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What is most difficult for new users transitioning from a non-linux computer?

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#1 Randy

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 11:21 PM

I'm working on setting up an unofficial respin of Bodhi that I will be installing on some local new users machines.

 

And as a long time Linux user I probably take for granted many of the things needed tweaking in order to use Linux in a Windows world. Such as installing codecs so you can play mp3's or commercial DVD's.  Or setting up flash. I can easily get most Linux distros up and running to where I don't even miss windows. But I've been using it for a long time.

 

But I sometimes, I think I forget how frustrating it can be to learn new software and especially a new interface.

 

So I'm hoping some of the new Linux users might voice some of their frustrations here.  Along with maybe some of the Linux application you have had the most success with, as far as being easier to learn, and still allowing you to get some work done.

 

Hardware issues will always be a frustration unless you buy a Linux machine such as some models from Dell and most models from System76. But try to install windows on System76 computer and I bet you'll be just as frustrated. Things work when you run the OS your computer was built for, but if you want to run another OS you better expect to do a little work. That's mainly what I help People with at the local level.  They bring me their machine and I try to get everything working with Linux.

 

So this info would be helpful to help suggest Linux software to new users. I know what I like. But there might be better choices I'm not aware of.

 

 


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#2 graywizardlinux

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 12:41 AM

well - i knew where on macs to find stuff - under the hood stuff and what to deleted re: various caches and preference files.  in linux - i have no clue and that is still very mysterious to me.

 

the wifi issues and codecs thing you already mentioned.

 

for me - and yes i read and looked at the manuals etc - but that damn gimp is just blech to me vs photoshop.  I loved painter too on macs - but have a lot to learn on krita.

 

but i do find krita interesting for my lack of knowledge of it.

 

for most people that have to learn that libreoffice is a very good suite - i use the writer the most.  i used neo and then libreoffice on macs and never word.  

 

finding a good browser may also be an issue - i love chromium - the others just are not that good and i always did and still do hate firefox! but that is me.

 

knowing where and how to install apps/packages is needed.  different than windblows and also than macs.  and also about updating.

 

the biggest issue i still have and many will get frustrated is partitioning.  read the stuff and followed the instructions and i never could get it to work correctly.  and then when i did upgrade a distro - wiped it all out because it installed over everything instead of the correct partition.  so know i have the basic install which means redoing or upgrading my system - everything gets wiped out - that is why it takes me a month to tweak it all all over again and download all the apps i need and like and get rid of the stuff i do not like.

 

that's a start.

 

Good luck man!!!!  hope this helps a bit.

maybe will post other thoughts as i can.



#3 graywizardlinux

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 12:47 AM

p.s. also that  all of the various desktop and windows environments are all different - and you have to look around under various desktops and also terminology - but that is generic linux stuff and not moksha/E/bodhi environment that you mentioned - although the terminology used is different - even when i started using it full time a year ago almost.  i had to get through some of that.



#4 Randy

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 07:47 AM

Thanks Gray! All that info helps!


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#5 The waiter

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 08:13 AM

From my POV the most frustrating thing about switching to Linux was the fact I was alone and thus nobody to ask for help. Of course there was Internet but as I knew nothing about Linux I did not know how to ask my questions. I started with Mandriva but I was unable to get WIFI work and had some troubles with VGA as I had VIA HW which was little bit "exotic". Many give ups, many returns etc. Then a new colleague came to our department who was relatively skilled with Linux and he helped me a lot with everything I needed. Now it is 5 years I have been using Linux and I even no need dual boot. I rely on Linux although I must confess there are some activities which are unable to run on pure Linux (some my apps I created in VBA, flashing BIOS on my LENOVO PC's etc).  

 

PS: After some time I was able to persuade many people (family, friends, colleagues) which were still complaining about Windows to let me install them Linux alongside Win. Yes, the painful experience with HW but I learned a lot. Finally I explained them the using new OS and I must say after some time they stopped asking. They just use their computers...



#6 graywizardlinux

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 10:50 PM

p.s having everything on 1 partition is a mess and sucks and just not good.  but if that is the only way i can get it to work - linux as such and bodhi specifically - then that is the way it goes.  sorry Randy - one long day outside.....



#7 sef

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 01:52 AM

When I was starting out, I found synaptic to be invaluable in finding new software to install. Of course now I simply use apt-get, apt-cache, dpkg, etc.

Nothing is as simple as it seems at first, or as hopeless as it seems in the middle, or as finished as it seems in the end.


#8 staind

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 04:09 AM

Now I was tempted to say that like the waiter I might have been alone. Coming from an IT background, one just had to know where to look for stuff. I was printing the solutions to minor hurdles and putting them in a binder. What if the solution was not in English--where would I turn to? The distro I had was IRC friendly so I was able to discuss ideas and approaches. IRC can be very chatty, or noisy like the storm that Ubuntu channel can be, but just watching and reading adds to the learning experience. It wasn't flying solo after all. The others that have gone before me continued to lurk, and chat, and post in forums too.

 

I guess the software that randy describes are the underrated ones. Although enlightenment is a beautiful desktop, I discovered that the terminal remains vastly underrated. Which is precisely WHY the e-devs developed terminology, a terminal for the twenty-first century. So even though I have been launching e since that first screenshot many years ago, I have always opened two or more terminals in each live session.

 

The command line is accessible from terminology, xterm, urxvt, CTL-ALT-F1 through F7. So is irssi, or its cousin weechat. Sure you can learn all this by yourself, with all the e-books around. But for help, guess why it is important to get your network going?

 

Now this may not be the answer, but I didn't want Randy to overlook what is lurking underneath CTL-ALT-F1 through F7 :) 


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#9 Randy

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 09:19 AM

The only way I've ever been able to set up a linux machine without the command line is to buy one built for Linux such as a System76 rig. But the beauty of Linux is once it's properly set up on someones machine, they never have to use the command line again unless the wish too. But, It's a very good thing to learn.


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