The problem with Ubuntu

30 10 2008

Now, I am a huge fan of Ubuntu. It just works, in fact, I have never ever had it crash on me, whilst good old Vista and XP throws wobblies on the odd occassion. However, I think it has a fundamental flaw. It is written by techies, who know Linux inside out and are very happy with the command line. As such, if you want to do anything more than simple web browsing, IMing and emailing – which maybe most users want to to – then you start to get a little undone. Why? Because anything more slightly advanced requires you to start to know some command line stuff and be happy editing text files.

This includes setting up samba, setting up apache etc etc. Now, one could argue that those kinda things are pretty advanced and if you know about them, then you should be techie enough to be happy with the command line and text files, but I disagree. Looking at Windows, you can do pretty much whatever you want with it and you never have to edit a text file. This seems to be somethhing endemic within Ubuntu.

For example, I was trying to work out how to carry out simple incremental backups of certain folders in Ubuntu. After googling, it appeared that I need to use some command line tools like rsync or rdiff. Now, since I am still not that comfortable with scripts and cron, I just didn’t know what to do. Whereas in Windows, there are a million and one different options, all having a nice GUI. Thus me, being probobly the average Ubuntu user hits a huge barrier, and this is feel is the major problem of Ubuntu. It has not yet fully converted to the idea that simple users need GUIs. However, it is moving towards this belief and is much much more friendly than earlier versions, I just feel until it gets to the point where there is a GUI for every option and tool and all the packages that can be downloaded via synaptics have a GUI then it is going to have problems.

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