's what Ubuntu itself says:

    "The default setting in Ubuntu is swappiness=60. Reducing the default value of swappiness will probably improve overall performance for a typical Ubuntu desktop installation. A value of swappiness=10 is recommended, but feel free to experiment."

    (Source: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/... )

    So if they know that desktop is better off with 10 and server with 60, why doesn't the installer ask what kind of installation the user is intending?
  • 0
    @aviophile searching for options through endless menus is not for normal users either. You don't need cli if you are not tinkering with stuff. And if stuff would need tinkering to just work, it's a faulty device and you return it to the store.
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop I don't know the authors.

    But this entry smells....

    "swappiness=0 tells the kernel to avoid swapping processes out of physical memory for as long as possible"

    Not true since kernel 3.5, where swappiness behaviour changed.

    And the rest is a bit quirky in my opinion...

    Swappiness is like one tiny piece in a rather big puzzle.

    A lot of factors play a role here:

    Overcommitment of memory
    Memlocked vs non locked memory
    Pagecache
    OOM settings
    ...

    I'm very distrustful of any information either not stemming from LWN / LKML / Kernel Docs...

    Most pages / FAQs are outdated or opinionated.

    Last one is fine, if u explicitly state it.

    Eg:
    https://lwn.net/Articles/83588/

    Here swappiness is explained - it's obvious that the information is outdated, but you know immediately which kernel is affected and when the information was written.

    Can u say the same about the Ubuntu link?

    (i don't wanna pick a fight here... it's just that from experience when people start fiddling with sysctl and / or people recommend sysctl changes, they mostly lack a LOT of background information WHY).

    In times of SSDs... Swap isn't as hurtful as it was before.
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop I don't know what you are talking about? Ubuntu offers the choice of installation: desktop, server, what else (I don't remember third option) during installation phase. You probably caught hard times before not-so-related Unity has just been supplanted with not-so-related GNOME.
  • 1
    @vintprox he's not talking about the flavors of Ubuntu Like server, but rather the setting for sysctl / kernel which are set by Ubuntu for the flavors. ;)
  • 1
    @IntrusionCM wait, you mean it's still swappiness>50 by default for desktop "flavor"? (ugh, why you call these "flavors"? gosh)
  • 0
    @vintprox https://ubuntu.com/download/...

    Wrong word stored in brain.
    Not enough coffee yet.

    Yes they still have a setting of 60. That's what the discussion is about ;)
  • 2
    @IntrusionCM So then why are there so many "how to change swappiness" articles?

    It's because on server, you want a more aggressive strategy. You can't know whether you'll experience a load hit from the internet 10 seconds in the future.

    On desktop, it's different. Either your RAM is sufficient for your workloads, in which case you don't need to swap much. Or you don't have enough RAM, and then the only effective swapping strategy is swapping your RAM bars for bigger ones.

    They key difference for the setup is that even a 100ms additional latency in a server wouldn't be nice, but could allow for more users on the same machine. On desktop with a GUI, a 100ms latency would be a killer.

    So why is 60 the kernel default? Because Linux is big in the server world, but a fringe phenomenon on desktop.
  • 4
    @Fast-Nop thanks for the example. Exactly. My tired brain didn't come up with anything yesterday.

    > Or you don't have enough RAM, and then the only effective swapping strategy is swapping your RAM bars for bigger ones.

    I love that sentence. 😎
  • 0
    @Fast-Nop but that's exactly my point.

    It has nothing to do with server vs desktop. It's a default setting for a good reason.

    If you are a low latency junky, you need definitely an preemptive kernel.

    And try to use not the default CFQ scheduler (eg MuQSS)

    Setting swappiness isn't really helpful in this case, especially on non HDDs.

    Why are there so many articles out there... Well.... I won't answer that without a lawyer, but let me give you a hint: Because many people think it's clever, but it's not.

    When you want low latency and it matters, you really have to get down to the internals.

    Change the scheduler, test, change the elevator and so on. Swap is like... The tiniest problem then.
  • 1
    @IntrusionCM Removing unnecessary obstacles isn't in the same boat as going for an RT kernel. By far not. It's about providing useful defaults, that's all.

    And sorry, if the FAQ of a distro says itself that 10 is better for desktop, you can hand-waive all you want, I'm going to believe those who actually made the distro and not you.
  • 3
    @kescherRant It MIGHT require that sometimes. My parents run it as well and I have never (them neither) had to fuck around with configs. Also not on my current pc and surface.
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop About the driver thing: Someone made a driver for the Creative Soundblaster Z Series that allows a higher bit depth and sample rate than the official drivers on Windows.

    One of the rare advantages for community support, when it comes to hardware.
  • 0
    @electrineer everything that is popular fod end consumer is easier on mac and windows. Let’s not reinvent which OS excels at what. Those discussions are settled and bland.
  • 1
    @kescherRant Though with the bad track record of Creative's products under Linux, I would stay away from them in the first place.

    Can you recommend a current PCIe soundcard for Linux, btw? Mid-range, but with EMI shielding, low noise, working stereo line output and mic input, and ideally relais to switch off the outputs when shutting down so that no "PLOP" comes out of the speakers?
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop Well... I have a Soundblaster Z because I literally got it for free. That's the main reason.

    I don't know what other sound card I'd use myself if I didn't have this one.
  • 0
    With LINUX u can work with ur cutest smile,, u got smile when have ur system is stable even got one while have kernels panic with no backup. Overall LINUX the only one who always get my f*cking smile 😊
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