LOL, yeah, I'm a techhead and like to tinker with stuff, with (X)ubuntu I never have to... *sniff*
My perspective is that, if I have to spend time screwing with the OS to make it do what I want, I'm not spending that time doing anything productive, as in using actual productivity software or developing software myself.
Using a car analogy: I just want to be able to drive my car so I can get to and from work. Having to manually fiddle stuff to fix my car interferes with the whole reason I have it! An OS, like a car, is a means to an end. (Car enthusiasts notwithstanding.)
J. Allen wrote:
Robert Maxwell wrote:
Linux will never be suitable for "normal people" until you don't need a command line to do simple, necessary tasks.
I haven't used Ubuntu in a while, though. J, what tasks require the command line, that a "normal user" would need?
Well, for myself, removing the guest account required me to use the terminal. I remember thinking at the time, a simple check box in the control panel to remove the guest account would have been nice.
Then there was one point where I had issues with one of the libraries, and had to reinstall it via the terminal. When I installed a couple of new themes, I had to go through the terminal to get them activated properly.
When I went from 12.04 to 12.10, I had some display driver trouble, and had to use the terminal to fix the problem, which took about half an hour.
On all of these I had to use Ubuntu support, on their forum, so even though I do have to use the terminal from time to time, their support is very good.
Yuck. I remember using some flavor of Linux years ago--possibly Mandrake/Mandriva?--where the audio didn't work unless I manually went in and changed modprobe parameters to use a different audio driver. And this was using a rather common sound card at the time (SBLive!)
I agree that disabling the guest account should be a checkbox. Driver management should also be point-and-click, and should degrade gracefully if there is a problem. I will grant you that Linux normally doesn't totally shit itself when you have a bum driver (unlike Windows), however I have seen it fail to start X and then drop you to a terminal, expecting you to fix the problem. A regular user just isn't going to stand for this.
I know a few people who are not what I'd call "power users," and they've used Linux (usually Ubuntu), and they normally just complain about it. Upgrades in particular seem to cause a lot of problems, especially if you are far out of date.
On the other hand, I recently tried to complete what I thought was a very straightforward operation. I bought a bigger hard drive for my laptop, and I just wanted to clone my existing drive (with Windows 7) to it. I used Windows' shadow volume functionality to do it. Well, the drive wouldn't boot. I used some tools to set up the MBR to fix that. I just got weird messages about how the OS was invalid. Not even Clonezilla could save me. I ended up having to reinstall the OS from scratch onto the new drive, using the recovery media, and reinstall everything else after that--precisely the situation I intended to avoid by cloning! Neither Windows nor Linux were any help in accomplishing what I wanted.